More than 200 colleges and universities across the United States and Puerto Rico participate in the McNair Scholars Program, and Loyola is one of the newest schools on the list. The program is a federal TRIO program funded by the United States Department of Education that aims to help undergraduate students prepare for graduate school through summer research and other scholarly activities. All scholars must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and are either first-generation college students or come from an underrepresented group in graduate education.
McNair Scholar Timothy Rose, a junior at Loyola, spent his summer in northern Uganda researching the current status of the country’s primary school system, as well as analyzing the role of the government and non-governmental organizations in regards to funding of primary school programs. “I chose northern Uganda in particular because of its history of conflict and I chose the topic of primary education because I personally believe that education is a useful tool that can improve livelihoods and reduce social inequality,” says Rose.
During his time abroad Rose met inspiring people from Uganda and all over the world who each had a motivating story to share. One story that had a large impact on Rose was that of a young boy who escaped the Lord’s Resistance Army as a child soldier and progressed to become a mentor for more than 50 Ugandan students. “I left the country with an extreme appreciation for the opportunities I’ve had growing up, but more importantly, with a long list of new relationships that have shaped me more in one month than in several years back at home,” says Rose.
Rose first heard of the McNair Scholars Program during a presentation in one of his classes. When he got accepted into the program he was extremely excited but he was unaware of how influential the program would be.
“The McNair Scholars Program has given me the opportunity of a lifetime. I was able to acquire invaluable experiences: I conducted my own research in the field, I was able to study a topic that I personally care about, I met numerous individuals while I conducted my research that have inspired me with their hard work and dedication, and I also was able to visit a beautiful country. By allowing me the opportunity to conduct this research, the program has truly given me a better picture of what might lay ahead of me if I choose to pursue a PhD in a similar field of study.”
Rose is just one of 25 Loyola students who are enrolled in the McNair Scholars Program. To learn more about the program, visit LUC.edu/gradschool/mcnairscholarsprogram.