McNair Scholars Program

Faculty Mentor Information

The relationship between the scholar and the faculty mentor is central to the McNair program. After acceptance into the program, scholars are encouraged to meet with appropriate faculty members and to select one who is willing to serve as a mentor and, wherever possible, as the summer research supervisor. The mentor may be the student's adviser or another faculty member in the major department.

Mentors introduce scholars to the value of the academic life, the rigor required for scholarship, the joys of teaching, and the benefits associated with work as a professor. They provide an open learning environment and a dedicated example of an academic career and offer invaluable advice, guidance, and encouragement, specific for the scholar's needs and interests. Through the summer research internship and other opportunities that arise, the mentor involves the scholar in the process of conceptualizing and implementing research and presenting the results to the scholarly community. When possible, the mentor travels with the scholar to regional or national conferences, inaugurating the scholar in professional associations and introducing the scholar to key persons in the field of study. The mentor cultivates the scholar's desire for learning and personal, academic achievement.

Mentor Responsibilities

  1. Assist the student in meeting the program requirement of spending a minimum of 30 hours per week in research activities.

  2. Consult with the student prior to the start of the research internship to help the student develop a written statement of research goals and objectives.

  3. Meet with student regularly to discuss the student's progress toward the research goals.

  4. Provide guidance and advice regarding graduate school.

  5. Review and critique student's graduate school statement of purpose.

  6. Review and critique student's research paper and PowerPoint presentation.

  7. Complete and submit a faculty mentor evaluation.

Any problems that occur during the internship should be reported immediately to Sierra Howry, McNair Scholars Program, 715-425-3528 or