McNair, CSTEP Students Participate in Grad School Tour

Four St. Lawrence University students opted to use their Mid-Winter vacation to visit several graduate schools in New York State.

The New York State Graduate School Tour was organized by Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program, or CSTEP, and the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program. The tour included visits to the State University of New York at Albany and Binghamton, Cornell University and Syracuse University.

Over the course of three days, students toured the four campuses, met with faculty and staff from their program of interest, and networked with current graduate and Ph.D. students.

For Heather Thompson, a sophomore from Heuvelton, New York, it was an informative experience.

"I enjoyed learning about programs that were related to my field of interest" she remarked. "I liked touring the campuses and having the opportunity to speak to people from the departments I am interested in."

After she graduates, Heather plans to further her interests in research and conservation biology through pursuing a Ph.D. She hopes to eventually work for environmental organizations like the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Nature Conservancy, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

St. Lawrence University McNair Scholars and CSTEP students who participated in the New York State Graduate School Tour also included Emily Casey-Wagemaker '19 of Schenectady, Estela Lucas '18 of Bronx, and Halley Choy '17 of Saratoga Springs.

CSTEP, a program funded by the New York State Department of Education, is designed to increase the number of underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students who complete pre-professional or professional education programs that lead to professional licensure and to careers in mathematics, science, technology, and health-related fields.

The McNair Scholars Program is a federally funded TRIO program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. It is named in honor of Dr. Ronald E. McNair, a pioneer African American astronaut who died in the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. The McNair program is designed to motivate and support students who are underrepresented in graduate education, who meet economic eligibility requirements, and who may be the first in their families to attend college. The program is also meant to increase the attainment of the Ph.D. by students from underrepresented groups.

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