August 3, 2007
  Top Story

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McNair Class of 2007

We help McNair Scholars achieve their dreams

These young men and women, from Fort Worth and across America, are first-generation college students with dreams… dreams of advanced degrees, and proud careers as physicians or researchers or educators. They have competed for – and won – a handful of scholarships that placed them at the side of experienced biomedical professionals and role models for 10 weeks. These are McNair Scholars, and for the 8th year, our faculty and staff have been their mentors. We “graduated” the McNair Class of 2007 on July 27.

The Ronald E. McNair Achievement Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education in memory of the African American physicist and astronaut, Dr. Ronald McNair, who was killed in the space shuttle Challenger mission of 1986. Additional funding is provided by the Health Science Center’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Miller Brewing’s REACH community investment program. The McNair program is one of 13 successful initiatives conducted by the Health Science Center’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences throughout the year that encourage minority and disadvantaged students from the elementary school level through graduate school to pursue futures in medicine and science.

On the curriculum for our 19 McNair scholars this year were the Texas Conference on Health Disparities, distinguished visiting speakers, graduate courses in physiology, the Kaplan Graduate Record Examination prep course, and seminars on subjects ranging from laboratory animal medicine to money management. Each scholar also worked full-time with a faculty mentor on a research project, the results of which will be published in the McNair Scholars Journal.

Where do McNair Scholars come from?
The colleges attended by this year’s class include UT Austin, Baylor, Texas A&M, Tuskegee University, Grambling State University, Xavier, Juniata College, St. Mary’s University, Brown University and Texas Woman’s University.

Where do McNair Scholars go?
Some recent achievements include:

Courtney Lockhart – now at Harvard Medical School. Her mentor: Dr. Peter Koulen.

April Newsome – now in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program at Vanderbilt University. Her mentor: Dr. Peter Koulen.

Brandon Kirby – now a doctoral student at Vanderbilt University. His mentor: Dr. Ming-Chi Wu.

Dr. Eric Gonzales – a 2005 graduate of our own Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences now at the Vollum Institute at Oregon Health and Science University. His mentor: Dr. Glenn Dillon.

Dr. Greg Hibbets – a 2006 graduate of our own Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine.
His mentor: Dr. Jerry Simecka.

Quinton Barnes – now a master of science student and SCORE fellow here at the Health Science Center.
His mentors: Dr. Peter Raven and Dr. Michael Smith.

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