On Friday, July 31, Virginia Tech holds the 10th annual McNair Multicultural Academic Opportunities Program (MAOP) Research Symposium.

This symposium is an opportunity for undergraduate students to showcase their summer research efforts. A total of 40 students -- nine McNair Scholars and 31 MAOP Summer Research Interns (SRI) students -- will be presenting their research, after spending the past 10 weeks working with Virginia Tech faculty on various individual projects.

The symposium will be held at the Graduate Life Center and run from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. It will consist of oral presentations and poster displays of the students’ individual work.

The summer McNair scholars are high-achieving juniors and seniors from Virginia Tech and Hampton University. They represent a variety of majors – political science, English, aerospace engineering, mathematics/physics, psychology, art history, and geography. The McNair Scholars Program offers a summer research experience as part of a comprehensive year-round program serving 25 Virginia Tech and Hampton University undergraduate students interested in preparing for graduate study.

The program is formally known as the Ronald E. McNair Post baccalaureate Achievement Program. It is designed to encourage low-income, first-generation college students and students from groups currently underrepresented in higher education to pursue doctoral study. The program offers seminars and activities that focus on graduate education, guided academic and career support, faculty mentorship, a summer research experience, and effective preparation for graduate school. It is a federally supported program.

The MAOP SRI students consist of sophomores, juniors, and seniors from Virginia Tech, Berea College, St. Augustine’s College, University of Connecticut, Virginia State University, Vanderbilt University, Hampton University, Spellman College, Methodist University, and North Carolina A&T.

The MAOP is an academic success community founded upon the principles of self-help, mentoring, and peer support. Central to the goal of MAOP is the promotion of diversification in the student body at Virginia Tech and on the post graduate level -- particularly in the science, math, and technology areas. Through a partnership with various departments at Virginia Tech, other college and university peers, governmental, private, and non-profit institutions MAOP participants are supported with academic guidance and financial support.

Both programs are designed to bring students together in the summer to offer an intentional undergraduate research experience, networking opportunities, quantitative and verbal skills in preparation for graduate school entrance exams and other key development opportunities such as grant writing, research ethics and the value of undergraduate research. Each student is paired with a faculty mentor as they work on their respective project.

Applications for both programs become available in the latter part of the fall semester with applications due in early spring.

Both programs come under the Academic Support Services area in the Office of the Provost. For more addition information, please contact: Cheryl Gittens, McNair Scholars program at (540) 231-7027, or Inga Adams, MAOP at (540) 231-5023.

Written by Ray Plaza.

Share this story