USM holds undergraduate research symposium for McNair scholars

USM holds undergraduate research symposium for McNair scholars

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - On Tuesday, Southern Miss held the 16th annual McNair Scholars Research Symposium.

The program gave the McNair scholars a chance to show their research skills before an audience.

"Many times undergraduates will graduate with their baccalaureate degree and go on to graduate school without research experience, and this program gives them the opportunity to do research as an undergraduate," said Susan Bourland, program director of the McNair Scholars Program."So that when they get to graduate school they are already a little bit more prepared and ready to step into a research role."

Part of a U.S. Department of Education grant, the program provides the opportunities for the students to do research as an undergraduate so that when they get to graduate school, they can be better prepared in the research role.

Austin Allen, communication studies major, "It's a really good program to be in because you have so much support, not only from the advisors and the program runners, but also each other," said Austin Allen, a communication studies major. "It's a great network of people that have either been able to meet and connect with and share a lot of great moments."

The McNair scholars program is a federally funded (TRIO) program dedicated to preserving (former NASA astronaut) Ronald McNair's legacy of scholarship and achievement.

McNair's life ended tragically on Jan. 28, 1986, when the space shuttle "Challenger" exploded shortly after liftoff, also claiming the lives of six other astronauts.