Welcome to the McNair Research Scholars Program

2021-23 Cohort in Atlanta, GA: SAEOPP McNair Conference

About The Program

The UCLA McNair Research Scholars Program was established in 2003 as a two-year research-based program that prepares undergraduate students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. to not only apply to but also excel in the best graduate school programs in the country.

Each year, the program maintains a cohort of 28 juniors and seniors from a variety of majors in the Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, STEM, and applied or interdisciplinary Sciences. The UCLA McNair program particularly attracts young scholars who are committed to social change and use scholarship and research as a means to achieve social justice. Hence, the program’s motto to “Transform the Academy.” Additionally, UCLA McNair Alumni work in a variety of professional positions that advance a social justice agenda.

Program Curriculum

UCLA McNair Research Scholars complete a comprehensive and rigorous two-year academic program under the supervision of the Program Director, the Assistant Director, and multiple Graduate Student Mentors.

During their first year in the program, McNair Scholars participate in the UCLA Student Research Program (SRP) under the guidance of a faculty mentor, and attend weekly seminars designed specifically for the program. These seminars guide students through navigating the academy and developing research proposals.

In the summer between their first and second year in the program, McNair Scholars participate in the six-week UCLA McNair Summer Research Institute. This six-week program includes: workshops and seminars on academic career opportunities; standardized test preparation; writing and research skills; writing a statement of purpose; obtaining letters of recommendation; and completing the graduate school application process. In addition, McNair Scholars begin their independent research projects and present their current findings at national McNair Conferences.

During their second year in the program, McNair Scholars apply to graduate school and complete, present, and publish their research project and senior thesis. Every Scholar has the opportunity to donate her or his research materials and senior thesis to the Southern California Library.

>> View the McNair Two-Year Plan <<

Social Media

For the latest updates and news, follow us on the official UCLA McNair Instagram. @ucla_mcnairscholar

Junior Cohort

Jasmine Archila

Jasmine Archila

Yolanda Anguiano

Yolanda Anguiano

English

Research Interests: Young Adult Literature

Miguel Beltran

Miguel Beltran

Thyra Cobbs

Thyra Cobbs

Ashley Hackett

Ashley Hackett

Nayeli Lopez-Ortiz

Nayeli Lopez-Ortiz

Anthony Zomalt

Anthony Zomalt

Filipe Andreas Melo

Filipe Andreas Melo

Aaron Ayala

Aaron Ayala

Hector De Leon

Hector De Leon

Brenda Martinez Montano

Brenda Martinez Montano

Sociology, Education and Social Transformation

Research Interests: Social Justice & Education

Kiara Phillips

Kiara Phillips

Jonathan Salgado

Jonathan Salgado

Senior Cohort – Class of 2022

Abel Aragon

Abel Aragon

Geology, Chicana/o/x and Central American Studies Minor

Research Interests: Paleoclimatology, Paleothermometry, Geochemistry, Climate Change, and Geology.

Cindy Berganza

Cindy Berganza

Psychology, Political Science

Research Interests: Race, Politics, Psychology, Law, and Immigration.

Sebastian Figueroa

Sebastian Figueroa

Astrophysics

Research Interests: Plasma, Interferometry, Mathematical Physics, and Cosmology.

Reno Garcia

Reno Garcia

Sociology, Education Studies Minor

Research Interests: Agricultural Labor, Economic Injustice, Mental Health, and Empowerment and Community.

Luis Godinez

Luis Godinez

Political Science, Public Affairs

Research Interests: Mental Health, Identity, Transfronterizo, Academia, and Education.

Ruby Gordillo

Ruby Gordillo

English

Research Interests: Diversity, Education, Chicanx, Change, and Inclusion.

Cristian Hernandez

Cristian Hernandez

Sociology, Chicana/o/x and Central American Studies Minor

Research Interests: Immigration, Asylum, Mental Health, Central America, and Unaccompanied Minors.

Brittany Jasper

Brittany Jasper

Sociology, African-American Studies and Education Studies Minor

Research Interests: Special Education, Black, Equity, and Racial Profiling.

Alicia López

Alicia López

Sociology, Chicana/o/x and Central American Studies Minor

Research Interests: Immigration, Gender, Race, Neighborhood Change, and COVID-19.

Andrea Macias

Andrea Macias

Psychology

Research Interests: Parenting Students, Education, Self-efficacy, and Relationships.

Stephanie Martinez

Stephanie Martinez

History, Chicana/o/x and Central American Studies

Research Interests: Indigenous, Mesoamerica, History, Colonialism, and Pre-Conquest/Contact.

Samantha Mazariegos

Samantha Mazariegos

Human Biology and Society, Global Health Minor

Research Interests: Mental Health, Trauma, Immigration, Central America, and U.S Immigration Policy.

Jessika Viveros

Jessika Viveros

Political Science

Research Interests: Labor Studies, White Supremacy, Police Brutality, Black, and Abolition.

Edwin Zamora

Edwin Zamora

Psychology, Applied Developmental Psychology and Education Studies Minor

Research Interests: Early Bilingual Education, and Early Childhood Education.

For more information please view the 2022 McNair Senior Presentations Booklet.

2022 McNair Research Scholars Program Senior Presentations
Powell Library (Rotunda)
May 25, 2022
11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

11:00 – 11:10am – Welcome
Alice Ho, PhD – McNair Director

11:10 – 12:10pm – Panel A

The Self-efficacy, Mindset, and Achievement of Children of UC Student Mothers: The Links to Perceptions of Mothers’ Student Role
Andrea Macias

Resilience in the Face of Adversity: Unaccompanied Minors Navigating the U.S. Immigration System
Cristian Hernandez

Racialized Policing: The Role of the Qualified Immunity Doctrine in the Process of Accountability
Jessika Viveros

Understanding the Eocene-Oligocene Transition Through Clumped Isotope Paleothermometry
Abel Aragon

12:30 – 1:30pm – Lunch Break

1:30 – 2:30pm – Panel B

Measuring Plasma Density Through New Hardware Applications of Microwave Interferometry
Sebastian J. Figueroa

Parent Perspectives on the Value of Service Support for Heritage Language Development in Autistic Youth
Edwin Zamora

Online Politicking: The Impacts of Social Media on Contemporary Activism
Cindy Berganza

Intent vs. Impact: Black Students in Special Education and Teacher Education
Brittany Jasper

2:30 – 2:45pm – Break

2:45 – 3:45pm – Panel C

The ‘Vanishing Indian’: Navigating the Literary Formations of the Settler-Colonial Relationship in Scott Momaday’s House Made of Dawn and Tommy Orange’s There There
Ruby Gordillo

¿Si Ni De Aquí, Ni De Allá, Entonces De Dónde? The Transfronterizx Student Experience of Navigating Race, Place, Identity, and Language in the Search for Community and Acceptance
Luis Godinez

En El Nombre De La Madre, La Hija, y La Lucha Para Sobresalir: The Daughters Contribution to the Mother’s Small Business
Alicia Inés López

3:50 – 4:50pm – Panel D

Uncovering and Addressing Health Care Inequality amongst Mixtec Migrants in Madera, CA
Reno Garcia

Impact of COVID-19 on the Mental Health of First-Generation Undergraduates at UCLA
Sam Mazariegos

Ni Santa, Ni Puta: Tracing the Impact of the Colonization of Erotic Labor in Central Mexico
Stephanie Vanessa Martinez

4:50 – 5:00pm – Closing
Iris Lucero, PhD – McNair Assistant Director

>>> Applications Open Fall 2022 <<<
Release date: October 2022

Eligibility

In order to apply students must first ensure they meet the following criteria:

  • Are a low-income AND first generation college student OR Are a member of an underrepresented group within graduate education
  • Are an United States citizen or permanent resident
  • Have Junior standing and at least two years remaining at UCLA
  • Are available during the McNair Summer Research Institute (typically Summer Session A)
  • Are interested in research and pursuing graduate school

Application Materials

Aside from a completed and signed UCLA McNair Research Scholars Application, the following materials must be submitted as PDFs (unless otherwise noted) by the application due date – November 15, 2022.

  • 500 Word Personal Statement
  • 1,000 Word Research Proposal/Statement
  • Resume or Curriculum Vita
  • 2022 – 2023 UCLA Electronic Financial Aid Notification (eFAN)
  • Parent(s) or Guardian(s) *SIGNED* Federal Income Tax Return from 2021 or 2020 (with Social Security Numbers removed or blocked from view)
  • Two Letters of Recommendation (from those who can speak to your potential for graduate school)
  • Signed Faculty Mentor Form (or Faculty Mentor of Interest Contact Form if you are a STEM Transfer student)
  • Screenshot of the MyUCLA Undergraduate Research Fellows Program (URFP) Application Confirmation Page (JPG & PNG are acceptable file formats for this document)
  • Unofficial Transcript(s)
    • If you are a transfer student, please also submit a copy of the transcript(s) from the previous school(s) you attended alongside your UCLA transcript.

Help with Application

Whether you just want to learn more about the program or are working on your application materials, please schedule an appointment with a McNair team member or Graduate Mentor either in-person at 1202 Campbell Hall or by calling 310-794-4186. You can also email us at mcnair@college.ucla.edu.

Get support with applying for the program, don’t do it alone!

Graduate Mentors

Wanda Quintanilla Duran

Wanda Quintanilla Duran

Courtney Minor

Courtney Minor

Sophia Sambrano

Sophia Sambrano

Staff

Alice Ho, Ph.D.

Alice Ho, Ph.D.

Director
Faye Tesoro

Faye Tesoro

Office Coordinator
Iris Lucero, Ph.D.

Iris Lucero, Ph.D.

Assistant Director

Main Office

Box 951541 – 1202 Campbell Hall

Phone Number: (310) 794-4186

Email: mcnair@college.ucla.edu