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Douglass Graduates Excel as McNair Scholars

The McNair Scholars is a national program at Universities around the country that includes recent graduates who have attended, accepted, and received full funding and doctoral degrees from some of the most prestigious institutions in the nation including Rutgers University, Harvard University, Yale University, Stanford University, Cornell University, University of California-Berkeley, and University of Massachusetts.

This past year, Douglass graduates made up 30% of the Rutgers McNair scholars program. Douglass sat down with Tyshana Campbell DRC’22, a McNair Scholar recipient, to discuss her experience at both Douglass and in the McNair program—a powerful combination that has set her up for success in academia and beyond.

DC: What is the McNair Scholars Program?

TC:The Ronald E. McNair Program is a TRiO program that is geared toward first-generation, low-income, or underrepresented students in graduate studies,” said Campbell. “I became a McNair scholar by applying and interviewing for the program. There are requirements to apply such as GPA and class year. Also, it helps if you have an idea of the kind of research that you are interested in conducting.”

DC: What kind of research or projects are you working on as part of the program? How has it shaped your path in or to graduate school?

TC: "During the program, the research I was able to conduct with my faculty mentor, Dr. Nichole Garcia, was on the Impact of Natural Disasters among Latinx Undergraduates in California. Being able to transcribe data of participants’ experiences and analyze the commonalities between them was very influential for me. The McNair program gave me the opportunity to get first-hand experience of what it is like to be a researcher. This project solidified the kind of research I want to conduct. I always knew I wanted to be a psychologist and work in sports for my career, but I never thought of being a researcher as part of my career. Now, through this experience, I know that becoming a researcher will only enhance my work as a psychologist."

DC: What graduate program are you considering after the program?

TC: “I have recently applied to doctoral programs in Psychology with the intent of researching Black student-athletes and how predominately white institutions influence their academic development and sports performance.”

DC: What are your career goals and aspirations?

TC: "My career goals and aspirations are to get into a doctoral program with the intent of becoming a psychologist. Then, start working towards a career as a psychologist for a national or collegiate sports team. This work is important because there is minimal research conducted in this area, especially about Black and Brown athletes. There has been an influx of Black athletes that have talked about how their mental health has affected their performance, as well as their passion for the sport. This research is influential in ensuring athletes are mentally sustained during their athletic careers and throughout their lives."

DC: Can you tell me a bit about your time at Douglass?

TC: "I joined the Douglass community as a first-year student, I lived in Katzenbach in the BOLD Empower living learning community. The BOLD Empower program was so impactful for me. It allowed me to meet new people, explore different opportunities such as externing with the Rutgers Basketball team and giving the push I needed to apply to Douglass’ Project SUPER Undergraduate Research Program. Also, the experience trained me on diversity, equity, and inclusion and how to appropriately handle discriminatory acts.

Douglass gave a support system! It is nothing like seeing women that look like you in high positions and push you further than you think you can reach. For example, when I got accepted into Project SUPER, I was contemplating switching my major. I expressed this to the assistant director of the program and she didn’t pressure me to choose a lab, she listened to me and paired me with a lab that was a mix of both majors I was considering. This allowed me to see that I didn’t have to discard my career path but learn how to pivot within it."

"I will forever be a proud Douglass woman and I am very grateful for the experiences that Douglass College has shown me!"

Meet the McNair Scholars here!