LMU Newsroom


Twenty-two LMU McNair scholars will present their original scientific research on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 9:30 a.m., in front of their proud families, mentors and faculty members as part of the Robert E. McNair Scholars program.

Ronald McNair, Ph.D., a laser physicist with a degree from MIT, was the second African-American to fly in space. The federally funded McNair Scholars Program, established to memorialize his death 30 years ago in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, is helping students from underrepresented groups earn graduate degrees in the sciences, math, engineering, economics, psychology, political science or sociology.

LMU was awarded a McNair Scholars Program grant for $1.1 million in 2012. Since then, 49 students from the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering and the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts have completed the program. Of those, 28 have gone on to graduate schools, including MIT, Columbia University, UC Berkeley, USC and the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Sylvia Santos, one of three scholars making oral presentations, will present a game-based learning app, targeted at first-generation and underrepresented high school students, to teach the principles of electrical engineering.

Carl McNair, Ronald McNair’s brother, president and CEO of McNair Achievement Programs, will address the 22 scholars and their families.