MSRE 2010 Countdown Begins!

The 2010 McNair Summer Research Experience (MSRE) begins in just under a week, and right now is arguably one of the most exciting times of the year here at the UNL McNair Scholars Program. Scholars will be working hard all summer, developing lasting bonds as a cohort and as student-scholars with their faculty mentor, and ultimately will be given the opportunity to present their research on the national stage in August at UC Berkeley. We asked the McNair Scholars who participated in MSRE last year what their memories (and advice!) would be to the incoming Scholars who will be dedicating their summer to research beginning next week.

Morgan Conley, a recent graduate and McNair Scholar said, “Stay on task throughout the summer and things won’t seem as big. Manage your time effectively and have fun… there’s room for both.”

Beyond deadlines, paper drafts, and seminar sessions, McNair Scholars will also be developing their skills and research interests that will serve them on their future graduate education path. Some McNair Scholars found that MSRE was an ideal time to talk to those in academia who occupy positions Scholars themselves hope to be in one day.

Beth Ridling, a senior Psychology major who will be continuing her ongoing research she began last summer during MSRE by conducting focus group sessions in a clinical psychology lab, advised McNair Scholars to remember the “big picture” about MSRE–it’s about students’ development as Scholars. “There is a lot of value in learning the entire research process from start to finish and how to interact effectively with others… Something that was very helpful for me was meeting with as many graduate students and faculty members as possible just to talk about their experiences with graduate school searches, applications, and careers. Each person has a different story, and from all that information, I was about to see myself putting together my own journey to and through graduate school.”

Computer Science major and McNair Scholar, Mike Gubbels noted that extensive organization and preparation was key for his success during MSRE. “Meet regularly with advisors to reflect on progress made and to plan as specifically as possible the tasks to work on until the next meeting. Start writing papers early. Maybe even when it seems ‘too early’.”

Well said, McNair Scholars. We here at the McNair Scholars Program are looking forward to the beginning of MSRE next week, and to a very busy and success-filled summer! See you next week!

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