The relationship between the Scholar and the faculty mentor is central to the McNair program. After acceptance into the program, Scholars are encouraged to meet with appropriate faculty members and to select one who is willing to serve as a mentor and, wherever possible, as the summer research supervisor. The mentor may be the student's advisor or another faculty member in the major department; a faculty member may mentor no more than two program participants.
Mentors introduce Scholars to the value of the academic life, the rigor required for scholarship, the joys of teaching, and the benefits associated with work as a professor. They provide an open learning environment and a dedicated example of an academic career and offer invaluable advice, guidance, and encouragement, specific for the Scholar's needs and interests. Through the summer research internship and other opportunities that arise, the mentor involves the Scholar in the process of conceptualizing and implementing research and presenting the results to the scholarly community. When possible, the mentor travels with the Scholar to regional or national conferences, inaugurating the Scholar in professional associations and introducing the Scholar to key persons in the field of study. Throughout the two years the mentor cultivates the Scholar's desire for learning and personal, academic achievement.
Meet weekly with their McNair Scholar(s)
Assess Scholar's academic skills and potential and help mitigate problem areas
Provide direction, affirmation, and in-depth advice about graduate study
Challenge the Scholar(s) to reach academic heights
Recommend reading, resource material, journals, literature in their field
Assist and encourage Scholars in conceptualizing and writing research proposals, developing research plans, and implementing research during the summer
Direct Scholar (s) in writing the research paper in the proper form, provide constructive criticism, and guide Scholar (s) in either submitting it for publication or presenting it at a conference
Involve Scholar (s) in classroom teaching or arrange for teaching experience within the academic department
Respond promptly to all McNair Program communications
Monitor student progress and hold the Scholar accountable for making progress
Notify the Interim McNair Director, Nanette Jordahl, at 715-425-3528 with any concerns about the Scholar.