Gabriel Gallardo, associate vice president for the UW Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, moderated a congressional briefing in support of the Ronald E. McNair Program at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., May 16.
The session titled “Protecting the McNair Legacy, Promoting Diversity Among Faculty: An In-Depth Discussion of the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program” included faculty and administrators involved with McNair Programs across the country.
Gallardo is the director and principal investigator for the UW’s McNair Program, a federally funded TRiO program that prepares low-income, first-generation and minority undergraduates for careers in academia.
Panelists included Beth Olivares (director of the David T. Kearns Center for Leadership and Diversity in Arts, Sciences and Engineering; University of Rochester), Orlando Taylor (president of the Washington, D.C. campus of the Chicago School of Psychology), Gianna Hammer (postdoctoral scholar in molecular and cellular biology; University of California at San Francisco) and Davarian Baldwin (Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of American Studies; Trinity College).
Baldwin and Hammer spoke about the support they received from McNair Program while attending Marquette and Eastern Washington University, respectively. Their participation as undergraduates helped to solidify their plans for graduate school, and provided the foundation in research and scholarly work that propelled them into graduate school.
The McNair Program honors the legacy of Ronald E. McNair, a physicist who received a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and became the second African American astronaut in U.S. history. McNair’s untimely death aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986 inspired congress to name a graduate preparation program on his behalf.
Learn more about the UW McNair Program.