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Our Mentors

Nomination Criteria: Critical role of the faculty nomination process

At UW-Eau Claire, the McNair program is a faculty nomination driven program. In addition to the requirement that prospective scholars must meet the federal and UW-Eau Claire eligibility criteria, we only accept students who have received glowing recommendation from faculty mentors. Our mentors play a central role in our success as a program, and hence our ability to continue the cherished McNair Program in UW-Eau Claire. The research potential of a prospective scholar, as well as their interest and potential for successful completion of graduate school should be the most significant criteria for nomination. These are also important determinants of the number of points that our program is awarded by the Dept. of Education, and hence our probability of continued funding.

Any faculty wishing to nominate a student to the McNair program needs to carefully think through their perception of a prospective scholar's potential and motivation to:

  • Pursue research
  • Apply for graduate school
  • Be accepted into graduate school
  • Enter and continue graduate school
  • Successfully finish graduate school, especially a doctoral degree.

Mentor Roles & Responsibilities

Please click this link for a full list of mentor responsibilities. 

Summarized Roles & Responsibilities of a McNair Mentor
The UW-Eau Claire McNair Program is a collaborative partnership between the McNair scholar, their faculty mentor, and the McNair program. UW-Eau Claire faculty members who choose to nominate and mentor a McNair scholar are integral to the development of their respective protégés as well as to the continued success of the UW-Eau Claire McNair Program.

There are four components to successfully mentoring a McNair scholar:

I.Nominate a McNair scholar (optional)

II.Formulate a research project in collaboration with a McNair mentee - expected

III.Collaborate on the research project with McNair mentee - expected

IV.Advocate for McNair mentee as they apply for graduate school - expected


Specific roles of McNair mentor in relation to the McNair summer research institute (SRI)

Please see more details in page 2 of the attached handout.

Every year, our junior cohort of McNair Scholars works on a six-week intensive research project with their mentors. The following, in our view, are the specific roles and responsibilities of the McNair mentor with regards to the SRI. Note that the McNair program will announce the specific start and end dates of SRI in Spring semester. Typically, the SRI runs from Mid-June to End-July.

1. In the Fall and Spring semesters leading up to the SRI (2016-2017 academic year), collaborate with and guide your mentee in crafting an original research proposal and a budget for the McNair SRI.

2. Simultaneously, also collaborate with your mentee to craft and submit an application for the ORSP-SREU. This is optional, although highly recommended. The McNair SRI project can be the same as or different from the ORSP SREU proposal.

3. During the summer following creating the research proposal, spend six-weeks on the research project with your mentee. Also during the SRI, please assist your mentee in completing and submitting the Weekly Research Progress Report in a format that will be given to you by the McNair Program.

The role of a mentor is complex and deeply engaged as both an advocate and facilitator for your protégé's professional development as well as a role-model for his or her personal growth (Zellers, Howard, and Barcic 2008). Some of the characteristics which have been identified as necessary for a committed mentor include: "being available, a good listener, encouraging, insightful, sharing, helpful, honest, nonjudgmental, and collegial" (Gaskin, Lumpkin, and Tennant 2003, 49).

Mentor rewards
However, while the commitment to become a McNair mentor is considerable, the rewards for mentoring a McNair scholar are likewise significant: McNair mentors gain the satisfaction of knowing that they have encouraged and supported the development of talented students;McNair mentors help shape the development of their discipline and foster the next generation of researchers doing cutting edge work;and by advancing the work of our alumni, McNair mentors bring acclaim and prestige to UW-Eau Claire and our faculty. Finally, in the summer of 2017, we will be able to provide our mentors a modest honorarium of $1,000 for mentoring one McNair scholar.

What is mentoring?

The following link provides a few scholarly definitions of terms that are helpful for McNair mentors to know.

Former Mentors

Please see the attached file for an all-comprehensive list of our mentors and their scholars since 1998.

Mentor Statistics

The first graph below shows the list of our most prolific mentors and the number of McNair scholars they have served.
Mentor Hall of Fame
The second graph shows the number of McNair scholars by their mentor's department (1998-2016).
McNair Scholars by Department