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McNair Scholar Presents at Conference

By Meghan Dusek
UWRF University Communications

DEC. 4, 2006--UW-River Falls McNair scholar Sage Lavant, of Hudson, Wis., recently presented her paper on the retention rate of UWRF students at the Association for Institutional Research--Upper Midwest (AIRUM) conference, held in Bloomington, Minn., in November.

Lavant prepared a poster presentation and was asked to convene a session--high honors for an undergraduate student.

"Occasionally, a graduate student or two might attend AIRUM," said Cindy Crimmins, the director of institutional research at UWRF who worked closely with Lavant. "To our knowledge, no undergraduate student has ever attended, and has certainly never presented."

Lavant's paper--"Learning in the Swirl: Transfer Student Retention"--focuses on retention rates among transfer students and incoming freshmen. Crimmins recalls an "aha!" moment--when Lavant tested her first hypothesis and found that retention rates for transfer students at UWRF are much higher than the literature shows. "Words like exuberant, voracious and insatiable best describe how Sage approached her project from that point forward," Crimmins said.

The McNair program is designed to assist low-income, first-generation college students to prepare for and enter graduate schools with the ultimate goal of a Ph.D. Accepted students receive paid internships, funding to attend to research conferences, waived GRE and graduate school fees, eligibility for graduate fellowships and assistantships (up to $40,000 per year) and more.

McNair Project Director Phil George says the program has been very successful on campus.  

"For our McNair Scholars program, the uniqueness comes from within," says George. " We have university faculty, staff and administrators who care and are committed to the success of the program.  Our McNair Scholars program has students who are committed, not only to their discipline, but also to their community.  It is a pleasure to work and interact with all these individuals."


Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:07:50 Central Daylight Time


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