McNair Community

This page is dedicated to all McNair Program Alums from around the country who have been admitted to a graduate program at UC Santa Barbara.

Here are what McNair Alumni at UCSB have to say about their experience with the McNairScholarsProgram.

Cosme Caal
Undergraduate Institution: UC Irvine
“The people at the McNair program [at UC Irvine] exposed me to the academic research experience, the graduate school application process and funded my preparation for the GRE exam to be competitive for a fellowship. I came to the UCSB doctorate Sociology program with a four-year fellowship. I have recommended the McNair program for students I have had in my sections whenever they ask for some guidance about goals after college. I tell them graduate school is their best bet and the McNair program a place for those of us whose families were not able to attain a college education.”

Bernadette Gailliard
Undergraduate Institution: American University
“I am grateful for my experiences as a McNair Scholar because I was very well prepared for graduate school and confident in my abilities to conduct research and excel in the classroom.”

George Gilmore
Mechanical Engineering
Undergraduate Institution: University of Rochester
I joined the McNair Program my junior year at the University of Rochester. I must say that the McNair program gave me opportunities I never thought were possible. I thought research was left to scientists and mathematicians and did not fathom being presented with the same opportunities as a mechanical engineer. Through the McNair program I had the opportunity to conduct and present my research, and attend several conferences. When it came to applying to graduate school, I credit the McNair program for enhancing my resume, and allowing me to have a choice of graduate schools, leading me right here to UCSB!”

Monica Lomeli
Undergraduate Institution: CSU Dominguez Hills
“As a first generation college student, I grew up not knowing anyone who had gone to college and less anyone who had ever been to graduate school. Being part of the McNair program helped me make connections with people who I could relate to and ask them about their experiences. Through them, I began to envision my future and convince myself that even though my social and ethnic background was very different from the typical graduate student, I was still able to pull the resources I needed to attend graduate school. Now, as a graduate student, diversifying the graduate student population is not only my passion but my research focus as well.”

Cesar Rodriguez
Undergraduate Institution: UC Berkeley
“My advice to current and future McNair scholars is to appreciate the program by taking advantage of every resource and piece of training this program provides. Trust me, you'll never regret all of the hard work that you invest into yourself and the program as a McNair Scholar, as the more you put in, the more you'll get out. Also, appreciate and take the time to develop a network of McNair scholars while you're in McNair, as some of us may find ourselves in graduate programs where we're the only person from an underrepresented community. I found that I was in one of the warmest and most supportive communities I ever found myself in while at McNair, and sometimes I wish I could go back!”

Rachel Sarabia
Undergraduate Institution: UC Los Angeles
"McNair was the best undergraduate experience I had. Through McNair, I developed a close bond, a life long friendship, with students like me, students from similar backgrounds and students facing similar life obstacles. McNair truly prepared me for graduate school. Prior to being in McNair, I did not know anything about graduate school, what it was for or how I could benefit from it. McNair opened my eyes to a whole new world of research and academic development. It showed me that anything I was interested in was worthy of being researched (i.e. softball, basketball, youth gangs, novelas, tattoos, multiracial identities, etc), but it is up to me to show the way if this research did not already exist. McNair provided me with the fundamentals of research writing and helped me develop the cultural, political and critical analysis skills needed for conducting ethnographic research. Most importantly, it gave me the confidence to believe in myself and believe that I could succeed in graduate school."


This page only highlights a few scholars, although there are dozens of former McNair Scholars on our campus.

If you are a McNair Alumni and would like to be added, please contact us at