24th Annual McNair Research Conference

Thank you to all who participated in this year’s conference, see you next year: September 22-23, 2016!



September 23-24, 2016

2016-mcnair-wordcloud-blackThe 2016 conference theme reflects how McNair Scholars can be inspired to use their research to approach difficult problems and create positive changes in the classroom, the community, and the world. After the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012, activists organized around a hashtag to start a national conversation on race, inequality, and justice in poor communities and communities of color. Recognizing that these lives matter, the movement has used social media to connect people from the football field to the classroom. Research is an important way to try to solve some of the injustices that persist in the world, and we hope that this conference creates a network for McNair Scholars to continue conversations about how their research matters. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Mary Washington, House of Delegates Representative to Maryland’s 43rd district, is another example of how education can be used in transformative ways on the ground, to create change in the “real world”.

The 24th Annual McNair Research Conference at UMBC features presentations across the disciplines, from Biology to Psychology to Cultural Studies. McNair Scholars have toiled in labs, spent hours in libraries, collected countless specimens, and even gone out into the field to collect data or interview subjects for their studies. They have explored the far reaches of the mind and human behavior, investigated the inner workings of the human body, scoured the environment, and visited other cultures to conduct their research. Whether investigating the experiences of formerly incarcerated students in higher education or analyzing Ghana’s water quality in order to implement new policy, these Scholars have seen their work as part of a larger whole. Moreover, they have chosen their topics with a sense of meaning and purpose. In short, they have asked difficult questions, and they have been unafraid to consider the results. Offering diverse solutions to global problems brings the promise of change to our complicated world. It connects us and reminds us that we all are, ultimately, citizens of humanity.

Like the legacy of Dr. McNair, this year’s theme reminds McNair Scholars of the importance of learning life lessons and sharing them with those who will come after them, while looking forward to move research into new areas and to change the face of academic research and teaching by contributing new insights to their fields. By discovering this new knowledge, McNair Scholars can prepare themselves for the challenges of the global workplace. They also can grow to understand that being a citizen means more than merely being a member of a certain group or nation– it means being an active member of one’s intellectual community, participating in the political processes that affect communities, and seeing oneself as part of a global community. How will you make your research matter?


“Freedom, by definition, is people realizing that they are their own leaders.”

— Diane Nash, Civil Rights Activist


This year as part of your full conference registration, enjoy a dinner and DJ cruise on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor!