|Carina Lundtvedt plans to pursue a doctoral degree in social work.|
Being accepted into the McNair Scholars Program has opened many doors for Carina Lundtvedt. But she may never have heard of the program, if it hadn’t been for the suggestion of Associate Professor Alexandra Luong, Department of Psychology. “If it wasn’t for Dr. Luong, I would have never applied.”
Motivated undergraduate students, in their sophomore or junior year, who are academically ready to prepare for doctoral studies, meet income requirements, and are either members of a group historically underrepresented in graduate studies or first-generation college students, are eligible to apply. Lundtvedt, who is from Prior Lake, Minn., is a Latina woman. Her mother is Peruvian and her father is Norwegian.
Out of 33 applications, Lundtvedt, majoring in psychology with a minor in anthropology, was the only UMD student to be selected as a McNair Scholar this year as part of a program offered through the College of St. Scholastica (CSS). The ten other recipients were all CSS students.
A particular focus of the McNair Program is providing research opportunities for scholars. Scholars are paired with research mentors that assist them with their academic goals. Scholars are provided with in-depth information on the graduate school application process through seminars, workshops, and internships, and are networked with professionals in their field through membership in those professional organizations.
Lundtvedt, who will graduate in May 2013, will be conducting research this summer at the University of Michigan. She will be studying attachment-related differences in psychological and physiological responses to close relationship experience. The McNair Scholars Program is guiding her along the way. “I am very grateful for the resources McNair has given me so far. I can’t wait to start researching.”
Lundtvedt is finding the various activities offered through the McNair Scholars Program very rewarding, especially since she plans to pursue a doctoral degree in social work. “GRE prep courses are offered at no cost. We attend weekly workshops that prepare us for graduate school and academic writing,” she said. To top it off, she received a $1300 stipend.
She enjoys spending time with the other McNair recipients. “We participate in workshops together. The students come from a broad range of majors such as English, Biology, and Chemical Engineering. I also like that our cohort is a close group of people,” she said.
Lundtvedt encourages other first-generation or underrepresented students, who plan to attend graduate school, to look into the McNair Scholars Program. “I highly recommend that UMD students apply. About 98% of students who receive a McNair scholarship are admitted into a graduate program,” she stated.
She also recommends that students get to know their professors. "I have had an amazing experience with the psychology faculty here. I have definitely learned about more opportunities through social networking than any other channel of communication. I couldn't be any more grateful for all that UMD has given me.”
For more information, visit the McNair Scholars Program website.
Written by Kathleen McQuillan-Hofmann, March 2013