June 21, 2005

Carl McNair, founder of the Dr. Ronald E. McNair Foundation Inc., will visit the University of North Texas Health Science Center June 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Room 114 of the Research Building.

McNair will give a presentation â??Quitting Is Not an Option,â? about his brother Dr. Ronald E. McNair who overcame obstacles, setbacks and personal loss to become one of the six astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger. The Challenger exploded during takeoff in 1986.

McNairâ??s speech will be directed at the more than 20 McNair Scholars who are on the health science center campus this summer. This is the second visit in as many years for McNair, who will also be visiting his daughter Desiree, currently a Summer Multicultural Advanced Research Training student (SMART) at the health science center.

Each summer, the health science centerâ??s Office of Outreach hosts a variety of high school and college student outreach programs. The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program began in 1999 when the U.S. Department of Education awarded the health science center with a four-year, $760,000 grant to institute a McNair program. The McNair program at the health science center is one of only two health science center programs without an undergraduate campus attached to the award.

Each year, the health science center hosts up to 20 junior and senior undergraduates as part of the program. This year, the students have come from Prairie View A&M University, Texas Southern University, Tuskegee University, Jackson State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Texas A &M Corpus Christi University, Tarrant County College-Southeast Campus, Texas Christian University, Southern University, Langston University, Kentucky State University, UT Arlington, McLennan Community College and University of Houston.

The scholars spend the summer in workshop training to enhance their study and learning skills and in the laboratories of health science center researchers.

Fifty-seven alumni from the health science center McNair program have continued their studies at the graduate level in the six-year history of the program, 18 of them at UNTHSC. Eric Gonzales will be the first McNair alumnus to complete a PhD program at the health science center. Gonzales was selected for the first health science center McNair class in 1999 and entered the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in the Fall of 2000. He is scheduled to complete his doctoral studies this summer.


Contact: Kay Colley 817-735-2553, cell 817-980-5090, e-mail

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