Graduate School Campus Visit – September 2014

This September, three McNair Scholars took advantage of the opportunity to visit two campuses in downstate Michigan as well as attend a conference. Jose Aburto (Public Relations), Nicole Shoup (Biology), and Willow Grosz (English) along with McNair Program Director, Heather Pickett traveled first to Ann Arbor, MI to visit The University of Michigan.


rackham grad school

At The University of Michigan, students met with Dr. Gisselle Velez-Ruiz, Program Officer for Recruitment and Partnerships for Rackham Graduate School. Over a friendly lunch, Dr. Velez-Ruiz spoke with the group about what graduate school is like at The University of Michigan. She described various funding sources and what they cover, the application process, campus organizations for graduate students, and information on sources of support for grad students on campus. The group had time to walk around campus and  Ann Arbor, as well as enjoy dinner at the famous Zingerman’s Deli.

students at nickel arcade



The following day was spent visiting Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI. Students met with college deans and staff of The Graduate School at MSU. They also had the opportunity to talk with graduate students about their experiences living in East Lansing and life as a Spartan. Each scholar met individually with a faculty member from their department. This experience was widely regarded by the students as tremendously helpful. Following the faculty appointments, students enjoyed a tour of campus led by a friendly undergraduate.

MSU stadium


The trip concluded with time spent at the AGEP conference. The Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate held this conference for students of all levels from universities in Michigan to present their research and attend workshops on various topics related to life in academia.

The group headed home tired but full of new ideas and strategies that will help them in their pursuit of a great grad school experience. We look forward to the next visit to these schools!