The McNair Experience - In their own words

Roberto Orozco: ¡Sí Se Pudo, y Sí Se Puede!

After obtaining my B.S. in Marketing and International Business and my B.S. in Psychology from Iowa State University (ISU) in 2013, I did my summer NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Programs (NUFP) summer internship at Oregon State University and then attended graduate school at Florida State University.  During my trajectory at FSU, I maintained my graduate assistantship in the Center for Leadership & Social Change specifically working in the Identity Exploration Cluster.  I focused on overseeing different co-curricular programs that tie student development with leadership, identity development, critical thinking, and social justice. Additionally, I served as the advisor for the Hispanic Latino Student Union (HLSU) under the Student Government Association and I interned with the Association for Institutional Research (AIR) working on various grant funded research projects.  I also worked on research projects during my graduate school experience submitting two papers for publications (still in progress) titled, “Ni De Aqui, Ni De Alla: Conceptualizing the Self-Authorship of Gay Latino College Men Using Conocimiento”, co-authored with my professor Dr. Lara Perez-Felkner, and the other one titled, “Term papers y taquerias: Chicanx nepantleras in graduate study”, co-authored with my colleague Estee Hernández.

The McNair Program was instrumental in my decision to attend graduate school. As a first-generation college student my sole focus was getting my bachelor’s degree to be able to get a job out of college. During my time in the McNair program, I gained valuable skills in research by working on an independent research project with my mentor Dr. Loreto Prieto.

Currently, I have the honor of serving as the Program Coordinator for Social Justice Programs, under Student Engagement & Diversity, at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where I oversee the Center for Social Justice.  I develop, implement, and execute various co-curricular programs grounded in diversity, multiculturalism, and social justice. I am also involved in developing curriculum for various programs such as the Safe Zone training program, the Cultural Leadership Retreat, and a peer-to-peer social justice education program.

McNair has had and continues to have a tremendous impact on my life. With McNair, I was able to learn about graduate school and decide that I wanted to obtain my Ph.D. As I begin to think about my future academic endeavors, I think about what this means to my family, my community, McNair (a program that gave so much to me), and myself. As I think about how far I have come and how far I want to go because of my support systems, I say, ¡Si Se Pudo, y Si Se Puede!