McNair Graduate Student Mentors

Lal Siama (McNair Alum '21) and Ernesto Soto (Chemistry)

The relationship between our Graduate Student Mentors and McNair Scholars is essential to our program. As new McNair Scholars learn the language of academic research and expectations of graduate school, our Graduate Student Mentors walk side-by-side with our McNair Scholars to:

  • Assist as McNair Scholars navigate the graduate school culture in classrooms and labs
  • Support McNair Scholars in research and graduate school processes that have become second nature to Graduate Student Mentors

Each fall, McNair requires new Graduate Student Mentors to attend a training session, which concludes with signing an agreement to:

  • Adhere to and complete McNair Program objectives and goals as outlined in the McNair Graduate Student Mentor manual
  • Read and sign Graduate Student Mentoring Memorandum of Understanding
  • Commit to a minimum of one academic year of mentoring support and activities with a McNair Scholar
  • Meet face-to-face with the McNair Scholar at least once per month
  • Attend at least two McNair sponsored social or cultural activities
  • Complete an end-of-the-semester evaluation of the McNair Mentoring relationship and Program

Consider becoming a McNair Graduate Student Mentor. Complete the McNair Graduate Student Mentor Interest form.

Have questions about being a graduate student mentor for the McNair Program? Click here for answers to some FAQs.

Graduate Student Mentor of the Year Award 

Each year, we ask our McNair Scholars to nominate Graduate Student Mentors for the Graduate Student Mentor of the Year Award.

The winner(s) is/are awarded during the Iowa State University Annual McNair Research Symposium and Banquet held each year in April. In their nominations, Scholars respond to the following questions:

  • Why do you feel your mentor is deserving of this recognition?
  • How has your mentoring relationship impacted you and prepared you for graduate school, personally and professionally?

Our Past Recipients

2024: Harsha Sista, Aerospace Engineering (McNair Scholar mentee: Eduardo Milach Teixeira)

          Lars Sivertsen, Physics and Astronomy (McNair Scholar mentee: Alba Bon) 

2023: Sterling Hubbard, Counseling Psychology (McNair Scholar mentee: Jimena Mendoza)

2022: Yukti Dhingra, Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology (McNair Scholar mentee: Aline Milach Teixeira)

           Ernesto Soto, Chemistry (McNair Scholar mentee: Lal Siama) 

2021: Carlos Vidales, Psychology (McNair Scholar mentee: Patricia Archilla) 

2020: Johnnie Campbell, Higher Education- Student Affairs (McNair Scholar mentee: Brandon Turner)

          Graham Redweik, Food Science and Human Nutrition and Interdeparmental Microbiology (McNair Scholar mentee: Sasha Celada)

2019: Kenna Stenback, Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology (McNair Scholar mentee: Iliana Castillo Machuca)

2018: Radhika Rao, Chemical and Biomedical Engineering (McNair Scholar mentee: Brandon Vance)

2017: Shannin Moody, Human Development and Family Studies (McNair Scholar mentee: Mouhamad Diallo)

 Therin Young, Mechanical Engineering (McNair Scholar mentee: Jocelyn Jackson)

2016: Michael Martinez, Political Science (McNair Scholar mentee: Chandler Wilkins)

2015: Alexia Angton, Sociology (McNair Scholar mentee: Celize Christy)

 Shanise Walker, Mathematics (McNair Scholar mentee: Debbie Lincow)

2014: Christopher Groves, Counseling Psychology (McNair Scholar mentee: Sebastian Niles)

Thank you Graduate Student Mentors! We appreciate your support for our McNair Scholars and program!