Westminster Announces 2018 McNair Scholars


May 21, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY – Westminster College is pleased to announce seven Westminster seniors graduating from this year’s McNair Scholars Program. The program, which began at Westminster in 2003, is a federally funded effort to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who go on to pursue graduate study. The program is named after Ronald E. McNair, an African-American physicist and NASA astronaut who died in the Challenger explosion in 1986.

The Westminster College McNair Scholars Program draws students from three campuses: Westminster CollegeSalt Lake Community College and College of Southern Idaho. The ultimate goal is to increase faculty diversity in colleges and universities by encouraging and supporting qualified students through undergraduate school and the transition to graduate school.

“We are very proud of all our graduating seniors, many of whom will use their advanced degrees to give back to the community,” said Mary Jo Hinsdale, McNair Scholars program director. “We are encouraged and excited by the caliber of students we serve and are confident they will have a positive impact on the world.”

The following students graduated this year from Westminster’s program:

  • Amarina Chavez*
  • Elizabeth Garcia, will pursue a Ph.D. in counseling psychology at the University of Northern Colorado
  • Catherine Konold*
  • Jamil McPherson
  • Julie Schaufler
  • Mariela Vazquez Gordo, will pursue an M.S. in Mexican-American studies at the University of Arizona
  • Deanna Waldron*, will pursue a Master in Community Leadership at Westminster College

*indicates students who transferred from SLCC


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Arikka Von

About Westminster

Westminster is a private, independent, and comprehensive college in Salt Lake City, Utah. Students experience the liberal arts blended with professional programs in an atmosphere dedicated to civic engagement. With the goal of enabling its graduates to live vibrant, just, and successful lives, Westminster provides transformational learning experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students in a truly student-centered environment. Faculty focus on teaching, learning, and developing distinctive, innovative programs, while students thrive on Westminster’s urban Sugar House campus within minutes of the Rocky Mountains.

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