Benefits of Collaboration Between Urban Community Research Center and McNair Scholars Presented to CSU Board of Trustees
On Nov. 19, Dr. Ricky Bluthenthal, sociology professor and director of the Urban Community Research Center (UCRC) at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), and McNair Scholars Jose Collazo and Sandra Chaidez spoke at the monthly meeting of the California State University Board of Trustees about the benefits of student research and faculty mentoring.
The team addressed an audience that included the presidents of all 23 CSU campuses, including CSUDH President Mildred García, as well as CSU Chancellor Charles Reed and other guests in attendance. Representing CSUDH were Dr. Laura Robles, dean of Graduate Studies and Research, Dr. Charles Hohm, dean of Natural and Behavioral Sciences, and Cheryl McKnight, director of the Center for Service Learning, Internships, and Civic Engagement. McNair Program representatives Michelle Waiters, director, and Brandilynn Villareal and Marissa Tamayo Rivas, program coordinators, were also in attendance.
The presentation focused on the collaboration between the UCRC and the McNair program, highlighting the mentoring role that faculty members have in preparing students for research.
Bluthenthal spoke highly of his experience training the students saying, “Young scholars such as Jose and Sandra are highly motivated and intelligent. They are the next generation of thinkers and analysts. It is a pleasure and an honor to help their personal and intellectual development. Their hard work, insights, and commitment help make my own research more rigorous and influential.”
Collazo, who is a junior majoring in sociology and behavioral science, received a rousing response from the audience when he shared how faculty members at Ohio State University, where attended a summer research program, were impressed with the high level of research training he arrived with. Many professors thought he was already a graduate student because he required such little supervision and guidance.
Chaidez, a McNair alumna who now serves on the UCRC staff, shared her experience as a member of the McNair cohort at CSUDH.
“Considering that Cal State universities are not typically perceived as research-oriented, I was proud to attend the CSU Board of Trustees meeting and show that they can be, and are, immersed in tangible, influential research,” she said. “As a student at Dominguez Hills, I gained the opportunity to receive invaluable training as a research assistant that I would not have gained through merely attending class. In addition, I have been fortunate to train other students in field research so that even more students at Dominguez Hills can gain practical research skills.”
“The McNair Program with its requirements of mentorship, applied research activities, and high achieving students is a perfect partner for the Urban Community Research Center and its goal of offering applied research opportunities to CSUDH students,” Bluthenthal said following the presentation.
- Michelle Waiters
Photo above: Students from the McNair Scholars Program and the director of the Urban Community Research Center at CSUDH present their collaboration that provides research experience for undergraduates to a board meeting at the CSU Office of the Chancellor.
L-R: McNair Scholars Sandra Chaidez and Jose Collazo, CSUDH President Dr. Mildred García and UCRC director Dr. Ricky Bluthenthal.
Photo by Laura Robles