Skip to main content

Breaking Down Barriers to Success

Weems in talkArts and Humanities PATH transfer students shine in campus-wide McNair Program

Three transfer students in the Division of Arts and Humanities have been selected as campus McNair scholars, a national program that supports first-generation students to help break down barriers in preparation for graduate school.

Kelly Clemen and Michael Alvarez each transferred to UC San Diego as part of the division’s PATH program, Preparing Accomplished Transfers to the Humanities. The third PATH student chosen for the McNair Program—30 students are selected annually on a competitive basis—took an alternate opportunity instead.

“It’s particularly important that our transfer students receive the support they need when arriving to UC San Diego in order for them to understand the full scope of possibilities that will help them succeed,” said Division of Arts and Humanities dean Cristina Della Coletta. “These tools, including PATH, the McNair Program and many others, help to ensure they thrive while students, as well as after graduation.”

As a McNair scholar, the undergraduates work two quarters with faculty mentors on a research project in their field, plus a paid, eight-week internship over the summer. Training includes how to write and present a scholarly research paper, conducting library research skills, preparation for graduate admissions testing, and guidance on applying to graduate schools and obtaining fellowships. The students are required to write a research proposal and present at a minimum of two research conferences.

Alvarez is working with Department of Philosophy professor Samuel Rickless. After completing “Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study” by Thaddeus Metz, Alvarez and Rickless outlined a research question that Metz doesn’t specifically address through the work, ultimately attempting to discover the “sufficient conditions” for a human’s life to be meaningful.

“The McNair Program has already helped me in my studies,” Alvarez said, “and the guidance and feedback I've received from my faculty mentor has given me insight into conducting philosophical research. One thing I think is pretty important in general is being able to have a sense of what ideas are worth pursuing. I’m not saying I know for sure yet, but I definitely have a better sense than I did at the start of the program.”

Clemen, who transferred from San Diego Miramar College, is working with Department of Ethnic Studies professor Wang Yang. The research project they are undertaking is about the history of the Kumeyaay Nation and their relationship to the land and campus. Clemen is serving as the documentarian for art being installed at Muir College, created by Kumeyaay artist Johnny Bear Contreras.

Read the full story on the UC San Diego News Center.

Arts and Humanities Moments

Stay up to date with the latest accomplishments, news and events from the Division of Arts and Humanities through our digital magazine.

Read the May 2019 issue

News in Brief

Understanding the Ethics of Genetic Engineering
UC San Diego’s Institute for Practical Ethics hosts inaugural conference on the impact of gene drive technology

Welcome to the Wagner
Tickets available now for the five world-premiere productions at the 2019 Wagner New Play Festival, April 30 – May 18 in the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Theatre District

Should There Be Open Borders?
Department of Philosophy distinguished lecture series brings timely—and ethical—discussion of immigration to campus

Uncovering ‘Icons of Dissent’
From Bob Marley and Tupac to Che Guevara and Osama bin Laden, history professor Jeremy Prestholdt explains the importance—and changing faces—of global figures

European Research Council Awards UC San Diego Professor 2.5 million Euros for Music Research
Distinguished Professor Jann Pasler will conduct five-year study of the musical dimension of the French empire to expand understanding of contemporary cultural relations

Decolonization and the Settler-Indigenous Relationship
UC San Diego Theatre and Dance faculty research uses performance and art to expand Indigenous studies

Guggenheim Award ‘A Milestone’ for Music Professor Katharina Rosenberger

Read the Full Story

Literature Spring Quarter New Writing Series enhancing the local literary scene

Read the Full Story

Philosophy Professor Awarded $1.2 Million Joint Grant to Advance Research

Read the Full Story

The Division in the News

Sarton ceremony

Theare and Dance professor Jennifer Chang wins Drama Critics Circle best director award

What the Sighted Don’t See: Visual Arts, Music alum is now campus ADA Access Specialist

The History of English & the Pedagogy of Belonging, by Literature professor Seth Lerer