UTSA receives federal grant to continue Ronald E. McNair program for student-based research

U.S. Department of Education awarded grant to UTSA for minority, underrepresented students

SAN ANTONIO – The U.S. Department of Education has selected the University of Texas at San Antonio for renewed funding for the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program.

The federal funding is crucial at universities like UTSA because it allows minority and underrepresented students to carry out scholarly research at fully accredited universities.

Erica McFarland, a first generation undergraduate student, said the funding is especially important. She experienced life changing opportunities as a result of the program.

Over the past summer, McFarland carried out research on systematic literature that reviews and analyzes how college students’ mental health was affected from social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her hopes are to add to the development of mental health.

“College students are a very vulnerable population due to reliance on social relationships as well as stress from academic pursuits. They are also overlooked in the United States,” McFarland said.

She also mentioned that one of her long term goals are to contribute to the growing research focused on the post COVID-19 pandemic era.

“More research needs to be done on college students in comparison to general populations. They are at an increase rate of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation and stress,” McFarland said.

Her mission is to become an expert in maternal and child health, and to make a positive impact for women.

About the Authors

Santiago Esparza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.

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