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McNair Scholars Program celebrates student achievements

Boise State University’s McNair Scholars Program prepares students from underrepresented backgrounds, including first-generation college students, to excel in academics and to advance their education in graduate and doctoral programs. The McNair program is housed in the Center for Multicultural and Educational Opportunities located in the College of Education.

This semester, Boise State recognized several McNair scholars for their outstanding accomplishments in graduate research and academics.

Zoë Hutchinson, Graduate Research Fellowship Program award winner

Photo of Zoe Hutchinson
Zoë Hutchinson

Zoë Hutchinson received a Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) award through the National Science Foundation. Hutchinson will graduate in May with a bachelor of science degree in physics with a biology emphasis, and has been part of biophysics research at Boise State since her freshman year. The GRFP award recognizes outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines and includes financial support for graduate studies at accredited institutions. Hutchinson will study molecular biophysics in the doctoral program at Johns Hopkins University. After earning her doctoral degree, Hutchinson plans to become a university professor and researcher in chemotheraputics (cancer therapies).

“Becoming a McNair Scholar has been a catalyst in moving me past my comfort zone and pushing me toward my passion,” said Hutchinson. “The McNair program is about hard work meeting opportunity, with all the support in the world a first-generation college student could need and more.”


Jessica Mueller, Graduate Research Fellowship Program honorable mention

Photo of Jessica Mueller
Jessica Mueller

Jessica Mueller has also been recognized by the Graduate Research Fellowship Program with an honorable mention. Mueller will graduate in May with a bachelor of science degree in geosciences. Mueller’s undergraduate research on the paleoflora in northern Idaho allowed her to look into the past climate of the region to understand the causes and consequences of climatic and geologic events and to contribute research into possible solutions for the current climate crisis. Mueller will be attending the California Institute of Technology to pursue a doctoral degree in geochemistry.

The McNair program proved to be the defining factor in Mueller’s success at Boise State. “The McNair program was a life-changing surprise,” said Mueller. “It was hard to feel like I was smart enough or that I even belonged in college, and I struggled until I found the McNair program. It helped me feel supported financially, academically and as a human being. The program helped me realize that I deserve to reach for more.”

McNair scholar receives Truman Scholarship; three recognized as Boise State Top Ten Scholars

Halima Hamud was awarded the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship. The scholarship is a graduate fellowship for outstanding students pursuing careers in public service and leadership.

Read Halima’s story

Sierra Kistler, Karla Magaña and Jason Ward were recognized as Top Ten Scholars at Boise State. The Top Ten Scholar Award is one of the highest academic honors granted to Boise State undergraduate students.

Learn about Boise State’s Top Ten Scholars