The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program at Fayetteville State University Announces the Recent Accomplishments of One of its Scholars

Date: April 25, 2018

As a first generation, non-traditional, immigrant student, Ismael Hernandezvillasuso entered Fayetteville State University in the summer of 2014 after having served in dual roles as a medic and intelligence operator for the US military.

His desire for a formidable career that would impact society in a tangible way drove him to further his education as a healthcare professional.  According to him, Fayetteville State University was his top choice due to its diverse climate, strong military support and highly commemorative Nursing Program.  However, after long discussions with faculty and gathering information about programs that financially support students in research, Ismael decided his contribution to society would be through scientific discovery as a microbiologist.

In the summer of 2016 Ismael was inducted into the McNair Scholars Program where he engaged in introductory research under the mentorship of Dr. Kristin Delaney-Nguyen, an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences.  Later, he participated in the North Carolina Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (NC-LSAMP) for continued support.  These experiences paved the way for him to gain extramural research experience at NC State University in 2017.  Ismael has remained on the Chancellor's List and has had numerous opportunities to present research at local, regional and national conferences, and the UNC Board of Governors.

Upholding a high GPA and countless hours in the lab have been profitable.  Ismael has been accepted into four doctoral programs including:  The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina UniversityGeorge Mason University in Fairfax, VA; North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC; and the Uniformed Services University (USU) in Bethesda, MD.  After meeting the Dean and taking note of the emotional well-being of the graduate students, Ismael chose to attend East Carolina University where he will pursue a Ph.D. in Emerging Infectious Diseases.  He will receive assistantship at $25,000 per year and tuition waiver for 3 academic years.

Ismael will graduate summa cum laude from Fayetteville State University May 12, 2018, with a Bachelor of Science in Biology.  The McNair Scholars Program staff are incredibly proud of Mr. Hernandezvillasuso and applaud his future endeavors!

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program (McNair Scholars Program) is named in honor of Dr. Ronald E. McNair, the second African-American to fly in space and one of the seven-person crew who died on the ill-fated Space Shuttle Challenger on January 28, 1986.  It is one of the TRiO programs federally-funded by the U.S. Department of Education to provide a comprehensive Ph.D. preparatory program for first-generation, low-income, and/or underrepresented minority college students to pursue graduate studies.

For more information please contact McNair Program Coordinator, Erika Bradford at or (910) 672-2043.

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