Tremeceia is a public policy major who has been accepted into the Ronald E. McNair Program, a pre-graduate fellowship program designed to help undergraduate students work towards earning a Ph.D.
Where are you from?
I’m from Columbus, Georgia.
What were you like in high school?
I was shy in general, but if I was in a club like honors society I would be a bit more outgoing. Since I’ve gotten into college I’ve become more aggressive and bold all-around.
Why did you choose GSU?
Actually, this is the only college I applied to. It was very last-minute and I met all the requirements. But I ended up being really glad I came here.
How did you select your major?
I came in as a biology major. This is my first semester as a public policy major. Once I began school, it wasn’t long before I realized I didn’t want to be a doctor like I thought. I decided I wanted to go into politics.
What do you do in your free time?
I read, but I don’t read scholarly books. I mainly read books that are life-applicable, like how to be a better student or a better Christian or how to have a better life in general.
What is your daily schedule like?
I go to work in the morning, then I have class. After that, I go to the BCM. Then I have another class, a couple of meetings, a program, then there’s studying. Then it’s bedtime.
Describe your scholarship.
The Ronald McNair Program is for juniors or seniors. You do a summer component, write a 20-page paper, do an oral presentation and a poster presentation at the end, and you are paired with a faculty mentor who guides you on your research or gives you a portion of their research to work on. Also, we attend conferences where McNair scholars from around the nation give workshops and other scholars give presentations on their research. When you become a McNair scholar, you are a McNair scholar for the rest of your life.
How did you find out about this scholarship?
My friend from high school found out about it from a former McNair scholar and she told me about it.
What was the application process like?
You have to complete a personal info application and two essay questions. There was also an interview. For the interview, my advice is to relax and be yourself. The best interviews are conversations and not uptight situations.
What set you apart from other applicants?
I’m a very goal-oriented person, so I knew exactly what I wanted to do from here all the way up to getting my doctorate. I also did research on the interviewers. One of the interviewers had been published, so I read her article and I asked her about the publishing process and how I could be published one day.
What made you a good candidate?
I’m interested in becoming a better scholar. I think there are a lot of people that are better at research or better academically, but the people who are really interested in using every opportunity to better themselves are the ones who will make better scholars.
Who would you recommend this scholarship to?
To someone who is determined in pursuing postgraduate work. They stress that a lot — you have to want to get a Ph.D.
Who would you not recommend this scholarship to?
Someone who is lazy — just don’t even apply! The summer research component is very intense and demanding. A lazy applicant would be a poor reflection to their mentor and the program. To every person we meet, we represent the McNair Program.
What have you done outside schoolwork in relation to your major?
I am applying for the Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship. They also have a summer research component. This will definitely be good practice.
This summer, my research component is with public housing. I will be working with the sociology department initiative. Atlanta has been doing a lot of cuts from the public housing unit. The sociology department has been following participants who were “put out” to see how they have been disadvantaged, where they are now, their healthcare, and their socioeconomic status.
What advice would you give to someone who is having trouble getting scholarships?
Go to the department first and see if they can find specific scholarships. After you figure out what you are looking for, start a more broad search using the Scholarship Research Center.
What's the hardest class you've taken at GSU?
Chemistry! That was the icing on the cake to change my major.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m still on the fence about whether I want an MPA or an MBA. If I do an MPA, I want to go to Syracuse. If I get my MBA, I’m not sure. I’m not so concerned with going to an Ivy League College because nowadays it will just leave you in debt and you’re still in the same situation as other students when it comes to getting a job.
After that, I want to do some management consulting for non-profits. Then I’ll pursue my Ph.D. I ultimately want to be an executive director of public housing. I took a career development class because I’m a part of SAIL. I wrote a paper about wanting to be a doctor, but that just confirmed that I didn’t want to be one. I interviewed a few executives of public housing and realized that I want to be involved there.
I’m very familiar with public housing. When I was younger, I lived in public housing. I have family members who are still in that situation. Everything that’s going on with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development persuaded me to get into the field and see what I could do or change.