By: Tahirah Siddiqui
Tirezz Hudson, a junior majoring in psychology, was recently named as a Ronald E. McNair Scholar.
The Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program is designed to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. Hudson recently discussed what it means to him to have been named as a McNair Scholar, as well as his time in the Exploratory Studies program, and some insight into his recent study abroad experience in France.
Being named as a recipient of the McNair Scholarship was exciting for Hudson and he notes he felt a sense of accomplishment and gratefulness. He plans to pursue a doctoral degree in psychology and found the program to be a great way for him to pursue his academic goals. Hudson explained, “the McNair Scholars Program is geared towards underrepresented students, and as a black student seeking to pursue additional education after my undergraduate experience, this seemed like a great opportunity for me.” He also notes the program has some rigorous requirements and expectations, but that they are purposeful and intended to help him and other scholars prepare for applying and adjusting to graduate-level programs.
Hudson found support throughout the application process in a number of places across campus. He notes his Exploratory Studies advisor, Martha Wicker, and his previous supervisor in his role as an Exploratory Studies Resident Mentor, Victoria Martin, both encouraged him to apply. Another person who was extremely supportive of Hudson’s application was a teaching assistant in one of his psychology classes, Tiffany Dangleben, who enthusiastically supported him throughout the application and interview process. Hudson explained he is extremely appreciative of the support and encouragement he received from everyone throughout the entire process.
Thinking about his time spent in the Exploratory Studies program, Hudson has fond memories. “One aspect of Exploratory Studies that I have come to love and appreciate, is how much the program and its advisors push students to reflect on who they are as a person. Instead of focusing on grades and courses, which are very important too, my advisor and the program overall helped me to seek out and discover my values and passions.” However, he also explained, “being an Exploratory Studies student was not always easy. You come in undeclared and you meet so many others who are within their majors that you feel left behind, but I am thankful for my time within the program. It taught me the importance of taking the time to discover who I am and what I value”.
Hudson goes on to further highlight his experiences with the exploratory studies program and how they’ve shaped his career goals, “Victoria Martin, former Village Director, taught me the importance of transparency while leading and being open about mistakes that were made.” He also appreciated some of the activities and projects Exploratory Studies students are assigned, “One big project that I had to do my first-year was the Informational Interview, I feel that most students don’t take advantage of this as much as they could. After talking with people, and learning more about what I want out of my college experience and my future career, I made the decision to change to a Psychology major. And the Informational Interview played a role in that decision.” Hudson currently works as a Resident Mentor for the program, “I enjoy being able to share my experience with other first-year students. Being able to let them know that how they feel is completely normal and that they can be reassured that being in the Exploratory Studies Program will not make you become behind, academically.”
Recounting some other highlights from his time at NC State, Hudson discussed his recent study abroad trip in France, which further solidified his decision to pursue his graduate study in psychology. “One major take away from that trip is that it took me so far from my comfort zone and it gave me another perspective on masculinity, the area of psychology I’m interested in studying, so it was really cool to be able to speak with French college students and gain an understanding of how some of them engaged with masculinity.” Hudson credits his college experiences for driving him to the McNair Program and he hopes that the program will successfully prepare him for graduate school.
Hudson also had words of encouragement for current and future Exploratory Studies students. He encourages them to take the time needed to figure out where their passions lie, “this is a part of your life where you are going to be challenged, and some of your views on things may change. This is okay.” He stresses the importance of self-discovery regardless of how long it takes, “I don’t have all the answers and neither does anyone else on this campus. Every other student is walking their own journey, so learn to be comfortable walking yours.
Photos Provided by: Tirezz Hudson