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Research through the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program
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Dulce-Marie Flecha

Dulce-Marie Flecha

Paterno Fellow 
Major: English 
Hometown: Bronx, New York
Twitter: @DulceFlecha
LinkedIn: Dulce-Marie Flecha

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I had no idea about the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program, which is one of the eight Federal TRIO Programs, until the fall of sophomore year when the program contacted me.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Outside of giving me complete funding and housing to perform a self-driven research project, the means to present it in a conference, and helping me get it published, McNair is putting me through grad school prep boot camp. For a long time, I was the only one of my friends with business cards. I both knew what a CV was and I had mine reviewed by the McNair staff as a homework assignment. I took my GRE a year before any of my friends had even begun studying. McNair’s development workshops and summer research program are difficult, but they put me ahead of the game.

“I took my GRE a year before any of my friends had even begun studying. McNair’s development workshops and summer research program are difficult, but they put me ahead of the game.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

Aside from the very important lesson McNair taught me about critical analysis research – mainly that I didn’t want to do it for the rest of my life – all the workshops and homework assignments have made me a much better student. I don’t just understand how important time management is; I understand how to actually manage time, which is a life saver now that I’m balancing classes, job applications, grad school applications, and my extracurricular activities. Mostly, though, it gave me confidence. I’ve been to conferences; I’ve talked to recruiters; I’ve talked to faculty; I’ve worked 40-hour research weeks for months. I have the support of peers in my situation and a staff waiting for me in their office. I know I am a valuable researcher, student, and intern. I know I can and will be a very valuable employee. Mostly, I know that I can handle my own life.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I spent the summer of 2011 performing a fully funded critical analysis research project. I loved it for what it was, but I knew the moment I saw my name in that publication that I was done. I now spend a lot of my time researching and talking about the relationship between literacy, literature, and the internet. I’ve found a new home in digital humanities and really enjoy it. If I attend grad school I really hope to continue my research and explore how the internet can be used to promote and share literature through the publishing industry. 

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