Valerie M. Edwards, a senior from Whiteville, N.C., majoring in aviation science,
received the Excellence without Excuse Award. The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate
Achievement Program issues the award to students based on their outstanding academic
performance. Volunteer service and campus activities are also considered.
Edwards has a 4.0 grade point average. She began participating in the he Ronald E.
McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program (RMPAP) during her sophomore year. The
program is named in honor of the late Dr. Ronald E. McNair. It is designed to empower
low-income, first generation college students and ethnic and racial groups (African-American,
Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaskan Native) who are currently underrepresented in
graduate education to pursue postbaccalaureate opportunities. The purpose of Elizabeth
City State University's RMPAP is to motivate and prepare students for doctoral programs
in the fields of computer science, industrial technology, mathematics, sciences, or
behavioral sciences. During the summer semester, participating students conduct scholarly
research projects and present their findings at an annual awards luncheon. Students
are matched with an ECSU professor who oversees their research project. In addition
to the academic research, students receive career counseling, hear from visiting lecturers
and visit universities that offer advanced degrees. Dr. Cheryl Jackson-Lewis is the
Director of the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program at ECSU.