My instructors were amazing. They pushed me to really grasp and apply these skills inside and outside of class.
Becoming ingrained at an institution gives students an outlet to express themselves beyond academics. Elliot Charette was deeply involved with both of his major programs, Economics and Political Science, during his time at UW-Superior.
“Economics has so many research possibilities for me,” said Elliot. “I was an Economics tutor as well as president of the Political Science Association, and by doing this, it made me really want to stay at UW-Superior and enjoy my college experience even more."
He combined these two majors because Elliot believed it would best prepare him and provide an excellent framework for his future of working in politics or a policy job.
“I wanted to know how to research and do the mathematical side of things, but I also wanted to know how to make a great argument, think critically and write well,” he explained. “My instructors were amazing. They pushed me to really grasp and apply these skills inside and outside of class.”
Elliot was a student, like many others, who thought he would never attend graduate school. After hearing about the McNair Scholarship Program, his intentions for life after graduation changed immediately.
“Everything kind of fell into place for McNair. I was enjoying doing economics research, and the program provided me an opportunity to do even more research on my interests,” he said. “As a Native American, I wanted to look into the rates of educational returns for Native Americans residing in Wisconsin. Most people in economics don’t research Native Americans as a group, so this was my chance to find out the facts for myself.”
The McNair program started Elliot’s research initiative to do studies on Native Americans. Less than 1% of economists are Native American. Spending time on the reservation as kid, Elliot decided to use his knowledge in economics to uncover and explain questions he observed.
“I’m currently at the University of Minnesota getting a master’s degree in applied economics,” said Elliot. “Since I’m the first person in my family to go to college and grad school, McNair helped a lot. Applying to grad school was a complete unknown, and the program really streamlined a long, stressful process.”
Elliot’s goal is to get a Ph.D. in the future. For now, his interest lies in Washington D.C. where he is currently a legislative assistant for the Native American Contractors Association working to get money into tribal networks.
The McNair Scholars Program works with low-income, minority and first generation undergraduate students, encouraging them to consider careers in college teaching and to prepare them for doctoral study. Contact the McNair Scholars Program to get more information about how they can help you attain your goal of going to graduate school.