“Broadening his horizons” and opening his eyes to a “world of opportunities,” are much more than a pair of shopworn phrases for Brady Shrader. The Bluefield State student has seized the chance to travel throughout the United States and Brazil, participating in academic conferences and research initiatives.
A sociology major from Iaeger, WV, Shrader credits his travel with providing a road map for his future. “I’m from McDowell County, so traveling to larger cities is a big deal for me,” he said. “I took part in several academic camps, and last year won a first place award for my research presentation at the West Virginia Academy of Science.
Building upon that experience, he applied for and was accepted into the McNair Scholars program. “I began conduct field-specific study which, for me, involved environmental biology, then presented my research at conferences in larger cities Like Atlanta. This year, I’ll take part in conferences in Maryland and New Mexico,” he explained.
Shrader has applied for the Study Abroad Program’s Knowledge Exchange Institute. “I’m interested in other cultures,” he observed. “My goal—to earn a Ph.D. in Human Geography—the study of humans in different regions and observe how their behavior impacts the region in which they live.”
The McNair Program has underwritten the cost of his visits to universities in Tennessee, Ohio, Virginia, Alabama, and Mississippi. “Before I joined the McNair Program, I had no idea what I wanted to do after graduation,” Shrader added. “Now I understand the career options and opportunities available for me.”
“I encourage other students to consider McNair and Study Abroad. Through these programs, I’ve grown through new cultural experiences, broadened my world view, and learned what life is like beyond the borders of West Virginia,” he concluded.