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College of Arts and Sciences

Nijah Cunningham '07

alumni profile

Nijah Cunningham

Nijah Cunningham ’07 says his road to Columbia University, where he is pursuing a doctoral degree, was paved in part by the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, a graduate school preparation program for Boston College undergraduates who come from demographic groups underrepresented in graduate education. As part of the program, which operates through Learning to Learn at BC, students are paired with faculty mentors and provided with research opportunities. Cunningham's McNair mentor was Communication professor Roberto Avant-Mier.

Speaking of his professors and advisers in the Communication Department, Cunningham says simply, "They made me hungry. They taught me that when you have a question, you answer it. You follow it, wherever it takes you."

"What drove me was the sense of community and collaboration at Boston College," says Cunningham, “the feeling that students need each other and the whole University in order to thrive.”

Cunningham looks forward to an academic career that emphasizes teaching and mentoring as much as scholarly research. "I'm really excited about that kind of future," he says.