Helping the historically underrepresented be represented in graduate school. 


To educate through teaching and learning, to motivate through critical dialog and success, to embrace opportunities that take us to the next levels, developing future scholars as leaders….inspiring one scholar at a time!

A‌bout the Program

The Excel! Research Scholars Program is an academic enrichment program that prepares undergraduate students who are first-generation and/or low-income and/or underrepresented in research-based, graduate school programs for graduate school admission and success in their programs. Excel! uses a living and learning community and cohort style approach to teaching students by working with students collectively and individually to provide effective and tailored mentorship designed to help each student successfully prepare for the next steps in their education process. 

We invite you to explore our website and learn more about how Excel! can help you. 

Upcoming Dates and Events

Excel! Research Scholars Summer Symposium 

Come see the current Excel! Scholars present their research. ‌ 

The event will be held in McNeely Hall 100 on Thursday, July 26, 2018. 

All are welcome to attend! 

Applications have been accepted for the 2018-2019 Excel cohort!

‌Thank you to all those who applied!

Applications for the 2019-2020 cohort will come out fall 2018. There will also be an informational meeting about the Excel! Research Scholars Program fall 2018. Date TBD  

Faculty, do you have a student who would benefit from this program? Tell us about him or her! Please fill out this short form so that we can get in contact with the student and encourage them to apply.   

For more information about the program you can request an appointment with the program Director, Cynthia Fraction at frac2792@stthomas.edu. We are happy to meet with you! 

Recent News


Ashley Demaio has been admitted into the psychology masters program at Vanderbilt University! Vanderbilt is one among many schools Ashley has applied to. Ashley, originally a transfer student from Anoka, has worked very hard over the last few years here at UST to really build her scholarship in preparation for the next steps in her academic career. She began conducting research on the topic of “The Power of Self Talk: Its Effects on Racial Biases” under the mentorship of Dr. Sarah Hankerson. The following summer she was awarded the opportunity to conduct research at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in the department of psychology. She conducted more research here at UST under Dr. Robinson-Riegler and Dr. Sarah Hankerson. Great job Ashley!! We are proud!

Current Excel Scholar, Michael Efejuku, will be presenting his research at the state capital this spring. Read his research paper here, Michael's research paper.  

Excel! Scholar Divine Zheng has recently been admitted to the following law schools:
  • University of Oregon (awarded 65% in scholarship)
  • University of Minnesota (awarded 40% in scholarship)
  • Mitchell Hamline (awarded 80% in scholarship)
  • Loyola (Chicago) (awarded 25% in scholarship)
  • University of Colorado Boulder (award forthcoming)
Divine is waiting to hear from 8 more schools before she makes her decision.
In Summer 2016, Divine was a new scholar, who conducted a research project on “What Do Our 17-Year-Olds Learn? Analyzing the Role of Textbooks in Comprehensive Civil Rights Movement Education”. Mentored by Dr. David Williard of the History department, Divine continues to embrace the importance of social justice and looks forward to becoming a lawyer/leader in the movement for change!

Congratulations Divine, we are proud of you! 


Excel Scholar, Nykeesha Greer, recently secured a job with 3M. This job is right on track with her next steps to graduate school, she plans to pursue a MBA. Congratulations Nykeesha!