West Virginia University students interested in learning about graduate education opportunities are invited to attend a forum and open house from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, in the Mountainlair Gold Ballroom.

WVU s McNair Scholars Program and Office of Graduate Education are organizing the event. Two sessions are available: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 12:30-1:30 p.m. Each will include a free lunch, graduate education overview and roundtable discussions.

Representatives from agriculture and forestry, business, creative arts, education, engineering, health sciences, arts and sciences, nursing, and physical activity and sports sciences are scheduled to participate.

The event is important because it raises awareness of graduate education,said Betty Mei, assistant director of the McNair Scholars Program.It provides an informative session to discuss the application process and funding opportunities with deans or their representatives.

Students should RSVP by e-mailing Leilani.Browning@mail.wvu.edu or calling 304-293-4316 by Tuesday, Oct. 7. Participants should include their name, major and preferred session, as well as whether they would like a vegetarian meal, in the e-mail message.

The McNair Scholars Program is funded through the federal Department of Education and named after NASA astronaut Ronald E. McNair, who died in the 1986 space shuttle Challenger explosion.

A physicist who earned a doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, McNair placed high value on education, artistic and scientific pursuits, as well as athletics.

The McNair Scholars Program helps prepare first-generation college students and minorities underrepresented in graduate education for doctoral studies through independent research and other scholarly activities. Faculty mentors and support staff provide academic counseling and assistance as scholars apply to graduate programs.

For more information, visit http://www.wvu.edu/~mcnair/ or call 304-293-4316.