Program Staff


Jose M. Ballesteros, PhD

Phone: (530) 754-9777
Office: 2300 Student Community Center

photo of McNair Program Director

Jose works with the McNair staff and graduate assistants to help McNair Scholars make the transition from inexperienced undergraduates to skilled researchers and intellectual colleagues. His vision as the McNair Program Scholars Director is to cultivate an environment where scholars are given all the necessary tools to excel academically and prepare to pursue a doctorate degree. Jose is a direct product of programs similar to the McNair Scholars Program: the Research Initiative for Scientific Enrichment (RISE) and Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) at San Francisco State University.  As a low-income, first-generation college student raised in South East Stockton, he never envisioned pursuing a Ph.D. in a science-related field.  Exposure to faculty mentors, primary research, scientific colloquia, academic support, and Graduate Record Exam (GRE) preparation prepared him to earn a Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology from the University of California, Davis.  The ability to return to his alma mater and have the same effect on students is a very humble and gratifying opportunity.

Outreach Coordinator and Advisor

Jacques Bowyer, MS

Phone: (530) 754-6531
Office: 2300 Student Community Center

photo of McNair Program Advisor

Jacques is responsible for coordinating the academic advising of all McNair Scholars students, advising of university support services, and recruitment and retention for the program. He is also involved in diversity recruitment and retention for the office of graduate studies. His mission is to increase the number of underrepresented students that pursue, apply and complete doctoral degrees. He understands that graduate studies are not always afforded to everyone, and he works hard to make this a reality for all of the McNair Scholars and students he advises.  In 1993, Jacques earned his BS degree in Family and Consumer Resources from the University of Arizona, and in 2001, he earned his MS degree in Educational Counseling from Sacramento State University.


Juan Cervantes UC Davis McNair Scholars Program

Juan Cervantes

Program Coordinator

Phone: (530) 752-7486
Office: 2300 Student Community Center

I’m excited to join the McNair Scholars Program and work with students as they embark on the research journey and explore possibilities for graduate studies. Working in education is a great passion of mine and to be able to work with the first generation of the underrepresented population is a plus. As a first-generation college student myself, my goal is to utilize my experiences and knowledge to ensure each student I encounter understands that they have the opportunity to partake in a life-changing experience through higher education and they are in control of what happens in their lives. I am always available to make time for students, and love to see students excel in their projects and endeavors.