Clarkson University’s McNair Program Receives $1.3 Million from US Department of Education

Grant helps first-generation, low-income, and historically underrepresented undergraduate students earn Ph.D.

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Clarkson University a Ronald E. McNair Post-Graduation Success Program Grant for the seventh time. The prize will total $1.3 million over five years. Above, Clarkson McNair Fellow Aaron Usher working with faculty mentor Mario Wriedt on “Design Strategies for the Discovery of Water-Stable Metal-Organic Zwitterionic Frameworks.” Summer 2022

The United States Department of Education has awarded Clarkson University its seventh Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Scholarship. The prize will total $1.3 million over five years.

The grant helps underrepresented students and first-generation students from low-income backgrounds earn a Ph.D. degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The program is named after Dr. Ronald E. McNair, who was the second African American to fly in space and a member of the seven-member space shuttle Challenger crew that met a tragic end during a mission disastrous in 1986.

In tribute to his accomplishments, Congress and the McNair family formed the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Success Program to help young people not only follow McNair’s path, but also take the initiative to chart their own course. .

Since its inception, Clarkson’s McNair Scholars Research Program has provided intensive research experience and graduate school preparation to 353 students. Under the new scholarship, 31 students will share the prestige of being a Clarkson McNair Scholar each year.

“This program gives our students the support, inspiration and access they need to achieve a higher degree,” says Cathy McNamara, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Support and Student Engagement. “We are honored to have the Department of Education recognize the success of our program and our students by awarding the Clarkson McNair Scholarships for the next five years.”

McNair Fellows participate in a 10-week residential summer research program, which is complemented by workshops on research ethics, the graduate application process, sources of graduate funding, and preparation. Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), among other related subjects.

In addition to workshops, there are seminars featuring Clarkson McNair alumni who have completed or are in the process of completing their PhDs. These lecturers provide students with knowledge and guidance on the path to this degree.

“The McNair program has guided me every step of the way, from not even knowing what a PhD was to being accepted into one of the top 20 Ivy League universities with competitive funding,” says Herbert Fountain ’22 . “HEOP and CUPO Principal Marjorie Warden and CUPO Deputy Principal Deborah Shipp both work tirelessly to improve the lives of their students and increase opportunities for those traditionally underrepresented in STEM. “

Today, Clarkson’s McNair program has a 99% graduation rate; 39% of its graduates obtained a master’s degree; 13% obtained a doctorate; and 4% have obtained a professional degree – all well above the national averages.

The McNair program is led by Marjorie Warden, Director of HEOP and Underrepresented Professional Opportunities in the Community, and Deputy Principal Deborah Shipp and Deputy Principal Shannon Marlatt.

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