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08-30-2012

Clarkson University McNair Program Awarded $1.1 Million by U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Clarkson University a Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement grant for the fifth time. The award will total $1.1 million over five years.

McNair Scholar Shauni Trombly, a senior psychology major from West Chazy, N.Y., presents her research at a recent symposium.The goal of the McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program is to increase the attainment of Ph.D. degrees by underrepresented student groups in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Ronald E. McNair was among the Challenger Space Shuttle’s seven-member crew, who met with tragedy and death in 1986. As a tribute to his lifelong achievements, Congress and the McNair family formed the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program to assist young people in not only following McNair’s path, but in taking the initiative to create their own path.

Since its inception, Clarkson's’ McNair program has provided intensive research experience and graduate school preparation to 240 students. The prestige of being a Clarkson McNair scholar has been shared by only 24 students each year. Under the new grant, 30 students will be served annually.

Clarkson’s McNair program has a 98 percent graduation rate; 40 percent have obtained or are in the process of obtaining a master’s degree, 20 percent have obtained or are in the process of obtaining a Ph.D; and 6 percent have obtained or are in the process of obtaining a professional degree.

"A tribute to the Clarkson McNair program's success is its strong collaboration with Clarkson faculty, who take the time to mentor McNair scholars through an intensive 10 week summer research project," said Marjorie Warden, Clarkson Project Director of Community of Underrepresented Professional Opportunities. "Guidance is provided through the research process with added opportunities for conference presentations, networking and publishing possibilities."

To supplement the summer research component, the McNair program provides regular workshops on research ethics, the graduate school application process, graduate school funding sources and preparation for the Graduate Record of Exams (GRE) among other related topics.

Along with workshops, seminars are provided to students, featuring Clarkson McNair Alumni presenters who have completed or are in the process of completing their PhD. These speakers provide students with knowledge and guidance on the path to a Ph.D.

The McNair program is coordinated by Warden; Assistant Director Courtney Green; and Program Coordinator Deborah Sutliff.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Clarkson University a Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement grant for the fifth time. The award will total $1.1 million over five years. Above, McNair Scholar Shauni Trombly, a senior psychology major from West Chazy, N.Y., presents her research at a recent symposium.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/strombly.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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