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McNair Scholars Program Renewed at Kent State University

Posted Nov. 19, 2012

The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program received its grant renewal to Kent State University for the amount of $1.13 million for 2012-2017. The grant was originally awarded to the university in 1999.

“This funding will allow Kent State to continue to prepare undergraduate scholars from underrepresented groups for advanced degree work,” says Mary Ann Stephens, Ph.D., dean of graduate studies. “It will also maintain Kent State’s leadership in helping to develop diversity among professionals needed to face tomorrow’s challenges.”

This year, the process for refunding was very competitive because McNair Programs nationwide received a $10 million deduction, which cut programs for the next grant cycle.

“There were 334 total McNair applicants nationwide, and approximately 150 were selected for 2012-2017,” says Sherice Freeman, McNair director. “Kent State University was one of 150 selected.”

The Ronald E. McNair grant comes from the Department of Education and is part of the TRIO Program Authority. TRIO is a government program that helps students overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education. McNair was a physicist and astronaut who died in the space shuttle Challenger explosion.

The purpose of the McNair Program is to prepare first-generation, low-income undergraduate students for doctoral study. The program offers mentored research study, academic and cultural studies for 26 students per year. The program consists of an academic year component and a summer research component, in cooperation with the Honors College.

“Without the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program, I would not have had the opportunity to visit or network with potential graduate schools,” says Jennifer Bryant, a Kent State student who is now in graduate school. “I would not have received the preparation for the GRE, graduate school application requirements or graduate school expectations, nor would I be a student in the Honors College expanding on the nutrition education curriculum I developed during the Summer Research Institute. To me, the McNair Scholars Program means support, dedication and achievement. Having the title of ‘McNair Scholar’ makes me want to be that much better.”

For more information or for students who wish to apply, call 330-672-2264 or visit