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12-13-1999

$830,396 Department Of Education Grant Will Help Clarkson To Prepare Disadvantaged Students For Doctoral Studies

Disadvantaged students will continue to get a boost in their pursuit of graduate studies, thanks to a Department of Education (DOE) grant recently received by Clarkson University.

Clarkson has been awarded a Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement grant, totaling $830,396 over four years. This is Clarkson’s second four-year grant; it received the first in 1995.

Named for one of the astronauts killed in the 1986 Challenger space shuttle explosion, the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program at Clarkson University promotes the scholarly development of academically talented low-income, first-generation college students, and students from traditionally underrepresented groups (black, Hispanic and Native American) in graduate education. It also helps them to pursue doctoral degrees in the fields of engineering and science.

“I am thrilled that the Department of Education has reawarded Clarkson University this very competitive grant,” said Catherine M. Clark, project director of Clarkson’s McNair Program. “The continuation of the grant gives us the ability to provide disadvantaged college students with effective preparation for doctoral study, especially through intensive academic and financial support.

“Our program addresses students’ needs for research experience, faculty mentoring, information on graduate education and the application process, and improved academic skills.”

Each year, Clarkson accepts 20 students from across the nation into a seven-week, intensive summer research internship, under the supervision of a faculty mentor in a science or engineering discipline.  Students are selected for their intellectual curiosity and vigor, their interest in earning a doctoral degree and their ability to pursue rigorous and substantive research.

The internship is supplemented by a seminar series and a variety of workshops aimed at enhancing and preparing the scholars for graduate school admission, graduate studies and research.  Enriching field trips also highlight the summer's activities.

At the end of the seven weeks, each scholar will complete a scholarly report and present their research in a symposium.  In some cases, the faculty mentor may continue support of the scholar's research throughout the academic year.

The McNair Program is part of Clarkson’s Pipeline for Educational Programs (PEP), executive director Julius P. Mitchell.

[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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