Grant helps underrepresented students attain graduate degrees.
Clarkson University has received a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to continue its McNair Program, which assists underrepresented students in the attainment of PhD degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
This is Clarkson’s sixth Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement grant. The grant is named after Dr. Ronald E. McNair, who was the second African-American to fly in space and a member of the Challenger Space Shuttle’s seven-member crew who met a tragic end during a disastrous mission in 1986. As a tribute to his achievements, Congress and the McNair family formed the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program to assist young people not only following in McNair’s path, but also taking the initiative to chart their own course.
“The McNair Program provided me the time and forum to build my confidence as an academic and to become a more independent thinker,” says Shawn Clark, PhD, founder of Clark Scientific and an alumnus of Clarkson’s McNair Program.
The new grant will serve 31 students annually. To date, Clarkson’s McNair Program has a 98% graduation rate; 41% have obtained a master’s degree; 11% have obtained a PhD; and 4% have obtained a professional degree – all well above the national averages for degree obtainment.
“The McNair grant competition was highly competitive and we are honored to have been awarded funding for the next five years,” says Marjorie Warden, Project Director of McNair. “This funding makes it possible for our students to pursue their dreams of furthering their education past the bachelor’s degree and earning a PhD. With the excellent students and dedicated faculty mentors, we have been very successful in past years and plan on continuing that success.”
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 directed by Marjorie Warden, Assistant Director Deborah Sutliff, and Program Coordinator Supriya Parshad.
Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the New York Capital Region, Beacon, New York and New York City, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, 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 innovation with enterprise.