A student works in the Plexus electronics lab at Michigan Tech

Michigan Tech receives $1.3 million McNair grant

Michigan Technological University received a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help students from underrepresented groups earn undergraduate degrees, enroll in graduate programs and earning doctorates.

The five-year grant — $261,888 each year — funds Michigan Tech’s Ronald E. McNair Post-Graduation Success Program, also known as the McNair Fellowship Program. McNair Scholars benefit from summer research experience with faculty mentors, opportunities to present at research conferences, assistance with graduate school preparation and professional development for the obtaining a doctorate.

“I am thrilled at this opportunity for the MTU community – not only for its scholars, but also for the impact such a program will have on our research goals,” said Wayne Gersie, McNair Scholars Program Principal Investigator and Vice – Michigan Tech president for diversity. and inclusion. “As we aspire to continually improve our role and growth as a leading technological research university, the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Success Program better positions us to achieve our goals. We know that developing a diverse group of future scholars will increase innovation and scholarship by bringing additional perspectives to problem solving.

Two full-time program administrators will serve at least 25 McNair Scholars at a time, including some students from partner community colleges, such as Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College (KBOCC) and Bay Mills Community College.

“KBOCC is delighted to be working with Michigan Tech on the McNair Scholars program,” said Lori Sherman, president of KBOCC. “The opportunities and resources provided by the McNair Scholars program, especially the valuable research internship experiences, will benefit KBOCC students throughout their educational journey and allow them to continue their personal and professional development.”

The McNair Scholars Program is a federally funded TRIO program at 151 institutions in the United States and Puerto Rico. It is designed to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral study by engaging in research and other scholarly pursuits. McNair participants are either first-generation students with financial need or members of a group traditionally underrepresented in higher education, and have demonstrated strong academic potential.

“As a low-income, first-generation Latino student, I wouldn’t have nearly finished my PhD. if I wasn’t a McNair Scholar,” said Gabriel Escobedo, director of Michigan Tech’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion. “I was lost as an undergraduate and didn’t know if I wanted to finish, but the thought of doing research that interested me lit a fire inside me that still burns today.”

“After doing my summer research, the program helped me present at a McNair conference, publish my research, visit and apply to graduate schools, and earn my honors degree,” Escobedo said. . “I am more than thrilled to be part of the McNair Scholars program at Michigan Tech, where I can give the same opportunity and resources that I was given and help those who were in my place not long ago. so long to achieve their dreams and get their doctorate. .D.”

Students will be able to get more information during one of the program application days in early January. After passing a short informational interview, eligible students will be invited to apply. Participants should be selected by March.

The award honors Ronald E. McNair, the second African American to embark on a space mission. The NASA astronaut and physicist was one of seven crew members killed in the failed launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986. In the wake of the tragedy, Congress approved funding for the Ronald E. McNair program Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program to encourage low-income and first-generation students, and students from historically underrepresented ethnic groups, to expand their educational opportunities by enrolling in a Ph.D. program and pursue an academic career.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and enrolls more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the top universities in the nation for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate programs in science and technology, engineering, computer science, forestry, business and economics, health, humanities, mathematics, social sciences and the arts. The rural campus is located a few miles from Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, providing year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.

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