Southern Nazarene University announces continued funding of the SNU McNair Scholars
Program, designed to assist eligible SNU undergraduates in building the skills and confidence
required to pursue a doctoral degree. SNU will receive a total of $1,308,185 of federal funding
over five years through the U. S. Department of Education’s TRIO Ronald E. McNair
Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program. SNU will contribute the equivalent of 20% annually to
the overall support of this program.
This competitive program targets student scholars who demonstrate sound academic
performance, strong potential for success in graduate school, and the intent to pursue a career in
which a doctorate is required. SNU is the only private university in Oklahoma to receive
“We love the McNair Scholars program. The opportunities provided for our McNair scholars and
the research developed continues to grow and support our work as a university,” said SNU
President Dr. Keith Newman.
The McNair Program, one of eight federal TRIO programs funded through the Department of
Education, is designed to prepare low-income and first-generation students along with those
from other groups typically underrepresented in graduate studies. Almost half of SNU
undergraduates meet these qualifying criteria.
McNair Scholars build credentials that enable competitive applications to top graduate schools.
SNU McNair alumna and current graduate student, Alyssa Wheeler, commended the program
stating, “The McNair Scholars program prepared me well for applying for graduate school,
networking, presenting at national conferences, and overall, setting and achieving goals I would
not have thought possible. I learned more about who I am as an underrepresented scholar in
STEM, and I gained insight into how I can utilize my privilege to serve others in my community.
The career path I have chosen was not paved with women and minoritized people in mind, but I
have learned to acknowledge imposter syndrome, embrace my identity, and choose a community
that will support my endeavors. McNair teaches us that representation matters, and in my future
career, I plan to find opportunities to mentor other low-income, underrepresented scholars, and
women in STEM and eliminate barriers prohibiting minoritized communities from engaging in
science and education that would otherwise benefit their communities.”
“An exciting part of this newly funded grant is focused on supporting our scholars with financial
literacy training, enhanced social and emotional support, and increased participation in the larger
McNair community. These activities will continue to enable our scholars to develop very
competitive graduate school applications,” said Dr. Kim Rosfeld, SNU McNair Scholars
A unique feature of the McNair Program is a paid research internship for each participant. Each
McNair Scholar will work directly with at least one Ph.D. faculty mentor and receive
individualized academic advising, preparation and mentoring focused on academic achievement,
research experience, and professional acculturation. Numerous universities across the country
offer specially designated scholarships for McNair Scholars accepted into their graduate
SNU McNair faculty mentor Dr. Scott Drabenstot praised the McNair program, stating, “The
McNair Program has allowed us to support promising students who would otherwise be unable
to dedicate their time to developing as scholars. It is a great privilege to be able to mentor and
invest in such promising students.”
“Our McNair Scholars benefit and grow from intentional and meaningful working relationships
with SNU research faculty through mentoring, research opportunities, graduate school visits and
scholarship development seminars,” said Dr. Lena Crouso, SNU Vice-President and Chief
Diversity Officer. “As part of this access and opportunity program, participants also network
with faculty and fellow McNair Scholars from other universities, building a strong trajectory for
their success upon graduation and for their career paths.”
In the 15 years that SNU has offered the McNair Program, 172 SNU graduates have been served
by the program with 91 going on to attend graduate schools. Graduate schools attended by these
students include Rice University, University of Delaware, University of Texas (Austin),
University of Oklahoma, University of Arkansas, and Duke University.
For more information about the SNU McNair Scholars program, contact Dr. Kim Rosfeld,
McNair Program Director at 405-491-8161 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.