Are you a first-generation, low-income, or underrepresented student? If so, you may have heard of the TRIO program called McNair. McNair is a program that helps high-achieving students who fall into two or more of these categories reach and succeed in doctoral programs. Dr. Kim Rosfeld is the Director of the SNU branch of McNair, and the Assistant Director is Dezzarae Francis, who is a former McNair student herself. Their offices are located in the Center for Student Success on the first floor of the Library.
The McNair program serves 28 students at the SNU branch. When asked about what the McNair program does for students, Francis states that, “…we give them opportunities to do research on campus, and we have them fill out applications to do off-campus research as well. We also sit down and help them plan out their graduate school application experience: from doing CVs, writing personal statements, setting up campus visits, helping them with the interview process, and walking them through the process as a whole.” Classes, seminars, and meetings are other opportunities available to help students as they learn about how to enter doctoral programs and what life looks like once they are in those programs.
The main goal of McNair Scholars is to bring diversity to Ph.D. programs. In an interview, Dr. Rosfeld stated, “It helps to diversify the types of students who go on to get Ph.D.s, and diversify the fields that they go into. So, diversify faculty, diversify researchers, diversify public policymakers.” She then describes how those with Ph.D.s are often the people in fields with the power to make change. Dr. Rosfeld continues, “We are primarily a graduate school preparation program. We look for students who are high-achieving and try to give them as much support as we can.” The SNU McNair program has a high success rate and many of the students get into fully funded doctoral programs.
McNair Scholars not only have support in their educational journey but have fun as well. Cohorts of students from many different disciplines get to know each other in ways they otherwise would not have met. As part of the program, Francis plans cultural trips to welcome an atmosphere of diversity, which can range from watching plays to visiting museums and art galleries.
If you think you might qualify and want to apply, please visit the SNU McNair Website (McNair Scholars Program | SNU). There are a few spots still available.
The McNair Scholars Program is a federally funded TRIO grant from the US Department of Education. The program has an annual budget of $261,637 and serves 28 scholars.
Photo provided by Dezzarae Francis