Winthrop University: McNair Scholars

McNair Scholars

This TRiO Program prepares undergraduates to be successful in PhD programs. We serve outstanding first generation college students from low-income families and undergraduates from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in graduate education.  

Dr. Jordan Lewis, Winthrop McNair Alumnus

Learn more by watching Dr. Jordan Lewis's address to Florence School District 3 students on the Legacy of Dr. Ronald E. McNair,  here, and reading our 2023 letter on the meaning of Dr. McNair's Legacy for Winthrop's McNair Scholars Program, here

Our Writing Coach, Stephanie Bartlett, is offering Scholars and Alumni weekly drop-in office hours Tuesdays 7:30 - 8:30 pm (Zoom), Wednesdays 2:45 - 5 pm (in Dinkins), and Saturdays 11 am - 12:30 pm (Zoom). Email for details and the Zoom link. 

It's not to late to apply! We continue to accept applications and recommendations for this year's wait list. For more information about applying and eligiblity, visit: 

Winthrop McNair Summer 2021 Researchers


  • We are proud to announce our newest staff members: Haley Whitman Drolshagen (McNair GA), Lily Hayes (Office Assistant), and Mya Ponder (Office Assistant). Welcome Haley, Lily, and Myal! It is so good to have you in McNair! Haley, Lily, and Mya join the talented and dedicated Barb Yeager, our Administrative Program Manager who has been supporting our program, Scholars, and alunni since 2010.
  • Read about the impressive accomplishments of Winthrop's McNair Summer Scholars and Mentors here. Read their abstracts here.
  • Congratulations Logan Pender for being voted Scholar Among Scholars by the 2022 McNair Summer Research cohort!
  • If you are interested in seeing if you are eligible for Winthrop's McNair program, please complete the first part of the application at: Dr. Fortner, the Director, will e-mail you regarding your eligiblity for the program after you complete the online survey.
  • Congratulations to our alumni who have achieved McNair's doctoral objective. Most recently, Dr. Leah Brown (PhD, WVU), Dr. Jordan Lewis (PhD, Emory), Dr. Aaron Fountain (PhD, Indiana Univ.) and Dr. Savannah Moritzky (PhD, U of Rochester).
  • See our list of Winthrop McNair alumni with doctorates here (will be updated soon)). 
  • See McNair Scholar McKenzie Bennett, NSF Graduate Research Fellow, celebrated in the July 2021 Winthrop Magazine  (p. 17) and in this press release. Helping Scholars secure funding for doctoral studies is one of McNair's services. 
  • Click here to read the Director's letter to campus regarding Dr. McNair's Legacy on the 35th Anniversary of the Challenger Tragedy (527 KB). Here are a couple links to learn more about and/or remember Dr. Ronald E. McNair. 


About the Program

McNair services help participants increase their competitiveness for, apply to, and succeed in master's and doctoral programs. The program provides transformational research and graduate admissions supports and professional development opportunities throughout the junior and senior years. At Winthrop, this includes, but is not limited to, a paid summer research experience; faculty mentoring; quantitative and verbal reasoning prep; writing and stats & methods coaching; graduate admissions and funding application guidance; and travel to present research and explore graduate programs. At least two-thirds of every Winthrop McNair cohort are first-generation college students who meet the TRiO low-income definition. Up to the remaining one-third of each cohort meet McNair federal eligiblity as an undergraduate from a racial or ethnic group underrepresented in graduate education.

Winthrop's program is funded through September 2028 by a five-year renewable TRiO grant from the U.S. Department of Education. $261,888 in federal funding is provided each year for programming and materials that will help 30 eligible students prepare for graduate study. This represents 75% of program costs. Winthrop contributes the remaining 27% of the budget with approximately $87,903 in cash and in-kind funds.  

To learn more about the impact of Winthrop's Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, check out our program flyer or this article in the Winthrop Magazine

For a fun look at what our Scholars and Alumni have done, visit our newsletters or here.

To learn about our Scholars' award winning research, visit our summer research page, see Scholar Monejah Black's story, or check out

Useful Links 

Information about applying to the program is available here. 

Winthrop McNair Digital Commons

We continue to work with the good folks in Winthrop's Dacus Library to update our Digital Commons pages. In the meantime, here are the last three volumes of the Winthrop McNair Research Bulletin.

Dr. Ronald E. McNair Biography

Other sources of information about Dr. McNair include: His life story throught Story Corps (Eyes on the Stars), Remembering the Challenger Disaster (, and his academic accomplishments (  

Winthrop McNair GEPA Statement on Equitable Access

Winthrop McNair Graduate Assistantship

Winthrop McNair Graduate Scholarship


Last Updated: 3/2/23