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Faculty and Staff

September 14, 2017

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to share some great news regarding the renewal of the federal grant for our Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, which will receive $232,265 each year for the next five years.

Congratulations to McNair Program Director Cheryl Fortner-Wood, her staff and our faculty members who assist in various ways with the program for again securing this important funding for our students.

We also thank our legislators, particularly Senator Lindsey Graham, whose leadership helped secure nearly $6,000 in additional funds.

Read more about the funding renewal below:

Winthrop’s McNair Scholars Program Receives Third Round of Funding to Prepare Students for Ph.D. Programs

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Winthrop University’s Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program received its third round of federal funding from the U.S. Department of Education.

This latest TRiO grant renewal contained a funding increase of nearly $6,000, bringing the program’s total award to $232,265 each year for five years. Winthrop contributes $85,000 in cash and in-kind matches.

The McNair Scholars program is named for South Carolina native Ronald E. McNair who perished three decades ago in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, but his name and legacy in education continues through the program.

The Winthrop McNair Scholars program, which began in 2009, prepares 30 first generation, low-income, and underrepresented undergraduates to be successful in Ph.D. programs by providing research and other opportunities as well as financial support throughout the graduate admissions process. Winthrop's program includes, but is not limited to, a paid summer research experience, faculty mentoring, workshops, GRE and graduate school application preparation, and travel to present research and explore graduate programs.

“Winthrop is uniquely poised to provide the high-quality undergraduate research experiences and other McNair services,” said McNair Scholars Director Cheryl Fortner-Wood. “McNair is a natural extension of the great work Winthrop’s talented faculty, supportive administration, and committed staff are already doing to grow cohorts of future professors, scientists and leaders. We’re grateful to have the opportunity to continue these experiences for our students with this latest grant renewal.”

The McNair Scholars program has served more than 110 students since its inception. The university offers its McNair services to students at other South Carolina colleges and universities because it is one of only two universities in the state that houses the McNair program. One College of Charleston student is currently participating in Winthrop’s McNair Scholars program.

Students have nothing but praise for the McNair Scholars program. One student recently said: “I've seen the good McNair can do for their scholars. McNair has changed my entire life's path, and has given me opportunities I would not have had without a program like this. McNair allowed me to see firsthand that I have potential; something that so many others overlooked. I can say with 100% confidence that had it not been for the McNair program, I would most certainty not be going to [an Ivy League School] for a master’s program. McNair made that possible for me. The program provided me with experiences that you can't put a price tag on."

For more information on the McNair Scholars program, please contact Fortner-Wood at 803/323-2641.

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