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Sept. 10, 2012

COPY BY:    Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, rmcdonald@wtamu.edu

WTAMU’s McNair Scholars Program Gets Renewed Funding

CANYON, Texas—Budget cuts have affected McNair Scholars Programs across the country, but the program at West Texas A&M University recently received notice of renewed funding of more than $1 million for the next five years to help undergraduate students prepare for graduate studies.

One-third of the country’s McNair programs lost grant funding after program cuts of $10 million by the U.S. Department of Education. Mike Cook, director of WTAMU’s McNair Scholars Program, received word through U.S. Sen. John Cornyn’s office that the WTAMU program will receive $231,448 per year for the next five years.

“We look forward to continue providing research opportunities and program activities to assist our scholars in their preparation for graduate school studies,” Cook said. “The support of WTAMU’s faculty and administration for the McNair Scholars program has been invaluable to our student’s success.”

The program, named after Ronald E. McNair, the NASA mission specialist killed in the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster, is a federal TRIO program funded by the U.S. Department of Education and designed to help undergraduate students prepare for Ph.D. studies.

The WTAMU program was established in 1999 and since then, the program has helped 134 students pursue graduate-level research under the guidance of a faculty mentor. WTAMU McNair recipients receive a research stipend, the opportunity to present their research at various professional conferences as well as having access to graduate school workshops and seminars, tutoring and GRE preparation. To date, WTAMU McNair Scholars have gone on to earn master’s and doctoral degrees and are currently enrolled in graduate and professional programs nationwide.

To learn more about WTAMU’s program and its alumni scholars, visit wtamu.edu/academics/mcnair-scholars.aspx.



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