Lee News

2018 McNair Scholars Named



Thirteen students have been selected to participate in Lee University’s new McNair Scholars Program, which is designed to prepare students for success in graduate school through research internships, seminars, and assistance obtaining financial support for graduate education.

“The McNair Scholars Program is an important addition to the growing list of resources we are garnering for bright and motivated Lee undergraduate students,” said Dr. Debbie Murray, vice president for Lee’s Academic Affairs. “These very worthy scholars are already benefitting from the program by attending national and regional conferences and by conducting original research under the guidance of faculty mentors.”

The 2018 McNair scholars include eight seniors: English major Judith Bell of Chattanooga, Tennessee; nursing major Marisa Estrada of Cleveland; business administration major Cassidy Gray of Jacksonville, Florida; anthropology major Torah Harding-Laman of Ketchikan, Alaska; biochemistry major Elizabeth Landry of Cleveland; anthropology major Audriana Trevino of Plainview, Tennessee; psychology major Ana Villa of Cleveland; anthropology major Kelly Wnuk of Harrison, Tennessee; and five juniors: English major Sierra Ledford of Cleveland; biochemistry major Alex Gann of Heiskell, Tennessee; English major Garrett Mikulka of Cleveland; English major Brittney Perez of Baxley, Georgia; and biology major Hannah Trew of Ocoee, Tennessee.

“We are thrilled to have such a talented and driven group of scholars to launch this program at Lee,” said Mr. Kevin Ung, McNair program director. “I am encouraged by their academic commitments to scholarly research and personal growth. We are blessed to receive this generous gift in order to advance the university’s commitment to scholarship and excellence.”

Lee University began its McNair program in October 2017 upon receipt of a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program is named after an American physicist and NASA astronaut who died during the launch of the Challenger space shuttle in January of 1986. The goal of the DOE program is to increase the attainment of PhD degrees by students from underrepresented segments of society, particularly those with strong academic potential coming from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“We project the selection of about a dozen more McNair Scholars within the next few months, and we look forward to the tremendous positive impact this program will have on our students, both immediate and longer range, as they work to complete terminal degrees in their various disciplines,” said Murray.

Lee University was awarded $1.16 million over five years ($232,265 per year) in federal funds, covering 72 percent of program costs. Lee’s McNair Program receives 28 percent of its funding from non-governmental sources, including Lee institutional contribution.

For more information, visit McNair Scholar Program.
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