Ronald McNair Program
Are you the first in your family to attend college or from an ethnic or income group underrepresented in higher education? If so, learn more about our McNair Scholars Program.
Gabe Moreno '14
Gabe's McNair project focused on a series of sculptures rooted in the ideas of compromise and negotiation -- two ideas he became very familiar with during his 1,000-mile bike ride from Illinois to New York.
Each year, the McNair Program selects 10 sophomores who work with faculty mentors through their senior year to develop academic and research projects. As a McNair scholar, the program prepares you for graduate and doctoral studies and encourages you to explore research-intensive careers, including academia and working at the highest levels of science and technology.
Since Knox joined the program in 1992, 42% of participating students have earned top degrees in their fields, including the MFA and Ph.D. The success rate of our students in earning these degrees, which are typically required for academic and research-based careers, is more than twice the minimum completion rate of 20% that is expected by the federal government. Knox is one of just 130 colleges and universities in the McNair Program and one of the first small liberal arts colleges in the nation selected for the initiative.
The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and is a part of the TRIO Program. Contact our McNair staff to learn more about the program and eligibility requirements.
McNair can benefit you by:
- Providing funding for substantive summer research with a faculty mentor following your sophomore and junior years
- Publishing selected student research in The McNair Journal of Multidisciplinary Research
- Creating opportunities to present your research to fellow academics and other McNair scholars at a national conference
- Finding teaching and research assistantships to allow you to explore academic careers
- Facilitating graduate fellowships at select universities nationwide
- Offering GRE fee waivers and graduate school application fee waivers (for selected schools)
- Providing McNair tutorials with enriched academic preparation, research skill development, intensive career education, and graduate school process familiarization
Research topics presented by Knox students at the UC Berkeley McNair Symposium 2012 include:
- "The Black Panther Party and Prison Reform Advocacy: Dissension and the Criminal Justice System in a Democracy" -Jen Becker '14
- "Privilege and Participation: The Role of Social Class in the College Classroom Experience" -Huong Bui '14
- "Probing the 'Spacer' Segment Requirement of the Protein Based Hydrogel Biopolymer: GBH1" -Alli Fabino '13
- "The Female Hero in Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness Quartet: Rethinking Young Adult Fiction in the United States" -Ajoura Gwinn '14
- "The Effect of Ethanol on NO Production via the p38 and IkBalpha Pathways in J774A.1 Macrophages" -Chanté Johnson '13
- "Test 'Proof of Concept' for Creation of a Bifunctional Protein Polymer by Inserting the CFP (Citrene Fluorescence Protein) in the GBH1 Hydrogel Protein Polymer" -Dwight Johnson '13
- "'You Do What You Have To': Multiple Jobholding in Rural Illinois" -Aleah Meyer '14
- "Sculpture: Cycling 1,000 miles and Then Some" -Gabe Moreno '14
- "Race Perceptions Amongst Millennials: Willful Ignorance of a Generation?" -Maricruz Osorio '14
- "No Taxation without Legalization: Optimal Taxation of a Legalized Marijuana Market" -Jessica Sandoval '13
Our 200+ McNair alumni continue to thrive in their lives after Knox. A few of our outcomes include:
- Monica Prince '12 is pursuing an MFA in poetry with a full tuition waiver and graduate assistantship at Georgia College and State University
- Lauren Smith '12 was awarded a graduate fellowship to pursue her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Notre Dame
- Jessica DeMory '11 was voted vice president for the graduate program's Public Administration Student Association at Northern Illinois University
- McKinley Murphy '10 is pursuing an M.A. in English at Truman State University
- Mike Prentice '08 completed a research assistantship on a National Science Foundation grant at the University of Missouri
- Heather Elomaa '07 passed her Ph.D. comprehensive and language exams and is starting her dissertation on Latin poetry
- Neil Gonzales '06 worked six years in alternative education for middle and high school students, completing a master's degree in school leadership and the Type 75 administration certificate
- Robert Castillo '05 obtained his JD from DePaul University
- Pamela Hernandez '02 is a Ph.D. student at the University of Maryland and recently published work on a book chapter
In 2012, our McNair Program received continued funding: a 5-year federal grant of more than $1.25 million from the U.S. Department of Education. The new grant has allowed us to expand our services to include more access to STEM preparation, tutoring, technology (iPads for everyone!), and financial literacy education.
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Knox College awarded more than $3,000 in prizes in the 2013 Al Young Art Show. Organizing 200 art works in an array of media is a challenge, according student Katie O'Connor, who helped arrange the entries.
Knox prepared me to meet the challenges I face in law school by always having challenged me academically and socially as an undergrad. I am Agostino
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