IUP McNair Scholars Program Awarded Supplemental Grant

Posted on 10/6/2014 2:24:38 PM

IUP has received a supplemental grant award of $119,783 from the U.S. Department of Education for its McNair Scholars program.

The supplemental award boosts the 2014–15 program’s continuation award of $228,000 (which reflects restoration of sequestration funding) to a total of $348,583. Professor Calvin Masilela, principal investigator on the grant, noted that “this is truly unprecedented in the history of TRIO programs at IUP and nationally, and reflects the department’s recognition of the successful coordinated management of the McNair program at IUP over the past 10 years.” He also commented that the news is especially welcome given the recent grant competition which saw McNair programs lose 10 million in available funds, resulting in the loss of one-third of funded programs nationally. Further, in 2012–13, federal budget sequestration reduced all TRIO program budgets by approximately 5 percent.

“With this supplemental award, the IUP McNair program expects to serve more students in 2015–16, potentially increasing participants’ stipends to $2800, increased seminars, workshops, invited lectures, and conference participation and travel, etc.” noted Hilary Staples, director of the McNair Scholars Program. Staples also reflected that “this is especially gratifying news that come on the heels of the PhD completion of Dr. Danielle Wylie from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Dr. Wylie is the fifth program alumni to earn a PhD, and to know she is now in a tenure-track position at Mississippi State University is awesome.” Kudos go to IUP faculty mentors and administration for the support the program has received over the past decade.

The McNair program is one of the seven federal TRIO programs authorized by the Higher Education Act of 1965, and amended in 2008 to assist low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented minority Americans to persist in their education with the ultimate goal of attaining a doctoral degree. In so doing, they become faculty members and/or researchers who give back to society through teaching and mentoring.