UW-Platteville receives $1.3 million grant for transformational McNair Scholars Program

UW-Platteville campus in fall

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville is the recipient of a highly-selective McNair Scholars Program Grant that will award a total of more than $1.3 million over a five-year period. The U.S. Department of Education’s Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program provides grants to institutions of higher education for projects designed to support diverse, first-generation, low-income students with effective preparation for doctoral studies. 

“I am thrilled about the truly life-changing opportunities that the McNair Scholars Program will bring to students on our campus,” said Interim UW-Platteville Chancellor Dr. Tammy Evetovich. “I am also incredibly grateful to the team of individuals who helped obtain this transformational grant. It is a fiercely competitive process, and our team’s hard work and diligence in securing it is a true testament to the value UW-Platteville places on making education accessible to more people.” 

The McNair Scholars Program is a federal TRIO program funded at 151 institutions in the United States. 

“To build a McNair program at UW-Platteville is an incredible honor and privilege, which satisfies a long-standing goal of mine to give back to a program which aided in shaping my own path,” said Angela Miller, assistant chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. “The McNair program is very close to my heart. I have personally benefited from my own McNair experience during my undergraduate career. I am a proud UW-Whitewater McNair Scholar alum and would not be working in higher education today without that experience. I truly understand how McNair programs are transformational resources. For well over a decade, we have aimed to acquire this program for campus. I couldn't be more thrilled with the work Laura Franklin led to support a successful grant. It is truly astounding, and we are beyond excited to build a McNair program at UW-Platteville, which will aid diverse students in competitive graduate school readiness and undergraduate research experiences.” 

The McNair Scholars Program grants are awarded in five-year cycles; UW-Platteville will receive $261,888 annually for five years. The program will serve 25 undergraduate students each year. The types of projects funded through the McNair program focus on opportunities for research or other scholarly activities, seminars and educational activities to prepare students for doctoral studies, tutoring and academic counseling, faculty mentoring and more. 

“Our faculty at UW-Platteville provide remarkable hands-on education,” said Miller. “Our capacity to build a McNair program partnering with our academic expertise is exceptional, and we are excited to work across campus to build amazing opportunities for eligible students.”

Dr. Hilton Kelly, dean of UW-Platteville’s College of Liberal Arts and Education, is also an alum of the McNair Scholars Program. As a first-generation student attending the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Kelly said he knew that earning a Ph.D. was a possibility, but he didn’t know how to pursue it.

“I am elated that UW-Platteville has secured this game-changing grant,” said Kelly. “I can tell you that I would not have a Ph.D. today, had it not been for my McNair experience. The program demystified the idea of going to graduate school and getting a Ph.D. I always had the dream, I just had no clue how to get there, and that’s what the McNair program did.”

The McNair Scholars Program was established in 1989 and is named after Dr. Ronald E. McNair, physicist and astronaut who was killed in the Challenger Space Shuttle accident in 1986.  For more information, visit mcnairscholars.com.