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TRIO McNair Scholars Program


UCM TRIO logo TRIO logo 


If you are interested in undergraduate research and preparing to attend graduate school, this program is for you!

The TRIO McNair Scholars Program is a federal program that promotes academic research for undergraduates by connecting students with faculty mentors to explore the research process and then carrying out a research project.




Opportunities for TRIO McNair Scholars:

  • Work with a faculty mentor team
  • Learn about the research process
  • Be eligible for a paid summer research internship
  • Participate in cohort-based informational seminars and workshops
  • Conduct, present, and publish their own research
  • Experience graduate school visits, conferences, and fairs 
  • Receive graduate school application assistance
  • Prepare for the GRE




Students must be:

  1. a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  2. a UCM junior undergrad with a competitive GPA who is considering graduate study
  3. either a first-generation, low-income student or a student from a group underrepresented in graduate education
Request Information


Meet Our Staff

Kari Azevedo, Ph.D. - Director
660-543-4135  /

Request an appointment with Dr. Azevedo


Angela Nonaka, Ph.D. - Assistant Director
660-543-8815 /

Request an appointment with Dr. Nonaka


Amy Sawtelle, B.S. - Office Professional
660-543-8830 /



Dr. Ronald E. McNair

About Dr. Ronald E. McNair

The McNair Scholars Program was named after Dr. Ronald E. McNair, the African American astronaut who died in the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster. McNair was named valedictorian of his high school class and graduated magna cum laude from North Carolina A&T State University with a bachelor’s degree in physics. In 1976, at the age of 26, he earned a Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. McNair was a recognized expert in the field of laser physics and was selected by NASA from a pool of ten thousand applicants for the space shuttle program, eventually becoming the second African American to fly in space. In addition, he was awarded three honorary doctorates and many commendations and fellowships.

As a memorial to Dr. McNair, the United States Congress established funding for a new TRIO program–The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program. Its purpose is to prepare first-generation, low-income college students and students from groups underrepresented in graduate education for doctoral study and to help these students fulfill their educational dreams.



Funding for the UCM TRIO McNair Scholars Program is through a Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program TRIO grant from the United States Department of Education.


James C. Kirkpatrick Library 3160
Tel: (660) 543-8830

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