Campus awarded $1.2 million to support McNair Scholars

September 18, 2017

Written by Jeff Angileri   |  Photo by Craig Schreiner

Jazmin WilsonNext year will mark the 25th anniversary of the McNair Scholars Program at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. And with the milestone comes a significant investment in the program and its students.

Over the years, McNair has assisted first generation, low-income, and traditionally underrepresented students in pursuing graduate education by engaging them in research projects and other scholarly activities. The goal is to increase the number of Ph.D.s that students from diverse populations are earning.

A recently awarded grant from the United States Department of Education will provide $257,503 in funding to UW-Whitewater per year for five years, for a total investment of more than $1.2 million.

"I am delighted that the McNair Scholars Program can continue to transform lives on this campus," said Whitney Supianoski, director of the program. "Nationally, there are still great disparities in diverse representation among faculty and leadership in academia. UW-Whitewater students have great potential to be future industry leaders holding master's and doctoral degrees."

Jazmin Wilson, a general management major from Racine, Wisconsin, is one of 30 students in the program. Over the summer, she presented the research abstract for the project she will be working on through the coming academic year. She's learning under the mentorship of James Levy, associate professor of history.

"My project focuses on urban agriculture from a business standpoint," Wilson said. She's exploring the business model of an urban farm or garden, and looking to measure its impact an on the surrounding community. 

She calls the experience "amazing" and tremendously valuable.

"I was able to connect with the people in my cohort on both an educational and a personal level and that was awesome. The McNair Scholars Program is so valuable to my growth as a student. I feel as if before McNair, I knew I was going to go to graduate school, but had no information on how to start the process. I feel a lot more prepared."