SNU Receives Continued Funding for McNair Scholars Program

students studying in the library

Southern Nazarene University announces continued funding of the SNU McNair Scholars Program, designed to assist eligible SNU undergraduates in building the skills and confidence required to pursue a doctoral degree. This competitive program targets student scholars who demonstrate sound academic performance, strong potential for success in graduate school, and the intent to pursue a career in which a doctorate is required.

SNU will receive a total of $1,308,185 of federal funding over five years through the U. S. Department of Education’s TRIO Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program. SNU will contribute the equivalent of $54,108 (20.68%) annually to the overall funding costs of this program. SNU is the only private university in Oklahoma to receive funding. 

“The opportunities provided for our McNair scholars and the research developed continues to grow and support our work as a university,” said SNU President Dr. Keith Newman. 

The McNair Program, one of eight federal TRIO programs funded through the Department of Education, is designed to prepare low-income and first-generation students along with those from other groups typically underrepresented in graduate studies. Almost half of SNU undergraduates meet these qualifying criteria.

“Our McNair Scholars benefit and grow from intentional and meaningful working relationships with SNU research faculty through mentoring, research opportunities, graduate school visits, and scholarship development seminars,” said Dr. Lena Crouso, SNU Vice-President and Chief Diversity Officer. “As part of this access and opportunity program, participants also network with faculty and fellow McNair Scholars from other universities, building a strong trajectory for their success upon graduation and for their career paths.”

McNair Scholars build credentials that enable competitive applications to top graduate schools. Numerous universities across the country offer specially designated scholarships for McNair Scholars accepted into their graduate programs. 

A unique feature of the McNair Program is a paid research internship for each participant. Each McNair Scholar will work directly with at least one Ph.D. faculty mentor and receive individualized academic advising, preparation, and mentoring focused on academic achievement, research experience, and professional acculturation. 

“An exciting part of this newly funded grant is focused on supporting our scholars with financial literacy training, enhanced social and emotional support, and increased participation in the larger McNair community. These activities will continue to enable our scholars to develop very competitive graduate school applications,” said Dr. Kim Rosfeld, SNU McNair Scholars Director. 

SNU McNair faculty mentor Dr. Scott Drabenstot praised the McNair program, stating, “The McNair Program has allowed us to support promising students who would otherwise be unable to dedicate their time to develop as scholars. It is a great privilege to be able to mentor and invest in such promising students.” 

In the 15 years that SNU has offered the McNair Program, 172 SNU graduates have been served by the program with 91 going on to attend graduate schools.  Graduate schools attended by these students include Rice University, University of Delaware, University of Texas (Austin), University of Oklahoma, University of Arkansas, and Duke University. 

Founded in 1899, Southern Nazarene University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university located in Bethany, Oklahoma, and serving students in Tulsa as well as other locations throughout the state. SNU offers courses for both traditional students and working adults, including multiple masters programs and a doctoral program. 

For more information about the SNU McNair Scholars program, contact Dr. Kim Rosfeld, McNair Program Director, 405-491-8161 or e-mail For more information on Southern Nazarene University, visit or call 1-800-648-9899.

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