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McNair Scholars

University of Oklahoma
McNair Scholars

Ronald E. McNair Baccalaureate Achievement Program:
OU McNair Scholars

Former Astronaut, Dr. Robert E. Mcnair

Ronald. E. McNair, Ph.D.
(adapted from

Dr. Ronald Erwin McNair was born October 21, 1950 in Lake City, South Carolina. He graduated as valedictorian from Carver High School in 1967. In 1971, he graduated magna cum laude and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from North Carolina A&T State University (Greensboro). McNair then enrolled in the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1976, at the age of 26, he earned his Ph.D. in laser physics. His dissertation was titled, “Energy Absorption and Vibrational Heating in Molecules Following Intense Laser Excitation.” 

While working as a staff physicist with Hughes Research Laboratory, Dr. McNair became a recognized expert in laser physics. His many distinctions include being a Presidential Scholar (1971-74), a Ford Foundation Fellow (1971-74), a National Fellowship Fund Fellow (1974-75), and a NATO Fellow (1975). He was also a sixth-degree black belt in karate and an accomplished saxophonist. Because of his many accomplishments, NASA selected Dr. McNair for the space shuttle program in 1978. His first space shuttle mission launched successfully from Kennedy Space Center on February 3, 1984. Dr. Ronald E. McNair was the second African American to fly in space. Two years later he was appointed to serve as mission specialist aboard the ill-fated U.S. Challenger space shuttle. In 1986, members of Congress provided funding for the TRIO Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program with the goal of encouraging Pell grant eligible and first-generation college students, and students from historically underrepresented ethnic groups to expand their educational opportunities by enrolling in a Ph.D. program and ultimately pursuing an academic career.

TRIO: OU McNair Scholars Program

TRIO: Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, more commonly known at OU as the McNair Scholars Program, is a U.S. Department of Education funded program. The purpose of McNair is preparing first generation/low-income and other historically excluded undergraduate students for doctoral (PhD) graduate programs. Open to juniors and seniors from all majors, preference is given to students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Our online application will be available soon.

Program Eligibility

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, first generation (neither parent has a bachelor’s degree) and Pell Grant eligible, or African American/Black, Alaska Native, American Indian, Chicana/o/Hispanic/Latina/o/x, Native American, or Native Pacific Islander. The academic requirement is 60 credit hours with GPA of 3.25 or higher. For the initial 2023 cohort, we recommend that seniors already be active in undergraduate research. 

Meet the McNair Scholars

Jose Aguilar Escamilla, Computer Science

Saramarie Azzun, Neuroscience

Cecil Ehirindu, Health and Exercise Science

Kayla Jenkins, Psychology

Angel Karloh, Community Health

Rachael Owens, Psychology

Miguel Payan, Structural Engineering

Tania Ramirez, Sociology

Gaylan Randle, Health Exercise and Science

Noelia Rodriguez, Communication

Josue Soto, Anthropology

Mackenzie Thompson, Community Health

Karen Valdivia, Anthropology

*Andrea Benjamin, Ph.D., Clara Luper Department of African & African American Studies
Christian Grant, Ph.D., School of Computer Science
Karlos Hill, Ph.D., Clara Luper Department of African & African-American Studies
*Eddie Malone, Ph.D., First-Year Composition
*Sarah Trabert, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology
*Natalie Youngbull, Ph.D., Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

*McNair scholars

Participant, Highest Degree or Graduate Enrollment

Sean Abbott, MD, OUHSC

Courtney Absher, MA, Naropa

Tiera Adams, enrolled in MS, Louisiana State

Akanimoh Sanmi Adeleye, MS, UC San Diego; working on PhD

Leah Agers, JD, OU

Chelsee Aguirre, MEd, North Texas

Kwame Agyemang, PhD, Texas A&M

Jenny Ahlers Rudolph, MPA, Portland State

Esmeralda Alcala, enrolled in PhD, Missouri

Lorenzo Alferos, III, MEd, Central Oklahoma

Forest Allen, MA, Tennessee

Fernando Alonso, MD, Case Western

Juan Diego Alonso, JD/MBA, Cornell

Luis Ambrosio, enrolled in MPH at OUHSC

Jimmy Andrade, MA, Indiana; enrolled in MEd, UT Austin

Lester Asamoah, MA, American

Rebecca Ash-Cervantes, enrolled in dual MAs, California State LA and Johns Hopkins (China-U.S. Scholars Fellow)

Teresa Avery, MAcc, OU

Charles Bailey, MA, UC Irvine

Stephanie Barnes, MEd, William & Mary

Brian Barnett, PhD, Rochester

Julio Barron, MS, OU; enrolled in EdD, Grand Canyon

Skyler Bastow, MAcc, OU; enrolled in PhD, Florida State

Caroline Bennett, MA, Ohio State

Mataia Blackwell, enrolled in MA, UT Austin

Chase Bollig, PhD, Ohio State

Miranda Bond, MHR, OU

Elizabeth Brand Dugan, MS, OU

Marcus Briggs Cloud, MDiv, Harvard; enrolled in PhD, Florida

Bradley Brooks, MEd, USC

Kara Brown, enrolled in PhD, Washington State

Shawntal Brown, MA, UT Austin; working on PhD

Sheyda Zakerion Brown, MSW, OU

Matthew Bruenig, JD, Boston

Grace Buckman, MS, Colorado State

David Burney, MM, New Mexico

Raymond Campbell, JD, Arizona State

Savannah Campbell, MHR, OU

Jonathan Campos, MS, Drexel

Michael Carlock, MA, Arkansas

Talia Kay Carroll, PhD, Penn State

Jace Cearley, JD, Columbia

Julia Ceniceros, enrolled in PhD, UT Austin

Juan Cervantes, enrolled in MD, Southern California

Solana Ceville, MA, Denver

Shawn Chambers, MD Wisconsin

Miguel Chavez, enrolled in PhD, Northwestern

Audry Claghorn Almengor, PhD, UT Austin

Melinda Coburn, MS, Kansas State

Holly Cole, PhD, Arkansas

Noah Collins, MA, OU; enrolled in PhD, Princeton

Dinah Cloud, PhD, OU

Jan Conder Kraft, MS, Arizona

James Davis, MS, OU

Myria Davis, MA, Northern Colorado

Felix De La Cruz, MS, OU

Brady Dehnert, enrolled in PhD, UC Los Angeles

Paul Delgado, MS, Johns Hopkins; enrolled in DO, Oklahoma State

Kristina Diamond Martin, MS, OU

Natalie Dickson, MPH/MA, UCLA; enrolled in PhD, OU

Yvonne Dinehdeal, Dual MEds, Northern Arizona

Rashida Douglas, MA, OU

Lindsay Dowell, JD, OU

Jeana Driver, MS, UC San Diego

Frances Ekwerekwu, JD, DePaul

Covenant Elenwo, MPH, SLU; enrolled in DO, Oklahoma State

Yolanda Emerson, MS, Central Oklahoma

Fanny Enriquez Rojas, MS, South College

Jamie Erazo Jr., MS, OU

Jennifer Escobar, enrolled in DDS, OUHSC

Lucinda Eskamire-Myers, MSW, OU

Brooke Esteves, DO, Oklahoma State

Jessica Ezika, MSN, Duke

Rajaee Fatihah, MA, Penn State

Suzette Felton Chang, MA & MLIS, OU

Baranda Fermin, PhD, Michigan State

Nathan Ferraro, MS, OU

Karina Flores, enrolled in PhD, New York

Marycruz Flores Reynoso, enrolled in MLIS, Illinois

Monique Gaines, MS, Oklahoma State

Jahangir Ghassemi, MA, American

Mariam Gates Robin, MA, Central Florida

Caleb Gayle, MS, Oxford; MBA, Harvard

Royal Ghazal, MA, Chicago

Ashley Gibson, MHR, OU; MEd, Dallas Baptist

Hilary Gibson Sanchez, MS, Oklahoma State

Kaylee Gilbert Terrell, MSN, South Alabama

Filoteo Gómez-Martínez, MS, OU

Jose Gonzalez, MEd, OU

James Gordon, MS, Oklahoma State

Ronald Grant, Jr., MPA, OU

Julian Guerrero, MPA, OU

Emily Gutierrez-Morton, enrolled in PhD, Florida State

Dominique Hall, MBA & MS, OU

Gregory Hallman, Jr., MEd, Columbia

Talisha Haltiwanger Morrison, PhD, Purdue

Rhiannon Hardwick, PhD, Arizona

Noetta Harjo, MEd, OU

Katherine Harris, JD, Minnesota

Lori Hasty Santos, MA, OU

Tiffany Hawkins Berry, MA, Southern Nazarene

Daniel Hayden, enrolled in PhD, Wisconsin-Madison

Samuel David Heard, enrolled in PhD, Notre Dame

Blayze Hembree, MA, Kansas

Joseph Herrera, MA, UT Austin

Juan Herrera, MS, OU

Heather Hernandez Andrzejewski, PhD, Central Michigan

Kimberly Hester Nei, PhD, OU

Alyssa Hill, PhD, OU

Christine Hoaglund, MIS, Tecnológico de Monterrey

S. Konnar Hodges Ansell, MD, OUHSC

Jessica Horvath-Williams, PhD, UC Los Angeles

Rachel Hurtado, MSW, Washington – Saint Louis

Blessing N. Ikpa, MA, American

Ruth Imose, PhD, Northern Illinois

Amber Jackson, MHR, OU

Chris Jackson, EdD, North Texas

Reggie Jackson, DPT, OUHSC

Ephraim Jobickson, PharmD, OU

Rebekah John, DO, Oklahoma State

Kaeli Johnson, enrolled in PhD, North Texas Health Sciences

Meredith Johnson, MA, Chicago

Naqueshaq Johnson, MA, Howard

Nicolas Juarez, MSW, UT Austin; enrolled in PhD, Michigan

Andeneshea Kemp, MA, South Florida

Laura Kincaide, MS, London School of Economics

Dalenesia Kendrick, MEd, OU

Phoenix Lawson, enrolled in AuD, OUHSC

Andrew LeGrand, JD, Columbia

Tonya B. Lewis, MA, Baylor

Johnathon Loera, JD, OU

Esme Lopez, DPT, OUHSC

Alina Lorant, enrolled in PhD, Washington

Sha’Breon Luper, enrolled in MA, Missouri

Jose Juan Macias, enrolled in PhD, OUHSC

Elizabeth Marhanka, DVM, Oklahoma State

Sara Marin, MEd, OU

Onisia Martin, MSW, Michigan

Francisca Martinez Jensen, dual MEds, OU & Central Oklahoma

Lizbeth Martinez, enrolled in MCMHC, OU

Charles Mays, MA, Delaware

Owen McDevitt, MA, OU; enrolled in PhD, Vanderbilt

Elizabeth McFayden, MA, North Carolina; enrolled in PhD, Illinois-Chicago

Matthew Mead, MA, American

Glenn Medina, enrolled in MS, Maryland

Emily Mee, enrolled in PhD, Indiana

Logan Melot, enrolled in PhD, Emory

Miranda Mills, MA, SUNY-Buffalo

Tarricke Mills, MHR, OU

Nicholas Molleman, PhD, Kentucky

Katelyn Morales, MS, Oklahoma State

Hannah Morgan, MS, OU

Aisha Muhammad Owusu, MA, Columbia

Daisy Muñoz, MRCP, OU

Maria Munoz, enrolled in PhD, Illinois

Hannah Musselman, MA, New York

Makayla Napier, enrolled in MEd, Houston

Klint Neal, MHR, OU

Sabrina Nettles, MBA, Oklahoma Christian

Dominque Newberg, MEd, OU

Alvin Ngo, MS, Oklahoma State; enrolled in PhD

Christopher Nguyen, PhD, OU

Tina Nguyen, MA, Ohio State; enrolled in PhD

Tuan Nguyen, PhD, Vanderbilt

Chad Niemann, MBA, OU

Jennifer Nunez, MEd, Temple

H. Tyler Nunley, MHR, OU

Terri Okotoghaide Reed, MPH, Kansas

Brandon Oldham, MEd, OU

Pamela Ortega, MA, UC San Diego

Juanita Ortiz, PhD, OU

Chad Osburn, MA, Missouri

Andrea Zainab Omidy, PhD Oklahoma State

Pamela Ortega, MA, UC San Diego

Shauna Osborn, MFA, New Mexico State

Nathan Osburn, MA, Missouri

Marisol Palomino, MHR, OU

Adam Parks, PhD, Saint Louis

Maria Perez, MEd, OU Tulsa

Jaytonious Perkins, JD, OU

Jermaine Peterson, MEd, OU

Oanh Pham, MD, OU

Tom Pham, MD, OUHSC

Andy Phan, MS, OU

Israel Pinero, enrolled in MPH, Alabama

Adam Pinkney, MA, OU

Amy Posey Quinn, MPH, OUHSC; MPAS, North Dakota

Corazon Prado, MSW, OU

Stephanie Prado-Carbonell, MS, OU

Jameca Price, MD, Nebraska

Randall Proctor, MS, Duke; enrolled in MD, Florida

Trinity Pruitt, enrolled in PhD, Emory

Flor Michelle Ramirez, enrolled in MPH, OUHSC

Javier Ramirez, MEd, Ohio State; enrolled in PhD, UT Austin

Lance Ramos, DPT, OUHSC

Terrance Ramsey, MS, Embry-Riddle

Timothy Rhyker Ranallo-Benvidez, PhD, Johns Hopkins

Kenneth Reed, MD, Kansas

Rachel Renbarger, PhD, Baylor

Justin Reyes, MEd, Texas A&M

Eli Rhoades, MD, OUHSC

Madison Richardson, MA, UW-Madison

Rachel Roberts, MA, OU; enrolled in PhD, Houston

Anna Marie Rowell Hugon, enrolled in PhD, Wisconsin-Madison

Jasmin Salgado Rivas, MSW, OU

Michelle Schuller Craig, MOT, OU

Amelia Schwartz, MA, Washington

Erika Serrato, PhD, Emory

Jeticia Sistrunk, PhD, Maryland

Jeremy Smith, MS, OU; enrolled in PhD, Virginia Tech

William “Billy” Smith, PhD, Notre Dame

Vanessa Smith, MA, American

John Sosanya, DPT, Washington – Saint Louis

Zoe Stearns, enrolled in PhD, Rochester

Brett Stidham, MA, Columbia

Cameron Steele, MD, OU HSC

Kristina Stempf, MEd, OU

Michael Stewart, MEd, OU

Brett Stidham, MEd, Columbia

Corey Still, PhD, OU

Kayla Storrs, MPH, Kentucky; enrolled in PhD, OU

Christine Strong, PhD, OU

Sheleatha Taylor, MD, OU

Tyler Tennant, MA, Chicago; enrolled in PhD, Emory

Cory Terrell, MS, OU

Joe Thomas, MS, Southeastern Oklahoma State

Kimberly Thomas James, PhD, OU

Patrick Thomas, PhD, Arizona

Angela Tilley, MBA, Phoenix

Matthew Tischer, MLIS, UW-Madison

Taneesha Torres-McDade, MHR, OU

Benjamin Trabing, PhD, Colorado State

Ashlee Tziganuk, PhD, Arizona State

Lindsey Vandeventer, MSW, OU

Rita Velasco, MA, Arizona; enrolled in PhD, Northwestern

Loan Vu, MA, San Diego State

Jumesha Wade, PhD, Kansas

Stephen Waldrop, MA, OU

Henry Oliver Ware, PhD, Northwestern

Braylon Warrior, MS, OU; enrolled in DPT, Langston

Tracy Washington, PhD, MIT

Erin Weese Garcia, PhD, Virginia Commonwealth

Anthony Williams, MD, Minnesota

Leslie Williams, DO, Oklahoma State

Royline Williams-Fontenelle, JD, Houston

Te’a Williams, enrolled in MIR, Institute Barcelona Estudies Internacionals

Adam Wilmoth, MBA, Oklahoma State

Derrick Rhys Wilson, MRCPL, OU

Kevin Windham, MS, OU

Chance Woods, PhD, Vanderbilt

Alexandra Wood, MA, OU; enrolled in PhD, Maryland

Justin Woody, MBA, Utah

Ke’Yonna Wynn, MEd, OU

Natalie Youngbull, PhD, Arizona

Sophia Bolin-Dills
Sophia Bolin-Dills, Ph.D. (She/Her/Hers)

Title: Director, TRIO: OU McNair Scholars


Lissa and Cy Wagner Hall
1005 Asp Ave, Suite 215
Norman, OK  73019

McNair Scholars banquet group photo.