News & Updates

Gannon University Receives $1 Million Grant to Prepare Students for Doctoral Studies

Posted on December 21st, 2017 at 10:10 AM
Gannon University Receives $1 Million Grant to Prepare Students for Doctoral Studies

The McNair Program, a federal TRIO program aims to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies
through involvement in research and scholarship. Participants are either first-generation college students
with financial need and/or students from a group traditionally underrepresented in graduate education who
have demonstrated strong academic potential, including women. Colleges and universities work closely
with participants as they complete their undergraduate academic requirements, research and apply to
graduate programs, and track their progress through successful completion of an advanced degree.

With the help of the McNair grant, Gannon University created the Gannon Advances in STEM Scholarship
(GAINS) program that will provide support to 25 scholars each year. Eligible students in STEM (science,
technology, engineering and math) majors will learn basic research methods, conduct original research
over the course of a summer, present their research, and participate in a new, four-part Graduate
Education Leadership Seminar that explores post-baccalaureate education, GRE preparation, research
writing and presentation, and a speaker series. Each student will be paired with a faculty mentor.

“It’s an opportunity for our undergraduate students to become more engaged and learn more about the
process so they continue on to graduate school and obtain their Ph.D.’s,” said Donna Green, director of
Sponsored Programs & Research at Gannon.

Participating students will also take part in enhanced tutoring and have the opportunity to participate in
graduate school visits and graduate school fairs through GAINS. The program removes barriers to
advanced higher education, said Sarah Ewing, dean of Gannon’s Morosky College of Health Professions
and Sciences.

“(First-generation and underrepresented) students don’t always have the support needed,” Ewing said.
“They don’t always know what graduate school is and what it entails. This program provides them with the
structure and mentors to begin exploring and pursuing this path for themselves.”

Increasing the number of first-generation and underrepresented students who attain advanced degrees
helps develop the workforce, improves workforce diversity, and bolsters the earning power and career
prospects of those students.

“It’s vitally important for the future of STEM that we have diversity, diversity of thought and ideas,” Ewing

McNair Scholars at Gannon must be U.S. citizens or national or permanent residents; must be
undergraduate students in STEM majors who are also low-income, first-generation or a member of a group
underrepresented in the STEM fields; and must be committed to graduate from Gannon and immediately
enter a non-professional graduate program with the goal of attaining a Ph.D.

For more information, contact Donna Green at 871-7728 or at

About Gannon University:
Gannon University is a Catholic, diocesan university with campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania, and Ruskin,
Florida, offering online and traditional associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs to more than
4,000 academically talented and diverse students.

Gannon University is dedicated to excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. Inspired by the Catholic
Intellectual Tradition, the University offers a comprehensive, values-centered learning experience that
emphasizes faith, leadership, inclusiveness and social responsibility.