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About TRIO McNair

TRIO McNair Programs were established in 1986 by the U.S. Department of Education and named after astronaut and Challenger space shuttle crew member Dr. Ron McNair.

Idaho State University TRIO McNair Scholars Program is one of several TRIO programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education supporting the academic achievement of students from groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education.The purpose of the TRIO McNair Scholars Program is to assist with the academic and professional development of undergraduate students whose goals are to research at the college level and obtain a PhD. 

Student drawing brain on whiteboard

Students hearing lecture from teacher outside quad in the summer

McNair Faculty Partners

Finding a mentor who is willing to supervise the academic and research process for TRIO McNair Scholars is an integral part of this program. Faculty Partners serve as guides to an in-depth field of study, experts on specific topics and, in many cases, academic coaches and friends. Once admitted into the TRIO McNair Scholars Program, each scholar will be assigned a Research Mentor (RM) and Faculty Mentor (FM). McNair staff will work to identify mentors who are compatible for each student based major and research interest.

I Am McNair

McNair Scholars Program Staff

Denise Tambasco, EdD

SSS/McNair Director

Office: Idaho State University Museum Building, Room 446

(208) 282-3242

(208) 282-4864

Denise Tambasco is a native of California, a first generation college student, and a McNair alum. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Chaminade University of Honolulu, with a minor in English Literature which she earned during her year abroad at University of Essex, England. After graduating, Denise worked at NYU School of Medicine in the microbiology department as a research technician. During her time at NYU, Denise discovered that she was passionate about education and decided to change career paths. Denise earned her Master’s degree in Education, and a secondary teaching credential in Science from National University. After teaching middle school math and science, Denise started at The Friendship Club where she currently serves as the Program Director. Her work in this comprehensive program is designed to help youth envision goals for their future — whether that's college, vocational school or something else — and then work toward them within a structured support network. In 2017, Denise earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership at University of California, Davis. Denise’s educational philosophy is student-centered and strength-based. Her research has focused on the impact of Positive Youth Development Programs on youth identity and youth development. Denise is also a photography instructor, loves to travel, and sings with a local community choir.

Alma Jam

Alma Jam

TRIO McNair Program Graduate Assistant

Office: Museum Bldg. 4th floor Rm. 402

(208) 282-1433

Shea Robison

Shea K. Robison, PhD

TRIO McNair Program Coordinator

Office: Museum Bldg., 4th floor Rm. 402

(208) 282-1433

Contact Us

(208) 282-3242

(208) 282-4864

TRIO Central Office

921 South 8th Avenue, Stop 8345 Museum Building Room 446

Pocatello, ID 83209


921 South 8th Avenue
Pocatello, Idaho, 83209
(208) 282-4636

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