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.
Applicants who are selected to join the McNair Scholars Program will be offered the opportunity to:
- Participate in a paid research internship
- Work with a faculty member in their chosen field
- Present their research at a regional or national conference
- Learn about opportunities in graduate studies in their chosen field
- Receive graduate school application assistance and advocacy, including funding
- Participate in GRE test preparation
- Visit graduate schools and present their research at conferences
- Receive academic counseling and tutoring as needed during their undergraduate careers at Idaho State University
If you are interested in applying to the TRIO McNair Scholars Program, you can download or pick up an application from The TRIO Central Office located on the 4th floor of the Museum Building; Room 446.
To be eligible for the McNair Scholars Program must meet all of the following criteria:
- Qualify as either a first-generation college student (neither parent has a bachelor’s degree) whose household meets the low-income guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Education; or as a member of a group that is underrepresented in graduate education. The U.S. Department of Education currently defines “underrepresented groups" specifically as Native American, Alaskan Native, Hispanic, and African-American.
- Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States
- Be a first-time degree-seeking undergraduate student at Idaho State University
- Completed at least 58 credits hours by the time of program enrollment
- Possess and maintain a competitive cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher
- Have a sincere desire to complete a PhD.
Do you know of any students who are first-generation, from a low-income background and or from an underrepresented population interested in applying to doctoral programs after graduation?
The TRIO-McNair scholars program is one of the nation’s most prestigious federally funded program designed to prepare undergraduate students from disadvantaged backgrounds for success in graduate school. Candidates selected into the McNair scholars program will be offered the opportunity to participate in a paid summer research internship, work with a faculty member in their chosen field, present their research at a regional or national conference, receive graduate school application assistance including application fee waivers, participate in GRE test preparation, visit graduate schools, and so much more.
Candidate must be:
• A U.S citizen or resident
• A current sophomore or junior (has completed at least 58 credit hours)
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.
The Research Mentor (RM) will work with the McNair Scholar on his/her research interest for a minimum of two semesters (summer semester and the students second fall semester). The RM will oversee the student’s summer research internship. RM’s will work closely with the TRIO-McNair Scholars to design the specific research project the students will conduct. RM’s will be paired with the participant through assessment of research interest, a mentor café where researches and McNair Scholars have a roundtable discussion. RM’s assist the scholars with selecting a research project, conceptualizing the research design, preparing a research proposal, analyzing research data, writing and revising results, and learn how to disseminate results. RM’s will also suggest articles to read, share their personal graduate school experiences, listen to and respond to mentee(s)’ concerns, discuss strategies for studying and time management, and offer support towards graduate studies. The RM will play a critical key role in building the scholars’ academic preparedness and self-confidence with the FM’s high expectations, encouragement and guidance.
The TRIO McNair Scholars Program accepts Research Mentors on a rolling bases. If you are interested in becoming a Research Mentor, please fill out a Research Mentor Application or call the TRIO Central Office at (208) 282-3242. We can also be reached by email at email@example.com for questions or concerns.
A Faculty Mentor (FM) will work with the student from the beginning of the student’s participation in the TRIO McNair Program. The FM will be assigned to the student by the TRIO McNair Director and work with the McNair Scholar throughout the two years the student is involved in the program. The FM pairing will be based on the participant’s discipline, interest, and other assessed needs that match with the FM’s area of academic expertise. The FM will meet with the student every other week to provide guidance, networking opportunities, graduate application assistance, and overall support for the student’s quest for a doctoral degree.
The TRIO McNair Scholars Program accepts Faculty Mentors on a rolling bases. If you are interested in becoming one, please fill out a Faculty Mentor Application or call the TRIO Central Office at (208) 282-3242. We can also be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or concerns.
I Am McNair
McNair Scholars Program Staff
Denise Tambasco, EdD
Office: Idaho State University Museum Building, Room 446
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.
TRIO McNair Program Graduate Assistant
Office: Museum Bldg. 4th floor Rm. 402
Shea K. Robison, PhD
TRIO McNair Program Coordinator
Office: Museum Bldg., 4th floor Rm. 402