Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Secure Over $775k Federal Grants for RIT, U of R, SUNY Brockport; Investment to Encourage Underrepresented Youth to Pursue Graduate Degrees

Aug 29, 2012

Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand announced that Rochester Institute of Technology will receive a grant totaling $220,000, the University of Rochester will receive $256,591, and SUNY Brockport will receive $298,738 from the Department of Education’s Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement program. Specifically, the institutions will use this grant to provide ongoing educational opportunities to first generation college students or students from groups who are traditionally underrepresented in graduate education. The McNair Scholars’ focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics will enable them to easily transition into the workforce after their doctoral study. In May, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand wrote Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan in support of continued funding for the Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement program. A copy of their letter is attached. 

“With these funds, RIT, Brockport and UofR can continue to educate top-notch students regardless of need or background,” said Schumer. “The bottom line is that we need to improve our math, science and engineering education system if we are to remain globally competitive and realize the full potential of all our students; The McNair funding for post baccalaureate study does just that and can change lives and really make a difference in the Rochester community.” 

“Our ability to lead the global economy relies on our ability to out-educate the global competition,” Senator Gillibrand said. “This federal investment will open more doors to advanced degrees to students willing to work their hardest in key areas of math and science that will define the economy of our future, and produce more STEM experts right here in the greater Rochester region.” 

Through a grant competition, Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement funds are awarded to institutions of higher education to prepare eligible participants for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. Participants are from disadvantaged backgrounds and have demonstrated strong academic potential. Institutions work closely with participants as they complete their undergraduate requirements. Institutions encourage participants to enroll in graduate programs and then track their progress through to the successful completion of advanced degrees. The goal is to increase the attainment of Ph.D. degrees by students from underrepresented segments of society.