McNair Scholars
Campus News, Newsletter

Celebrating Success: The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program

The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, a vital TRIO (Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search, and Student Support Services) program funded by the U.S. Department of Education, recently held its Closing Awards Ceremony amid much fanfare and heartfelt celebration. On April 30, the event, set against the picturesque backdrop of the New Orleans Steamboat Natchez, marked a significant milestone for the program as it commemorated the achievements of its first graduating cohort.

The primary aim of the McNair Program is to equip eligible first-generation students with the skills and resources necessary to pursue advanced studies at the doctoral level, emphasizing research and academic excellence. This past year has been a journey of growth, learning, and perseverance for the participants, culminating in noteworthy accomplishments and accolades.

Among the program’s many achievements, the most notable are the individual successes of our graduating seniors. With a remarkable 100% acceptance rate into graduate school, many have received prestigious fellowship and scholarship offers. Notably, Judeline Joseph secured a spot in the Clinical Psychology PhD program at Western Michigan University with funding, and Rajah Thomas earned admission to multiple graduate programs and was awarded a fully-funded Master’s Program in Public Policy at George Washington University.

The exemplary efforts of the ten graduating seniors – Zharia Armstrong, Kiarston Blackman, Quantez Brooks, Torri Burgess, Darynaisha Crawford, Judeline Joseph, Diamond Smith, Tyronae Smith, Rajah Thomas, and Ja’Lexis Williams – have not gone unnoticed. Their dedication to academic excellence and commitment to the program’s mission were recognized and celebrated at the ceremony.

In particular, Judeline Joseph received the prestigious Dr. Ronald E. McNair Most Exemplary Scholar Award, a fitting tribute to her exceptional academic achievements and unwavering dedication. As Kiarston Blackman aptly expressed, the scholars owe much of their success to the dedicated guidance and support of the Program Director, Tracie L. Thomas and Program Coordinator, Tiffany Kirkwood.

The success of the McNair Program’s first graduating cohort is a testament to the program’s mission of empowering students to excel academically and pursue their scholarly aspirations. As we look ahead, we are excited to see the continued success of our graduates as they embark on their journey towards advanced degrees this fall, furthering the program’s impact and legacy.

As Tracie Thomas aptly summarized, the accomplishments of the McNair Scholars exemplify the enduring educational legacy of Dr. Ronald E. McNair, inspiring future generations to strive for excellence and make a meaningful impact in their chosen fields. The McNair Program continues to be a beacon of hope and opportunity for aspiring scholars, paving the way for academic success and personal growth.

Congratulations to the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program and its remarkable cohort of graduating seniors on their outstanding achievements and bright futures ahead!


Dillard University will be closed on Wednesday, June 19, in observance of Juneteenth and will reopen on Thursday, June 20, at 8 a.m.