DeKayla Thomas and Ruby Winters become McNair Scholars

Two exceptional students from Alcorn State University have been chosen for their outstanding work in the classroom.

DeKayla Thomas and Ruby Winters, who are both juniors and psychology majors, were selected into the Roland E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program Tuesday, March 7.

The Roland E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is a federal TRIO program funded at 151 institutions across the United States and Puerto Rico by the U.S. Department of Education. It is designed to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. McNair participants are either first-generation college students with financial need, or members of a group that is traditionally underrepresented in graduate education and have demonstrated strong academic potential. The goal of the McNair Scholars Program is to increase graduate degree awards for students from underrepresented segments of society.

DeKayla, an Olive Branch, Mississippi native, is proud to be selected to the esteemed program. She looks forward to the positive advantages that come with being a McNair Scholar.

“I feel blessed to be given the opportunity to be a McNair Scholar,” said DeKayla. “As soon as I learned about the program, I knew I had to become a part of it because I knew I would be given a wonderful opportunity. I am still gaining so much knowledge about graduate school and doctoral programs, so being a part of the McNair program is extremely beneficial to my future.”

Becoming a McNair Scholar has motivated Ruby, a Memphis, Tennessee native, to do her best so that others can see the positive impact of such programs.

“Becoming a McNair Scholar has motivated me because I know how invested the people involved with the program are in my education,” said Ruby. “I know that I have to continue to work hard in order to prove that programs like this are effective in helping minority students succeed.”

Dr. LaShawn Thompson, who was a McNair Scholar during her time as a student at the University of Southern Mississippi, has faith in the program’s ability to aid the educational success of the students.

“This is a great program that will boost our students in their education futures and careers,” said Thompson. “I was a McNair Scholar when I was a student, and it played a big part in my education.”