Iona University Awarded $1.3 Million Grant to Support Underrepresented Students in Pursuit of Doctoral Degrees

The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program aims to increase the attainment of Ph.D. degrees by students from marginalized populations.

Academics News, Service

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — The United States Department of Education awarded a $1.3 million TRIO McNair competitive grant to Iona University to support its efforts in preparing students from underrepresented backgrounds for doctoral studies over the next five years.

Iona’s inaugural McNair Program will provide eligible students with various opportunities ranging from summer internships, tutoring and academic counseling to additional guidance in securing admission and financial assistance for their graduate programs. Eligible students are from underrepresented segments of society and have demonstrated strong academic potential.

Officially known as the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, the McNair Program is one of the seven programs collectively known as the Federal TRIO Programs. The initiative is named after Ronald E. McNair, Ph.D., an African-American man born into a low-income family household within a climate of racial segregation. Despite his circumstances, he went on to become a nationally recognized physicist and a NASA mission specialist astronaut.

“Iona University is inspired by the legacy of the Christian Brothers, who embodied the liberating and transformative power of education – and so did Dr. Ronald McNair,” said Tricia Mulligan, Ph.D., interim provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “Thank you to the Department of Education for the support as we carry out this important work in empowering future Ph.D. students.” 

Iona will work closely with students as they complete their undergraduate requirements, while encouraging them to enroll in graduate programs. The University will then track their progress through to the successful completion of advanced degrees.

Founded in 1940, Iona University is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre New Rochelle campus and 28-acre Bronxville campus are just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of more than 50,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona students enjoy small class sizes, engaged professors and a wide array of academic programs across the School of Arts & Science; LaPenta School of Business; NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences; and Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Iona is widely recognized in prestigious rankings, including The Princeton Review’s 2024 national list of “The Best 389 Colleges” and The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse’s “2024 Best Colleges in America,” which ranked Iona at #66 in the nation overall and #8 in the nation among Catholic schools. Iona’s LaPenta School of Business is also accredited by AACSB International, a recognition awarded to just six percent of business schools worldwide. In addition, The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2023.” Iona also offers a fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility. In July 2021, Iona announced the establishment of the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences, which is now principally located on Iona’s Bronxville campus in collaboration with NewYork-Presbyterian. Connecting to its Irish heritage, the University also recently announced it is expanding abroad with a new campus in County Mayo, Ireland. A school on the rise, Iona officially changed its status from College to University on July 1, 2022, reflecting the growth of its academic programs and the prestige of an Iona education.