Add a story, deadline to InHouse or an event to the Calendar.

In the news

Read the latest stories featuring UNT people and programs.

Share photos

Share your campus and event photos and view the gallery.


Quick links

Common UNT web resources for faculty and staff.

Contact us

Who to Contact. Learn How to... Write for InHouse, Share Photos, and more.

UNT one of nation's first to offer McNair stipends

Diana Elrod and Justin Litvin, 20th anniversary of the McNair Scholars program.By Nancy Kolsti, News Promotions

When he enrolled at UNT, Justin Litvin declared a psychology major without knowing about many of the career opportunities in the field. He thought he’d become a marriage and family counselor.

His career goals changed when he learned about the research he could conduct as a UNT McNair Scholar, and the careers he could pursue with a doctoral degree in psychology.

“I learned that a PhD opens the door to academia, and I decided that I could teach and have a counseling practice on the side,” says Litvin, who has been researching stress levels of HIV-positive adults through the Center for Psychosocial Health Research.

Litvin is one of 246 students who have discovered their career paths in research and university teaching by participating in the McNair Scholars Program during the past 20 years. Above, Litvin with Diana Elrod, left, McNair Scholars Program director.

In 1992, UNT became one of the first universities in Texas and one of 68 in the nation to receive a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education to establish what was then the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program. The grant also provided UNT with stipends for high-achieving undergraduates to do research with faculty mentors.

Named for NASA’s second African American astronaut - who was among the seven astronauts killed in the 1986 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger - McNair Scholars Programs are now at 159 universities across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

The programs prepare undergraduate students for doctoral study through involvement in research and other scholarly activities.

McNair participants are either the first in their families to attend a college or university and have financial need, or members of a group that is traditionally underrepresented in graduate education. All students selected for the program must have demonstrated strong academic potential.

Elrod says UNT’s program is the most intensive of the four different program models in the U.S. because UNT’s scholars do research with their faculty mentors all year.

“Many programs offer students research opportunities only during the summer and bring students to their campuses from other universities,” she says. “But we’re privileged to receive additional funds from UNT to add to the summer research stipends, so students are paid to work on their research for 10 hours a week during the fall and spring semesters.”

UNT’s McNair program also pays for its scholars to take a summer course on research techniques, and provides travel money for students to present their research at professional conferences.

“We know it’s not common for universities to provide additional funding for McNair programs,” Elrod says. “The support that our program is receiving from faculty, administrators and staff is beyond compare.”

Seventy-five percent of UNT’s McNair alumni entered graduate programs, well above the 57 percent of alumni from other programs. More than 20 percent of UNT’s alumni have earned doctoral degrees, above the national percentage of 10.1 percent for the population served by McNair programs.          

UNT’s McNair alumni have received many nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships, including National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, Harry S. Truman Scholarships, Jacob K. Javits Fellowships and Morris K. Udall Scholarships.    

(Photo by Gary Payne)

Posted on: Mon 11 February 2013

Owning Excellence

Faculty and staff members have roles in transforming UNT into a nationally prominent university. Share your ideas on how you can help UNT to own excellence, keep students on track and improve graduation education.

Mean Green Pride


No current Deadlines

UNT Calendar

February 20, 2018 - 10:00am
February 20, 2018 - 2:00pm
February 20, 2018 - 3:30pm