Five West Virginia State Students Awarded Prestigious McNair Scholarship

Contact: Kimberly Osborne
(304) 766-3363
Jan. 26, 2016
Five West Virginia State Students Awarded Prestigious McNair Scholarship

INSTITUTE, W.Va.Five West Virginia State University (WVSU) undergraduate students have been awarded the prestigious McNair Scholarship, which helps students prepare for graduate school.

Those awarded McNair Scholarships were:
  • Miranda Buckley, a senior from St. Albans, W.Va., majoring in education and biology;
  • Joshua Means, a junior from Clendenin, W.Va., majoring in psychology;
  • Earon Payton, a senior from Chesapeake, Va., majoring in communication;
  • Shawn Shamshiry, a senior from Charleston, W.Va., majoring in biology; and
  • Summer Sword, a junior from Man, W.Va., majoring in biology.
The McNair Scholars Program is a federal TRIO program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. It is named in honor of Dr. Ronald E. McNair, a NASA astronaut and physicist who was a recognized expert in the field of laser physics. In 1984, McNair became the second African-American in space.

All five students are part of the WVSU Honors Program, which offers enriched academic opportunities for students with high academic achievements. 

“The increased number of McNair Scholars in the Honors Program is further evidence of the quality of the program and the strength of the undergraduate research on our campus,” said Dr. Genia Sklute, WVSU Honors Program Director and Associate Professor of Chemistry. “The McNair Program helps provide the tools that make an undergraduate student a competitive applicant for graduate programs by providing students’ research scholarship and hosting them for a graduate school workshop.”

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. For more information, visit

For additional information about the WVSU Honors Program, contact Dr. Genia Sklute at (304) 766-3292 or

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West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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