University Announces Director of RIT’s McNair Scholars Program
Tomicka Green-Wagstaff to lead the student academic achievement program
Oct. 21, 2011
by Michelle Cometa
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Tomicka Green-Wagstaff has been named director of the McNair Scholars Program at Rochester Institute of Technology. Wagstaff had served as interim director of the academic program that prepares second- and third-year students from under-represented groups for post-baccalaureate education.
“We are all very happy to see Tomicka continue in her role as director of the McNair Scholars program,” says Kevin McDonald, RIT’s vice president for diversity and inclusion. “She brings wonderful enthusiasm and experience to the position and has already made many significant contributions toward the continued success of the program.”
There are currently 33 McNair Scholars at RIT in a variety of degree programs. Many hold leadership positions in different student organizations and are involved in research projects with faculty. The McNair Scholars program at RIT began in 2008. Since that time, 23 students have graduated from the program and gone on to professional jobs or graduate studies at institutions such as Carnegie Melon, Yale and Johns Hopkins Universities, as well as RIT and the University of Rochester.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to work with such a prestigious program,” says Wagstaff, who has been with RIT since 2008. “I look forward to increasing the visibility of RIT’s multi-talented students to a national level.”
Wagstaff will be responsible for recruiting potential scholars, managing professional staff, counseling students, and budget maintenance for the grant-funded program, and she will act as program liaison to the U.S. Department of Education.
Prior to directing the McNair Scholars, she was assistant director for first-year programs in RIT’s Multicultural Center for Academic Success. Wagstaff is a certified teacher, trainer and grant writer and also serves as adviser to the National Pan-Hellenic Council student organization at the university.
Before coming to RIT, Wagstaff was area coordinator for resident life at the University of Rochester. She is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo, where she received both her Bachelor of Science degree in sociology in 2001 and a Master of Science degree in student personnel administration the following year. She earned her doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Rochester in 2008. Wagstaff has received numerous awards and recognitions including the Democrat and Chronicle’s Emerging Black Leader in 2009, the Rochester Business Journal’s 40-under-40 in 2011, Buffalo State’s Distinguished Alumni and Montclair Who’s Who Among Collegiate Faculty 2010-2011.
About the McNair Scholars Program: The United States Congress established the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, commonly known as the McNair Scholars Program, in 1986, in memory of Ronald E. McNair, one of the seven individuals who died aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger. It is funded through the U.S. Department of Education and is a national educational initiative created to increase post-graduate opportunities for students from low-income, first-generation families, particularly those from traditionally underrepresented groups.