Kierra McInnis Headshot

Kierra McInnis

Outreach Specialist, AEOP Internships and Fellowships

K-12 University Center
Academic Affairs

Office Location

Kierra McInnis

Outreach Specialist, AEOP Internships and Fellowships

K-12 University Center
Academic Affairs



  • The College at Brockport, State University of New York (2021): Bachelor of Science, Biology

Fun facts

  • Enjoys fishing, hiking, hunting, paddle boarding and snowboarding
  • Growing up with a love of nature and the outdoors sparked a passion for science in McInnis, which inspired her to continue with a career in the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and math
  • Loves meteorology and the weather
  • Says snakes are her favorite animal

Kierra McInnis attributes much of her success throughout college to mentors she worked with. Now, as an Army Educational Outreach Program outreach specialist through Rochester Institute of Technology’s K-12 University Center, she hopes to be the kind of mentor for participants that she once had.

“Having those mentors really made a difference for me, and that’s the kind of advocate and resource I hope to be for those students I’m working with,” McInnis said.

McInnis works with AEOP apprentices in high school and those pursuing undergraduate degrees to help with all aspects of the program – from the application process, to mentorship and further providing resources that help them succeed. She added that the biggest goal is to make sure apprentices know she’s available to help make their time and transition into the program a smooth one.

McInnis’ journey to AEOP was one she said was unexpected, but found a passion for STEM outreach, particularly with underserved populations, while participating in research programs as an undergrad.

“I think the best part is seeing growth in the students and I guess I like to see them excited about the program as the weeks go on,” she said.

She started as meteorology major at SUNY Brockport, before transferring to Monroe Community College. While at MCC, McInnis met former AEOP Director Tori Matthews, a professor at the Town of Henrietta-based school, who encouraged her to participate in a research program for minority students. The opportunity allowed her to join STEM research at other universities, such as Binghamton and Syracuse. She then transferred back to Brockport where she graduated in December 2021 with a degree in biology.

“I’m a STEM girl, so I knew I was always interested in the sciences, but it wasn’t until later that I realized the importance of outreach and feel like I’m in the perfect position for the work that I love – working with students, doing research and STEM outreach,” she said. “It fills my bucket, and looking back to my experiences in research and this kind of work, I personally understand and realize just how much outreach can make a difference in a student’s life, and how important a program like this is.”

McInnis brings experience to AEOP after also working as a near-peer mentor with the program in the summer of 2021 with Dr. Matthews. The opportunity allowed her to work primarily with students from the Rochester area.


In the News

  • November 18, 2023

    Dr. Salsbery working with students on science project

    RIT K-12 represented at annual Maker Faire Rochester

    This year, the K-12 University Center at Rochester Institute of Technology made its mark at Maker Faire Rochester – a gathering held annually to provide individuals with an outlet to display the work they do through hobbies, experiments and projects, with engineers, artists, scientists and various other crafters. Celebrating its first event in 2014, the event included more than 200 exhibitors and an estimated 7,200 attendees, including representatives from RIT K-12 programs, such as AEOP Apprenticeships and Fellowships, and STEP.

  • August 4, 2023

    Middle school students working on communication skills

    Camp Tiger offers free, interactive STEM experiences in collaboration with Army Educational Outreach Program

    Thanks to a grant awarded before the pandemic to RIT’s K-12 University Center by the Army Educational Outreach Program, it allowed funds to go toward free, hands-on STEM experiences for middle and high school students this summer through Camp Tiger. Inspired by AEOP’s eCybermission, and Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, the camp offerings focused on various opportunities through the U.S. Army-based program, in addition to learning skills needed to prepare students to conduct their own research.