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What We Do

Our program is designed to help academically talented students from traditionally underserved backgrounds reach their potential by earning a doctoral degree.  We work closely to help students navigate their undergraduate career through academic counseling, financial aid assistance, mentoring, summer research opportunities, seminars, tutoring, and more.

Staff Information

Dolli Lutes

Dolli Lutes

McNair Scholars Program Director

Dolli Lutes has been working with the GVSU McNair Scholars Program since 2002. She has a master’s degrees in Social Work (2000) and master’s degree in Industrial and Organization Psychology (1997). Both master’s degrees are from Western Michigan University. She received her undergraduate degree from Grand Valley State University.  Before working at GVSU she worked with Aquinas College as the Associate Director of the Counseling and Career Services office. At Aquinas College she taught career development classes, did career and personal counseling and ran the centralized internship program. Earlier in her career she worked in human services for over 12 years.

JoEllen Schneider


Support Staff

JoEllen began working for TRiO programs at GVSU during 2010's winter semester as a temporary employee. She worked for the Upward Bound TRiO program for two years, and since 2012 she works for the McNair Scholars TRiO program every fall. A large area of her work is focused on researching where our past McNair Scholars are now for the annual performance report required by the Department of Education. Before her work with TRiO programs, JoEllen worked for The Johnson Center for Philanthropy. Prior to GVSU, she worked many years with a variety of nonprofit organizations.

Irma Ramirez


Graduate Assistant

Irma earned her bachelor's degree in Sociology from Grand Valley State University in 2015. Then, she worked with high school students as a Mentoring to Access AmeriCorps member with Ferris State University and the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan. Irma began working with the McNair Scholars program in Fall of 2016. She is currently working towards her masters degree in Higher Education, with future plans to pursue her doctoral degree in Sociology of Education.

McNair Scholars is a TRiO program funded through the United States Department of Education and Grand Valley State University.