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Southern Oregon University

McNair Achievement Program

Program Director:  Dr. Dee Southard 

Dr. Southard is the Program Director for the SOU Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. Dr. Southard completed a Ph.D. and a Master of Science degree in the STEM discipline of Sociology from the University of Oregon, earned a baccalaureate degree in Sociology with a minor in Anthropology from Southern Oregon State College (which is now Southern Oregon University), and an Associate of Arts degree in Social Science from Central Oregon Community College. Prior to obtaining her advanced degrees, for eight years, Dee Southard worked as an Administrative Assistant and then served as President of a grant funded non-profit employment and training organization. Dr. Southard has been engaged in the academic community for over twenty years teaching courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level at universities and at the community college level and has published multiple research articles and made dozens of public presentations reporting scientific research findings. 

Dr. Southard received fellowship funding from the National Science Foundation and from the National Academies, Ford Foundation during doctoral studies and has conducted funded research projects for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Forest Service and the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.  Dr. Southard has engaged in the review, ranking and selection process for awarding scholarship and fellowship funding on hundreds of student applications for a variety of federal, state, and local funding agencies and has participated in the proposal review process for over a hundred institutional proposals for funding on a variety of educational projects with the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. Southard is an ethnographer and a visual sociologist with academic interests in: education, poverty, inequality, social policy, and homelessness.  As an undergraduate she was a first generation, low-income, non-traditional student and she is from a minority group that is under-represented in graduate education.  From 2001 through 2003 she was an Assistant Professor of Sociology at SOU.  Dr. Southard wrote the proposal for the McNair program because she knew, from personal experience, that there would be many students here at SOU who would benefit from the information and the experiences that a McNair program has to offer. Dr. Southard is firmly dedicated to the academic and career success of each student participating in the Program. Dr. Dee Southard facilitates this success by teaching McNair seminars which are based on empirical research and best-practices models and by providing one-to-one guidance and assistance to each McNair Scholar in support of the Scholar’s goals for future graduate level education.

Dr. Southard's Curriculum Vitae


Office Specialist: Naomi Mitchell

Naomi Mitchell provides administrative support for the McNair Program.  Naomi’s scholarly interests include Modern European History, Anthropology, and Studio Art, which she studied at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.  Naomi was a founding member of the non-profit artist collective Creativa, which is now in its ninth year of serving the community of Cincinnati, Ohio.  Naomi’s experiences and education are entrenched in diversity, and she is committed to furthering the mission of the SOU McNair Program.