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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 (now Southern Oregon University), and an Associate of Arts degree in Social Science from Central Oregon Community College.  For eight years prior to obtaining her advanced degrees, Dr. Southard worked as an administrative assistant and 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 the community college, undergraduate, and graduate level, has published multiple research articles, and has 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 her doctoral studies, and has conducted funded research projects for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the 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.  From 2001 through 2003, Dr. Southard was an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Southern Oregon University. 

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 is from a minority group that is under-represented in graduate education.  Dr. Southard wrote the proposal for the McNair Program because she knew, from personal experience, that there would be many students at SOU who would benefit from the information and 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, and facilitates this success by teaching McNair Seminars which are based on empirical research and best-practices models. Dr. Southard  provides one-on-one guidance and assistance to each McNair Scholar in support of the Scholar’s goals for future graduate level educational success.

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, 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.