Center for Educational Opportunity Programs

McNair Staff

The Staff, which includes a Director, a Project Coordinator, an Academic Services Coordinator, an Office Manager, a Graduate Assistant, and Academic Tutors, provides individual assistance and guidance to Scholars during each phase of the McNair Program and continual monitoring of their progress toward graduate school.

Dr. Ngondi Kamatuka
Director, Center for Educational Opportunity Programs
1122 W. Campus Rd., Joseph R. Pearson Hall, Rm 301

Dr. Kamatuka has served as the Director of the Center for Educational Opportunity Programs in the School of Education at the University of Kansas since 1988. He earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education from KU in 1987. Dr. Kamatuka's teaching experience spans two decades at both the high school and university level. A native of Namibia, Dr. Kamatuka makes his home in Lawrence with his wife and three children.

Mulu Lemma
1122 W. Campus Rd., Joseph R. Pearson Hall, Rm 304

Mulu Lemma, M.S.Ed., a former McNair Scholar, serves as the Director of KU's McNair Scholars Program. Mulu has worked in TRIO programs in various capacities for several years. Mulu has a background in counseling psychology and advising middle/high school students. Prior to working with TRIO, she worked in mental health counseling for the uninsured in the Greater Kansas City area. A native of Ethiopia, she has made her home in Kansas City.

Simone Savannah
Academic Services Coordinator

Dr. Simone earned her B.A. in English-Creative Writing from Ohio University in 2010, and a M.Ed. in Education from Ohio University in 2012. Her undergraduate research as a Ronald E. McNair scholar examined autobiographical texts by black women hip-hop artists and hip-hop feminists. In 2017, Dr. Savannah graduated from the University of Kansas with a Ph.D. in English-Creative Writing. Dr. Savannah condcuted a critical and creative dissertation that considers the historical perceptions of black womanhood and the black female body. Dr. Savannah’s collection of poems, Like Kansas (Big Lucks), grew out of her dissertation and was published in March 2018. Her creative work has appeared or is forthcoming in several online and print journals, including The Fem, Ocean State Review, Puerto del Sol, Vinyl, Wus Good, and Apogee. She brings with her a versatile expereince in supporting student scholarly development.