Aerial photo of campus overlooking Tinkham Veale University Center, Kelvin Smith Library, Severance Hall and more

Achieving together: The first CWRU students in a renowned college-access program became family and came into their own

Phuong Nguyen prepared to graduate in May knowing this bedrock truth:

“I definitely wouldn’t have gone to Case [Western Reserve University] if not for the Posse Foundation,” she said. “But I definitely wouldn’t have stayed if it wasn’t for my Posse.”

And that’s precisely the point of the foundation’s work with colleges and universities.

Nguyen and nine other undergraduates from New Orleans arrived in 2017 as the university’s first Posse scholars—a diverse group selected by the nationally acclaimed foundation and the university for their talent and academic and leadership potential.

Since then, CWRU has welcomed new Posse scholars each fall. Before arriving, students spend months in bonding and preparatory sessions, and then meet regularly with their on-campus faculty mentor, who for Nguyen’s cohort is Barbara Kuemerle, PhD, a senior instructor in biology. Edwin Mayes, director of first-year experience and family programs at the university, plays a key role working with students and planning Posse events.

And an entire network of faculty, staff and administrators is at the ready—a welcome experience, especially for students from under-resourced backgrounds who may have previously lacked such support.

While the students benefit, so does the university, as Posse scholars become organization leaders or make their mark in many other ways.

Read the full article in Think magazine to find out how the Posse Scholars made an impact at CWRU.