Director, McNair Scholars Program and Strategic STEM Initiatives
Office of Academic Access and Leadership Development

10 Arts & Science Building


Natalie Downer has a dual appointment as an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Division of Biological Sciences as well as the Director of the McNair Scholars Program and Strategic STEM Initiatives, in the Office of Academic Access & Leadership Development (AALD) within the Division of Inclusion, Diversity & Equity (IDE).

Dr. Downer serves as MU site coordinator for Missouri Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (MOLSAMP). MOLSAMP is an alliance of nine colleges and universities in Missouri, funded by NSF, who are collaborating to significantly increase the number of underrepresented minority students (URM) statewide who complete undergraduate and advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

She is also the Co-Principal investigator of the Louis Stokes Regional Center of Excellence for the Study of STEM Interventions (LSRCE SOSI). The SOSI center is an NSF initiative that supports an inter-institutional collaboration between SOSI center MU, Understanding Interventions Inc. (UI), and the University of Michigan. The SOSI center offers training and development for STEM program administrators, faculty, and other ‎stakeholders ‎in critical, strengths-based theories and evidence-based practices. It provides the tools and avenues for participants to inform their practice and contribute to the body of translational research that facilitate ‎underrepresented students’ success in STEM.

Downer has a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri, which she received in 2014.