Meet the McNair Team


Ashley Garrin, Ph.D., Director

Ashley Garrin

Hometown: Waterloo, Iowa

Academic and Iowa State Background:

  • 3-time alum of Iowa State University
  • McNair, TRiO Student Support Services, and Upward Bound Program alum
  • Ph.D. in Apparel, Merchandising and Design; emphasis on social, cultural, historical aspects of dress, and marginalized groups' dress
  • Research and scholarship in Black Feminist Thought, hair and African American women, and developmental mentoring in higher education

Role as McNair Program Staff: Support the Director's work in program development; design and teach the academic research methods course; work with Faculty and Graduate Student Mentors in an effort to provide successful experiences for our McNair Scholars.

Good to Know: My passion revolves around social justice in higher education, student activism, mentoring relationships of underrepresented students, and equal access to graduate-level study. As an ISU McNair alum, I understand the value of the McNair program for students in pursuit of graduate degrees. I am beyond excited to serve our Scholars and can offer great insight into their needs, thanks to my own McNair experience.

Favorite Food: Iced coffee and Salted Carmel Mocha's from Starbucks and all forms of tacos!

Hashtag: #educationasactivism 


Erin Todey, Assistant Director

Erin Todey

Hometown: Ames, IA

Academic and Iowa State Background: 

  • M.A. Applied Linguistics/Teaching English as a Second Language, Iowa State University
  • B.A. French & International Studies, University of Iowa
  • Research focuses on understanding the structure of academic genres that lead to more successful teaching and student engagement in academic discourse

Role as a McNair Program Staff: Writing consultant for McNair Scholars, helping them to develop more effective writing skills for application cover letters, statements of purpose and summer research experiences in prepartion for graduate school. 

Good to Know: I am very interested in how written feedback can help students develop their writing. In my work with the McNair Scholars, I work to merge these two interests to support students' writing development so they maintain agency of their ideas while still making sure their writing fits the expectations of the statement of purpose. I love being able to give a critical (but kind) reader's perspective to help students think carefully about how they structure their arguments. 

Favorite Food: Dumplings

Hashtag: #kindnessalways #radicalempathy

Regine Peters, Program Specialist

Regine Peters

Hometown: Windhoek, Namibia

Academic and Iowa State Background:

  • Iowa State University alum (2020)
  • B.S. in Statistics

Role as McNair Program Staff: Support the Program Director and Assistant Director in coordinating and implementing goals of the McNair Program; first person of contact in the day-to-day operations of the program.

Good to Know: Although statistics is my jam, I enjoy getting to know people the most. Connecting and creating relationships fills me up and expands my worldview, growing me into a human that loves, unconditionally. I also have a wealth of knowledge from navigating different spaces and experiences on campus. So, I am a go-to for any resources or support students are seeking during their time at ISU.

Favorite Food: Anything I cook

Hashtag: #choosejoy