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Dave Meany - EWU Media Relations
300 Showalter Hall
Cheney, WA 99004
phone: 509.359.6335
fax: 509.359.4701

Celebrate TRiO Day

Published: March 10, 2012

Cheney, Wash. - Students and graduates from Eastern Washington University's two TRiO programs, Student Support Services and McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement, will soon gather to celebrate National TRiO Day with two big events.

TRiO Day Celebration - Come and join the National TRiO Day celebration starting at 2 p.m., Tuesday, April 03, in the Walter and Myrtle Powers Reading Room on the 2nd floor of Hargreaves Hall. Alumni and current students who have benefited from TRiO programs will be on hand to share their success stories. Also expected to attend are federal and state legislative representatives including Representative Kevin Parker and State Senator Michael Baumgartner, EWU Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Rex Fuller and various EWU faculty, staff and community supporters.

Community Outreach Event - EWU's TRiO programs are sponsoring a clothing drive for the local Cheney Clothing Bank. The goal is to collect 1,000 pieces of clothing between February 24 and April 2. If you have clean, reusable clothes you would like to donate, there will be boxes available throughout the campus. They will also be collecting new, unused socks and undergarments. The Cheney Clothing Bank provides all its clothing to consumers free of charge.

What is TRiO? - For low-income Americans who have college potential but lack the wherewithal to go it alone, eight federally-funded programs called TRiO are making a world of difference. These educational opportunity outreach programs are designed to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

"Eastern's TRiO programs are the lifelines to the university for many of our first-generation, low-income students," said Ruth Galm, executive director of Grant and Research Development at EWU. "These programs support students' academic development as well as help them overcome challenges they face in seeking financial aid and balancing school with family."

TRiO Student Support Services - The TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) project has been on the Eastern campus since 1977, and has served thousands of students. EWU's project focuses on academic support in the areas of reading, writing, math and effective college study strategies. Annually, EWU's SSS project's retention (80 percent) and six-year graduation (52 percent) rates are higher than the overall institutional averages.

TRiO Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program - Named for astronaut and Challenger Space Shuttle crew member Ronald E. McNair, TRiO's Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program was funded by Congress in 1989 to encourage underrepresented students to pursue graduate-level degrees. Since EWU's McNair program began in 1995, 71 EWU McNair Scholars have earned master's degrees, four have earned PhD's and more than 50 are currently enrolled in graduate programs.

Martín Meráz García, assistant professor of Chicano Education at Eastern, is an alumnus of TRiO SSS and McNair. "As a first-generation student who entered college with limited academic skills, I was given the support that enabled me to earn a doctoral degree ¬that allows me to teach at universities, present my research at national and international conferences and to publish articles in scholarly journals."

"During these economically arduous times, more people across the country and in our own communities need to know about the services of the TRiO Programs and how vital they are to the success of our nation," said Aaron Brown, current president of the Washington State TRiO Association. "People need to know that TRiO works. TRiO changes lives."

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