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TRiO Students Celebrated

Published: April 04, 2014

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 Student Expo. The Student Expo's purpose is to showcase TRiO students' extracurricular involvement in various areas.

TRiO Day Celebration - Come and join the National TRiO Day celebration starting at 1 p.m., Wednesday, April 16, in Monroe Hall, classrooms 102 and 114. Alumni and current students who have benefited from TRiO programs will be on hand to share their success stories and showcase their current endeavors. The showcase will include students' leadership experiences, civic engagement, service learning, and research from McNair Scholars. Also expected to attend are EWU President Rodolfo Arévalo, EWU faculty and staff, along with community supporters. Light refreshments will be provided in Monroe Hall, room 109.

Community Outreach Event - EWU's TRiO programs are sponsoring a clothing drive for the local Cheney Clothing Bank. The goal is to replenish the clothing bank for the next year through collection of clothing April 7 through April 18. If you have clean, reusable clothes you would like to donate, there will be boxes available throughout EWU's Cheney campus. Clothing may also be brought to the Academic Success Center (ASC) front office, Monroe Hall, room 111. Highly requested items include new or unused socks and undergarments. The Cheney Clothing Bank provides all its clothing to consumers free of charge.

What is TRiO? - TRiO includes eight different federal outreach and student service programs designed to identify and provide services for low-income, first-generation students and individuals with disabilities. The purpose of these programs is to assist students with their progression through the academic pipeline, from middle school to post baccalaureate degrees. To date there are nearly 2,900 funded projects nationwide.

"Eastern's TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) and Ronald E. McNair programs are student-centered and holistic in their approaches, providing critical links to resources and promoting academic skill building essential to success at EWU," said Heather Veeder, a retention specialist with TRiO SSS. "Watching students become comfortable and eventually thrive in the university environment is extremely rewarding, EWU's TRiO programs have a dynamic role to play in this process."

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. In 2012-2013, TRiO SSS served 323 participants. Of those, 212 or 66 percent were low-income and first generation students. Annually, EWU's SSS project's retention (90 percent), six-year graduation (49 percent) and good academic standing (97 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 provide research opportunities and other services that prepare underrepresented students to pursue doctoral degrees. Since EWU's McNair program began in 1995, 14 Eastern TRiO McNair Scholars have earned doctoral degrees, and two more will defend PhD dissertations this spring. EWU McNair PhDs are employed in academic and public service positions across the country, using their educations to serve our communities by working in such places as universities, research institutions, counseling facilities among others. Ninety-seven EWU McNair Scholars have earned master's degrees, and 86 are currently enrolled in graduate programs throughout the country, 36 of which are PhD programs.

Current TRiO McNair Scholar, Grace Cooper is an EWU undergraduate double majoring in in anthropology and sociology. "As a first-generation, low-income student," she states, "it can be intimidating to take advantage of the many opportunities presented to college students. Eastern's TRiO McNair program has encouraged me to seek more opportunities each day and has prepared to me to be a success in each one. Their support and guidance will continue to help throughout my most significant academic opportunity thus far, completing my PhD in anthropology at Temple University, where I have been accepted and funded to begin my doctoral studies in fall 2014."

Frank King, EWU McNair alumni and EWU 2006 graduate, earned his PhD in spring 2013 from Washington State University in American studies. He recently accepted a tenure-track faculty position in Wisconsin and says of McNair: "Expanding my lexicon, understanding scholarly research and believing in myself- these are just some of the important aspects this program does for students from marginalized communities that desire to reach higher education. Doors were opened that were essentially closed for me and so many others. McNair made my dream a reality and can do so for many others."


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