Feb. 28, 2006
By Jessica Zibbel
Ohio University honored outstanding students on Feb. 18 at the National Trio Day celebration in Walter Hall Rotunda. Involved in one of three Ohio University Trio programs, the students proved themselves to faculty, staff and the community, while demonstrating the desire to work towards a promising future.
"Trio gives students additional encouragement," Ohio University Provost Kathy Krendl said. "It institutes diversity and helps first-generation college students to socialize. Trio provides an opportunity for students to make difficult transitions with the help of others, providing a strong support network."
Michael Spencer, of Washington D.C., is this year's "CAP Trio Achiever." After graduating from Ohio University, Spencer enrolled in The Ohio State University's law school. Currently he is leading a symposium with numerous prestigious publications.
"An obstacle is an opportunity," he said to the audience. "It's not how many degrees or how much money you make, but whether you can take an opportunity and seize it."
Spencer has worked on improving laws in Capetown, South Africa, and uses himself as an example of lessons learned along the way to achieve a dream. His advice to students includes visualizing the life a person wants and deciding what will be needed to get there. He also suggested never letting a person tell you what you can't do, being resourceful and proactive, knowing that money isn't everything and realizing that an education is more then a degree.
The College Adjustment Program (CAP) is designed for undergraduate students and focuses on promoting success and college completion. CAP offers free tutoring, special courses designed to enhance study skills, academic advising, counseling, computer help, study tables, math lab and peer advising.
This year's "Upward Bound Trio Achiever" was chosen from more than 80 students. "Simone Savannah is the portrait of a person who will succeed not because we say so, but because she wants to," Director of Upward Bound Ayanna Jordan said.
Savannah is a senior at Columbus Africentric Secondary School. The Trio program helped her to network and learn about herself. "Upward Bound helped me to meet people, develop study skills, and build confidence," she said. Savannah plans to attend college upon graduation, majoring in communications or creative writing.
The Upward Bound Program recruits and provides educational, social, and cultural services to potential first-generation college students from 15 high schools in Southeast Ohio. Participants are given opportunities to enhance academic skills necessary to complete high school and to prepare for college.
Scarlett Tudor, who graduated last June from Ohio University, and is enrolled in the graduate program for integrated biology is the "McNair Trio Achiever." She is currently studying the sexual selection in swordtail fish.
"The McNair program helped me financially," she said. "It supplied money for summer research that allowed me to stay in the lab and concentrate on my work instead of getting a summer job. It also helped me to get organized, take trips to conferences and assisted with my presentations."
The McNair Scholars Program is designed to prepare students for success as graduate students, professors and professional researchers. As undergraduates, students participate in a two-year undergraduate research program with intensive summer components, while establishing important scholarly and professional contacts.
Ohio University's three TRIO programs, Upward Bound, the College Adjustment Program, and the McNair Scholars Program, are designed to help students to prepare for their next steps in higher education. TRIO programs at Ohio University have served more than 5,000 students.
Since 1964, TRIO programs across the America have helped more than 10.5 million students further their education goals and improve their quality of life. TRIO programs aim to serve first-generation, low-income, disabled and other underrepresented students. The programs provide services that are not otherwise available to those students.
Jessica Zibbel is a student writer in the Office of Communications and Marketing.