ATHENS, Ohio (Feb. 28, 2007) -- Ohio University will celebrate National TRiO Day from 1 to 3 p.m., Saturday, March 3, in Baker University Center room 240. The keynote speaker will be Ohio University College of Education Dean Renee Middleton and admission is by invitation only.
During the celebration, the university will honor three students as TRiO Achievers as part of the event. Ohio University's three TRiO programs -- Upward Bound, the College Adjustment Program and the McNair Scholars Program -- are all funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
Upward Bound allows area high school students an opportunity to attend workshops at Ohio University during their junior and senior years. The sessions are designed to prepare the students for college from choosing and applying to schools to how to handle their studies once they are there. This year, Michelle Roley was named the 2007 Upward Bound TRiO Achiever.
Originally from Logan, Ohio, Roley attends Kent State University where she majors in psychology with a minor in Pan-African studies, an area she chose as a result of her experience in Upward Bound.
"Michelle is a past upward bound student who has used the services to decide her major and choose her college," said Tiffany Laipply, interim assistant director of Upward Bound. "She really utilized her time here."
Roley said she was very surprised and excited to be chosen as this year's achiever.
"I have always known that I wanted to go to college, but I did not know nor did I take seriously how competitive it is to succeed," she said. "Upward Bound not only showed me the types of struggles that students in our area would face, but also taught me how to overcome them."
The College Adjustment Program provides services for Ohio University freshman students to ease the transition into college. From free private tutoring to peer and professional advising, the program is a place where CAP students can go to ask questions. This year, Peter Johnston was named the 2007 CAP TRiO Achiever.
"I definitely wouldn't have expected it. But since they decided to give the award to me, it's pretty cool," said Johnston, a former CAP participant and current adviser.
"The main advantage that CAP gave me was, if I ever had a problem that I didn't know how to solve or where to go to find and answer, the CAP advisers either had or could find the answer," he said.
"Peter is an outstanding student in the College of Business and has taken full advantage of TRiO services from his freshman to his senior year, and he really exemplifies what we like to see from all our students, hard work and giving back to program," said Greg Lester, assistant director of CAP.
"Being a first-year student is difficult and having access to as many resources as possible was a good idea," said Johnston, a senior business major. "I sat down with my family and we agreed that I should apply my freshman year."
The McNair Scholars Program helps undergraduates prepare for and gain admission to graduate school. Scholars participate in a two-year undergraduate curriculum that includes an intensive summer research component to prepare them for possible future professor or research positions. This year, Maíri Adams was named the 2007 McNair TRiO Achiever.
"When I'm asked, 'How have you benefited from being part of the program?' my first thought is always, 'How have I not benefited?' The program provides tools, information, networking, and other opportunities that were not previously available to me," said Adams who is majoring in feature writing through the specialized studies program in University College.
"At the time I applied to the program, I really didn't fully understand how beneficial the program would be. It's been a vehicle to shift my focus to a higher level of achievement," she said.
"Maíri has been a dedicated student in the McNair program. With her being a non-traditional student, she has been able to excel among her peers. She does great work in terms of her research and she has published a book," said Dawn Jenkins, assistant director of the McNair Scholars Program. "It was really difficult to pick, we had quite a few students who stood out this year."
"I'm flabbergasted. There are so many wonderful and impressive scholars and projects in our program at Ohio University," Adams said.
The TRiO effect
Each of the TRiO programs partner their participants with peer and/or faculty advisers, which the students in each program cite as valuable resources and central reasons for their positive experiences in the programs. Advisers provide their students with a place to begin preparing for their professional careers.
"After participating in the first summer, I really wanted to grow by continuing to learn. I also enjoyed the guidance my mentor provided me, and I appreciated the hard work she put forth. She was and continues to be so dedicated to the program," said Roley of her adviser. "Upward Bound is a chapter of my life which will forever be with me. I learned to be confident and have faith in myself."
"CAP definitely gave me the understanding of how to work toward goals and how to achieve goals," said Johnston. "And even more than that, CAP taught me that if you think you need help, you're struggling or you don't know where to ask for help, go and ask someone. It's better than struggling in college and professionally," said Johnston.
Adams' professional goal is to become a professor and publish both academic articles and mainstream children's books. With the help of her adviser, she has begun to accomplish those goals.
"Without her class and outside advice, I would never have produced the first book," Adams said.
Since their inception in 1964, TRiO programs across the country have helped students who are first-generation, low-income, disabled or underrepresented at the university level.
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