SSS Honors Four TRIO AchieversMarch 26, 2007
Student Support Services honored four TRIO achievers at their annual luncheon. Based on positive attitude, academic progress and exemplary citizenship, Sharman Bateman, Christina Dupre, Tara Lamoreaux and Michelle Oliver were selected as the 2007 TRIO achievers.
In support of a national commitment to provide educational opportunity to all Americans, Congress established a series of programs to help individuals, upon entrance to college, to overcome financial, class, social and cultural barriers, and then to go on to graduate and participate more fully in economic and social life. These programs are collectively referred to as TRIO, because originally there were three programs. After 30+ successful years, there are currently seven TRIO programs serving students from middle school through graduate school. In 1986, Congress proclaimed a National TRIO Day.
“And so, Student Support Services was born,” Lynne Brown, director of SSS, says. She reports that, currently, there are nearly 2,000 TRIO programs nationwide serving 700,000 students. In Utah, 25 programs serve about 8,000 students.
But, upon hearing the testimonies of the students, and comments about them by the SSS staff, at the awards ceremony, one realizes there is more to the TRIO program than just academic counseling. Dean O’Driscoll, director of SUU’s Marketing Office, concurs. “Reading and writing are very important, but so is focusing on the individual as a person.”
“Although all of our students in the program are committed and achieving everyday, we chose these four to honor, as they especially emulate what TRIO is all about,” Brown says. “We want to say ‘Thank you’ to them for making this program so successful.”
An estimated 2 million TRIO students have graduated from college, including well-known people like Bertice Berry, author; Congressman Henry Bonilla; and ABC News correspondent, John Quinones. SUU’s TRIO program has been an invaluable program to more than 3,000 students since its incorporation at the institution 23 years ago.
Bateman returned to school after a 30 year break with a desire to pursue an Elementary Education degree. After applying she was informed that the requirements had changed and she would have to take an advanced math course, with her most recent math experience being basic algebra in 7th grade. This is when she turned to SSS for help. “I can honestly say that SSS has been the springboard for my university success,” Bateman said. “The tutors that work in the SSS math lab have been competent, caring and proficient. Without SSS, I would never have had such a positive experience.”
Dupre relied on the assistance of SSS to help her excel after going back to school in her forties, feeling extremely overwhelmed. The center helped her achieve her educational goals financially as well. “The financial help that I received from the support center relieved much of the stress of not being able to work as many hours and still provide for my family,” Dupre said. “They gave me assistance every summer so I was able to stay on schedule and continue my education.”
Lamoreaux received help from SSS for everything from registration to general advice regarding which classes and professors to take. They helped her customize her education to fit her personal learning style. Lamoreaux particularly benefited from the center’s centralized aid. ADA accommodations, such as books on tape and note takers, are also handled out of the same office. “It’s really convenient to have the benefits of SSS services linked with the Office for Students with Disabilities,” Lamoreaux said. She also sought aid in mathematics, “the math tutors provided by SSS are a very great asset to my education; I could not make it without them.”
Oliver has been working with SSS for the past two years. She came to SUU as a 39-year-old single parent raising her two boys. “I returned to college in order to be able to provide a better life for myself and my children,” Oliver said. SSS personnel helped her refresh her ability to achieve high levels of success in her science and math requirements. “The tutors and teachers have encouraged me to continue in my life dream of becoming a biologist.”