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JU TRi0 caps banner year with student, staff honors program

By Juwan Watson

Jacksonville University’s TRiO Student Support Services program recognized its outstanding student participants and professional tutoring staff at the organization’s Student Recognition Program on April 30 in the Kinne Center.

Dr. Lois Becker, JU’s senior vice president for academic affairs, joined other campus leaders in celebrating the scholastic achievements and distinguished leadership qualities of TRiO Student Support Services (TRiO SSS) program’s top participants and their support team.

Colby Walden, who proved to be talented both in the classroom an on the football field, received the Director’s Award for “exemplifying the spirit of fortitude and maintaining his good academic standing.”

The TRiO SSS program’s roster is a collection of talented, persistent and determined student leaders. Thus the leadership awards were based on ethical characteristics that transcend political, religious and culturally biased perspectives. The active participants were recognized by Director Cherry Stallworth and her staff for positively impacting other students in academic and social arenas throughout the campus community.

The TRiO SSS program staff further recognized the student leaders who overcame hurdles while exemplifying positive leadership qualities that professors, administrators and coaches desire for college students to have. The Student Recognition Program enabled the student leaders representing various majors, clubs and ethnic identities to share their academic successes as rising professionals. Special recognition was given to 20 graduating participants within the class of 2013.

Among the graduating students who participated in TRiO SSS, Sandria Vernon has been admitted to the St. Louis University School of Medicine; Martina Partee will pursue a master’s of business administration degree at JU; Ariel Brown will pursue a master’s of business administration degree at Florida Atlantic University; Nekea Sanders will study criminal justice at the University of North Florida; Elyn Wolfe is practicing for music juries for the Graduate Acting Program at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University; and Nicole Sanders will attend the University of Florida Levin College of Law, specializing in trademarks, property ownership and copyright infringement.

TRiO SSS participants receive professional tutoring, which includes effective test preparation and test-taking strategies for the most difficult subjects. They also take part in interactive college success workshops, cultural enrichment programs and engagement activities that enhance their college experience; and they visit other institutions to learn more about their graduate school options.

This year, the program participants embraced personal growth by clarifying their learning style and solidifying their curriculum requirements for graduation. Participants internalized the core pathways for graduate school, and researched career, leadership and internship opportunities.

Since beginning in Fall 2010, TRiO SSS has become a one-stop multifaceted center that provides peer mentoring, economic literacy and academic advocacy. In a warm, supportive environment, the JU program advocates for students who feel overwhelmed or completely disconnected from the campus community; promotes cultural awareness, personal empowerment and student engagement activities; and enhances academic skills.

The TRiO Student Support Services Program is a federally funded academic support system designed to offer services to 140 students that meet one of three requirements: students who identify as first-generation, meet income guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Education and/or have a documented disability or physical disability registered in the Student Life Office. The program’s main goal is to increase the number of disadvantaged students in the United States to complete a bachelor’s degree program. TRiO assists them in becoming the best they can be. TRiO requires the full commitment of its students to the program. 

For more on TRiO at Jacksonville University, visit http://www.ju.edu/trio.

(Juwan Watson is the TRiO Student Support Services’ retention coordinator.)

Here is a gallery of photos from the Student Recognition Program: