TRIO Day Celebrates Student Successes, Partners


Southeast Missouri State University recently celebrated National TRIO Day centered around the theme, “TRIO: A Retrospective.”

Hosted by the Academic Support Centers (ASC), the event at the Isle Casino of Cape Girardeau focused on the positive impact TRIO and support programs have had on students, faculty, staff and community partners over the past 27 years.  Since 1990, the University and community members have actively engaged with the TRIO and College Access and Success programs at Southeast, beginning with the TRIO/Student Support Services Program in 1990 to the development of the Academic Support Center unit in 2008.

More than 275 students, faculty, alumni, community members and partners from areas, including St. Louis, Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, and the Bootheel celebrated TRIO. Also in attendance were members of the campus community and the University’s Executive Staff led by Southeast President Carlos Vargas, who spoke at the event, Dr. Debbie Below, vice president for enrollment management and student success, and Kathy Mangels, vice president for finance and administration.

Anahi Gamboa, left, of Florissant, Missouri, received the ASC Mentee spotlight award.

“Our goal was to celebrate the path created for the countless students who participated in our TRIO Programs and the Academic Support Centers,” said Trent Ball, assistant vice president for academic diversity and outreach. “We were joined by students from every cohort of our programs and representatives from 11 of our 15 community partners – there to celebrate with us and encourage our students to continue their success.”

The following students were awarded and recognized:

  • Shantajah Anderson, of St. Louis, Missouri; and Philip Francis, of Cape Girardeau, Missouri; were Michael J. Helm Leadership Award winners
  • Paige Bangle, of Valmeyer, Illinois; Talia Hoskins, of Richton Park, Illinois; Christine Joyce, of Thousand Oaks, California; and Minji Lee, of Cape Girardeau; were the first Learning Assistants to earn CRLA Level III certification (Southeast is one of four universities in Missouri with this level.)
  • Anahi Gamboa, of Florissant, Missouri: ASC Mentee Spotlight
  • Bennett Hendrix, of Florissant: Black History Month Essay Contest Winner
  • Jon Vincent Long, of McClure, Illinois: 2018 TRIO Rising Star
  • Heath Parkinson, of West Lafayette, Indiana: TRIO/McNair Scholar of the Year

The following students earned scholarships and grants:

  • Charles Blackmon, of St. Louis; and Megann Campbell, of St. Louis: The Gibson Center Scholarship
  • Kayla Turner, of Caruthersville, Missouri: NAACP 4058 Crossroads Scholarship
  • Mark Fulks Jr., of St. Louis; and Atum Miles, of St. Louis: The Wyman Southeast Scholars Scholarship

The following organizations were recognized as new partners in  college access and success work:

  • Element 74 of Cape Girardeau, Missouri
  • The Gibson Center of Cape Girardeau, Missouri
  • The Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Chapter of the NAACP
  • Gene Slay’s Girls & Boys Club of St. Louis
  • St. Louis Internship Program

“Academic Support Centers Unit were excited to partner with the Gibson Center, NAACP and Element 74 to establish scholarships and experiential learning opportunities for our students at Southeast Missouri State University. As campus and community partners, we are enhancing and ensuring the success of our students locally, in the region, and throughout the state” shared Tameka Randle, assistant director of outreach.

Additionally, Southeast staff member Tammy Stover of the College of Education was awarded the ASC Mentor of the Year award for her dedication, time, energy and engagement with her mentees through the Academic Support Centers Mentoring Program (AMP).

“TRIO Day 2018 was a complete success. We were able to recognize current students for their stellar achievements while celebrating with former alumni who remain connected to the TRIO mission. From University administrators, faculty and staff to University partners, the evening was a true example of intentional collaborations equating to success for students attending Southeast Missouri State University,” said Valdis Zalite, director of Academic and TRIO/Student Support Services.

National TRIO Day is an annual celebration in February to recognize TRIO programs that provide targeted support for first-generation, income eligible and students with disabilities. Of the eight federal TRIO programs, Southeast currently serves students with two: TRIO/Student Support Services and Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program. The TRIO Programs are critical components of the Academic Support Centers and share a mission to enhance the academic achievement and educational attainment of all Southeast students.