TRIO Day Highlights Accomplishments of Southeast Students, Staff and Community Members


CAPE GIRARDEAU, MISSOURI, March 14, 2015 – The annual National TRIO Day Celebration March 11 at Southeast Missouri State University honored the accomplishments of current and former participants in the Southeast TRIO programs as well outside institutions that partner with TRIO programs at Southeast.

Sponsored by Academic Support Services, the dinner highlighted several Southeast students including Lisa Nolan of St. Louis, the 2015 TRIO Rising Star award recipient, and Jaime Acevedo of Aurora, Illinois, the inaugural winner of the Michael J. Helm Leadership Award. The Southeast Office of Student Financial Services (Financial Aid and Student Accounts) was honored as one of the 2015 TRIO Champions for its work with TRIO programs alongside Dr. Mike Cowan, principal of Cape Central High School.

“This year we celebrate 25 years of TRIO at Southeast,” said Trent Ball, associate dean of students and director of student retention. “Our goal was to recognize the students for their accomplishments, recognize our TRIO Champions, and celebrate with our supporters from across campus and in the community.”

Nolan, a Southeast senior, is pursuing a Bachelor of Science with a major in social work and plans to graduate in December 2015. She has been active in a variety of initiatives at Southeast. She is currently the program associate for Educational Access Programs, where she is responsible for the planning of Black History Month programing for students; a member of the McNair Scholars Program; as well as a member of the Student Alumni Association. Previously, she has served as facilitator for both the First-Year Leadership Program (FLyP) and the Emerging Leaders Program. Nolan is also a volunteer instructor for the ‘Super Wednesday’ sixth grade girl’s class at the House of Hope Church.

Acevedo, a Southeast freshman, is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts with a major in English and plans to graduate in May 2018. As a Southeast student, he participates in various organizations across campus. He is a member of the Student Activities Council, Student Alumni Association and the Anime Party Club. Most recently, he completed the BRAND Academy, a program within the Academic Support Centers designed help students highlight their individual talents and expand their network to launch their careers while in college.

BRAND Academy was established to promote, motivate and encourage students to become professionals by promoting individuality and core professional standards to Southeast students. The program is supervised by Sean Spinks, Retention Coordinator in the Academic Support Centers, who helped develop the program.

Cowan has been an administrator for 21 years, the last 14 serving as principal of Cape Central High School. Previously, he served as a communication arts teacher in various schools for 18 years.

Among the award recipients, the Office of Student Financial Services was honored for their on-going assistance with the Academic Support Centers in supporting students’ financial questions. The office was credited for its willingness to help and its concerted efforts to serve the entire Southeast student body.

“Student Financial Services continues to go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to assisting us with the students we all serve,” said Monica Barnes, director of the McNair Scholars Program.

Along with Acevedo, other BRAND Academy participants recognized at the dinner were Tiffany Bond of Florissant, Missouri; Breiona Catching and Alexis Crowder, both of St. Louis, Missouri; Dylan Kennedy of Catron, Missouri; Tramea McCrary of Kansas City, Missouri; and Rachel Speak of Excelsior Springs, Missouri.

TRIO Programs offered at Southeast include the McNair Scholars Program and Student Support Services.  There are seven TRIO programs working with students and adults from sixth grade though post baccalaureate work.  TRIO Programs are federally-funded programs designed to provide assistance for first-generation, low-income and students of minority backgrounds, academic support to increase retention and boost graduation rates in these student populations.