May 17, 2017

Columbia State Recognizes TRiO Graduates

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. - May 17, 2017) - - - Columbia State Community College recently recognized participants in the TRiO program at the sixth annual TRiO Student Awards Celebration April 25.

"At the end of every year, TRiO recognizes the efforts of the participants and graduates," said Yaritza Castro, Columbia State TRiO director. "It's an opportunity to celebrate and remember how these students, as first-generation, have overcome struggles to achieve another year of academic success."

The TRiO program graduated 26 students for the 2016-2017 academic year. Seven students graduated fall 2016, and 19 students graduated Saturday, May 6.

During the program, Dr. Glenn Hudson, Columbia State associate professor of mathematics, was named the recipient of the TRiO Advocate Award. Hudson was nominated for the award by TRiO students, and selected for providing superior support to help students become successful both in and out of the classroom.

"It hasn't been a job, it's been a joy day in and day out," Hudson said. "I've learned more from the students than they've learned from me."

Students accepted into the TRiO program receive academic coaching, assistance with career exploration, tutoring services, registration assistance, student success seminars and workshops, and cultural and social engagement events designed specifically for them and a multitude of other services.

Columbia State currently serves 144 students in the TRIO program.

TRIO Student Support Services is a federally funded program designed to provide academic support, transfer assistance and personal development programming for underrepresented students who need added support to meet the challenges of higher education. Through the development of academic and personal skills, the program focuses on increasing student retention and promoting degree completion.

TRiO graduates 2017
Photo Caption:
(Front row, left to right): Hope Perry, TRiO academic advisor; Feather Alsup, Columbia resident; Amber Williams, Summertown resident; Jessica Helson, Lawrenceburg resident; and Yaritza Castro, TRiO director. (Back row, left to right): Turner Sims, Hohenwald resident; Dylan Dickson, Lawrenceburg resident; Kayley Allen, Loretto resident; Kayla Wall, Summertown resident; and Christian Jones, TRiO academic advisor.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee's first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit

Tennessee's Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at

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