Columbia State Recognizes TRiO Graduates

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. May 18, 2018) - - - Columbia State Community College recently recognized participants in the TRiO program at the eighth annual TRiO Student Awards Celebration.

“It is our joy in the TRiO Student Support Services department to see our students graduate,” said Yaritza Castro, Columbia State TRiO director. “It is a personal accomplishment for them to be the first in their families to hold a degree. It is an honor for us to share with our students' families, the faculty that helped them along the way, as well as, colleagues at Columbia State that support us in the effort to help these first-generation students obtain a college degree.” 

During the program, Ricky Hardison, Columbia State associate professor of mathematics, was named the recipient of the TRiO Advocate Award. Hardison 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.

“Receiving the TRIO Student Support Services Advocate Award means the world to me,” said Ricky Hardison, Columbia State associate professor of mathematics. “I have taught college level mathematics for 20 years and have taught students of many different races, education background, beliefs, social standing, economic standing and disability needs. It has always been my intent that students from all diverse backgrounds and perspectives be well served by the courses that I teach, that students’ learning needs be addressed both in and out of class and the diversity that students bring to my class be viewed as a resource and strength. It has always been my intent to present materials and activities that help students to simply learn and grow. Receiving this award lets me know that I am making a difference.  Thank you to TRIO and to all the students who voted for me.”

Cissy Holt, Columbia State vice president for student affairs, was presented with the Friend of TRiO Award. Holt was nominated for the award by TRiO staff and was chosen for her invaluable efforts in promoting and supporting TRiO and its students since the inception of the grant. 

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.

2018 Spring TRiO Grads
Photo Caption: (Pictured, left to right):
TRiO graduates Amanda Luck, Lawrenceburg resident;  Jinayra Hernandez-Castro, Columbia resident; Rebecca May, Summertown resident; Johnny Miranda, Spring Hill resident; Kathleen Fawbush-Brown, Columbia resident; and Tyler Baldwin, Bell Buckle resident.

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