NDSU is preparing to mark its 25th year hosting the McNair Scholars Program as part of its annual TRIO Day celebration. An awards banquet is scheduled Wednesday, April 16, in the Memorial Union Ballroom.
TRIO Programs prepare students for successful entry, retention and completion of post-secondary education. The programs identify income-eligible and first-generation college students who show potential for success and provide them with encouragement, support and assistance. NDSU has hosted TRIO Programs since 1967.
In addition, during 2012 NDSU expanded its support with a state-funded Veterans Educational Training Program offered to North Dakota veterans interested in post-secondary education. The program is open to all veterans regardless of income or educational status.
“The NDSU community will gather on this day to celebrate, reflect and act on our commitment to access to higher education by disadvantaged students,” said Aida Martinez-Freeman, TRIO programs director.
McNair Scholars Program
The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program encourages and prepares first-generation, income-eligible and underrepresented students for doctoral study. The program provides research opportunities and faculty mentoring. NDSU was one of the inaugural universities to host the program.
To mark the 25-year milestone, NDSU hosted Ronald E. McNair’s brother, Carl, who shared a motivational message with the campus community in February. Ronald McNair became the second African-American in space while serving as a NASA mission specialist in 1984. He died aboard the Challenger Space Shuttle in January 1986.
At TRIO Day, current McNair Scholars will share their research with a poster presentation starting at 5:30 p.m.
Mary Wire, who graduated from NDSU in 1994 with a Doctor of Pharmacy, will receive the McNair Achiever Award. Wire leads the clinical pharmacology group at GlaxoSmithKline.
Veterans Education Training
Veterans Education Training helps prepare veterans for post-secondary education. Veterans can take free online preparatory courses and receive assistance as they prepare to attend a college or university in North Dakota. The courses are available online and at classrooms at NDSU and the University of North Dakota.
Two students are slated to receive Veterans Education Training Achievement Awards. Steve Bateman is a sophomore majoring in pre-pharmacy at NDSU. He served as a combat medic in the U.S. Army for five years.
Eriverto “Eddie” Vargas is on pace to earn a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of North Dakota in May. He served in the U.S. Army as a chemical operations specialist from 2002-06.
Upward Bound is an intensive intervention program that prepares students for higher education through various enrichment courses.
Sarah Zozimo, a junior majoring in zoology, will be named the Upward Bound Achiever. She spent three years in the program while at South High School in Fargo. Zozimo is a certified nurse assistant at Touchmark at Harwood Groves in Fargo and plans to attend medical school.
“You will grow from all of your experience,” Zozimo advises Upward Bound students. “Because of this, you can conquer your dreams."
Shanda Hakk, family strengthening specialist for New American Programs at Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, will receive the Upward Bound Booster Award. Hakk previously was youth development director at CHARISM and earned a master’s degree in social work in 2007 from UND.
Fargo South High School also will be recognized for its support of Upward Bound. Special recognition goes toward administration, the counseling department and English language learner teachers.
Student Support Services
Student Support Services programs help income-eligible and first-generation students to successfully begin and stay in college. Participants receive tutoring, counseling and remedial instruction to achieve their goals of college completion.
Andrew Puckett will be named Student Support Services Achiever for 2014. Puckett, BS ’13, emergency management, benefitted from the support of Student Support Services and in 2011 began tutoring students. He emceed the 2013 TRIO Day events.
Brigit Sprenger, BS ’01, university studies, will receive the Outstanding Leadership Award. She has been financial aid administrator in Student Financial Services since 2000. Previously she served as student assistant in the same office. Sprenger serves as treasurer for the Davenport Lions Club and Sunday school coordinator for Canaan Moravian Church.
Friend of TRIO Award
The Friend of TRIO Award is presented to entities or individuals who have shown extraordinary support for TRIO programs. Recipients are Raghav Kapoor and Amrita Ganatra. Kapoor, BS ’09, computer engineering, came to NDSU from his native India via an exchange program. He became involved with TRIO when he started working as a tutor in Student Support Services in 2009. Kapoor also worked as a graduate assistant for Student Support Services and assisted the veteran program in grant research and curriculum development.
Ganatra, BS ’11, biotechnology, is a graduate assistant in Student Support Services. She is pursuing a graduate degree in comprehensive science education at NDSU. Her goal upon graduation is to return to her native India to participate in the Teach India fellowship program, which places teachers in under-resourced and low-income schools.
The TRIO Day awards dinner also will feature a POW/MIA honors table to honor military members who are war prisoners or missing in action.
More than 2,800 TRIO programs at colleges, universities and community agencies across the nation serve approximately 790,000 young people and adults.
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.