Office of Minority Student Affairs |University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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Tutors of the Year 2013
We had two Tutors of the Year for 2013. Marcus Sanders was the student pick and Rachel Hamilton was the staff pick. Marcus and Rachel have both been tutoring at OMSA-East for one year. Marcus is a sophomore in Engineering with a major in Electrical Engineering and has been tutoring chemistry courses. Rachel is a junior in LAS majoring in MCB and Political Science and she’s been tutoring chemistry and MCB courses. They both exhibit the traits that you would expect from a Tutor of the Year: congeniality, reliability, concern for the students they were tutoring, patience, and dedication to doing a good job. Marcus worked as a “matched” tutor who met with the same students every week. He received an overwhelming majority of the student nominations submitted this year. Quotes from several of his nominations:
“He went above and beyond to explain the most difficult concepts in Chemistry using the simplest words as well as life experiences. Best part is that he is extremely patient in which, for the first time ever, it gave me confidence to be able to express my concerns and continue to ask for help…”
“ Marcus is an amazing tutor. He always knew what he was talking about and explained things very well and in detail so I completely understood the material.”
“ What I loved about Marcus’ sessions was that he showed that he knew what he was talking about and was extremely patient. Unlike most tutors he would challenge me after going over a topic to make sure I properly understood the material.”
“ He comes up with great anecdotes and techniques to help me understand the Chem concepts better. Marcus is very intelligent and a great tutor because I have never walked away from a session without learning something new and having my questions answered.”
Rachel Hamilton was the staff pick because, as a walk-in tutor, she didn’t meet with the same group of students every week for the whole semester. She saw students on a “drop-in” basis throughout the year and didn’t really get a chance to forge relationships with them in the same way that our matched tutors do. Nevertheless, we were able to observe her work and we were very impressed with her personable and knowledgeable approach to tutoring. We watched her employ multiple learning style methods to reach her students and she never let her students leave a tutoring session feeling confused or frustrated. Rachel also exemplified what the staff most appreciates in a tutor -- she was mature, dependable, enthusiastic, likeable, and always willing to help out with review sessions.
Other tutors who received at least one nomination for Tutor of the Year this year were: Kelsey Drawhorn, Spencer Jones (winner of Tutor of the Year in 2012), Christina Mendez, and Desoray Williams.
President Obama Appoints UMBC President and former UIUC TRIO Upward Bound Director as Chair of National Education Commission
President Obama has named UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski chair of the newly created President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. In addition to advising President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the commission will work closely with the newly-formed White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, which is charged with coordinating federal agencies around this critical issue and identifying best practices nationwide. The commission also will lead a national dialogue – engaging the business, philanthropic, nonprofit and education communities – on African American achievement from early childhood through adulthood.
To learn more about this historic appointment, visit: University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Sherrika Ellison Receives Distinguished TRiO Achiever Award from Mid-America Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel
A TRiO Achiever winner is a former TRiO project participant who has made significant civic, community, or professional contributions. A native of Urbana, Illinois, Sherrika Ellison received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication and her Masters of Education degree in Human Resource Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Currently, she is the Assistant Director for the Office of Minority Student Affairs’ TRiO Upward Bound College Prep Academy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Sherrika has garnered numerous honors that have recognized her for her work as a woman through example and service who has used her talents to enrich the lives of underrepresented students. An excerpt from the nomination letter states, “The essence of TRiO is a mindset of humanism that is replete with hard work, dedication, and an undaunted resolve to achieve and help others to achiever. Sherrika possess this mindset.”
$1.4 MILLION RECEIVED TO PREPARE HISTORICALLY-UNDERREPRESENTED STUDENTS FOR RESEARCH, GRADUATE SCHOOL, AND THE PH.D.
The Office of Minority Student Affairs received a TRIO Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement grant from the U.S. Department of Education valued at $1,402,405 over five years. The program was established at the University in 1990. Through a grant competition, funds are awarded to institutions of higher education to prepare eligible participants for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. Participants are University juniors and seniors from historically-underrepresented backgrounds and have demonstrated strong academic potential. The program encourages participants to enroll in graduate programs and then track their progress through to the successful completion of advanced degrees. The goal is to increase the attainment of Ph.D. degrees by students from underrepresented segments of society. Participants are often first in their family to attend college.
All McNair projects must provide the following activities: opportunities for research or other scholarly activities; summer internships; seminars and other educational activities designed to prepare students for doctoral study; tutoring; academic counseling; and activities designed to assist students participating in the project in securing admission to and financial assistance for enrollment in graduate programs. McNair projects may also provide the following additional activities: education or counseling services designed to improve financial and economic literacy of students; mentoring programs involving faculty members at institutions of higher education or students, or any combination of such persons; and exposure to cultural events and academic programs not usually available to disadvantaged students.
The Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program is one component of the federal initiative known as the TRiO programs.
To learn more about the program, please visit:McNair Scholars Program
TRiO McNair Scholars Continue to Rise to Excellence
TRiO McNair Scholars travelled to Atlanta, GA to participate in
the Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel, Inc. (SAEOPP) Research Conference.
This year's theme was ‘McNair: Preparing, Promoting, and Producing Research Scholars’ and there were hundreds of scholars and dozens of universities represented including: Columbia, Duke, Emory, Harvard, Howard, Ohio State, Stanford, and the University of Illinois. Of all the students in attendance, our McNair scholars earned seven top honors and lead the nation in the total number of awards.
The list includes:
1st Place in Social Sciences, Arturo Romo
1st Place in Health, Jasmine Henderson
2nd Place in Life Sciences, Michael Polen
2nd Place in Education, Olivia Hatch
3rd Place in Education, Sandy Guzman
3rd Place in Health, Doris Arevalo
3rd Place in Physical Science, Joshua Alexei Garcia-Sheridan
The seven award recipients also received a monetary award for their research.
TWO PRE-COLLEGE TRIO PROGRAMS RECEIVE MORE THAN $650,000 IN CONTINUED FUNDING TO SERVE 600 STUDENTS
Two of OMSA’s pre-college TRIO programs, TRIO Academic Talent Search College Prep Program (TRIO Talent Search) and TRIO Upward Bound College Prep Academy (TRIO Upward Bound), received a total of $654,714 in continued funding for the 2012-2013 fiscal years. Both programs serve students who will be first in their family to enroll in college, who have limited financial resources, and who are enrolled in targeted schools.
TRIO Talent Search received $230,000 for its second year of a five-year grant. The program serves students as early as 6th grade. Students must be enrolled in select targeted schools in Champaign, Decatur, Rantoul, and Urbana. Five hundred students may be served. Services include, for example, assistance with college applications and financial aid forms; college visits; tutoring in math, science, and English; academic advising on rigorous courses; and workshops for parents and students to learn more about college.
To learn more about the program, please visit OMSA Talent Search
TRIO Upward Bound received $424,714 for its first year of a new five-year grant. The program serves students as early as 9th grade. Students must be enrolled in select targeted schools in Champaign, Rantoul, and Urbana. One hundred students may be served. Services include, for example, assistance with college applications and financial aid forms; college visits; tutoring in math, science, English, and other subjects; academic instruction in math, science, English and writing, foreign language; a Summer Bridge Program for seniors; a summer residential academic component; academic advising on rigorous courses; and cultural activities.
To learn more about the program, please visit OMSA Upward Bound