PNW’s TRIO program earns $1.5 million in grant funds

A $1.5 million federal grant will fund support services for 195 students who are part of the TRIO program at Purdue Northwest. 

Two TRIO programs are actively recruiting: Student Support Services, which helps first-generation students complete their undergraduate studies, and McNair, which targets students interested in attending graduate school.

“Student Support Services can recruit about 50 more students,” said Catalina Rodriguez, program director. “McNair will likely recruit 14 to 18 students this academic year.”

The TRIO programs have helped many PNW students stay in school by providing them the academic and emotional counseling needed to succeed.

“I encourage every student who qualifies to fill out the application,” said Yoseleini Ramirez, a senior who is working on her bachelor’s in health studies with a minor in human resources. “My parents never went to college, so I needed help and guidance.” 

She credits the program with improving her communication skills and campus involvement, which led to her becoming president of UNIDOS, a Hispanic/Latino heritage club. 

Mallory Marquiss got involved with SSS as a freshman.

“On my first day of school actually, I was lost on our very small campus and I ran into the TRIO office asking for help,” she said. “In the end, they asked me to be a part of their program.” 

It has helped her stay on track. She is now in her junior year studying business management. 

“Some advice I’d like to give for potential students is to never be afraid to get out of your comfort zone because you may end up liking something you never thought you would,” Marquiss said.

TRIO’s efforts have helped students through the years, including Cezara Crisan, who graduated from PNW in 2005. She returned as an instructor after receiving her doctorate from Loyola and is now an assistant professor of sociology. 

“As a senior sociology major, I wanted to continue my education and apply to graduate school to pursue my Ph.D.,” said Crisan, who turned to the McNair Achievement Program for help.

“It was a great experience for me, as the program provided me with valuable resources that prepared me for admission into graduate school,” she said. 

The program helped Crisan prepare for the Graduate Record Examinations, provided her with mentors, offered her research opportunities and allowed her to meet other McNair students.

To continue the program’s legacy, Crisan is paying the benefit forward by serving as a mentor.

“So far, all of my mentees have been admitted into graduate programs at various universities across the country,” she said.