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Student Spotlight

March 2019

Nikaija Colbert

. Nikaija is a freshman from Toledo, Ohio. Her major is     Psychology and African American Studies. Her first   semester she received a 3.82. She explained that her   strategy for being successful was always going to class   and not missing assignments. Her experiences as a   freshman has it's ups and downs but, "what keeps me   motivated to keep going is the thought of making   myself proud." She balances her school and social life   by making sure she takes care of school stuff first and   uses her social activities as a reward for her doing well in school. 
"The only constant in the world is change" said Nakaija.


February 2019

Heaven Jobe

.Heaven Jobe is a third year student majoring in Secondary Education: Language, Literature and Writing. She is also an active member of Eastern Michigan University's Lacrosse team. She is from Grand Rapids, Michigan and have been involved in TRiO for three years. Heaven received a 3.8 GPA during the Fall semester of 2018 when she completed 15 credits! Heaven balances sports and school by prioritizing her days. She allows herself plenty of time to study and complete assignments around practices and conditioning for Lacrosse.

"Life is not a sprint, it is a marathon; and this is my race" -Heaven Jobe 









Remington Whitenburg

.Remi is a second year student majoring in Psychology. She is from Lambertville, MI. Remi has been in TRiO for a year now, and says that during the Winter 2018 semester, she was not as engaged as she could have been. She was taking only gen-eds that she was not very interested in - and it effected her performance in class. However, in the Fall 2018 Semester, Remi ended the semester with a 3.94 GPA

 Remi was asked about her strategy between both semesters:

"My strategy...was to utilize my planner and calendar more. I also set alarms on my phone to remind me about quizzes, exams, or homework that was due soon so I never forgot. Last semester I was also very on top of things. I would take the online exams and quizzes  if available, maybe a week before it was due so I wouldn't forget the day it was actually due, and so I wouldn't be doing last minute work. It really helped because then after homework is out of the way, I basically had multiple nights where i had a lot of free time due to already doing what I needed to do." She began to take classes for her major Fall of 2018 and received a 3.94 GPA. 

A quote Remi lives by is a song lyric: 

"I won't walk down the same old road that they all follow; it only leads to a life not meant for me." 


January 2019

Chocolate Brooks

.Chocolate Brooks is a third year TRiO SSS student at EMU majoring in Social Work. She is from Detroit, Michigan and attended Cass Technical High School. During fall 2018, Chocolate was accepted into EMU's McNair Scholar Program. The purpose of the McNair Program is to assist students in completing their Bachelor's degree, and to gain admission to Master's / Doctoral programs. She decided to join the McNair program because she felt it would be a great benefit to gain experience in research before graduate school. On December 7th, Chocolate placed third in presenting her research on "How Could Businesses Respond to the Refugees Crisis?" Chocolate disclosed that "McNair is all about hard work and dedication." She learned that McNair challenges and pushes you to your best ability. She is glad she made the decision to join the McNair Scholars program and is excited to see what else is in store for her in McNair! 


December 2018

Breanna Townsend

.Breanna is a third year majoring in Recreational Therapy. She is from Detroit Michigan. She has been apart of TRIO SSS for 3 years. She recently attended the ILRTA (Illinois Recreational Therapy Association) conference in Chicago -  a networking conference for meeting professionals working in the career field for her major. She stated her favorite part about the trip was "Being able to network with people in the field." She also enjoyed learning more information about her major. She attended sessions that spoke on different aspects within Recreational Therapy. She also enjoyed seeing more of Chicago. A quote that keeps Breanna motivated is "The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don't wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and find out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope." Barack Obama 





KeVaughn Price

.Kevaughn is a senior majoring in communication and entrepreneurship. He is a first generation college student from Detroit, Michigan. Kevaughn is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. He had the chance to study abroad in Bridgetown, Barbados where he was partnered with an high school students who wasn't sure what they wanted to do in life. He was able to mentor the students and help them see what their future could be. He enjoyed this experience. He discussed how he was woken by roosters and how it got dark around 4pm everyday. He also stated that the people there were very friendly and trusting. He discussed the statue of John Newton, a former slave owner, that people continually attempt to destroy. He explained that Barbados is an independent black Caribbean country, and therefore they do not appreciate former slaver. He stated since it can't be taken down people now just throw paint at it. KeVaughn highly encourages everyone to study abroad if that is an option for them!  



November 2018

Jessica Ingram 

. Jessica Ingram is a junior, Children and Families Studies major student here at EMU.
Her hometown is Woodbridge, New Jersey. She notes that balance plays a crucial part in her life when it comes to being a member of a community, a community leader, and maintaining a good academic life as well. These are all important aspects that are significant to her but without proper balance they can be overwhelming at times. She is a firm believer in "too much of anything is bad for you." Jessica makes sure she doesn't put all her energy towards one thing, which in turn, wouldn't allow time for her to do other things that are of high value in her life. Some may say that education comes first, and it is indeed a high priority of hers, but she believes self-care should be the first thing considered before indulging in any commitments. Knowing herself is the key to balancing everything that she has on her plate. By knowing herself, she knows the limits of what she can and cannot do, and moreover what she is willing to do because her happiness and sanity are on top of her list. 


Megan Tammarine 

. Megan Tammarine is a sophomore majoring in Secondary Education English with a minor in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). She grew up in Toledo, Ohio but lived in Monroe, Michigan throughout high school. Megan says her Google calendar "saves my life." She uses it to remind herself of due dates, meetings, programs, and even for small things, such as, emailing someone or cleaning her room. Time in college is precious, especially when you have two jobs (she also works as an office assistant in the Women and Gender Studies Office).  She thinks including time in your schedule just for homework really helps and found that study groups work great for her too. Megan also stated that, "Taking care of your mental health and yourself is just as important as your physical health and grades. Setting aside time each day, even if it's just 5-10 minutes, to relax is important." On the wall above her desk she has a list of expectations that she set for herself at the beginning of the semester. Having her goals sitting right in front of her helps remind her of the person she wants to be and how she's going to get there. It motivates her and reminds her of why she's here at Eastern. "We get so exhausted as students that we lose our motivation and forget to remember why we're here." 



October 2018 

Christopher Casillas

. Christopher Casillas is a Junior majoring in Nursing.
He recently received the Carlos “El Jefe” Falcon 
Scholarship for his academic and community involvement in the Hispanic Latino Community. Chris is the 
Vice President of Sigma Lambda Beta International 
Fraternity Inc. He is involved in multiple orgs such as Latinx Student Association, and secretary of Multicultural Greek Council.






March 2018

Jasmine Campbell


Jasmine CampbellJasmine Campbell is a freshman here at Eastern Michigan University, majoring in Biology and minoring in Communications. She was previously an Early College Alliance student here at the university and already had 61 credits coming in as a freshman. Being already familiar with campus, Campbell decided that Eastern was the right choice for her, instead of trying to transfer elsewhere. 

On campus, she is part of the Honors College, shooting for departmental honors, and in the fall she's hoping to join another student organization known as MAPS (Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students).

As the semester is coming to an end, Jasmine will be attending the Future Public Health Leaders Program, during the summer at the University of Michigan. "I am really looking forward to conducting my own research and being able to give back to the community. Community service is one of many elements of this program, and I think this is great. To me it feels really rewarding to be able to help those in need. I am thrilled to take on this new chapter of my life in hope to gather more insight into public health and maybe gain new perspective of things," stated Jasmine.

Jasmine also wanted to thank Ethriam Brammer, our former Program Director, for informing her of this opportunity. 


February 2018

TRIO SSS Student Organization

TRIO OrgThis year, TRIO SSS students decided they wanted to venture off and start their own student organization! With the help from TRIO SSS MSW Intern, Naelah Burks, and Program Assistant, Denise Hubbard, (as their Advisor), they were able to make this happen in a few short months.

 In the photo (from left to right) is the Director of Service and Events: Tiana Stewart, Treasurer: Rose Escobar, President: Di'Anna Stokes, Secretary: Megan Tammarine and Vice President/Director of Membership: Kelsey Pacetti




January 2018

Braulio Vazquez

BraulioTRIO SSS Student, Braulio Vazquez, is an Aviation Flight Technology Major and a Freshman here at Eastern Michigan University. The aviation program here at EMU has a lot to offer. 

Vazquez encourages his fellow students to "learn about aerodynamics, crew resource management, industry regulations, flight operations, advance aircraft systems, and aviation safety. You can also earn an aircraft dispatch certification to expand your aviation expertise".

Vazquez previously attended Truman High School in Taylor, Michigan, and decided to attend Eastern Michigan University after a field trip with his high school. He really enjoyed the vibe that people gave off. He also stated that EMU was the closets university that offered an aviation program and his scholarship and Pell Grant paid off tuition/


Vazquez stated that he joined the TRIO SSS community because "[he] wanted to be part of a group of people who [he] could relate to, in the way of [his] heritage." In addition to class and flying planes, Vazquez is involved in an Aviation fraternity, Alpha Eta Rho. 



December 2017

Celebration of Student Writing

CSWOn November 30, 44 TRIO SSS students, along with more than 1,200 students in EMU's First-Year Writing Program, participated in the 33rd Semiannual Celebration of Student Writing (CSW) in the Grand Ballroom of the Student Center. 


Now in its 17th year, the CSW offers WRTC 121 students the opportunity to transform their research writing for presentation to a public audience comprised of the EMU campus community.

 For the first time this year, TRIO SSS was able to offer a cohorted section of WRTG 121, taught by Dr. Chalice Randazzo, Assistant Professor of Written Communication in English Language and Literature Department at EMU. 22 TRIO students were enrolled in Dr. Randazzo's class as a way to support the program's learning community concept. 


"The Celebration of Writing at Eastern Michigan University has marked a moment when the walls of the university classrooms are made porous for over a thousand first-year students," says Dr. Mueller, Associated Professor of Written Communication and Director of EMU's First-Year Writing Program.

"Based on feedback from attendees, student-presenters and our exceptional instructional staff," Dr. Mueller explains, "we find evidence again and again of just how distinctively transformative are opportunities for students to engage genuine audiences with their writing and research."

First-year TRIO SSS student, Sierra Evans, who presented at the CSW, states, "I didn't know what to expect going to this event: I thought I was going to be grilled down by other professors and older students about my project. But it was the total opposite!"

Megan Tammarine, another first-year TRIO SSS student presenting this semester, also enjoyed her experience, saying, "My favorite part of the CSW was seeing all the other amazing research projects from other students. So many students spent so much time on these projects...It just reminds me of what a diverse world we live in, and how many different types of people with different interest live in it." 




November 2017

Kelsey Pacett

Kelsey PacettiKelsey Pacetti is a Special Education major and Secondary Communication minor with a Theater Arts Teaching minor. She attended a project based high school in Verona, Wisconsin, called Exploration Academy. "I joined TRIO Student Support Services because it was a great option suggested for me. I am a first generation low income student. Plus, it is a great way to receive support and help now that I'm jumping back into a traditional learning setting after being a project-based student for four years." Kelsey stated that she chose EMU because it's known for creating good educators. As a freshman, here, at Eastern Michigan University, Kelsey is heavily involved on campus with Active Minds, a group focused on breaking the stigma of mental health, spreading awareness on mental illness, and educating others on mental health related issues. She is also on the set crew for the EMU theater performance of "Harvey".

September 2017

Di'Anna Stokes

Di'Anna StokesDi'Anna Stokes is a Music Education major with a minor in journalism. She attended River Rogue High School before enrolling at Eastern Michigan University (EMU). Di'Anna originally became a part of the TRIO family, when she joined EMU's GEAR-UP program while in eight grade. She chose to join the TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) Program at EMU, because she felt like the academic support provided by the program would help her achieve her goals.

Di'Anna is among the first group of students ever to participate in the TRIO SSS Living Learning Community (LLC) at EMU. She wanted to live with her fellow TRIO SSS students, because she thought it would be nice to meet more people, because she says she tends to be anti-social. "I love living with TRIO!" says Di'Anna. She especially enjoys hanging out in the lounge. She goes on to explain that, when the lounge was locked for a few days, she and the other TRIO SSS LLC students all continued to hang out in the hallway together and had a blast! Di'Anna says, "You make really good friends living with TRIO, and you can count on some of the other members that live on the floor when you need anything."  



Previous Years Student Spotlights

Fall 2016 - Winter 2017