Recognizing outstanding former TRIO participants is a special event that gives our TRIO community an opportunity to showcase our alumni and their successes.   The TRIO Achievers Award serves as a source of pride in knowing that TRIO continues to make a difference in the lives of thousands of first generation and low-income students throughout the AASAP region and the United States.  Each year nomination materials are published and candidates are solicited for this honor with the selected nominee honored at the Fall Conference.  

Before nominating an individual for the 2017 Arkansas TRIO Achiever Award, please review the following information. This information can also be accessed as a pdf by clicking here.

The TRIO Achiever nominee must:

  • be a former TRIO project participant who successfully completed a TRIO program in the AASAP region;
  • be a person of high stature within his/her profession or has receive recognition for outstanding academic achievement;
  • have made significant civic, community, or professional contributions; and
  • acknowledge that participation in the TRIO project had a significant impact in obtaining his/her educational and/or professional objectives.

*The TRIO person making this nomination must be a current member of AASAP.*


The following must be submitted:

  1. Nomination Form completed (Available through this link)
  2. Nominee’s Personal Statement outlining the impact that TRIO had on his/her life completed (Available through this link)
  3. Nominee’s B/W Photo (.jpg format)
  4. Nominee’s Resume/CV (.pdf format)
  5. Prof essional letter of reference (.pdf format) from someone familiar with the nominee’s work

**All materials (excluding the nomination form and personal statement form) must be submitted via email to by the submission deadline of July 14, 2017.

PLEASE NOTE: The selected TRIO Achiever is expected to attend the 2017 AASAP Achiever’s Recognition event in
Little Rock, AR on October 1st and the 2017 SWASAP Achiever’s Recognition event in Baton Rouge, LA on November 5-8thth. AASAP will provide a travel stipend for the Achiever and work with him/her to make the required travel arrangements for these events.

For any questions regarding TRIO Achiever nomination, application, or selection process, please contact Dana Davidson at 


Past TRIO Achievers

Ronda McLelland

Ronda McLelland completed her Associate of Arts at Ozarka College in 2005, Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood/Psychology from Lyon College in 2007, and Master of Science in Psychology from Walden University in 2013.   Currently, Ronda serves as the Director of TRIO Student Support Services at the University of Arkansas Community College in Batesville having previously served eight years as a professional staff member of the Ozarka College TRIO Student Support Services program.

Ronda first became involved in TRIO in August 2003 as a student at Ozarka College.  According to Sheila Titus, Ozarka TRIO/SSS Administrative Specialist, Ronda puts 100% of herself into everything she does and that it is Ronda’s own background and perspective that allows her to inspire and mentor a new generation of TRIO participants.  Sheila has often overheard Ronda say to students and colleagues that without the help of TRIO she might never had made it through college.   

In Ronda’s own words, “as a teenage mother I was told that I threw my life away and all my potential for a wonderful life was gone. However, I choose not to believe these hurtful comments. Instead, I listened to people that genuinely had my best interests at heart. With the help that I have received from TRIO Student Support Services I was not only able to attend college, but I am the first in my family to have both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree. I joined TRIO not long after becoming a student at Ozarka College. I met my TRIO advisor, and she would not allow excuses for failure. So, I never used my children or employment as an excuse to not succeed. TRIO prepared me to be complete my educational goals and be successful in the field I love. As Director of TRIO Student Support Services at UACCB, I am able to give back to students who I can identify with as also being a low income, first generation college student. I love my job!” 


 Ronda Mclelland

Ronda Mclelland