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Thomas University TRIO Student Support Services honors participants

During an awards ceremony held Monday, April 20, at the Plaza Restaurant in Thomasville, Thomas University’s TRIO Student Support Services honored students and mentors who participate in the program. The TRIO Student Support Services at Thomas University is an initiative to help first-generation, low-income students and students with disabilities to complete four-year degrees. The program is a student-focused center of excellence in academic advising, career exploration, disability services, mentoring, supplemental instruction, student development and tutoring. TRIO Student Support Services is funded by the United States Department of Education.

The SSS Director’s Award was presented to Chelsea Dolan of Thomasville. This award recognizes a Student Support Services participant who has given honor to TU through perseverance, initiative and leadership.

“Chelsea was chosen as the recipient of the Student Support Services Director Award for the countless hours she has put in as a tutor, going the extra mile to ensure students are prepared,” said Faye Johnson, Director of Student Support Services. “Chelsea shows all the qualities this award represents.”

The Outstanding Military Veteran Scholar Award was presented to Shanika Wright and Chynekqua Lott, both of Thomasville. This award is presented to students who served in military service as well as a role model for other TU students. The award also recognizes their characteristics of a positive attitude, diligent academic work and focusing on becoming a well-rounded student.

The Kathleen Duncan Award is presented to a student in recognition of exceptional contributions in building and sustaining mentoring relationships as well as guiding the academic and professional growth of their peers. This year’s recipient is Jessica Mobley of Colquitt, Ga.

Named in honor of a long-time TU faculty member, the Gale Whitehurst Distinguished Student Award recognizes students who hold distinguished academic credentials and personal attributes of character and integrity. This year’s recipient is Penny Gaskin of Thomasville.

Named in memory of a former TRIO SSS participant, the Charles “Chuck” Barfield Award is presented to a participant who exemplifies a spirit of perseverance and determination while striving for academic excellence. This year’s recipient is Michael Hardy of Cairo.

The Model Student Award is presented to the best overall conscientious students who demonstrate consistency in modeling the characteristics of a dedicated leader. This year’s recipients are Princeton Henderson of Thomasville and Julio Salcedo of Riverview, Florida.

The Most Improved Student Award recognizes a student who made great strides in enhancing his or her learning experience by utilizing academic support services provided by SSS. This year’s recipient is Briana Polanco of Chuluota, Florida.



Participants in TRIO Student Support Services at Thomas University were recognized during an awards dinner held Monday, April 20, at the Plaza Restaurant. Graduating SSS participants include (from left) Ashley White, Lauren Strickland, Irving Monte Reese, Brenda Hubbard, Cailtin Fletcher, Fran Everett, Chelsea Dolan, Morgan Colvin, Sylvia Thomas, Hiram Collins, Charnissa Brown and Denik Camon.


Gabriell Johnson-Cameron (left) of Kennesaw, Georgia, received the Student of the Year Award. Chelsea Dolan (right) of Thomasville, received the Director’s Award.


Michael Hardy (left) of Cairo received the Charles “Chuck” Barfield Award. Penny Gaskin (right) of Thomasville received the Gale Whitehurst Distinguished Student Award.


Princeton Henderson (left) of Thomasville was one of the recipients of the Model Student Award. Shaina Timmons (right) of Tallahassee received the Resiliency Award.

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