What is a TRIO Achiever?

A TRIO Achiever is an outstanding former TRIO participant that has received recognition within his/her profession or for outstanding academic achievement.  They are individuals who have made significant civic, community, or professional contributions.  

2015 TRIO Achievers

 Vicki Silvers Gier, Ph.D participated in the University of Central        Missouri McNair Scholars program in 1993-1994 and is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology at Mississippi State University. She earned a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology with a Cognitive Emphasis from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2003. While a McNair Scholar, she was awarded a summer research internship that allowed her to publish her first research article, The Effects of Pre-existing, Inappropriate Highlighting on Reading Comprehension. In subsequent years, that research won Vicki the Ig Nobel Award for Literature from Harvard University and was featured on CBS Sunday Morning. Before beginning her faculty position at MSU, her career came full circle when she accepted a position as Academic Coordinator for the McNair Scholars program at her alma mater, University of Central Missouri. She made a promise to herself to pay forward the impact that TRIO had on her life as a first-generation, low-income student and is extremely proud that a McNair Scholar under her tutelage during her time as an Academic Coordinator has just completed a Ph.D. Dr. Gier continues to conduct research with her McNair mentor and long-time friend, Dr. David Kreiner, and hopes to get a McNair Scholars proposal funded at MSU.

Benjamin D. Schears participated in Cowley County Community College IMPACT Student Support Services in 2000-2001. He attributes his success to his mother and grandparents, his IMPACT math tutor who is now his wife of 15 years, and the TRIO staff who helped him reach his potential as a first-generation, low-income college student. “I am walking testimony of what can happen when quality programs, with caring individuals running them, encounter students who need help.”  Benjamin earned a Master of Arts in History from Emporia State University while simultaneously climbing the Cowley ranks. He was named the Executive Director of Enrollment and Outreach Services, only six years after completing his bachelor’s degree. In 2011, Ben was promoted to Vice President for Institutional Advancement. His future goals include earning his doctorate degree and becoming a college president. 


Past TRIO Achievers (2011-2014) Past TRIO Achievers