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UNI to host statewide TRiO Leadership Conference

September 25, 2013

Colice Sanders, advising specialist, UNI Student Support Services, 319-273-2179,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- More than 175 students from high schools and colleges across Iowa are expected to attend the sixth annual TRiO Student Leadership Conference, which will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 9, in Maucker Union on the University of Northern Iowa campus. Through a variety of breakout sessions, the conference aims to empower and celebrate the diversity of students who participate in the Iowa TRiO programs, and provide a day of leadership development for students.

Former Iowa TRiO participant Azline Nelson, an East Waterloo High School and Spellman College graduate, will be the keynote speaker. She will address obstacles TRiO students face and how she overcame them, the importance of community and the history of TRiO programs.

"Self-empowerment, welcoming diversity and developing strong leadership skills are essential to everyone’s future, and we are pleased to foster the development of these skills through this conference," said UNI President Bill Ruud. "This conference will benefit all attendees, as rigorous discussions will help all learn to improve their ability to embrace diversity, identify their leadership skills and challenge themselves to engage in new situations."

TRiO programs are federal outreach and student services programs that provide support and opportunities to underrepresented students in higher education. UNI began providing TRiO services in the 1960s and today offers the following TRiO programs: Educational Talent Search, Upward Bound, Educational Opportunity Center, Student Support Services and Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program.

For more information, contact Colice Sanders, advising specialist for UNI Student Support Services, at 319-273-2179 or