Student Achievements Recognized at 2014 Annual Luncheon
Friends and family members of the UNI Educational Opportunity Center participants, as well as agency and college personnel, gathered Friday, June 6, at UNI-CUE to recognize participants in the program with a 3.0 GPA or higher for their academic achievement.
Each spring the program honors students at this annual event for their hard work in academics throughout the year. This year, at the luncheon the EOC program recognized 52 students for their academic achievement.
The program began with a motivational talk by keynote speaker Ms. Inez Murtha, Director of UNI’s Academic Learning Center. Ms. Murtha has dedicated 45 years of her career in various positions at UNI. She is passionate about serving as an advocate and liaison for all students, particularly those whose opportunities have been limited because of race, disability, and/or socio-economic backgrounds.
“All of you have the seed of greatness,” said Ms. Murtha. She also shared the trials and obstacles she overcame to become who she is today. Ms. Murtha said, “We need those challenges to help us become strong.” She also encouraged others to write down their goals, pursue them, and dream “outside of the box.”
Following Ms. Murtha’s keynote address, two participants shared their personal stories about their educational success and achievements. Alicia Jefferson participates in the program and attended Hawkeye Community College and pursued a Bachelor’s degree at UNI and is now thinking about graduate school.
Alicia stated she had no idea she would one day be talking about 4.0’s and 3.8’s GPA’s and entering a graduate program. She is the mother of three children and also stated she developed a care for herself and began to plant seeds of success within herself to reach her goals.
Reggie Montgomery, also a UNI Educational Opportunity Center participant, spoke at the luncheon. He worked as a welder for 32 years and sustained back and neck injuries. Reggie eventually came to the decision to change careers and is now taking courses at Hawkeye Community College.
“A college education can open doors to future plans that they were probably once closed for me before and your life goals become endless. You can pretty much do anything you want,” he said.