TRIO News & Events


SUNO’s Upward Bound produces winners at Tulane science fair

July 20, 2011


UPB science fair winners


The Upward Bound Program placed first and second at an Upward Bound Science Olympiad on Tuesday at the Newcomb Center at Tulane University.  The Olympiad was sponsored by Tulane University’s Upward Bound Program.


The first place winners are Amanda Thomas and Joshua Ambrose-Howell with the entry “Micro fauna that lives Under Your Feet” which uncovered soil-dwelling arthropods that are not seen by the naked eye and are sometimes missed by the microscope.


The second place winners were Taylor Day, Amalachi Eweni, and Jasper Landry with “E-waste Reducing the Hydra Headed Monster”.  Their research discovered how and where millions of tons of electronic waste are disposed.   The students were mentored by Kevin Akor, a science instructor with the program.


Honda Campus All-Star Challengers get big win in Texas

March 11, 2011


The SUNO Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) team scored a major victory when they won the 2011 Pre-National Championship Tournament (NCT) at Prairie View A&M University on March 5th. The team, which consists of Eugenie TobinDalvin Ford, Jr.Terri Simon-Coleman, and Letesa Simms, defeated the reigning national champions Prairie View A&M, 250-115 to bring the tournament championship home. Tobin is the captain, and the team is coached by Ruth Johnson, Director of SUNO’s Educational Talent Search Program.


The SUNO team proved to be a more formidable force than in previous years. At the 2010 National Championship Tournament in Orlando, Fla., the team experienced an early exit. Through all of it, the SUNO HCASC team suffered crushing defeats in Pre-NCT rounds and “scrimmages” against highly experienced teams from across the country.


The SUNO team’s path to the Pre-NCT victory was paved with convincing wins:

  • SUNO 285, Texas College 60
  • SUNO 265, Wiley College 85
  • SUNO 320, Jackson State 125
  • SUNO 180, Southern University 105
  • SUNO 270, Alcorn State 90 (Semi-Finals)


The victory gives SUNO an automatic bid for the 2012 National Championship Tournament as a member of the “Great 48″.


TRIO student excels in national educational web-based competition

December 2, 2010

Tiara Jones, a student with SUNO’s Educational Talent Search Program and a freshman at McDonogh #35 High School, competed in the national 2010 TRIO Quest activities sponsored by the University of Washington, and won the Gold medal for her photoessay entry entitled “What Is Autism?”. Miss Jones aspires to be a medical doctor.


TRIO students from around the country participated in one or more of three web activities in a national competition called TRIO Quest: Media Quest, PhotoEssay, and TRIO Sites. All three activities are open to all college and pre-college TRIO programs. The PhotoEssay competition is an individual competition and requires students to create written material that is enhanced by images they took and manipulated for the web. More about these extraordinary projects can be found at

TRIO Quest was first funded by the Department of Education to encourage TRIO students and programs to begin to master 21st century learning skills.  These competitions and all program support are directed by the TRIO Training Program at the University of Washington.


With guidance from over 500 TRIO staff, over 2000 TRIO students participated in the 2010 TRIO Quest activities. TRIO programs submitted the following for national judging: 81 educational web sites created by over 400 TRIO students, 600 individual PhotoEssays, and over 100 Media Quest activities created by over 300 students. Out of the 81 TRIO Sites, 18 (22%) made it to the final judges for awards; from the 600 PhotoEssays, 30 essays (5%) made it to the final judges. And, 16 (16%) of the Media Quest submissions became finalists in the competition.


Johnson elected COE secretary

May 24, 2010



Ruth W. Johnson, Director of SUNO’s Educational Talent Search Program, was elected Secretary for the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) Board of Directors.  The Council, based in Washington, D.C., represents TRiO Programs which are funded by the U.S. Department of Education.


The TRiO Programs include Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math/Science, Veterans Upward Bound, Student Support Services, Educational Talent Search, Educational Opportunity Centers, and the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement program.  The TRiO Programs are funded via the Higher Education Act of 1965 to boost academic and economic competitiveness among students globally, especially for low-income and/or first-generation participants.


Johnson has worked with TRiO Programs over the past twelve years.  She also served as President for Louisiana Association for Student Assistance Programs (2005), President of the Southwest Association for Student Assistance Programs (2007), and the National Conference Co-chairperson in 2009.  As the Regional Chairperson for 2009 National Fair Share Campaign’s Southwest Region, Johnson raised $434,000, which made up124% of budgeted contribution.


Johnson is also an alumna of SUNO as well as the Committee for a Better New Orleans/Metropolitan Area Committee (CBNO/MAC), and she serves on the Development Committee. She is married to Vincent T. Johnson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management Information Systems at Southern University at New Orleans. Johnson is the mother of David, Niani (Magee), and Henry Price.