ASPIRE program honors graduates; Packers’ Davis speaks

April 27, 2017

Students in ASPIRE-Student Support Services programs gather with Rob Davis, back row fourth from left, a Green Bay Packers staff member and former player.

A group of students at University of Wisconsin-Stout who have benefited from national support grants were honored at a special ceremony recently on campus and heard an inspirational message from a member of the Green Bay Packers staff.

ASPIRE-Student Support Services at UW-Stout held a recognition event at Harvey Hall Theatre for students in two grant programs who are graduating Saturday, May 6.

ASPIRE-SSS oversees two federal TRIO grants, the Classic Grant and the Disability Grant. Together, the grants serve 430 students at UW-Stout who are first-generation college students, meet federal low-income criteria or have a disability.

Students receive personalized advising and mentoring, including support with writing, mathematics, financial aid and financial literacy, along with other benefits to help increase retention and graduation rates.

The keynote speaker was Rob Davis, director of player engagement for the Packers and the team’s former long snapper for 11 seasons. He retired in 2008. Davis was a first-generation college student, graduating from Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Pa.

After retiring and joining the Packers’ staff, Davis started CULTURE — care, understanding, loyalty, toughness, utilization, respect, education — to benefit at-risk youth in area school districts through hands-on programs.

UW-Stout’s two TRIO grants exceeded federal guidelines last year in terms of their percentage of students meeting persistence and good standing goals. Students with the Classic Grant were 22 percent ahead of the goal for persistence and 7 percent ahead for good standing. Students with the Disability Grant were 16 percent ahead for persistence and 10 percent ahead for good standing.

The directors of the grants are Angela Swenson-Holzinger, classic, and Angela Ruppe, disability.

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Photo

Students in ASPIRE-Student Support Services programs gather with Rob Davis, back row fourth from left, a Green Bay Packers staff member and former player. The students, who graduate May 6, are front row from left, Mary Kate Mahmood, vocational rehabilitation; Skylar Kitchner, human development and family studies; and Rebecca Marquard, family and consumer sciences education. Back row, Javante Watson-Hall, HDFS; Laura Manley, HDFS; Corrine Prince, early childhood education; Amber Cummings, HDFS; Rachel Rowles, HDFS; and Josh Carr, construction. Photo by UW-Stout student Michaela Guerrini.