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MSU Alum Receives TRIO Achiever Award

Toby Smith HaleMorehead State Upward Bound Math and Science and Student Support Services alumnus, Toby Ann Smith Hale (07) of Huntsville, Alabama, was recognized as a TRIO Achiever at the Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel Conference (SAEOPP) on last month.

“It is an honor for Toby, her family and Morehead State University for her to receive this prestigious honor that is given to TRIO alumni who have gone on to outstanding achievements in their chosen careers,” said Dan Connell, assistant vice president for Regional Education and Outreach.

Smith Hale participated in both Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) and Student Support Services (SSS) at MSU. She also served as a tutor with SSS and as a resident advisor with UBMS. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Morehead State in 2007 with a double major in physics and mathematics. In 2008, Smith Hale earned a Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering at Georgia Tech.

“Toby is one of those students who you will always remember because of the significant impact that she made on the SSS program. She is smart, witty, kind, helpful and determined. I knew she would be successful in whatever she set out to do because of her dedication and love of learning. The SSS staff is so proud of Toby for receiving this award and she will always be our Outstanding TRIO Achiever,” said Shellie Hallock, director of Student Support Services.

Smith Hale is currently employed as the principal data scientist at Science Applications International Corporation in Huntsville. She is currently working on a project for the United States Air Force and credits a trip to space camp in Huntsville while participating in UBMS as her inspiration to enroll in and complete her education in aerospace engineering.

“It is always an honor to have our students recognized for their hard work and dedication, and to share in their successes. We are lucky to have five TRIO programs on this campus that assist disadvantaged students in their pursuit of education,” said Amanda Lewis, director of the Upward Bound Programs.

The Federal TRIO Programs are federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. MSU hosts five TRIO programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.

For more information on Commonwealth Educational Opportunity Centers, Educational Talent Search, Student Support Services, Upward Bound, and Upward Bound Math and Science, call 606-783-2614, or visit