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Alumna honored for contributions to her profession

Morehead State alumna Tobie Hale Smith (07) was among six former first-generation college students who were recently recognized as TRiO Achievers by the Council for Opportunity in Education for their contributions to their professions. Smith received the award at the COE’s annual conference on Sunday, Sept. 8, in Chicago, Illinois.   

Smith was previously named as a TRiO Achiever at the Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel Conference (SAEOPP) in New Orleans, Louisiana. Smith is the principal data scientist at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in Huntsville, Alabama.   

As a high school student, Smith participated in both Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) and Student Support Services (SSS) at MSU after finishing her sophomore year. She also served as a tutor with SSS and as a resident advisor with UBMS while earning her undergraduate degree. She said it was during her time as a student in UBMS, on a trip to space camp in Huntsville, when she decided what she wanted to do for a career.   

“As our charter bus drove into Huntsville, Alabama, the first night of the trip, I saw a Saturn V rocket reaching into the sky, and I felt tears well up in my eyes. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen,” Smith said while accepting the award. “This girl, who had never dreamed of seeing anything so spectacular, now wanted to get an aerospace engineering degree. Upward Bound Math/Science gave my educational life, and ultimately my career, a new direction. For that, I am forever grateful.”  

For more information about TRiO and Upward Bound at Morehead State, visit or call 606-783-9300.

Photo: Tobie Hale Smith (07) works with virtual reality simulators in her work at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in Huntsville, Alabama.