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GCU Marks TRIO Week 2020 with Speakers, Community Service, and More

GCU TRIO program with students

Georgian Court University’s TRIO Week 2020 is set for February 17-21 and includes a range of activities and events.

Participants will benefit from surrounding themselves with peers and guests who have similar experiences—all in an engaging, enriching, and welcoming environment. TRIO-Student Support Services is sponsoring a food, clothing, and household goods drive for Providence House Domestic Violence Services. In addition, Georgian Court students will hear from a five-member TRIO Alumni Panel and guest speaker Malia L. Segal. 

Planned Events

Here’s more about select events:

TRIO Alumni Panel
5:00-7:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 18
Little Theater

Navigating life during and after college can be challenging for many. Five GCU TRIO alumni will discuss their experiences as college graduates and the process of entering the workforce to help guide and inspire students. The panel includes Alexis R. Jenkins, Ralph Noriega, Ayomide Adebayo, Christine Romo, and Harley Suter. Students are encouraged to interact and ask questions. 

Meet the panel:

Alexis R. Jenkins from Galloway, New Jersey, graduated Georgian Court University with a B.A. in Mathematics and a minor in psychology. Since graduating from GCU, she has continued her educational journey by completing an M.S. in Student Affairs and College Counseling in May of 2019. Ms. Jenkins is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in higher education at St. Peter’s University. Some of her other accomplishments include founding Youth Dreamers Inc., co-founding the Empowering Black Males Program, and serving as the vice president of Morph Mentoring. Ms. Jenkins is interested in underrepresented college students and retention for male students of color at the higher education level.

Ralph Noriega completed a B.A. in Criminal Justice with a concentration in psychology at Georgian Court University. He is a special one class officer at the Bradley Beach Police Department, as well as an EMT-B and first responder. 

Ayomide Adebayo completed a B.A. in Digital Communication/Graphic Design and Multimedia at Georgian Court University. He is currently continuing his education by pursuing an M.S. in Information Technology (MSIT) in Web Design degree. 

Christine Romo completed a B.A. in Criminal Justice with a concentration in law enforcement and corrections at Georgian Court University. She is currently a campus safety officer at GCU and works hard to ensure the safety and security of students. 

Harley Suter from Howell, New Jersey, completed a B.A. in Psychology at Georgian Court University. She is currently working toward completing a degree in teaching with the goal of becoming an elementary school teacher. 


To and Through College: Navigating Challenges and Opportunities
Guest Speaker, Malia L. Segal, LCSW, RPT
5:00-7:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 19
Lion’s Den

Malia Segal is a featured guest speaker for TRIO Week.

Malia L. Segal is a first-generation college graduate of Monmouth University and is currently working as a children’s therapist at the Therapy Institute in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. She received an athletic scholarship to attend MU, and was also part of the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program during her time there. After Ms. Segal graduated, she spent time working at a high-performing charter school in Newark. Her experiences there helped her understand why children exhibit challenging behavior that is often looked down upon and misunderstood. She realized that empathy should be the priority in helping students work through their problems, and punishment should be avoided as much as possible. Ms. Segal went on to complete the Play Therapy Certificate Program at New Jersey City University, to help her gain more knowledge about how to help children heal.

She believes play therapy allows children to comfortably work through their challenges by playing, with the option to speak as much or as little as they please with no judgement. Ms. Segal also works at a Monmouth County high school, counseling students and bringing in some play therapy techniques when possible. 


There are other activities associated with TRIO Week including a reception, financial aid events, and service projects. To learn more, contact Lindsay Riccardi at ude.naigroeg@idraccirl.

Story contributed by GCU English major Melissa Grinvalds ’20

About Georgian Court University

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 2,400 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 14 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2019, GCU was named a Best College for Your Money by Money Magazine and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. GCU rose more than 30 points in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings due, in part, to high student retention and graduation rates, which also made GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility. The main campus is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students at other locations, such as GCU at Hazlet, GCU at Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland Campus, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.

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