Student Support Services secures federal grant worth over $1 million


Since the late nineties, Student Support Services has been awarded the federal TRIO grant to help fund their program that serves IUPUI students. Through the years, the former director, Barbara Browning, has been in charge of writing the grant. With Browning's retirement, Eric Williams was at the helm of the grant writing process this year.

The grant, which allows for Student Support Services to continue offering services such as academic advising, financial aid, counseling, and tutoring, as well as academic and developmental workshops to the approximately 300 students it serves each year, is worth over $1 million over its five-year cycle.

Williams said that Browning deserves a lot of credit for the grant being awarded to IUPUI for this cycle. “What I basically did is took the template that she had and updated it, looking at the needs of our students today versus 5, 10, 15 years ago or more, even 20 years ago,” said Williams, “and so what we had to do was adapt the grant to what IUPUI's needs are today and what we can anticipate the needs to be over the next five years.”

One of the adoptions was the creation of a new assistant director position.

We had to . . . adapt the grant to what IUPUI's needs are today and what we can anticipate the needs to be over the next five years.  

Eric Williams

With the addition of LaTessa McClendon as assistant director, the Student Support Services program can focus on revamping what it is doing in terms of academic support and broadening what it’s doing in terms of our tutoring services, explained Williams.

Beyond the help that Williams received from McClendon, Williams also credited Cathy Buyarski and Roxanne Gregg with help in the grant writing process.

Buyarski provided and interpreted data that was instrumental in IUPUI being awarded that TRIO grant, said Williams.

Gregg, who oversees the Upward Bound TRIO program was able to give valuable insight into the grant writing process.

“She's been very active in the professional organizations that service TRIO and educational equity programs, so she was able to give me a little bit of information in terms of what might be some things that the grant reviewers are looking for in particular,” said Williams.

With the new cycle of the TRIO grant, Student Support Services will be able to continue to provide personalized assistance to low-income and first-generation students at IUPUI for years to come.

More information

More information regarding Student Support Services can be found here.

For more information, contact the Division of Undergraduate Education Office of Communications at