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Benefits Manager Kristin Austin ’02 recognized with statewide award

Kristin Austin ’02, benefits manager in Furman’s Human Resources department, has received the 2021 Achievement Award from South Carolina TRIO, an organization dedicated to broadening accessibility to and success in formal postsecondary education. The award was given on April 20.

Nationwide, TRIO programs are federal programs designed to reach out to individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. Trio was able to assist Austin, who went on to earn an undergraduate degree at Furman and a master’s degree at North Greenville University.

A self-described “Lowcountry girl” from the town of Smoaks in Colleton County, Austin participated in TRIO’s Upward Bound program at the Technical College of the Lowcountry from 1994 to 1998. After graduation, she worked in human resources at the Spinx Oil Company before joining Furman in 2014.

TRIO professionals develop best practices and methods to reach, motivate and empower students to become college ready, gain college access and graduate from an institution of higher learning. SC TRIO provides talent search, Upward Bound and student support services, as well as educational opportunity centers.

Programs are funded under the Title IV Higher Education Act of 1965 by the U.S. Department of Education, which was part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty.” The name “TRIO” refers to the original three programs started after the act’s 1968 reauthorization: Talent Search, Upward Bound and Student Support Service. SC TRIO offers those programs as well as educational opportunity centers

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