University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire


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Former EOC Client Now a Professional
Recognized for Achievements

 MAILED:  April 21, 2004

EAU CLAIRE — Bonnie Isaacson, a program counselor in the Educational Opportunity Center at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, received the State TRIO Achievers Award during an April 5 awards ceremony in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The awards are given to distinguished alumni of federally funded TRIO programs. In addition to the Educational Opportunity Center program, which assists people of lower income who are among the first generation in their families to pursue college educations, UW-Eau Claire also participates in three other TRIO programs: Upward Bound, Student Support Services, and the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program.

Isaacson enrolled part-time at UW-Eau Claire as an EOC client shortly after accepting a full-time position at the EOC in 1995. She graduated five years later (cum laude) with an undergraduate degree in psychology and went on to earn a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from UW-Stout.

From coordinating teams for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life to publishing articles and presenting to parent groups on childhood resiliency, Isaacson has made significant civic, community and professional contributions.

“Bonnie has demonstrated that with perseverance and a dream a non-traditional student can work full time, raise a family on a working farm, be an excellent student and give back to her community,” said EOC director Betty (Twink) Hanson, who nominated Isaacson for the award. “She is without a doubt an exemplary role model for ordinary people who are low-income, first-generation college students.”

Isaacson also recognizes the opportunity she has to help others like herself.

“I was truly honored to receive the TRIO Achiever Award as I know there are many people who qualified for the award. I believe that recognizing a person’s accomplishments not only provides a sense of achievement for the individual, but also serves as an inspiration to others that it is possible to tend to one’s immediate needs — family, home, job — as well as pursue a dream,” Isaacson said, noting that this is an especially important message for many women today.

“By being a TRIO participant and now working as a counselor for the Educational Opportunity Center, I am helping to plant seeds in others,” she said. “I know that my story has inspired others to return to school and begin to fulfill their dreams.”


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 Judy Berthiaume, Director
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
(715) 836-4741

Updated: April 21, 2004