Senior Arian Alai, in a green plaid shirt, hugs Jill Kline, wearing a teal jacket, in front of a black, silver and red balloon arch. In the foreground, students and their families are seated, with only Arian and Jill in focus.
Arian Alai ’23 gives a hug to Jill Kline after receiving the Tutor of the Year Award during the TRiO program's end of year celebration on Sunday, April 23. Kline is the engagement and retention coordinator, and tutoring coordinator, for Doane's Academic Success Center, and said Alai was an incredible help to her in her first year working at Doane, that he took on more than was required and was the key behind the success of Doane's tutoring program.

For 35 years, Doane has been awarded the federal TRiO grant, which serves students who are first-generation, income eligible or who have a disability. The grant funds many programs within Doane’s Academic Success Center (ASC), including virtual and in-person tutoring, the Tiger Mentorship Program, financial literacy workshops and cultural events including First-Generation Student Week, the Writing Marathon to the Sandhill Cranes, and opportunities to attend off-campus events, such as the Lincoln Community Playhouse’s production of The Mountain Top.

Over the years, the number of students supported by TRiO has steadily grown and nearly half the residential student population is currently engaged in TRiO programming. On Sunday, April 23, a tree planting ceremony was held to recognize the hard work and enduring legacy of Doane’s TRiO students. Dr. Roger Hughes, Doane president, and Dr. Lorie Cook-Benjamin, chief academic officer, both spoke at the event — both were first-generation college students themselves.

“The tree planting ceremony is our way of sharing that for students who choose Doane and qualify for TRiO support, not only are they going to be supported while they attend Doane, but we help them build a community and a legacy that will stay at Doane representing who they are and their accomplishments,” said Jill Kline, ASC engagement and retention coordinator, and tutoring coordinator.

Students also shared how TRiO had impacted them, in encouraging them to pursue on-campus leadership roles — like Payton Detavernier ’23, who served as executive director of Relay for Life, and Will Grixby ’23, who was Student Congress president — helping them find their way on campus, and finding success beyond Doane.

“It did a lot for me to be that extra resource,” said JP Payne ’24, who served as a Tiger Mentor to peers and younger students. “And the TRiO program was that resource for me.” 


Tiger Success Endurance Award 

The Tiger Success Endurance Award is presented to the Tiger Success Mentee who has demonstrated incredible persistence in the face of adversity, and in doing so, has achieved success for themselves. 

Jordan Bocock ’26

Glenn Mitchell Leadership Award 

Dr. Glenn Mitchell ’70 exemplified the qualities of a Tiger Mentor long before the program existed. As an undergrad, Dr. Mitchell found success on campus as a 4-year letter winner and earned his spot on the Dean’s List. He has spent his career in education mentoring youth as a teacher and administrator. Each year, the Academic Success Center and TRiO program presents the Glenn Mitchell Leadership Award to the Tiger Mentor who embodies the spirit of Dr. Mitchell.

Grace Deines ’23

TRiO Student of the Year 

Given to a TRiO student who has been enrolled in the program all four years at Doane and has given back in different ways to the program and to Doane.

Cameron Hower ’23

Tutor of the Year Award

The Tutor of the Year Award is presented to a student who has shown exceptional communication skills, continuously advocating for themselves and their clients, and went above and beyond the basic roles of tutoring. They are supported by their professors and exhibit significant grasp on content and scholarship, along with a clear understanding of academic integrity.

Arian Alai ’23

TRiO Persistence Award 

Given to a TRiO student who has exhibited perseverance despite personal obstacles, and demonstrated academic excellence, as well as service and commitment to Doane’s values and vision.

Grace Deines ’23

Tutors of Distinction

Ava Kuhl ’25

Ashley Marsh ’23

Emily Mason ’23

Jacob Patrick ’23

Jared Smith ’24

Derek Story ’25

Sydney Tramp ’23

Lindsey Udell ’25

Cristian Yanez ’25

Writing Consultants of Distinction

Jadyn Vacha ’23

Isabel Henson ’23

Luke Henriksen ’23

Brandon Linhart ’23

Ashton Brewer ’25

Liz van der Torre ’23

Mentor of Distinction

Liv Diggins ’24

Blair Kampovitz ’25

Jeremiah “JP” Payne ’24

Zack Perez ’23

AJ Salinas ’24

Ashlyn Kucera ’25

Katie Schroeder ’23

Jadyn Vacha ’23

Krismar Williams ’25

Mentees of Distinction

Garrett Rasmussen ’26

Hannah Nix ’26

Jerzie Maher ’26

Gio Casteñeda ’26

Financial Empowerment Award

Recipients attended multiple financial literacy events (workshops, scholarship search, meeting with financial aid, budgeting meeting) each semester.

Abby Reedy ’25

Devin Jepson ’25

Sam Collins ’26

Elenna Koenig ’26

Jay Kendall ’26

TRiO Outstanding Senior Award

Will Grixby ’23

Emily Ficke ’23

Frazzie Wynn ’23