Crystal Pitrois of Greenville Technical College has been named a recipient of the Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award by the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina and Cengage. The award, now in its 30th year, honors college faculty, administrators, staff, and students for their outstanding work on behalf of first-year students and for the impact their efforts have on the students and culture of their institutions.
Ten award recipients were chosen from 82 nominations. This year’s recipients were formally recognized during the 40th annual Conference on The First-Year Experience, held virtually February 15-19, 2021.
Pitrois serves as professor, student advocate, and leader for Academic Connections, the department delivering instruction and programming to Greenville Technical College’s newest students. Recently, Pitrois led expansion of the college’s Freshman Seminar course, making it mandatory for most students and contextualizing the curriculum by major in order to frame the materials in the student’s area of interest and build early connections with program faculty and advisors. In addition, she oversees a food pantry to connect students with emergency assistance, public resources, and support along with a Financial Education Center that works to develop financial literacy skills, which can have lifelong impact.
“I am pleased to see Crystal’s important work recognized at a national level,” said Dr. Larry Miller, interim vice president of learning and workforce development at Greenville Technical College. “Her efforts to help students engage more fully with the college and its resources are increasing success rates and strongly supporting the college’s mission of transforming lives through education.”