Greenville Technical College professor Crystal Pitrois has received the Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award from the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina and Cengage.
Now in its 30th year, the award honors college faculty, administrators, staff and students for their work on behalf of first-year students and the impact their efforts have on the students and culture of their institutions.
“I am pleased to see Crystal’s important work recognized at a national level,” said Larry Miller, GTC interim vice president of learning and workforce development. “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.”
In addition to serving as a professor, Pitrois is a student advocate and leader for Academic Connections, the department delivering instruction and programming to Greenville Technical College’s newest students.
She recently led the 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. She also 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.
Pitrois is one of 10 award recipients chosen from 82 nominations. This year’s recipients were formally recognized during the 40th annual Conference on The First-Year Experience, which was held virtually Feb. 15-19, 2021.