Board of Directors » Officers

Board Chair

Oscar Felix
Associate Vice President for Access and Diversity; Executive Director of the Access Center, Colorado State University
304 Student Services Building, 8200 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO 80523
Phone: (970) 491-6473, Fax: (970) 491-1077, E-mail: (

Past Board Chair

Amy Verlanic
Executive Director, Institute for Educational Opportunities, Montana Tech
1300 West Park, Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 496-4289, Fax: (406) 496-4696, E-mail: (

Amy L. Verlanic is the Executive Director of the Institute for Educational Opportunities at Montana Tech where she works to provide teachers and students with college-based programs that enrich statewide science, engineering, and technology education. In addition to her numerous campus and community assignments, she is an active volunteer with ASPIRE; a professional development and lobbying organization that advocates for educational access and opportunities for low-income, disadvantaged, and Veteran students. Ms. Verlanic has held office at the state, regional and national level. She is currently the Board Chair Elect for the Council for Opportunity in Education, where she is charged to represent the needs of 2,800 federally funded programs serving 790,000 Americans. She is a sought after lecturer on educational access issues; often traveling to address educational aspirations with tribal students, incarcerated youth, veterans, and other disadvantaged populations. Mrs. Verlanic has served six years on the Anaconda School Board and is the Governor’s Appointee on the Montana Board of Personnel Appeals. Amy has earned many accolades through her career; such as a Michael Schwerner National Activist Award Nominee, Anaconda Chamber of Commerce Spark Plug Award recipient, Montana Tech’s Distinguished Alumni Award, U.S. Department of Education Task Force on Technical Program Access delegate, and the U.S. Army’s Most Influential Educators Award recipient.

Board Chair-Elect

Trent Ball
Associate Dean of Students, Academic Support Centers/TRIO, Southeast Missouri State University
University Center Room 414, Mailstop 1850, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
Phone: (573) 986-6134, Fax: (573) 576-6398, E-mail: (


Jorge Antonio Martínez Santiago
Associate Director/TRIO/Talent Search, Fordham University
441 East Fordham Road, FMH 201, Bronx, NY 10458
Phone: (718) 817-4823, Fax: (718) 817-2514, E-mail: (

Mr. Martínez Santiago is the Associate Director for the Academic Talent Search Program at Fordham University. He has dedicated his entire professional career to the field of education. After graduating from the Universidad de Puerto Rico he went on to work as a high school teacher teaching English as a second language. Some years later he moved to New York City where he worked with the Talent Search Program at Columbia University, first as the Senior Counselor and later as the Assistant Director. He then moved to Connecticut where he worked as the Academic Coordinator for the Upward Bound Program at Fairfield University, before coming back to New York City to accept his actual position at Fordham University where he has been since 1993. Jorge Antonio is a past president of the Association for Equality and Excellence in Education, Inc. and is also a past secretary for the COE Board of Directors (when it was known as NCEOA). He served on the COE Board of Directors previously for six consecutive years and is very pleased to be back.


Tracy Karasinski
Director, Access; Assistant Dean, College Support Program, Community College of Rhode Island, Knight Campus
400 East Avenue, Room 1046, Warwick, RI 02886
Phone: (401) 825-2305, E-mail: (


Ronnie Gross
TRIO Executive Director, East Tennessee State University
P.O. Box 70714, Johnson City, TN 37614
Phone: (423) 439-4002, E-mail: (

Dr. Gross is a past chair of the COE Board. He has been involved with the TRIO programs since 1982. He participated in and worked for the Special Services program (Student Support Services) and as a tutor counselor in the Upward Bound Program while he was at Lincoln Memorial University. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in mining engineering and reclamation. While working full time as a counselor for LMU Upward Bound, he completed his master's degree in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in mathematics education. In 1990, he became the director of the Upward Bound program at East Tennessee State University. In May 1996, he completed his doctorate of educational leadership and policy analysis with a concentration in Educational Administration. He currently serves as the executive director of TRIO Outreach Programs at East Tennessee State University.


Maureen Hoyler
President, Council for Opportunity in Education
1025 Vermont Avenue NW, Suite 900, Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone: (202) 347-7430, Fax: (202) 347-0786, E-mail: (