Board of Directors » Officers
Evelyn Rivera Torres
Director, Talent Search, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus
P.O. Box 23323, San Juan, PR 00931
Phone: (787) 764-0000, Ext. 2979/2975, Fax: (787) 764-0000, Ext. 7200, E-mail: (email@example.com
Dr. Rivera Torres has worked in many positions, most significantly as a public schoolteacher; director of training and personnel development at the State Water and Sewer Authority; as a psychologist; educational trainer and facilitator; director of Talent Search program since 1995; professor of social sciences courses, and a counselor for an adult students program. She has been a member of the Caribbean Association of TRIO Programs since 1995. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in social psychology, and a doctorate in counseling, all from the University of Puerto Rico.
Past Board Chair
Director, Educational Opportunity Programs, University of Kansas
301 Joseph R. Pearson Hall, 1122 West Campus Road, Lawrence, KS 66045-3101
Phone: (785) 864-3401, Fax: (785) 864-0399, E-mail: (firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Kamatuka is the immediate past president of MAEOPP and the director of the Educational Opportunity Programs at the University of Kansas. He has been at KU since 1987, previously serving as academic services coordinator for the Upward Bound program and interim director for the Institute for Educational Research and Public Service. Dr. Kamatuka holds a Ph.D. and M.S.Ed. in higher education from the University of Kansas and a B.A. in education from Tabor College. He is the recipient of several awards and honors, including the University of Kansas Unclassified Employee of the Year, the University of Kansas School of Education Achievement Award for Professional Staff, and the University of Kansas Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa Outstanding Educator.
Director, Technical Outreach, Montana Tech
1300 West Park, Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 496-4289, Fax: (406) 496-4696, E-mail: (email@example.com
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.
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: (firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
John Jay Wright
Director, Upward Bound, Marshall University
One John Marshall Drive, Huntington, WV 25755
Phone: (304) 696-6846, E-mail: (email@example.com
Jay Wright began his involvement with TRiO as a Summer Counselor in 1990 with the Marshall University Upward Bound Program. Jay’s entire professional career has been involved with education. He spent several years working in Student Affairs in Pennsylvania and North Carolina before returning to West Virginia. In 2002 Jay accepted the position as Director the Empowering Appalachia Talent Search Program at Marshall University and in 2008 took over the Directorship of the Marshall University Upward Bound Program. During his tenure with TRIO, Jay has been an active member of both WV TRiO and MEAEOPP. He has served as President of WVAEOPP and MEAEOPP and currently serves as Secretary on the MEAEOPP Board. As a first generation college student himself, he very much understands the value and hard work involved in obtaining a college degree. Jay believes strongly in the mission of TRiO and brings with him to this position a high energy level, a strong commitment, along with a willingness and dedication to serve.
Executive Director, TRIO Programs, East Tennessee State University
P.O. Box 70714, Johnson City, TN 37614
Phone: (423) 439-4002, E-mail: (firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Arnold L. Mitchem
President, Council for Opportunity in Education
1025 Vermont Avenue NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 347-7430, Fax: (202) 347-0786, E-mail: (email@example.com
Dr. Arnold L. Mitchem, the founding president of the Council for Opportunity in Education, has been a voice for low-income, first-generation students, individuals with disabilities, adult learners, and veterans throughout his entire career. The mission of the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) is to advance and defend the ideal of equal educational opportunity in postsecondary education. COE provides professional development, program improvement, and advocacy for over 2,800 federally funded college opportunity programs at more than 1,000 colleges and universities nationwide. Close to 790,000 students are served annually.
Dr. Mitchem’s knowledge of grassroots organizing and understanding of the political landscape at the local, national, and international level has propelled COE to become the “voice for college opportunity.” He introduced the concept of “first-generation students” through his Congressional testimony in the late 1970s — and the term was incorporated into the Education Amendments of 1980. Dr. Mitchem has testified before Congress more than a dozen times to share his expertise on education reform, the importance of a quality education, and student loan issues.
Dr. Mitchem is a member of the Executive Committee of the European Access Network and serves on the Board of Trustees of Marquette University. He is a former trustee of the College Board, past president of the Committee for Education Funding, a Washington, D.C.-based coalition of national education associations, and served on INROADS, Inc.’s first national board. Dr. Mitchem was also the founding president of the Mid-America Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (1974-1976) and the recipient of the Arturo Schomburg Distinguished Service Award from the Association for Equality and Excellence in Education, Inc. He is also the recipient of both the 2013 Award for Advocacy of Independent Higher Education from the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) Award of Excellence (2013).
Because of his tireless advocacy for underrepresented students, Dr. Mitchem was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and honorary doctorates from 10 universities: CUNY-Lehman College, DePaul University, University of Illinois, University of Liverpool, Marquette University, Marycrest College, University of Massachusetts-Boston, Lewis University in Chicago, St. Joseph University in Philadelphia, and St. Louis University. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Forbes.com, The Huffington Post, and numerous other print and online publications.
Dr. Mitchem began his career on the history faculty at Marquette University and was later named director of Marquette’s Educational Opportunity Program, serving in that role until 1986, when he moved to Washington, D.C. to assume the presidency of the Council for Opportunity in Education. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Colorado, did graduate work in European history as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, and earned a Ph.D. in foundations of education from Marquette University.