Board of Directors » Officers

Board Chair

Trent Ball Trent Ball
Associate Dean of Students; Director of Student Retention, Southeast Missouri State University
University Center Room 414, Mailstop 1850, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
Phone: (573) 986-6134, E-mail: (

Trent Ball currently serves as the Associate Dean of Students and Director of Student Retention at Southeast Missouri State University and provides leadership and management of the Academic Support Centers. This includes the administration of programs, hiring, training, supervision and evaluation of the staff and activities of Educational Access Programs, Learning Assistance Programs, the Plan for College Initiative (College Access Challenge Grant), the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program (TRIO), and Student Support Services (TRIO). Mr. Ball is the past president of the Mid-America Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (MAEOPP) and MO-KAN-NE, the Missouri-Kansas-Nebraska Chapter of MAEOPP. Mr. Ball also has served as the Public Institution Representative to the Missouri College Personnel Association (MoCPA) Board as well as serves on the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri’s Education and Employment Board, The Missouri Department of Higher Education’s College Access Advisory Committee, and the UNCF, Inc. St. Louis Leadership Advisory Council. He has presented numerous programs and training seminars at the local, state, regional and national level and has almost 20 years of professional experience in higher education.

Past Board Chair

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

Oscar Felix serves as the Associate Vice President for Diversity, Enrollment and Access, under the Office of the Vice President for Diversity at Colorado State University. Oscar also serves as Executive Director of the Access Center, which includes EOC, Educational Talent Search, Upward Bound, Bridge Scholars Program, and institutionally-funded programs with similar missions- Alliance Partnership, Dream Project and Reach Out. He has worked in the TRIO/College Access and Success field for over 25 years. He has served as state and regional ASPIRE President, regional conference chair, and served as faculty on several TRIO Training Grants and ECMC’s Persist college retention training team. Currently he co-leads Colorado’s State Initiatives efforts to increase opportunities for all students across the state. As Assistant Professor in the Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) masters program, Oscar serves as advisor and co-instructor for the Ethics and Global Perspectives on Student Affairs & Services courses, and a workshop on Access and Opportunity in Higher Education. The Global Perspectives course prepares SAHE students to participate in international field experiences focusing on higher education, student affairs, and student services in Canada, Qatar, China, and Morocco. For the past two years, Oscar served as Director of NASPA's International Symposium, and presented at two-day intensive NASPA International Student Services Institute in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates. Oscar earned his Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from U.S. International University, and his Masters in SAHE and Ph.D. in Education at Colorado State University. His dissertation studied success factors of under-prepared students attending an institution with selective admissions standards.

Board Chair-Elect

Michelle A. Danvers Foust Michelle A. Danvers Foust
Director, TRIO Pre-Collegiate Programs, CUNY, Bronx Community College
2155 University Avenue, GRH 517, Bronx, NY 10453
Phone: (718) 289-5855, Fax: (718) 289-6346, E-mail: (

Michelle Danvers Foust is the director of TRIO Pre-Collegiate Programs (Upward Bound Classic; Upward Bound Math/Science, Educational Talent Search Programs) on the campus of Bronx Community College and has served in this capacity for the past twenty-nine years. She has served at the regional level, on the Board of the Association for Equality and Excellence in Education (AEEE) as president, treasurer and Board member-at-large. Ms. Danvers Foust currently serves on the TRIO CUNY Council, which was convened with CUNY Central support, as a vehicle for TRIO programs within the City University of New York to come together to: increase visibility; share best practices; provide professional development; build relationships across university programs; strengthen the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs; and develop TRIO learning outcomes. As a member of the CUNY Foster Care Collaborative, Ms. Danvers Foust represents TRIO programs to best serve the needs of foster care youth in the Metro New York area and within the City University of New York. Michelle also served as a regional coordinator of the Northeast Consortium, which was funded by Brookhaven National Laboratories, the Department of Energy, General Electric in collaboration with Bronx Community College and Clarkson University; to introduce STEM, project based experiential learning to middle school youth. Her educational credits include a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Ithaca College, and a Juris Doctorate degree from New York Law School. Michelle is a skilled grant writer and has authored many successful competitive educational grants.


Jeff Kahlden Jeff Kahlden
Director, Upward Bound, Weatherford College
225 College Park Dr., Weatherford, TX 76086
Phone: (817) 598-6485, E-mail: (

Jeff Kahlden is the director of Upward Bound at Weatherford College in Weatherford, TX since September 2006. He has previously served as Upward Bound director at University of Arkansas-Fort Smith and many different positions in Upward Bound at his alma mater, Tarleton State University. Jeff holds a B.S. in agricultural services and development with a minor in animal science and an M.S. in agricultural education from Tarleton State University. Jeff is a graduate of SWASAP’s Emerging Leaders Institute (ELI), former president of TASSSP, parliamentarian for SWASAP, and has chaired or co-chaired numerous committees; most recently co-chair SWASAP’s ELI and Student Leadership Conference committees. Jeff also serves in his community as an assistant coach for flag football and baseball, clock operator at WC Basketball games, member of TSU TTP-TTS Alumni board, and numerous other organizations.


Tracy Karasinski Tracy Karasinski
Dean, Office of Opportunity and Outreach, Community College of Rhode Island, Knight Campus
400 East Avenue, Room 1046, Warwick, RI 02886
Phone: (401) 825-2305, Fax: (401) 825-1148, E-mail: (

Tracy Karasinski has worked in TRIO since 1994 and has served her state and regional association in several capacities over the years, including past-president of the New England Educational Opportunity Association (NEOA). Currently, Tracy oversees the Office of Opportunity and Outreach at the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI), a multi-program department that includes the institution’s cadre of TRIO programs. Prior to CCRI, she worked for an independent living counseling agency as a counselor for persons with disabilities. In addition to her work with TRIO, Tracy has been active in her local community and has served on various boards and commissions including the RI Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the Board of Trustees for the RI School for the Deaf and the Genesis Center, a family literacy agency in Providence, RI. Tracy is also certified by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation as a Basic Rider Coach.

A native of west Michigan, Tracy holds an A.A. in Liberal Arts from Grand Rapids Junior College, Grand Rapids, MI and a BSW and MSW in Policy, Planning and Administration from Western Michigan University, in Kalamazoo, MI.


Ronnie Gross Ronnie Gross
Executive Director, TRIO Programs, 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 of Directors. 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 (LMU). 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 nine TRIO Programs at East Tennessee State University; Educational Opportunity Center, Educational Talent Search, Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement, Student Support Services, Upward Bound (3), Upward Bound Math-Science and Veterans Upward Bound. He was named as a recipient of the Walter O. Mason, Jr. award in September 2014.


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

On October 1, 2013, Maureen Hoyler assumed the position of President of the Council for Opportunity in Education, a nonprofit organization that provides professional development, program improvement, and advocacy for nearly 2,800 federally funded college opportunity programs at almost 1,000 colleges and universities nationwide. Ms. Hoyler has been a voice for low-income, first-generation students and individuals with disabilities. As President, she oversees management of the Washington office and the fiscal affairs of the Association also while serving as the primary liaison between the Association and the United States Congress, the Executive Branch, all Governmental Agencies. She is the official representative of the Association with all other postsecondary educational associations.

She began her career at the Educational Opportunity Program at Marquette University as an assistant to the then Director, Dr. Arnold Mitchem. Ms. Hoyler moved to Washington in 1981 to establish the Council’s office. As the organization’s Chief Operating Officer, she has played an integral role in the growth of the organization over the past 33 years, which started with a staff of just one full-time professional in 1982. Ms. Hoyler has lectured widely on federal law and regulations. Her publications include “Collaboration to Widen Participation in Higher Education” (The European Access Network) and “Expanding College Access and Success: The Chicago Model” (with George Lowery). Over the years, she has received numerous awards from TRIO-based associations. She received her B.A. and her law degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.