38th Annual Conference

Covering All the Bases of College Opportunity

Covering All the Bases of College Opportunity • September 8-11, 2019 • Hyatt Regency Chicago • Chicago, IL

COE’s 38th Annual Conference in Chicago was a tremendous success! More than 1,800 college access and success professionals, alumni, and supporters gathered to engage in thought-provoking workshops, inspiring plenary sessions, and heart-warming celebrations. A few highlights from the conference appear below. You can watch video clips of the 2019 TRIO Achievers and Walter O. Mason Award winners on COE’s YouTube page. You can also find photos from the conference on COE’s Flickr page.

Be sure to save the date for next year’s Annual Conference, which will be held at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio from September 20-23, 2020, in San Antonio, Texas.

Times Columnist Charles Blow Kicks Off 38th Annual COE Conference

Charles BlowAward-winning New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Charles Blow kicked off COE's 38th Annual Conference in Chicago with an inspiring and provocative dialogue session moderated by COE Board Chair Kristian Wiles. During their exchange, Blow shared memories of how his upbringing in rural, segregated Louisiana and later his attendance at Grambling University shaped his self-image and career choices. Throughout the conversation, he reflected on many of the same issues that he frequently addresses in his biweekly column - including institutional racism, mass incarceration, and gun violence. In doing so, Blow challenged the audience to get more involved in state and local policy as a means of affecting change. He also expressed that the most recent scandals relating to college admission and financial aid only further disadvantaged low-income, minority, and disabled students and others served by TRIO programs. See more coverage of this conversation on social media by following the hashtags #COEAC2019 and #COEinCHI.

Rep. Lauren Underwood Addresses Higher Education at COE's Annual Conference

Lauren UnderwoodFreshman House Representative Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) addressed the participants in COE’s 38th Annual Conference on September 9, 2019. A Member of the House Committee on Education and Labor, she told the audience about two bills that she has introduced that she hopes will become part of the HEA reauthorization. One bill would relieve students who qualify for Pell Grants of the need to resubmit the FAFSA each year. The other bill, which was lead by fellow Illinois Democrat Danny Davis, would provide funding for TRIO Student Support Services participants to cover one-time, unexpected emergency expenses.

Congresswoman Underwood took several questions from the audience and committed to addressing these concerns once back in Washington. She urged audience members to relay their concerns to the COE Government Relations team so that her office can follow up as appropriate.

Walter O. Mason Awardees

Mason AwardeesLet’s congratulate the 2019 Walter O. Mason Awardees. Thank you for your dedication and commitment to college access and success for low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities.

(l-r): Mateo Arteaga, Director, Educational Opportunity Centers, Central Washington University; Pamela Boisvert, Retired CEO, Massachusetts Education and Career Opportunities Inc.; and Bernard Clay, Executive Director, Introspect Youth Services, Inc.

National TRIO Achievers

TRIO AchieversCongratulations to the 2019 National TRIO Achievers. Thank you all for sharing your inspiring stories with us!

(l-r): Lacy Durham, Senior Manager, Deloitte Tax LLP and Alumna, Upward Bound, Grambling State University; Erica Klampfl, Manager of Global Data Insights and Analytics, Ford Motor Company and Alumna, McNair Scholars Program, Louisiana State University; Carlos Mariani Rosa, State Representative, Minnesota House of Representatives, and Executive Director, Minnesota Educational Equity Partnership, Inc., and Alumnus, Student Support Services, Macalester College; David Estrada, Associate Director for Center for Advanced Energy Studies and Associate Professor, Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering, Boise State University, and Alumnus, McNair Scholars Program, Boise State University; Tobie Smith, Principal Data Scientist and Team Lead, SAIC, and Alumna, Upward Bound Math/Science and Student Support Services, Morehead State University; and Awale Osman, Program Officer, Community Innovation Team, Bush Foundation, and Alumnus, Upward Bound, Rochester Community and Technical College; Student Support Services, North Hennepin Community College; and McNair Scholars Program, Augsburg College.

Leaders from Business and Academia Address Cultural Narratives Surrounding Workforce Preparation

Closing PanelA high profile panel of education and business leaders closed out COE’s 38th Annual Conference with an engaging discussion around the cultural narratives surrounding the term “workforce preparation” and how postsecondary and corporate institutions can respond in a way that promotes inclusion, diversity, and equity. Shaun Harper, founder and executive director of the Race and Equity Center at the University of Southern California, moderated the panel, which included Dan Porterfield, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute; Asahi Pompey, Global Head of Corporate Engagement and President of the Goldman Sachs Foundation; and Rebecca Arbogast, Senior Vice President for Global Public Policy at Comcast. During the session, each of the panelists shared their own views about what entities in both the academic and corporate arenas needed to do to enhance diversity and equity. Ms. Arbogast shared that it’s impossible to effect change if you’re “the only person in the room.” So, for Comcast, change had to start at the top. Today two-thirds of the organization’s workforce represent diverse backgrounds and half of the organizational leadership (i.e., vice presidents) are either women or people of color. Ms. Pompey echoed this sentiment, stating that the tone from the top is critical and institutions must be sure that this message is spread throughout the entire organization. Dr. Porterfield shared that leaders — particularly those from traditionally empowered backgrounds — have a responsibility to use their privilege to listen, create opportunity and push for inclusivity at their institutions. All of the panelists agreed that diversity yielded stronger institutions. Ms. Pompey stated unequivocally that a diverse workforce outperforms its peers. She then went on to share how Goldman Sachs digitized its recruitment strategy to cultivate a more diverse pool of candidates representing over 100 different colleges and universities. Reflecting on the initiatives he ushered in as president of Franklin and Marshall College, Dr. Porterfield stated, “In order to be the best school possible, it was necessary to go out to where the talent is.” During the Q&A portion of the session, panelists engaged college access and success professionals on such topics as the qualities top employers seek in candidates, concerns regarding unpaid internships, and challenges facing older students.

Board of Directors

Board of DirectorsMeet the Officers of COE’s 2019-2020 Board of Directors.

(l-r): Treasurer Leo Conway, Assistant Director, Upward Bound, Penn State University; Secretary Diana Tapia-Wright, Director of Grant Funded Programs, Reedley College; Board Chair-Elect Sari Byerly, Director, TRIO Student Service Programs, Idaho State University; Board Chair Kyle Ethelbah, Director, TRIO Programs, University of Utah; and Past Board Chair Kristian Wiles, Executive Director of Retention and Academic Support Programs, Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, University of Washington.

ED Official Brings Listening Ear and Assuring News to the TRIO Community

Diane Auer JonesDiane Auer Jones, the Principal Deputy Under Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education, addressed the TRIO community at COE’s 38th Annual Conference in Chicago. During her remarks, Ms. Auer Jones, who is also delegated to perform the duties of Under Secretary, expressed solidarity with the TRIO community as she shared her own experiences as a first-generation college-goer and later faculty member and grant administrator. Given these experiences, she knows first-hand the implications of late grant applications for individual programs, campuses, and students. This informed her action last year in reversing course to re-issue the FY 2018 grant award notifications (to eliminate the requirement to increase student numbers in proportion to the increase in grant funds) and also inform the Department’s actions moving forward with the pending Student Support Services grant competition. With respect to SSS, Auer Jones indicated that the Department expected to issue the final application in late October/early November. During her remarks, Auer Jones also discussed recent competitions that took place in the GEAR UP and CCAMPIS programs as well as Administration initiatives to provide loan forgiveness for student veterans.