March 3, 2017
Sunny Monterey, California served as the backdrop for the 39th Annual Conference for the Western Association of Educational Opportunity Personnel (WESTOP). From February 25-March 1, 2017, over 400 college access members from the states and regions of California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands participated in trainings and workshops with the goal of building excellence in expanding access and opportunity for low income, first-generation students. The keynote speaker and TRIO EOC alumnus, Douglas Luffborough III opened the event and stayed on throughout the conference to offer workshops on leadership styles and identifying leadership attributes in others. The conference focused on self-care for TRIO professionals and understanding social justice tools for supporting TRIO students. Throughout the conference, plenary addresses were made my Ruth Zambrana of the U.S. Latino Studies Initiative at the University of Maryland at College Park, COE President Maureen Hoyler regarding the political reality in Washington and Dr. Linda Byrd-Johnson of the U.S. Department of Education. The conference closed with recognition for the past leadership of WESTOP and the installment of the 2017-2018 WESTOP President, Mr. Sam Blanco III of the University of California, Davis. Sam is a TRIO alumnus who has worked in TRIO programs for over 20 years and is eager to build WESTOP's technological infrastructure, advocacy efforts and introduce mentoring partnerships for new TRIO professionals.
For more information about WESTOP and other regional affiliates of COE, please visit the Affiliates page on our website.