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Association Leadership

Victor Rojas


CSU Los Angeles

Dalia Hernandez

President- Elect

CSU San Bernardino

Armando Bustos Jr.


Azusa Pacific University

Jasmine Torres


West Valley College

Nilda Iniguez

Chief Financial Officer

Chapter Officers

Eden Eaton


Pima College

Gema Quiroz Torres

Northern California

Cal Poly Humboldt

April Alexander

Central California

West Hills Community College

Nick Childs

Pacific Islands

UC Berkeley

Cuauhtemoc Solorio

Southern California

California Lutheran University

Nicholas Goodsell


College of Southern Nevada

Service Council

Keyanna Hatcher

Professional Development Chair

UC Berkeley

Lydia Perez


Mesa Community College

Wendy Adams

Membership & Elections Chair

Mesa Community College

Ana Prado

Fair Share

Cal Lutheran University

Amel Khan


California State University-Dominguez Hills

Horacio Aceves

Public Relations

Occidental College

Jesus Maldonado

Legislation and Education

Sonoma State University

Oswaldo Lopez

Resource Development

Occidental College

Tomasa Mauricio

Professional Development Chair-ELI

Barrio Logan

Michele Scott

Archives Chair

CSU Long Beach


Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Chair


TRIO Alumni

Ben Reynoso

Annual Conference Tri-Chair

Fresno City College

Diana Vasquez

Annual Conference Tri-Chair

CSU Fullerton

Michael Osorio

Annual Conference Tri-Chair

Evergreen Valley College

Association History


Dr. Ratliff agreed to coordinate regular meetings of Upward Bound Directors in Southern California. Most of these meetings included conversations surrounding the need for a professional association.

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A small group of TRIO project directors convened in Long Beach to begin the process of writing a constitution and by-laws for what was originally called the Association of TRIO…

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The WESTOP President and President-Elect attended the Mid America Association of Educational Opportunity Personnel (MAEOPP). Attendance at the conference awakened them to the real potential for WESTOP to serve as…

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The conclusion was made that there was a need to generate income in order to finance the activities of WESTOP. The easiest way would be to emulate the example of…

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A small contingent of newer association members had concluded that there was a great potential clout and influence in WESTOP and that there did not appear to be much opportunity…

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Throughout WESTOP’s history, California had commanded a large influence on WESTOP in terms of activities, issues, and leadership. It wasn’t until 1996 that WESTOP saw it’s first President form a…

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Leonard Woods became the first WESTOP President from the Nevada Chapter and the second from outside of California.

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At WESTOP’s Annual Conference in Hawaii, the WESTOP membership voted to recognize the newly created Central California Chapter (CenCal). Previously, only two Chapters existed in California– those being the Northern…

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James Oda became the first WESTOP President from the Pacific Islands Chapter.

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CenCal quickly created more WESTOP history when Jose Martinez-Saldana became the first WESTOP President from CenCal.

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WESTOP is running under a new leadership structure. The Board of Directors was once a Board of 22 people. Leadership now consists of a smaller sized Board of 11 which…

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WESTOP Board developed a 5-year Strategic Plan (2009-2014). WESTOP Board of Directors (BOD) held their first board meeting in Palau. BOD members met with TRIO programs on the island, as…

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WESTOP Annual Conference at Long Beach, held the second Educational Summit with the CA Department of Education. Vice President’s of university’s and local instructors were present at the summit. The…

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Sergio Galvez was the first WESTOP President to serve two consecutive terms, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013. He served as Past President, 2013-2014 and is currently fulfilling the duties of Past President,…

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TRIO Alum and U.S. House of Representative Steven Horsford (D-NV, 4th District) was a keynote speaker. Congressman Horsford is an alumnus from the University of Nevada, Reno, Student Support Services…

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WESTOP Annual Conference at Monterey, holds third Educational Summit.

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Past Leadership

Past Presidents

Dr. Charles Ratliff
President 1978-79 and 1979-80
California State University, Long Beach

Robert Norris
President 1980-81
University of San Francisco

Keith Hori
President 1981-82
University of California, Berkeley

David Godoy
President 1982-83
California State University, Los Angeles

Dr. Juan Mestas
President 1983-84 and 1987-88
San Jose State University

Michael Dang
President 1984-85
Asian-American Communities for Education

Sandy Matsui
President 1985-86 and 1989-90
California State University, Bakersfield

Dr. Harold Campbell
President 1986-87
California State University,Hayward

Janice Dirden-Cook
President 1988-89 and 1991-92
University of San Francisco

Munyiga Lumumba
President 1990-91
University of California, Berkeley

David Ferguson
President 1992-93
California State University, Chico

Sergio A. Lopez President 1993-94
Imperial Valley College

Cheryl Arnold-Moore
President 1994-95
California State University, Long Beach

Denise K. Benton
President 1995-96
California State University, San Bernardino

Adrian Tanakeyowma
President 1996-97
Northern Arizona University

Dr. Connie Baker
President 1997-98
San Jose State University

Joe Ramirez
President 1998-99
California Lutheran University

Gerald Bryant
President 1990-00
University of the Siskiyous

D. Matthew Benny
President 2000-01
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Leonard Woods
President 2001-02
University of Nevada, Reno

Irvin L. Coin
President 2002-2003
Arizona State University

Darlene Conwell
President 2003-04
University of San Francisco

James Oda
President 2004-05
Leeward Community College

Jose Martinez-Saldana
President 2005-06
California State University Monterey

Lydia Perez
President 2006-07
Arizona State University

Dr. Joy Brittain
President 2007-08
Pasadena City College

Tomasa Mauricio
President 2008-09
San Diego State University

Michele Scott
President 2009-10
California State University, Long Beach

Ralph Topete
President 2010-11
Edvolution, Inc.

Donelle Davis
President July 2011
University of California, Davis

Sergio Galvez
President 2011-12 and 2012-13
California Lutheran University

Olga Diaz
President 2013-2014
Arizona Department of Transportation

Anita Blanco
President July 2014-January 2015
Stanford University

Cristina Aguirre
President 2014-15 and 2015-16
Barrio Logan College Institute

Dr. Diana Tapia-Wright
President 2016-17
Reedley College

Samuel Blanco III
President 2017-18
University of California, Davis

Michelle Thomas
President 2018-19
Arizona Western College

Bernardo Reynoso
President 2019-2020
Fresno City College

Dr. Kimberly Williams
President 2020-2021
Nevada State College

Jesus Maldonado
President 2021-2022
Occidental College

Armando Bustos Jr.
President 2022-2023
Azusa Pacific University


Award Recipients

Steve Holeman Award Recipients

In 1979, the “It’s Tough to be a Director Award” was initiated to honor our most senior directors. When Steve Holeman, one of WESTOP’s founders, passed away in 1983, the award was amended to honor his legacy. The award now acknowledges the accomplishments of directors of educational equity programs who have demonstrated continuing dedication to the cause of excellence and equity, who show concern for the development of their students’ potential and who demonstrate professionalism in the administration of their programs.


It’s Tough To Be A Director Award Past Recipients

1979 Lack Lima Upward Bound, Humboldt State University

1980 Arturo Oosterveen Upward Bound, University of California, Santa Barbara

1981 Octavio Boubion Upward Bound, Harvey Mudd College

1982 Charlene Folsom Educational Talent Search, PACT San Francisco


Steve Holeman Award Past Recipients

1983 Keith Hori Upward Bound, University of California Berkeley

1984 Robert Norris Upward Bound, University of San Francisco

1985 Dr. Juan Mestas Upward Bound, San Jose State University

1986 Dr. Charles Ratliff Educational Opportunity Program, California State University, Hayward

1987 Rosalie Lopez Upward Bound, Imperial Valley College

1988 Dr. Sylvia Lopez-Romero Educational Opportunity Program, California State University, Chico

1989 Janice Dirden-Cook Upward Bound, University of San Francisco

1990 David Ferguson Upward Bound, California State University, Chico

1991 Mary Anne Hamann College Readiness, Monterey Peninsula College

1992 Lawanda McCullon Upward Bound, Mills College

1993 Yoichi Rengiil TRIO Programs, University of Guam

1994 Jack Rolinger Student Support Services, Phoenix College

1995 Irvin L. Coin Upward Bound, Arizona State University

1996 Melvin Yoshimoto Student Support Services, University of Hawaii, Manoa

1997 Dr. Connie Baker ASPIRE/McNair, San Jose State University

1998 Sandi Matsui TRIO Programs, Windward Community College

1999 Dr. Cynthia Park Pre-College Program Institute, San Diego State University

2000 Robert Zuniga Upward Bound, East Los Angeles College

2001 Cornelia Anguay Upward Bound, University of Hawaii, Hilo

2002 Loretta Enriquez-Najera Educational Talent Search, Imperial Valley College

2003 Norris Sanders Educational Talent Search, University of California, Berkeley

2003 Denise Benton Upward Bound, California State University – San Bernardino

2004 Maria Godoy Upward Bound, California State University, Los Angeles

2005 Susan Madrid-Simon Upward Bound, Occidental College

2006 Ron Muriera Upward Bound, Japanese Community Youth Council

2007 Dolores Diaz Educational Talent Search, Imperial Valley College

2008 Ping Chan Upward Bound, University of California, Davis

2009 Liane Richelieu-Boren College Options/Educational Talent Search, University of California, Davis

2010 Martina Granados Upward Bound, California State University, Fresno

2011 Gustavo Oceguera TRIO Programs, Norco College

2012 Michele Scott Educational Opportunity Center, California State University, Long Beach

2013 Emalyn Lapus AACE Talent Search and SF College Access Center, Japanese Community Youth Council

2014 Dr. Joy Brittain Early Outreach and Support Programs, California State University, Monterey

2015 Leonard Woods TRIO Student Success Programs, University of Hawaii, Hilo

2016 Cesar Velasquez Upward Bound, California State University – Monterey, Ca

2017 Lydia Perez Student Support Services, Mesa Community College

2018 Sara Boquin Upward Bound Program, Barrio Logan College Institute

2019 Matt Benney Associate Vice President Student Affairs, Sonoma State University

2020 Norma Romero Upward Bound, Loyola Marymount University

Walter O. Mason Award Recipients

Walter O. Mason Award. The Council for Opportunity in Education established the Walter O. Mason, Jr. Award in 1988 to honor outstanding educational opportunity professionals who exemplify leadership. This award acknowledges the contribution of dedicated professionals who have generated individual and community change throughout their entire careers.


2018 – Dr. Joy Brittain, Senior Director Of Early Outreach And Support Programs, California State- Monterey Bay

2017 – Michele Scott, Director, Educational Opportunity Center, California State University-Long Beach

2016 – Yoichi K. Rengiil, Director, Trio Programs, University Of Guam, Mangilao, Guam

2012 – José Martinez-Saldaña, President And Founder, Edvolution, Inc.

2010 – Cynthia Darché Park, Professor, College Of Education, And Trio Director, Pre-College Programs, San Diego State University, San Diego, Ca

2008 – Irvin L. Coin, Director Of Trio Programs, Arizona State University, Tempe, Az

2005 – William W. Sullivan, Associate Vice President For Retention And Outreach, University Of Nevada, Las Vegas, And Executive Director, Center For Academic Enrichment And Outreach, Las Vegas, Nv

1997 – Monte Perez, President, Perez & Associates, Tucson, Az


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Western Association of Educational Opportunity Personnel

To create and develop educational professionals who are able to advocate and provide educational opportunities for those who are underserved.


Western Association of Educational Opportunity Personnel
c/o Angelica Gebhardt
Arizona Western College
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Yuma. AZ 85365