Southwest Association of Student Assistance Programs

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Session 1:  Wednesday 2:30 PM to 3:35 PM

Session 1A: Taking Personal Entrepreneurship and Taking Responsibility

Our world continues to evolve into a fast paced machine and we are constantly faced with fierce competition that forces our teams to take more action and continue to out-produce past performance. Rightfully so. Expecting more is commonality and with this emerging cycle, we can produce a mindset where our people not only accept and get excited about work and doing more, they are willing to take responsibility for the success of the organization. We show that by creating a culture of Personal Entrepreneurship and Taking Responsibility will offer rewards and successful predictable outcomes.

Alondra Bustamente, Educational Facilitator

Paradigm Shift

Session 1B: Engaging Students and Making a Major Impact with Virtual Learning & STEM

We will present on how TRIO programs can provide hands-on, engaging, virtual STEM projects this academic year and beyond, and what resources exist. As experts in the Virtual STEM space, we will discuss best practices and strategies that all programs can use to get their students engaged and learning increasingly important content. The biggest struggle programs are having is student engagement in a virtual environment, especially because the schools aren't doing a great job of this, so students have a bad perception of what virtual learning can be. Nucleus knows how to solve that problem and help TRIO set their programs apart from the schools in terms of quality programming. TRIO can use this opportunity to truly stand apart and show schools and students everywhere why TRIO WORKS.

Michael E. Chasin, Co-Founder, Nucleus Robotics

Nucleus Robotics

Session 1C: COE



Council for Opportunity in Education

Session 1D: Cross-Cultural Communication and Contextualization

Institutions of education are places where multiple cultures and worldviews interact with one another. Professionals in the education sector play an integral role in establishing and maintaining an atmosphere for students of all backgrounds to be empowered to succeed while also retaining their cultural values. To achieve this level of student service, educational administrators must develop their cultural intelligence and prepare themselves to create unconditional positive regard for the culturally and philosophically diverse students that they seek to serve. In this proposal, the presenter will utilize the Global Leadership & Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) Study’s nine cultural dimensions. Exploring how these dimensions present themselves in various cultural values and practices will equip educators with strategic guidance regarding student advocacy and empathy. Along with providing administrative staffers with the opportunity to self-reflect on the gaps within their own cultural intelligence, these concepts will also be presented with practical steps for personnel to improve their cultural competencies within their institution.

Gairet A. Snow, TRIO Success Coach

Houston Baptist University TRIO Student Support Services

Session 1E: Behind the Scenes: Providing Pre-Collegiate Services in the New Normal

Pre-pandemic, pre-collegiate services and processes for programs were set. With CDC protocols, university policies, and target school regulations, TRIO programs have to create a new normal for services within each individual program. This session will allow collaborations on ideas for virtual, hybrid and face to face services.

Nicole D. Woods, Ed.D., TRIO Upward Bound Director

University of Arkansas Community College Hope-Texarkana TRIO Upward Bound

Session 1F: The McNair Show Goes On-line (Part 1)

We are organizing 2 round table discussions to provide McNair staff with more opportunities for networking. Part 1 of this discussion will invite all attendees to share their model for delivering “research and scholarly activities.” Do you focus your research internship in the summer or the academic year? Do you focus on summer REUs or in house? Are you at a large public university or a small private liberal arts school? Etc. Over the years our staff has learned more about McNair by having informal conversations with other McNair staff rather than presentations. That is what these round table sessions will attempt to replicate. This session will incorporate big group discussion as well as small breakout room activities. Part 2 of this session will focus more on how everyone adapted their program to working virtually.

Ricardo Romero, Director

University of New Mexico McNair Scholars Program

Jennifer Payne, Advisor

University of New Mexico McNair Scholars Program

Session 1G: Mindfulness for TRIO Professionals

This presentation will discuss how TRIO staff can use contemplative practices as a coping strategy and promote more internal stability and self-awareness. Exercises such as meditation, mindful reflection, tai chi, and qi gong can increase overall health and well-being for staff, ultimately positively influencing their students.

Chez Redmond, Senior Director

University of Central Oklahoma TRIO Student Support Services

Ed Cunliff, Professor

University of Central Oklahoma

Session 2:  Thursday 9:00 AM to 10:15 AM

Session 2A: If You Think You Can Cure Test Anxiety? Think Again.

TestPrep companies recommend a big breakfast and extra sleep to reduce test anxiety. Not true. Text anxiety is assumed to be harmful. But it may not be as bad as you think. You are going to have fun at this virtual session as you will take your very first test anxiety test for a research-based determination of customized anxiety interventions that actually work. So come to this session to learn research-backed truths so that you and your students can forever control test anxiety.

David Waldherr, Founder, Cambridge Educational and Cambridge Grant Award Program

Cambridge Educational and Cambridge Grant Award Program

 Session 2B: StudentAccess: The Leader in TRIO Software!

Learn how StudentAccess can help you manage your participant data. Included utilities allow you to efficiently manage data, create online applications, create custom reports and keep in contact with your participants. We follow the Department of Education reporting requirements for all grant types to ensure that our Annual Performance Report Generator is up-to-date.

Tony Golobic, Senior Vice President


 Session 2C: Giving Your Students What They Need, RIGHT NOW: Solutions for Tutoring, Study Skills, & Test Prep in the Covid Era!

It’s an all too common scenario: students sitting through boring eLearning presentations, faking participation in a virtual (or even a real) classroom all while texting friends or watching TikTok videos - and learning absolutely nothing. Whether a student is supposed to be learning virtually or in-person, how do we make it exciting, memorable and effective? We have your solutions. Come and learn how to reinforce the most important college & career skills while using the most advanced educational technology available - combined with a personal touch. We promise; you won’t be disappointed! With thirty years of proven results, and as the preferred Tutoring and Test Prep and provider for hundreds of TRIO programs nationwide, Academic Tutoring’s presentation will demonstrate: -Making Tutoring & Test Prep Fun, Engaging, & Targeted -Balancing Learning with Industry-Leading Interactive Resources for ALL Ability Levels! -Using State-of-the-Art Adaptive Diagnostic Tool for Group & Individual Learning Decisions -Energizing & Motivating Students for Tutoring & Test Prep -Applying Industry-Leading Data to Make Impactful Decisions

Jim Giovannini, Author/Owner

Academic Tutoring & Test Prep

Yuval Trachtenberg, Vice President of School Partnerships

Academic Tutoring & Test Prep

 Session 2D: Being A Student Advocate & Support System During The Pandemic

The COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted us all in various ways, and it has affected the way we all operate. This is definitely a first for everybody, but in a way, it’s good that we’re all figuring it out together and finding ways to adapt and still be able to provide services to our program participants. This workshop will give attendees a few tips, strategies, and Best Practices that they can implement & customize them to fit the needs of their organizations.

Kelvin Hicks, Upward Bound Coordinator

Paris Junior College TRIO Upward Bound

 Session 2E: Engaging TRIO Students through Social Media

The pandemic has challenged TRIO's traditional approach to social media, forcing professionals to implement new strategies to meet objectives and goals within their respective grant programs. Topics to be discussed will include the utilization of different media platforms, tools and resources to support virtual advising, recruitment, and overall engagement through Social Media. Although this content can apply to most programs, we will be providing anecdotes and examples from a College Talent Search and Upward Bound Program's perspective.

Shea Ewing, Outreach Advisor

West Texas A&M University TRIO Talent Search

Jasmine Montoya, Outreach Coordinator

West Texas A&M University TRIO Upward Bound Math & Science


Session 2F: The McNair Show Goes On-line (Part 2)”

This roundtable discussion will pick up where Part 1 ended but it will focus more on how McNair staff adapted their programs to working online due to the pandemic. What worked for people and what didn’t? How do we plan for next year with so much uncertainty? For those of you that have transitioned back to working on campus, what have you retained from your online only programming? How has the pandemic affected the graduate school application process? This roundtable will provide the opportunity to share trends that our participants are facing in these unprecedented times. Over the years our staff has learned more about McNair by having informal conversations with other McNair staff rather than presentations. That is what these round table sessions will attempt to replicate. This session will incorporate big group discussion as well as small breakout room activities.

Ricardo Romero, Director

University of New Mexico McNair Scholars Program

Jennifer Payne, Advisor

University of New Mexico McNair Scholars Program

Session 2G: Diversity and Inclusion in Professional Communications

How do you intentionally infuse diversity and inclusion into your professional communications? Join us for this interactive session to share diverse thoughts and inclusive practices in our daily communication. What difference can this make in the educational journey for your students? Communication is key to fostering inclusion, since The Show Must Go On!

Joseph Schnetzer, Director

Tulsa Community College TRIO Student Support Services

Session 3:  Thursday 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM

(Department of Education Program Officers)

Session 3A: Department of Education UB & EOC

Concurrent Session

Toyin Fasakin, Program Officer

Federal TRIO Programs

Kenneth Foushee, Program Officer

Federal TRIO Programs

Tara Lawrence, Program Officer

Federal TRIO Programs

Princess Uzzelle, Program Officer

Federal TRIO Programs

Session 3B: Department of Education GEAR UP & TS

Concurrent Session

Mose Cartier, Program Officer

Federal TRIO Programs

Antoinette Edwards, Program Officer

Federal TRIO Programs

Session 3C: Department of Education SSS & CCAMPIS

Concurrent Session

Shakir Davy, Program Officer

Federal TRIO Programs

Denise Rosier, Program Officer

Federal TRIO Programs

Lavelle Wright,

Session 3D: Department of Education McNair

Concurrent Session

Carmen Gordan, Program Lead

Federal TRIO Programs

Ashley Hillary, Program Officer

Federal TRIO Programs

Session 4:  Thursday 1:00 PM to 2:15 PM

Session 4A: The Myth of the Bad Test Taker

“She bombed the ACT because she is a bad test taker.” If you’ve ever said this or heard it said, this workshop is for you. Students are not “bad test takers,” they just haven’t yet learned good test-taking habits. join MasteryPrep for an informative session led by our own ACT and SAT specialist. This workshop promises practical tips you can share with your students and colleagues to erase the myth and help students build confidence and become better test-takers.

Oliver Pope, Chief Academic Officer


Session 4B: BOT (Blumen Online for TRIO) – Top Selling Database Software for TRIO community.

BOT (Blumen Online for TRIO); attend this session to see what all features you can benefit from, over your current database. • BOT FORM • TWO-WAY TEXTING • TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION • MOBILE APP • WALLET • PE POINTS • NSCH • BATCH DATA PROCESSING • GLOBAL FILTER SCREEN • SCRIPT • APR

Gunjan Seth, VP-Operations


Session 4C: In Spite Of…

In spite of emotions, such as fear, uncertainty, annoyance, irritation, anger and more. The show must go on! Said no one ever...  Jumping off of a cliff when fear is ruling all parts of your body, is not an opportune time for innovation and creativity. It is difficult to be at maximum productivity, when the world is swirling, opinions are differing, and the future is fragile. This workshop will cover the necessity of emotional intelligence, self care, and flexibility with expectations. Join me as we consider how we can possibly jump off the cliff, in spite of...

Cheryl W. Lindle, Academic Counselor

Tulsa Community College TRIO Student Support Services


Session 4D: Trauma-Informed Care: Why Mental Health and Wellness Matters for TRIO Students and Employees

Across the United States, the lack of mental health care is a common experience for many children in low income communities. Federal outreach and student services programs are designed for low income and first generation students to ensure equal educational opportunity. These programs should also address the mental health and wellness of students they serve who are disproportionately affected by poverty. It has been indicated through research that low-income environments has been linked to poor physical and mental health. These factors may contribute directly to the impact of future success. Trauma Informed Care is a part of wellness that has become popular in the education system. TRIO program can incorporate wellness and mental health care awareness to understand the number of ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) that negatively effects the students we serve. This approach provides a scope of the students physiological, social, emotional, and academic impacts of trauma and adversity. The presentation will discuss the impact of poverty on mental health, barriers (ACEs ) and integrated wellness models that is vital in the pursuit of optimum health for employees and students

Darica Simon, Director

Baton Rouge Community College TRIO Programs

Keyo Johnson, Certified Educator, Leadership and Organization Consultant, Professional Coach, Speaker, and Certified DISC Behavioral Analysis Trainer

Mere Confidence, LLC; City of Baker Schools; Baton Rouge Community College TRIO Program

Session 4E: Inspiring Students to Code with No-Code

Are you reluctant to talk about coding/programming with your students because you don’t know a programming language or where to even start? Or, are you worried your students will find it too complicated or slow in a world of instant gratification? In this workshop, learn about the No-Code movement and how you can empower your students (and yourself) to step onto the ladder of building websites and apps without needing to write a line of code. With an open mind, a little practice, and some ideas, your students can quickly see the results of their efforts and get excited about their abilities to innovate using no-code technology.

Kurtis Griess, Director

New Mexico Tech TRIO Upward Bound Math & Science

Session 4F: Career Counseling Vs Academic Advising

Many students enroll undecided. Statistics show more than 30% do so. An additional 30 % who declare a major, change before they graduate. As schools have moved to student/peer/and general advising, Career guidance has been limited in advising sessions. Learn to recognize in your daily interaction & advising, the difference in Career Guidance and Academic advising by recognizing Career Theories that assist students to make wise Career choices that follow guided Career Pathways.

Lolo Mercado, Counseling Coordinator

El Paso Community College

Session 4G: APR Data Integrity and How to Maintain In

Data integrity refers to the reliability and trustworthiness of data throughout its lifecycle. It can describe the state of your data—e.g., valid or invalid—or the process of ensuring and preserving the validity and accuracy of data. Error checking and validation, for example, are common methods for ensuring data integrity as part of a process. Data integrity is not to be confused with data security. Data security refers to the protection of data, while data integrity refers to the trustworthiness of data. The Department of Education bases decisions on APR data. Data that is not trustworthy can have grave consequences for your grant. So how do you know when your data has integrity? You have to look at the following features: Retrievability and accessibility, Traceability, & Reliability. In this presentation, I will provide a look at our own Program level audit processes and explain how we ensure that the data we provide to the Department of Education, State Auditors, Internal auditors and other stakeholders is accurate and well documented.

Kimberly Caruso, Performance & Technology Coordinator

Southeastern Louisiana University TRIO Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math Science


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