Ball, Zalite Elected to TRIO Leadership Positions

by News Bureau on Wednesday, Dec. 07, 2011

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Dec. 7, 2011 – Valdis Zalite, director of TRIO/Student Support Services at Southeast Missouri State University, was installed recently as the president-elect of the TRIO tri-state chapter, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska (MKN), and Trent Ball, Southeast associate dean of students, academic support centers, was installed as the president-elect of the regional TRIO Association, Mid-America Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (MAEOPP), at the regional TRIO conference in Wisconsin.

“We are both excited to be serving the chapter and region together and have plans to host at least one to two respective board meetings and perhaps another Student Leadership Conference here at Southeast. The 2010 conference here was a great success and set the bar for the chapter’s approach to leadership conferences for our students” Ball said. “It is a great opportunity for us, and we are packing a one-two punch for Southeast and TRIO at the state, regional and national levels.”

The mission of the MKN chapter of the MAEOPP is to provide professional development and resources to its members; provide assistance to income-eligible, first-generation or underrepresented students, students with disabilities, and veterans in their effort to gain access to and succeed in postsecondary and graduate education; and provide information regarding issues of equal access to higher education.

The MKN chapter directs communication among members and member institutions; researches topics relevant to the mission; hosts conferences for members and educational opportunity program allies; promotes professional standards in the field; promotes public awareness of issues important to its constituents; provides quick, informed and meaningful responses at the state and national levels to issues affecting education for its constituents; educates state and national leaders to its purpose, importance and impact on the lives of its constituents; and maintains regular communication among members through the MKN newsletter and website.

The MAEOPP is one of the 10 regional associations in the United States that form the Council for Opportunity in Education and represents TRIO programs nationwide. The MKN service region consists of 140 TRIO programs, with about 600 administrative, professional, and full- and part-time staff serving more than 45,000 TRIO and GEAR UP participants.

The MAEOPP is a recognized 501© (3) non-profit consortium of professionals with the specific purpose of leveling the playing field of educational opportunity for first-generation, low-income and disabled students. MAEOPP is the representative professional body for colleges, universities and agencies that host federally funded TRIO educational opportunity programs within the 10 states in the great Midwest.

The MAEOPP states are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin. More than 800 TRIO programs exist in the MAEOPP service region, with approximately 2,000 administrative, professional, and full- and part-time staff serving more than 300,000 TRIO and GEAR UP participants.

Southeast Missouri State University’s TRIO programs include Student Support Services and the McNair Scholars Program. The mission of Student Support Services is to encourage and assist 200 students who are traditionally under-represented because of income, family educational background, disability or other relevant federal, state, provincial or institutional criteria, in completing a post-secondary education. The McNair Scholars Program seeks to encourage, support and assist academically promising students who have been historically underrepresented in various fields to pursue education through the doctoral level.