Karletta Chief

NEW YORK (Sept. 13, 2018) – Eight former students who were either low-income and/or first in their family to attend college won national recognition today for remarkable contributions to their professions. The Council for Opportunity in Education recognized the eight as 2018National TRIO Achievers, so named for the federal TRIO college access and support programs that have been helping low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities succeed in college against all odds for more than 50 years.


“These former TRIO program participants have distinguished themselves and are making remarkable contributions in their chosen professions,” said Maureen Hoyler, president, Council for Opportunity in Education. “It is an honor to congratulate them on their accomplishments and acknowledge how TRIO has helped make a difference in their lives.”


The recipient awardees are:

• Karletta Chief, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist-Hydrology, Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, University of Arizona

• Darcel D. Clark, District Attorney, Bronx County, NY

• Christopher Rosa, Interim Chancellor for Student Affairs, City University of New York

• Everett Glenn, Founder and President, ESP Education & Leadership Institute

• Charlene Dukes, President, Prince George’s Community College

• Aaron Rahsaan Thomas, Creator/Executive Producer, S.W.A.T., Sony/CBS

• Stephanie Peterson, Director, Risk & Compliance, Global Business Operations, Microsoft Corporation

• Patricia Roe, Vice President, Philanthropy, Strada Education Network


TRIO began with the Upward Bound program in 1964 as a key element of President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty; the program motivated and tutored low-income, first-generation high school students in families where neither parent held a college degree. By the end of the 1960s, three signature TRIO programs – Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math and Science, and Talent Search – were in place to help disadvantaged middle and high school students access and succeed in college. Today there are seven programs, still under the name TRIO, supporting American students from different backgrounds. Among the millions of TRIO program alumni are Oscar award winner Viola Davis; best-selling author Wil Haygood; ABC Primetime host John Quinones; Congresswoman Gwendolynne Moore; Democratic National Committee Interim Chairperson Donna Brazile; former astronaut José Hernández, and a varied list of judges, scientists, politicians, actors, musicians, scholars, inventors and entrepreneurs.        


Karletta Chief is an alumna of Upward Bound at Southern Utah University. She is Diné and grew up on the Navajo reservation in Black Mesa, AZ, without electricity and running water, and speaking Diné as her first language. Although her family had little money, they gave her a strong cultural upbringing, strong family support,and encouraged her to do her best in school. Dr. Chief rode the bus 40 miles each way to the nearest public school, Page K-12 Schools, on the Navajo Nation border.