Joed Lopez

Joed Lopez is the founder of, a tech training start-up aimed at helping non-profit and educational organizations modernize their marketing and technology strategies for greater social change. He has assisted several national and international organizations ranging from the Tri-State Consortium of Opportunity Programs in Higher Education, AIDS Resource Foundation for Children, to the Bring Back Our Girls Campaign based in Nigeria.
Prior to this, he served as the Public Relations Officer for the Educational Opportunity Fund Professional Association ( while working at Caldwell University as the Assistant Director of EOF from 2009-2013. From there he joined the National Society of Leadership and Success, the largest Leadership Society in the country, as Regional Director of Program Development, where he established leadership programs that have impacted over 30,000 students on more than 30 campuses across the country.

He has been featured on WABC 7 (NY) and most recently, part of the founding presenters at the first ever Male Education Network (M.E.N.) based out of Montclair State University.
Additionally, he is the host of the Q2 Podcast, a social change podcast exploring the cross section of social justice, marketing, and technology. With over 50,000 downloads in just under one year, the show breaks down what success looks like in social change by interviewing and showcasing real time solutions from practitioners, experts, and thought leaders from across the country. Some previous guests include Andrew Hewitt (Founder, Game Changers 500), Dr. Guy Generals (President of the Community College of Philadelphia, and Lisa Sharon Harper (Writer for the Huffington Post and Chief Church Engagement Officer for Sojourners). You can subscribe to the podcast and learn more about other free resources by visiting
Joed obtained his degree in Sociology from Montclair State University and is a proud EOF Alumnus. He completed his Master’s degree in Business Administration from Caldwell University.
Areas of Expertise: Increasing student engagement through technology, Social Entrepreneurship as a Model for Job Readiness/Placement. Social Media and Email Marketing Best Practices, and Community Mobilization/Advocacy through Technology and Digital Communications.


Glenn B. Lang, EdD

Dr. Glenn Lang is the Assistant Secretary of Higher Education for Academic Affairs and Student Programs (Retired), Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (NJ).  His career in higher education dates back to 1974.  Since 1979 he has served in New Jersey higher education in the former Department of Higher Education, in the Commission on Higher Education and most recently in Office of the Secretary of Higher Education in various roles including Acting Executive Director of the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education (July 2010 to August 2011), and as Executive Director of the New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund (1992-1012). In his most recent role as the chief academic affairs officer at the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education he oversaw institutional licensure and exceeding mission reviews, managed relations with regional and federal accreditation bodies including Middle States, and represented the agency on the academic issues and transfer articulation committees of the NJ Presidents’ Council and the Higher Education Student assistance Authority and the Educational Facilities Authority.  He also oversaw the statewide student programs including the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF), Minority Academic Careers Programs, the NJ State GEAR UP project, the Federal College Access Challenge Grant which accounted for over 85% of the agency’s annual budget.  He was the principal author of NJ’s recent successful GEAR UP application resulting in a 6-year $24 million grant from the USDOE and the co-author of the original NJ GEARUP application in 1999.

He is the immediate past-president of Tri-State Consortium of Opportunity Programs in Higher Education.  He served as a member of the Southern Regional Education Board Doctoral Scholars Advisory Board and the Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel national training team on student retention and graduation strategies.  He has also served as a reviewer for the CAS Standards for TRIO and Other Opportunity Programs and a member of the TRIO Clearinghouse which led to the development of the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity and Education. His recognitions include New Jersey Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators – Thomas C. Scott Distinguished Service Award (2014)the Proclamation from the New Jersey Assembly Recognizing Service to NJ (2013), and New Jersey Senate Recognizing Service to NJ (2012).

Areas of Expertise: Strategic Planning, Student Financial Aid, Program Development and Evaluations, Government Policy and Advocacy, Accreditation and Licensure


Robert D. James

Mr. Robert D. James presently serves as an owner of a management consultant firm and speaker service. Most recently he served as Vice-President for Student Affairs at Victory University, a small Christian College in Memphis, Tennessee. He was responsible for all retention activities, Residence Life, Career services, Advisement, Counseling, Student Life and Athletics. Mr. James joined the Victory staff after retiring from the SUNY System Administration team in May, 2012, where he served as Associate Provost for Opportunity Programs for 22 years.

As Associate Provost for Opportunity Programs, Mr. James was responsible for the administrative oversight of the University’s undergraduate and graduate access programs for New York State’s underprivileged population. The Office of Opportunity Programs is responsible for providing funding to 43 participating campuses for program operation, provides training for campus directors, and enforces policy guidelines to ensure compliance with the legislative intent of the program. Each year, approximately 11, 000 students are served.

Prior to that position Mr James served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Special Programs where, in addition to being responsible for the undergraduate and graduate programs on SUNY campuses, he managed and provided funding and oversight to SUNY’s Educational Opportunity Centers, Counseling and Outreach Centers and the Bridge program. Annual Budgets for these programs ranged from 50 to 70 million dollars.

While the last 22 years have been spent as Associate Provost for Opportunity Programs, Robert James served the opportunity programs community, across New York State, for the last 34 years. Mr. James was formerly Director of the Educational Opportunity Program at SUNY College at Brockport in 1976 and Director of the Rochester Educational Opportunity Center in 1979. During his service as Senior Director of the Office of Special Programs in 1989, Robert served as Interim Executive Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Institute of Non-Violence.

He has served on many boards during his career and has received numerous awards for outstanding service to the profession and community including the New York State Governor’s Award. After serving as President for ten-years, Mr. James currently serves as the Tri-State Administrator for the Tri-State Consortium of Opportunity Programs in Higher Education, which joins opportunity programs across the states of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania

Mr. James academic endeavors resulted in a Bachelor Degree in Science and Master of Science Degree from SUNY Brockport in 1972 and 1975 respectively. He has completed all coursework for his doctorate in Education Administration at SUNY Albany and will soon complete his dissertation. He is married to Cheryl Holley- James and has three children and five grandchildren.

Areas of expertise: Managing and funding of Access programs for At-Risk students in Higher Education, Retention Strategies for at-risk students in higher education, Public speaking, Enhancing Black Male persistence in Education, Mediation and conflict resolution and Counseling, self and wealth development.


Dr. Durand

Henry J. Durand, PhD

Dr. Durand is a member of the Graduate Faculty of the University at Buffalo, a Senator on the SUNY wide Faculty Senate and member of the UB Faculty Senate Executive Committee. His course offerings include the quantitative research core courses Statistical Methods for Educational Research, Survey Research Methods and Statistical Analysis Using SPSS. His discipline is Educational Sociology and he also teaches classes in American Pluralism, Education and Social Class, African American Students In Higher Education, Race and Ethnic Relations and related subjects. He has received manyawards, including the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Professional Excellence, the Milton Plesur Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching, and the Grassroots’ Cora P. Maloney award for service to community. He is a cited alumnus of Denison University and holds a B.A. from Denison University, M.Ed. from Xavier University of Cincinnati, a Doctorate from the University of Cincinnati, and is a graduate of both the Harvard Management Development Institute and the American Management Association Executive Programs.

Areas of Expertise:
Program Assessment and Evaluation Low-Income, First Generation, Educationally and Financially Disadvantaged Students in Higher Education Academic and College Success Skills Quantitative Research Design and Analysis


Mike DeJesus III

Mr. DeJesus is a program officer for Higher Education Opportunity Programs (HEOP) at the New York State Education Department (NYSED). There, he serves as a coordinator for HEOP and as a liaison to the HEOP institutions throughout the state. Prior to Mr. DeJesus’ role at NYSED, he worked as an analyst with Empire State Development’s Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development where he was instrumental in assisting New York State agencies in procuring with minority and women owned business enterprises (MWBEs) as well as certifying hundreds of small businesses as state-certified MWBEs. He also has a long history of working in education having held roles as an adjunct history professor, director of an intercultural diversity program at a private liberal arts college, and several roles in Residence Life. His passion for serving disadvantaged communities is not only evident in the career fields he has chosen but also through his volunteer service to his community and the furthering of his studies. While working full time and NYSED, Mr. DeJesus is also a fourth year doctoral student pursing a degree in education policy at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. There he is focusing on K-16 education policies as they relate to opportunity programs and black male academic achievement.

Areas of expertise: higher education opportunity programs, minority and women-owned business development, intercultural diversity programs, education policy, black male academic achievement