Board Member Bios
2013-14 Board of Directors
Mr. Craig Munier, University of Nebraska at Lincoln (National Chair)
Craig Munier has been in student financial aid since 1982 and higher education administration since 1976. Currently the Director of the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Craig was Associate Director of Financial Aid at the University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign for 11 years and worked in financial aid at Iowa State University. In addition, he worked for six years in admissions at a small, private, liberal arts college and a community college, both in Iowa. He is past National Chair of the Coalition of State University Aid Administrators (COSUAA), past chair of the National Direct Student Loan Coalition (NDSLC), and recently served as chair of the NASFAA Federal Issues Committee. He has served as a trainer for NASFAA and the U.S. Department of Education. He holds a BA from the University of Northern Iowa and an MS from Iowa State University.
Ms. Eileen O'Leary, Stonehill College (National Chair-Elect)
Eileen O’Leary is the Assistant Vice President, Student Financial Services at Stonehill College, where she has worked in financial aid for nearly 30 years. Eileen has also served in various state and national positions, including National Chair of the National Direct Student Loan Coalition (NDSLC) and current member of its executive board; current member of the NASFAA Ethics Task Force; NASFAA commission director 2011-2012, member of the NASFAA Reimagining Aid Delivery and Design (RADD) Task Force, the Award Letter and Consumer Disclosure Task Force, the 2001-2006 Reauthorization Task Force, and the NASFAA Federal Issues Committee from 2006-2008. In addition, Eileen has been the President of MASFAA (2000-2001) and a member of the MASFAA Government Relations Committee and its Executive Board. In addition, she has served as a non-federal negotiator on two Negotiated Rulemaking series that focused on federal student loan issues, and has presented on financial aid issues to members of the Massachusetts legislature, at U.S. Senate field hearings, as well as other public forums. Eileen is also a member of the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance advisory board.
Mr. Ron Day, Kennesaw State University (Past National Chair)
Ron Day is Director of Financial Aid for Georgia's Kennesaw State University and has worked in financial aid at a number of institutions in the south since he began his career in the financial aid profession in 1983. He has held various leadership positions in the South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia state associations and has served his regional association of SASFAA as President in 2003-04. Ron has also given back to his national association through his membership on the Board of Directors in 2003-05 and at the present time and through a wide range of committee work, ranging from AGMC to Awards to Finance to Leadership.
Representatives at Large (7)
Mr. David Page, Dillard University (3rd Year Rep-at-Large)
David DeMear Page is employed at Dillard University in New Orleans as Director of Financial Aid. He has worked in the financial aid arena for more than 19 years at institutions including Philander Smith College in Little Rock, AR, the University of Tulsa, and previously at Dillard. David has volunteered his time with OASFAA, LASFAA, AASFAA, SWASFAA and NASFAA, where he sat on the NASFAA Board from 2007-09. In 2008 he served on NASFAA's AGMC and in 2009 he served on NASFAA's Presidential Search Committee. From 2004 to 2006, David was a member of the Sallie Mae HBCU Initiative Board. David has been a mentor to several African American males attending college and he is an active volunteer in his community. He received his B.S. in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University and his M.A. in Higher Education (College Student Affairs) from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. David and his wife Dr. Yolanda Williams Page are the proud parents of William David and Brooke Alexis.
Mr. Michael Smith, St. Louis Community College (3rd Year Rep-at-Large)
Michael Smith has been the manager of Student Financial Aid at St. Louis Community College-Meramec Campus for the past seven years. Prior to that, he served at University of Missouri- St. Louis, first as coordinator in Multicultural Relations and then as associate director in Financial Aid. Smith started his career in financial aid 25 years ago as Student Loan Officer for Vantage Credit Union in St. Louis. He has been active in the Missouri Association of Student Financial Aid Personnel (MASFAP) and the Missouri Association for Blacks in Higher Education (MABHE), and is a member of NASFAA, the Midwest Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (MASFAA), the Missouri Association for College Admission Counseling (MOACAC), the Missouri Department of Higher Education Student Loan Advisory Board, and the Mid-American Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (MAEOPP). Smith holds a B.S. in Business Administration Business Economics from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO and an MBA from Webster University in St. Louis.
Ms. Mary Sommers, University of Nebraska at Kearney (3rd Year Rep-at-Large)
Mary Sommers has served as the Director of Financial Aid at the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) for more than a decade. Prior to that, she was the Assistant Director of Financial Aid at UNK and the Director of Financial Aid at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT. Mary has been the president of the Nebraska Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and also served as President of the Rocky Mountain Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. She has recently served NASFAA as chair of the Leadership & Professional Advancement Committee where she also presented sessions at NASFAA. This year she is chairing NASFAA's Task Force on Ethical Standards. Mary has a prior career as a radio news reporter, and degrees from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and Iowa State University.
Mr. Brent Tener, Vanderbilt University (3rd Year Rep-at-Large)
Brent Tener currently serves as an Associate Director of Financial Aid and Director of Undergraduate Scholarships at Vanderbilt University and has worked in financial aid for over 20 years. He oversees undergraduate operations and the awarding of undergraduate merit scholarships at Vanderbilt. He has been involved in varying capacities with the Tennessee Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (TASFAA), the Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (SASFAA), and NASFAA. He served as TASFAA President during the 2001-2002 year and as SASFAA President during the 2006-2007 year. As part of his service at the national level, Brent has served as Regional Representative and Commission Director to the NASFAA Board of Directors.
Mr. Neville Brown, Eastern Connecticut State University (1st Year Rep-at-Large)
Neville Brown has been an aid administrator at Eastern Connecticut State University for the past 17 years. Prior to joining Eastern, he was an auditor with Coopers & Lybrand, a corporate tax analyst and pension manager with CIGNA Corp., and a manager with Travelers Corp. Neville has served in numerous capacities for both his state (CAPFAA) and regional (EASFAA) financial aid associations--including as the 2010-11 EASFAA President. Neville also received the 2008 EASFAA Outstanding Volunteer Award and the 2009 CAPFAA P. Jerome Cunningham Award for distinguished service to the financial aid profession. Neville believes that his mission is to help students realize their college dreams. Several years ago, he established the ECSU Book Scholarship, in order to help students defray the high cost of textbooks.
Ms. Kay Lewis, University of Washington (1st Year Rep-at-Large)
Kay Lewis has worked in the financial aid profession since 1983 in a variety of institutions in the state of Washington. Currently she is an Assistant Vice President for Student Life and Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships at the University of Washington and has worked there for over 20 years. Prior to that, she worked at Whitworth College and Western Washington University. Her financial aid career began as a work-study student in the aid office at Centralia Community College. She is the current chair of the Coalition for State University Aid Administrators. She also serves as the Chair-elect of the National Direct Student Loan Coalition and has been a member of the Coalition¹s board since 2009. Kay has been active in state and regional associations and served on the CSS Western Regional Council. She served on the NASFAA Access and Diversity Committee and the 2006 NASFAA Conference Committee as well. She has a BA and M.Ed. from Western Washington University.
Ms. Lisanne Masterson, Blue Ridge Community College (1st Year Rep-at-Large)
Lisanne Masterson is the Director of Financial Aid at Blue Ridge Community College. Prior to moving to the community college sector, she worked for over 26 years at Brevard College (a small, Methodist-affiliated, four-year college). She holds a BA in Mathematics from UT – Knoxville and a MA in Education (Educational Administration emphasis) from Western Carolina University. Previous NASFAA positions include serving on the Board as a regional representative, three years on the Leadership Development and Professional Advancement Committee (one year as chair), two years on the Nominations & Elections Committee, and one year on the Finance Committee. She has been active in both her state and regional financial aid organizations in a variety of positions, serving as SASFAA President (2007-2008), Conference Chair, New Aid Officer Instructor and Curriculum Coordinator, and Site Selection Chair. In her state association (NCASFAA) she has chaired the Audit, Conference, Membership, and Publicity/Publications Committees, and held the offices of President and Treasurer.
Regional Representatives (6)
Ms. Lori Vedder, University of Michigan - Flint (MASFAA, 2nd Year Rep)
Lori Vedder has served the financial aid profession since 1987, launching her financial aid career at the University of Michigan - Flint. UM-Flint, one of three campuses of the University of Michigan, is an urban regional campus serving approximately 8,300 students. Lori has served as Director of Financial Aid at UM-Flint since 2002. Prior to becoming director she served as Assistant Director. In addition to various conference presentations and committee work, Lori has been active at the state and regional levels. As a board member of the Midwest Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (MASFAA) she has served as Secretary, State Representative, Committee Chair, and Vice-President. As an active member of the Michigan Student Financial Aid Association (MSFAA), Lori held various MSFAA Board positions including Public 4-year Sector Rep., Vice-President, President and concluded her Past Presidency February 2013. She is a two-time recipient of the MSFAA President’s Award.
Mr. Jeff Dennis, Southern Wesleyan University (SASFAA, 1st Year Rep)
Jeff has been at Southern Wesleyan University in Central, SC, since 1997. Over the years he has been active in his state and regional association. He served as SASFAA Treasurer prior to becoming SASFAA President. He is also a former President and Treasurer of the South Carolina Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Jeff has served on advisory boards for the South Carolina Student Loan Corporation and TG.
Ms. Cathy Patella, Cayuga Community College (EASFAA, 2nd Year Rep)
Cathy received her B.A. in History and Masters from Elmira College and worked as a financial aid administrator for 30 years at Wells College, a small, private school in upstate New York. In 2013 she moved to Cayuga Community College, part of New York’s SUNY system. She has served on numerous committees for her state, NYSFAAA, and her region, EASFAA. Cathy is the recipient of the NASFAA Leadership Award, EASFAA Leadership Award, EASFAA President’s Recognition Award, NYSFAAA Service Award, NYSFAAA Presidential Appreciation Award, NYSFAAA Sister Bernadine Hayes/Rusty Hopkins Award, and the NYS Higher Education Services Corporation Recognition Award. She is honored to serve the membership as EASFAA’s president this year and is very excited about the program of activities the EASFAA leadership has planned for the current year.
Mr. Jeff Jacobs, Bismarck State College (RMASFAA, 1st Year Rep)
Jeff Jacobs has been in financial aid for over 25 years, and served as the financial aid director at Bismarck State College (ND) since 2000. Jeff also worked in financial aid for the University of Mary, Minot State University, and Valley City State University. He earned his B.S. from Valley City State University and a Master’s in Management from University of Mary. Jeff has served in many capacities for the North Dakota Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, including chairing committees and serving as the treasurer and president. Jeff’s work with the Rocky Mountain Student Financial Aid Administrators Association includes teaching at Summer Institute, chairing the annual conference and serving as Vice President and President-Elect positions. He has served as president and treasurer of the local chapter of Dollars for Scholars. Jeff is married with two grown children – Rosa and Jessica. He enjoys golfing, seeing theatre productions and spending time with his family.
Mr. Jack Edwards, Stanford University Graduate School of Business (WASFAA, 2nd Year Rep)
Jack Edwards has worked in the WASFAA region since October 2000 and has served as the Director of Financial Aid for Stanford Graduate School of Business since August 2007. Previously he was the Director of Financial Aid at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ and the Associate Director of Student Financial Services at Seattle University in Seattle, WA. From 1982 – 2000, he held several positions in Student Finance in New York at The New School, State University of New York at New Paltz and Mercy College. He started his career in student finance working as a work-study student at Mercy College in New York. Then took a full time position working in the Bursar’s Office where his career in higher education began. He has been actively involved in four state and two regional professional associations as a trainer, conference speaker, committee chair as well as committee member. Jack holds a M.S. Ed. in Counseling from Long Island University and B.S. in Management from Mercy College.
Ms. Lisa Hopper, National Park Community College (SWASFAA, 2nd Year Rep)
Lisa Hopper has been at Arkansas' National Park Community College since 1998 and has 20 years of experience in the higher education profession. Over the years she has been active in state, and regional professional associations. She has been the recipient of several awards including the AASFAA Distinguished Service award and the AASFAA Rookie of the Year award. She is a former AASFAA President and Treasurer, has also served on SWASFAA's Board of Directors as both a state president and a representative-at-large. Hopper has served on the regional financial affairs and strategic/long range planning committees and the national nominations and elections committee. She is an active member of the board of directors for the Student Loan Guarantee Foundation of Arkansas.
Comission Directors (3)
Mr. Jim Brooks, University of Oregon
Jim Brooks is Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships at the University of Oregon. Previously, he served as Director of Student Financial Aid at the University of Missouri – Columbia and Senior Associate Director of Financial Aid at Indiana University – Bloomington. He has over 20 years of financial aid experience, and has been involved with ISFAA while at Indiana, and with MASFAA both during his Indiana and Missouri tenures. When not working, he enjoys listening to music and traveling with his family, especially to places with lots of sunshine, palm trees, and beaches.
Mr. Dan Davenport, University of Idaho
Dan Davenport is currently the Director of Student Financial Aid Services at the University of Idaho. During his career at the University of Idaho he has also served as the Director of Admissions and Financial Aid. He has served in leadership roles for several national, regional, and state professional organizations. Dan has served as the chair of the Coalition of Student University Aid Administrators (COSUAA), the chair of the National Direct Student Loan Coalition and served on the recent NASFAA Award Letter and Loan Debt task forces. Dan has also been the president of WASFAA and IASFAA. He is currently serving as a NASFAA Commission Director for the 2013-14 year.
Ms. Paula Luff, DePaul University
Paula Luff serves as the associate vice president for Financial Aid at DePaul University, the largest Catholic university in the nation. In her role, she oversees the Financial Aid Office which is responsible for ensuring institutional compliance with all federal/state legislation and regulations, administering aid programs totaling over $430 million annually, and developing and evolving institutional policies regarding leveraging institutional grant funds to meet the enrollment management goals of the university. Prior to joining DePaul in 2003, Paula served as a financial aid administrator at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Loyola University. She also has experience at Carlow University, Seton Hill University and Carnegie Mellon University. Paula holds a B.A. in English/writing and a B.S. in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, where she graduated cum laude. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in public services from DePaul.
Mr. Dan Mann, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champlain
Dan Mann is the Director of Student Financial Aid at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he leads an operation that administered over $755 million in financial aid awards last year. Prior to joining the University of Illinois in November 2004, Dan served as Director of Financial Aid at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and has over 32 years of experience in the financial aid profession. Over the years, he has been active in state, regional, and national professional associations. He is a former MASFAA and ILASFAA (Illinois) President and has served on the NASFAA Board of Directors. He has been the recipient of several awards including the ILASFAA Sustained Service Award and the MASFAA Allan W. Purdy Distinguished Service Award. He currently serves as the national chair for the Coalition of State University Aid Administrators (COSUAA) and is an active member of The College Board.