Board Member Bios
2012-13 Board of Directors
Mr. Ron Day, Kennesaw State University (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.
Mr. Craig Munier, (National Chair-Elect)
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.
Mrs. Pamela Fowler, University of Michigan (Past National Chair)
Pamela Fowler has been at the University of Michigan since 1997 and has over 25 years of experience in the financial aid profession. Over the years she has been active in state, regional, and national professional associations as a trainer, speaker, and committee chair. She has been the recipient of several awards including the MSFAA Distinguished Service award and the MASFAA Meritorious Service award. She is a former MASFAA President and has also served on NASFAA’s Board of Directors as both a regional representative and a representative-at-large. Fowler helped to create the NASFAA Standards of Excellence Review Program. She is a five time participant on the Department of Education’s Negotiated Rulemaking committee, past National Chair of the Coalition of State and University Aid Administrators, and an active member of The College Board.
Representatives at Large (12)
Ms. Terri Gruba, University of Montana (3rd Year Rep-at-Large)
Terri Gruba is Associate Director in the Financial Aid Office at The University of Montana in Missoula. She has been involved in her state association, serving on many committees and in various officer capacities, including president. Terri has been active in her regional association as well. She has been honored with the RMASFAA Distinguished Service Award, and is currently serving as RMASFAA President. She has been on the NASFAA Training and Best Practices Committee and has presented at national conferences. In her spare time, Terri loves to travel, read (mostly science fiction and murder mysteries) and be a slave to her cats. Her latest interest is in crafting stained glass.
Ms. Billie Jo Hamilton, University of South Florida (3rd Year Rep-at-Large)
Billie Jo Hamilton is director of University Scholarships and Financial Aid Services at the University of South Florida. She has been at USF for just over two years and has nearly 30 years of total financial aid experience. She has been active in state associations in Kansas and Missouri, as well as RMASFAA, SASFAA and MASFAA. Billie Jo is a big movie and crossword puzzle buff, and is learning to enjoy the beaches of Florida with her husband and teenage daughter.
Mr. Wayne Harewood, Kingsborough Community College (3rd Year Rep-at-Large)
Wayne Harewood has been in the Financial Aid Office for more than 30 years and has spent the last 12 years serving as Director of Financial Aid at Kingsborough Community College. Currently, he is Co-Chair of the New York State College Goal Sunday initiative and he also serves on Kingsborough College's Labor Management Committee as well as committees for EASFAA and NYSFAAA. Wayne is also the Treasurer for NYSFAA and his local church.
Ms. Cristi Millard, Salt Lake Community College (3rd Year Rep-at-Large)
Cristi Millard has been Director of Financial Aid at SLCC since 2001 and has been in financial aid since 1983. She has severed as her state (Utah) and regional (RMASFAA) president. She has served on numerous committees in her state and region, as well as NASFAA. She has served as a faculty member at the RMASFAA Summer Institute for several years and worked as a non-federal trainer for the Department of Education. She served on the recent Presidential Search Committee and recently participated as the community college representative on the DOE Loan Negotiated Rule-Making committee. She is currently a member of the NASFAA Training Committee and also participates as reviewer for Standards of Excellence.
Ms. Sharon Hassan, Prince George's Community College (2nd Year Rep-at-Large)
Sharon Hassan is the Director of Financial Aid at Prince George's Community College where she has worked since August 2010. Prior to PGCC, she spent nearly 11 years as part of Goucher College's Enrollment Management team. Sharon also spent 14 years at the University of Maryland College Park in a number of capacities. She is an active member of NASFAA, EASFAA, DE-DC-MD ASFAA, Inc. and NACAC. She has served the profession and community in a number of capacities including as a trainer, as statewide coordinator for National College Goal Sunday, as trustee at the Pennsylvania Avenue A.M.E. Zion Church, as chair of NASFAA's Student Access and Diversity Committee, as a NASFAA Standards of Excellence Peer Reviewer, as chair for the College Board's Middle States Regional Council, as a UNCF mentor, and most recently as a NASFAA Representative at Large. She is a graduate of North Carolina State University and the University of Maryland - University College.
Mr. David Page, Philander Smith College -- Little Rock (2nd Year Rep-at-Large)
David DeMear Page is employed at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, AR where he has been Director of Financial Aid since 2005. In January of 2011, he also assumed the role of Vice President of Enrollment Management. David has worked in the financial aid arena for more than 18 years at institutions including Dillard University in New Orleans and the University of Tulsa. 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 President/CEO 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 at Stem Elementary Public Charter School. 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, 8, and Brooke Alexis, 2.
Ms. Mary Sommers, University of Nebraska -- Kearney (2nd Year Rep-at-Large)
Mary Sommers has served as the Director of Financial Aid at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. For the past 11 years. 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. She has chaired and taught at the RMASFAA Summer Institute and will be Chairing RMASFAA's Leadership Pipeline Committee. 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 (2nd 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 the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA). He has 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.
Regional Representatives (12)
Ms. Kay W. Soltis, Pacific Lutheran University (WASFAA, 2nd Year Rep)
Kay Soltis has served as Director of Financial Aid for Pacific Lutheran University for 18 years, and been in the financial aid office of Pacific Lutheran for 25 years (formerly as Associate Director). Founded in 1890 by Scandinavian immigrants, Pacific Lutheran University is a four-year private liberal arts university serving more than 3,600 students. Kay has been an active member of the Washington state association (WFAA) and served as that group's president in 1996-97. She has also served WASFAA and NASFAA in many capacities over the years, including significant committee work. She has also been an active participant with the College Scholarship Service, the Washington State Governing Board of Dollars for Scholars, and has served as a non-federal trainer for the U.S. Department of Education.
Mr. Brad Barnett, James Madison University (SASFAA, 2nd Year Rep)
Brad is an Accredited Financial Counselor, Past President of the Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (VASFAA), President of the Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (SASFAA), and currently serves as the Senior Associate Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships for James Madison University. He has been in the financial aid profession for 15 years. Brad received a B.S. from Southern Arkansas University and an M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University. Brad has served on numerous financial aid association committees, presented sessions at various conferences, held positions on several boards, been interviewed by a host of media outlets as an expert in the field, and teaches a three credit hour financial literacy class called "Dollars and Sense." Brad has been married to his lovely wife, Sara, for 17 years. They have two sons, Drew and Jackson. Brad enjoys spending time with his family, skiing, and playing golf.
Mr. Richard Heath, Anne Arundel Community College (EASFAA, 2nd Year Rep)
Rich Heath has been a Financial Aid Administrator for 21 years. Currently he is the Financial Aid Director at Anne Arundel Community College, a public two institution with located in Arnold, Maryland. Serving more than 22,000 credit students and 50,000 Continuing Education students he oversees a professional full time staff of 17. Beginning his professional career in financial aid in 1990 at Columbia International University as the Financial Aid Director, Rich was involved with the South Carolina ASFAA serving on the Federal Relations and Training Committees and was subsequently elected as the Vice President for SCASFAA. In 1998 he became involved with the Maryland and Tri-State ASFAA's as a presenter and member of the Federal Relations Committee, eventually serving as the Tri-State Chair for 2005-06. Rich has served the EASFAA region as president-elect and on the Development, Training, Federal Relations, Multicultural/Diversity, and Conference Committees.
Ms. Brenda Hicks, Southwestern College (RMASFAA, 2nd Year Rep)
Brenda Hicks has served as Director of Financial Aid of Southwestern College since 2001, following several years as Director of Admission. She has served Kansas in the field of private higher education for 20 years. Brenda has been active in the Kansas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, serving most recently as Vice President in 2010-2011. In her role as KASFAA VP, she was in charge of providing bi-annual training for aid administrators in the state of Kansas. She has also chaired the KASFAA training committee and has served as both chair and faculty at RMASFAA's annual Summer Institute. Committed to financial aid training, Brenda has presented at local, state, regional and national conferences.
Ms. Paula Luff, DePaul University (MASFAA, 2nd Year Rep)
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 $430M 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 bachelor of arts in English/writing and a bachelor of science 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.
Dr. Lisa Blazer, University of Texas -- San Antonio (SWASFAA, 2nd Year Rep)
Lisa Blazer has served as the AV President for Financial Aid and Enrollment Services at University of Texas at San Antonio for 10 years. She has 20 years of admissions and financial aid experience. She served as President for TASFAA during 2007-08 and has served as the chair of the Regional Training committee for several years. She is currently serving as the SWASFAA President-Elect. She also serves on the NASFAA Research Committee. She has conducted break-out sessions and presentations for NASFAA, TASFAA, ACLU, TACUSPA, and TG. She serves on leadership teams across the UTSA campus, conducting workshops and training on the FISH concept as well as assessment and strategic planning. Lisa is an Adjunct Faculty member and an advocate for professional development for her staff. Lisa has a BA degree in Piano Performance, an MAA degree in organizational development and a PhD in Education with an emphasis in organizational leadership.
Lori Vedder, University of Michigan-Flint (MASFAA 1st 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. She is the current MASFAA 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, Wells College (EASFAA, 1st Year Rep)
Cathy received her B.A. in History and Masters from Elmira College and has been a financial aid administrator for the past 30 years at Wells College, a small, private school in upstate New York. 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. Jeff completed a Bachelor of Science degree 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 (WASFAA, 1st Year Rep)
Jack Edwards has worked in the WASFAA region since October 2000. He currently serves 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, 1st Year Rep)
Lisa Hopper has been at the 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 for nearly 10 years on the board of directors for the Student Loan Guarantee Foundation of Arkansas.
Comission Directors (3)
Ms. Susan L. Howard, Antioch University - New England
Susan Howard serves as Director of Financial Aid for Antioch University New England—a small graduate school in Keene, NH offering Master’s and doctoral degrees in education, environmental studies, applied and clinical psychology and also an MBA with a focus on sustainability. She is also the University Director of Financial Aid for Antioch's five-campus system, and in that role travels to Ohio, California and Washington state. Susan has been in financial aid for more than three decades. Prior to her tenure at Antioch University, she served as Associate Director of Financial Aid at Dartmouth College. She has been an active member of the New Hampshire state association and EASFAA over the years, and served as NHASFAA’s president in 1998-2000 and as EASFAA’s president in 2005-06.
Ms. Karen Krause, University of Texas at Arlington
Karen Krause is the Executive Director of Financial Aid, Scholarships and Veteran’s Affairs, a position she has held since 2002. She has been a part of the financial aid profession since 1982 and has worked at Texas Wesleyan University and Texas Christian University both in Fort Worth, Texas and at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. She has served as president of both TASFAA and SWASFAA and remains active in those organizations in addition to her involvement with NASFAA. Karen’s life away from financial aid includes singing with various choral groups, gardening, reading, attending live music performances, and entertaining her cats.
Mr. James M. Swanson, Colorado College
Jim Swanson has served as Director of Financial Aid at Colorado College in Colorado Springs since 1993 and has been in the financial aid profession for almost 35 years. Prior to Colorado College, he worked for the College Board’s Financial Aid Services Division in both their Atlanta, Georgia and Denver, Colorado offices. Jim began his financial aid career in Montana serving students as Director of Financial Aid at Montana State University- Billings (formerly known at that time as Eastern Montana College). He has been active in several state, regional and national financial aid and educational associations, and served as RMASFAA’s president in 2002-03. Jim cannot not think of a more noble or rewarding profession for him. When you can’t find Jim behind his desk, you probably will find him traveling, taking photos, hiking in the mountains, on the dance floor or in the theater, spending time with his family and cheering on the Colorado College hockey team.
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, Mann 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.