Blue Icon contracts with independent consultants to perform work for school clients by matching the needs of the school with the expertise of the consultant. Work may take place onsite or virtually, depending on the needs of the school. Learn more about each of our consultants by selecting their name below.
* Certified Financial Aid Administrator (FAAC®)
~ Standards of Excellence (SOE) Peer Reviewer
Pete has worked in the financial aid industry since 2003 and has been leading the financial aid office at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business since 2012. During his career, he has spent time at both public and private universities, served both undergraduate and graduate populations, and worked with Peoplesoft and Banner. He has been involved with both state and national associations, and he is thrilled to be able to work with Blue Icon to assist institutions and students across the country.
Renae is currently the Associate Director of Financial Aid for Coe College. Her career in financial aid began in 2010 and her experience includes working as a Director at a small-private college and a community college. Renae earned her FAAC designation in 2019 and has thirteen NASFAA credentials. She looks forward to helping schools to evaluate their policies and procedures and assisting in streamlining their processes. She enjoys her involvement with her state and regional associations and the networking opportunities that they provide.
Phil is the director of financial aid at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. He has worked in the financial aid profession since 1991 and has been a director since 1998. His extensive background includes work at various institution types, where he has helped with implementation of the two most prevalent student information systems. He has been a lead negotiator in negotiated rulemaking and has conducted many presentations locally and nationally related to the financial aid profession. Phil has been providing consulting services since 2000 through the NASFAA's Standards of Excellence (SOE) Review Program and other endeavors.
Since beginning in financial aid in 2000, Her career has taken her to state universities, private non-profit and private for-profit institutions, clock-hour schools, and even a few years at a FFELP lender. She has six NASFAA credentials and has served on multiple NASFAA, WASFAA, KASFAA, and CASFAA committees as well as sits on the PowerFaids Advisory Board. In addition to her position as the CASFAA Secretary, she is also a NASFAA Peer Reviewer for the Standards of Excellence Review program. Twice she has been recognized for outstanding customer service. When she is not “nerding” out about financial aid you can find her biking all over San Diego trails or spending time at the beach.
Brad is the associate vice president of access & enrollment management/director of financial aid and scholarships at James Madison University. Starting in the profession in 1994, Brad has been active in state, regional, and national financial aid associations as a presenter, committee member and chair, and elected officer, and has received several awards from the associations he has served. Brad started with the SOE program in 2012: "It's hard to explain the joy I feel from helping another school address an issue. I've been on reviews where you can see the staff are hungry for help, very appreciative for us being there, and willing to engage in some fantastic conversations about how to improve what they are doing. I know when I go home that I've made a positive difference on that campus, and I also know the people at the school often leave a positive mark on me."
Lisa is the senior associate director of scholarships and financial aid at Georgia Institute of Technology (GT) and began her financial aid career in 1993. In her current role at GT, she oversees daily operations and compliance in the office. Lisa is an active member in her state (GASFAA) and regional (SASFAA) associations, and she joined the NASFAA SOE review team in 2019. Since this time, she has enjoyed the opportunity to visit colleagues and review how they administer financial aid policies. "It's a pleasure learning how other institutions manage daily operations, and, in return, sharing best practices or process improvements to help ensure compliance and serve students efficiently and effectively."
Steve began his financial aid career in 1994, and currently serves as associate vice president and director of financial aid at Rollins College. Experienced in Banner and PeopleSoft at both private and public universities, Steve is very familiar with technology as it relates specifically to financial aid and the interactions across campus. He joined the SOE team in 2011: "I enjoy getting to meet colleagues at other institutions and supporting the amazing work each financial aid office is doing. Each review is unique and helps to refine my knowledge which leads to recommendations that are tailored to help meet the goals of that particular institution."
Wes currently serves as the assistant vice president for finance and operations for Columbia International University. He began his financial aid career in 2006. His desire is to provide seamless, professional service to your staff and students to accomplish your current needs and future goals. He oversees financial aid processes for standard and non-standard programs and has consulted with schools that have added non-standard programming. In addition to non-standard programs, his areas of expertise include integrating student information systems with financial aid management systems, Title IV training for staff and at conferences, preventing and reducing cohort default rates, and Title IV aid reconciliation. Wes also enjoys helping colleagues by providing remote director level support.
Amy is the Chief Student Affairs Officer at the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. Amy is an experienced leader in education and training, enrollment management and financial aid. Under Amy's guidance, she successfully implemented multiple financial aid initiatives that uses state dollars to increase enrollment for adult students, managed the creation and implementation of an enrollment management support team and was instrumental in the implementation of an integrated student information system that encompasses both credit and non-credit students. Throughout her career, she co-authored "Developing Your Star Qualities: Preparing Yourself to Become the Director," serves on the NASFAA Publications Editorial Board and presented on many financial aid and enrollment management topics including default management and communication for a greater influence. She serves as the past president of the Louisiana Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, past president for the Southwest Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and serves on multiple NASFAA committees.
John is currently the director of financial aid at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL. He has worked in financial aid since 2010 and has experience at both private and public 4-year and 2-year institutions. John has extensive enrollment management experience and is committed to fostering collaboration between campus stakeholders to better improve the student services experience. His interests include the modernization of aid processes and procedures and the use of technology resources to expand accessibility. John is a Certified Financial Aid Administrator.
Kay Campbell has worked in higher education for over ten years and most recently served as the associate director of outreach at Johns Hopkins University. Kay is passionate about financial literacy, providing access to financial aid and guidance to students in attaining their educational goals. She served as a financial aid counselor before moving on to leadership roles where she provided peer mentorship, and served on various financial aid committees. She is well-versed in institutional and federal methodologies and has managed programs such as study abroad and state aid. She has a bachelor's degree in business management and finance from CUNY Brooklyn College and an MBA from Capella University.
Mary began her career in financial aid in 2003 at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, Ohio where she served as a financial aid counselor primarily for adult students. She soon became a director of financial aid in 2006 and served as a director of financial aid and financial services throughout her career largely at private, liberal arts universities. Most recently and for the last eight years, Mary served as the director of student financial services at a single-focus (nursing) college. She is passionate about financial aid and Title IV administration; loves sharing her knowledge; enjoys coaching and mentoring colleagues and is dedicated to learning something new every day.
Christal Chatman is currently the Director of Financial Aid at Montgomery County Community College in Pennsylvania and is a NASFAA Certified Financial Aid Administrator. She holds a Doctorate in Business Administration and earned an MBA with a Human Resources concentration. Christal has 30 years’ experience in for-profit and non-profit higher education administration within financial aid, student accounts, faculty, and as a satellite campus location leader overseeing Admissions, Academics, and Student Financial Services. Christal has also served as Chair of a Staff Advisory – Task Force whose purpose was to research and make recommendation to improve staff engagement and satisfaction. She has volunteered for NASFAA and Ellucian’s Colleague Financial Aid Client Advisory Board.
April started working in financial aid in 1997. She is currently the director of financial aid at Clovis Community College. She has served in several committee and board positions at the state level, including President of the New Mexico Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NMASFAA), as well as volunteering for the NASFAA Task Force for the Policy and Procedure Builder and the NASFAA Advocacy Pipeline. She has earned seven NASFAA credentials.
Theresa has over 25 years in the student finance industry and higher education in areas related to enrollment, finance, and retention of students. She has successfully created business processes for students that allow ease of access to communication, customer services, web-based self-service, and automation. In addition to assisting with software system implementation, she has instructed schools in ways to implement successful policies and procedures that would assist students in their understanding of the federal and state aid awarding and packaging procedures. Theresa has volunteered for MASFAA, CASFAA, and FASFAA, as well as multiple community service organizations.
Shannon is the director of student financial services at Frank Phillips College. She began her career in financial aid in 2006. Her primary responsibilities include student financial aid compliance and administration. Shannon's expertise includes the ability to read, interpret and apply regulations, statutes, and procedures while applying standards of adherence for staff as it relates to internal policies, procedures, system requirements and adequate training opportunities. Shannon is respected and known for her knowledge, interpretation, understanding and application of federal regulations and policies and procedures development. Shannon received her associate's degree from Amarillo College, bachelor's degree in Agronomy (Soil Science) from Texas Tech University, and master's degree in Higher Education Administration from Texas Tech University. Shannon is actively involved with TASFAA, SWASFAA and NASFAA and has earned all 17 NASFAA credentials. Shannon has served on the NASFAA board of directors, the commission of the Certified Financial Aid Administrator® Program and as past president of TASFAA and SWASFAA.
Ron was most recently the director of financial aid at Kennesaw State University and has worked at institutions across the south since 1983. He held various leadership positions at the state, regional, and national levels, including as NASFAA National Chair in 2012-2013. Ron was honored by GASFAA (Georgia) in receiving the Donald E. Payton Lifetime Achievement Award and by SASFAA in receiving the Distinguished Service Award and Honorary Lifetime Membership. He is also the recipient of the NASFAA Allan W. Purdy Distinguished Service Award, Regional Leadership Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award.
Louisa began her career in financial aid in 1991 as a work study student, made it a full-time career in 1995. She currently serves as an associate director of financial aid at Gonzaga University. She is involved with financial aid associations at the regional, and state levels. Louisa is a Certified Financial Aid Administrator and has been a member of NASFAA’s SOE Peer Review team since 2014. Her bachelor’s degree is in Sociology and she also has a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership, both earned at Gonzaga. Louisa enjoys meeting people from other schools and helping them where possible.
Mark is currently the Senior Associate Director of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships at the University of Oregon (UO). Prior to joining UO, Mark served as an Institutional Review Specialist (AKA: "Program Reviewer") and Eligibility Analyst for the U.S. Department of Education. He has worked in the public and private non-profit sectors but is also very familiar with the proprietary sector. Mark has been very active in state, regional, and national associations, where he has served in a wide range of roles including serving as President of his state association. He started with the SOE program in 2016: "I enjoy learning from others and seeing different ways of doing things. Being involved helps me keep up-to-date on all areas related to Financial Aid, from regulations, to office operations and customer service."
Brian Drabik is the senior associate director of financial aid at Northwestern University. Brian has been in financial aid since 1998 and has experience at both public and private institutions. Brian is an active member in the Illinois Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (ILASFAA), Midwest Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (MASFAA), and NASFAA. In his current role he oversees loan processing, compliance and oversees the aid office's communication functions, particularly with first-generation low-income students, and is always looking for improvements in the way his office serves and communicates with its students, but also how staff communicate and share information with one another. Besides his financial aid role at Northwestern, Brian has also built a financial wellness program for students, including a website and programming throughout the academic year. He earned his Personal Financial Management Certification from Inceptia. In addition to his role at Northwestern, he has worked as a NASFAA Standards of Excellence peer reviewer since 2019.
Sarah Everitt has worked in higher education since 2006 and is currently the associate dean and director of financial aid at Gonzaga University. In addition to her role at Gonzaga, she has worked as a NASFAA Standards of Excellence peer reviewer since 2014 and is an active volunteer in the financial aid professional community. She loves the everyday challenges of higher education — especially leveraging technology to improve processes and service to students. Sarah is a Certified Financial Aid Administrator, and has earned seventeen NASFAA professional credentials, a Certificate in Foundational Leadership, and a master's degree in organizational leadership from Gonzaga.
Helen Faith is the director of student financial aid at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has worked in financial aid for 21 years. She has previously worked at Lane Community College, the University of Western States, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland State University, and the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has served as a past president of the Western Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (WASFAA) and the Oregon Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (OASFAA), and as the WASFAA representative on the NASFAA Board of Directors. Helen has participated in negotiated rulemaking with the U.S. Department of Education as an alternate non-federal negotiator on student loan issues and is an active member of the financial aid community as a presenter and policy advocate at the national, regional, and state levels. Helen holds a bachelor's degree in literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a master's degree in educational leadership and policy from Portland State University. Helen is currently serving as the first year representative-at-large on the NASFAA Board of Directors.
Matthew Fernelius is currently the financial aid eligibility coordinator at BYU-Idaho and has worked at BYU-Idaho since 2015. He began as a student employee working in verification, earned a position as a full-time temp, and later received a full-time position in verification and later packaging and eligibility. Prior to his current employment, Matthew worked for seven years at two family law firms. He is excited to share his knowledge and expertise with other universities and colleges and assist them in supporting their student base.
Amy is a financial aid professional with more than 18 years of experience in various positions that have provided opportunities to work with clock hours, modular programs, SE9Ws, BBAYs, SAYs, semesters, quarters, trimesters, standard, and non-standard terms at both proprietary and not-for-profit institutions. Her experience includes hiring, training, and motivating staff; audits and program reviews; remediation; policy review and goal development. She enjoys putting together the puzzle pieces of policy, compliance, and customer service to create processes that serve both the students and the school. Always looking for new opportunities for success, she seeks out challenges and new experiences as often as possible. Amy has a bachelor's degree classical studies from Dickinson College and an MBA from Purdue Global (Kaplan).
Pam Fowler is the former executive director of financial aid at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, and was the NASFAA national chair for 2011-2012. Pam has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in financial aid administration, having also served in senior financial aid management at Eastern Michigan University, the University of Missouri – St. Louis, and Ivy Tech State College. She has been active at the state, regional, and national levels in a wide range of advocacy roles, and has published several articles in the NASFAA Student Aid Transcript. A former MASFAA president, her MASFAA recognitions include having been honored with the Purdy Distinguished Service Award and the Meritorious Service Award. NASFAA recognized Pam's service with their Regional Leadership Award, Meritorious Achievement and Distinguished Service Awards. She has also been an active member of the College Board, the National Direct Student Loan Coalition, former national chair of the Coalition of State University Aid Administrators, and has served as a trainer and a negotiator for the U.S. Department of Education. Pam brings a passion for the support of need-based financial aid, and has an inclusive outlook in her service to NASFAA as she tours the various regions and identifies ways to support various types of institutions in managing the administration of financial aid.
Carrie has over thirty years of financial aid experience, primarily at the Executive Director level. She has worked at all types of institutions but most of her experience is at private universities, most which have included undergraduate, graduate, law and medical schools. Carrie has extensive experience in working with health-related programs. Carrie most recently served as the Executive Director of Financial Aid at the University of Miami. She has actively participated in many FAMS and SIS implementations including PowerFAIDS and Datatel products.
Cynthia has worked in financial aid since 2001. Her current role is as a financial aid and higher education specialist for the law firm Powers Pyles Sutter and Verville PC. Prior to joining the law firm, Cynthia worked as a financial aid administrator for twenty years at both public and private institutions, and for 14 of those years in a position of director of financial aid or higher. In addition to comprehensive knowledge of financial aid and bursar operations, she also has expertise related to veteran benefits, scholarship strategy, one-stop service models, and change management. Cynthia earned a doctorate degree in educational leadership and organizational change from Roosevelt University, a master's degree in higher education and student affairs from Indiana University, and also a bachelor's degree in secondary education from Indiana University. She earned the Strategic Enrollment Management Endorsement through AACRAO. Cynthia serves as an editorial board member for the Journal of Student Financial Aid, and as a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission.
Andrew began his career in financial aid in 1998 at Oklahoma Christian University, where he served as a scholarship coordinator, a financial aid counselor, and as associate director. Since 2006, he has been the director of financial aid at Francis Tuttle Technology Center, where he specializes in clock hour programs. He is a past president of OASFAA (Oklahoma) and SWASFAA, and he has served on the NASFAA Board of Directors as a regional representative and as a commission director. He has also chaired several task forces for NASFAA, including the Thought Force on Under-Resourced Schools. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys reading, traveling to foreign countries, and drinking copious amounts of coffee.
Lisa currently serves as the Dean of Student Financial Services at National Park College and has over 30 years of experience in the higher education profession. Over the years she has been active in state, regional, and national professional associations. She has served on the NASFAA Board as Rep-at-Large, Regional President and several NASFAA Task Forces including Leadership Conference-Compliance Track, Strategic Long Range Planning, Administrative Capability, and Code of Conduct/Ethics Commission. She has served as Arkansas State President and Treasurer and the SWASFAA Regional President. She is a Certified Financial Aid Administrator, a Certified Public Accountant, and teaches accounting courses every semester at her community college in Hot Springs, Ar.
Melissa is the associate vice president for enrollment management and director of financial aid at University of Pittsburgh at Bradford (UPB) and University of Pittsburgh at Titusville (UPT). Melissa started in financial aid in 1986, and is very active in training opportunities within her state and regional associations, including being awarded the Distinguished Service Award in 2017 and President's Award in 2015 from the Pennsylvania State Financial Aid Administrators Association. Melissa started with the SOE program in 2004 because "Compliance is my dream job. I enjoy helping others to improve their operations and I often learn something that will benefit my institution as well."
Anya is a motivational educator with extensive experience working in enrollment management and student affairs since 2005. She is the founder of the Center for Financial Independence and a former director of student financial literacy at Northeastern University. She is adept at personnel, program, and technological engagement with exceptional interpersonal, communications, and cross-functional team-building skills. Anya is a current candidate for a doctorate degree in higher education administration degree (research and dissertation topic: collegiate financial literacy) and holds an MBA as well as a master's degree in organizational and corporate communication from Northeastern University.
Kelly began her career in financial aid in 2007 as a financial aid assistant, working through many positions in financial aid until she became associate director of student financial services. In this capacity she supervised both financial aid and student accounts staff. Her strengths lay in process improvement, troubleshooting technology issues, training new and current staff, and gathering information for reporting. She was an active member and participant in the New Hampshire Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Kelly is dedicating herself as a full-time consultant as she strongly believes in process improvement and sees the importance of schools asking for support. Whether it be for a short project or for long-term processing assistance, Kelly is excited to assist institutions anyway she can.
Emily is currently the Director of Financial Aid at Richmond Community College in North Carolina. Her career in higher education began in 2010 as a Financial Aid Technician. Emily has been a member of the North Carolina Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NCASFAA) since 2010 and a NASFAA member since 2017. When not in the office you can find her spending time with her 4 legged fur children. She is excited to be on board with Blue Icon and “give back” by helping other institutions just as others have assisted her over the years.
Everett is director of financial aid and compliance at Queens University of Charlotte and has been in financial aid since 2003. He has worked at both 2-year and 4-year public and private institutions with Colleague, Banner, and Powerfaids. In addition, he has worked with veteran's educational benefits in a compliance review capacity.
Betsy is the director of student financial aid and scholarships at Bowling Green State University. Since beginning her career in 1997, she has served in several committee and board capacities at the state and regional association level. She had an SOE review at a prior school in 2005, and joined the SOE team as a peer reviewer later that year. "I love being a SOE Peer Reviewer as it gives me the opportunity to help my colleagues in the field be in compliance, but also potentially improve a process or customer service at their institution. I truly enjoy getting to know the other reviewers and those that work at the various institutions I visit, and find I often find something that will improve a process at my own university."
Mike was a financial aid administrator in Oregon and Washington for 33 years, including 20 years as a director. He worked at two public universities, one private university, two community colleges, and for an education loan guarantee agency. He was active in association leadership, serving as OASFAA and WASFAA president, and as a NASFAA regional representative and representative-at-large. He also served in a variety of state and regional training roles. He enjoys trying to make the financial aid process understandable to a wide range of audiences, and exploring the best ways to design, implement, and communicate financial aid policies that satisfy compliance requirements while meeting the needs of students and institutions. Upon his retirement, OASFAA and WASFAA awarded him Lifetime Membership, and NASFAA honored him with its Meritorious Achievement Award. He can, and will, discuss financial aid history at length if given the opportunity.
Nadege has been working in financial aid since 2010. She has a strong background in Title IV compliance and systems and operations. In her previous role as Associate Director of Systems and Operations of Financial Aid, she merged her skill sets to revamp awarding strategies, federal Direct Loan and Pell reconciliation processes, and implemented period based budgeting to provide students with more accurate Cost of Attendance estimates. Currently, she serves as a Senior Data Analyst for the Office of Institutional Research and Decision Support at The New School. In this role, she continues to report on student data and build dashboards that allow senior leadership to assess the efficacy of current institutional aid awarding models. Nadege is a strong advocate of process improvement and looks forward to helping institutions meet their service needs.
Matthew currently serves as the director of student financial services at Southeast Missouri State University. Since 2009 he has worked in both large and medium sized public four-year institutions as well as at a small private-non-profit four-year institution. He has led two different Department of Education program reviews and multiple A-133 audits, implemented new customer service standards, and went through multiple reorganizations of offices and departments. He has been a part of some great teams who have made some fairly drastic changes to policies and procedures to better meet compliance regulations as well as meet the needs of students, families, and other constituents. He attests that the financial aid administrators live their mission of providing students a chance to gain a higher education and better their own lives. He is very excited to have the opportunity to help you, your office, and your institution meet your goals so that we can work together to help students achieve their goals.
Katie is a first generation college student. Financial aid was integral to completing her degree and starting a career. She is passionate about helping students navigate the financial aid and admissions process by providing them with proactive, comprehensive information about financing so that they feel empowered throughout their academic journey. At both Harvard Extension School and Harvard Business School Katie managed all financial aid communication including internal and external websites, emails, newsletters, webinars, blogs, info sessions and more. Katie has extensive experience in developing and managing institutional scholarships and fellowships, implementing new technologies to improve office efficiencies, packaging using both FM and IM, appeal review, and professional judgment.
Debra started in financial aid in 1994 and is currently the compliance district director of financial aid at Dallas County Community College. During her career, she has spent time at private, public and proprietary institutions, where she has worked with numerous software systems such as Colleague, PeopleSoft, Jenzabar and CampusVue. In her spare time, you can find her putting her accounting degree to use by offering her services to CPA firms where she reviews financial statements as well as audits and prepares tax returns.
Sara is currently the associate director of online student financial services for Indiana University. She has been in the industry since 2004, starting at Nelnet working in the world of FFELP loan origination, and following in various roles both in lending and financial aid at several types of institutions. The majority of her work, in both lending and student services, has focused on leadership, training, compliance, and documentation. She enjoys connecting the dots for employees, helping them understand the "why" for what they do and at the end of the day, providing exceptional customer service to our students. Sara earned her FAAC® designation in 2020.
Doug Levy retired in March 2022 after working more than 30 years in financial aid. He has served as the director of financial aid at Macomb Community College and has held various leadership positions at the University of Michigan . Doug is an active member of the financial aid community, including having participated in over fifty NASFAA Standards of Excellence Peer Reviews and being recognized nationally for his expertise both in effective leveraging of technology and process improvement/efficiency in the financial aid office.
Julie is the director of financial aid at California State University San Marcos. She began her financial career in a customer service role in Heidelberg, Germany in 1997. Her early experience working directly with students influences and shapes the way she thinks about service and student expectations. She is always looking for creative ways to approach customer service. Julie has led two Department of Education program reviews and has managed the annual Single Audit for the past 7 years. She implemented customer service training and development, participated in multiple reorganizations of offices and departments, was the main tester and trainer for two PeopleSoft implementations and was an early adopter of CampusLogic.
Andrew began his career in higher education administration in 2006 before moving to the student financial aid office in 2009. He has held leadership positions in scholarship administration, customer service, and financial aid operations at several public four-year universities and has been a NASFAA
Standards of Excellence Peer Reviewer since 2019. Andrew currently serves as the executive director of student financial aid and scholarships at the University of Memphis. He enjoys the extraordinary comradery within the financial aid profession and is driven by turning pain points into points of pride.
Leslie is currently the associate director at Linn-Benton Community College where she works to improve the student experience and implement efficiencies for her staff. She has served in various roles since 2010, including processor, compliance officer, associate director, and executive director. Leslie has worked in several sectors including for-profit, two-year public and four-year public. While
there are many challenging aspects of financial aid, she enjoys creating efficiencies to improve the student experience and collaborating with other departments around campus to better serve the needs of the student.
Rachna has worked in financial aid since 1998. She brings with her multi-faceted experience and expertise in Title IV regulation interpretation and implementation. She has managed financial aid and Title IV compliance in a multi-state, multi-institutional proprietary school environment and has extensive experience in program reviews, staff development, audit management, training programs, and technology implementation. She holds a Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional (CCEP)® , which certifies her knowledge of relevant regulations and expertise in compliance processes sufficient to assist organizations in understanding and addressing legal obligations, and promote organizational integrity through the operation of effective compliance programs.
Jerry has worked in higher education since 2001 and in financial aid since 2003. He has been a director of financial aid at multiple institutions and has extensive experience as a financial aid consultant working with over 60 schools nationwide. Jerry understands that each institution is unique and brings comprehensive knowledge of business process reviews and analysis, ERP implementations, financial aid leveraging, policy implementation, leveraging of technology and recommendations of industry best practices. In addition to financial aid, he has multifaceted experience of bursar operations, admission operations, recruitment, and enrollment services. He has also been an active leader and participant in professional associations at the state and regional level (CAFAA and RMASFAA).
Charles is currently the Director of Financial Assistance for Northwest Missouri State University. His career in financial aid began in 2005 and includes experience working as a director at a small-private college, an associate director at a large four-year public, and a director at a medium-sized four-year public. Charles earned his FAAC designation in 2019 and has seven NASFAA credentials. He participated in negotiated rulemaking in 2009 as an alternate non-federal negotiator, during the Higher Education Act reauthorization process. Charles is respected and known for his knowledge and application of federal regulations. He looks forward to helping schools evaluate opportunities for process improvement and increased compliance. He also enjoys being involved with his state and regional associations, especially and the networking and learning opportunities they provide.
Miranda McCall is the assistant vice provost and director of duke university's office of undergraduate financial aid. Miranda started her career in financial aid in 2006, and in addition to managing the day-to-day operations of the aid office, she has enjoyed her role as a trainer for aid administrators at the state level and in her service as a faculty member at the national Financial Aid Institute. "For me, being an SOE peer reviewer is an exciting opportunity to support colleagues around the country in multiple aspects of aid administration. From regulatory compliance to service best-practices, I enjoy partnering with peers to find ways to improve their processes and provide the best student experience."
Steven J. McDowell is the Associate Vice President for Financial Aid Services & Title IV Compliance for Connecticut State Community College. He has more than 17 years of progressively responsible financial aid experience, including 14 years dedicated to Connecticut’s Community Colleges. He has presented locally, regionally, and nationally on topics including satisfactory academic progress, verification, gainful employment, strategic enrollment management in financial aid, policy construction, and procedural change in the Financial Aid Office. Steve was President of the Connecticut Association of Professional Financial Aid Administrators (CAPFAA) in 2018-19 and holds current volunteer board and advisory positions with state and local agencies supporting financial literacy initiatives, TRIO programming, and 529 Savings Plans. Steve received his Bachelor of Science in Finance from Bentley University and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Hartford. He is one of only two individuals holding a dual certification by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) in Strategic Enrollment Management and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) as a Certified Financial Aid Administrator®. Steve received the Connecticut Association for Professional Financial Aid Administrators’ Henry L. Miller Emerging Leader Award in 2017 and AACRAO’s Emerging Leader Award in 2020. He is the author of Basic Guide to Financial Aid, a publication that provides a roadmap to ensure that enrollment professionals understand the fundamentals of financial aid administration and compliance; he has authored various other works related to financial aid administration.
Brandon is an associate director of financial aid at the University of Chicago, managing the Booth School of Business full-time student population. Brandon believes that all students should have access to affordable post-secondary education and financial and emotional support to complete those goals. Brandon has been in higher education since 2005 and has worked in many roles within higher education, such as financial aid, enrollment management, and other consulting roles. He is an expert in policy and procedures, systems, and data reporting. He has served on multiple NASFAA task force teams to improve the effort to provide students with equitable funding for school. Brandon is currently a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Michigan's Flint campus in Educational Leadership.
Marty has worked in higher education since 1996 with most of those years being focused on financial aid. He has also worked in the business office and finance departments within higher education. Marty is currently the Executive Director of Financial Aid Training and Compliance at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. During his career he has served at public, private, and proprietary institutions serving both graduate and undergraduate populations. Marty earned his FAAC designation in January of 2023 and has earned all 16 NASFAA credentials. He has experience in writing policies and procedures, automating processes to create efficiencies within the aid office, completing internal compliance checks, and leading departments through annual audits and program reviews. He looks forward to assisting your office in any capacity that you have a need.
Scott has been in financial aid since 1989 with diverse financial aid experience. Prior to joining Blue Icon, Scott was the director of financial aid at Bridgewater College. Previously, he was a divisional director of student finance for Career Education Corporation, the director of financial aid processing at Strayer University, an associate director of financial aid at Virginia Commonwealth University, and a regional dean of student finance for DeVry University in southern California. Scott has a strong compliance orientation and has focused on professional development of staff and utilization of technology to improve operational efficiencies and customer service to students and parents. Scott has also worked with senior managers in enrollment management and finance to develop financial policies that enable affordability and student success while meeting college goals for enrollment and revenue.
Dawn has over 30 years of financial aid experience at four-year public and non-profit universities, community colleges, and for-profit institutions. She has served as director of financial aid for 25 years at schools with a single financial aid office and others with several financial aid offices and dozens of locations. She has led and participated system implementations and successfully navigated colleges through program reviews on multiple occasions. Dawn served as a federal negotiator in 2000 and 2002 and has extensive volunteer leadership, training, and advocacy experience at multiple state and regional financial aid associations. Her leadership of a multi-regional association team resulted in receiving NASFAA's Gold Star Award in 2012 for advocacy work.
Ashley is the director of financial aid at University of Alaska Fairbanks. She has been active in state, regional and national financial aid associations as a presenter, chair, and elected officer since she started in financial aid in 2005. Ashley thoroughly enjoys reviewing processes to identify inefficiencies and find streamlining opportunities. She has served as a facilitator for a campus-wide process improvement team since 2013. Ashley finds training to be a rewarding effort and has loved serving as faculty at a variety of regional training events. Assisting other financial aid officers in understanding and implementing regulations and improving practices is her favorite job! She loves financial aid because of the challenge to find ways to support students with the ever-changing rules.
Chris has worked in higher education since 2010 and in financial aid since 2012. He currently serves as the Director of Financial Aid at Mt. Hood Community College and has been in the role since 2018. During his career, he has spent time at a private for-profit institution with short-term medical certificate programs, as well as a 4-yearprivate non-profit university with adult degree programs (bachelors and graduate). His current institution, a 2-year public school, has certificate and associate's level programs.He is familiar with Colleague and Jenzabar CX systems, and has experience with multiple academic year formats (standard, nonstandard, non-term). He successfully navigated a federal program review in 2019 and welcomes the opportunity to help others through the same process. Chris holds a Master's Degree in Management and Organizational Leadership, and has earned five NASFAA Credentials in Consumer Information, Student Eligibility, Direct Loan Program, Return of Title IV Funds, and Administrative Capability.
Sandy has over 30 years of financial aid experience at public, private and for-profit institutions. Sandy started her career in financial aid as a work-study student and worked her way up through the ranks to hold positions has the front-line customer service representative, assistant director for scholarships and training, associate director, and director. She has a passion for training and developing policy and procedures and has served as a mentor to many colleagues in Kentucky and in the SASFAA region. Sandy has been an active leader and participant in professional association activities and advocacy efforts at the state, regional and national level.
Hysha has worked in the field of financial aid for over twenty years. She has held director positions at Gallaudet University and John Hopkins University. She has also worked in the financial aid offices at Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Rochester in NY. Her proficiency in financial aid management, compliance, automation, and outreach has led her to consult, where she is excited to help other schools. A lifelong student, Hysha has a bachelor's degree in information technology, a master's degree in public policy from RIT, an MBA from University of Rochester and a ministry degree from Liberty University. She is currently working towards her CPA.
Eric began his career in higher education in 2003 and currently serves as the loan administrator for Stonehill College. He is responsible for the oversight of multiple education loan programs and ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations. He has in depth knowledge of the federal perkins loan program and continues to service the loan portfolio. In addition to his current work, he is actively engaged in evaluating and managing internal processes and annual ERP set-up and enjoys developing automated workflows.
Tara is the associate director of financial aid at Marquette University. She has been active in state, regional and national associations as a presenter and chair. She has been inducted into the PeopleSoft higher education users group hall of fame for her demonstrated leadership, service and sustained contributions serving the community. She started her career in financial aid as a federal work-study employee at University of Wisconsin - Colleges in 1994 and has been in her current role since 2008. Prior to her current position she worked at Great Lakes Higher Education in Madison Wisconsin supporting servicing FFEL loans. "I enjoy sharing my expertise with others and have volunteered in many ways to help others in the community. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is to evaluate risk and prepare a plan to evaluate and track future efforts toward improvement." Tara holds a bachelor's degree in international relations in American foreign policy and political science from University of Wisconsin - Madison, and a master's degree in computing from Marquette University.
Tim is currently the director of financial aid at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has worked in financial aid since 1990. He has earned all 17 NASFAA credentials. He has worked at five different institutions and has experience working in both the public and private sectors. He has working knowledge of multiple computer systems. Tim has been peer reviewer for the Standards of Excellence (SOE) program since 2004 and has been on over forty-five different review teams, which assessed various types of institutions across the country. He has also been through three federal program reviews at two different large complex public institutions since 2012. Tim worked extensively with staff from the U.S. Department of Education during his leadership of the financial aid functional team for the University of Wisconsin System as they integrated their two and four-year campuses.
Emily is the director of financial aid for Northwestern University's Chicago Office, working with the Feinberg School of Medicine MD, physical therapy, physician assistant and prosthetic/orthotic students as well as the Pritzker School of Law, School of Professional Studies and Kellogg's Evening and Weekend MBA program. She began her career in financial aid as a federal work/study student and has since worked for the graduate financial aid office at the University of Chicago, as the associate director of admissions and financial aid at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern, and as the director of admissions and student Affairs for the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism. Emily is a graduate of Antioch College, holds a Certified Financial Aid Administrator designation and currently severs on the NASFAA Board of Directors.
Myrna is director of financial aid at Barton Community College in Great Bend, Kansas. She has worked in financial aid since 1992 and has been a peer reviewer with NASFAA's Standards of Excellence (SOE) Review Program since 2000. Myrna is also chief accreditation officer and accreditation liaison officer at Barton and has been an accreditation peer reviewer with the Higher Learning Commission since 2010. Myrna earned a bachelor's degree in English from Kansas State University and a master's degree in higher education administration with an emphasis in post- secondary education from Fort Hays State University. She has also earned all 17 NASFAA credentials. Myrna finds great satisfaction in helping other schools (and learning from them as well), networking with other financial aid professionals, and making new friends within the financial aid community.
Faith is the director of student financial services at Central Ohio Technical College and The Ohio State University at Newark. She started her career in financial aid as a student employee at Ohio State in 1986 and has been in her current role since 1997. Prior to her current position she worked at National Computer Systems in Iowa supporting FAA's using EDExpress. Faith has served on several committees and board roles in OASFAA and MASFAA including past-president of OASFAA. She had two SOE reviews at her current school and felt the process was so instrumental to her department and staff that she joined the SOE team in 2019. "I find the opportunity to assist my colleagues in their offices and profession very rewarding. It is helpful to our profession that financial aid administrators are not competitive and welcome the idea of sharing thoughts and ideas on how to better serve students."
Nick Prewett is director of financial aid at Stony Brook University. He has worked in financial aid at large public AAU institutions since 2003. He has earned all 17 NASFAA credentials and has been very involved in state, regional, and national financial aid associations, including the NASFAA board of directors and as MASFAA president. He believes that through training financial aid administrators he can help reduce barriers for students pursuing higher education. He has a Doctor of Education from the University of Kansas.
Donna currently serves as the Executive Director of Financial Aid, Scholarships and Veterans Education Benefits at Austin Peay State University. She has been in higher education for 32 years with 12 years in admissions and the past 20 years in financial aid. All of her higher education experience has been under the enrollment management model, which has given her broad experience in enrollment, persistence and retention of students. Donna prides herself on building an empowered and experienced staff who, together, have created an environment of efficiency, customer service, and strong compliance with two federal agencies – the Department of Education and Veterans Affairs. She considers mentoring and leadership to be one of her best strengths. She has been a part of high-level campus committees and discussions and can navigate the political scene, which is instrumental to the success of a financial aid office. In addition to team development, Donna has worked with enlisting third-party vendors to search for ways to improve services, enrollment and retention in the current challenging higher education environment.
JoEllen Price started her career in 1988 and became a financial aid director in 1992, and currently serves as the executive director of financial aid at Houston Community College. She has led financial aid operations at five different institutions (public, private and proprietary) in four states. Positions held include executive director of student financial programs overseeing student accounts and financial aid; assistant vice president of enrollment management overseeing admissions, financial aid, and marketing; interim director of institutional research; and registrar. She also served as the vice president of operations for full-service financial aid consulting company working with over 50 colleges and universities providing a variety of consulting and remote processing services. JoEllen earned a bachelor’s degree in business, an MBA, a master's degree in information technology, and completed her doctorate in education in 2022.
Alison has worked in financial aid at both public and private four-year universities since 1989 and
enjoys helping students access the aid they need to get the education they want so that options are
open to them as they move through life. She came to financial aid, as many do, by accident but
found that it really played to her strengths in organization and management. Her most recent
university aid positions are as the Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships at Johns Hopkins
University and as the Asst. Vice Provost and Director of Financial Aid at Duke University. In addition
to having worked in university financial aid, she has also served as a Standards of Excellence
reviewer for a decade to improve compliance with federal regulations specializing in Consumer
Information. She holds a doctorate in Organization and Leadership in Higher Education from
Columbia University as well as a Master’s degree in Classics from Columbia and a bachelor’s in
Religion from Barnard College.
Morgan began working in financial aid in 2005 and currently serves as the associate director for operations at the University of Oregon where she leverages systems and technology to increase efficiency, ensure compliance, and improve the financial aid experience for staff and students alike. Morgan served as the committee chair for Ellucian's Community Source Initiative for five years and has been a peer reviewer for NASFAA's Standards of Excellence (SOE) Review Program since 2015. She loves puzzles, problem solving, and process improvement, which makes financial aid a perfect fit. Morgan holds a bachelor of arts in wilderness leadership and experiential education from Brevard College, and a master of science in therapeutic recreation from Oklahoma State University.
Christopher Rodriguez currently serves as the director of financial aid at Rowan College of South Jersey. He started his career at Rowan College of South Jersey’s Cumberland campus in 2000, where he served as a financial aid counselor and taught as an adjust professor. He moved to Middlesex County College in 2015 and was promoted to director while continuing to teach as an adjust professor. He enjoys teaching and looks forward to assisting other institutions with his financial aid knowledge and expertise.
Jeannine is the Senior Director of Student Financial Services at Thomas College in Waterville, ME. She has worked at Thomas College, in the “small but mighty” financial aid office of two, since 2004 and has been the Senior Director since 2018. The financial aid office is part of a one-stop-shop that includes financial aid, bursar, and registrar. Jeannine oversees the financial aid and bursar functions, where one of her many roles is ensuring separation of duties. She is a member of MASFAA, EASFAA, and NASFAA and held training committee roles with MASFAA early in her career. She earned her FAAC designation in 2022. Jeannine is excited to expand her financial aid experience while being able to assist other financial aid offices and create new professional relationships with colleagues.
Anne has almost 20 years of financial aid experience at both a four-year public university and a national proprietary school. Throughout her financial aid career, she has worked closely with students and school administrators to improve the financial aid experience. From designing policies and procedures to maximize accuracy and efficiency to implementing communication plans to website design, Anne excels at establishing best practices. With a bachelor's degree in economics and an MBA in finance and accounting, Anne's love for math and money is longstanding. She has experience in SAP, FWS, R2T4, COA establishment, Study Abroad, ROTC, PJ, Verification, Loan Certification, NSLDS, and SEOG. Understanding rules and regulations in financial aid presents a unique challenge that she loves. Anne looks forward to helping the financial aid community as a Blue Icon Advisor.
Dr. Heather Shalley has over 15 years of experience in Financial Aid. In her current role she oversees areas including Financial Aid, Admissions, Retention, Student Accounts, Academic Records and the school’s One-Stop shop. Heather’s experience in financial aid ranges from completing Federal verification to managing an office. She has managed the financial aid audits for several years without any findings and has experience with program reviews and building offices from the ground up. Dr. Shalley earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Olivet Nazarene University. She received a doctorate of education and a master of science in education from Capella University.
Ben started in higher education in 1991 and has experience in financial aid and admissions administration. He currently serves as the associate director for policy and training at the University of California, Irvine, where he is responsible for developing financial aid policies and procedures, ensuring compliance with all federal, state, and university regulations, and conducting training on office policies and procedures. He is also responsible for policy and compliance oversight for UCI's three professional schools (law, medicine, and the graduate school of business). He earned a doctorate in educational leadership from UC San Diego/Cal State San Marcos and a master's of education in college student personnel services from the University of Southern California.
David has been a financial aid professional for over 30 years and has also managed other functional areas such as registrar, admissions, bursar, and new student orientation. He is currently the director of financial aid at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, a position he has held since 2011. He has broad experience in enrollment management strategies, policies and procedures, staff training, regulatory compliance, and other aspects of financial aid administration and has served as a mentor to many colleagues. David has been an active leader and participant in professional association activities and advocacy efforts at the state, regional and national level, including as a federal negotiator, a member of the Higher Education Committee of 50, and a trainer and contributing author for the enrollment management track at the NASFAA Leadership & Legislative Conference & Expo. David was a 2020 recipient of NASFAA's Allan W. Purdy Distinguished Service Award.
Emily has experience at both public and private non-profit colleges and universities. Recently retired, her most recent position was senior financial aid director at the South Texas College of Law-Houston. As a 30-year veteran in financial aid, she strives to effectively and efficiently administer aid using best practices, specializing in office efficiency and workflow design. She has used Ellucian Banner software for over 20 years and presented at the 2019 ELive conference. She is an expert in student loan borrower-based processing, strategic planning, data analysis, report design, automation, and cost reduction.
Aria Simmons began her career in financial aid in 2001 and currently serves as the director of student financial aid at Georgia State University. She has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in business administration. Aria has experience from two-year public, four year private and research institutions where she's worked with Colleague and Banner. She believes in using data as a proactive tool to find student's at risk, looking for ways to improve the student experience by streamlining strategies and evaluating processes for inefficiencies. She is actively involved in the state, regional and national levels of financial aid associations. Aria has earned her FAAC designation.
Hali Skaggs currently serves as senior associate director of financial aid for systems and fund management at the University of Rochester. She has earned all 17 NASFAA credentials and has worked in financial aid, athletics and admissions. Hali started working in financial aid at Blackburn College 17 years ago. Hali is a co-chair of NYSFAAA Region II along with a member of the NYSFAAA Statewide Training committee. She has presented multiple times at the College Board PowerFAIDS conference along with serving on the PowerFAIDS advisory board. Hali's passion is to make the financial aid systems work to help reduce the manual processing. She believes that through automation and quality control, financial aid officers can spend more time focusing on helping navigate the process with students.
Mary Sommers recently retired after 30 years in the Office of Financial Aid at the University of Nebraska at Kearney where she served as Director. She began working in higher education at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT in 1989, starting in admissions and moving into the financial aid office shortly thereafter. Active in NASFAA, Mary has been a member of the Board of Directors and was the inaugural chair of the NASFAA Ethics Commission. She is the proud recipient of NASFAA’s Lifetime Membership award in 2022 and NASFAA’s Meritorious Achievement Award in 2012. She has chaired the NASFAA Leadership Conference Compliance Track. Mary has served as a state and regional president of NeASFAA and RMASFAA respectively. As a Blue Icon consultant, she enjoys helping financial aid professionals with policies and procedures, scholarship management and navigating campus politics.
Max is currently the associate director of Northeastern University's Dolce Center for the Advancement of Veterans and Service members. His main responsibility is managing the accurate and timely processing of all chapters of Title 38 VA Educational benefits for 800 military affiliated students, resulting in more than $8 million in tuition payments annually at five different campuses across the country. Although his focus is on VA and DoD educational benefits, he has experience and knowledge in admissions, financial aid, academic advising, and bursar functions. As a former United States Marine, Max is passionate about helping the military affiliated student make the most of their earned benefits while ensuring the institution maintains compliance with federal and state regulations. Max previously was named a member of Recruit Military;s 2017 Top 40 under 40 and is a former member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Veteran Program Administrators (NAVPA).
Ashley Swing currently serves as the assistant director, university financial aid compliance at Johns Hopkins University. She began her career in financial aid in 2010 working in front-line customer service which has guided her approach to policy making, process improvements, and the student experience. Ashley holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master's degree in training and development from North Carolina State University. In 2020, she earned a doctorate in adult and community college education, also from NCSU, where her research focused on the experiences of Pell-eligible students transferring from a community college to a four-year public university. She has earned five NASFAA credentials.
Jan Szymanski began her career in financial aid in 1994 and currently serves as the compliance officer at Los Angeles Pacific University. She has close to 30 years of experience in both private and for-profit institutions as well as in the student loan industry where she worked at a guarantee agency. She brings with her multi-faceted experience and expertise in Title IV regulation interpretation and implementation. She has a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management. She has managed the financial aid audits without any findings and her experience ranges from completing verification to managing the financial aid department. She is currently active in state, regional and national associations.
Susan is currently the Associate Vice Provost for Financial Aid and Enrollment Services at Marquette University. She began her career in financial aid in 1994 and has worked in the Graduate/Professional, Community College and private non-profit sectors. She has served in several committee and board capacities at the state and regional association level including President of the Wisconsin Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. In addition, her service to the College Board includes election to the Midwest Regional Council, financial aid trainer for the Enrollment Leadership Academy, and faculty of the Financial Aid Institute. She completed her first SOE review in 2019. "Joining the SOE program allows me to give back to our profession. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting new colleagues from across the country and learning how they approach the administration of financial aid."
Robin Thompson has almost 20 years of financial aid experience at four-year private colleges, serving as the director of financial aid at Pomona College and Pitzer College. Throughout her career, Robin has worked closely with students and staff to improve the financial aid experience and reduce barriers in the application and aid delivery process. She has been involved in both state and national professional organizations including CASFAA and the College Board Western Regional Council. Robin has had broad experience working with Institutional Methodology and served on the College Board’s Financial Aid Standards and Services Committee (FASSAC), their primary advisory group for financial aid services. As a hands-on director at small institutions, Robin has been active in developing policies and procedures, strategic planning, compliance and audit, budget management and leveraging technology to increase operational efficiency and automation. Robin has a robust knowledge of PowerFAIDS. Robin earned her BA in History from Pomona College and MBA from Claremont Graduate University.
Pamela Toney began her tenure as president of CSU Global in September 2020, after serving as the chief operating officer. Her passion is helping people realize their potential and giving them the courage to pursue opportunities that may seem out of reach. President Toney joined the university in 2011 as the director of financial aid, and had the opportunity to expand her leadership across multiple areas. Under her direction, the university was approved to participate in the Federal Student Aid Title IV financial aid program as well as approved to offer veterans' education benefits. Prior to CSU Global, she served as the assistant controller at Colorado Technical University, as well as the associate director of student finance. Toney received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; her master's degree in psychology from Walden University; and an MBA from Colorado Technical University, along with a graduate certificate in cyber security from CSU Global.
Zoey is an information technology professional with the University of Vermont where she develops and maintains all aspects of technology that affect financial aid for approximately 13,000 undergraduate, graduate, medical, and continuing education students. She has worked in financial aid technology since 1998 and has implemented all aspects of system-based aid administration, including self-service, Pell Grant processing, and complex summer algorithms. Zoey is happiest when helping others and developing new processes to improve the efficiency of financial aid operations.
Sam is the associate dean of college enrollment and director of financial aid at the University of Rochester. Sam has worked in the financial aid profession since 1992, previously serving as director of financial aid at Syracuse University, Nazareth College, Hobart & William Smith Colleges and Keuka College and as a senior consultant at Scannell & Kurz, Inc. Over the years, she has been actively engaged in state, regional, and national professional organizations including NYSFAAA, EASFAA and the College Board CSS/Financial Aid Assembly Council. Sam is the recipient of the NYSFAAA Citation of Appreciation, NYSFAAA Sister Bernadine Hayes and Rusty Hopkins Service Award, the NYSFAAA Region III Service Award, College Board Middle States Bernard P. Ireland Award, and the EASFAA Leadership Award. Sam is a graduate of Ithaca College with a bachelor's degree in Health Services Administration and Nazareth College with a master's degree in Management.
Megan began her financial aid career in 2007 at IUPUI. Prior to working at IUPUI she worked at Sallie Mae where she focused on helping students understand repayment options and the importance of keeping their loans in good standing. She has worked in several areas of the financial aid office giving her a well rounded background in counseling, training, documentation, compliance,
processing, and leadership. In her current role as Associate Director of Compliance and Processing, she oversees the federal verification process, Satisfactory Academic Progress, maintains policies and procedures, and conducts
internal audits while looking for ways to improve the student experience through streamlining communications strategies and evaluating processes for inefficiencies. Megan enjoys building relationships with colleagues and campus partners to create a dynamic and holistic approach to administering financial aid and scholarship programs. She is currently serving as President ISFAA (Indiana) and enjoys being involved in her state and regional associations. To date she has earned 11 NASFAA credentials along with her FAAC in 2020. Since earning her
credentials she has often provided training for her state and regional associations, helping others grow in their financial aid knowledge.
Robert David (Bob) Walker has over 20 years of experience as a financial aid director at the community college and the public university levels. He also is a certified public accountant and prior to entering the student financial aid profession, performed A-133 audits of governmental entities, including college Title IV programs. He has been through a Banner conversion and has 20 years of functional Banner experience. Bob was awarded the Jack Woodward Award of Excellence in 2015 by the Mississippi Association of School Financial Aid Administrators for excellence in leadership, knowledge, expertise, cooperation, professionalism, commitment, service, and involvement. He considers himself a lifetime learner and regularly attends Federal Student Aid, NASFAA, and state association training events and conferences in addition to meeting annual continuing education requirements to renew his CPA License.
Jim currently serves as dean of student financial services at Gonzaga University where he supervises financial aid, student accounts, student employment and campus card services. He has previously served in roles as the director of financial aid, director of student financial services, and associate provost for enrollment management. Jim has also served as a NASFAA Standards of Excellence (SOE) Peer Reviewer since 2009.
Sharon retired in October 2019 after working 30 years in the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE). From 2011-2019, she led the financial aid office and programs at Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC). She also supervised the director and program director for academic advisement, international student services, the Recruitment and Access Center, and Veteran Student Services. Prior to working at TMCC, she was the director of financial aid at NSHE System Administration , worked earlier at TMCC, and also worked the University of Nevada Reno (UNR), all in financial aid. Sharon serves as a mentor for the Nevada Promise Scholarship program and serves on the scholarship committees for the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows as well as for the Nevada Women’s Fund. Because one never fully retires, Sharon works part time in various contract roles, and serves as an adjunct faculty member in UNR’s educational leadership graduate program, teaching Enrollment Management/Financial Aid. She has a master’s in counseling and educational psychology and bachelor’s in business administration/computer information systems, all from UNR. She has been married for 40 years to her husband Mike, and they have two grown children, Megan and Zach.
Peter Wyatt has 15 years of student financial aid experience in four-year private institutions. Peter came to Blue Icon in 2021. His previous experience includes tenure with Johns Hopkins University, where he served as Senior Associate Director of Financial Aid. He previously served as Assistant Director for Oberlin College, Wellesley College, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Peter is experienced with several financial aid software systems, including Ellucian (SunGard) Banner, College Board PowerFAIDS, and PeopleSoft. Peter has served on a number of financial aid committees including the Government Relations Committee in MASFAA, the Need Analysis Committee in OASFAA, and the College Board’s Professional Judgment Tips Sheets Committee. He has made countless presentations including but not limited to federal and institutional need analysis, international student financial aid, and Financial Aid for Athletes.
Cheryl started in financial aid in 2004. She is currently the director of student financial systems and analytics at Pratt Institute. She served as the director of financial aid or leadership roles in the financial aid office at both public and private colleges and universities, most recently, Kean University, The New School, and Hunter College. Cheryl has consistently demonstrated in-depth financial aid knowledge, leadership, customer service, data analysis, and IT talents. She has successfully revamped SAP process at several institutes, implemented financial aid self service and NTIV (Non-Title IV credits) process, streamlined Professional Judgment, ISIR corrections, and verification processes, automated aid packages, and successfully configured and launched QLess-a virtual line service. Cheryl has a bachelor's degree in Accounting from Fudan University, Shanghai, China and an MBA from Appalachian State University.