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. Pete holds two NASFAA Credentials in Administrative Capability and Consumer Information.
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.
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." Steve has earned NASFAA Credentials in Administrative Capability, Cash Management, Consumer Information, Direct Loans, Return of Title IV Funds, Satisfactory Academic Progress, and Verification.
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 executive director of student services 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 and President for the Southwest Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and serves on multiple NASFAA committees.
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. She enjoys dancing, interior decorating, traveling, and spending time with her family: her husband, Tye, and two daughters, Shoahannah and Haley.
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. In her free time, Shannon enjoys traveling, running, and crocheting.
Beth began her financial aid career in 2000 and for the last 14 years has served as the director of financial aid at Mount Mercy University. During her career, she has spent time working with undergraduates, graduates and adult learners. She has 15 years working with PowerFAIDS and enjoys finding new ways to utilize it to create more efficient processes. Her experience includes hiring, training and motivating new staff, writing policies and procedures and preparation for annual audits and program reviews. Beth has also participated in the internal creation of the University's financial aid optimization matrix and is responsible for ongoing analysis of the matrix, discount rate and net tuition revenue. Beth has been active in both her state and regional associations and is also a member of NASFAA. At the state level she has served as treasurer-elect, treasurer, vice president, president-elect and is currently serving two consecutive terms as past-president. She is currently the Iowa representative on the MASFAA Board and received the 2020-2021 MASFAA State Leadership Award. She holds a bachelor's degree in management and a master's degree in strategic leadership.
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 and student employment associations at the national, regional, and state levels. She holds NASFAA Credentials in Cash Management, Consumer Information, Direct Loans, and Return of Title IV Funds.
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.
Casey began his financial aid career in 2015 as a counselor and quickly moved into a lead counselor role focusing primarily on reconciliation and federal work study. He is now the assistant director, federal work-study program management at the University of Georgia, where he has quadrupled the number of off-campus organizations and companies employing federal work study students. In addition to growing the program, he designed new billing, accounting, and reporting procedures as part of participating in the FWS experimental sites initiative. Casey is active in the National Student Employment Association and currently serves as the director of learning services. Casey is excited to join Blue Icon so he can share his experiences and assist other institutions with navigating the complex world of financial aid.
Sarah Everitt has worked in higher education since 2006 and is currently the director of financial aid operations 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 17 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 student and 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.
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. Cynthia has served 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.
Philip Hawkins most recently held the position of director of financial aid at The George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. since March 2017. Prior to his service to GW Law, he spent his career in financial aid and higher education at four other private and public colleges and universities in Georgia. He served as the GASFAA state association president in 2012-2013 and was active in the SASFAA regional association where he also served as legislative relations chair in 2013-2014. He served the EASFAA regional association as a Training Chair leading the training efforts for the NASFAA credentials program from 2017-2019, having earned all 17 available NASFAA credentials. He has served on the NASFAA Training & Professional Development Committee and has also served a 3-year term as a founding commission member of NASFAA's Certified Financial Aid Administrator Commission. Philip holds a doctorate in educational policy studies and higher education from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia, a master's degree in counseling from West Georgia College (now University of West Georgia), and a bachelor's degree in mathematics education from Shorter College (now Shorter University). In his spare time, he enjoys playing piano and singing in the Congressional Chorus, located in Washington, D.C..
Debra recently retired in January 2022. She is the former director of scholarships and financial aid at the University of Wyoming. She has been involved in higher education since the early 1980s and has served in various director roles within financial aid, retention, and enrollment management across the country. During her career, she has spent time at private and public institutions serving undergraduate and graduate populations, and has worked with Banner, PowerFAIDS, and Colleague. She has also worked with several consulting firms implementing a variety of leveraging models while always advocating for "need-based aid" versus "want-based aid." She is excited to be part of the Blue Icon team and to stay engaged with institutions and the students they serve. Debra enjoys being outdoors hiking, biking, playing tennis and relaxing with her husband and two golden retrievers.
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.
Kevin has nearly 20 years of higher education experience, including more than ten years as a financial aid director and more than five years of executive leadership in enrollment management and student success. His expertise extends beyond financial aid and scholarships to include undergraduate admissions, graduate admissions, college access programs, new student services, academic advising, veteran's services, career services, international education, and the registrar's office. Kevin has broad experience building effective coalitions, advancing student-centered policy, leading change initiatives, improving business processes, implementing software, and delivering exceptional student support services. He enjoys coaching and mentoring and has served his fellow aid administrators as President of the Idaho Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (IASFAA), President of the Western Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (WASFAA), member of the NASFAA Board of Directors.
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.
Mike was director of financial aid at Columbia Gorge Community College in The Dalles, Oregon until his retirement in October 2020. He has been a financial aid administrator in the Pacific Northwest since 1987, including 20 years at the director level. During his career, Mike has worked at Washington State University-Pullman, Portland State University, Pacific University, Clark College, and the Northwest Education Loan Association (NELA). He has been active in association leadership, training, and outreach for most of his career, including serving as OASFAA and WASFAA president, and as a regional representative and representative-at-large on the NASFAA Board. He served several times as a faculty member for OASFAA and WASFAA's Jerry R. Sims Management & Leadership Institute and Sister Dale Brown Summer Institute. 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 discuss financial aid history at length if given the opportunity.
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.
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 currently holds nine NASFAA credentials and earned her FAAC® designation in 2020.
Doug Levy is the director of financial aid at Macomb Community College, which serves 35,000 students and is the largest community college in Michigan. Prior to joining Macomb in April, 2011, he held various leadership positions at the University of Michigan for 23 years, the last 14 years as associate director in the financial aid office. 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.
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 associate director of student financial aid 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. Andrew currently holds six NASFAA credentials.
Leslie is currently the assistant director at Western Oregon University where she works to improve the student experience. She has served in various roles over the last twelve years, including processor, compliance officer, associate director, and executive director. Leslie has a 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.
Chris recently retired as the director of financial aid at Campbellsville University and has over 30 years of experience as a financial aid professional. While she has worked primarily at private colleges, her depth of Title IV knowledge is multi-dimensional and includes knowledge of semester, clock, non-term, and modular program operations. She also has broad knowledge in financial aid leveraging and strategies. Over the years, she has been actively engaged in a variety of state and regional professional organizations. Chris is the recipient of the Herb Vescio Distinguished Service Award .
Steve McDowell is the associate vice president for financial aid services & Title IV compliance for the Connecticut State Community Colleges. He has more than 16 years of progressively responsible financial aid experience, including 13 years dedicated to Connecticut's Community Colleges. He has presented locally, regionally, and nationally on satisfactory academic progress and verification, as well as 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 related to financial literacy, TRIO programs, and 529 Savings Plans. He is also former evaluator in the Strategic Enrollment Management Endorsement Program for the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). Steve received his bachelor's degree finance from Bentley University and his MBA from the University of Hartford. He is dually certified by NASFAA as a Certified Financial Aid Administrator® and AACRAO in Strategic Enrollment Management. Steve received CAPFAA's 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.
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).
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.
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 associate director of financial aid and interim director of military and veteran services 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.
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.
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.
Joe has been engaged in student financial aid administration since 2004, first as a financial aid administrator, then a financial aid director, followed by four years as a senior institutional review specialist at the U.S. Department of Education. Following his time at the Department, Joe worked as a senior director for a large school group, an eligibility and awarding manager, and currently as a senior regulatory analyst for Adtalem Global Education. Joe also served on the NASFAA Negotiated Rulemaking Task Force in 2018-19 to assist NASFAA staff and negotiators during the Program Integrity and Improvement negotiated rulemaking sessions, which focused on cash management, state authorization, and adverse credit for PLUS loans, among other topics. During his time at the Department, Joe assisted in building direct loan origination functionality within COD for foreign schools participating in the Title IV programs for their American student population.
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.
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, which is made up of over 70,000 students across 20 campuses. She has worked for colleges and universities in four states and consulted with colleges and universities throughout the United States. Positions held include executive director of student financial programs; assistant vice president of enrollment management overseeing admissions, financial aid, and marketing; director of financial aid; interim director of institutional research; and registrar. JoEllen 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 is currently working on her doctorate in higher education.
Alison has worked in financial aid since 1989 in both public and private universities and has been active at the national, regional, and state level. She has served on the financial aid planning committee for the Consortium on Financing Higher Education and chaired the College Board's Financial Aid Standards and Services Committee (FASSAC), their primary financial aid advisory team. Alison has been a member of NASFAA's Standards of Excellence (SOE) team since 2015 and serves as a Team Leader and Consumer Information Assessment Leader.
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.
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.
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 several NASFAA credentials and is an FAAC.
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 is currently the director of financial aid at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She has been working in financial aid since 1989 at both public and private institutions. Prior to starting at UNK she was the director of financial Aid at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT. 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 the NASFAA Meritorious Achievement Award in 2012. Currently she is working with the compliance track for the NASFAA Leadership Conference. Mary has served as a state and regional president of NeASFAA and RMASFAA respectively. Mary's enjoys helping colleagues 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 three NASFAA credentials.
Jan is currently the compliance officer at Los Angeles Pacific University in San Dimas, California. She has been in financial aid over 27 years. She enjoys many aspects of financial aid including compliance, policies and procedures, and monitoring activities within the financial aid department.
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, she oversees the federal verification process, provides training for new and current staff, writing policies and procedures, audits internal processes, and looks 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-Elect of 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, and the Recruitment and Access Center. 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 committee for the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows. 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 and financial aid. She has a master's degree in counseling and educational psychology and bachelor's degree in business administration/computer information systems, all from UNR. She has been married for 38 years to her husband Mike, and they have two grown children, Megan and Zach.
Peter has worked in higher education since 2007. He was most recently the senior associate director at Johns Hopkins University and has previously worked for Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Wellesley College, Oberlin College, and Wentworth Institute of Technology. He 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. Peter is an expert in need analysis and institutional methodology. He enjoys meeting new financial aid colleagues and is strongly committed to student access and success.