Certified Financial Aid Administrator® Commission Bios

Kathy Bialk, University of Kentucky, Commission Chair, Midwest Representative

Since fall 2019, Kathy has been serving as the Executive Director of Student Financial Aid at the University of Kentucky. Previously, Kathy served at the University of Iowa for two years, during which time she joined the Commission as the Midwest Representative. Prior to that Kathy served for almost a decade at Marshall University in West Virginia, where she earned her Doctorate Degree (Ed. D) in Higher Education Leadership. Kathy has more than 30 years of progressively responsible financial aid and enrollment management experience at several public and private colleges and universities. Kathy has presented, provided training, published, and provided public testimony regarding higher education financing. Kathy has served on various committees and task forces at the state, regional, and national level. She served as President of NJASFAA and WVASFAA and was honored with the State Leadership Award for West Virginia by MASFAA in 2016, Neil E. Bolyard Meritorious Service Award by WVASFAA in 2015, and NJASFAA Lifetime Membership Award in 2006. Currently, she serves on the Editorial Board for NASFAA's Journal of Student Financial Aid.

Kathy considers her career in financial aid to be her life's calling. As an experienced financial aid professional and a first-generation high school and college graduate, she understands first-hand the impact higher education has on individuals and society. Kathy believes in life-long learning and promotes educational access, opportunity, and success. She especially enjoys cultivating the professional growth of others aiming to develop the future leaders of the financial aid profession. Kathy enjoys traveling, gardening, cooking, and spending time with her husband of 35 years, children, and grandbaby.

Shannon Crossland, Texas Tech University, Commission Chair-Elect

Shannon Crossland is the Senior Director of Student Financial Aid & Scholarships.  Her primary responsibilities include student financial aid compliance and administration.  Shannon received her Associates Degree from Amarillo College, Bachelors in Agronomy (Soil Science) from Texas Tech University, and Masters in Higher Education Administration from Texas Tech University.  Shannon is actively involved with TASFAA, SWASFAA and NASFAA.  Shannon has served as Past President of TASFAA and SWASFAA.  In her free time, Shannon enjoys traveling, running and crocheting.

Daniel Barkowitz, Valencia College, Past Chair, Southern Representative

Daniel Barkowitz is Assistant Vice President of Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs at Valencia College, a position he has held since July of 2017. While new to Florida area, Daniel is not new to financial aid having served nearly 30 years in institutions of higher education. Previous roles include Director of Financial Aid at MIT, Dean of Financial Aid / Associate Dean of Student Affairs for Columbia College and Columbia Engineering at Columbia University in the City of New York, Director of Operations and Training for the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority, and Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Boston College. Daniel earned his Bachelor of Science in History from Northeastern University and his Masters of Education in Human Resource Education from Boston University. Daniel has led presentations on Financial Aid and College Financing to many audiences (more than 500) ranging in size from 2 to 2000. He has been interviewed for television, radio and newspapers on the topic of financial aid. Daniel lives with his wife and two children in Orlando, and is a published poet, musical theater actor, and Tarot card collector.

Philip Hawkins, George Washington University, Eastern Representative 

Philip Hawkins is the Director of Financial Aid at The George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC. He has held this position since March 2017. Prior to GW, Philip spent his career in financial aid and higher education in several private and public universities in Georgia. He served as the GASFAA President in 2012-2013 and was active in SASFAA. He is currently active in EASFAA. In his spare time, he enjoys playing piano and singing in the Congressional Chorus, located in Washington DC.

Dana Kelly, NASFAA, Fiscal Officer (nonvoting member)

Dana has over 20 years of experience working in the higher education community and has been active in multiple state and regional associations. She is a former President of NCASFAA and has been an active member of SASFAA. Prior to joining us, Dana served as the Director of Financial Planning at High Point University in North Carolina for 12 years. She has also worked on both the Lender and Servicer side of student aid, most recently for Nelnet. She received her Bachelor's of Science degree from Guilford College and she holds a Master's degree in Public Administration and a Master's in Organizational Management. Dana has daughter, Sloane. She is by far her greatest accomplishment. Dana also has a 4-legged daughter, Allie, who is more person than dog!

Margot O'Meara, NASFAA, Commission Secretary (nonvoting member)

Margot O'Meara is the Certification & Credentialing Analyst and Webinar Producer at NASFAA. In this role, she works closely with our credential testing and webinar platforms to make sure the systems are running properly. She has been actively involved in the development of the certification program. Before joining NASFAA's TRA team in 2015, she worked as an Admissions Officer, where she served as the liaison between the financial aid and admissions offices. Margot also was the NASFAA Policy Intern during the summer of 2012, where she worked with our policy team. She started working in the financial aid field as an undergraduate at St. Mary's College of Maryland, where she studied economics and public policy. Margot works in the DC NASFAA office, and commutes from Kent Island, Maryland. 

Todd Philbrick, The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), Public Representative 

Todd R. Philbrick, CAE, Credentialing Specialist is the Director of Certification for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Rockville, Maryland. He is a non-profit certification and association executive with over fifteen years of experience in creating and managing certification programs for stand-alone and managed associations. He is committed to promoting best practices in credentialing, financial and meeting management, governance, and growing associations through strategic planning. Throughout his career, he has planned and implemented dramatic changes that have helped associations and certification programs prosper through creative thinking and strong project management skills. He is a Washington, DC area native and a graduate of Salisbury State University with Bachelors' degrees in Business Administration and Marketing. He lives in Rockville, Maryland with his wife and two young children.

Elaine Robinson, Linn-Benton Community College, Western Representative

Elaine M. Robinson, Director of Financial Aid and Veterans, at Linn-Benton Community College, Albany, Oregon, has worked in Higher Education for over two decades. With each position, she has cultivated and expanded her leadership skills within Higher Education. Elaine's career path in Higher Education has encompassed working with Tacoma Community College, Portland State University, and her current employer, Linn-Benton Community College. She has also worked as a Regional Account Executive for The Northwest Education Loan Association (NELA), Sallie Mae, and The Educational Resource Institute (TERI). These varied opportunities have afforded her a broad kaleidoscope with which to view the higher educational horizon. She excels in implementing and troubleshooting financial aid management systems. Elaine possesses over fifteen years of effective leadership experience and has managed, mentored, and successfully navigated many learning styles in the workforce. Elaine is an advocate of student success and has served on institutional and state committees. She has an Associates degree in Arts & Sciences from Tacoma Community College, a Bachelor's of Liberal Arts and Science degree from The University of Washington, and a Master's of Management and Organizational Leadership from Warner Pacific College.

Taina Savoit, McNeese State University, Southwestern Representative 

Taina Savoit is Director of Financial Aid at McNeese State University. She has been director for over 20 years and has worked in many positions within the Financial Aid Office, including beginning as a student worker over 34 years ago all at McNeese -- and she never left. She is very active in her state, regional and national financial aid associations. She is a dedicated member of her church and helps organizes many fundraisers throughout the year, along with volunteering throughout the year. Taina treasures her time with her family. She has been married over 31 years to her best friend and husband, Paul and has one son, Spider (her cat).

Susan Shogren, NASFAA, Certification & Credentialing Program Manager (nonvoting member)

Susan Shogren is the Credential and Certification Program Manager for NASFAA. Her passion is helping financial aid professionals gain the recognition they deserve for the work they do supporting the dreams and aspirations of college students across the country. Susan has worked in financial aid for over 25 years, including at the University of Portland and the University of Maine. Prior to joining NASFAA, she provided Title IV regulatory compliance training to schools across the country on behalf of NELA and USA Funds. She has been recognized for her contributions over the years by both the Oregon Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (OASFAA) and the Western Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (WASFAA).

Susan graduated from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, and holds the Association for Talent Development's Certified Professional in Learning and Performance® credential. She lives in Portland, Oregon, and volunteers with the Cascadia Chapter of ATD, SOLVE Oregon, and the Oregon Community Foundation.

Christina Tangalakis, Ed.D., Glendale Community College, Commission At-Large

Christina Tangalakis, Ed.D., is currently the Associate Dean of Financial Aid at Glendale Community College in Glendale, California. Previously, she was Director of Financial Aid at Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Associate Director at the University of Southern California, Assistant Director at Pepperdine GSEP, and a Financial Aid Counselor at Central Washington University. Affordability, access and diversity are the issues central to her daily work and professional interests. In December 2018, Christina was named one of the six members of the inaugural class of NASFAA's Diversity Leadership Program.

As a member of the LGBTQ community with Latinx heritage, Christina explains that diversity is more than just a passing phase—it is a way of life, an aspiration, and a motivation for creating change. Christina is currently a member of the advisory council for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and sits on the board of directors of the Foundation for the AIDS Monument. In the future, Christina wants to continue to advocate for marginalized populations' college access and affordability, and to mentor a new generation of financial aid leaders who will be ready to shape the industry's future.

Beth Vollan, South Dakota State University, Rocky Mountain Representative 

Beth is the Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships at South Dakota State University (SDSU). She has been in the financial aid field for more than 20 years. Her prior positions include Assistant Director of Financial Aid at SDSU and Student Loan Ombudsman at the National Student Loan Program. Beth holds a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln and a Master's Degree in the Administration of Student Affairs from SDSU. She is actively involved in SDASFAA and RMASFAA and served as SDASFAA's President in 2018. In her free-time, Beth enjoys gardening, listening to music and spending time with her spouse of 22 years, Chuck.

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