Virtual Conference Presenters

Angela AdamsAngela Adams, Adams Immigration Law, LLC

Angela's experience with both family and employment-based immigration is extensive and well-rounded. Having practiced since 2004 as associate attorney at Lewis & Kappes for seven years, as equity partner at Lewis & Kappes for two years, and as associate general counsel for immigration at Indiana University (IU) for three years, Angela has used her expertise to help clients navigate the complex and often confusing world of immigration. Because she has personally petitioned for family and helped many friends with their own cases, she understands the practical and emotional difficulties involved in family-based immigration cases. Her knowledge and experience uniquely position her to own, operate, and manage Adams Immigration Law, LLC.

Prior to attending law school, Angela served as an education consultant for the Indiana Department of Education, Division of Language Minority and Migrant Programs, where she assisted teachers of English language learners (ELLs) across the state of Indiana for nearly four years. Angela also taught English abroad in Saltillo, Coahila, Mexico, and is fluent in Spanish.

Gena BolingGena Boling, FAAC®, Cornell University

Gena is the director of the office of enrollment compliance & design at Cornell University where she serves as both the compliance lead for the Division of Enrollment, working closely with partners in the offices of admissions, financial aid and university registrar, and as the university's lead compliance officer for compliance with the Higher Education Act, more broadly working with multiple compliance partners across campus. Before stepping into her current role, Gena served as a financial aid administrator in the Midwest, focusing on the areas of Title IV compliance and technology solutions and regularly draws on her past life in student affairs to force everyone to do icebreakers and ensure student-friendly compliance initiatives. Gena is a Certified Financial Aid Administrator® and holds 17 NASFAA Credentials and enjoys brainstorming innovative ideas for navigating the compliance landscape in higher education.

Lisa ClarkLisa Clark, Cornell University

Lisa is the deputy university registrar at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Lisa has worked in higher education for her entire career, spanning nearly 27 years. She is a member of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). Her experiences have ranged from academic department support, serving as a college registrar, and systems implementation, before finding her home in the university registrar office. Lisa's current role focuses on student and academic systems while strategizing and prioritizing business process and system improvements that improve effectiveness and increase efficiencies.

Alex DeLonisAlex DeLonis, Wabash College

Alex DeLonis, FAAC®, currently serves as the director of financial aid at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. He began his career in financial aid as a Federal Work-Study student at Harper College 15 years ago. From Harper, Alex went on to work for Oakton Community College and Ivy Tech Community College in financial aid before arriving at Wabash in 2019. He has served in various roles within ISFAA, MASFAA, and NASFAA. In his work with NASFAA, Alex has participated in the Advocacy Pipeline, FAFSA Simplification Implementation Working Group, and is an alumnus of the Diversity Leadership Program. Within his association volunteer work, Alex enjoys being a trainer on various financial aid topics and advocating for students and financial aid programs.

Jill DesjeanJill Desjean, NASFAA 

Jill Desjean is a senior policy analyst at NASFAA. In her role, Jill works with NASFAA's members to develop policy recommendations, provides feedback to policymakers on legislative proposals, and summarizes financial aid-related policy issues for NASFAA's members and other audiences. Prior to joining NASFAA, Jill enjoyed a 20-year career in financial aid administration, having held roles in the financial aid offices at Tufts University School of Medicine, MIT, Brandeis University, and the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, as well as The New School in New York City. She earned her bachelor's degree from the College of the Holy Cross. Jill joined NASFAA in 2016 and now lives in Maryland with her husband and three children. Outside of work Jill enjoys running, skiing, reading, and baking.

David DowningDavid Downing, NASFAA

David joined NASFAA's Training and Regulatory Assistance team in 2019. Prior to joining NASFAA, he was the associate director of financial aid operations at Arizona State University responsible for oversight of verification processing and the Federal Pell Grant program. He has worked professionally in financial aid since 2004 also working at Washington State University as the assistant director of communications and at the University of Phoenix in training and content development as well as several other roles. He received his bachelor of science in business with a minor in human resource management from Western International University and master of arts in education/adult education and training from the University of Phoenix. He has also served as the communications chair, secretary, and volunteered on a variety of committees with the Western Association of Financial Aid Administrators (WASFAA). He lives in Mesa, Arizona with his wife Charity and their two boys, Skyler and Owen.

Justin DraegerJustin Draeger, NASFAA

Justin is president and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. He serves as the primary voice of NASFAA and as the liaison between the association members, the U.S. Congress, federal agencies and the media. Most of Justin's career has been devoted to assisting disadvantaged populations achieve their educational goals and better their communities. Since 2002, Justin has been engaged in either administering, interpreting, communicating, or developing student financial aid policy. His prior experiences include working as a financial aid director, regulatory and policy analyst, and spokesperson. He has held senior positions overseeing government relations, communications, and policy work. Justin has testified in multiple Congressional hearings on student financial aid, college access, student loan policy, and the interplay between federal agencies and colleges and universities. He is frequently quoted in the press and has appeared on The Today Show on NBC, National Public Radio, APM's Marketplace, Fox Business News, CNBC, and C-SPAN, and is often quoted in national news outlets. Justin serves on several boards of directors that promote health and education. He earned his undergraduate from Brigham Young University and his MBA from Baker College. Justin lives in Fairfax, VA with his wife and three children.

Sarah EverittSarah Everitt, FAAC®, Gonzaga University

Sarah is the director of operations at Gonzaga University and has worked in financial aid since 2006. She has been highly involved in the Washington Financial Aid Association (WFAA) and the Western Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (WASFAA) in both training and leadership capacities. With a knack for problem solving, she has a track record of leveraging technology to improve processes and service to students. She joined the SOE team in 2014: "I enjoy many aspects of SOE reviews, including the travel and chance to visit other college campuses. I especially value the opportunity to meet, work with, and learn from financial aid colleagues across the country."

Helen FaithHelen Faith, FAAC®, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Helen is the director of student financial aid at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has 22 years of financial aid and higher education experience, and has previously worked at Lane Community College, the University of Western States, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland State University, and the University of California, Santa Cruz. She earned her bachelor's degree in literature at UC Santa Cruz and a master's degree in education: policy, foundations, and administration at Portland State University, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has served in a number of elected and volunteer roles at the state, regional, and national level, and is a past president of WASFAA and OASFAA. She has served on NASFAA's Board of Directors as WASFAA regional representative and representative-at-large. She has also participated in negotiated rulemaking with the U.S. Department of Education and has collaborated with several higher education associations on financial aid research and analysis projects. Helen is passionate about financial aid and higher education as critical engines for social change with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Portia Gilmore, Northwestern University

Portia Gilmore is the assistant director of financial aid at Northwestern University's School of Professional Studies. Portia began her career in higher education in 2006 as a student support representative at Kaplan University (online), and in 2008 transitioned to the position of financial aid advisor where she realized that student finance was her passion. Over the next 16 years she has held other financial aid administration positions at other institutions. Currently Portia oversees the financial aid process for Northwestern's School of Professional Studies graduate programs, working primarily with their online population. She has a bachelor's degree in technical management, a master's degree in higher education administration and is planning to start her Doctor of Education program in August 2022. In her spare time, she loves working on all sorts of DIY projects around her house.

Nicholas HillmanNicholas Hillman, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Nicholas is a professor in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Nicholas's research examines how finance, policy, and geography shape educational opportunities in the United States. He also directs the Student Success Through Applied Research Lab, a research-practice partnership with the university's division of enrollment management and office of student financial aid. Nicholas co-edited the book, “Civil Rights and Federal Higher Education" (Harvard Education Press) and is a faculty affiliate with the University of Wisconsin's Institute for Research on Poverty and the La Follette School of Public Affairs.

Tonya HsiungTonya Hsiung, NASFAA

Tonya joined NASFAA's Training and Regulatory Assistance team in 2019. Prior to joining NASFAA, she was the senior assistant director of financial aid at Franklin & Marshall College. Her interest in financial aid started as a work-study student and she has worked professionally in financial aid since 2002. She received a bachelor's degree in secondary mathematics education and master's degree in student affairs in higher education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a second bachelor's degree in business administration/accounting from Millersville University. She also volunteered for numerous committees and served for many years as the treasurer of the Pennsylvania Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (PASFAA). She is married to her husband, Danny, and they have a daughter, Alana.

Danchees IngramDanchees Ingram, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Danchees Ingram, MBA — fondly known as D. — is the associate director of student financial aid at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center located in Dallas, Texas. She brings over 10 years of financial aid knowledge and over 15 years of training and development experience, having worked at two-year community college, proprietary and now graduate/professional institutions. D. has served her state and regional associations as a presenter, committee member and chair, and elected officer; currently vice president of the Texas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (TASFAA) and diversity committee chair of the Southwest Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (SWASFAA). D. was honored to receive the TASFAA Trailblazer and SWASFAA Philo Brasher Emerging Leadership awards in 2019. She is excited to contribute on the national level to increase academic success and ensure all voices are represented. D. also completed the NASFAA Diversity Leadership Program in 2019. "We must be intentional about diversity and inclusion — both across various institution types and underrepresented groups in our organizations and communities," she said.

Kevin KrugerKevin Kruger, Ph.D., NASPA

Dr. Kevin Kruger draws on more than 40 years of experience in higher education. Since 2012, he has served as president and CEO for NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. Prior to his role as president, he worked for 18 years as the associate executive director and served as the chief operating officer (COO) and chief financial officer (CFO) for NASPA. He has held a range of student affairs positions at Southern Methodist University and the University of Maryland. As NASPA president, Dr. Kruger represents student affairs at a variety of national forums and is a frequent contributor to higher education news stories on the college student experience. Dr. Kruger has published and presented nationally and globally on trends in higher education, student success, degree completion strategies for low-income/first-generation students, and change management and leadership in higher education. Dr. Kruger received his master's degree and Ph.D. in counseling and personnel services from the University of Maryland. He is the proud father of two children, one a recent college graduate and the other a college junior.

Sara LambieSara Lambie, FAAC®, Indiana University

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.

Melet LeafgreeMelet Leafgreen, FAAC®, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center 

Melet Leafgreen has worked in financial aid for 22 years. She held various positions at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth for the first 16 years of her career, then moved to the University of Texas at Arlington. Since 2017 she has been the director of student financial aid at the UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. She has served the Texas state association as a board member, committee chair, and president. She currently serves as a NASFAA Credential test content editor and is a member of the THECB Financial Aid Advisory Committee. She has three dogs, one husband, and one fantastic eight-year-old son.

Vanessa MartineauVanessa Martineau, Western Governors University

Vanessa is the director of financial aid at Western Governors University (WGU), operating out of Salt Lake City, Utah. She oversees Title IV processing teams supporting WGU's more than 130,000 students throughout the country. Vanessa started in financial aid in 2013 as a temp, and quickly developed a passion for expanding access to higher education and fostering responsible borrowing and financial wellness for students. Her professional association experience includes serving as the Professional Development/Training Committee Chair for the Utah Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (UASFAA), the Training Committee Chair for the Rocky Mountain Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (RMASFAA), and the RMASFAA Board Secretary, along with participation in two NASFAA task forces. Vanessa is an advocate for continual learning and professional development with a fondness for documentation.

Becky MaxsonBecky Maxson, Cornell University

Becky is the deputy director for compliance and policy at Cornell University and has worked in higher education for over 24 years. In her role at Cornell, much of Becky's work is dedicated to advancing efficient and effective student service by informing policy and helping to facilitate the integration of regulatory requirements with procedures, processes, and systems. Having started her career in an admissions and financial aid role before deciding that financial aid was her calling, she gained a broader perspective of the student journey, fueling her interest in focusing her talents within the field of financial aid. She has found financial aid to be exciting for the same reason it is demanding — no one year, or even day, is the same. There is always a new rule or regulation that provides you with both challenges and opportunities.

Karen McCarthyKaren McCarthy, NASFAA

Karen currently works in NASFAA's division of policy and federal relations, providing a financial aid administrator's "on the ground" perspective to federal student aid policy discussions and debates. She began her career in student aid working in the financial aid offices at several large, four-year institutions, including Boston University, Miami University of Ohio, and The Ohio State University. She began work in NASFAA's training department in 1999 before joining NASFAA's policy team in 2010. 

​​Sharon OliverSharon Oliver, FAAC®, North Carolina Central University

Sharon has had a rewarding career in financial aid for nearly 30 years and currently serves as the financial aid director at North Carolina Central University. Sharon is actively involved in the financial aid professional associations at the state and national levels. She currently serves as NCASFAA's Treasurer and on the Board of Directors for NASFAA as a representative-at-large. Sharon finds the work she does extremely gratifying because she is afforded an opportunity to support families from diverse economic backgrounds and to encourage them to make their dreams a reality. She strongly believes that the work that she does impacts the lives of others and positively contributes to the community, which is why she is passionate about her profession.

Chad OlsenChad Olson, FAAC®, Iowa State University

Chad is the associate director in the office of student financial aid at Iowa State University. Chad began his financial aid adventure as a graduate assistant at Iowa State over 20 years ago. He is currently serving as the MASFAA President for the 2020-21 year and is a former IASFAA President and Vice-President. Chad has served as a MASFAA Delegate and has chaired the Donor Development and Professional Development Committees. Within IASFAA, Chad has chaired the Site, Professional Development, and Mentoring Task Force Committees. He has been recognized with the MASFAA Meritorious Service Award and the IASFAA John C. Parker Distinguished Service Award.

Consuela PerezConsuela Perez, Ph.D., Southern Methodist University

Consuela currently manages the enrollment resources area at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, which is the first point of contact for the division of enrollment services that includes the offices of undergraduate admission, university bursar, financial aid, intersessions, international student and scholar services, and university registrar. Consuela is also an affiliate professor at the University of North Texas in Denton who teaches finance and budgeting in higher education. She serves as a member of NASFAA's FAFSA Simplification Working Group and Rapid Response Network, and was a member of the Higher Education Committee of 50, a group convened by NASFAA in 2017 to examine policy areas related to access, affordability, accountability, and transparency. Prior to working at SMU, Consuela was the director of financial aid at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth. She served on the Texas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (TASFAA) Training Committee from 2009-2016 and was chair 2015-2016. Consuela is also a doctoral graduate from the University of North Texas in Denton with a Ph.D. in higher education. Both her master's degree in counselor education and bachelor's degree in communication are from Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi. 

JoEllen PriceJoEllen Price, FAAC®

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 a 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.

Heather RosinbumHeather L. Rosinbum, University of Arizona

Heather Rosinbum currently serves as associate director of eligibility and awarding at the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid at the University of Arizona in Tucson (her hometown). While she works primarily behind the scenes with the office's processing team, she always has the student experience at the forefront of her mind. Prior to her time in financial aid, she worked in the admissions office where she oversaw many of the client service/communication areas and was passionate about the experience and initial student engagement with the campus. She also serves as WASFAA communications chair and enjoys engaging with and promoting all the wonderful professional development opportunities that WASFAA provides to its membership.

Melissa SerslandMelissa Sersland, Northwestern University

Melissa serves as the senior associate director of graduate admissions and financial aid for the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University. Melissa has worked in higher education since 2015, having worked in journalism and content marketing prior to working at Northwestern. In her role at Medill, Melissa supports prospective, admitted and current students as they navigate the financial aid process. She is also passionate about offering financial wellness resources and programming for her students. Melissa currently serves as the secretary for the Illinois Association of Financial Aid Administrators (​​ILASFAA) and holds 14 NASFAA Professional Credentials.

Melanie StoreyMelanie Storey, U.S. Department of Education

Melanie is the deputy director of Policy Implementation and Oversight (PIO). She joined Federal Student Aid (FSA) in March 2020 and joined PIO in September 2020. PIO serves as the principal office advising FSA on higher education policy to ensure operations are considered in policy development and once enacted, that policy is implemented to meet intended goals. Prior to FSA, Melanie led a wide range of policy-focused activities related to higher education and student financial aid at the College Board. She contributed to the College Board's policy-related studies and reports about higher education, college affordability, and student aid.  Prior to the College Board, Melanie served as the director of national initiatives at the American Council on Education. In that role, she provided strategic research and analytical support to ACE's government relations leadership team and served as the primary staff liaison for several blue-ribbon commissions including U.S. Secretary of Education Spellings' Commission on the Future of Higher Education.

Brent TenerBrent Tener, Vanderbilt University, NASFAA National Chair

Brent is the director of student financial aid and scholarships at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He has over 30 years of experience as a financial aid administrator and has worked with financial aid professionals across the country while serving in varying capacities in state, regional, and national associations. Brent has served on NASFAA's Board of Directors as the SASFAA regional representative, commission director, and representative-at-large. He is a past president of TASFAA at the local level and SASFAA at the regional level, and was one of the main architects of Vanderbilt's current progressive need-based financial aid program, Opportunity Vanderbilt. He was honored with the NASFAA Regional Leadership Award (SASFAA) in 2010 and the SASFAA Distinguished Service Award in 2013. Brent started his financial aid career at Wichita State University.

Artika TynerDr. Artika Tyner, University of St. Thomas

Dr. Artika R. Tyner is a passionate educator, author, sought after speaker, and advocate for justice. At the University of St. Thomas School of Law, Dr. Tyner serves as the founding director of the Center on Race, Leadership and Social Justice. She is committed to training students to serve as social engineers who create new inroads to justice and freedom.

Tyner received her bachelor's degree in English from Hamline University. Due to her passion for advocating for social justice and educational policy reform, she decided to pursue graduate studies at the University of St. Thomas. She began her journey with law school because she recognized that the law is a language of power and therefore she sought to become well-versed in the law.

Subsequently, Tyner earned a master's degree in public policy and leadership to gain tools for effecting social change through policy reform. Later, inspired by the legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois, she obtained a doctorate in leadership. Her doctoral studies provided her with key tools for serving in her community and promoting social justice.

Dr. Tyner is committed to empowering others to lead within their respective spheres of influence. She provides leadership development and career coaching for young professionals. She has also developed leadership educational materials for K-12 students, college/graduate students, faith communities, and nonprofits. Additionally, Dr. Tyner teaches leadership coursework on ethics, critical reflection, and organizational development. Her research focuses on diversity/inclusion, community development, and civil rights. She has presented her research and conducted leadership training programs both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Tyner leads by example by organizing policy campaigns, fostering restorative justice practices, developing social entrepreneurship initiatives, and promoting assets-based community development. She serves as a global citizen by supporting education, entrepreneurship, and women's leadership initiatives in Africa.

Mark WiederspanMark Wiederspan, Ph.D, Iowa College Aid

Dr. Mark Wiederspan is the executive director for Iowa College Aid. He leads Iowa College Aid's advocacy efforts to support  Iowans as they explore finance and complete educational opportunities beyond high school. He was previously a faculty member at Arizona State University. His area of expertise includes higher education policy, with a focus on the optimal design of financial aid programs, economics of education, educational pathways to college, and examination of personal and institutional barriers to college persistence and completion. His research has been published in the Journal of Higher Education, National Tax Journal, and Economics of Education Review. Mark earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Nebraska Wesleyan University and a master's degree and doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Michigan's Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education.

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