Meet Whitney Asher – Pipeline Mentee


What is your current position and how long have you worked in financial aid?

                Hello!  My name is Whitney Asher and I am the Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Barton Community College in Great Bend, KS.  I’ve worked at Barton for 12+ years now and have actually worked in Higher Education for the past 17 years spending my first 5 years at Sterling College as an admissions representative and a small part in financial aid.

Why did you decide to join Leadership Pipeline?

The past 5 years I have been given a lot of opportunities for professional growth and development revolving around leadership.  I was a member of the inaugural leadership institute class here at Barton in 2016-17 and had the opportunity to then attend a state-wide leadership institute in 2017-18.  In May of 2018 I graduated with my Masters in Higher Education and Student Affairs and also began coordinating/facilitating Barton’s leadership institute.  These opportunities have been amazing!  However, I really wanted the opportunity to bring some of that training home with a more focused look at leadership in the world of financial aid.  So, I decided to pursue a place in this year’s Leadership Pipeline. 

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far?

                Connectedness is key in leadership.  You need to be in tune with those around you and you’ve got to be able to look at things with a broad view.  Getting to know our class so far and understanding the differences in our institutions – everything from differences in mission, culture, size and leadership – is eye opening and really helps you consider your own approach within your own office/institution. 

                By far the best thing is getting to know a group of people who are facing similar challenges and who are willing to share their experiences.  I’m certain the connection with this group will not end when our year in Pipeline concludes. 

What is it that you are hoping to gain at the end of the program?  Personal goal?  Skill set?

My personal goal by participating in this program is really to get more connected and involved at the state and regional levels of our organizations.  I love knowing more people in the FA world that I can reach out to and lean on for guidance.  I have an amazing mentor in my position here at Barton, however I loved the idea of being paired with a mentor from a different state and institution.  Once again, it really comes back to relationships and connectedness for me.

Why would you recommend this program to others?

                I feel like we are still early in our Leadership Pipeline journey, but I can already say that I would recommend this for anyone looking to take that next step in their own professional development.  Taking a step outside of your comfort zone to do some self-reflection and participating in the group discussions is a great way to both learn about yourself and expand your knowledge of financial aid. 

Summer Institute Update

Live Long and Prosper

Greetings RMASFAA:

Is Space the Final Frontier?

It may not be. We have reached into some interesting landscape these past few weeks with a peak (or low) likely still to come before we reach what may be a new normal. COVID-19 is bringing a new set of challenges in personal health and along with it, travel and venue restrictions. Along with the campus decisions that are occurring across the country, RMASFAA is keenly aware of how this interacts with the goals of the association. As you can imagine, state conferences face that first hurdle of hard decision on whether to continue with a conference or not. Strong desire will be subject to restricted travel for many as attendee and presenters face challenges of now making it to the conferences. Additionally, as venues also making decisions to remain open or not, we face a possibility of the Summer Institute not having a location that will remain open or that will be able to accommodate decisions that will most likely be made over these next few weeks.

As of now, Summer Institute is not cancelled but we are suggesting (not requiring) that you postpone making travel arrangements to Colorado.  RMASFAA leadership is monitoring things closely and will be back in touch when we know more. We appreciate the need to be cost sensitive but also want to be proactive in your commitments. Care for the membership includes knowing your need to be reactive to campus mandates and how those will impact association events.

Be well.

James Broscheit

RMASFAA President 2019/20

Meet the “Face of the U” – Pipeline Mentee


Hello RMASFAA! My name is Marc Gangwer. I am the Assistant Director in the Operations area at the University of Utah. I have been with the University for close to nine years.

I was born and raised in a small city called Farr West and moved to the Salt Lake valley 11 years ago. I have 3 siblings and 12 nieces and nephews (10 nephews, 2 nieces). My have a wonderful cat. His name is Princess Meow Meow.

I think like most people I ‘fell’ into the world of financial aid. I was needing to go back to school and find a new career. There was a post for a financial aid advisor and I thought, “Well, I think I could do that.” So, I went for it and fortunately got it!!

Once I started working in the financial aid office, I still just thought it would be a temporary job. Then I started to get more involved and learned more about the ins and outs of federal aid, helping students navigate the process and be able to finish their degrees. After that, needless to say, I was hooked. I haven’t looked back and have enjoyed every step of the way.

During my reign I have been infectiously nicknamed ‘The Face of the University’. I believe that a positive outlook and a smile on your face can change someone’s day. I have held the position of advisor, counselor and as I mentioned Assistant Director. In these roles I have been fortunate to learn many aspects of federal financial aid, problem solving and structure to your area.

I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Leadership Pipeline this year. I have been wanting to apply for the course for years and finally was able to have to opportunity to do so this year. I have seen a few people come out of the program with more knowledge and better ideas of leadership and how to be a great leader in the world of financial aid.

I believe that cultivating great leaders is important within our financial aid community. Leadership development is truly important. I have had the opportunity to learn from different leaders within the University and throughout our divisions. They have helped cultivate my need to learn and develop new leadership skills. If it was from additional responsibilities, being crossed trained or being sent to RMASFAA Summer Institute to have a week intensive of Title IV funding. I am excited to be like a sponge and “Soak it up” when it comes to this Leadership Pipeline course.

I am excited to get the views from all of the mentees and mentors during our year in this course and to strive to become a better leader. I hope when RMASFAA comes around again next year in Nebraska that I am able to meet more of you! Happy 2020. I hope this year brings much success throughout the financial aid offices and through campuses near and far. Cheers!

Action Required!

The new website has been live for a little over a month now.  While many of you have already taken the time to login, we still have many members that have not. This may be for several reasons. You just haven’t had the time to login, you may have forgotten, or you haven’t received the welcome email.

Sara Vancil our chair for the electronic initiatives committee sent out the first welcome email on December 5th. We have been tracking bounced emails and the number of members that have done an initial login, since that first email.  We have made several attempts to communicate with as many members as possible to ensure that everyone has access to the new website. We have learned that some members may not be receiving emails at all, while others have the emails ending up in their junk/spam folders. We asking that add email to your contact list and also too.

Please contact me at, if you haven’t received the Welcome email, I will check to see if your email is on the bounced list for some reason, otherwise I will resend the Welcome email. You may need to have your IT department add the IP address to ensure that emails are getting through. If you are the primary and you didn’t receive the email for renewal notification, let me know and I can resend that email as well.


Danielle Dinges

Membership Committee Chair

Grinchly Greetings

Grinch Kilt

Greetings RMASFAA. Tis the season as they say. Hope you have the opportunity to be refreshed with family and close friends during this slow (ha ha) time in financial aid.

Exciting news and if you read the previous blog from Electronic Initiatives, you know we have a new website in transition. Take a look at is now live.  The Electronic Initiatives Committee has done huge work on this over the last many months and I want to offer a big thank you to them, awesome work. Big box with bows on it under the tree. We have much work still to do in the transition so please be patient. Members will be contacted in December with instructions on how to get your membership profile set up so you can access features such as the membership directory, job postings, listserv and eventually event registration. 

Primary members, look for membership renewal early in 2020 if not sooner.

What we do: dating back to 1968, RMASFAA has been dedicated to supporting this profession by providing effective training and leadership development. This work can be hard and complex, and a supporting network of colleagues and peers is significant in complimenting what we can all do individually at our institutions. In your individual mission to serve students and families, this group serves to support you in making that more effective and efficient. We stand ready to serve member institutions and states by being actively engaged with you and additionally with our National Association (NASFAA).

The 2019-2020 Board of Directors is honored to serve you. Our board is dedicated to preserving the ideas and practices of those that have come before us and kept this organization strong. We want to hear from you. Reach out to me or anyone on the board in respect to ideas and collaboration and questions. We are here for you.

RMASFAA is planning wonderful training and conference opportunities for members to network and get involved in many different activities. Look for dates and announcements regarding our nationally recognized (and it is fair to say that) Summer Institute this summer. We will be back in Colorado Springs this June. Come October, we will be in Nebraska to wrap up the year. In between, stay tuned. We will have leadership available at each State Conference to relay relevant regional and national information.

The winter board meeting is coming up soon. If you have items you would like to be brought before the group, please let me know.

James Broscheit

RMASFAA President 2019/20