RMASFAA Learning Webcasts



June 6SAP; Dodson


July 112017 –18 Verification; Dutton https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1778970614168376321

July 18Consumer Information, Drugs and Crime; Brown https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3710296873217453313

September 26Enrollment Reporting; Butcher https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2334946365334809345

October 3Return to Title IV; Lindsey https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2854829547807788801

Leadership Pipeline: Darcy Johnson

Continuing the Leadership Pipeline series. The eight participants that make up this year’s class will share their experiences about participating in RMASFAA’s professional development program.


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

I am currently the Student Loan Coordinator at Emporia State University in Kansas. I’ve been here 5.5 years.

Who is your Leadership Pipeline mentor and describe your relationship with them.

My mentor is Peg Mason from Colorado School of Mines.

Picture this: I’m on the elevator in the Holiday Inn in Rapid City, SD heading down to attend my first Leadership Pipeline event. I say to a random stranger in the elevator, “I have that exact same shirt at home!” Then I look at her nametag and realize that it was Peg! We knew we were a perfect match from that point forward.

Peg is a great listener and gives wonderful advice when we have our monthly calls. In addition to business, we always take a few moments to discuss her grandchildren and my cat.

Why did you decide to join Leadership Pipeline?

A colleague had completed the program a few years ago and I witnessed how it benefited him and was hoping for that same opportunity.

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

I am a Red on the PACE Palette, and I should sit next to Yellows in a staff meeting to temper my potential outbursts. Also, since returning from RMASFAA in October, I’ve done my best to adopt a Zero Inbox philosophy. I feel that it has helped me become more efficient and less stressed by my emails. (Full disclosure: there’s been at least two emails left there at all times).

What is it that you are hoping to come away with at the end of the program? 

“REDs tend to be more concerned about what’s happening right now than in the future.” Throughout the work we’ve done so far, I’ve self-examined how much involvement I can volunteer to our state and regional associations at this time, brainstormed with Peg ways to improve my communication, and learned tips and tricks (and even shared some) on being more efficient in the workplace. I know that the next six months will continue to provide many more learning opportunities that I’m going to continue to absorb.

Why would you recommend the Leadership Pipeline program to others?

None of us will ever know it all. Why not take the opportunity to learn from peers and leaders in the industry? From my own experiences, I feel that anyone who completes this program will learn a great deal about themselves, make lifelong friends with many financial aid peeps (and let’s face it, FAAs are the most fun!), and grow as an employee and a leader. Take the plunge!

2017-18 Officer Election

Greetings, RMASFAA!

It is with great pleasure that I inform you the 2017-18 RMASFAA Officer Election is open!  Each institutional voting member will soon be receiving an emailed link to review the election ballot and cast their institutional vote.  Since many of us are not voting members within the association, I wanted to share with you the outstanding roster of candidates who have graciously agreed to put their names forward for consideration:


  • Justin Chase Brown, Director of Scholarships and Financial Aid, University of             Nebraska-Lincoln (NE)
  • Myra Pfannenstiel, Director of Financial Aid, Newman University (KS)

Vice President-Elect

  • Rob Drybread, Assistant Director of Client Services, University of Colorado (CO)
  • Laurie Weber, Financial Aid Director, Minot State University (ND)


  • Tammy Higgins, Director of Student Financial Assistance, Pittsburg State University (KS)
  • Leslie Olsen, Financial Aid Associate Director, Carroll College (MT)


  • Shawn Rosaasen, Accountant, University of North Dakota (ND)
  • Jed Spencer, Financial Aid Director, Weber State University (UT)

Associate Member Delegate

  • Patrick McTee, Director of Student Success Services, American Indian College Fund
  • Ruben Reyes,Marketing – Business Analyst, New Mexico Student Loan Guarantee       Corporation


If you are the designated voting member at your institution, please take time to read over each candidate’s credentials contained within the ballot link you receive, seek input and feedback from other RMASFAA members in your office, and then cast your vote!  If for any reason you are unable to vote via the electronic ballot, please contact me directly for a hard-copy form at kkocer@mtmc.edu.  If you are not the designated voting member at your institution, I encourage you to take a moment to share your thoughts with your designated voter – your opinions are important to the election process.  Voting is open for 30 calendar days and the verified results of the election will be announced within a week of ballot closing.

Join me in applauding each of the officer candidates for their willingness to volunteer time and considerable talent to RMASFAA service!  We have an incredible group of dedicated professionals here in the Rocky Mountain region.

Best to all,

Ken Kocer
2016-17 RMASFAA President-Elect
Chair, Nominations & Elections Committee



Utah: State Update

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UASFAA held its Spring 2017 Conference April 13-14, 2017 at Utah State University in beautiful Logan, Utah.  Meet the Challenge was the motto, as we all know we meet challenges professionally and personally on a daily basis.

Challenge #1 was met by having Joe Massman, the Department of Education trainer attend. He was gracious enough to present multiple breakout sessions: Calendar, Modules and Title IV; R2T4 for Modules in Terms, and the Federal Update.  As is demonstrated in our offices frequently, meeting the challenge with federal regulations is in constant flux; UASFAA’s members are thankful Mr. Massman was able to attend and present.

Challenge #2 was met by having multiple regulatory breakout sessions by our current members; 1718 verification and 399 comment codes, Current issues in Federal Work Study programs, EFC/Needs analysis, Consumer Information and Cash Management.  The RMASFAA Update was represented by Joe Donlay, who also presented on Consumer Information.

Challenge #3 was met by having sessions devoted to best practices in our offices; 5 must have for modern financial aid offices, Taking a Step Up (dealing with minority, DACA, and refugee students), Repayment plans, Fraud protection, Financial literacy, State-funded Financial Aid programs, and best practices surrounding PPY, PJ and Marital Status Changes.

Challenge #4 was met with the changing of UASFAA Leadership and our annual business luncheon. The new president is Jared Hallows, an Information Specialist at Southern Utah University.

UASFAA has committed to host annual fall trainings. In Fall 2016 UASFAA held a NASFAA U Sponsored Event, training 85 members to become credentialed in two topics (verification and SAP).  Fall training will continue as NASFAA U Sponsored Events in an effort to keep each other well prepared for the challenges ahead.

UASFAA members and conference participants are grateful for the continued support of RMASFAA.


Getting to Know You

Continuing with our new blog series, ‘Getting to Know You’.  Throughout the year we will be getting to know a financial aid colleague from each state in the region a little better. Next up, Colorado!


Being somewhat new to the Financial Aid world myself, I struggled to come up with someone to interview. I have had few experiences that have allowed me to network with fellow financial aid professionals across the state of Colorado. After some inquiring, my supervisor Sally Schuman suggested Mason Parmenter. Sally had the opportunity to teach Mason at Summer Institute in 2016; his wit and creativity made him a memorable student in the class.

-Emily Sams, Association News Committee


Mason is a Financial Aid Advisor at Community College of Aurora. He earned his associates degree at CCA and then moved on to earn his bachelor’s from the University of Colorado Denver in 2008.

Mason_RMASFAA Blog

What is your background and how did you get into financial aid?

My background is in film, video and music production. I started in higher education as a work-study in January 2001, and then moved over to Financial Aid in 2006.

What is the weirdest job you have ever had?

I’ve had some pretty mundane jobs, however I have seen and heard a lot of weird stuff while working in financial aid…

What do you do for fun?

For fun, I like dogs, camping, hiking and my pet ducks.

Favorite line from a movie?

From Goodfellas: “Never rat on your friends and keep your mouth shut.”

Do you have a secret talent?

I have selective photographic memory.

Do you have any phobias?

I am scared of tornados and viruses.

Can you play any instruments?

I can play a few tunes on the keyboard, but I utilize electronic beat-making mostly.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?


If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?

Flying and being able to see through lies.

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten?

I assume that I have probably eaten spiders in my sleep before.  Never intentionally.