Let’s Show Some SI Spirit!!


If you watched RMASFAA President Broscheit’s update yesterday, then you know that last week Summer Institute was to be taking place at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO.

Summer Institute has become one of the premier training opportunities for aid administrators – not just RMASFAA either! The best part, it couldn’t be possible without the work our awesome SI committee, volunteers and faculty put in. Often times with planning starting in early fall.

So see my video message above on how we can show some SI love and SPIRIT! to this year’s committee and faculty members. You have three options and can email them to me at sadonialane@tabor.edu by the end of the weekend (6/21) so that we can load them onto the blog next week.


Nominations & Elections


Greetings RMASFAA Friends!

During this time of uncertainty and change in our industry, we rely on the knowledge and leadership of our colleagues within our RMASFAA family.  And today, we need each other more than ever!  Nominations are now being accepted for the next slate of RMASFAA Officers. This is your opportunity to nominate a colleague (or yourself) to run for a RMASFAA office. Your assistance in identifying RMASFAA members for these leadership positions is invaluable to our regional association and helps to ensure continued delivery of RMASFAA’s mission to our membership.

The following positions are open for nomination:

  • President-Elect
  • Vice President-Elect
  • Treasurer-Elect
  • Secretary
  • Associate Member Delegate

The elected candidates for the positions of President Elect, Secretary and Associate Member Delegate will serve on the Board of Directors in the 2020-2021 year (board year begins October 2020).

The Vice President-Elect serves concurrently as the Vice Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee (FAC), and automatically becomes Vice President and Chair of the FAC at the installation ceremonies to be held during the next annual meeting after the commencement of the term as Vice President-Elect. The Vice President-Elect is not a member of the Board of Directors nor Executive Council until their year as Vice President.

The Treasurer-Elect shall be mentored by the Treasurer and share responsibilities, with appropriate oversight. The Treasurer-Elect automatically becomes Treasurer at the installation ceremonies to be held during the next annual meeting after the commencement of the term as Treasurer-Elect. The Treasurer-Elect is not a member of the Board of Directors nor Executive Council until their year as Treasurer.

Duties of each position are outlined within pages 8-13 of RMASFAA’s Policies and Procedures Manual. https://www.rmasfaa.org/docs/RMASFAA_PandP.pdf

Nominations will be accepted through June 30, 2020, and candidates must be current members.  The RMASFAA Election will be administered online, during the month of July.

The online nomination form if found by clicking on ‘Online Forms’, or you can email a nomination directly to me at cwill216@jccc.edu.

Thank you for your time, please give some thought to which of your colleagues you would like to see on this year’s RMASFAA ballot – or consider nominating yourself! I look forward to hearing from you.

Christal D. Williams
RMASFAA President-Elect and Chair, Nominations & Elections Committee

Know Your State Delegates: Julie Watson (MT)

Julie photo update

Where do you work currently?

Montana State University in Bozeman, MT

Tell us a little about yourself: 

This is an interesting time to be answering these questions.  I am rather shy and introverted but once I know you, I can open up quite a bit.  Then I can be very boisterous!  I come from a theatrical family so I think that is where my loud voice comes from.  I am very much a homebody and look forward to the escape and comfort of home.  However, during this time of quarantine and self-isolation, I am now missing being around people and interacting and yet, hard to let myself be seen on camera for web meetings!

How did you get your start in higher education?

I moved from Colorado to Montana to be closer to other family members, after dealing with a major illness.  After being here for awhile, I was looking for new employment and one of the places I applied was Montana State University.

How long have you worked in financial aid?

So, financial aid was one of the positions I applied for at Montana State University and was hired.  Never would I have thought this would be my career and as a matter of fact, when I first started, I thought, ‘oh my gosh, what have I gotten myself into?!’.  Now here I am almost 14 years later.

What makes you excited to go to work?  

Even though financial aid has so much information to learn and know, I really love being a part of it..  I really like being able to help students and families access higher education and is so satisfying when you have been able to make a difference.  The people that work in financial aid are an amazing community that I love being a part of.

What is your favorite part about serving this past year as President?

I have always loved the opportunities to be a part of the associations.  I never thought I could take on the position of President.  I didn’t think I could handle being in this position of such awesome responsibility but was surprised at what I am able to handle and have been honored to have had this experience and opportunity.

How do you spend your free time?

I like to play video games especially Animal Crossing and stream / binge TV programs.  Have been away from Taekwondo for awhile now due to some health issues and am really hoping to get started again.  I did make it up to my first black belt.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? 

My dream has always been to go to Japan.  I just love everything about Japan and the culture.  We had a Japanese exchange student stay with my family when I was just out of high school which completely cemented my passion for this beautiful country.

Leadership Pipeline Mentee: Anna Miller

Anna Miller

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

Hello from the windiest place in Wyoming, Casper!  My name is Anna Miller, some call me Anna Banana around these parts.  I am the Hathaway and Scholarship Specialist at Casper College.  I have been in the financial aid world since 2011….Doesn’t feel like it has been 9 years.  I first started at the counter in our one stop shop called Enrollment Services.  I think a year later I moved into processing federal financial aid, with loans being my specialty.  Then 7 years later I moved into my current position.  I love that I have gotten to experience been part of both worlds (Little Mermaid financial aid pun).

Why did you decide to join Leadership Pipeline?

One of my colleagues was going thru it.  She shared a lot of valuable information and experiences from the monthly meetings and the time spent at  the RMASFAA meetings.  Soon after that I moved into my current position and decided I wanted to grow professionally. With the support of my team, I had the new-found desire to take some leadership roles.  But I was uncertain how to go about becoming a leader. That word was never in my vocabulary, for the longest time I was content in being a worker bee.  In 2018 I showed interest for the program.  I was fearful of stepping out of my comfort zone.  The next year I was encouraged by a couple of coworkers to sign up.  The seed was planted and slowly my coworkers began to water it thru the year.  I applied and was accepted in! I love everything financial aid.  It’s really true what they say, you never go to school to become a financial aid guru.  You dive right in and never want to leave.

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

The most valuable thing I’ve learned so far is that I AM WORTHY.  My self confidence has spiked.  I really thought I was an introvert until this program.  I find myself being more of an extrovert with a “introvert coverup”.  Leadership Pipeline is giving me the confidence to break free from this comfort zone and really shine.   I am finding that I have valuable experiences and knowledge to share.  I feel so much more confident in our industry.  I also find very valuable the importance of relationship building.  We are luck that we are in an industry that we can lean on one another for guidance.

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

I am hoping to maintain those relationships I am building with my peers.  I would like to become more involved with my campus community.  I’m looking forward to my extrovert self-coming out to shine.  Having more confidence will allow me to be a better advocate in our industry and the individuals we serve.  This program will allow me to be confident in my decision-making skills.  I’ve already completed another goal and became involved at the state level as sectary.  I’m starting to ponder volunteering with the next RMASFAA in Omaha, NE.  I’m sure by the end I’ll be submitting that volunteer form.

Why would you recommend this program to others?          

Why not? What would you lose out on? Absolutely nothing.  I walked into this program thinking, well now I have something else to add to my overloaded plate.  I felt that pit of your stomach feeling, knowing that I’m going to be interacting with strangers…YIKES.  I hope I don’t let my mentor or cohort down.  Well let me tell you something.  You will be surprised by this program.  You walk in thinking it’s something and it’s the opposite. If you lack confidence, you will gain it.  If you want to build relationships, you will build them.  If you want to be more knowledgeable in our industry and leadership in general, you will learn and grow.  As soon as we had our first meeting in Billings, MT at RMASFAA, all those previous negative thoughts got shoved out the door.  Meeting my mentor and cohort laid a good foundation of what to expect.  It really made me excited for the coming year and what we all would be experiencing.  My only advice to you is this, if you have any hint of interest, don’t wait a year later like I did.  Grab the bull by the horn and dive right in.


Know Your State Delegates: Carissa Koerner (SD)


Hey RMASFAA! My name is Carissa Koerner and I am currently serving as the President of SDASFAA, and by extension, the South Dakota State Delegate to RMASFAA.

I joined the world of financial aid just over 7 years ago when I moved to Sioux Falls, SD and started working at the University of Sioux Falls. My current position is Associate Director of Financial Aid. It is amazing to me how much I have grown professionally in the last 7 years and all the new people I have met thanks to financial aid.

One of the highlights of being in financial aid has been the many SDASFAA and RMASFAA activities I have had the chance to participate in, most notably all the conferences I have attended. I was part of RMASFAA’s Leadership Pipeline program in 2017-2018, which gave me a great opportunity for networking and learning more about leadership. It definitely contributed to my decision to run for president of my state association. Additionally, being a member of the RMASFAA board this past year has been a truly rewarding experience. In the future, I hope to teach at RMASFAA’s Summer Institute.

In the midst of our worldwide health crisis, it has been an interesting time to be serving in a leadership role. I am so thankful for all the members of SDASFAA and particularly my board members who have provided so much support and encouragement. Despite having to cancel our conference, our members are continuing to come together digitally to network and share ideas. It has once again shown me what an amazing profession we work in!

In my free time, I enjoy reading and movies, playing the piano or banjo, and walking or biking the wonderful bike path in Sioux Falls. I love being outside and even though I am anxious to be back in my office on campus, I have enjoyed the opportunity to do work while sitting on my deck!

These are my current co-workers, Alfie and Milo. They have been mostly sleeping on the job:

Koerner blk cat








Leadership Pipeline Mentee: Caroline Bitter

Caroline Bitter

Hey RMASFAA Peeps, My name is Caroline Bitter and I am the Assistant Director of Compliance and Training in the Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid at Salt Lake Community College.  I have been at SLCC for 4 years and have been in financial aid for 18 years.

I am from Utah but have not lived here all my life.  I have been lucky to be able to move around to different places, meet new people, and work and many different schools. I recently moved back to Utah and love being back home with my family and my miniature schnauzer.

I decided to join Leadership pipeline in hopes to further develop my leaderships skills. I also wanted to get more involved with different financial aid organizations to be able to create a support system and to be able to learn from others. I am exited to be apart of the pipeline this year and have learned a lot from my colleagues already. Looking forward to the next few months of the Leadership Pipeline. Stay Safe everyone!

How Do You COVID?

I asked and you responded!! Laughter is really the best kind of medicine.

You’ll find a short message from myself followed by our submissions. (Be sure to click each photo) Even more so if you’ve not been told recently – YOU ALL ARE AMAZING!! I know you’ve had to adapt, keep plugging away and keep up with the constant updates from both your campuses as well as the CARES Act. Most likely all the while you’ve had to share your workspace with your better half, kiddos at home and answering questions about Common Core math you have no clue about, and confusing your pets thinking you must of gotten laid off. It’s hard but someday we will all be back in our offices, students bustling about, and us looking forward to those stressful times of the year for a change.

Sadonia Lane, 19-20 RMASFAA Association News Chair

Last but not least – the one I’ve quoted over and over during this pandemic!

“It’s like a mullet. . . Business on top and party on the bottom. Dress the part on top for Zoom and sweats and slippers on bottom!!!”

~ statement by Janet Riis (MT)

For the younger generation, I’ve included a picture of a mullet for you                    courtesy of Joe Dirt. 😊