Meet Your RMASFAA Candidates . . . .


President-Elect Candidate: Angela Karlin

Angela Karlin, University of Kansas

 I’m honored to have the opportunity to be nominated for  President-Elect for the 2020-2021 year for RMASFAA.  The association is nationally known for our training, continual investment in our membership and caring culture.  When I moved to RMASFAA more than three years ago, I was welcomed with open arms and was excited to join the association.  Not one to shy away from a challenge, my first volunteer opportunity with RMASFAA was teaching Summer Institute!  Experiencing the energy and intense passion that our members have for each other and the industry gave me a renewed sense of purpose. 

As we move forward as an organization, it is critical for us to continue to embrace and enhance our place as a national leader for training and development.  As President, I would continue to rely on our membership to guide our path for training and networking. Our delivery may look different, and we may have to wait to more than we’d like to get and give in person hugs, but make no mistake – we will continue to show the nation our resilience and ability to develop the best FAAs in the nation. 

As a 26 year veteran in higher education, I realize that the only constant is change.  Our current reality is pushing the aid community to change in a matter of minutes (CARES Act anyone?) and in an environment that has not been seen before in our lifetime.  RMASFAA’s role during the pandemic and economic downturn is to continue to be the place for strong relationships, networking, and education.  I hope to have your support to continue the amazing work that defines RMASFAA and would be honored to lead this organization. 

Vice President-Elect Candidate: Justin Chase Brown

Justin Chase Brown, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

I am honored to be a nominee for the Vice President position on the RMASFAA Board of Directors and would be eager to serve our regional association in a position that requires great responsibility, communication, and passion for service. In a time of financial uncertainty due to COVID-19, this is an important role for the financial security of our association.

I began my financial aid career in RMASFAA while at the University of Kansas and appreciate the training and camaraderie from KASFAA and RMASFAA. Our regional association is a pillar of support for so many financial aid administrators and boasts programs that have been emulated by fellow state and regional financial aid associations, including Summer Institute and Leadership Pipeline. These are two exemplary programs that demonstrate RMASFAA’s value in training and leadership preparation provided to our members that enable you to lead, serve, and administer financial aid effectively to support our students throughout the region.

RMASFAA instilled in me a spirit of volunteerism and provided me with experience and knowledge to advance in my career to not only succeed in aid administration but also to serve in leadership roles on state and regional association committees and boards. It is with great fortune that I returned to this region that played such a pivotal role in establishing my career when I joined the University of Nebraska.

I am deeply committed to excellence in our profession and in advocating for high-quality training, leadership, professional development, and support for evidence-based innovation. Responsibility for the association’s stability and posterity is a significant charge of our regional association leadership, especially in this time of economic austerity. Our association will endure and thrive for years to come without sacrificing the strengths of our organization. The changes we have been experiencing in the financial aid industry only deepen the importance of a strong regional association. It is more important than ever that, as financial aid professionals, we stay connected to our colleagues at all levels of governance.

As our profession moves forward and overcomes the challenges presented by university budget shortfalls and shrinking resources, we must remember the qualities and characteristics that make us strong in supporting the growth and development of our profession and in advocating for college access and affordability for our students. Our members and institutions across the region are diverse and have their own needs yet each contributes in unique and significant ways to strengthen our association and profession. I will support the vision and mission of RMASFAA and the efforts of the Board of Directors to implement our goals and objectives for the region and for financial aid administration.

It would be a privilege to serve as your RMASFAA Vice President.

Secretary Candidates: Ashley Jost & Vanessa Martineau

Ashley Jost, Johnson County Community College

I am the Financial Aid Communications Manager at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, KS. I studied business and Spanish at Emporia State University, while working as a graduate assistant in the Office of Distance Education.  I hold an undergraduate and master’s degree in Business Administration from Emporia State.  After a few years working at the University, I expanded my business expertise in the insurance and restoration industries.  My passion for higher education led me back to JCCC in 2012.

In my current role, I love finding new ways to be creative and innovative while making the financial aid process easier and communication clearer for JCCC students.  My most favorite part of my job are the financial aid outreach events.  I enjoy every opportunity I have to work with students and families one-on-one.

I was proud to serve as KASFAA Welcome Committee Co-Chair, then Chair from 2016-17.  I promoted the 2017 RMASFAA Annual Conference in Wichita, as Publicity Co-Chair and presented at the 2018 Conference.  Recently, I was a member of the Spring 2018 KASFAA Conference Planning Committee, then KASFAA Secretary, and just ended my term as KASFAA Vice-President.  I am currently serving on the 2021 KASFAA Conference Planning Committee. 

My involvement at the local and regional level has continued to be an incentive to become better professionally and as an advocate for the Financial Aid profession.  I know how amazing RMASFAA is – thank you 2019 Summer Institute!  As RMASFAA Secretary, I promise to use  finely-honed skills in minute taking and will work hard for the group, taking copious notes.  I look forward to having an opportunity to be involved on the RMASFAA Board! 

Outside of financial aid, I love to spend time with family, travel, and entertain.  My husband and I are parents to two precious girls; Adrianna and Alexandra

Vanessa Martineau, Western Governors University

My name is Vanessa Martineau, and I am running for RMASFAA Board Secretary. I currently serve as the Associate Director of Financial Aid at Western Governors University (WGU). Before starting at WGU in January 2019 I worked in financial aid for just over five years at Neumont College of Computer Science, most recently as the Associate Director of Financial Aid. My professional association experience includes currently serving as the UASFAA Co-Chair for the Professional Development/Training Committee, and volunteering on a NASFAA Online Technology Review Group. Outside of financial aid I have served on the Board of Directors for the Utah Arts Alliance for nearly eight years occupying the roles of Secretary, Vice Chair, and Chair (current position).

I am thrilled for the opportunity to get more involved in RMASFAA, an association that has provided me with so much including a strong network and professional development. I hope to be able to use my experience and willingness to learn to give back to this organization.

Associate Delegate Candidate: Nick Martinez

Nick Martinez, Inceptia

Hello friends, I am truly honored to be nominated & look forward to seeing you all again soon.  I remain passionate about finding strategic solutions to the problems facing challenges within today’s financial aid offices. As Inceptia’s AVP of Business Development, I stand ready to tackle challenges hand-in-hand with my school partners in order to ultimately help guide students towards financial success.  My background includes more than 23 years in higher education and I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

I serve institutions across New Mexico, Colorado, Missouri, Kansas, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Nevada, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah.

Stay Safe!

______________________________________________________________________________

For this election, we were unable to secure candidates for the Treasurer-Elect position.  After meeting with the Association Governance Committee and the Executive Board, Merrill Worthington –Treasurer and Lindsey Benson – Treasurer-elect have agreed to serve in their current roles for another year. 

Please watch your email for instructions on how to vote.

Thanks,

Christal D Williams, RMASFAA President-Elect

Meet Leadership Pipeline Mentee: Eleanor “Ellie” Roberts


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

Hello, RMASFAA! My name is Ellie Roberts and I am a financial aid counselor at Brigham Young University in beautiful Utah. We operate under a OneStop model, so I also advise on admissions, registration, and student accounts. Prior to this position, I worked in multiple financial aid roles at BYU for 13 years. I have truly fallen in love with and found a home in higher education.

 

Why did you decide to join Leadership Pipeline?

I was encouraged to join by a mentor and numerous friends I’ve made through RMASFAA. I knew it would be a great opportunity grow personally and expand my financial aid network. I’m also currently working on a master’s program and thought the pipeline would be a great addition to my education.

 

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

I’ve been hesitant in the past to apply for management positions because of my lack of formal leadership experience. Through our group discussions, and my one-on-one calls with my mentor, I’ve realized that it’s not necessary to be fully developed as a leader and have all the answers before you take on that role. If you have the foundational skills and are willing to learn from your staff, everything will fall into place.

 

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

An overall confidence to take the next step in my career, whatever that looks like. I also have an affinity for mentoring and hope to be able to help others in their personal and career development.

 

Why would you recommend this program to others?

The Leadership Pipeline experience has allowed me to connect with a variety of talented individuals from different backgrounds. By far the most enriching relationship is the one I now have with my mentor. It is such a boost to know someone has your back as you are trying to develop professionally. Big shout out to Carolee! We are lucky to have such a unique program at a regional level and I encourage others to take full advantage of it

 

Let’s Show Some SI Spirit!!


https://drive.google.com/file/d/15ALoUZoseDFTC_ScVLKvK61j6XkOWKM6/view?usp=sharing

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


Nominations

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.