Montana held its annual state conference this April over three days in Missoula, MT to the theme of Financial Aid Flower Power. Diane Llewellyn, member-at-large and President, Cindy Kiefer, were the conference co-chairs.
The conference had several guest speakers from varying backgrounds. Dr. Tom Crady, the University of Montana Vice President for Enrollment and Student Affairs conducted the welcome speech to the conference. Ron Muffick, the Director Of Student Affairs for the Montana University System notified the members of severe losses in state funding for state aid programs (i.e. need based grants and various merit scholarships) and the state-wide Default Prevention Unit (which provided services for all of MASFAA’s member institutions). Joseph Massman, a training officer for the Department of Education conducted two presentations on Financial Aid hot topics and on Federal Updates. Jennifer Madgic, the Regional Director for U.S. Senator Jon Tester conducted a short listening session in Tester’s stead and stayed for most of the conference. Vicki Kucera, the RMASFAA President provided the members with a RMASFAA update. Emily Williamson, the MASFAA President and Director of Financial Aid at MSU Billings and Cheri Johannes, the Registrar and Director of Admissions & Records at MSU Billings gave an update and advice on how to tackle a Federal Program Review as a result of MSU Billings completing their program review.
Additionally, the Director of the MUS American Indian and Minority Achievement Program (AIMA), Angela McLean, presented an update of the AIMA program and facilitated a conversation with the membership about ways to further assist American Indian and Minority students.
The members hosted a bingo night in order to help raise funds for the Mick Hanson Scholarship which helps members attend training conferences. They were able to raise over $500 and met their goal.
At this time MASFAA’s Past-President, Emily Williamson, and President, Cindy Kiefer, are attempting to work with the Montana University System to identify options for continuing to provide default prevention services for the state.
Alora Blue –Association News Committee, Montana
P.S.-Kudos to Alora for having THE COOLEST name in RMASFAA