HOUSTON FINANCIAL AID CONFERENCE-2016

FINANCIAL AID IN THE "REAL WORLD"

Welcome to the first annual Houston Financial Aid Conference put on by financial aid administrators for financial aid administrators. This conference is designed for any and all financial aid staff that work on the front lines or in the back offices. The emphasis of this conference will be putting rules and regulations into practice.

Sessions will be focused around real life scenarios and case studies. Houston area colleges and universities will come together for two days to network, present best practices, and talk about the amazing work that is being done for students who attend Houston area colleges and universities.

The conference is scheduled for Thursday, March 3, 2016 and Friday, March 4, 2016. The conference will be held at the Houston Community College Central Campus. Breakfast and Lunch will be provided both days.

Volunteers are needed to present sessions, assist with registration, and serve lunch. Registration, details, directions, and volunteer forms are available in the sections below.  Please volunteer and register as soon as possible.

We look forward to your participation and/or attendance.

*Post-Conference Update: The conference was a major success! You can enjoy the photos here: FA Conference PHOTOS

*To see the list of this year's attendees, click here: Houston FA Conference 2016 Attendee List

Conference Presentations

 

Thank you to all who participated! Photos of the conference can be viewed here: FA Conference PHOTOS

Volunteer Information

Houston area colleges and universities house some of the most talented financial aid professionals in the country. There are many new and seasoned financial aid administrators that can benefit from Houston financial aid talent. We hope you will consider sharing your knowledge and experience at the conference by volunteering to present a session at the Houston FA Conference 2016.

If you are aware of area talent that can be a great benefit to the financial aid community, please forward the volunteer information.

If you are willing and able to present a session, please complete the Interest Session Volunteer Form (coming soon) and click on the submit button by November 30, 2015. The information will be emailed to houston.faconference@hccs.edu. All volunteers will receive details and additional information via email.

Additional volunteer opportunities, such as assisting at the registration desk, are available on the CONFERENCE REGISTRATION FORM.

The following optional PowerPoint Presentation Template is available but not required.

Location/Site Information

Houston Community College
Central Campus
1300 Holman Street
Houston, TX 77004

HCC Central Map

Transportation:

Metro Bus Service
METRO buses coming close to Central campus: 1, 2, 4, and 11.

Metro Rail
Red line- HCC/Ensemble stop

Fares/Ticket Info

*public transportation is encouraged

 

 

Contact Information

Conference Committee:

  • JoEllen Soucier – Co-Chair
  • Rodney Jackson – Co-Chair
  • Tye Holden – Administrative Support
  • Reta Morris – Administrative Support
  • Karla Modesto – Web Site and Email
  • Kayci Wenterspoon – Web Site and Email
  • Joel Philistin – Facilities Coordinator
  • Cassandra Brown – Registration Desk

 

Email Address: Houston.faconference@hccs.edu

Phone:                    713-718-8490

Fax:                        713-718-8196

Hotel Accommodations

Crowne Plaza
1700 Smith St, Houston, TX 77002
(713) 739-8800
http://www.cpdowntown.com/

Holiday Inn Express and Suites
1810 Bell St, Houston, TX 77003
(713) 652-9400
http://www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/us/en/houston/houls/hoteldetail

Four Points at Sheraton
2828 Southwest Freeway, Houston, Texas, 77098
713-942-2111
http://www.fourpointshoustongreenwayplaza.com/

Exhibitors & Sponsors

 Coming Soon!                                  

                                  

Sponsorship Information

We are grateful to our sponsors who are able to contribute to the cost of the Houston FA Conference 2016  which will increase training opportunities for Houston area colleges and universities without impacting financial aid office budgets. There is no cost for financial aid administrators to attend.

Sponsorship is quick and easy. Please click Sponsorship Commitment Form to access the sponsorship form – (coming soon)

You will receive an invoice upon successful submission of the sponsorship form.   

Hotel reservations can be found at  http://www.hccs.edu/district/students/financialaid/houston-fa-conference-2016/.

More information will be forthcoming about the conference program as well as a call for session proposals.

Please email Rodney Jackson or JoEllen Soucier with any questions to Houston.faconference@hccs.edu.

Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to seeing you at 2016 FA Conference!

Conference Program, Times, and Interest Sessions

THURSDAY, MARCH 3, 2016

7:30am – Registration and Continental Breakfast – Learning Hub (Green Building)

Auditorium – 8:30am – 9:30am

Welcome Session

Moderator: JoEllen Soucier, Executive Director of Financial Aid

Presenters:

  • JoEllen Soucier – Housekeeping Items
  • Dr. William Harmon, President of HCC - Central College
  • Dr. Maldonado, Chancellor of Houston Community College
  • Justin Draeger, President of NASFAA
  • Sharon Steele, Financial Aid Director, Lee College
  • Scott Moore, Interim Executive Director of Financial Aid, University of Houston, Main
  • Robert Merino, Dean of Financial Aid Services, San Jacinto College
  • Billy Satterfield, Director of Financial Aid, University of Houston, Clearlake
  • James Smith, Temporary Executive Director of Financial Aid, Lone Star College
  • JoEllen Soucier, Executive Director of Financial Aid, Houston Community College

 

Auditorium – 9:30am – 10:30am

General Session – DACA and Undocumented Students

Moderator: JoEllen Soucier, Executive Director of Financial Aid

Presenter: Ignacia Rodriguez, Executive Action Legal Fellow at the National Immigration Law Center in L.A.

Title: Undocumented Students and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Description: This session will provide information about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals regulations and provide some information about working with undocumented students.

Location: Auditorium – San Jacinto Building

 

 

INTEREST SESSIONS

 

Thursday, March 3, 2016 – 11:00am – 12:00pm

 

BSCC 202 – Team Building  

Moderator: David Alvarez, Financial Aid Advisor

Presenter: Deborah Sharp,Manager of Employee & Organizational Development

Title: What’s Your “Everest?”

Description: On May 24, 2001, Erik Weihenmayer, with 18 team members, reached the world’s tallest peak, Mt. Everest.  More members of this team reached the summit than any other previous expedition in history.  What made this feat even more amazing, Erik was the first man to climb Mt. Everest, blind.   In this session, you will view a real-life situation where people were challenged to excel in the most difficult of circumstances.  It is an example of how working together can create opportunities for an entire team to experience success.

Location: BSCC 202 – Thursday – 11:00am – 12:00pm

 

 

BSCC 203 – Program Reviews  

Moderator: JoEllen Soucier, Executive Director of Financial Aid

Presenter: Kevin Campbell, Dallas Office of the U.S. Department of Education

Title: Program Reviews:  Foretold is Forearmed!

Description: A brief overview of the Department of Education’s Program Review process. 

  • How you are selected
  • How you will be notified
  • What you must prepare for the program reviewer staff
  • What the program reviewers will examine
  • What kind of report the program reviewers will send you
  • What you do with the report
  • How the program review is finalized and closed

Location: BSCC 203 – Thursday – 11:00am – 12:00pm

 

 

BSCC 204 – Online Forms  

Moderator: Tonya Drain, Financial Aid Associate

Presenters: Dr. Paul Gilroy, President of ProEducation Solutions and Meredith Gilroy, Director of Sales and Marketing

Title: E-sign Documents – What are they? How does it work?

Description: Session Description: Today’s students and parents can complete and e-sign school documents on any computer or smart device, including phones and tablets. It eliminates multiple processing steps including handling, scanning, linking, storing or shredding documents. This greatly reduces costs and frees up staff time to perform more essential work. Most importantly, forms must be compliant with all federal and state electronic signature requirements. No more incomplete or unsigned documents. E-sign documents use smart logic, data validation and error checking to insure documents are completed in their entirety.

Location: BSCC 204 – Thursday – 11:00am – 12:00pm

 

 

BSCC 209 – Customer Service and Communications

Moderator: Brandon Farris, Financial Aid Assistant

Presenters: Dan Dreves, Director of School Partnerships, FATV and Kathleen Roebuck, Vice President of School Partnerships, FATV

Title: Communicating in Stressful Situations 

Description: Did you know that when people are stressed and have a lot of mental noise, their ability to process information can be reduced up to 80%? This means that who are students stressed out about things like a parent losing a job, Satisfactory Academic Progress notification, or a scholarship that has not been disbursed may not be able to take in all the information when you speak to them in your office. What can you do? Use effective communication techniques. You can communicate negative or difficult messages to be heard without creating additional conflict. What does it take? Active listening, paying attention to both your and your student's nonverbal communication, and managing your own stress (especially when your student exaggerates or makes false accusations).  To learn some effective techniques on communicating in stressful situations, consider attending this session!

Location: BSCC 209 – Thursday – 11:00am – 12:00pm

 

 

BSCC 211 – Interfacing with the Bookstore

Moderator: Whitnie Smith, Financial Aid Associate

Presenters: Roy Torrecampo, Senior Systems Analyst and Bill Schaub, General Manager HCC Bookstores

Title: For real?  -  A real-time interface between Financial Aid and the Bookstore

Description: Compare the old vs. new bookstore transactions processing.   Discuss what is needed to implement a  real-time interface.

Location: BSCC 211 – Thursday – 11:00am – 12:00pm

 

 

BSCC 212 – Financial Literacy

Moderator: Shanell Foster, Financial Coach, HCC

Presenters: Rushka Tcholakova United way, Richard Simonds of Family Services, Erika Jones of the Houston Area Federal Reserve, and Cristina Cave of Neighborhood Centers

Title: Financial Literacy: It takes a Village

Description: This session will discuss developing partnerships that help support your school’s financial literacy program. It will focus on building alliances with organizations that seek to spread financial literacy throughout the entire community your college is located in.

Location: BSCC 212 – Thursday – 11:00am – 12:00pm

 

 

BSCC 301 – Unusual Enrollment History (UEH)

Moderator: Karla Modesto, Financial Aid Assistant

Presenter: De Rodrick Jonkins, Financial Aid Regional Manager

Title: Unusual Enrollment History “Now let me explain what happened”

Description: This presentation will cover updates, best practices, and ways of resolving UEH C-Flags.

Location: BSCC 301 – Thursday – 11:00am – 12:00pm

 

 

***LUNCH – Thursday – 12:00pm – 1:15pm – LHUB 100 and LHUB 101***

 

INTEREST SESSIONS

 

Thursday, March 3, 2016 – 1:15pm – 2:15pm

 

LHUB 100 – Ability to Benefit (ATB)

Moderator: Tonya Drain, Financial Aid Associate

Presenters: Zena Williams, Compliance Manager and Dr. David Joost, Director of Adult Education Programs

Title: Ability to Benefit Federal Student Aid Option

Description: The session will focus on Financial Aid Advisement for college applicants lacking a Secondary School Credential. Discussion will be held around restoration of federal student aid option for out-of-school students who lack a high school diploma, GED and in some cases invalid high school diploma.  The presenters will share their experiences in implementing the Federal requirement using the Accelerated Texas program.

Location: LHUB 100 – Thursday – 1:15pm – 2:15pm

 

 

BSCC 202 – Team Building

Moderator: David Alvarez, Financial Aid Advisor

Presenter: Deborah Sharp,Manager of Employee & Organizational Development

Title: Build the Tallest Tower

Description: In a hands-on activity, participants will have the opportunity to create their own team success through planning, team work, utilization of diverse skills, goal setting, communication, motivation and leadership.

Location: BSCC 202 – Thursday – 1:15pm – 2:15pm

 

 

BSCC 203 – High School Validation

Moderator: Tanika Aggison, Financial Aid Associate

Presenter: Robert Merino, Dean/Financial Aid Services

Title: High School Validation and Diploma Mills

Description: Learn about the process San Jacinto College implemented to meet the requirement introduced by the Program Integrity Rules of 2010.

Location: BSCC 203 – Thursday – 1:15pm – 2:15pm

 

 

BSCC 204 – IRS Identity Theft

Moderator: Whitnie Smith, Financial Aid Associate

Presenters: Boni Jacobs, Processing Manager and Paul Berryman, Director of IT Security and Administration

Title: IRS Identity Theft

Description: Students and parents that are victims of identity theft may have difficulty filing for financial aid.  In this session you learn about how individuals may become victims of identity theft, the challenges when dealing with the IRS afterwards, and what steps to take to assist in financial aid filings.  You will also learn how to educate students throughout the year to avoid scams that can lead to identity theft.

Location: BSCC 204 – Thursday – 1:15pm – 2:15pm

 

BSCC 209 – PTG –Increase Financial Aid Operational Efficiencies and Communications using Campus Solutions Tools

Moderator: Jamaah Tyler, Financial Aid Coordinator

Presenters: Ranga Gowda, ERP Practice Director for PTG and Pruthvin Biluve Nagaraj, Senior Systems Analyst (PTG)

Title: PTG’s expertise in Financial Aid Operations

Description: PTG’s Higher Education Qualifications and Experience. Using Automated Workflows for Financial aid Efficient Operations, Speeding up Processing Time, Complying with time-frame regulations, Eliminating the need to run discrepancy report and Distribute workload evenly among processors. Improving communication to students using 3C’s by developing targeted, timely, and important email communications that are automated and scheduled to deploy based on system actions and triggers. Financial aid online forms - Integrating PeopleSoft system with third party system(DocuSign) for faster, electronic and secure way for students to complete Financial Aid forms. Development, Support and Maintenance for Financial Aid Operations.

Location: BSCC 209 – Thursday – 1:15pm – 2:15pm

 

 

BSCC 211 Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Moderator: Brandon Farris, Financial Aid Assistant

Presenter: Liza Chau, Financial Aid Regional Manager

Title: Satisfactory Academic Progress – Developing an Appeal Process Leading Students toward Success

Description: The financial aid offices are required to develop and monitor an acceptable appeal process which now includes a student’s academic plan leading them towards success.  This session will explain the expectations of a good plan and utilizing Professional Judgement when making appeal decisions for students who are not following the school’s Satisfactory Academic Policy guidelines.

Location: BSCC 211 – Thursday – 1:15pm – 2:15pm

 

 

BSCC 212 – Financial Literacy

Moderator: Chris Ardoin, Financial Coach, HCC

Presenters: Nicholas Kilmer of Texas A&M, Elena Olivier- San Jacinto College, and Karessa Shaw, Default Prevention and Financial Literacy, Texas Southern University

Title: Financial Literacy Panel

Description: This panel will give audience the chance to hear how different colleges and universities are helping students become financially educated and tackling key college initiatives like student loan default.

Location: BSCC 212 – Thursday – 1:15pm – 2:15pm

 

INTEREST SESSIONS

BSCC 301 – Customer Service  

Moderator: Karla Modesto, Financial Aid Assistant

Presenter: Rodney Jackson, Communications Manager

Title: Customer Service Trivia

Description: This session will provide participates with an understanding of the Do’s and Don’ts in customer service at the frontline by engaging participates in an Interactive Polling Questionnaire that is thought provoking and to challenge how we view and deliver Exceptional Customer Service. 

Location: BSCC 301 – Thursday – 1:15pm – 2:15pm

 

Thursday, March 3, 2016 – 2:30pm – 3:30pm

 

LHUB 100 – Security and Open Carry Laws

Moderator: Whitnie Smith, Financial Aid Associate

Presenter: Chief Greg Cunningham, Chief of Police, HCC

Title: Security and Open Carry Laws

Description: This is a conversation related to the law, the intent of the law(s), how some are addressing implementation and some suggestions of things to consider if you intend to carry as part of the community. Leave your political agenda at the door we need to discuss how to comply with “this law” as safely as we can….when you change the law, we’ll learn how to comply with that one.    

Location: LHUB 100 – Thursday – 2:30pm – 3:30pm

 

 

BSCC 202 – Ethics and Code of Conduct

Moderator: Karla Modesto, Financial Aid Assistant

Presenter: JoEllen Soucier, Executive Director of Financial Aid

Title: Ethical Responsibilities and Adhering to Code of Conduct Standards

Description: Most institutions have an employee standards of conduct policy that employee must agree to when accepting a position and maintain while holding the position. These conduct expectations include terms such as integrity, trustworthiness, honesty, respect, stewardship, compliance, good judgment, and confidentiality. Financial aid is governed by a number of standards and principles that all aid administers are expected to adhere and details are contains in regulations and acts such as FERPA, Program Integrity, Fiscal Responsibility, and Statement of Ethical Principles. What do these ethics principles means to your office? What would you consider acceptable behavior and practices? Where are the lines drawn and how do you know if you or a colleague have crossed a line? These questions, along with one of the most famous ethical cases of our time, will be discussed during this webinar.

Location: BSCC 205 – Thursday – 2:30pm – 3:30pm

 

 

BSCC 203 – Student Refunds – New Integrity Rules

Moderator: David Alvarez, Financial Aid Advisor

Presenters: Kathy Woods, Associate Director of Relationship Management, Higher One, Inc. and Abi Dupius, Account Executive, Higher One, Inc.

Title: Processing Student Refunds with HigherOne – New Integrity Rules

Description: This session will provide you with an overview of the new Cash Management rules that were introduced in November.  We will dive into the differences in the old and new rules and determine what changes need to be made on campus to accommodate the new rules.

Location: BSCC 203 – Thursday – 2:30pm – 3:30pm

 

 

BSCC 204 – Gainful Employment

Moderator: Tonya Drain, Financial Aid Associate

Presenter: Zena Williams, Compliance Manager

Title: Gainful Employment Overview

Description: The session will provide an overview of the Gainful Employment regulations that became effective July 1, 2015, the GE disclosures that institutions must update using the Department’s template. Challenging the system and provide opportunity for open discussion and sharing information on the experiences of the participants in the session.

Location: BSCC 204 – Thursday – 2:30pm – 3:30pm

 

 

BSCC 211 – Cohort Default Rate Solutions

Moderator: Elizabeth Soles, Financial Aid Associate

Presenter: Memory Keeler, Account Executive, USA Funds and Elena Olivier, Default Prevention Loan Officer, San Jacinto College

Title: Selecting the Right Partner for CDR Solutions and Success

Description: Selecting the Right Partner for CDR Solutions and Success – Highly effective default prevention efforts are collaborative, assertive and proactive. When your resources are limited, rely on expert help to efficiently and effectively target your outreach with student loan borrowers. Join the session to learn more about what to look for in a default prevention partner and how USA Funds’ Borrower ConnectTM cohort management solutions can help you analyze, counsel, connect with and track your borrowers. 

Location: BSCC 211 – Thursday – 2:30pm – 3:30pm

 

 

BSCC 212 – Alternative Loans

Moderator: Shanetta Burke, Financial Aid Coordinator

Presenter: Sergio Gonzalez, Account Executive for Sallie Mae

Title: Gap Financing Options

Description: Many students and families will be considering financing a portion of their college education with either a federal PLUS Loan or a private student loan, when scholarships and financial aid are not enough.  This session highlights the differences between the PLUS and private student loan programs.  The focus will be on encouraging responsible borrowing and what you can do to help educate your students and families on finding the right solution for their borrowing needs.  By attending this session you will gain a deeper understanding of the gap financing tools that students and families use and will be better equipped to counsel them on choosing the right financing solution for them. 

Location: BSCC 212 – Thursday – 2:30pm – 3:30pm

 

 

BSCC 301 – Cross-Training

Moderator: Jamaah Tyler, Financial Aid Coordinator

Presenter: James Smith, Temporary Executive Director of Financial Aid

Title: Cross-training Why is it important anyway?

Description: A session to discuss the importance of cross-training staff and how this can be utilized in any office.

Location: BSCC 301 – Thursday – 2:30pm – 3:30pm

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2016

 

7:30am – Registration and Continental Breakfast – Learning Hub (Green Building)

 

INTEREST SESSIONS

 

Friday, March 4, 2016 – 8:30am – 9:30am

 

LHUB 100 – Security and Open Carry Laws

Moderator: Whitnie Smith, Financial Aid Associate

Presenter: Chief Greg Cunningham, Chief of Police, HCC

Title: Security and Open Carry Laws

Description: This is a conversation related to the law, the intent of the law(s), how some are addressing implementation and some suggestions of things to consider if you intend to carry as part of the community. Leave your political agenda at the door we need to discuss how to comply with “this law” as safely as we can….when you change the law, we’ll learn how to comply with that one.    

Location: LHUB 100 – Friday – 8:30am – 9:30am

 

 

BSCC 202 – Clearinghouse-Enrollment Reporting

Moderator: Shanetta Burke, Financial Aid Coordinator

Presenter(s): Joe Roof, Regional Manager, National Student Clearinghouse

Title: Clearinghouse-Enrollment Reporting

Description:  The National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit organization, was founded by the higher education community in 1993. Through the years, we have regularly been approached by institutions to expand our services to meet their growing compliance, administrative, student access, accountability, and analytical needs. Today the Clearinghouse provides verification and reporting services to over 3,600 postsecondary institutions in the U.S, enrolling 98% of all students in public and private U.S. institutions.  This session will focus on our Enrollment Reporting service, including how the Clearinghouse responds to the SSCR for participating institutions and a discussion of recent enhancements to this service.

Location: BSCC 202 – Friday – 8:30am – 9:30am

 

 

BSCC 203 – High School Validation

Moderator: Tanika Aggison, Financial Aid Associate

Presenter: Robert Merino, Dean/Financial Aid Services

Title: High School Validation and Diploma Mills

Description: Learn about the process San Jacinto College implemented to meet the requirement introduced by the Program Integrity Rules of 2010.

Location: BSCC 203 – Friday – 8:30am – 9:30am

 

 

BSCC 204 – Online Forms 

Moderator: Tonya Drain, Financial Aid Associate

Presenters: Dr. Paul Gilroy, President of ProEducation Solutions and Meredith Gilroy, Director of Sales and Marketing

Title: E-sign Documents – What are they? How does it work?

Description: Session Description: Today’s students and parents can complete and e-sign school documents on any computer or smart device, including phones and tablets. It eliminates multiple processing steps including handling, scanning, linking, storing or shredding documents. This greatly reduces costs and frees up staff time to perform more essential work. Most importantly, forms must be compliant with all federal and state electronic signature requirements. No more incomplete or unsigned documents. E-sign documents use smart logic, data validation and error checking to insure documents are completed in their entirety.

Location: BSCC 204 – Friday – 8:30am – 9:30am

 

 

BSCC 205 – Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Moderator: Brandon Farris, Financial Aid Assistant

Presenter: Liza Chau, Financial Aid Regional Manager

Title: Satisfactory Academic Progress – Developing an Appeal Process Leading Students toward Success

Description: The financial aid offices are required to develop and monitor an acceptable appeal process which now includes a student’s academic plan leading them towards success.  This session will explain the expectations of a good plan and utilizing Professional Judgment when making appeal decisions for students who are not following the school’s Satisfactory Academic Policy guidelines.

Location: BSCC 205 – Friday – 8:30am – 9:30am

 

 

BSCC 209 – Student Refunds – New Integrity Rules

Moderator: David Alvarez, Financial Aid Advisor

Presenters: Kathy Woods, Assoc. Director of Relationship Management and Abi Dupius, Account Executive, Higher One

Title: Processing Student Refunds with HigherOne – New Integrity Rules

Description: This session will provide you with an overview of the new Cash Management rules that were introduced in November.  We will dive into the differences in the old and new rules and determine what changes need to be made on campus to accommodate the new rules.

Location: BSCC 209 – Friday – 8:30am – 9:30am

 

 

BSCC 211 – Verification and Professional Judgment

Moderator: Karla Modesto, Financial Aid Assistant

Presenter: JoEllen Soucier, Executive Director of Financial Aid

Title: Conflicting Information, Verification, and Professional Judgment – How is it all tied together?

Description: This session will focus on the requirements of V6 verification, professional judgment, and conflicting information. There will be a discussion on low income verification and verifying other untaxed income. We will discuss the difference between cash support and in-kind support. There will be discussions on professional judgment decision and the types of situations that may warrant a special circumstance.

Location: BSCC 211 – Friday – 8:30am – 9:30am

 

 

BSCC 212 – Financial Literacy 

Moderator: Chris Ardoin, Financial Coach, HCC

Presenter:  Rashod Moten - Houston Food Bank- Food Scholarship Pilot Program 

Title:   Moving Forward Future Plans for Financial Literacy

Description: Financial Literacy is still fairly new in Higher Education. The goal of this session is to help higher education professionals know. What are some of the new developments and changes in delivering financial literacy and ways to scale impact?

Location: BSCC 212 – Friday – 8:30am – 9:30am

 

INTEREST SESSIONS

 

Friday, March 4, 2016 – 9:45am – 10:45am

 

LHUB 100 – Ability to Benefit (ATB)

Moderator: Tonya Drain, Financial Aid Associate

Presenters: Zena Williams, Compliance Manager and Dr. David Joost, Director of Adult Education Programs

Title: Ability to Benefit Federal Student Aid Option

Description: The session will focus on Financial Aid Advisement for college applicants lacking a Secondary School Credential. Discussion will be held around restoration of federal student aid option for out-of-school students who lack a high school diploma, GED and in some cases invalid high school diploma.  The presenters will share their experiences in implementing the Federal requirement using the Accelerated Texas program.

Location: LHUB 100 – Friday – 9:45am – 10:45am

 

 

BSCC 202 – Federal Pell Experiments

Moderator: Liza Chau, Financial Aid Regional Manager

Presenter: Anamaria Lopez, Financial Aid Officer for Continuing Education

Title: Pell Experiment – Short Term Programs

Description: This session will provide information about two of the ongoing Pell experiments under the Experimental Sites Initiative. It will provide information on the requirements for each experiment, how to apply, its implementation, and information about reporting and evaluation. The experiments that will be covered are Experiment 1, Eligibility of students with bachelor’s degree who enroll in vocational or career programs and Experiment 2, Eligibility of students enrolled in certain short-term training programs.

Location: BSCC 202 – Friday – 9:45am – 10:45am

 

 

BSCC 203 – Unusual Enrollment History (UEH)

Moderator: Karla Modesto, Financial Aid Assistant

Presenter: De Rodrick Jonkins, Financial Aid Regional Manager

Title: Unusual Enrollment History “Now let me explain what happened”

Description: This presentation will cover updates, best practices, and ways of resolving UEH C-Flags.

Location: BSCC 203 – Friday – 9:45am – 10:45am

 

 

BSCC 204 – Cross Training

Moderator: Jamaah Tyler, Financial Aid Coordinator

Presenter: James Smith, Temporary Executive Director of Financial Aid

Title: Cross-training Why is it important anyway?

Description: A session to discuss the importance of cross-training staff and how this can be utilized in any office.

Location: BSCC 204 – Friday – 9:45am – 10:45am

 

 

BSCC 205 – Verification

Moderator: Tanika Aggison, Financial Aid Associate

Presenter: JoEllen Soucier, Executive Director of Financial Aid

Title: Top Verification Conflicts – Marital Status, Tax Filing Status, and more

Description: This session will focus on the marital status and tax filing status conflicts that result from the information reported o the FAFSA versus the information reported on the tax return. Information will include when a person can file Head of Household even if they are married, when they are required to file taxes (including self-employment income), working with amended taxes, working with the various tax transcripts, foreign taxes, and other tax transcript issues that become a challenge during the verification process.

Location: BSCC 205 – Friday – 9:45am – 10:45am

 

 

BSCC 209 – Customer Service and SAP

Moderator: Brandon Farris, Financial Aid Assistant

Presenters: Kathleen Roebuck, Vice President of School Partnerships, FATV and Dan Dreves, Director of School Partnerships, FATV

Title: Tired of Your Students Complaining of TLDR* Syndrome?

Description: Is your staff overwhelmed with phone calls regarding financial aid and SAP questions?   Have you ever heard a student say, I never read that?   This session will show you specific examples of how colleges and universities are communicating with students in a language they understand.   We will discuss FATV’s two services, GetAnswers and GetSAP.

Location: BSCC 209 – Friday – 9:45am – 10:45am

 

 

BSCC 211 – Alternative Loans

Moderator: Shanetta Burke, Financial Aid Coordinator

Presenter: Sergio Gonzalez, Account Executive for Sallie Mae

Title: Gap Financing Options

Description: Many students and families will be considering financing a portion of their college education with either a federal PLUS Loan or a private student loan, when scholarships and financial aid are not enough.  This session highlights the differences between the PLUS and private student loan programs.  The focus will be on encouraging responsible borrowing and what you can do to help educate your students and families on finding the right solution for their borrowing needs.  By attending this session you will gain a deeper understanding of the gap financing tools that students and families use and will be better equipped to counsel them on choosing the right financing solution for them. 

Location: BSCC 211 – Friday – 9:45am – 10:45am

 

 

BSCC 212 – Financial Literacy

Moderator: Dominique Brown, Financial Coach, HCC

Presenter: Patsy Collins, Director, Student Money Management Center, Sam Houston State University

Title: Bringing Fun to Financial Literacy

Description: This workshop will focus on how to deliver financial literacy information in an exciting and engaging way that has long term impact.

Location: BSCC 212 – Friday – 9:45am – 10:45am

 

 

GENERAL SESSION

Friday, March 4, 2016 – 11:00am – 12:00pm

 

Auditorium – 11:00am – 12:00pm

General Session – Panel of Students – Let’s hear from a group of current students who will share their financial aid application process experience

Moderator: JoEllen Soucier, Executive Director of Financial Aid

Presenters: Students

Description: Students from area colleges and universities will discuss their experiences with the financial aid process and help us understand what it means to receive financial aid to attend college.

 

Location: Auditorium – San Jacinto Building

 

 

 ***LUNCH – Friday – 12:00pm – 1:15pm – LHUB 100 and LHUB 101***

 

 INTEREST SESSIONS

 

Friday, March 4, 2016 – 1:15pm – 2:15pm

 

BSCC 202 – Clearinghouse-Enrollment Reporting

Moderator: Shanetta Burke, Financial Aid Coordinator

Presenter(s): Joe Roof, Regional Manager, National Student Clearinghouse

Title: Clearinghouse-Enrollment Reporting

Description:  The National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit organization, was founded by the higher education community in 1993. Through the years, we have regularly been approached by institutions to expand our services to meet their growing compliance, administrative, student access, accountability, and analytical needs. Today the Clearinghouse provides verification and reporting services to over 3,600 postsecondary institutions in the U.S, enrolling 98% of all students in public and private U.S. institutions.  This session will focus on our Enrollment Reporting service, including how the Clearinghouse responds to the SSCR for participating institutions and a discussion of recent enhancements to this service.

Location: BSCC 202 – Friday – 1:15pm – 2:15pm

 

 

BSCC 203 – Unusual Enrollment History (UEH)

Moderator: Karla Modesto, Financial Aid Assistant

Presenter: De Rodrick Jonkins, Financial Aid Regional Manager

Title: Unusual Enrollment History “Now let me explain what happened”

Description: This presentation will cover updates, best practices, and ways of resolving UEH C-Flags.

Location: BSCC 203 – Friday – 1:15pm – 2:15pm

 

 

BSCC 204 – Ethics and Code of Conduct

Moderator: Tanika Aggison, Financial Aid Associate

Presenter: JoEllen Soucier, Executive Director of Financial Aid

Title: Ethical Responsibilities and Adhering to Code of Conduct Standards

Description: Most institutions have an employee standards of conduct policy that employee must agree to when accepting a position and maintain while holding the position. These conduct expectations include terms such as integrity, trustworthiness, honesty, respect, stewardship, compliance, good judgment, and confidentiality. Financial aid is governed by a number of standards and principles that all aid administers are expected to adhere and details are contains in regulations and acts such as FERPA, Program Integrity, Fiscal Responsibility, and Statement of Ethical Principles. What do these ethics principles means to your office? What would you consider acceptable behavior and practices? Where are the lines drawn and how do you know if you or a colleague have crossed a line? These questions, along with one of the most famous ethical cases of our time, will be discussed during this webinar.

Location: BSCC 204 – Friday – 1:15pm – 2:15pm

 

 

BSCC 205 – Gainful Employment

Moderator: Tonya Drain, Financial Aid Associate

Presenter: Zena Williams, Compliance Manager

Title: Gainful Employment Overview

Description: The session will provide an overview of the Gainful Employment regulations that became effective July 1, 2015, the GE disclosures that institutions must update using the Department’s template. Challenging the system and provide opportunity for open discussion and sharing information on the experiences of the participants in the session.

Location: BSCC 204 – Friday – 1:15pm – 2:15pm

 

 

BSCC 209 – Customer Service

Moderator: Brandon Farris, Financial Aid Assistant

Presenters: John Denton, System Director of Financial Aid and Maria Croft, Director for the Student Contact Center for the Office of College Services

Title:  A New Beginning in Customer Service

Description: A session focus on using a financial aid call center to improve student service which result in student success.  The session outlines the use of Service Now ticket system to track student issues and identify system problems.

BSCC 209 – Friday – 1:15pm – 2:15pm

 

 

BSCC 211 – Interfacing with the Bookstore

Moderator: Whitnie Smith, Financial Aid Associate

Presenters: Roy Torrecampo, Senior Systems Analyst and Bill Schaub, General Manager HCC Bookstores

Title: For real?  -  A real-time interface between Financial Aid and the Bookstore

Description: Compare the old vs. new bookstore transactions processing.   Discuss what is needed to implement a real-time interface.

Location: BSCC 211 – Friday – 1:15pm – 2:15pm

 

 

BSCC 212Financial Literacy 

Moderator: Victoria Thomas, Financial Coach, HCC

Presenter: Jenny Achilles, Texas Guarantee (TG)

Title: Increasing Retention through Financial Literacy

Description: This workshop will focus on a grant provided by TG (Texas Guarantee). The grant focuses on Financial Literacy but also requires that all departments work collaboratively to achieve retention and financial education.

Location: BSCC 212 – Friday – 1:15pm – 2:15pm

 

INTEREST SESSIONS

 

Friday, March 4, 2016 – 2:30pm – 3:30pm

 

LHUB 100 – IRS Identity Theft

Moderator: Whitnie Smith, Financial Aid Associate

Presenters: Boni Jacobs, Processing Manager and Paul Berryman, Director of IT Security and Administration

Title: IRS Identity Theft

Description: Students and parents that are victims of identity theft may have difficulty filing for financial aid.  In this session you learn about how individuals may become victims of identity theft, the challenges when dealing with the IRS afterwards, and what steps to take to assist in financial aid filings.  You will also learn how to educate students throughout the year to avoid scams that can lead to identity theft.

Location: LHUB 100 – Friday – 2:30pm – 3:30pm

 

 

BSCC 202 – Consortium Agreements

Moderator: David Alvarez, Financial Aid Advisor

Presenter: Vicky Bradley, Financial Aid Associate

Title: Consortium Agreements Round Table Discussion

Description: Schools will have the opportunity to discuss how consortium agreements are handled at different schools, what challenges administrators face, and what are some of the best practices when processing the agreements to provide students with the best customer service.

BSCC 202 – Friday – 2:30pm – 3:30pm

 

 

BSCC 203 – Customer Service and SAP

Moderator: Brandon Farris, Financial Aid Assistant

Presenters: Kathleen Roebuck, Vice President of School Partnerships, FATV and Dan Dreves, Director of School Partnerships, FATV

Title: Tired of Your Students Complaining of TLDR* Syndrome?

Description: Is your staff overwhelmed with phone calls regarding financial aid and SAP questions?   Have you ever heard a student say, I never read that?   This session will show you specific examples of how colleges and universities are communicating with students in a language they understand.   We will discuss FATV’s two services, GetAnswers and GetSAP.

Location: BSCC 203 – Friday – 2:30pm – 3:30pm

 

 

BSCC 204 – Federal Pell Experiments

Moderator: Liza Chau, Financial Aid Regional Manager

Presenter: Anamaria Lopez, Financial Aid Officer for Continuing Education

Title: Pell Experiment – Short Term Programs

Description: This session will provide information about two of the ongoing Pell experiments under the Experimental Sites Initiative. It will provide information on the requirements for each experiment, how to apply, its implementation, and information about reporting and evaluation. The experiments that will be covered are Experiment 1, Eligibility of students with bachelor’s degree who enroll in vocational or career programs and Experiment 2, Eligibility of students enrolled in certain short-term training programs.

Location: BSCC 204 – Friday – 2:30pm – 3:30pm

 

 

BSCC 205 – Cohort Default Rate Solutions

Moderator: Elizabeth Soles, Financial Aid Associate

Presenter: Memory Keeler, Account Executive, USA Funds and Elena Olivier, Default Prevention Loan Officer, San Jacinto College

Title: Selecting the Right Partner for CDR Solutions and Success

Description: Selecting the Right Partner for CDR Solutions and Success – Highly effective default prevention efforts are collaborative, assertive and proactive. When your resources are limited, rely on expert help to efficiently and effectively target your outreach with student loan borrowers. Join the session to learn more about what to look for in a default prevention partner and how USA Funds’ Borrower ConnectTM cohort management solutions can help you analyze, counsel, connect with and track your borrowers. 

Location: BSCC 205 – Friday – 2:30pm – 3:30pm

 

 

BSCC 209 – PTG – Increase Financial Aid Operational Efficiencies and Communications using Campus Solutions Tools

Moderator: Jamaah Tyler, Financial Aid Coordinator

Presenters: Ranga Gowda, ERP Practice Director for PTG and Pruthvin Biluve Nagaraj, Senior Systems Analyst (PTG)

Title: PTG’s expertise in Financial Aid Operations

Description: PTG’s Higher Education Qualifications and Experience. Using Automated Workflows for Financial aid Efficient Operations, Speeding up Processing Time, Complying with time-frame regulations, Eliminating the need to run discrepancy report and Distribute workload evenly among processors. Improving communication to students using 3C’s by developing targeted, timely, and important email communications that are automated and scheduled to deploy based on system actions and triggers. Financial aid online forms - Integrating PeopleSoft system with third party system(DocuSign) for faster, electronic and secure way for students to complete Financial Aid forms. Development, Support and Maintenance for Financial Aid Operations.

Location: BSCC 209 – Friday – 2:30pm – 3:30pm

 

 

BSCC 211 – Customer Service

Moderator: Karla Modesto, Financial Aid Assistant

Presenter: Rodney Jackson, Communications Manager

Title: Customer Service Trivia

Description: This session will provide participates with an understanding of the Do’s and Don’ts in customer service at the frontline by engaging participates in an Interactive Polling Questionnaire that is thought provoking and to challenge how we view and deliver Exceptional Customer Service. 

Location: BSCC 211 – Friday – 2:30pm – 3:30pm

 

 

BSCC 212 – Financial Literacy  

Moderator: Joel Philistin, Financial Coach

Presenters: Dr. Kristy Vienne of Sam Houston State University, Professor Hillard Williams

Title: Developing Buy In Amongst Administration and Faculty: Financial Education and Literacy 

Description: This session will focus on building upper management and interdepartmental support when it comes Financial Literacy in Higher Education.

Location: BSCC 212 – Friday – 2:30pm – 3:30pm

 

 

PRESENTER BIOS (ALPHA ORDER):

 

Jenny Achilles, Program Officer, TG

Jenny Achilles has served as program officer since May 2013 at TG, which focuses its grant making on supporting students from low-income families and from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in undergraduate education, including first-generation college students, Latino/a students, and nontraditional or adult learners. Previously, she served as a study abroad advisor at the University of Texas at Austin, with a focus on Latin America. She has master’s degrees in journalism and public policy, with an emphasis on nonprofit management, from the University of Texas at Austin.

 

 

Chris Ardoin, Financial Coach, Houston Community College

Chris Ardoin, BS, MBA is an Ed.D. student working at Houston Community College. While attending the Ed.D program, Chris works as a Financial Coach in the Financial Aid Department at HCC-NE.  She has worked on several financial literacy committees throughout the Houston area including; Houston Money Week with the Federal Reserve Bank-Dallas/Houston and MONEY Live Youth Conference with Alliance Financial Ministries to achieve financial awareness with the masses of students attending HCC and the Houston community. From this work she developed an interest in how financial literacy or the lack there of impacts students attending community college. She is currently working on Money Management projects/initiatives within the college.  She is also partnering with local Non-Profit organizations that explore how fiscal fitness and meeting basic life needs affect school retention and overall success rates of students.

 

 

 

Paul Berryman, IT Security Director, Houston Community College

Paul Berryman has been the IT Security Director at Houston Community College for the last 2 years.  He has over 15 years of experience working in security, technology, education, and is a veteran of the U.S. Navy.  He holds several IT security certifications, an M.S. in Computer Science, and is a Ph.D. education student at the University of Houston.

 

 

Vicky Bradley, Financial Aid Associate, Houston Community College

Prior to coming to Houston in February 2002, Vicky worked for Tarrant County Workforce Center as a Caseworker for 10 years. Vicky assisted customers with their education and job search needs. After leaving Tarrant County, Vicky starting working for Workforce Solutions as a Financial Aid Representative. Vicky worked there for 6 years providing job search assistance, financial aid and childcare assistance and training and education assistance.  Vicky has been with Houston Community College for 6 years as a Financial Aid Associate.

 

 

Dominique Brown, Financial Coach, Houston Community College

Dominique Brown received her Bachelor of Arts in communications from Mt. Mary University and Masters of Science in Management from Cardinal Stritch University. She has held several management positions with financial institutions, until her most recent position at Houston Community College as a Financial Coach. As a Financial Coach she has been able to connect her passion of increasing financial literacy in the community and student development.

 

 

Kevin Campbell, Training Officer, U.S. Department of Education

Kevin Campbell is a Training Officer with Federal Student Aid, one of twenty Training Officers nationwide and one of three located in the Dallas Regional Office.  He conducts Departmental Training Workshops on Title IV Administration and represents Federal Student Aid at financial aid related events such as this.  Kevin has served with the United States Department of Education since 1994.    Prior to becoming a Training Officer in 2006, he worked with the Department’s Dallas School Participation Division for twelve years. Before working for the people of the United States, Kevin worked for many years in the hospitality industry primarily for the Marriott Corporation.  Kevin has attended three Universities, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi.  He graduated from Northwestern U. with a Bachelors in Philosophy with primary study in Political Science. Kevin has an active life outside of Title IV where he enjoys travel, scuba diving, Civil War History, the Texas Rangers and his four grandchildren! Kevin and his wife, Sherry, live in Arlington, Texas the home of the Texas Rangers and the Dallas Cowboys!

 

 

Cristina Cave, Community Relations Manager of Neighborhood Centers

Cristina Cave is the Community Relations Manager of Neighborhood Centers, overseeing marketing and media relations for Neighborhood Tax Centers, a program that provides free tax preparation to over 60,000 people a year. Cristina is also responsible for developing outreach programs and serve as a community liaison delivering educational presentations. Prior to joining Neighborhood Centers, Cristina worked at Rice University planning community events and working closely with college readiness programs. Cristina holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and has over 10 years of experience in communications and community outreach.

 

 

 

Liza Chau, Regional Financial Aid Manager, Houston Community College

Liza has been providing outstanding services to students at HCC since 1993. She has provided these services in various roles which includes financial aid file processing, enrollment services, advising, student records, and most recently as the leader of the financial aid operation at the Southeast College. She has a proven record of excellent management, student-focused initiatives, and extensive training for her staff.  Prior to coming to HCC, Liza worked for Concorde College conducting default prevention activities, advising, and coordinating financial aid functions.

 

 

Patsy Collins, Director of the Student Money Management Center, Sam Houston State University

Mrs. Patsy Collins received both her Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration from Sam Houston State University.  In April, 2015 she received one of Sam Houston’s highest honors for Faculty or Staff:  the Sammy Award.  She is a FinCert Certified Personal Financial Counselor.    In addition, she is an Accredited Financial Counselor certified by the AFCPE:  Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education.  In September, 2015, she was named the AFCPE Financial Counselor of the Year. She has a varied work history.  She has worked in the energy industry as an accountant and trading room Risk Manager.  She has worked as a Senior Counselor in Financial Aid.   These two jobs have given her a unique perspective on personal money management.  Since June 2013, she has served the students of SHSU as the Director of the Student Money Management Center.  Since that time, the team at the Student Money Management Center has increased personal consultations and workshop attendance by over 125%.  They have a great passion for helping students find and manage their money to get a good education.  The staff and student employees at the SMMC firmly believe that college graduates should not just survive living from paycheck to paycheck.  Graduates should learn to thrive and know how to become financially independent and aggregate wealth.  Patsy is with us today to share her insights on leadership, team building and how to get students to voluntarily attend money management workshops!

 

 

Maria Croft, Director for the Contact Center for the Office of College Services, Lone Star College

Maria Croft is the Director for the Contact Center for the Office of College Services at Lone Star College in Houston, Texas. She manages a 24x7x365 team that is responsible for answering and troubleshooting technology questions from faculty, staff, and students. Maria holds a B.S. Degree from the University of Houston-Downtown, she is also certified in ITIL and ServiceNow Administration; and has been in higher education IT for over 13 years. She has a passion in learning what is new in the technology world.

 

 

Greg Cunningham, Chief of Police, Houston Community College

Cunningham was hired with HCC-PD as their Chief in August 2008. Since his arrival there the department has focused on training, upgrading their technology and capabilities while growing the department to serve its twenty-four (24) campuses and over 73,000 students.  Cunningham has over 30 year experience nationally and internationally in the private sector and government service. His experience includes government service with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Secret Service, Harris County Prct. #2, Houston Airport System and the Houston Community College Police Department. His private sector experience includes high tech with Cisco Systems and Solectron; consulting experience with Malcolm Pirnie Inc. and Kroll International.

 

 

John Denton, System Director, Lone Star College

John Denton has worked in financial aid for over 21 years at various positions.  Five of those years was with educational lenders.  He received his bachelor’s from the University of Kansas and Master’s from the Sam Houston State University.  John is currently a System Director with Lone Star College and oversees a staff of 23 financial aid specialists.

 

 

Dan Dreves, Director of School Partnerships, FATV

Dan has over 30 years of experience working in higher education, including Director of Financial Aid, Director of Housing, and Associate Director of Fiscal Management.  In addition, Dan has served as Director of New England Client Services for EdFund and Regional Director for Nelnet.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Technical Journalism and a Master of Education from Colorado State University.  

 

 

Abi Dupuis, Account Executive, Higher One, Inc.

Abi joined Higher One as a member of their campus education team where she worked with institutions and students to bring awareness to refund choices.  In January 2014, Abi became Higher One's account executive for Texas.  Abi has a financial aid background having served in financial aid at Lamar University and Lee College. Abi has had personal user experience with the Higher One refund program through her affiliation as a student with UHCL and Texas Woman's University. 

 

 

 Shanell Foster, Financial Coach, Houston Community College

Shanell Foster is a Financial Coach for Houston Community College Southwest Campuses, Tax Advisor at H&R Block and a Personal Financial Consultant with a passion for empowering individuals and families to become financially independent by educating them on various financial topics including Budgeting, Savings, Investing and Eliminating Debt.  Her professional experience and certifications includes over twenty years’ experience in the banking and financial industry, BA in Finance from University of Houston, Texas Life & Health Insurance License and Securities License. In addition to Financial Coaching, Shanell’s passion is empowering and motivating people to reach their full potential. Other hobbies include reading, running, laughing, dance battles with family and friends and traveling to places “off the beaten path”. She also enjoys actively volunteering in her community. She started a small volunteer group several years ago which she operated out of her home called “We Care” Organization. The organization’s volunteer efforts included feeding Houston’s homeless population, volunteering at local homeless shelters and creating care packages for children at Texas Children’s Hospital. Shanell’s fervor for serving people resulted in many volunteer efforts including  mentor and team mom for her daughter's track organization and member of the Global Missions Ministry at her church where she had a life changing opportunity to participate in a volunteer mission trip to Cachoeira, Bahia Brazil in 2012.

 

 

Dr. Paul J. Gilroy, President and CEO, ProEducation Solutions

Paul Gilroy, Ph.D., Founder, President and CEO – Dr. Gilroy has an earned Ph.D. from the University of Texas and a M.Ed. and Baccalaureate degrees from Rutgers University. He has been in the financial aid and student services industry for over 40 years. He has held positions as Assistant, Associate and Director of Financial Aid, as well as, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management. Dr. Gilroy has extensive experience in higher education and financial aid administration.

 

 

Meredith A. Gilroy, Director of Sales and Marketing, ProEducation Solutions

Meredith Gilroy, Director of Sales and Marketing – Ms. Gilroy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Marketing from The Pennsylvania State University Smeal College of Business at University Park and a Minor in Media Studies from the College of Communications. She has extensive experience in Franchise Development from one of the top 5 franchisors in the US. Her experience in sales and marketing spans a diverse set of skills, including managing media campaigns, writing press releases, lead qualification, developing/managing CRM systems, and account management. Ms. Gilroy is spearheading sales and marketing for ProEd’s ProDoc E-sign document platform.

 

 

Sergio Gonzalez, Account Executive, Sallie Mae

Sergio joined Sallie Mae in 2005 as an Account Executive. He is currently a Director of Business Development for Sallie Mae Sales West Region, responsible for supporting colleges, universities and high school organizations in Texas as well as New Mexico.  Sergio has been in higher education since 1995, with ten years of experience in financial aid. Prior to joining Sallie Mae, he was the Financial Aid Director for South Texas College of Law.  He earned a B.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Houston.  Sergio has served on several committees for TASFAA, is currently on the fall conference committee, and is also a member of SWASFAA and NMASFAA.  He is fluent in Spanish and resides in Houston, TX with his wife.

 

 

Ranga Gowda, ERP Practice Director, PTG

As the ERP Practice Director for PTG, Ranga Gowda is responsible for overseeing the planning and its delivery of the Enterprise Software Solutions, developing offerings for Senior Executives at organizations to maximize the efficiencies of their operations and to help achieve success in their Enterprise Software investments. Mr. Gowda has more than 16 years of experience in enterprise software and technology. He oversees the PeopleSoft, SAP, Workday and Business Intelligence practice areas in PTG. Prior to joining PTG; Ranga has held senior roles in consulting, application development and complex systems integration. He has extensive knowledge of business and technology processes of a broad spectrum of industries such as Healthcare, Higher Education, Government, Oil and Gas and Financials. Mr. Gowda holds a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Houston. He is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

 

 

Rodney Jackson, District Manager of Communications, Houston Community College

Rodney has spent most of his career in Higher Ed working in the areas of financial aid/student services for the University of Houston and Houston Community College for 9 years.  In his current role as the Communications & Contact Center Manager, he manages a staff of 15. He is responsible for ensuring financial aid information is accessible and available to student through various communication access points. He’s also responsible for managing and resolving escalated student issues and concerns providing viable solutions in meeting the student’s needs.  Prior to working at HCC, he worked 6 years in Student Lending and Corporate Banking for Smart Financial Credit Union developing business relationships with local businesses promoting the credit union’s personal and commercial banking/lending products.  Rodney is a native Houstonian—a die-hard Houston TEXANS fan.  He lives with his wife, 5 year old son and family dog “Coco”.  For more information about Rodney, you can reach him by email at: Rodney.jackson1@hccs.edu /direct: 713-718-8536.

 

 

Boni Jacobs, District Processing Manager

Boni Jacobs reigns from the grand state of Iowa. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa. She was the first African American female police officer hired as a patrol officer for the Waterloo Police Department which provided her with the training and skills necessary to deal with difficult situations. Boni also worked as an Educational Counselor for the Educational Opportunity Center at the University of Northern Iowa, and held several positions within the financial aid department at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, Iowa before transitioning her financial aid career to Houston Texas in 2002. Boni has served as Interim Executive Director at Houston Community College and as Assistant Director at Rice University. She currently serves as the Manager of the Central Processing Center, where she manages a team of seventeen financial aid associates. Boni also assists with resolving technical issues for the financial department and is currently serving on a committee formed to assist the enrollment department with streamlining the application processes to improve the student experience in all areas of student services.

 

 

Erika Jones, Public Affairs Specialist, Houston Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Erika Jones works as a Public Affairs Specialist at the Houston Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. In her role, she plans and implements community programs and events, produces original writing content for new campaigns, and leads Bank Tours at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (Houston Branch) Conference Center. In addition to her responsibilities, Erika also serves as a member of the Houston Money Week Leadership Team and as a member of the Prairie View “Communiversity” Advisory Board. Erika is a proud graduate of Sam Houston State University, Texas Southern University, and a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

 

 

De Rodrick Jonkins, Regional Financial Aid Manager, Houston Community College

De Rodrick Jonkins was recently promoted to Financial Aid Regional Manager for Houston Community College.  He is a graduate of Prairie View A&M University and is currently pursuing A Master’s Degree in Higher Ed. Administration from the University of Houston-Victoria. De Rodrick joined Houston Community College in May 2011 as a Financial Aid Associate. He quickly demonstrated his leadership abilities and in October of 2013 took on an Interim Financial Aid Officer position. De Rodrick was promoted a few months later to the permanent leader of the Northwest College financial aid office. De Rodrick’s strong leadership transformed the financial aid operation for the Northwest campuses into friendly offices providing high quality customer service. Prior to joining HCC, De Rodrick worked for Prairie View A & M University for 10 years in various roles in the financial aid office and enrollment management office.

 

 

Dr. David Joost, Director of Adult Education Programs, Houston Community College

The Adult Education Programs at Houston Community College are housed administratively within the Division of College Readiness and are led by Dr. David Joost, Director of Adult Education Programs. Dr. Joost represents Literacy providers on the Gulf Coast Workforce Development Board and is appointed by the Mayor of Houston to represent Houston Community College on the Board of Directors of the Houston Center for Literacy. The components of Adult Education Programs area include: Adult Education and Literacy, Adult High School, Accelerate Texas, and Community-Based Job training. Dr. Joost has worked in higher education for more than twenty-five (25) years including fifteen years with Houston Community College and earlier at Wharton County Junior College.  His experience also includes teaching high school in Columbus and Luling, Texas. David completed his doctoral studies in Higher Education Administration at the University Houston in 2008 with his dissertation being a study of the degree to which GED scores could be used to predict college readiness.

 

 

Memory Keeler, Account Executive, USA Funds

As a USA Funds account executive, Memory helps institutions determine how Borrower Connect cohort management solutions can help meet specific needs and goals.  Whether you are looking for a comprehensive outsourcing of your borrower communication and analytics, or prefer a more self-managed approach, she is available to demonstrate options that work best for you.  Memory lives in Crockett, Texas — a 2-hours north of Houston. 

 

 

 

Nicholas Kilmer, Assistant Director, Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid, Manager of Financial Literacy Team, Texas A&M University

Nick Kilmer is an Assistant Director in the Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid and manager of the financial literacy team at Texas A&M University. He has a degree in Finance from Texas A&M and an MBA from the University of Texas at Tyler. Previously, he has worked as a bank accountant, bank analyst, investment representative, financial aid advisor, and manager of the campus veteran services office. Nick and his team are now in the process of developing the Money Education Center, a fully-staffed financial literacy center, which will open in Fall 2016 at Texas A&M.

 

 

Anamaria Lopez, Financial Aid Officer for Continuing Education, Houston Community College

Anamaria Lopez is a Financial Aid Officer at Houston Community College. Anamaria is responsible for the administration and management of financial aid which includes scholarships, state and federal grants, and other forms of student financial aid assistance for the Division of Extended Learning which includes School of Continuing Education, Alternative Teacher Certification Program and Online.  Anamaria has over 10 years’ experience in supporting and working with Workforce, Continuing Education programs and student services at Houston Community College.   

 

 

Robert Merino, Dean of Financial Aid, San Jacinto College

Robert Merino has been working at San Jacinto College for over 18 years where he holds the position of Dean of Financial Aid.  He served as the Director of Financial Aid for approximately 8 years. Like most people who work in the financial aid field, Robert started as a student assistant. He worked his way up beginning as a Financial Aid Bookkeeper where he was promoted to Financial Aid Counselor, Associate Director, Director, and currently as a Dean.  Overall, Robert has almost 20 years of experience helping students receive financial assistance.

 

 

Pruthvin Biluve Nagaraj, Senior System Analyst, PTG/Houston Community College

As Senior Systems Analyst, Pruthvin Nagaraj is responsible for development, support and maintenance of Financial Aid PeopleSoft module of Houston Community College System in relation to Packaging, Repackaging, Verifications, authorization, disbursement and troubleshoot user problems to resolve operating difficulties. Mr. Pruthvin Nagaraj has more than 9 years of IT experience with expertise in ERP on Implementation, Customization, Development, support and maintenance of PeopleSoft Campus Solutions, CRM and Finance Applications. Mr. Pruthvin Nagaraj holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electronic & Communications from the Visvesvaraya Technological University, India.

 

 

Elena Olivier, Default Prevention Loan Office, San Jacinto College

Elena Olivier celebrated her 35th year in higher education as of January 2016.  She has held positions in the financial aid department from federal work-study student to financial aid director.  Also, she has worked at a vo-tech school, university, and currently at San Jacinto College.  As of June 2008, she was appointed to be Default Prevention Loan Office at SJC.  Additionally, Elena owns an accounting business, is an adjunct professor at San Jacinto College, and holds credentials for Certified Personal Financial Manager.

 

 

Joel Philistin, Financial Coach, Houston Community College

Joel Philistin has been working as a Financial Coach at Houston Community College (HCC) since January 2014. Prior to joining HCC, Joel worked in both the Banking and Nonprofit industries. In the Banking industry, he learned the importance of credit and good money management skills. In the nonprofit industry, Joel used these skills to help low income entrepreneurs prepare for small business loans and new opportunities. Joel now shares his expertise with students to help them maximize their resources and build strong financial foundations. Joel’s main focus is the importance of budgeting, saving, managing credit, and maintaining good standing with student loans.

 

 

Ignacia Rodriguez, Executive Action Legal Fellow, National Immigration Law Center

Ignacia Rodriguez is the Executive Action Legal Fellow at the National Immigration Law Center. Ignacia engages in legal research, legislative, and administrative advocacy focusing on immigration executive actions. Ignacia also engages in litigation, policy analysis, education, and advocacy to support the integration of low-income immigrant youth and children through access to education. Ignacia’s experience as an activist in the immigrant rights movement and as an undocumented student has led to her devotion to improving the lives of low-income immigrants. She holds an A.A. from Santa Monica College, a B.A. from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law.

 

 

Kathleen Roebuck, Vice President of School Partnerships, FATV

Kathleen has spent her career in the higher education industry working in admissions, financial aid, and representing products related to higher education.  She currently works at FATV helping schools utilize their customized video service and SAP counseling tools.   Prior to this she worked as a lender representative for Academic Finance Corporation and Fleet Education Financing.   She worked in admissions for both the Graduate School of Management at Clark University, and Bay Path College.  It was at Bay Path College that she transitioned over to the world of financial aid.  She served as the Associate Director of Financial Aid at Mount Holyoke College for the majority of her time in aid.  Kathleen lives in Massachusetts with her family.

 

 

Joe Roof, Regional Director, National Student Clearinghouse

Joe Roof has served as a Regional Director of the National Student Clearinghouse since 2007.  Prior to his employment with the Clearinghouse, he spent over 30 years working for three different state colleges in Florida in the area of enrollment management and services.  At this last institution, Daytona State College, he served as Associate Vice President for Enrollment and Senior Provost.  Throughout his higher education career, Joe served in many leadership roles in state, regional and national higher education professional organizations, including serving as President of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, AACRAO, in 2006. 

 

 

Bill Schaub, General Manager HCC Bookstores

Bill began his College Retail career in 1986 and joined Barnes & Noble College in 2009.  Over his lengthy career, Bill has held many store roles; including Textbook Manager, Assistant Store Manager, Store Manager, Regional Manager and now General Manager overseeing the entire Houston Community College operation.  During Bill’s tenure at HCC, he has attracted and hired a seasoned retailing management team, worked with the HCC Instructional Materials Committee to improve first day success and streamlined textbook ordering to ensure materials availability prior to classes starting.  Additionally, under Bill’s direction, the HCC Bookstores have increased web awareness resulting in a 200% increase in online transactions, implemented Registration Integration, offered free shipping to enhance services, increase commencement involvement and more.  Bill holds BS in Biochemistry from Virginia Tech.  

 

 

Debbie Sharp, Manager of Employee and Organizational Development, Houston Community College

As Manager of Employee and Organizational Development, Debbie serves HCC as a member of the Human Resources team.  She brings many years of supervisory, managerial, work process, and organizational development experience to HCC.  A Registered Corporate Coach and Certified Appreciative Inquiry, MBTI and DiSC Facilitator, Debbie enjoys working with teams, administrators, faculty, and staff to enhance their impact on students and our community.  She is also available to facilitate meetings and retreats and to provide customized training solutions for work groups.

 

 

Richard Simonds, Financial Coaching, Family Services

Richard Simonds earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Miami University (OH) in 2004 and his MSW from the University of Houston, Go Coogs, in 2007. He worked with a fortune 500 financial firm for several years before joining Family Services of Houston in 2009. He works closely with the United Way THRIVE and oversees the financial coaching, THRIVE connection and BRIDGE Loan program at Family Services. When not at work, Richard enjoys spending time with his three beautiful kids and playing board games.

 

 

Karessa Shaw, Default Prevention and Financial Literacy, Texas Southern University

Karessa Shaw is originally from Roxboro, North Carolina and moved to Houston, TX last year.  She graduated from the University of NC Greensboro for undergrad and completed her MBA at South University.  Years prior to joining Texas Southern University, Karessa worked for the State Employees’ Credit Union as a Financial Services Representative where she gained her vast knowledge of the financial world. The knowledge and skills followed her to TSU where she works as one half of the Default Prevention Team.  Here she instructs students on financial literacy and the importance of repaying and managing student loan debt.

 

 

James Smith, Temporary Executive Director of Financial Aid, Lone Star College

James R. Smith has 17 years of experience in financial aid at various levels, institutions and regions. James is currently the Temporary Executive Director of Financial Aid for Lone Star College. Prior to this position James has served in the role of System Director-Training and Communication and also as the campus director of financial aid for the Kingwood campus. Prior to coming to Houston James served as the Assistant Director of Financial Aid for the Horry Georgetown Technical College system in Conway, SC. He has also served in the following roles: Director of Financial Aid at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School where he created their financial aid programs and received the institutions first approval from the Department of Education to offer Title IV aid, Assistant Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships at the College of Charleston, and Financial Aid Assistant at Coastal Carolina University.

 

 

JoEllen Soucier, Executive Director of Financial Aid, Houston Community College

JoEllen Soucier has over 28 years of experience working for five colleges/universities in three states and consulted with colleges and universities throughout the US. Hesser College in Manchester as the Executive Director of Student Financial Programs. University of Tampa (UT) as the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management overseeing Admissions, Financial Aid, and Marketing. Franklin Pierce University as the Director of Financial Aid and Interim Director of Institutional Research. Mount Wachusett Community College as the Director of Financial Aid and Registrar. Vice President of Operations for full-service financial aid consulting company working with over 50 colleges and universities providing a variety of consulting and remote processing services.  In July of 2013, JoEllen accepted the position of Executive Director of Financial at Houston Community College. JoEllen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Franklin Pierce University, an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University, a Master’s in Information Systems with a concentration in Database Design from Southern New Hampshire University, and is pursuing a Doctorate’s in Higher Education from Northeastern University.

 

 

Rushka Tcholakova, Program Manager, United Way of Greater Houston

Ruska is program manager of United Way of Greater Houston’s THRIVE initiative, designed to help hard-working families achieve financial independence by increasing income, building savings and acquiring assets. Prior to, Rushka worked in New York in health and human services for five years for a regional policy organization collaborating with leaders from government, academia, business and nonprofits to identify the region’s priorities and foster sustainable policies and programs. She is a graduate of Fordham University’s Administration and Policy Social Work Program with a nomination into the Phi Alpha Honor Society and Phi Kappa Phi.

 

 

Victoria Thomas, Financial Coach, Houston Community College

Victoria Thomas is a Financial Coach with HCC working to ensure that students increase the likelihood of academic success and graduation by advocating responsible financial behaviors and connecting them with opportunities to enrich their quality of life. Before joining HCC she worked for JP Morgan Chase and entities spanning nonprofit, government, and healthcare sectors. Passionate about service leadership and empowering women, she volunteers as a financial literacy educator for the Women’s Resource Group of Greater Houston and serves on the advisory board of the Hummingbird Academy.

 

 

Roy Torrecampo, Senior Systems Analyst, Houston Community College

Roy Torrecampo is a Senior Systems Analyst at Houston Community College. Roy has been a PeopleSoft Developer since 1995. He has been working in a key role with the Information Technology Department at Houston Community College since June 2006 supporting campus solutions. Roy works with all areas of the college including Financial Aid, Student Accounts, Registration, Admissions, and many others.

 

 

Dr. Kristy Vienne, Assistant Vice President for Student Services, Sam Houston State University

Dr. Kristy Vienne currently serves as the Assistant Vice President for Student Services at Sam Houston State University.  Kristy’s areas of responsibility include the Bearkat OneCard Services Office, Student Money Management Center, Research & Assessment for Student Services, and Professional Development.  In addition, Kristy chairs several university wide, annual programs including the Huntsville-Walker County Leadercast, which funds the local Choices Program for Walker County as well as provides scholarships for two high school seniors.  Additionally, Dr. Vienne teaches for the Department of Educational Leadership & Counseling and the First Year Experience program for Sam Houston State.  Kristy is actively involved in the educational and research components of the card profession and the area of financial literacy in higher education, having published in both professional and academic journals on both subject matter.  Her professional affiliations include membership in the Texas Association of College and University Student Personnel Administrators (TACUSPA), Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA), and The Texas Association of Collegiate Financial Education Professionals (TACFEP).  Kristy is also the Co-Chair of the National Conference for the National Association of Campus Card Users (NACCU) and was their National Past-President for the 2014-15 year. Kristy is also on the Board of Directors for NASPA Texas.  Kristy received her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing and Master of Arts in Student Personnel Services at Northwestern State University.  She received her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX in May 2010. Kristy has been married to her husband Charlie for 16 years and they have two children, Jensen and Madilyn.

 

 

Kathy Woods, Associate Director, Relationship Management Higher One, Inc.

Kathy Woods, Associate Director, Relationship Management with Higher One has a long history in higher education. She served the Bursar's office at Texas Woman's University for 36 years and retired as Bursar in May 2013. She has served on various Texas student business committees and organizations. Soon after retirement, Kathy knew that she was not ready for the rocking chair!  In January 2014 she joined Higher One as their Texas region relationship manager.  Student success and customer service are very important to Kathy.  In her current role, she is able to pursue that passion as she works with college and university business offices across the state.

 

 

Zena Williams, Compliance Manager, Houston Community College

In May of 2014, the Financial Aid Department at Houston Community College, to further enhance its efforts maintaining compliance while administering Title IV Aid, added a Compliance Manager to the leadership team.

Zena Williams’s higher education career spans twenty-five (25) plus years.  Zena has served as lead administrator for several program reviews, announced and unannounced, and accreditation visits.  Zena has worked in both proprietary and traditional education.  She also is a Senior Consultant for Sarge Advisors and specializes in organizational operations and development. Zena is currently completing her thesis, “The African American Male Perspective:  A Diverse Experience in Higher Education” and is schedule to receive a Master of Arts in Conflict Management and Resolution in May.

 

 

CONFERENCE FORMS

Registration Information

All financial aid staff members, administrations, and professionals are welcome to attend. Please encourage all available financial aid staff to attend.

It is preferred that attendees register by January 31, 2016 for food planning. Onsite registration will be accepted but limited to space available.

Please complete the Conference Registration Form (coming soon)and choose the submit button. Forms will be emailed to the conference email address. Please send all questions to houston.faconference@hccs.edu or call 713-718-8490. Forms can also be printed and faxed to 713-718-8196. Emailed forms are preferred.