Meet the Candidates

MASFAA 2021-2022 Candidates


President Elect:
Amy Staffier

Secretary: Kim Oikle

Member at Large- 4 Year Public: Gregory Chick, Korinne Peterson, Michelle Smith

Member at Large- 2 Year Public: Amy Belina

Associate Member at Large: Donna Shelby

Member At Large- General: Lauren Sullivan

Position descriptions and information can be found here.

Amy Staffier

President-Elect Candidate

Candidacy Statement:

I am honored to have been nominated for the position of President Elect of MASFAA’s executive council.  Personally and professionally, I am driven to do as much as I can in order to be of service to those around me.  Combining my drive for service and passion for financial aid and financial education I have spent the last 24 years helping families navigate the financial aid process holding to the idea that every person should be able to afford to pursue their path to a degree in higher education.

I spent the first 21 years of my career working in the Admission and Financial Aid Office at Harvard College.  My final role as “Associate Director of Financial Aid, Admission Officer, and University Director of the Federal Workstudy program” provided me with a robust portfolio of responsibility and keen understanding of the admission and financial aid process from prospective student to accepted student to student worker – and everything in between.

Almost three years ago I took on the role of Director of Financial Aid at Simmons University.  I have had the opportunity to help build and work alongside a dedicated staff who come to the office each day understanding that “we are at our best when our students are first” a core value that supports the mission of our office – “To support students pursuing a Simmons education through financing, financial education, and exceptional customer service.”

Professional Involvement:

MASFAA – I first become involved in MASFAA at the beginning of my career, attending trainings and conferences.  I joined the PD&T committee and enjoyed the work but pulled back, out of necessity when I had 2 children and went to a reduced schedule in the office in order to care for my girls.  When I left, I knew in my heart that one day I would find my way back to being more involved.  The “one day” happened when I was back working full time and offered to join the FAFSADay committee as Tri-Chair.  I am in my third year and it has been awesome to be involved in coordinating that effort.

FAFSAday – Prior to taking on a Tri-Chair role, I spent about 6+ years volunteering as a presenter at the Wakefield site.  Extremely rewarding work particularly when helping families that may be first gen, low income, undocumented, ESL.  You can see on their face how grateful they are to receive guidance in the process of filling out the FAFSA form.

MEFA Counselor– For the past 20+ years I have volunteered my time (on behalf of mefa) to speak at local high schools “financial aid nights” for parents and students of juniors and seniors.  This has also extremely rewarding work.  We all know how confusing and scary the process is and to be able to teach, encourage and alleviate some fears is worth the time spent, twofold.

College Board New England Regional Council Member – Entering year 2 as a representative for regional College Board members, bringing to the table suggestions, issues and ideas regarding College Board Programs and Services.

Faculty at The College Board/Harvard Summer Institute on College Admission – Along with other faculty, leaders in the field of admission, financial aid and education, we offer sessions during the week long institute.

Kim Oikle

Secretary Candidate

Candidacy Statement:

It is an honor to have been nominated to serve as MASFAA Secretary for the 2021-2022 academic year.
I have worked in higher education for almost 17 years. The past 13 years I have been a financial aid counselor at Worcester State University. As a member of MASFAA, I have had the opportunity to attend/participate in many financial aid training sessions and conferences. I am currently a member of the Financial Wellness Committee. It is because of the MASFAA organization that I have been able to utilize the skills and knowledge obtained throughout the years to enhance and expand my professional development. The MASFAA organization is an integral part of the financial aid community due to its sharing of resources and its tireless effort of volunteers that contribute to its success. If appointed MASFAA Secretary, I commit to performing all secretarial duties and responsibilities to the best of my ability and as noted in the MASFAA By-Laws in Article III, Section 5. I look forward to being an integral part of this relevant organization.

Bio:

Current Position:
October 2008-Present Financial Aid Counselor
Worcester State University
Previous Positions:
9/2004-3/2008 Financial Aid Support Staff
Worcester State University
3/2008-10/2008 Administrative Assistant III, Zoning Board of Appeals
Town of Framingham, MA.
Education: B. A Business Administration, Magna Cum Laude
Worcester State University, 2007
Summary of Professional Activities:
MASFAA 9/2008-present Member, MASFAA
1/2016-11/2019 Volunteer, MASFAA FAFSA Day
6/2019- present Member, Financial Wellness Committee
EASFAA 3/2019-present Member, EASFAA
Worcester State University 2/2019- present Advisor, InterVarsity    Christian Fellowship Club
9/2019- present Member, First Generation Working Group
1/2021-2/2021 Volunteer, Woo Sox Drive Through Food Pantry
3/2021 Volunteer, Saint Vincent Hospital Covid-19 Vaccine

Gregory Chick

Member At Large- 4 Year Public

Candidacy Statement:

Greg Chick has been a financial aid professional for over 10 years. He has worked in many areas of the industry – front line customer service, student and parent counseling, fund management, loan reconciliation, aid appeals, and everything in between. Today he works at the University of Massachusetts Boston where he manages the technical operations of the office. At Boston’s premiere public research university, he has seen first-hand the transformation public higher education provides students and recognizes the need to broaden access and opportunity for everyone. For fun, he is researching the connection between student loans and social mobility in his PhD Program at UMB through econometric analysis of national datasets. Greg has been involved with MASFAA since the beginning of his career, winning the 2014 Volunteer of the Year and 2016 Presidential Awards and helped lead the Technology Committee for a number of years. He hopes to contribute his experience and insights to the Executive Council in the interests of the public higher education students he serves.

Korinne Peterson

Member At Large- 4 Year Public

Candidacy Statement:

I am running for the four-year public position because I want to continue to serve the financial aid community. I have spent the last two years working with the members of the MASFAA executive counsel to offer and participate in learning opportunities including the MASFAA COVID-19 panel and supporting up and coming members of the aid profession by taking part in the MASFAA Leadership Academy. Even as COVID stifled some of the MASFAA executive board plans and programming, I look forward to helping MASFAA rebuild many face to face learning and networking opportunities.

Bio:

Thank you for the opportunity to run for MASFAA Member at Large.  This organization has been an invaluable resource throughout my career with training and networking.

Currently, I am the Director of Financial Aid at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.  Over the past 15 years, I have held various positions at Pratt Institute, Barnard College, San Francisco Art Institute, and New England Institute of Technology. With my experience at public, and private 4 years schools, I feel that I can represent the needs of all of MASFAA’s members.

I received my B.S. from New England Institute of Technology and my M.S. from Southern New Hampshire University.

Michelle Smith

Member At Large- 4 Year Public

Candidacy Statement:

I am excited and honored to be considered for the position of Delegate at Large for the Public 4 Year on MASFAA Executive Council. I have been a financial aid professional since 1992 and during my career I have worked for various types of schools; proprietary, private and public institutions.  Since 2011 I have held the position of Senior Associate Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships at UMass Lowell.  My professional goals align well with UMass Lowell as we both seek to bring quality and affordable education to a diverse population. My career has provided me a unique perspective of financial aid and has helped me meet so many amazing, hard-working colleagues.  While each institution approaches our profession from a different prospective and passion, we all work towards the same goal of helping people obtain an education and a better future.

I would like to be part of MASFAA again after a decade+ hiatus as I feel this organization’s commitment to excellence and serving students in higher education has been inspiring.  Thank you for your consideration.

Amy Belina

Member At Large- 2 Year Public

Candidacy Statement:  

My name is Amy Belina and I have over 15 years of expertise in financial aid.  I started my career at Westfield State University, and moved on to Springfield Technical Community College and Holyoke Community College.  I am currently the Associate Director of Financial Aid at Springfield Technical Community College.

I am excited for the opportunity to be running for Executive Council Member at Large/2 year.  This role is a familiar one as I served in this capacity from 2017-2019.

I have been a member of MASFAA since 2003.  I have been actively involved in the organization by serving on the Conference Committee, served as a Site Coordinator for FAFSA Day, and most recently served on Executive Council.  I have enjoyed these opportunities immensely.  MASFAA is an important part of our profession and if elected, I look forward to continued collaboration with my fellow colleagues about the ever-changing world of financial aid we find ourselves in.

My education includes an Associate’s Degree from Holyoke Community College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Westfield State University, and a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from Bay Path University.

I feel my experience working in both the four-year and two-year public college sector would benefit me as Member at Large/2 year on the Executive Council Committee.  Thank you for your consideration.

Bio:

  • Staff Assistant, Financial Aid, Westfield State University, 2003-2008
  • Financial Aid Counselor, Springfield Technical Community College, 2008-2011
  • Senior Financial Aid Counselor, Springfield Technical Community College, 2011-2014
  • Associate Director of Financial Aid, Holyoke Community College, 2014-2016
  • Associate Director of Financial Aid, Springfield Technical Community College, 2016-Present

Donna Shelby

Associate Member at Large

Candidacy Statement:

As the Development Chair / Associate Member at Large my goal is to work in tandem with the MASFAA Executive Council to generate revenue that will fund MASFAA’s services and activities and to help build a financially sound and successful Association.  At the same time, I promise to fairly represent the agencies and organizations that are considered Associate Members.  I will work to ensure that MASFAA sponsorship cost is fair and provides all associate supporters with a voice and an excellent opportunity to further develop business relationships with MASFAA members.

Bio:

Donna Shelby is a Vice President at Citizens and has been on their Student Lending team for 25 years.  Her career in Education Finance includes various leadership roles at Citizens and prior to that she worked for a State Guarantee Agency and a Student Loan Servicer.  Her current role with Citizens as a Relationship Manager focuses on working with Colleges and Universities in New England to provide information on affordable ways for families to finance an education.  Donna resides in New Hampshire with her husband where they love to spend their time enjoying outdoor activities in the state’s seacoast, mountain, and lakes regions.

Lauren Sullivan

Member At Large- General

Candidacy Statement:

After starting out in the travel industry, where I worked through the recession, I found myself looking for something more fulfilling and set my sights on higher education. I landed an Assistant Director role at Boston University and it was an immediate fit. After 5 years with the BU team, having received some truly excellent training, I moved on to Bentley University, first as an Associate Director and currently as the Director of Financial Assistance.

I’ve worked with diligent and compassionate colleagues throughout my time in financial aid and have appreciated the continuous support of my direct team members and the networks I’ve connected with, like MASFAA. Additionally, I’ve greatly enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity MASFAA has given me to participate in the Professional Development & Training committee, where I’ve served as a co-chair for the past 3 years organizing programs like Just the FACTS! and annual tax trainings. I was also the recent recipient of the 2020 Presidential Award for my work with MASFAA and this great group.

In submitting my bid for the Member at Large General position, I hope to continue to support MASFAA and its members in a new capacity for the next 2 years and hope to encourage others to join in the support of our association through volunteerism.