ILASFAA 2020 2021 Elections

 

Meet the candidates

President-Elect: Michelle Ortiz Wortel / Write In Option

NameMichelle Ortiz Wortel
InstitutionUniversity of Chicago-Law School
Sector Private        
Education BackgroundIllinois State University, Normal, IL Doctorate in Educational Administration and Foundations-Leadership, Equity, and Inquiry Expected Graduation-December 2020
Master of Arts in Educational Leadership in H.E. - Northeastern Illinois University, 2012
B.A., English, Art Minor- Northern Illinois University, 2003
Professional Experience Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, University of Chicago, Law School 
Director of Financial Aid, City Colleges of Chicago-Richard J. Daley College 
Assistant Director of Financial Aid, Northwestern University 
Associate Director, Kellogg School of Management Northwestern University 
Director of Financial Aid, Records & Retention, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago 
Director of Financial Aid-College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago 
Coordinator of IT and Systems Programming, University of Illinois at Chicago 
Financial Aid Associate Director, University of Illinois at Chicago 
Financial Aid Assistant Director, University of Illinois at Chicago 
Financial Aid Advisor, University of Illinois at Chicago 
Financial Aid Advisor, Northern Illinois University  
Professional Activities2004-2005 – ILASFAA Electronic Communications Committee 
2008-2009 – ILASFAA Membership Committee Co-Chair, ILASFAA Diversity Issues Committee 
2009-2010 – ILASFAA Membership Committee Co-Chair, ILASFAA Diversity Issues Committee
2010-2011 – ILASFAA Diversity Issues Committee Chair, ILASFAA Electronic Communications Committee, ILASFAA Membership Committee
2011-2012 – ILASFAA Chicago Regional Coordinator, ILASFAA Diversity Issues Committee, ILASFAA Membership Committee
2012-2013 – ILASFAA Diversity Issues Committee, ILASFAA Membership Committee, ILASFAA Training and Professional Development Committee Co-Chair
2013-2014 – ILASFAA Vice President for Health Professions, ILASFAA Diversity Issues Committee, ILASFAA Legislative Issues Committee, ILASFAA Training and Professional Development Committee
2014-2015 – ILASFAA Vice President for Health Professions, ILASFAA Diversity Issues Committee, Graduate/Professional School Issues Committee
2015-2016 – ILASFAA Electronic Communications Committee Chair, ILASFAA Diversity Issues Committee, Graduate/Professional School Issues Committee, ILASFAA Training and Professional Development Committee
2016-2017 – ILASFAA Event Registration Chair, ILASFAA Diversity Issues Committee, Graduate/Professional School Issues Committee, ILASFAA Training and Professional Development Committee
2017-2018 – ILASFAA Conference Facilities Chair, ILASFAA Diversity Issues Committee, ILASFAA Electronic Communications Committee, Graduate/Professional School Issues Committee, ILASFAA Training and Professional Development Committee
2017-2018 – ILASFAA Diversity Issues Committee, ILASFAA Electronic Communications Committee
2019-2020 – ILASFAA Membership & Research Chair, ILASFAA Facilities Committee
What would you like the membership to know about youI am currently the Director of Financial Aid of the University of Chicago Law School. My university experience spans over 18 years– having also worked at Richard J. Daley College, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Northern Illinois University. I am also heavily invested in higher education, with a Master's Degree in Education Leadership in Higher Education at Northeastern Illinois University.
I am currently pursuing my doctorate at Illinois State University in Educational Administration and Foundations, with a concentration in Leadership, Equity, and Inquiry. I am passionate about education, and hope to pursue research on the impact of student debt at the micro and macro levels.
Outside of my professional career, I am married and the mother of two boys, ages 3 and 9. In my spare time I enjoy reading, music, and art. I am a big fan girl, and wear my Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and Star Wars gear at every opportunity.
  

Exec Vice President: Elyse Weller / Kelly Owens

NameElyse Weller
InstitutionSouthern Illinois University
Sector Public
Education BackgroundMS--Higher Education, SIU, Carbondale
BS--Marketing, SIU, Carbondale
Professional Experience Coordinator of Compliance, Training & Outreach
Financial Aid Advisor
Professional ActivitiesCo-Chair Facilities Committee, 2019-2020 
Southern Regional Coordinator, 2018-2019 
Facilities Committee, 2015-2018 
Training and Professional Development, 2018-2019
Program Committee, 2014-2015
MASFAA Local Arrangement Committee, 2019-2020
What would you like the membership to know about youI am exciting about the possible opportunity to serve as the Executive VP.  I am dedicated to help with the success of ILASFAA.
 
NameKelly Owens
InstitutionElgin Community College
Sector Community College
Education BackgroundI have my Associates of Applied Science in Executive Accounting from Northwestern Business College. I currently work at Elgin Community College and started in the Financial Aid Profession in 2003.
Professional Experience I am currently the Northern Regional Coordinator for 2019-2020. I have also been a co-chair for Training & Professional Development (18/19), have served on the Conference Program Committee for the last 4 years, served on the Awards and the Legislative committees, and have assisted as a moderator.
Professional ActivitiesNorthern Regional Coordinator 2019-2020
Co- chair for Training & Professional Development 2018-2019
Conference Program Committee Member 2019-2020, 2018-2019, 2017-2018, 2016-2017
Awards Committee Member 2015-2016, 2014-2015
Legislative Committee Member 2014-2015
Moderator
What would you like the membership to know about youI am a hard-worker and believe that communication is key to having successful events, work relationships, etc. I am very organized and detail-oriented which helps me see the big picture as well as the little details. I love my job and helping others achieve their dreams. Outside of work, I am Cubmaster and a den leader for my local Cub Scout pack, treasurer for the parent group at my youngest son’s school, assist with my daughter’s Girl Scout troop as needed, and am a committee member for the local Boy Scout Troop.


VP Senior Public: Bobbie Smith / Jen Stout

NameBobbie Smith
InstitutionWestern Illinois University
Sector Public
Education BackgroundMA Public Administration, Western Illinois University
BS Law Enforcement & Justice Administration, Western Illinois University
Professional Experience Associate Director of Financial Aid, WIU, 2016-present 
FA Manager, WIU 2013-2016
FA Coordinator, WIU, 2011-2013
FA Coordinator, Spoon River College, 2008-2011
Professional ActivitiesILASFAA Member 2008-present
ILASFAA-Professional Development Co-Chair 
ILASFAA-Membership Co-Chair 
ILASFAA-Legislative Issues Chair
MASFAA Member, 2019 
School Board Member, 2014-present 
What would you like the membership to know about youI envision ILASFAA being a sourde of expertise for local, state and federal policy makers.  I envision ILASFAA executive leadership to be trusted and valued sources of information to not only policy makers, but to ILASFAA members and professionals in the financial aid profession. 
 
NameJen Stout
InstitutionEastern Illinois University
Sector Public
Education BackgroundMaster of Science, Eastern Illinois University 
Bachelor of Science, Career & Organizational Studies, Eastern Illinois University
Professional Experience Financial Aid Advisor, Manager- Eastern Illinois University, 2009-present  
Financial Aid Clerical, Eastern Illinois University, 2005-2009
Professional ActivitiesILAFAA Co-Chair, Training & Development  2019-20 
Committee Member Event Registration and Facilities, 2018-19
Electronic Communications Chair 2017-18   
Secretary 2015-16 & 2016-17 
Registration Chair 2013-14  
AVECO member
NASFAA member
What would you like the membership to know about youI enjoy working in Financial Aid and helping students achieve their dreams.  I have served in various capacities with ILASFAA for the past 8 years and love being involved in the organization.  My husband and I life in the southern part of the state-Casey, IL and have 3 grown daughters and now we also have 3 wonderful grandsons 1, 2, and 3 year old.  We love to travel and spend time with family. 
 

VP Proprietary: Megan Meyer / Write in Option

NameMegan Meyer
InstitutionChamberlain University
Sector Proprietary
Education BackgroundMBA, Keller Graduate School of Management
BS in Human Resource Management, Northern Illinois University
BS in Marketing, Northern Illinois University
Professional Experience National Manager, Chamberlain University
Business Process Expert, Chamberlain University
Business Process Analyst, Chamberlain University
Team Lead, Adtalem Global Education
Continuing Student Finance Advisor, Adtalem Globel Education
Professional ActivitiesILASFAA Vice President of Proprietary Institutions, 2018-present
Presented at GASGAA Conference 2017 
NASFAA member since 2014
What would you like the membership to know about youHaving worked in financial aid for over 11 years, I have gained knowledge and understanding of financial aid, built lifelong relationships, and gained many friends. Working in financial aid has shown me just how much of an impact we can have on students while they are in school, and even after they are done. Using that experience and understanding the impact I can have, has continued to increase my passion for this career and what I can do to make it better for students, their families and our colleagues.


VP Private Colleges: Tobyn Friar / Sue Swisher

NameTobyn Friar
InstitutionLoyola University Chicago
Sector Private
Education BackgroundSpring Arbor University, MI
Loyola University Chicago, IL
Professional Experience Director of Financial Aid
Military Veteran Student Services
Students Services HUB
Professional ActivitiesMember since 2006
ILASFAA Diversity Issues Committee Member, 2015
ILASFAA Diversity Issues Committee Chair, 2017-2018
ILASFAA Chicago Regional Coordinator, 2018-2019
ILASFAA Vice President for Private Colleges, 2019-Present 
MASFAA Diversity and Inclusion Committee Member 2018--present
MASFAA Advocacy and Legislative Initiatives Committee Member 2018- present
What would you like the membership to know about youAs an innovative leader in higher education, I focus on providing a holistic, high-quality experience for students, parents, and staff that promotes and develops student success. My involvement with ILASFAA and MASFAA has helped me continue to develop my skills as a financial aid administrator and allowed me to better advocate for students. I seek to continue my involvement with ILASFAA as Vice President for Private Colleges and Universities as I am currently completing a term held by a previous ILASFAA member, but would like to continue the work I have started by staying on for an official 2-year term. If elected, I plan to continue to advocate for students and ensure private colleges continue to have a voice at the state, regional, and national level.
 
NameSue Swisher
InstitutionSaint Xavier University
Sector Private
Education BackgroundBA, University of Iowa
Professional Experience Saint Xavier University, Executive Director of Financial Aid, 1994-present
Molly College, Director of Financial Aid, 1990-1994
Benedictine University, Asst. Director of Financial Aid, 1988-1990 
DeVry University, Senior Financial Aid Advisor, 1982-1988
Professional ActivitiesI have previously served ILASFAA, MASFAA and NASFAA in a several leadership roles.  For ILASFAA, I have served as President Elect, President, Past President, Treasurer and Chicago Regional Coordinator.   For MASFAA, I have served at President Elect, President, Past President (3 times), Treasurer and State Representative.  For NASFAA, I have served as the Regional Representative.  In addition, I have chaired and served on multiple committees.  My leadership has been recognized with several awards received by ILASFAA, MASFAA and NASFAA which range from the Sustained Service from ILASFAA to the Presidents and Meritorious Services awards form ILASFAA and MASFAA and Leadership awards from MASFAA and NASFAA.  
What would you like the membership to know about youThank you for the opportunity to represent the Private Sector on the ILASFAA Board.  I have worked in the private sector for over 30 years.  I am excited about the opportunity to return to ILASFAA and bring my leadership experience to the ILASFAA board. 


Treasurer-Elect: Jo Branson / Write in Option

NameJo Branson
InstitutionSpoon River College
Sector Community College
Education BackgroundMaster of Business Administration, WIU, 1997 
Bachelor of Science in Business, WIU, 1995
Professional Experience Director, Financial Aid, Spoon River College 2005 to present
Financial Aid Assistant, Carl Sandburg College February 1998 to November 2005
Professional ActivitiesILASFAA Treasurer, 2019, ILASFAA Vice President Community Colleges 2013-2015, ILASFAA Conference Facilities Chair 2012 and 2013, ILASFAA Secretary 2009-2011, NASFAA Leadership Conference 2009, Electronic Communication Chair 2006 – 2009, Professional Development Committee Member 2005 and 2006, FAAM Committee Member 1998 to 2000, served as Publicity Co-Chair 2000, Registration Committee, 1998 to 2001, Session moderator 1997 to present 
What would you like the membership to know about youAfter being elected as ILASFAA Treasurer-Elect in 2019, I only served a few months as Treasurer-Elect and then took over the Treasurer duties.  After learning the processes, I would like to volunteer to serve ILASFAA again in the capacity of Treasurer.  I have volunteered for many ILASFAA activities throughout the years and enjoy being an active member in the association.


Northern Regional Coord: Nathon Eaton / Jamie Peterson 

NameNathon Eaton
InstitutionMethodist College of Nursing
Sector Health Professions/Private
Education BackgroundBachelor of Science-History-Secondary Education, Illinois State University, 2008
Professional Experience Assistant Director of Financial Aid-Methodist College (11 months) Program
Assistant for Financial Aid-Heartland Community College (7 years)
Professional ActivitiesCo-Chair Conference Program Committee for 2020 Conference 
Participated on Conference Program and Facilities Committees for the 2019 Conference
ILASFAA Member since 2013
What would you like the membership to know about youLike most people in the profession I just happened into financial aid when a full time position became available. Nearly 8 years later I can’t imagine working in another field and look forward to the opportunity to help promote ILASFAA and the collaborative community that we have that helps us all navigate whatever gets thrown at us.  
 
NameJamie Peterson
InstitutionOakton Community College
Sector Community College
Education BackgroundM.Ed. In Higher Education Administration, Loyola University Chicago, 2003 
Bachelor of Art in French, University of Notre Dame, 2001
Professional Experience Manager of Student Financial Assistance, Oakton Community College, October 2009-present
Scholarships & Financial Assistance Coordinator, Oakton Community College, May 2006-October 2009
Professional ActivitiesMASFAA Outstanding New Professional Award, 2007
ILASFAA Outstanding New Professional Award, 2008
ILASFAA President's Award, 2014
ILASFAA Sustained Service Award, 2016
Treasurer 2014-15 & 2017-18
Executive Vice President, 2013-14
Research Chair 2010-11
Northern Regional Coordinator, 2009-10
Training and Professional Development Co-Chair, 2007-08 & 2008-09
What would you like the membership to know about youI am honored to be nominated for the position of Northern Regional Coordinator of ILASFAA and to serve as a representative on the Executive Board.  I have chaired several ILASFAA committees and have served on the Executive Board in prior years.  While I have not recently served in a leadership capacity for ILASFAA, I did participate on the MASFAA Local Arrangements committee helping to plan the fall conference in Chicago.  I am looking forward to renewing my involvement with ILASFAA in the upcoming year.


Chicago Regional Coord: Daniel Matamoros / Write in Option

NameDaniel Matamoros
InstitutionLoyola University Chicago
Sector Private
Education BackgroundUniversity of Dallas (2014) – Bachelor of Arts in Psychology & Philosophy
Universidad de Navarra (2016) – Masters in Marriage and Family Counseling & Therapy
University of Loyola (2020) – Masters in Higher Education
Professional Experience Assistant Director of Financial Aid-Loyola University, Chicago (3 years)
Financial Aid Coordinator-Kaplan University (Purdue Global)-1 year
Office of the Bursar FWS Student-University of Dallas (1 year)
Professional ActivitiesILASFAA August Superhero of the Month--August 2007
Presented on Diversity Issues at ILASFAA Conference 2018 ILASFAA Diversity Issues Committee Chair, 2017-2018
Served as a Panelist for the Gainful Employment Panel at the ILASFAA Conference 2018
Served as a Panelist for the Award Packaging Panel at the ILASFAA Conference 2018 
Served on ILASFAA's Governance Committee 2018
MASFAA Advocacy and Legislative Initiatives Committee Member 2018- present
What would you like the membership to know about youFirst of all, I am incredibly proud of our membership and I love hearing and connecting with fellow representatives from our different communities and institutions as I continue my own personal and professional development. Through my participation with ILASFAA, I look forwards to continue the great and valuable work from others who have served in a similar capacity, honoring their service and dedication as we continue to empower representatives within our profession to do the great quality work that is needed to break down barriers and support college access and support to our diverse students, here in state of Illinois, and beyond. 


Southern Regional Coord: Dawn Kamphaus / Courtney Ruffatti

NameDawn Kamphaus
InstitutionParkland College
Sector Community College
Education BackgroundBachelor of Arts degree, Eastern Illinois University
Associate degree, Parkland College
Professional Experience Financial Aid Advisor, Parkland College, October 2008- present
Financial Aid Assistant, Parkland College, April 2008-October 2008
Professional ActivitiesExecutive Vice President, 2019  
Vice President for Community Colleges, 2017 & 2018
Southern Regional Coordinator, 2015
ILASFAA Conference Facilities Co-Chair, 2013
ILASFAA Conference Program Co-Chair, 2012
ILASFAA Training and Professional Development Co-Chair, 2011
ILASFAA Committee of the Year Award--Training and Development, 2011 
ILASFAA New Professional Award 2011
ILASFAA Leadership Retreat, 2010
What would you like the membership to know about youI have been involved in ILAFSAA my entire financial aid career.  My involvement in ILASFAA has given me lifelong friendships with fellow financial aid administrators and networking and friendships are priceless in our profession.  At times our jobs can be stressful but I always feel I have countless people to fall back on thanks to ILASFAA.  I would be honored to serve the ILASFAA association as Southern Regional Coordinator. 
 
NameCourtney Ruffatti
InstitutionIllinois State University
Sector Public
Education BackgroundBachelor of Science in Accounting, Millikin University, 2015
Master of Science in College Student Personnel Administration, Illinois State University, 2017
Professional Experience Financial Aid Specialist, Illinois State University, March 2017- present
Financial Aid Peer Counselor (Graduate Assistant), May 2015--March 2017
Professional Activities2018-2019 ILASFAA Conference Program Committee member
2019-2020 ILASFAA Conference Program Committee Co-Chair
What would you like the membership to know about youI am motivated by helping students and their families understand and navigate the financial aid process. I enjoy cooking, spending time outdoors, and hanging out with my husband and two-year0old border collie, Remy.