2022 Nominations and Elections Candidates
President Kelli Engelhardt – University of Providence
I began my financial aid career at Great Falls College – Montana State University as a Financial Aid Specialist in 2006. After earning a Master’s Degree in Public Relations, and working in that position for four years, I left the financial aid office and moved to a position at a local hospital in the role of Patient Registration Supervisor. There, I supervised and supported over 40 staff members, but it was not my passion. In September 2011, I returned to financial aid to fill the position of Financial Aid Director at the University of Great Falls – now the University of Providence, a private non-profit institution. I have been in this position since then. I also went on to earn an MBA to add to my educational accomplishments.
I was born and raised in Great Falls, MT. My husband Kenn and I just celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary. Together we have three grown daughters, three granddaughters, one grandson, and three dogs. We just found out we will be adding a 5th grandchild to our family in early December. I was lucky enough to be able to travel the world, as Kenn was in the Air Force for over 26 years. We lived in locations such as Italy and Japan, but also spent many years in Cheyenne, WY as well. We moved back to Montana when Kenn had 2 years remaining in the Air Force. The plan was to move to Pittsburgh, PA (where he is from), but he turned out to be more of a Montana person than he thought he would be!
I did not begin my own education until after I had kids. I was 30 when I started my education journey, and did not receive a bachelors degree until I was 35. I have a lot of respect and passion for helping students achieve their goals, and guiding them in the right direction. There are a lot of things that I know now from being in my position that would have helped me earlier.
I have filled roles in the state association as president (elect and past-president as well), and Member-at-Large. I have served on the Training Committee for RMASFAA. I have been the Registration Co-chair/Chair, a faculty member, and now the Faculty Dean for Summer Institute. So many people in RMASFAA have helped me get to where I am, and it is my turn to give back to the organization. I would love to take the next step and be the President of RMASFAA. I know it will be challenging and take me out of my comfort zone and I still have a lot to learn, but I am also willing to give back whatever I can to continue to make RMASFAA a strong and valued organization for all of us.
Vice-President Brenda Haseman - Northern Wyoming Community College
Since 2013, Brenda is the Scholarship Coordinator for NWCCD – Sheridan, Gillette, and Johnson County campuses. Prior to joining financial aid, she worked at the University of Wyoming in Laramie in the Registrar’s Office, was a faculty admin at George Mason University – Antonin Scalia Law School in Arlington, VA, and was the administrative assistant to the Dean of Students and the Dean of Enrollment at Sheridan College. Brenda graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point in 2002 and earned a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration at the University of Wyoming this May of 2022.
Brenda is the current President of WyASFAA. She served as WyASFAA treasurer from April 2017 to April 2019. She is a 2017 graduate of RMASFAA’s Leadership Pipeline and was a mentor for the Class of 2020. Brenda was Chair for RMASFAA’s Association News Committee in 2017/2018 and is ending her tenure as Leadership Pipeline’s Chair this October 2022.
Brenda enjoys reading, gardening, running, live music, and spending time with her husband Jake and silver lab Izzy.
Prior to joining financial aid in 2013, my work in higher ed was in academics and enrollment services. I hear many of my fellow financial aid counterparts echo the sentiment they just fell into financial aid. I intentionally applied to be Scholarship Coordinator because I wanted a challenge. I wanted to help students with affording college. I enjoy working with students and helping make their educational dreams come true.
I am running for Vice President-elect to get even more involved in RMASFAA. I am trying to find new everyday challenges and ways to get more leadership experience. Going through Leadership Pipeline was my stepping stone to getting out of my comfort zone and the first push to get this introvert to experience new places and meet new people. I truly enjoy making connections on a larger scale and the networking opportunities RMASFAA provides to its members. Being part of a fantastic association that provides so many opportunities for leadership and professional development is what I love about financial aid.
Becky Pribyl – Northern State University
Thank you for nominating me for the Vice President-Elect position. RMASFAA has played an important role in educating me in the financial aid profession and developing me as a leader. I have previously held positions in RMASFAA such as Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee as well as state representative for South Dakota. In SDASFAA, I have served as State President and two terms as Treasurer. I am currently the Director of Financial Aid at Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD, where I have spent my entire career since being hired as a workstudy student. Thank you for this opportunity to take the next step in my financial aid journey.
Jill Robinson – Western Governors University
I am honored to be a nominee for the position of Vice President-Elect of RMASFAA.
My career in financial aid began when I took a position at Brigham Young University (BYU) in 2008. I started working as a Processor for Admissions, Financial Aid, and Scholarships. I oversaw off-campus scholarships and was in charge of hiring and supervising the student employees for our team. I moved into the Process Coordinator role working with communications and website management. I also worked on the Financial Aid Systems team where I specialized in loan processes, problem-solving issues with COD, Return to Title IV, Reconciliation, and was the liaison for internal and external auditors. I moved to Western Governors University (WGU) in 2021. I am currently working with Tuition Discounts, Outside Resources, Scholarships, State Grants, and Income Share Agreements.
I quickly developed a sincere love for this profession, the students, and the state and regional associations. From my first experience at a RMASFAA Conference I felt the comradery and sincerity of the members. RMASFAA feels like a family, and I have made valuable connections and friends. I have had the privilege of serving on the UASFAA and RMASFAA Training Committees, as UASFAA Training Committee Chair, Summer Institute Faculty, and Summer Institute Faculty Dean. I am currently serving on the RMASFAA Conference Committee and as Summer Institute Faculty. RMASFAA’s SI is known as one of the best in the nation and it is through our volunteers and commitment to the profession that it continues to be recognized.
As the RMASFAA Vice President-Elect, my goal will be to continue our tradition of providing amazing opportunities to our membership. I would use my passion for volunteerism and training, as well as my financial experience, to support this association. I would love to be a part of helping RMASFAA continue to serve our members and to navigate the ever-changing landscape of financial aid.
So many people in RMASFAA have helped me get to where I am, and it is my turn to give back to the organization. It would be a great honor to take the next step serving as the Vice President-Elect of RMASFAA.
JJ Dynneson – Flathead Valley Community College
I work for Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell, MT. I have been in financial aid for just under three years and I have really enjoyed my work in the world of financial aid. I am running for Treasurer because I want to become more involved in RMASFAA as a way to give back and to learn about RMASFAA and financial aid in general. This would be a great opportunity and I am excited to be considered.
Daisha Holmes – Johnson County Community College
Hello RMASFAA members, my name is Daisha Holmes. I am a Financial Aid Coordinator at Johnson County Community College. As a part of my position, I coordinate the new Kansas Promise Scholarship. This scholarship provides tuition, books, and supplies for students who are in high-wage and high-demand majors in Kansas. I have been in financial aid for a little over 1 year and I have completely fallen in love with all aspects of the profession. Since I have been in financial aid, I have been involved in many organizations including RMASFAA’s Diversity and Inclusion committee and KASFAA’s outreach committee for which I was awarded KASFAA’s Rising Star Award for 2022. I am excited to continue my volunteerism by running for RMASFAA Treasurer as I am always excited to try new ways to get involved. Service has always been a passion of mine and I truly enjoy taking on new challenges and finding new ways to meet the needs of others.
Matthew Rowell – Western Governors University
My career in Financial Aid began 9 years ago when I started at Western Governors University. Over those years I have held various processing, administrative, auditing, and compliance roles. Currently, I handle both Title IV and HEERF reconciliation and reporting. I have benefited from attendance at UASFAA’s annual conferences, RMASFAA’s summer institute, and NASFAA’s Leadership and Legislative conference and I am seeking to contribute back to our industry in a meaningful way by becoming the new Treasurer-Elect for RMASFAA.
Caroline Bitter – Salt Lake Community College
I am honored to be nominated for Secretary for RMASFAA Board of Directors. I have been actively involved in my state association, UASFAA, as the Professional Development/Training Committee Chair and President. As the Utah State Delegate (UASFAA President) I had the opportunity to be a part of the RMASFAA Board of Directors. This was valuable experience that provided me with opportunities to grow both professionally personally. Being elected as secretary allows me a chance to give back and serve others participating in the opportunities RMASFAA provides.”
Susan Collins – Capitol Beauty School
I am honored to be nominated to run for RMASFAA Secretary. I started in this profession by accident while my family was stationed overseas at Incirlik AB, Turkey as the Senior College Administrator for Central Texas College-Europe in 1996. Returning state-side found me transitioning into a free-lance consulting position with recipients of federal student aid programs until I transitioned back into an in-school position in the clock-hour environment where I found my absolute passion.
Association involvement is very important to me, and once I accepted my current role as Financial Aid Director my immediate task was investing in local, regional and national associations through membership and volunteering. I have been blessed to be the Private Sector Representative for our state association, and as a participant in RMASFAA’s Summer Institute I knew I wanted to get involved on all levels.
Now that I have come to the end of my Private Sector position I seek to continue my service in the regional realm and serve RMASFAA association and our Board as the Secretary. In this position I will work diligently to ensure that the Board is well-prepared for all business meetings through preparation of board reports, accurate recording of meeting minutes and any other tasks that I am assigned.
I would be honored to serve in this capacity and thank you for your consideration.
Associate Member Delegate
Crystal DeLong (Bruntz) – Citizens
Crystal DeLong (Bruntz) is a Vice President, Regional Manager at Citizens. She began her career in financial aid at Fort Hays State University in KS as a work study student back in 2001! After 18 years in aid offices in KS and MO she jumped to the “other side” to continue serving her passion in Higher Ed. Crystal has served in a variety of roles in both state and regional financial aid associations during her 21 years in the industry. The list is long but includes Professional Development Chair, Archives Chair, Newcomer Chair, President, Associate Member Delegate and most recently Summer Institute Chair to name a few.
Why RMASFAA? I love RMASFAA!!! RMASFAA is partly why I am where I am today in my career. Without the involvement I had early on in my career by attending and service on the SI committee I wouldn’t have met so many of the wonderful people I still call friends and colleagues today. Over the years I have had the privilege of meeting and working with several financial aid administrators from all across the region. I would love to have the opportunity to serve the region with my 21 years of experience on different state and regional boards. While representing the other associate members of the organization I can bring a unique perspective as well as ideas from my past. I would love to be an active board member and help RMASFAA accomplish all the goals set forth. I also like to think I’m a pretty fun person……so maybe that’s why RMASFAA would want to consider me!!?!
Jeff Recker – Ascent
I am honored to be nominated for candidacy for the position of Associate Member Delegate of RMASFAA.
I am a twenty-two-year veteran of the lending space. Through these many years I have helped schools solve for solutions and navigate the complexities and ever-changing role that lenders and other vendors have played in helping their students persist, graduate, and succeed in life. The opportunity as Associate Member Delegate with RMASFAA is a natural progression in my maturation as a professional, and the opportunity to pass along the same gratitude that I have realized of the industry.
As a first-generation college graduate, I fully understand the challenges that this population, and other students face. It is amazing how full-circle life becomes. I now have a daughter who is a freshman at Gonzaga University, and another one, who is a Junior in high school, and beginning her search for the right-fit college. It is an exciting time for our family. Being able to serve RMASFAA will allow me to fully engage and recognize the challenges schools face in helping the needs of their students, both now and in the future, providing insight that I can hopefully pass along to others in my profession, and my daughters. I’m hoping I can listen and provide insight to help to solve those challenges.
Thank you for considering my candidacy.