April 25, 2011

Open forums set for financial aid director finalists

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The three finalists for the position of Director of Financial Aid at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will make presentations during open forums on Thursday, April 28.

Finalists for the position include Paula Clendenen, Terri R. Harfst and Cleo Yvonne Morris. All open forum sessions will be in the John C. Guyon Auditorium in Morris Library and members of the campus community are welcome to attend.

Clendenen’s forum will be 11 a.m. to noon. Clendenen, of Carterville, has more than 27 years of experience in the financial aid office at SIUC, where she is currently associate director of Financial Aid Services and Fiscal Manangement. In her current position, Clendenen has handled all staff management responsibilities for financial aid services to students, managed the satisfactory progress appeal process, managed and served as liaison for the student alternative loan program and assisted with various aspects of the financial aid processes,compliance and programs. She has taken a lead role in developing, testing and implementing the new Banner system and related aspects.

Originally employed in the office as a financial aid adviser in August 1982, Clendenen has also served as financial aid coordinator, assistant director of financial aid, assistant director of special projects/summer processing and assistant director of fiscal management/special projects.

She is a double alumna of SIUC with a master’s in workforce education and development and a bachelor’s in education, training and development. She also holds an associate degree in accounting from John A. Logan College. Clendenen has been involved in a variety of committees and organizations at the University and in the community, including the University’s Distance Education Initiative Group and the Banner Implementation Core Team.

The forum for Harfst will be 1-2 p.m. Harfst, of Carterville, has served as the University’s interim director of the financial aid office since October 2010. She has supervised financial aid services for students, provided office leadership with $4 million in fiscal authority and assisted in preparing reports for government agencies and college administration as well as collaborating with other SIUC administrators, deans, department heads and others.

Harfst offers two decades of experience in admissions, financial aid and enrollment management, including holding the position of academic scholarship coordinator for enrollment management, financial aid office and new student admissions from June 1996 until now. She was also interim director of the financial aid office for several months in 2008 and previously served as university tuition waiver coordinator, admission counselor for new student admissions, and marketing assistant for the office of intramural-recreational sports.

Harfst earned her bachelor’s degree in speech communication at SIUC. Her campus service efforts are numerous, including serving on the Lead SI committee since 2007, the Inspiring Women Gala Committee since 2003 and on the Strategic Enrollment Planning Committee.

The forum for Morris will be 9-10 a.m. From Mulkeytown, Morris is a senior financial aid coordinator for the ITT Technical Institute in Arnold, Mo. Holding this position since September 2002, she manages accounts receivables for student accounts, helps develop student enrollment strategies, manages personnel and assists in preparing student financial aid packages. She works with students and other units of the institute to keep abreast of the always-changing area of federal and private student loans and financial assistance.

Morris completed her MBA at the ITT Technical Institute in Carmel, Ind., in 2010 and also holds a bachelor’s in business administration/financial accounting and an associate degree in software application and programming, both from ITT Technical Institute locations in Indianapolis and Newburgh, Ind., respectively.