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Our committees are always looking for additional volunteers.

It's a great way to get to know your fellow aid administrators in Rhode Island.

Most committees only meet a few times per year and the time commitment is very small.

Technology Committee

The Technology Committee will maintain the RIAFAA website, set up registration and presentations for webinars, and other technical related tasks as needed.



Melissa Donahue, RISD

Natalie Wong, Salve Regina

Brock Walsh, Salve Regina

Francesca Savella, Brown

FAFSA High School Info Nights


The association offers high schools in Rhode Island the opportunity to have an active RIASFAA member visit the high school to present on filing the FAFSA application, learning how financial aid is determined, and what it means to accept financial aid. The presentation in is conjunction with the Dept. of Education.


High schools interested in participating should contact the below committee chairperson to schedule a date/time for presentation. The chairperson will then assign an active member to attend. There is a $50 one-time payment due (check) to the presenter for their time. Presentations are typically 60-90 minutes long.



Allen Cowett, College Unbound

Matt Davis, Brown

Gina Rigby, Roger Williams

Government Relations & Advocacy Committee

The Government Relations and Advocacy Committee organizes and creates networking partnerships with state officials to remain aware on the most current topics effecting Higher Education and Financial Aid, along with working to promote further access to affordable education for Rhode Island students and families.


Government Advocacy Committee:

Melissa Donahue, RISD - Chair

​Josephine Okunola, Brown

Brock Walsh, Salve Regina

Conference Committee

The Conference Committee organizes the fall conference each year. The committee is responsible for the development of topics, securing speakers, managing logistics, and creation of printed materials for each conference.


Conference Committee​:

Kelly Morrissey, CCRI- Chair

Allen Cowett, College Unbound - Vice Chair

Jeff Bentley, Citizens Bank

Matt Davis, Brown

Julie Lawton, Cognition Financial

Gina Rigby, RWU

Lisa Talbot, Sallie Mae

Gail Walker, RISLA

Anna Kelly, NEIT

Jennifer Burke, RIC

Membership & Nominations Committee

The Nominations Committee works to ensure member involvement in the elections process and development of the Executive Board. The Nominations Committee notifies members of upcoming elections, gathers nominations, and distributes information about the nominated individuals to all members prior to voting at the June conference.


Membership/Nominations Committee:

Melissa Donahue, RISD - Chair

Matt Davis, Brown

Francesca Savella, Brown

Scholarship Committee

The Scholarship Committee organizes the annual awarding of the Horace J "Harry" Amaral Scholarship and the Senator Claiborne Pell Scholarship. RIASFAA will award one $500 Horace J "Harry" Amaral Scholarship and one $500 Senator Claiborne Pell Scholarship. Eligible students will submit a completed application and essay to the Scholarship Committee by the established deadline.


Scholarship Committee:

Matt Davis, Brown

Carissa Frazier, Brown​

Pat Simonelli, JWU

Gail Walker, RISLA

Anna Kelly, NEIT

Gina Rigby, Roger Williams

​Marla Pearsall, Brown

Development Committee

The Development Committee researches and outreaches to various vendors and Higher Education partners in an effort to create and maintain relationships with the RIASFAA organization.


Development Committee:

Jennifer Sommerman, College Ave - Chair

Finance Committee


The Finance Committee oversees past and present budgets of the association in an effort to maintain records, make improvements, and remain fiscally responsible/aware.


Finance Committee:

Brock Walsh, Salve Regina

Jason Martin, PC

Ed Maroney, Bryant

Patricia Simonelli, JWU

Training & Professional Development Committee


The Training and Professional Development Committee researches, organizes, and plans professional development and training opportunities to be offered to active members throughout the year. Offerings include webinars, in-person events for financial aid professionals and administrative support staff, EASFAA and NASFAA credential trainings, and other opportunities as they may become available.


Training & Professional Development Committee:

Lisa Talbot, Sallie Mae - Chair

Melissa Donahue, RISD

Gina Rigby, Roger Williams

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