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Financial Aid Project Team Formed and Kickoff Held

The project to implement a new financial aid system for our university continues to make progress. Shortly after receiving approval from leadership to move forward with the project and then forming the project’s steering committee, the project team was formed and a project kickoff held.

Gathering the Project Team

The Financial Aid Project team are the individuals who do the work of the project, from start to finish. The team is responsible for ensuring successful project and change management planning and execution and for making decisions, setting priorities, and managing risk and escalation.

The project team is composed of two main groups: 1) a core team of project management, change management, and technical and business owners and 2) an extended team, who are kept apprised of the project and consulted as needed, but are not involved in routine teamwork for the project. We are thankful to our core and extended team members:

Core Project Team

  • Courtney Aguila, Graduate Financial Support Unit (FSU)
  • Jon Benefeld, School of Medicine
  • Rosie Castañeda, Financial Aid & Scholarships (FAS)
  • Ana Corral, FAS Systems Team
  • Sara Danford, Project Change Manager
  • Elvee Froehlich, School of Medicine
  • Cindy Hsu, Change Practitioner
  • Jessica Jacobs, School of Medicine
  • Tom Kock, FAS Systems Team
  • Mike Lane, FAS Systems Team
  • Cindy Lyons, Change Lead
  • Laura McElroy, FAS Systems Team
  • Stewart McMaken, IT Services
  • Barbara Romero, FAS Systems Team
  • Sowmya Sekar, IT Services
  • Brian Smith, Project Manager
  • Jeremy A Snyder, FAS Systems Team
  • Scott Steckbauer, IT Services
  • Tiffany Swiderski, Graduate FSU
  • Hanna Van Etten, Graduate FSU
  • Jonathan Whitman, Solutions Architect

Extended Project Team

  • Andrew Kaplan, Extended Studies
  • Shannon Crawford, IT Services
  • Chuck Rose, IT Services
  • Bill Sweetman, IT Services

Officially Starting the Project

Although project subject matter experts have long been preparing for this project with current state process mapping and requirements gathering, the Financial Aid Project officially kicked off on July 14, 2022. In attendance at the kickoff were the project’s core and extended teams, the steering committee, stakeholders who helped to develop readiness criteria or otherwise prepare for the start of the project, and the SIS Project team.

At the kickoff, the teams discussed:

  • Project impact
  • Project risks, dependencies, and opportunities
  • Project history and timeline
  • Roles and responsibilities for the steering committee and the project team, as well as the SIS Project team and governance in relation to the Financial Aid Project
  • Decision making, including when decisions must be escalated to the project steering committee or the SIS governance committee

A recording of the kickoff is available to view for anyone in the campus community who  may be interested in learning more about the project or any of the above project topics.

Next Steps

Now that the project has officially started, the project team will turn its focus to learning the new system by attending trainings, bringing  a consulting firm onboard to act as a “guide on the side” for the implementation, and then holding design sessions to begin creating future state processes that leverage all of the new features that Oracle Student Financial Planning will provide to the university and its staff and students.

Category: Student & Faculty, News