December 01, 2015

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Dec. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Each year, professional members of the Association for Financial Counseling & Education® (AFCPE®) nominate fellow financial educators, researchers and practitioners who represent the great work happening in the field of personal finance. “We are pleased to recognize the exceptional work done this year in financial counseling and education. This year’s award winners represent innovation, expertise and leadership. Their work helps us set the standard and shape the future of the field,” said AFCPE Executive Director, Rebecca Wiggins.

Distinguished Fellow Award: Jean Lown, Utah State University
This award recognizes significant and long-lasting contributions made to AFCPE over the organization’s history. Jean Lown, a founding member of AFCPE, has made significant impact in our organization, in the classroom, and in the development of emerging leaders within our field.

Mary Ellen Edmondson Educator of the Year: Ryan Law, Professor Utah Valley University
In the last 5 years, Ryan has taught more than 25,000 students to better manage their finances as both an educator and the head of the University of Missouri’s Office for Financial Success. He has also provided guidance and materials to help others start student money management centers nationwide.

Consumer Financial Information Award: University of Idaho Extension’s Northwest Youth Financial Education Initiative, Luke Erickson and Lyle Hansen
This unique initiative provides innovative instructor support materials to be used by financial counselors and planners with youth ages 8-18. Counselors use the games in order to present financial concepts in an engaging and memorable way. Information and materials are available on the web, at no cost to consumers.

Outstanding Educational Program: IU MoneySmart$, Phil Schuman and Morgan McMillan
Through a program that is both innovative and fun, the Office of Financial Literacy’s IU MoneySmarts initiative has made talking finances approachable to students. In the first two years of implementation, the Office of Financial Literacy has been credited with decreasing student loan borrowing at Indiana University by 16% (or $44 Million).

Outstanding Financial Counseling and/or Planning Center: University of Utah Personal Money Management Center, Ann House
Under Ann’s guidance, the Utah Personal Money Management Center reaches more than 20,000 students each semester. The center received the award because of their unique ability to collaborate with campus and community partners, their accessible and creative outreach to students and their focus on a variety of delivery systems to meet the needs and learning styles of a diverse campus of students.

Financial Counselor of the Year: Patsy CollinsSam Houston State University
Patsy firmly believes that college graduates should not have to live paycheck to paycheck. They should thrive! Under her leadership and innovation, coaches at the Student Money Management Center work tirelessly with students to teach them how to align their personal budgets along with their personal and professional goals.

Outstanding Conference Paper Award: Saundra HustonTexas Tech University & Laura C. Ricaldi, Utah Valley University for “Financial Sophistication and the Credit Card Debt Puzzle”

Outstanding Research Journal Article of the Year: Benjamin Cummings and Russell James
For “Factors Associated with Getting and Dropping Financial Advisors Among Older Adults: Evidence from Longitudinal Data” (JFCP, Vol 25, Issue 2)

Award winners were honored in a ceremony at the 2015 AFCPE Symposium. To learn more visit

About AFCPE®

The Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®) is a non-profit, professional organization dedicated to educating, training, and certificating financial counselors, educators, and other related professionals. We are uniquely built upon decades of extensive field research, out of which our nationally recognized certification programs were created. AFCPE’s certification marks represent the highest standards of excellence in the field of financial counseling and education.

Rachael DeLeon, Communications Director

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