2015 MARY O’NEILL MINI GRANT: Erica Tobe & Brenda Long for Starting Over After Foreclosure

Dr. Erica Tobe is an Extension Specialist and fixed term Assistant Professor for Michigan State University. She holds a BS in Family and Consumer Resources, Masters in Clinical Social Work, and Ph.D. in Lifespan Human Development and Family Diversity, all from Michigan State University. Her primary programming responsibilities include research and curriculum development support for the Greening Michigan Institute and the Financial and Home Ownership Education team.

Brenda Long, Senior Extension Educator, served as the Family and Consumer Sciences Educator in Ionia County from 2002 until the Michigan State University Extension restructuring in 2010, when Long’s responsibilities expanded to seven mid-Michigan counties. Long is responsible for planning, promoting, conducting and evaluating educational programs in financial capacity, home buyer, foreclosure prevention and health insurance education.


Patsy Collins is the Director of the Student Money Management Center (SMMC) at Sam Houston State University. She received a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration from Sam Houston. Patsy served in the financial aid department as the Senior Counselor for six years. In June, 2013, Patsy became the Director of the SMMC.


Luke Erickson completed a bachelor’s degree in economics from Brigham Young University, a masters degree in consumer science from Utah State University, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in instructional design from Idaho State University. Luke is an Associate Professor of Personal Finance for University of Idaho Extension. He is an Accredited Financial Counselor®(AFC®) and the co-leader of the Northwest Youth Financial Education initiative.


Ryan H. Law is Professor in Residence at Utah Valley University (UVU) in the Personal Financial Planning Program. He is also the Director of the Utah Valley University Financial Planning Office, UVU’s student money management center. Prior to teaching at UVU Ryan taught at the University of Missouri for five years. Ryan received his undergraduate degree from Utah State University in Family and Consumer Sciences, with an emphasis in Family Finance. He received his Master’s degree in Personal Financial Planning from Texas Tech University. He is an Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC®) and a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®).

OUTSTANDING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM: IU MoneySmart$ (Phil Schuman and Morgan McMillan).

Phil Schuman serves as Director of Financial Literacy at Indiana University, managing the IU MoneySmart$ financial education program. Phil is the founder of Indiana University’s MoneySmarts Team. He graduated with an MBA from Indiana University and a BA in Psychology from DePauw University.

Morgan McMillan serves as the Assistant Director of the Office Financial Literacy at Indiana University and is the Office liaison to IU’s eight campuses. Her role is to coordinate programming initiatives. Morgan graduated with an MEd in Student Affairs from the University of Maryland-College Park and a BS in Journalism from Northwestern University.

OUTSTANDING FINANCIAL COUNSELING AND/OR PLANNING CENTER: University of Utah Personal Money Management Center (Ann House)

Ann House is a personal financial counselor and educator. She works at the University of Utah as the Coordinator of the Personal Money Management Center. She has been an educator and public policy advocate for 33 years. She has managed project grants associated with public education of adults and youth in the areas of personal financial management and micro-economics. She is a published author and serves the community through many partnerships.

OUTSTANDING RESEARCH JOURNAL ARTICLE OF THE YEAR: “Factors Associated with Getting and Dropping Financial Advisors Among Older Adults: Evidence from Longitudinal Data” Benjamin F. Cummings, Ph.D., CFP, Saint Joseph’s University and Russell N. James, III, J.D., Ph.D., CFP, Texas Tech University

Benjamin F. Cummings, Ph.D., CFP® is an assistant professor in the Finance Department at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA. While at Texas Tech, he volunteered as a Red to Black® financial counselor. Previously, Benjamin was the Scholar in Residence at CFP Board and also worked as a Summer Associate for FJY Financial, a fee-only financial planning firm in Northern Virginia.

Russell N. James, III, J.D., Ph.D., CFP® is a professor, CH Foundation Chair in Personal Financial Planning, and the Director of Graduate Studies in Charitable Planning at Texas Tech University. Russel is internationally known for his research on charitable giving.

OUTSTANDING CONFERENCE PAPER: “Financial Sophistication and the Credit Card Puzzle” Sandra Huston, Ph.D., Texas Tech University & Laura Ricaldi, Ph.D., Utah Valley University

Sandra J. Huston is an associate professor and director of the Personal Finance program in the department of Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech University. She received a Ph.D. in consumer economics from the University of MissouriColumbia. Dr. Huston’s research interests focus on human capital specifically related to personal finance and the financial planning process including financial literacy, household use of financial advice, and the impact of financial sophistication on resource allocation within household portfolios.

Laura C. Ricaldi is an assistant professor in the Personal Financial Planning Program in the Woodbury School of Business at Utah Valley University. She received a Ph.D. in Personal Financial Planning and a MBA in Management from Texas Tech University. Her research interests include credit card use, debit card use, financial literacy, gender issues and generational cohorts. She enjoys working on financial planning research that directly impacts financial planning practitioners as well as extending the applications to the community in Utah.

DISTINGUISHED FELLOW AWARD in memory of Celia Hayhoe: Jean Lown, PhD

Jean Lown, PhD was a founding member of AFCPE, attending preliminary organizational meetings at Brigham Young University in 1983 and at Iowa State University in 1984 when AFCPE was formalized. Her involvement in AFCPE has been going strong ever since. She has encouraged and financially supported dozens of students to attend the AFCPE conference over the years and has brought Utah State University students to every conference since 1994.

She has been a recipient of two AFCPE Awards, including the Mary Ellen Edmondson Educator of the Year and the Outstanding Journal Paper award. But her commitment to and involvement with AFCPE is not limited to conferences. She has served two terms on the AFCPE board and has also served on the editorial board of the Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning and published 11 articles in the same journal.

In the last year, Jean founded the research task force, building the foundation upon which the theme of this year’s symposium originated. Her work in the field and within AFCPE embodies the bridge we are building.

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