2019 MASFAA Conference Speakers


Maura Thomas

Maura Thomas is an award-winning international speaker and trainer on productivity and work-life balance, and the most widely-cited expert on attention management. Her clients include the likes of Old Navy, the American Heart Association, L’Oreal, and the U.S. Army. She is a TEDx Speaker, founder of Regain Your Time (established 2003), author of three books, and a staple in business media including the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Fortune, and Harvard Business Review, and she was named a Top Speaker for 2018 in Inc. Magazine. Prior to founding her business, Maura got her start right out of college at a paper-based planner company, working her way up to Director of Marketing before leaving after almost a decade to start her business.

More: maurathomas.com/about


Dr. Patricia A. Marshall

Dr. Marshall holds a BA from Colby College and a Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies from Brown University. Prior to serving as the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Worcester State University, she was the founding Chair of the Department of World Languages and held a tenured appointment as an Associate Professor of Spanish.  Dr. Marshall attended Upward Bound at the University of Maine Orono and received services from Educational Talent Search when she was in middle school and high school. Additionally, she is a founding board member of MassEdCO, a statewide network of service sites that works with economically and educationally disadvantaged students.  In her current role as Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs and Student Success, Dr. Marshall serves as the Chief Academic Officer for the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.  In this role, she is staff to the Board of HigherEducation’s Academic Affairs Committee, oversees academic program approval for public as well as independent colleges and universities operating in Massachusetts, and serves as the liaison to the ChiefAcademic Officers at the state’s public institutions of higher education.  Dr. Marshall oversees several initiatives focused on advancing the equity agenda in Massachusetts, including 100 Males to College,  Early College and Dual Enrollment, STEM Starter Academy, Teacher Preparation, Developmental Education Reform, Open Educational Resources, MassTransfer, Student Learning Outcomes Assessment, and Civic Learning and Engagement.  


Marie Johnson

Marie Johnson is the Director of Student Financial Services at the University of Vermont overseeing the bursar functions, financial aid, scholarship administration and student employment. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from UVM. She has worked in higher education finance for twenty-eight years, gaining extensive experience in student aid and receivables.  Marie is currently the President of the Eastern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (EASFAA). She has served EASFAA in various capacities, having chaired the Multicultural and Diversity Committee, Membership Committee, serving on the 2017 & 2018 Conference Committees.  She has served as Secretary for the Vermont Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (VASFAA) and is the listserv administrator. She served a four year term as a Steering Committee member for the Coalition of State University Aid Administrators (COSUAA) and was a member (NASFAA) 2017 Conference Task Force.


Betsy Mayotte

Betsy is the President and Founder of The Institute of Student Loan Advisors (TISLA). She has been working in the student loan industry doing compliance and advocacy work for over 20 years and has helped thousands of borrowers with their student loans. Most recently, she has spent the last 18 years working for American Student Assistance®, a Boston-based nonprofit organization with 60 years’ experience helping people make better decisions about financing their education and repaying student loans.  Betsy has served as a primary negotiator for several federal Title IV negotiated rulemaking sessions on topics such as the use of student loans at foreign schools, loan rehabilitation and borrower defense to repayment. In addition, Mayotte frequently conducts regulatory trainings for the higher education financing industry both in the United States and as far away as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. She is regularly quoted in the media on student loan issues and was a frequent contributor to U.S. News and World Report’s The Student Loan Ranger blog Betsy was born and raised in Lowell, MA and currently lives in Plymouth, MA.

More: freestudentloanadvice.org/