New-look: Office of Financial Aid prepares to offer more comprehensive student advising

Maureen Logan-Bremer, new director of the Office of Financial Aid

The Office of Financial Aid at SUNY New Paltz is emerging under new direction and equipped with new tools for addressing the needs of students with varied financial needs and concerns.

Chief among the changes is the appointment of a new Financial Aid Director. Maureen Lohan-Bremer ’86 (Photography) ’92g (Educational Administration) steps into that role following the retirement of Daniel Sistarenik, who served as director for nearly three decades.

Lohan-Bremer brings a student-centered approach to the job, and is empathetic to individuals and families who may be intimidated by the complex world of grants, loans and debt.

“We know how overwhelming the financial side of getting an education can be for many students, and we want to be able to help them navigate each step of the process, because we understand decisions they make now can have consequences,” Lohan-Bremer said. “My advice to them is always to be informed. Don’t be afraid to ask for guidance, and remember that your education is a very worthwhile investment.”

Lohan-Bremer, whose career in financial aid began when she was a work study student at New Paltz, had been the Office’s associate director prior to Sistarenik’s retirement. Following her promotion, that role will be assumed by another alumnus, Shaun Hoff ’02 (Management) ’05g (Business Administration).

“SUNY New Paltz is truly fortunate to have veteran professional and support staff to manage the program in light of recent turnover,” said L. David Eaton, vice president of enrollment management. “The College has been able to capitalize on the strength and commitment of continuing staff to fill positions with highly qualified and experienced financial aid professionals. I congratulate them all and look forward to continued excellence in service to our students provided by all of our Financial Aid Office staff.”

Financial Aid also inherits two positions formally housed in the Office of Accounting Services. Esther Val joins the staff as financial aid advisor, and Barbara Windelspecht joins as office assistant. Together, they will work with students regarding loan consolidation, repayment options and other like matters.

“By bringing those services into Financial Aid, we’ll be able to offer more comprehensive counseling when students come in wanting to have a broad conversation about student loans,” Lohan-Bremer said.

Nicole Schmitz ’08 (Sociology) also joins the revamped Financial Aid staff as a financial aid advisor specializing in working with students of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). She takes over for Camille Suckie ’02 (Sociology), who has been promoted to senior aid advisor.

“Things evolve quickly in Financial Aid, and we frequently experience a lot of change,” Lohan-Bremer said. “But that can present a good opportunity to look at our responsibilities and shuffle things around. Luckily we have a long-tenured staff with a great deal of experience meeting those kinds of challenges.”

More information about Financial Aid at SUNY New Paltz can be found online.