Meet the 2019 IFA Faculty:
Michael T. Albano has worked at Vassar College since December 2018. He began his career in financial aid in 2005 after being a work-study student in the financial aid office at his undergraduate institution for three years. Prior to joining Vassar Michael served in a variety of roles at Wesleyan University, Bay Path University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Amherst College.
Michael is active in various capacities within state and national professional associations. He currently serves as a nationally appointed member of the College Board's CSS/Financial Assistance Assembly. Michael is also a graduate of the College Board Enrollment Leadership Academy (ELA) and a proud graduate of the Institute on Financial Aid.
He obtained his bachelor of business administration from Western New England University and a master of education degree in higher education and counseling from Springfield College. He is currently completing a doctor of education (Ed.D.) degree in higher education administration at Northeastern University.
In his spare time Michael is an avid traveler, a fan of all things Broadway, a cook and baker, and loves playing tennis.
Jim’s career in financial aid reaches back forty years. He began as a financial aid counselor at the University of New Haven in 1979, eventually becoming the director in 1984. Jim also served as an assistant director of financial aid at New York University, the director of financial aid at Fairfield University, and a director of student financial services at Columbia University.
In addition to his campus experience, Jim was on the staff of the College Board at its New York City headquarters from 1990-93. During this time, Jim was a member of the College Scholarship Service division and assisted with service to institutions and state agencies. Jim also spent thirteen years working for Sallie Mae as a regional sales manager.
Jim has been very active with financial aid professional associations over the years, serving on numerous committees and task forces. He has been the vice president of CAPFAA and vice president and president of NJASFAA, and is currently the vice president of EASFAA.
Jim has a bachelor of arts degree from Bates College and a master of science degree from the University of New Haven. He lives in northern New Jersey with his wife and several rescue labs. Despite having two artificial hips, Jim exercises regularly, including running (as a testament to his experience running cross-country at Bates College a long time ago).
Wil Casaine has been in higher education for over 25 years.He has held positions in the areas of financial aid, academic advising, and first-year experience programs.
Prior to his current position at TCNJ, Wil held positions at the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) and at Middlesex County College.He has been an active member of the New Jersey Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators since 1989 and has held various leadership positions.
Wil is a graduate of Rutgers University.
Michele has been in financial aid since she was a graduate associate in the financial aid office at Ohio University while studying for her Masters in Education from 1989-1991, back in the dark ages of paper FAFSA forms and Pell grant payment forms that had to have the bubbles filled in before mailing them to CPS.
It was at that time that she discovered that the profession offered her the opportunity to put her psychology degree to work while helping people navigate the complicated world of financial aid, without the pesky commitment to years of therapy being a therapist would involve. It allows her to be creative within the boundaries of federal, state and institutional regulations and policies. From there she went on to work for a 2 year community college, two selective private colleges and now after 19 years as the Director of Student Financial Planning at Lasell College, a small, private college in Newton MA she has just begun as Director of Financial Aid at Oberlin College in Oberlin, OH. She is proud to say that in her years in the profession she has managed to convert several work study students into full-fledged financial aid professionals, including a Business major, a Fashion Design major, a Criminal Justice major and an English major. Training is one of her favorite aspects of the job.