Across America, student debt is very much on the minds of families these days. Given that widespread concern, the Martin Institute will host a round table conversation on the issue featuring U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, State Representatives Claire Cronin '82, Michael Brady, and Michelle DuBois, our own financial aid experts Assistant Vice President for Student Financial Assistance Eileen O’Leary and Assistant Director for Student Financial Assistance Eric Newnum as well as Stonehill students John Figueiredo '16 and Tatiana Andrade '17. The forum will be moderated by Peter Ubertaccio, associate dean for Interdisciplinary Programs and director of the Martin Institute for Law & Society.
Open to the Stonehill community and members of the media, the event will review how this situation developed and explore possible solutions. It will take place in the Martin Institute at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 3.
Warren is recognized as one of the nation's top experts on bankruptcy and the financial pressures facing middle class families. She is widely credited for the original thinking, political courage, and relentless persistence that led to the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Warren was a law professor for more than 30 years, including nearly 20 years as the Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. TIME Magazine has named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world three times, and she has been honored by the Massachusetts Women's Bar Association with the Lelia J. Robinson Award.
Cronin was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives for the Eleventh Plymouth District, which includes both Brockton and Easton, in 2012. Representative Cronin serves as the Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, and also serves on the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, and the House Committee on Post Audit and Oversight.
Last session she served as a member of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, and the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs. She is a graduate of Stonehill College and Suffolk University Law School.
Brady, who also attended Brockton High School, began his career in public service as a member of the Brockton School Committee and went on to serve on the Brockton City Council. In 2008, he was elected to serve as State Representative for the 9th Plymouth District. Now in his fourth term, he currently serves as Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets.
DuBois, also a Brockton native, was elected in 2014 to represent the 10th Plymouth District. She serves on the Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities, the Committee on Public Service, the Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight, and the Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets.
O’Leary has worked in financial aid for nearly 30 years and has served in various state and national positions, including National Chair of the National Direct Student Loan Coalition (NDSLC) and current member of its executive board. She was the NASFAA commission director from 2011-2012, a member of the NASFAA Reimagining Aid Delivery and Design (RADD) Task Force as well as a member of the Award Letter and Consumer Disclosure Task Force, and from, 2001-2006, the Reauthorization Task Force.
In addition, O'Leary has been the President of MASFAA (2000-2001) and a member of the MASFAA Government Relations Committee and its Executive Board. She has served as a non-federal negotiator on two Negotiated Rulemaking series that focused on federal student loan issues, and has presented on financial aid issues to members of the Massachusetts legislature, at U.S. Senate field hearings, as well as other public forums.
Newnum has served as Stonehill's Assistant Director of Loans since 2012. Prior to that, he was the Student Accounts Coordinator for nearly nine years. Figueiredo is an environmental science major at Stonehill while Tatiana Andrade is studying finance. In addition, Andrade serves as an ambassador for SALT, a multifunctional financial education program that supports students and alumni.