John has over 35 years’ experience working in Financial Aid. He began his career in 1986 working in proprietary education as a Financial Aid Clerk. He became the Director of Financial Aid Training and traveled to Cleveland, New Orleans, and Chicago opening new Financial Aid Offices, hiring and training staff.
John has worked at St. Charles Community College, The University of Texas-Arlington, and South Texas College. He spent the bulk of his career working at Dallas College–the largest undergrad institution in the state of TX with 85,000+ students. In his role of Director of Student Financial Support & Services, he oversaw the offices of Financial Aid, Veterans Affairs, and Rising Star. El Centro was one of two pilot locations for the Rising Star Program–a privately funded program to provide educational assistance to high achieving, low income, mainly undocumented, high school graduates. John assisted with writing and establishing much of the policies and procedures for the program still in place over 20 years later. He served as the Chair of the Financial Aid Directors Council for five years coordinating the efforts of the seven Financial Aid Directors, establishing policies & procedures, as well as working closely with other key departments. While at the Brookhaven Campus, he instituted Financial Literacy Program Fairs open to the public. He also instituted a Financial Aid training program for High School Counselors and a special outreach program to Veterans. John has been an active member of NASFAA, SWASFAA, MASFAP, and TASFAA making several presentations and also served on numerous committees and as a committee chair.
John’s system of record is Ellucian Colleague. He assisted with the yearly set-up & testing of the system.
He has a very strong background in Title IV program administration, scholarship
programs, satisfactory academic progress, customer service, team building, training and staff
development, as well as project management/coordination. He prides himself on the fact that all
of his former Associate Directors moved on to become Directors themselves. One currently
works for the THECB (Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board).
John holds a BS degree in Elementary Education from the University of Nevada-Reno. He
briefly taught first grade. He has always been passionate about assisting students and families
with securing the funding they require to obtain their education and has been a very strong
John and his spouse live in deep South Texas in the Rio Grande Valley with their spoiled rotten
West Highland White Terrier (Westie) and their cat. They are both of Scottish heritage and are
members of four family clans between them. John is the National Vice President for Clan
Mackay Society, USA. They frequently travel to various Scottish Festivals and Highland
Games around the country. They also enjoy going on cruises and have been on approximately
twelve to date. He retired from Dallas College in September of 2021 and was not content to
be idle. He’s happy to be part of The Higher Education Assistance Group.