The expert staff on our School Support Team are committed to MEFA’s mission of making higher education more accessible and affordable in Massachusetts.

Martha Savery

Director of Public Affairs and Communications

Martha joined MEFA in 2006 after spending 10 years at Nellie Mae and Sallie Mae, where she served in a variety of capacities. Prior to that, she directed Admissions and Financial Aid offices at MGH Institute of Health Professions, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Fitchburg State University. She has been involved in MASFAA as a member of both the Executive Council and the Early Awareness Committee.

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Julie Shields-Rutyna

Director of College Planning

Julie joined MEFA in 2007 and in her role provides expertise related to planning, saving, and paying for college to families, colleges, and other organizations. Prior to joining MEFA, Julie worked for the College Board, Nellie Mae, and American Express, and was the Director of Financial Aid at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Julie has been involved with MASFAA in a variety of positions and committees since 1993. She holds degrees from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge.

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Stephanie L. Wells

Director of Community Outreach

Stephanie joined MEFA in 2001 and has more than 20 years of experience in higher education financing. She works with colleges, high schools, and community-based organizations to educate and support families on college enrollment and financing, and she is co-chair of the MASFAA Government Relations committee. She received her BS in Speech Communications from Bridgewater State University and has completed graduate study for a joint Masters degree in Public Administration and Political Science at Suffolk University.

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Meredith Barnhart

Director of Integrated Communications

Part of the MEFA family since 2012, Meredith works to provide a comprehensive curriculum of education and guidance on the college enrollment and financing process to families and colleagues, and has served as tri-chair of FAFSA Day Massachusetts and a member of MASFAA’s Just the FACTS faculty. Before joining MEFA, she worked in finance and undergraduate financial aid for 10 years at Boston University. She received a BS in Commerce from the University of Virginia and a Masters in Higher Education Administration from Boston University.

Meg Villavicencio

Finance Associate of Portfolio Originations

Meg joined MEFA in 2003 as a member of the Customer Service team. She is currently part of the Finance team’s Loan Originations group, working closely with colleges and families to make the application and certification process as smooth as possible. Before coming to MEFA, she worked at State Street in the Global Securities Operations area. She received her BA from Denison University and her MBA from Suffolk University.

Greg Hargrave
Greg Hargrave

Senior Operations Analyst

Greg joined MEFA’s Operations team in 2007, and today he works closely with both ACS Servicing and families to assist with customer service and issue resolution. He also works with schools and MEFA loan originations to support families during the application and originations process. Before joining MEFA, he worked for American Student Assistance on the Lender Relations team. He received his BA from The University of Massachusetts at Boston.

Angelina Mancini

Manager of Early College Planning

Angelina joined MEFA in 2006 as a member of the Customer Service team. She currently works on the administration of the U.Plan and the U.Fund, assisting families with initial enrollment and ongoing account service. She also conducts college saving presentations for families across the Commonwealth. Prior to joining MEFA, she worked at financial aid offices at Regis College and Babson College. She received her BA and MPA from Regis College.

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Shari Tozian

Outreach and Marketing Services Manager

Shari joined MEFA in 2010. She works with high school counselors and seminar presenters to schedule and coordinate MEFA seminars and provide college planning information to families across the Commonwealth. Before coming to MEFA, she worked in education financing at Key Education Resources, in financial aid at Tufts Dental and Medical Schools, and in various capacities at American Student Assistance. She received her BA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Jonathan Hughes

Manager of College Planning and Education

Jonathan joined MEFA in 2001 as a loan counselor. As Manager of College Planning and Education, he assists customers and schools in all matters related to MEFA loans, the U.Plan, and general financial aid counseling. He also conducts seminars at high schools and colleges on college financing and the importance of saving. He has a BA in Communication from Emerson College.

Jennifer Bento-Pinyoun

Program Manager, YourPlanForTheFuture

Jennifer joined the MEFA team in 2014 as Program Manager for their comprehensive career and college planning portal, YourPlanForTheFuture. Working with educators, students, and families across the Commonwealth, Jennifer provides support in many capacities with the goal of addressing and promoting post-secondary planning for students. She received a BA in Educational Psychology from Keene State and a Masters of Education in Teaching and Learning from Argosy University.


Lauren Patten

College Planning Representative

Lauren joined the MEFA team in 2014 and currently works as a College Planning Representative. She assists families and counselors by providing information and answering questions related to the U.Plan, college loans, and financial aid. Prior to joining MEFA, Lauren worked in Alumni Relations at Emmanuel College. Lauren has a BA in English from Emmanuel College.