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Higher Education in Maryland

June 2008 Press Release



For immediate release: June 6, 2008
Contact: Christopher Falkenhagen
Communications: (410) 260-4511

Experienced financial aid official joins MHEC staff as director

(Annapolis, MD) June 6, 2008 – Robert L. Parker, who has vast experience in financial aid at several community colleges since 1980, has joined the Maryland Higher Education Commission’s Office of Student Financial Assistance as its director.

Mr. Parker comes to MHEC after most recently serving as Director of Financial Aid at Baltimore City Community College. He has held similar positions at various community colleges in Virginia and Washington State.

In his previous positions, Mr. Parker’s duties included administering the colleges’ various scholarship programs and managing all aspects of their financial aid offices, including the development of policies and procedures, and serving on committees which addressed campus-related issues, such as scholarship programs, personnel, faculty advancement and instructional programs. He also worked closely on veteran’s affairs issues as they related to higher education..

“Robert brings a great deal of experience to MHEC,” Higher Education Secretary James E. Lyons, Sr., said. “One of MHEC’s chief responsibilities is administering nearly $110 million in scholarships and grants that the O’Malley/Brown administration has budgeted for the 2008-2009 academic year, allowing students to seek their dream of a postsecondary education. I am confident that Robert is ready to hit the ground running.”

Mr. Parker earned an MBA from James Madison University and a BS in Business Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he graduated with honors.

“I am honored to work with Secretary Lyons and the MHEC team,” Mr. Parker said. “This is a challenge I am excited to take on.”

Mr. Parker said one of the most exciting projects he worked on in the past was the conversion from a legacy financial aid system to an integrated student information system. MHEC’s Office of Student Financial Assistance is currently undergoing a major renovation of its own financial aid system. In his new position, Mr. Parker will work on policy-related issues and will oversee the awarding of the State’s 22 financial aid programs. Mr. Parker will supervise a staff of 20.

The Maryland Higher Education Commission is a 12-member coordinating board responsible for establishing statewide policies for Maryland public and independent colleges and universities and private career schools. MHEC awards nearly $110 million in grants and scholarships to approximately 58,000 Maryland students.



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