University of Maryland Extension

2011 Speakers

Mariko Chang is the author of the new book, Shortchanged: Why Women Have Less Wealth and What Can Be Done About It, and the main author of the March 2010 report “Lifting as We Climb Women of Color, Wealth, and America’s Future.” Dr. Chang has a PhD in Sociology from Stanford University and was an Associate Professor of Sociology at Harvard University from 1998 to 2007 where she published work on occupational sex segregation across countries, the use of social networks for gathering financial information and began her work on the gender wealth gap. She is also a member of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development’s Experts of Color Clearinghouse. To help raise awareness of the wealth gap, she maintains a website that provides data and other information on wealth, assets, and debt for public policy makers, the media, researchers, and organizations that address economic security.

In addition to her work on the wealth gap, she works as an independent consultant to help universities diversify their faculty. In this capacity, she conducts original research and program evaluation, including universities with a National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant.  Further information about Dr. Chang and her work can be found at:

Presentation Title: The Women’s Wealth Gap: What we need to know and what can be done about it

Brent Neiser is Senior Director of Strategic Programs and Alliances for the Denver-based National Endowment for Financial Education (, a private operating foundation committed to educating Americans about personal finance and empowering them to make positive and sound decisions to reach financial goals.  His work with NEFE focuses on developing financial education initiatives through unique collaborations with nonprofit organizations and foundations nationwide such as the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity.   He directed NEFE's national Personal Finance and Latino Immigration Think Tank and a research-based think tank on Retirement Income Planning and Management which resulted in the consumer website   Brent helped develop, a non-commercial personal finance literacy website for college and university students delivered via free subscriptions through higher education institutions.  He also does public policy work for NEFE including working with executive agencies and occasionally testifying before Congress.

Presentation Title: My Retirement Paycheck

Barbara Robles is currently Senior Community Affairs Research Liaison at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. She was previously an Associate Professor of Economics at the School of Social Work and Center for Community Development and Civil Rights at Arizona State University. She has taught at colleges and universities around the country, including the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Colorado-Boulder, and the University of Notre Dame, where she currently serves as a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Latino Studies and Department of Economics. Dr. Robles’ has presented her work at conferences around the world, and has published extensively. She is the author of U.S. Latino Families, Heads of Household, and the Elderly: Emerging Trends in Financial Services and Asset-Building Behaviors (2009), Financial Services and Product Usage by Latinos in the U.S. (2007) and a co-author of The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide (2006). Formerly, she was a Revenue Estimator for the Joint Committee on Taxation scoring tax legislation for Congress. Her research focuses on Latino wealth inequality, Southwest Border family and community asset building, Latino tax and financial education policies and Latino micro-businesses and entrepreneurship. Dr. Robles’ also serves as a research fellow at the Filene Research Institute, an organization dedicated to scientific and thoughtful analysis about issues affecting the future of consumer finance and credit unions. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Maryland-College Park and her B.A. from the University of Texas-Austin.

Presentation Title: Banking and Minority

Michael Staten holds the Take Charge America Endowed Chair in the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Arizona.  He is also director of the Take Charge America Institute for personal financial education and research.  Staten is recognized nationally as an expert on retail credit market policy issues and has testified often before Congress and various state legislatures.  Over the past 20 years Dr. Staten has designed and conducted research projects on a wide range of policy-oriented issues involving consumer and mortgage credit markets, initially as director of the Credit Research Center at Purdue University (1988 – 1997), and later as Distinguished Professor and Executive Director of the re-located Credit Research Center at Georgetown University (1997 - 2006), and the George Washington University School of Business (2006-2007).  He has published numerous articles on retail financial services in academic journals and edited volumes.  He has made invited presentations at workshops and events sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board, and Washington, DC think-tanks including the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution.

Dr. Staten brings to Tucson an active personal research agenda that includes projects that examine the causes and consequences of personal bankruptcy and mortgage foreclosures; the rehabilitative effects of credit counseling on long-term borrower behavior; the accuracy of credit reporting; the impact of financial education mandates and programs on financial behavior of young consumers; and the pros and cons of improved loan disclosures and regulatory limits on loan products in helping consumers to make good credit choices. 

Presentation Title: Credit and Take Charge Institute Program

Tom Domonoske began practicing law in California in 1990 before moving to North Carolina where he taught classes at the University of North Carolina Law School.  He then practiced as a legal aid lawyer in Virginia from 1993 to 1996.  From July 1996 through August 2000, he was a Senior Lecturing Fellow at Duke Law School.  While at Duke, he maintained a small consumer law practice in Virginia through an Of Counsel relationship with the Law Office of Dale W. Pittman.  Starting August 2000, he returned to Virginia and continued his practice with that office.  Since April 2009 he has been Of Counsel to the Legal Aid Justice Center, with offices in Charlottesville, Richmond, and Petersburg, Virginia.  His primary emphasis is on credit-related frauds, particularly regarding lending related to automobiles and homes.  He has published many articles on several aspects of consumer law in various professional publications. In the past fifteen years he has given over 100 consumer law trainings at various events around the country and regularly trains JAG lawyers’ for the United States military.  He also sits on the Board of Directors of the Community Mediation Center.

Presentation Title: Protecting Consumers in the Purchase and Financing of a Car


Stuart Ritter is Vice President of T. Rowe Price Investment Services, Inc. and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in T. Rowe Price’s Financial Planning Services Group.  He is a frequent contributor to T. Rowe Price publications; has appeared on television and radio programs for networks like ABC News, Fox Business, and National Public Radio; and has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, Money magazine, and other national news organizations.

Stuart received his B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland College Park and his M.A. in political science from the American University. He taught personal finance at Johns Hopkins University for several years and has also been an instructor at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.  He is a member of the Maryland State Department of Education’s Financial Literacy Education Advisory Council.

Presentation Title: Lessons from the Downtum

Becky Jokela, Regional Extension Educator & Extension Professor, has a M.S. Degree in Home Economics Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stout.  She has an Accredited Financial Counselor designation from the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education.  Becky has worked for the University of Minnesota Extension for 16 years in Family Resource Management and taught high school home economics for six years.

Presentation Title: Teaching Financial Education Across Generations

Olivia Mellan is a groundbreaking speaker, author, money coach and psychotherapist in the field of money psychology and money conflict resolution. Author of five critically acclaimed books, Mellan writes a monthly column in Investment Advisor magazine. She has been interviewed frequently on the TODAY Show, Oprah, ABC’s 20-20, in the print media and on national TV and radio.

Presentation Title: Money Harmony in Turbulent Times

Paul Panichelli is a Principal Scientist in Scoring Analytics at FICO and has been with FICO more than 20 years.  In his current role in Product Development, Mr. Panichelli is a project manager on FICO® Credit Risk score initiatives in the U.S. and internationally.  Other responsibilities have included working as a model developer and project manager on FICO® Expansion scores, response models, collection scores, and custom application models.  He has also been a consultant on the Credit Bureau Scores Helpline, providing client support to consumers and credit bureau score users representing a wide array of industries, locations, and sizes.

Presentation Title: Demystifying FICO® Scores

Keith Blair is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of DC and Director at the Low-Income Tax Clinic. Prior to joining the David A. Clarke School of Law, Professor Blair taught at the University of Baltimore School of Law from 2005-2010 where he directed the Tax Clinic and taught Constitutional Law and Tax Practice and Procedure. Prior to that, Professor Blair was a trial attorney with the Tax Division of the Department of Justice, where he represented the United States in tax controversy matters. He also served as a trial attorney with the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, where he was hired under the Attorney General’s Honors Program.

Professor Blair is a frequent presenter at the AALS Clinical Conference. He has also presented posters on clinical pedagogy at the AALS Annual meeting. He is an active participant in the American Bar Association, Section of Taxation’s Low-Income Taxpayer Committee. Professor Blair is also a member of the Maryland State Bar Association’s Tax Section Council.

Presentation Title: Low Income Tax Issues Related to Foreclosure, Debt Settlement, and Other Issues

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