Executive Director of Academic Scholarships and Financial Aid
Wendy Stouffer is the executive director of financial aid and academic scholarships. Her financial aid team is responsible for processing and awarding applications for federal financial aid, as well as disbursing institutional aid and state aid, such as the Academic Challenge Lottery Scholarship. The academic scholarship team processes thousands of scholarships applications annually and awards and posts university scholarships and scholarships from outside organizations. In addition, the scholarship team works closely with students to help them retain awards throughout their tenures at the university.
Stouffer is a Rogers native who holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and criminal justice and a law degree, both from the University of Arkansas. She practiced law before joining the university in 2001 as assistant director of admissions. Stouffer served in the admissions office in various capacities until September 2010, when she was named director of academic scholarships. She has served on many campus committees, including the faculty admissions and appellate board, the athletic integrity committee, the enrollment advisory committee, and the scholarship review committee.
Senior Associate Director of Financial Aid
Phillip Blevins is the senior associate director of financial aid and scholarships and assists the executive director with leadership of the financial aid and academic scholarship office. His primary job duties include financial aid packaging and disbursement of aid, as well as oversight of the financial aid counselors, verification team, and technical staff.
Blevins began his career at the University of Arkansas in December 2000 as a computer technician in the Center for Students with Disabilities. In November 2002, he transferred to the financial aid office, where he has held many positions. He has served as associate director of financial aid since March 2008. An Elkins native, Blevins holds a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems and a master’s degree in information systems.
Senior Associate Director of Academic Scholarships
Garrick Hildebrand is the senior associate director of scholarships and financial aid and assists the executive director with the leadership of the scholarship and financial aid office. His primary job duties include management of the current student scholarship process and direct oversight of retention staff and scholarship processors.
Hildebrand was appointed to the academic scholarship office as a program coordinator in November 2007 and was promoted to associate director in July 2009. He is from Fayetteville and holds a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in higher education leadership. He is currently serving as adviser to the Kappa Kappa Psi band fraternity and also serves on the board of directors for the Razorback Band Alumni Society.
Mary Willis is the program coordinator for scholarships. Mary manages freshman scholarships throughout each student’s academic career at the University of Arkansas, including the Chancellor’s, Silas Hunt, Honors College Academy, Razorback Bridge, Leadership, Freshman Academic, and Transfer Student Scholarships. She is also responsible for advising students on scholarship renewal and managing academic scholarship retention, and she serves as a budget officer for the Chancellor’s/Distinguished Governor’s Scholars.
Willis holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas. She returned to the university in October 2009, after working with vendors, Walmart, and McIlroy Bank & Trust.
HEI Program Coordinator for Scholarships
Denise Burford is the HEI program coordinator for scholarships. Denise coordinates outreach efforts for the department and contributes to numerous recruitment and educational events throughout Northwest Arkansas. She is also responsible for scholarship application processes for programs that target incoming freshman and transfer students.
Burford holds a bachelor’s degree from Southeast Missouri State University and a master’s degree from Biola University. She has worked on various campuses in Chicago, Dubuque, Los Angeles, and Boston, and joined the University of Arkansas in May 2009.