Kansas State University


Personal Financial Planning

Message from the program director

Kristy ArchuletaSeason’s greetings!

I think it is fair to say that not only do I get to work with the best students, but also I get to work the best and most respected colleagues in our field. K-State personal financial planning, or PFP, is a leader in the fields of financial planning, financial counseling, and financial therapy, and we continue to be recognized as one of the top programs in the country. Across our all of our programs, we strive for excellence in not only teaching our students the necessary skills to succeed, but also providing our students experiences that will develop them into better professionals. Both aspects are important to help bridge the gap between education and practice.

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Faculty highlights

Martin Seay, PhD, CFP®, assistant professor of personal financial planning was appointed to the Financial Planning Association’s Board of Directors effective January 1, 2017. Seay, who will serve an initial three-year term, joins thirteen other board members.

Sonya BrittSonya Britt, PhD, CFP® associate professor of personal financial planning, along with co-authors Jeff Hill, Ph.D., Ashley LeBaron, and Roy Bean, Ph.D., all of Brigham Young University, won the 2016 Financial Planning Association’s Best Theoretical Research Award for their presentation and associated paper, “Savers and Spenders: Predicting Financial Conflict in Couple Relationships.” Congrats to Dr. Britt on this wonderful achievement!

Stuart Heckman, PhD, CFP®, assistant professor, was the recipient of a Big 12 Faculty Fellowship to travel to Iowa State University to develop a family finance research alliance and mentoring relationship.

Ron SagesRon Sages, AEP®, CFP®, CTFA, EA, assistant professor, was a recipient of the 2016 Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA) Faculty Excellence Award for his instruction in the Master’s Program’s Capstone Course. The award was presented in April at the GPIDEA annual meeting in Kansas City.

Kristy Archuleta, Ph.D., LMFT, associate professor, was invited to be a Hartford Funds Insights panelist on the topic of couples and money. In her role, she writes articles to help practitioners navigate the dynamics of couple clients.

In May, Kristy Archuleta, associate professor and program director, and Morey MacDonald, professor, led the 2014 PFP Doctoral Cohort to Seoul, Korea, for the capstone research experience. Members of the cohort presented research to faculty and students of Ewha Womans University and Seoul National University, employees of Shin Han Bank and members of the Korean Financial Planning Association during the ten-day period.

In the news:

Sonya Britt, CFP® was featured in The New York Times, discussing how money can mask a marital problem.

Kristy Archuleta, Ph.D., LMFT, was recently featured in The New York Times and MarketWatch discussing why communication between spouses and significant others is important with respect to money.

Ann CoulsonAnn Coulson, CFP® was quoted in this CNBC article on what needs to happen with your financial documents in the event of an emergency evacuation.


K-State undergraduate financial planning team finishes third in the 2016 Financial Planning Association competition

2016 FPA team 3rd placeThe personal financial planning student team has emerged from the final competition in the 2016 Financial Planning Challenge in third place, winning a $1,000 cash award for the Personal Financial Planning Program. Only eight teams nationwide are admitted into the final competition, which was held September 14-16, 2016, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Team members who competed were PFP seniors Lindsay Adams, Stephen Phillips, and Nolan Keim. The team’s adviser is Ann Coulson, PhD, CFP®, assistant professor in the School of Family Studies and Human Services.

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K-State Financial Planning Association chapter

career-day-10-7-16The K-State FPA chapter has been active this fall. Students have had the opportunity to learn from professionals in the field at chapter meetings. Fifteen students, plus Ann Coulson and Roxanne Martens, attended the FPA of Greater Kansas City’s career day at the University of Missouri-Kansas City on October 7. The chapter held a penny drive at Bosco Plaza to raise money for Shepherd’s Crossing, a local not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing compassionate and caring assistance to those in need of a listening ear and financial support.

Officers for the 2016-2017 academic year include: Scott McGehee, president, junior from Hesston; Nolan Keim, vice president, junior from Sabetha; Abby Pope, secretary, sophomore from Overland Park; and Lauren Conrow, treasurer, senior from St. George. Their faculty advisor is Roxanne Martens.

In depth with doctoral graduate Sarah Asebedo

S AsebedoSarah Asebedo, Ph.D., CFP® successfully defended her doctoral dissertation in May. Her dissertation was titled: Three essays on financial self-efficacy beliefs and the saving behavior of older pre-retirees. Asebedo’s research employed a psychological framework to investigate the saving behavior of older pre-retirees through three essays using data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Understanding the connection between psychological characteristics and saving behavior is critical as this population attempts to bridge the retirement saving gap. Of these characteristics, financial self-efficacy beliefs (FSE) are theoretically vital to saving behavior. With the FSE beliefs of older adults weak and vulnerable to decline, more research is needed to understand how FSE beliefs affect saving behavior and how FSE beliefs can be supported.

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Ph.D. Practice-Oriented Research Forum

Kate Mielitz PFP PhD poster forumPersonal Financial Planning doctoral student Kate Mielitz received first place for the poster she presented at the K-State Personal Financial Planning Doctoral Student Practice-Oriented Research Poster Competition during the August doctoral student intensive session. Her poster, “Ready for Release: Financial Knowledge of Inmates in a Transitional Center Program,” summarized a paper she presented at two conferences this fall. Her research was supervised by Morey MacDonald.

Christina Glenn PFP PhD poster forumChristina Glenn, supervised by Stuart Heckman, received second place for her poster, “Financial Help-Seeking Behaviors and Outcomes of Millennials.”


Ben Strother PhD poster forumBen Strother, supervised by Stuart Heckman, came in third with her poster: Financial Impact and Duration of Disability across the Lifespan.”

Travel awards were given to each student who placed. Thank you to our generous sponsors of this year’s travel awards: ESB Financial, Nick Carr (‘14), Scott and Julie Cumbie (‘12), and Kurt Schindler (‘14).

Merrill Lynch awards PFP program $25,000

Pizza dayMerrill Lynch awarded the PFP program $25,000 to support student scholarships, PFP brand recognition and experiential learning for students. Partial funds were used to help build awareness on the K-State campus through the pizza giveaway held in October. Pizza day thank youPFP students and faculty gave away over 250 pizzas to students  and in giving out free slices were able to interact with students, discuss PFP as a major and talk about career opportunities in financial planning. Christina Glenn, doctoral student, and Lindsay Adams, senior in PFP, were both awarded $4,000.

K-State graduates in the news

Kurt Schindler, CPF®, a 2014 PFP doctoral graduate, was recently appointed Professor of Personal Financial Education at the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan. The University of Puerto Rico is the largest educational institution in Puerto Rico with an enrollment of over 56,000 students on 11 campuses. Prior to joining the faculty at UPR, Dr. Schindler was a Vice President at Banco Popular, where he was Marketing Manager and Director of Financial Education.

Mary Bell Carlson, Ph.D., CFP®, recently joined New Planner Recruiting, LLC as a Recruiter assisting entrepreneurial and established financial planning firms in the placement of entry-level and established professionals. Dr. Bell, who graduated from KSU in 2015 with a Ph.D. in Personal Financial Planning, is also the Principal of Silverbell Solutions based in Washington, D.C. where she provides individual clients and couples with counseling surrounding money and emotions.

Justin M. Henegar, Ph.D., CFP®, ChFC®, CRPC®, Director of Scholarship and Research at the Ron Blue Institute at Indiana Wesleyan University, and Ron Blue recently completed work on a new textbook titled: Biblical Financial Planning: A Biblical Worldview of Personal Finance, published by Pearson Learning Solutions. Dr. Henegar graduated from the KSU Personal Financial Planning Doctoral Program in 2015.

PFP advisory board meeting

The PFP Advisory Board held its semi-annual meeting on campus on November 4. The Advisory Board established three principal outreach objectives for the coming year consisting of: 1. development and relationship management, 2. community and campus engagement, and 3. student and industry engagement. Each initiative is designed to promote the visibility and accomplishments of the Personal Financial Planning Program at K-State to its important constituents.

New officers were elected and plans for hosting a career and professional development day were discussed. Jamie Bosse ’04, KHC Wealth Management, was elected to chair and Eli Sallman ’09, The Trust Company, was elected as secretary.

Many thanks go to Amy Guerich ’06 for her service and leadership of the advisory board for the past two years, as well as to Ann Coulson for her service as the secretary. Two new members joined the board: George Nabeshima ’14 and Jim Reed ’70, Reed Financial Services. We want to extend our appreciation and thanks to Jayson Cyr ’70, who served on the board for the past two years.

Additional board members include: Jeffrey Bratz ’07, JHN Advisors; Justin Nichols ’99, CGN Advisors, LLC; Larie Schoap ’78, ESB Financial; Marc Shaffer ’05, Search Financial; and Jamel Wilcox ’09, Central National Bank.

Personal financial planning student awards

mielitz-westKatherine Mielitz, a PFP 2014 doctoral cohort student, and Kevin West, a PFP master’s student, have been selected to receive Maurine Allison O’Bannon scholarships awarded by K-State’s Global Campus. The O’Bannon scholarships are offered biannually  in memory of Maurine Allison O’Bannon, a 1915 graduate from McPherson, Kansas. This scholarship provides a $1,000 cash award to distance-based students enrolled in
undergraduate and graduate programs.

PhD student, Sarah Asebedo, CFP® and Martin Seay Sarah Asebedo and Martin SeayCFP®, assistant professor, won the Financial Planning Association’s (FPA) 2016 Montgomery-Warschauer award for their November 2015 Journal of Financial Planning article, “From functioning to flourishing: Applying positive psychology to financial planning.” Each year, the Montgomery-Warschauer award recognizes the paper deemed to have provided “the most outstanding contribution to the betterment of the [financial planning] profession.” Congrats to Sarah and Martin on this outstanding accomplishment!