Ashland, Oregon (April 17, 2023) — Join Kristen Gast and Lisa Younker for a “Big Ideas” discussion titled “Free Money First: How Scholarships Can Ease the Student Debt Crisis” on Tuesday, May 2 from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. at the Medford Library, 205 South Central Avenue. All are welcome to attend this free program. 

Kristen Gast is the Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships at Southern Oregon University (SOU). She has worked in financial aid for more than 15 years, starting as a Federal Work Study Student in the aid office at her undergraduate school. She continued her career in the community college systems in Georgia and Wyoming, then made the leap to the university system. Gast is a member of the Oregon Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and several other professional associations.  

Lisa Younker is the Scholarships Coordinator and Veterans Affairs Certifying Official at SOU. She joined Southern Oregon University as an enrollment services associate in 2018 and was promoted to her current position in 2019. A graduate of SOU and Rogue Community College, she oversees Benefits, Financial Aid, and Scholarships for Veterans. 

The monthly “Big Ideas” discussion series features prominent local experts speaking on relevant and timely issues affecting our community. Lectures are jointly sponsored by the Ashland Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and Jackson County Library Services. For more information, please contact Jackson County Library Services at 541-774-6996.