Valerie Culler has joined MCCC’s administrational staff as the Director of Financial Aid.
The position had been vacant since former director Tracy Vogt accepted the position of Registrar.
Culler officially started working at the college on August 1. So far, she has had a positive experience at MCCC.
“Everyone on campus has been welcoming. Everyone I pass has a smile and a hello,” she said.
Culler also likes the community and where it is located. After coming from Wayne State University in Detroit, she finds the atmosphere more uplifting.
“I love the area and I like the community,” she said.
“The urban environment is very different than here. There was a lot of urban blight. It was disheartening.”
Culler most recently held the position of Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Wayne State University. She worked there for three years.
“It was a promotional opportunity. I got my foot up in management,” she said.
She also has experience working in the community college sector. Culler worked at Henry Ford Community College for three years.
“I very much believe in the mission of community colleges,” she said. “They’re wonderfully diverse. I like the amount of variety that a student has at them.”
In comparison to WSU, Culler feels there are more opportunities to interact with her coworkers and students.
“WSU is a huge, huge campus. The financial aid office had more than 40 people,” she said.
“MCCC is smaller in scope. You get to know your students, you get to know your community. It‘s a much more personal environment.”
Culler received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, and completed a Masters program at Madonna University.
Currently, she is 75 percent of the way through the doctoral program at Eastern Michigan University.
As a student who once needed financial aid, Culler feels its essential to give aid to students who need it.
“Financial Aid has opened the door for many students,” she said.
“That’s why it breaks my heart when I hear the government might cut any financial aid. They’re talking about cutting opportunities.”
In her free time, Culler enjoys running and exercising.
“It just clears my head,” she said.
She also has several other interests. In the fall, Culler and her husband find cider mills and map out routes, to which they ride their bikes.
“I love to read, just about anything I can get my hands on,” she added.