KASFAA Halloween Contest 2019

This year we wanted to have fun all over Kansas. So we asked you to dress up and submit your Halloween costume photos to be voted on. Now here’s your chance to show your love!! Vote for the costumes you like most by commenting below with the corresponding number of the photo of your favorite costume(s). On November 18 we will announce the winner. Keep an eye out for your KASFAA-L emails and Blogs for more information on prizes and celebrations. Thank you all for participating and voting!! 


Click photo for larger view.

See FinancialAid Things opening credits here!!

Thank you!! I can’t wait to see who wins 🙂

Employee Spotlight – Lisa Arnold

Lisa is the Senior Accountant for Student Accounting at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

LA's pic

What brought you to Financial Aid?

I was moving from Olathe, KS to Manhattan, KS. An opportunity at Kansas State University came up and I jumped on it! After what I thought was an awful interview, I received a call from Jim Badders and Jim Keating and was offered the position! Of course, I said yes to my alma mater (#EMAW)! Fast forward seven years, when I moved back to the Kansas City area, and Keith Fitzsimmons interviewed me for my current position and made me cry! [He told me to] Trust and believe; I’ve never let him live that down!

What do you like about it?

The flexibility and the variety. Coming from automotive collections, it was always “you need to pay this TODAY.” In the FA world, we’re able to provide students, parents, and departments on campus with options. I’ve found this to be very rewarding! Getting a “thank you” goes a long way!

How long have you worked in FA?

About 12 years! How is that even possible?!

Where have you worked prior?

Prior to K-State, where I did very similar work in the Cashier’s Office for almost seven years, I worked at Chrysler Financial in Overland Park, KS.

Tell us a little about you on a personal level:

I love travelling, reading (anything by James Patterson), and photography! Spending time with my family and friends is a MUST – that and my 12-year-old Miniature Dachshund, Buddy, who I got from the Helping Hands Humane Society 10 years ago!

LA dog pics

Connect with the Committees – KASFAA Finance Committee


The KASFAA Finance committee oversees the financial activities of KASFAA.

The Finance committee is working on a financial policy to guide KASFAA in the future years. This includes developing a guide for the budget process that will assist with continuity from year to year.

This committee is also responsible for working with the Treasurer and Treasurer-Elect to manage the recently created investment accounts.  These accounts should generate more interest, providing another revenue source for KASFAA.

Monthly, the committee is responsible for reconciliation between our checking account and records.

Annually, an internal review of the KASFAA books is conducted by the committee. The review was completed on August 6, 2019 and was successful. One of the minor findings was that the P&P needs to be updated to reflect the organization’s move from paper to electronic record keeping.

Finance Committee members are:  Mac Schwartz, Emporia State University, Tammy Higgins, Pittsburg State University, Kristine Bryant, Benedictine College, Debbie Brewer, Johnson County Community College and Linda Oldham Burns, Kansas Board of Regents


Here is the 411 on our committee members:

Name: Debbie Brewer

  • Position on committee: Current treasurer
  • Position duties/responsibilities: To maintain the records of the association, pay the bills, record receipts, manage the annual budget, coordinate the filing of the annual 990, update the P&P and the Treasurer’s handbook,
  • Things accomplished for/with this committee:  I have assisted with the annual review by providing up to date and accurate records.  This year, we utilized electronic access to QuickBooks to do the review.
  • Length of KASFAA membership:  23 years
  • Position held at respective institution & length of time worked there:  Johnson County Community College, FA Accounting Supervisor – 23 years
  • Length of time in financial aid: 23 years
  • What sparked your desire to join the Finance Committee?  I love excel spreadsheets and am the current treasurer.

Name: Kristine Bryant

  • Position on committee: Member
  • Position duties/responsibilities: To review any items that come to the committee
  • Things accomplished for/with this committee:  Helped write this blog post
  • Length of KASFAA membership:  3.5 years
  • Position held at respective institution & length of time worked there:  Assistant Director of Financial Aid – 3.5 years
  • Length of time in financial aid: 3.5 years
  • What sparked your desire to join the Finance Committee?  I love numbers and have served on other finance committees in my past career.

Name – Tammy Higgins

  • Position on committee –  Treasurer-Elect
  • Position duties/responsibilities – receive incoming payment (not credit card, but other), recording them in QuickBooks and reconciling with the Treasurer. Any duties as assigned by the Treasurer.
  • Things accomplished for/with this committee – We finalized the annual audit, and I’ve then done lots of “active listening” to prepare for my role next year as Treasurer. Debbie’s a great teacher.
  • Length of KASFAA membership – 32 years in fin aid; 17 in KASFAA
  • Position held at respective institution & length of time worked there – Director of Student Financial Assistance at Pittsburg State University, Started in 1993, left in 2000, returned in 2009 – 17 years at PSU.
  • Length of time in financial aid – 32 years; 6 in MASFAA; 17 in KASFAA; 9 in OASFAA
  • What sparked your desire to join the Finance Committee? – Debbie Brewer is relentless. “It’ll be fun”, she said.  “We’ll do it together”, she said.  She’s right. It’s very do-able when you work with a great group of leaders before you.

Name: Linda Oldham Burns

  • Position on committee- Chair
  • Position duties/responsibilities- to make sure the committee work is being accomplished and work with Treasurer and Treasurer-Elect on any task
  • Things accomplished for/with this committee – Helping KASFAA transition to electronic treasurer information from paper and create policies that will serve the organization in the future
  • Length of KASFAA membership- 16 years
  • Position held at respective institution & length of time worked there- 13 years at Kansas Board of Regents
  • Length of time in financial aid- 19 years
  • What sparked your desire to join the Finance Committee?- I was graciously asked to join the committee

Name: Mac Schwartz

  • Position on committee- Member
  • Position duties/responsibilities- assist with the responsibilities assigned to the Finance Committee
  • Things accomplished for/with this committee – Helped with the annual financial audit
  • Length of KASFAA membership- 8 years
  • Position held at respective institution & length of time worked there- Associate Director – Processes & Compliance – Emporia State University – 2 years in current position and 8 years at ESU
  • Length of time in financial aid- 8 years
  • What sparked your desire to join the Finance Committee?- Try a new committee that I had not been on before



Another Side of Keith Fitzsimmons

By Keith Fitzsimmons, KASFAA Cub Reporter

Goodbye and Hello.

It’s hard to say goodbye. Be it off to school, work, or most anything else, it’s still hard. Not so much when a return is anticipated. My dear wife Laura will go to the grocery store or to work at church and I miss her while she is gone. The critters and I all jump when we hear the garage door buzzer go off letting us know Mom’s home.  We all run to the door to help her carry stuff in. And there is ALWAYS stuff to carry. 

Long term goodbyes are harder. When I shipped out with the Army back in 1972, that was hard for me and my family. Same when I transferred to Germany for six years.

Goodbyes from moving, new job and such are hard, but a connection is there that can be nurtured for years. I’m still in touch with some high school friends, Army buddies, K-State friends… 

October has been a month of goodbyes for me. Long term with the loss of Bruce Lopez and Todd Chappel were especially tough.

But I had a short term goodbye that we ,in the dog fostering world, call a success. Oakley came to us on a Monday and was placed on Friday. Not a surprise as we knew that little brown Lab mix cutie was not going to last long with her wonderful personality.  Sure enough, first call took her. 

Dog fostering is a whole different world. It’s hard to say goodbye to a now family member. Very hard sometimes. But for every hard goodbye we had with Emogene, Foxy, Sandy, Gracie… we had another opening for the next rescue. Happy endings help to make for unhappy beginnings. 

So Lucy the Border Collie foster and I said Goodbye to Oakley and are ready for a Hello to a new family member. 

Keith Fitzsimmons & his dear wife Laura have been fostering dogs for years in Overland Park.



KASFAA – Who Are We Really?

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Good morning all,

KASFAA runs like a well oiled machine with many moving parts (most of the time Image result for winky face.) Often we receive emails, blog updates, and highlights from KASFAA as a whole and don’t really consider the many intricate pieces that must fall into place to make this all happen. Over the next 6 months the Association News & Publicity committee will highlight each committee and their members. We will share the fun and the hard work that goes into each of them. 

KASFAA is the Kansas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. It consists of 12 committees and each committee has a Chair, Co-Chair, and committee members. Each position holds their own special place, with their own special tasks. I can’t wait to learn more about each one!!

The committees are:


Association Governance

Association News & Publicity

Conference Planning

Corporate Support

Electronic Resources


Fiscal Officers

Government Relations


Outreach Training

Professional Development

What did you do on Financial Aid Professionals Day?

Andy Fogel’s office at Washburn is celebrating big…

To celebrate all the hard work the Washburn financial aid staff has done and to welcome some new amazing employees… we have decided to extend Financial Aid Professional Day to Financial Aid Professional Week.

 We are celebrating with food days all week

 Muffin Monday…Taco Tuesday…Waffle Cone Wednesday…Team Breakfast Thursday…AND…Finger Food Friday

Johnson County Community College celebrated Financial Aid Professionals Day in conjunction with Bosses Day!  In the morning our Division provided Bagels for our Bosses and our office followed up with a Mexican/Taco bar. Fun was had by all, with yummy leftovers for today!! Our amazing staff deserves a round of applause!! We Rock!