“Mr. Tanking” Goes to Washington

From: Tony Tanking

Some of you more “experienced” readers may get the reference to the 1939 Jimmy Stewart movie about the small town guy who takes on Washington DC, while others may not. It’s a good movie to watch.

I was honored to attend the NASFAA Leadership Conference in DC this week. Numerous great topics and I was very enlightened to responsibilities of the task ahead of me of serving KASFAA as your President beginning in April, which can be a bit intimidating.

The Conference provided me opportunity to visit Capitol Hill for the first time in my life. I met with Kansas 2nd District Congressman Steve Watkins, who currently serves on the Education Committee. Meeting with him was very important to our profession. He graciously took some time from a Foreign Affairs Committee to discuss the Reauthorization of the HEA. I felt a good connection to him and his staff, and hope to be of support to his efforts on our behalf in the months to come.

I also got a comforting surprise. I thought I’d be going to DC not knowing anyone. This would be a great opportunity to create new friendships. Upon arriving, I ran into a number of friends I have from both KASFAA and RMASFAA, even another Tony (Lubbers was there!). Immediately I was at ease and it made the experience all the more wonderful. A special Thank You to our incoming NASFAA Chair, Brenda Hicks, for showing me around Capitol Hill and letting me sit in on your meeting with Congressman Ron Estes.

You’ve heard it once, and you’ll hear it many times again…getting involved in your organization is a wonderful way to make lifelong friends. Don’t pass up the opportunity! See you all at the Conference in Lawrence.



An ESU Farewell: Jule Kirk

From: Darcy Johnson

After 32 years at Emporia State University (30 of those in financial aid), Jule Kirk is hanging up her FA hat as of Thursday, February 28th. I had an opportunity to sit down with Jule as she was cleaning out her office to share with you her favorite memories and future plans.

When asked what her favorite memory of the office was she replied, “ the best experience is helping those students who are really struggling and get them on the right track.” It’s also very rewarding when those students come back to say thank you down the road. She also commented that she has been blessed to be surrounded with great co-workers that are more like family.

As the conversation turned to KASFAA, Jule once again commented on the love for her financial aid family. One of her favorite memories was when the ESU office created a video for Wilma Kasnic’s (then ESU Director of Financial Aid) birthday and showed it at a KASFAA conference. With love, they highlighted some of Wilma’s idiosyncrasies, including when she fell out of her chair while talking with an upset mother, stayed on the floor, and just kept talking. Jule has served on the Membership and Conference Planning committees, but the committee work most near and dear to her was the work she did with College Goal Sunday. She enjoyed working with all KASFAA members, but her work with Kathy Blau and Gary Bateman stands out as quality time.

Jule has many plans after retirement. Most of them including being Full Time MomR (see picture). MomR was a title created by her oldest grandson, and one that she holds close to her heart. In fact, it’s much preferred over Grandma! Jule’s dedication to her family was evident as joy exploded from her face as she talked about the plans to spend more time with them. Jule has three sons, Tell, Tyrel, and Daniel; and considers their spouses, Jessica, Emily, and David her children as well. She’s blessed to have one of her boys here in Emporia, and gets to see her two grandsons quite often. The other two are out of state, in Florida and Georgia. She has three granddaughters in Florida, and many granddogs across the country! Travel is definitely at the top of her list so she can see her out of state kids more often.

Jule will also be saddle buddy to her husband Kim, who retired last year. Her mom is currently in assisted living, so she’s happy to have more time to spend with her and taking care of her. Self-care will include gardening (where she won’t have to race to get ready for work after watering the plants), sitting and reading in her egg basket swing chair (a retirement gift from Kim) on their deck, and traveling a mere seven minutes from her home to her kids’ home on a lake to enjoy the most peaceful reading spot in the world.

Jule’s bucket list includes going to New York to experience Broadway with her son, Daniel, driving through the Northeast with Kim during peak fall foliage season, and possibly visit a few Civil War battlefields along the way (one of Kim’s passion).

Jule’s final thoughts: “Financial Aid is a special place to work. The people who get in to financial aid stay for the long haul because, while it’s very hard work, it’s also an incredibly rewarding career.” Once again she is especially thankful for the blessing of all the wonderful people with whom she’s had the opportunity to work alongside over the last 30 years.

Anyone who would like to stay in touch with Jule after retirement can reach her at julekirk@gmail.com

New Website Up!

By: Diana VanDyke

The new website is up! We tried to simplify some of the paths to make it easier to find what you are looking for. The main page was also revamped to give instant access to The Oz-Sociated Press and events Calendar. We have also added advertising to allow our vendors the opportunity to have a presence on our website. The other major change is the rolling pictures at the bottom of the page. Those are campus pictures from every member college!

Kudos to the Website Task Force that started the process rolling and the Electronic Resource Committee and the Training Committee as well as the board for your help with figuring out what changes needed to be made and getting the information together. And a big Thank You to Paula and ATAC for converting our ideas into reality. You all made a spectacular website!

Now is your time to jump out on the website and get familiar with the AWESOME, REMARKABLE, MONUMENTAL, MIND BLOWING changes! Visit the website at www.kasfaa.org.

Whatever Happened to…ep.2

Next in the series by

Keith Fitzsimmons,

Cub Reporter, KASFAA Blog

I left Friends University just after Labor Day in 2017 after 21 years and moved to Warrensburg, MO to be the Director of Student Financial Assistance at the University of Central Missouri.  I moved up here in September and Shawn joined me three months later when we moved into our new home.  The funny thing about the home buying: I was in charge of it.  She had not seen our new home except in online pictures so it was quite an exciting time for her (and stressful for me: what if she hated it?)  While this move was a stressful one (don’t let anybody tell you different:  moving sucks!), Shawn and I managed to get moved into a home just before Christmas 2017.  In 2019, we will be celebrating our 25th Anniversary and have booked a trip to Paris in June.  We are excited about this trip and about renewing our vows after 25 years.

While I have struggled making the leap from a private, four year institution to a public, four year institution, many things remained familiar to me: budget cuts, down-sizing of staff, etc.  I am also working to understand the Gainful Employment regulations as they are trying to implement that here.  Yay…(note the sarcastic tone in that “Yay”)  They have a great bunch of people in the Financial Aid Office (and outside of Financial Aid) who I enjoy working with.  I am also making new friends in the Missouri Association, while staying in contact with my KASFAA family.  Fortunately, I didn’t wait 9 years to volunteer to chair a committee here like I did in KASFAA!  I will be chairing the Legislative Committee for 2019 and look forward to the job.  I wish everyone well in KASFAA in this new year and hope to see y’all in the near future!

Take care,

Tony Lubbers

Tony Lubbers lubbers@ucmo.edu

Whatever Happened To… ep.1

From: Keith Fitzsimmons

There’s No Place Like Home…….

KASFAA!!!!!!  Oh, how I’ve missed you!  My last year in KASFAA was 2010.  Boy does time fly!  After 9 years (4 as a student worker and 5 on staff) at FHSU I left for the Big City in February 2010 and headed to work for the company formerly known as Perceptive Software.  Many of you know them because of their main software product ImageNow.

Kansas City has treated me well and somehow I’m already at 9 years here!  My work in Software sales didn’t last long and 13 months later I was hired on as the Director of Financial Aid at Avila University.  For those of you unfamiliar, Avila is a small private Catholic institution and it is literally just on the other side of the state line in Kansas City.  Kansas was less than half a mile away but that meant even though I was back in Financial Aid I was half a mile away from my KASFAA and RMASFAA friends!  No worries though, I picked up right where I left off and for the past 8 years have been heavily involved in MASFAP and MASFAA!  Believe it or not these Midwest folks are almost just as charming, friendly and fun as you Rocky Mountain folks are!

It’s been a wild ride personally for me this last year. At the 2017 FSA Conference in Orlando my boyfriend at the time surprised me with a ring and on October 27, 2018 I married my knight in shining armor!  We sold our house in Kansas City MO and jumped the state line back to KS and now are living happily ever after in Overland Park KS!  Times are a changing……….new husband, new house and I have one more NEW thing to announce too!  NEW JOB!!!!! (not a new baby for all you anxious friends of mine!)

As of February 11th I will be the new Relationship Manager Account Executive for Citizens Bank working with the student lending side of the house!  And I’LL BE BACK IN KANSAS!!!! I was so excited to learn that Kansas would be one of the states I’d be covering.  I’m a western KS girl born and raised and so many of you I’ve been able to keep in touch with over the years via social media, conferences, or even a happy hour now and then!  I’m excited for this transition and cannot wait to reconnect as well as meet many others that I haven’t crossed paths with yet!

Here’s to an exciting 2019!  I’m hoping each and every one of you is off to a great start this year and I can’t wait for the hugs and smiles each of us will share this year!



Crystal M. DeLong (Bruntz)

P.S. I don’t have my new work email address yet but my personal email is cbruntz03@gmail.com.

Summer Institute Scholarship Info.

Are you interested in attending RMASFAA’s Summer Institute?


Summer Institute will be held June 2-7, 2019 at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. There are options for everyone! Brand new financial aid administrators, those who are more intermediate and those who are aspiring or new Directors will all find a track to sign up for! The training for the week is based on the NASFAA U curriculum.

KASFAA will pick at least four members to win a full registration scholarship (includes lodging and meals.) Your school must cover transportation costs.

To apply for one of these scholarships, please fill out the online application.

Applications are due February 1.

Let me know if you have questions!

Sara Vancil

KASFAA President