I began my career in financial aid in May 2007 after spending time in admissions and career services. It was a great decision, and I love what I do here at the University of Kansas!
One of the great things about working in financial aid here in Kansas is that we get a chance to be a part of KASFAA. Our association is active, engaged, and relevant. It is a way for us as financial aid administrators to stay connected to one another, to get ongoing and dynamic training and to advocate for our students.
In addition, KASFAA provides us an opportunity to develop leadership, communication and teamwork skills through volunteering. It can be a way to start involvement in our profession before moving on to roles in our regional and national associations. Or volunteering in KASFAA can be an end goal in itself, providing our time and energy first and foremost to our local, state organization.
I started volunteering with KASFAA by being a committee member. I was a part of the Welcome committee and the Publicity & Awareness committee. I got to know a little more about the association and contributed to those committees in a way that did not require a huge time commitment. I was able to provide my ideas and input to the committee chairs, which felt rewarding.
My next level of involvement was getting involved in the Training committee, specifically with the High School Counselor trainings that this committee organizes. I participated on the team for two years and presented at three trainings in Fall 2012 and three in Fall 2013. Being involved on this committee required more of a time and energy commitment than previous committees but it also was focused all in the fall semester. I loved being able to travel to interact with counselors in the state and provide them with vital financial aid training.
I then stepped up to a committee chair role, leading the Publicity & Awareness committee for a year. Being a committee chair helped me to improve on my delegation skills as well as my leadership skills. I think running that committee was my first opportunity to run a meeting via conference call. Sounds silly, but it’s an important skill!
In 2014, I took the plunge and agreed to run for Vice President. The VP of KASFAA is responsible for planning the program for both the fall training and the spring conference. That person works with the President-Elect to put on two high-quality training opportunities for our members—a very important responsibility! This position gave me a chance to put my organizational skills and attention to detail to work. I am proud of the program I put together for the Dodge City and Wichita conferences last year.
Finally, this year I am serving as Secretary of KASFAA. This role is more laid-back but is still a critical member of the KASFAA board. I keep the minutes from our Board and Business Meetings up-to-date on our website and serve as a voting member of the board as we make decisions about the future of the association.
I want to encourage everyone in KASFAA to get involved in whatever way suits you best. I challenge you to get involved on some level! You can serve on a committee that fits your skills, interests and available time. Please review the committee and officer list at http://kasfaa.org/docs/forms/KASFAACommitteeList.pdf. If you want to give even more time and energy to KASFAA, consider running for an officer position at some point!
You can submit our Volunteer Form at http://kasfaa.org/docs/forms/memVolunteer.html. The next Volunteer cycle would be April 2016 – April 2017 so start talking to your supervisor about your intention to volunteer next year. Put it in your annual evaluation that you will get involved in our association!
Debbie Brewer, our current President-Elect, will be collecting these volunteer forms to fill next year’s committees. If you’re interested in running for an officer position, please let Brenda Hicks, our current President, know of your interest. Brenda will be filling the slate next summer for an election that would choose new officers for the April 2017 – April 2018 year.
University of Kansas