Super Bowl Week – GO CHIEFS!!!

Many of you might be Chiefs Fans here in Kansas and are planning activities in your office or home next week as the Big Game approaches. Take some pictures and post them on Facebook or here on the Blog.

The credit for this idea goes to Keith Fitzsimmons, our soon to be (“10 days but who’s counting” he said) retired committee member. Their office is having a week of events, so lots of photo ops.

Looking forward to seeing the membership share the fun times ahead as the Chiefs head to Miami for the LIV Super Bowl.

Chiefs helmetchiefs flag

chiefs vs 49ers





Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major Award

“The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major Award is presented to a Wichita State University administrator, faculty, staff or student who seeks greatness, but does so through service and love. This award is presented annually by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion during the on-campus Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration.”


This years winner of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major Award is Sheelu Surender, Director of the Office of Financial Aid. She has been in financial aid for 18 years. As well as being a part of KASFAA, she is also a part of RMASFAA and NASFAA. Sheelu “considers her direct engagement with students to be the greatest reward of her work.”

Congratulations Sheelu. What an inspiration!



Check out the full page here!



Keith is RETIRING!!!

As I’m sure you have heard…maybe you received the 100 day notice that he distributed or one of the other fun “reminders”

Keith is RETIRING!!!

You’re invited to stop by and wish him luck on his last day!


Friday, January 31st 2:00-4:00pm

KUMC Support Services Facility

Room 121

(2100 W 36th Ave, KC, KS 66160)


Contact Lisa Arnold at or 913-588-2592.

I hear he is registered at Animal Haven, Lowe’s, and the Bacon of the Month Club.


Vicki Curry has a new role at Allen Community College

The name Vicki Curry is familiar to many of our KASFAA members. Vicki retired as Director of Financial Aid in 2016. While immensely enjoying retirement, she just couldn’t stay away from the college life. Vicki is returning to Allen Community College as one of the newest members of Allen’s Board of Trustees. She will officially take her seat in January 2020. Her knowledge and prior experience in fair decision making will be a great asset in this new position.

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Let’s Take a Look at KASFAA Government Relations Committee

Submitted December 2019 by Mark Bandre’, Committee Co-chair

For many years, KASFAA members have worked through the association to facilitate communication about the financial aid profession and industry with state and federal legislators. Without a doubt, NASFAA serves the primary role in all forms of educating our national political leaders about financial aid, but it is important informed facts, views and opinions come forth from the state level as well. Members of your KASFAA Government Relations Committee take the lead in communicating with state legislators while also striving to provide information back to the membership when unique legislative issues arise. Doing so exists through yearly efforts to establish and celebrate Financial Aid Awareness Month, through email and blog posts to KASFAA members, and through occasional communication with individual legislators or members of their staffs.

Clearly state-funded forms of aid pale in comparison to those offered by the federal government, but in these days of ever-increasing charges for tuition, fees, room and board, it remains important for us to keep the issue of college affordability at the top of Topeka discussion lists. KASFAA members possess unique knowledge and stories about how students and families strive to attain the financial investment in education and we can all also relay information about those who simply cannot find a way to handle the costs. A session at the recent RMASFAA conference provided information about ways prospective students who have come of age in the foster care system may qualify for Education and Training Vouchers (ETVs). These programs are unique state by state and in Kansas, it appears foster care financial aid programs specifically for use towards higher education are minimal. As we discuss issues such as students coming from foster care, state residency, tuition rates for undocumented students, the value diverse forms of higher education bring to the State of Kansas, and so much more, it is important we consistently remember those least able to afford educational training.

Regardless of whether a person pursues training through college, military, technical school or apprenticeship, funding and corresponding attributes need to factor in long-term benefits to individual and society. In his book, The World is Flat, author Thomas Friedman reminds readers of the importance of learning “how to learn – to constantly absorb, and teach yourself, new ways of doing old things or new ways of doing new things.” As we in the financial aid profession strive to help individuals, we must necessarily also be willing to advocate for mechanisms that enable all segments of the population to access the training needed. This is so because of the greater good brought about by the citizenry becoming prepared to serve their community in desired ways. As you consider daily realities of the higher education marketplace, remember your state, regional and national associations are involved in legislative educational endeavors. Be willing to share your opinion and be involved.


Highland Community College’s Joshua North Earns Designation as Certified Financial Aid Administrator

published December 6, 2019 at HCC’s websiteHighland Community College’s Joshua North Earns Designation as Certified Financial Aid Administrator

Joshua North, Director of Financial Aid at Highland Community College, has earned the designation of Certified Financial Aid Administrator (CFAA®) from the independent certifying body of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA). The certification covers the foundational knowledge and skills to administer Title IV federal student aid programs at colleges and universities across the country. North is just one of 100 CFAA’s in the country.

North said of the designation, “The financial aid process, for many, is an intimidating topic. Earning a CFAA designation gives me the tools to make a complicated part of higher education easier for students and parents.”

North has been at Highland for just over three years and was also recently recognized as a Rising Star within the Kansas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. He is also the current Vice President of the Rocky Mountain Association for Student Financial Aid Administrators.


Holiday Traditions around KASFAA

To begin, thanks to everyone for sharing!! From family to work, hope you will enjoy reading. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!! Enjoy your celebrations!!!

Deborah Rollf At KU told us that the Student Accounts and Receivables Office kicks off the week before finals with a Secret Santa Exchange throughout the week and ends it with an office meal. It is strictly a voluntary thing and those who participate really enjoy it! Each day, participants receive a gift from their Secret Santa. The gifts are usually small things. We see a lots of candy, soda, coffee drinks, fuzzy socks, pens, etc. On the final day (Stop Day at KU), we close our office early then meet at a local restaurant to share a meal, socialize, relax, and receive the final gift of the week. It’s fun to hear people guess who they think their Secret Santa was!!  We also invite our retired staff to join us, along with our system support staff and our directors. Merry Christmas from KU’s Student Accounts and Receivables Office!!

Keith Fitzsimmons from “The University of Kansas Medical Center” shares about his church’s annual Christmas pageant, where this year, he’s been promoted to “Head Wiseman”…

Christmas flyer - KeithWiseman - Keith


Crystal DeLong from Citizen One Student Loans says her family has a ping pong tournament in her Dad’s shed every year! Because she is currently 9 months pregnant, however, the family will gather at her house this year!! No ping pong at all, but she thinks the baby has been playing some in her tummy lately!! Merry Christmas!


Darcy Johnson at Emporia State says thankfully ESU is closed from December 21 until January 2. Her tradition is to say…this is finally the year that she’s going to get the house completely clean during her vacation…but in reality, she will spend the entire week+ cuddling and playing with the ruler of the house, Abby, who says, “What do you mean? I’m going to have to be stuck with Mommy for over an entire week???”

Abby 12-17-19Abby (2) 12-17-19


Diana VanDyke at Butler CC shares her family’s 40 year traditions.

Christmas Eve finds the family at grandma’s house with all the aunts, uncles, and cousins where we eat chili and oyster soup and more Christmas candy and cookies than should be allowed. Grandma picks someone to read the story of Jesus. We all sit quietly while someone reads from the Bible and remember that Christmas is about faith and love and a little baby that brought the world together. Then we exchange gifts and “help” the young ones play with all their toys before we all head back home. Christmas Morning we get up early and open presents at our house, then after farm chores with extra Christmas treats for all the animals, we go to my parent’s house for a huge Christmas breakfast. Right after breakfast at Mom’s, we get our stockings. Included in our stockings is an orange and for any new members of the family we explain that during the depression, fruit was nearly impossible to get for anyone that was not rich, so getting an orange for Christmas was a huge deal that mother looked forward to each year. So, she keeps it going with her kids and grandkids as a reminder to be thankful for what you have. We then give Mom the oranges and they become part of the breakfast which is Biscuits and Pudding (in the south they call it chocolate gravy but we do both chocolate and vanilla…my favorite!), plus sausage links, bacon and fresh side (also a type of bacon) and orange slices with sugar. Then we open presents before we start on Christmas dinner, which is usually as big or bigger than Thanksgiving.

Christmas 2017-VanDykes


At Johnson County Community College, what started over 15 years ago as a small delivery of cookies to a few departments as grown into a department tradition. We thanked our postal department for the last minute delivery of SAP letters, which had a very quick turnaround. We thanked our payroll department for working with our FWS students. We thanked our business office for assisting us with disbursement and check distribution. This is just to name a few…..Fast forward to today and we ask each person in the department to bring in 3 dozen cookies or candy and we make beautiful trays or boxes of cookies and deliver them to 28 departments on campus. We have several staff members deliver the cookies and sing a Christmas Carol or two. We have so many people that assist us on campus to best serve our students, and the departments now look forward to this delivery every year.

JCCC cookie delivery (4)

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From Lisa Arnold, Master of Collections at KU Med Center…Merry Chrismukkah from her German Weiner Dog, Buddy!!

Buddy - Christmas Hat (002)Buddy - Hanukkah Outfit (002)


Cindy Kleinsorge from JCCC tells us that when she was growing up, her family would go to Christmas Eve services. Because my parents sang in the church choir, my brother and I would sit with our friends and their family. I now sing in my choir throughout the year but especially enjoy our Christmas Eve services. On Christmas Morning we would wake up early to open presents. Our stockings almost always had an apple and/or an orange in them just like Diana Vandyke’s family, a tradition I still do today with my kids as well. Then Dad would make a scrumptious breakfast…eggs, bacon and/or sausage and biscuits and gravy (he made the best)…yum, yum! After that, Mom would begin getting everything ready for the family gathering later in the day. We had to help too with setting the tables and filling the glasses with ice and water. We would have all the fixings to go along with the meat either ham or beef tenderloin prime rib…mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, broccoli and rice casserole, oyster casserole, and those yummy rolls…plus, plenty of desserts. My one grandmother would make date pudding and my other grandmother would make suet pudding and mom would make either pumpkin or pecan pie. Date pudding was my favorite. I have my grandma’s handwritten recipe and still make it today. Our grace before dinner always included being thankful for what this day means to all of us, the birth of Jesus, a blessing for the food that was prepared with loving hands and safe travels home! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours!!


At Allen CC, Kelly Baker and Kim Murry share that each year for Fall Semester finals week, the employees have the opportunity to make treats for the students. The table is filled to the brim every day with a variety of goodies that serve as “finals fuel” and “chocolate comfort” for stressed out finals brains!! Returning students look forward to this annual tradition and talk about it with new students so they can share in the deliciousness!

Finals Food Table (002)-Allen CC.PNG

At University of Kansas, Bonnie Sandefer tells us, that each holiday season we have an office potluck and basket raffle. KU provides the meats and we provide the rest. People bring their “A Game” and really show off what they can do in the kitchen. For the raffle each department picks a theme and then gathers donations. For example, Financial Aid’s basket theme was Bar None. We had things donated…from a bar cart and swizzle sticks, shaker and glasses, all the way to cherries, lemons, and limes to garnish. Then we all donate money to purchase tickets and whomever gets their name picked wins that basket. This year, I won the Travel basket. It had travel mugs, games, snacks, and even a $100 K-Tag (donated from K-Tag themselves), all arranged in a cooler. All proceeds then go to the United Way!! It is a great time to get together, laugh and share gifts and joy!!

Basket Raffle - KU

From our committee to all of you, we wish you a Joyous and Blessed Holiday Season! And a Healthy and Happy 2020!!