Meet Alexus Scott at WSU!

Alexus Scott

When did you start working in the Office of Financial Aid at Wichita State University?

                 My first day in the Office of Financial aid was Monday, October 7, 2019.

What do you hope to contribute to the WSU Office of Financial Aid?

                I hope to contribute a new perspective and creative outlook to the current office structure.  Being a newer face in the office this gives you the challenge of learning brand new practices but it also the organization to assess their current structure to ensure it’s working effectively and efficiently for the student.

What do you hope to learn from the field of financial aid?

              I hope to learn the everchanging perspective of the student body that we serve. Each student has a different story and I believe our office has the opportunity to connect with each student we encounter regardless of their incoming story. With this opportunity, I want to expand my research and knowledge base of resources to cater to this generation’s population of college students.

What excites you about the field of financial aid thus far?

             Thus far, the interactions with students and the idea to be their resource every year while they attend your college is the most exciting part. This is truly a profession that can grant you the opportunity to see a student through until graduation and I believe that’s the best reward.

What is your favorite part of the Christmas holiday season, and how do you and your family celebrate?

              My favorite part of the Christmas season is being around friends and family, visiting light shows, and reminiscing on all the blessings we’ve received throughout the year.  Around the holidays, my family, friends and I celebrate by hosting several parties with lots of food and festive games: Secret Santa, White Elephant, Uno, etc. We like to play them all. We also enjoy seeing lights hung across the city and visiting Botanical Gardens in December.

 

 

BELIEVE!!

If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing and BELIEVE in what you are doing.     ~Will Rogers

This year’s Christmas card is as simple as it gets. Like Will says, just BELIEVE.

BELIEVE(1)

This is the time of year that BELIEVE comes easy. Lots of good things to do, see, eat and just plain enjoy. That train is very easy to board and take a seat.

We at KASFAA have honored BELIEVE for many years. Long-range visions, committee updates, revised P&P/bylaws are just a few of the areas that someone saw needed some work and took charge. The Fiscal Officers, the New website, The Blog, are all dreams that come true from BELIEVE.

But what if the train jumps the tracks and all seems lost? “What do you mean we’ve lost the hotel for the conference”? Or the Larry leaves us after so many years at K-State? or a dear friend like Bruce suddenly passes away far too soon. We know to BELIEVE will allow us to carry on with our KASFAA goals.

This final Christmas card reflects what I have tried to do for years: BELIEVE. I must…as it just doesn’t seem possible that 33 exciting years are about over.

Let BELIEVE be your mantra this year with the confidence to keep on keeping on.

Godfather Don Corleone said, “this is the life we’ve chosen”. I BELIEVE it is the life that has chosen us. None of us knew in the beginning that what we were doing would be something we would love. BELIEVE it!

Wishing you and yours a blessed Christmas…

Keith Fitzsimmons

 

Meet the Committee – Conference Planning

Name:  Darcy Johnson

Position on committee:  The President-Elect automatically serves as Chair of the Conference Planning committee

Position duties & responsibilities:  In this position I oversee the work of the Decorations, Awards, and Site subcommittees, as well as coordinate with Electronic Resources and Corporate Support. Additionally, assisting the Co-Chair (Vice President) with anything that they or their subcommittees may need.

Things accomplished for/with this committee:  Our committee is responsible for organizing the annual KASFAA Spring Conference (bet you figured that one out already). We have already had a site visit at the Spring 2020 hotel (Capitol Plaza in Topeka) and three conference calls to discuss our work. The entertainment, keynote speaker, and program are all well under way; no joke!

Length of KASFAA membership:  8 years

Position held at respective institution & length of time worked there:  Student Loan Coordinator at Emporia State University. I’ve been with ESU for 8 years.

Length of time in financial aid:  8 years

What sparked your desire to join the Conference Planning Committee?:  Well it was more of a requirement in my case. However, two years ago when I ran for Vice President, I did so solely because VP is the Co-Chair for Conference Planning, and that is their primary task. I love event planning, which was my motivation behind that.

Name:  Ashley Jost

Position on committee:  KASFAA Vice-President, Conference Planning Co-Chair

Position duties & responsibilities:  Responsible for Program and publicity.  Oversee the entertainment and registration subcommittees.  Also coordinate with Membership and Fiscal Officers committee.

Things accomplished for/with this committee So far, we have booked the keynote and started firming up an amazing fiscal officer track!  We are also finalizing entertainment.  We are accepting proposals for conference sessions.  Be sure to submit yours as soon as possible: https://forms.gle/2bMZiKEiSbDF1dmf8  

Length of KASFAA membership:  I started at JCCC in August 2012, joined KASFAA that same Fall!

Position held at respective institution & length of time worked there:  JCCC Financial Aid Coordinator-Communications.  Starting my 8th year at JCCC!

Length of time in financial aid Began my Financial Aid career once I started working at JCCC in 2012.

What sparked your desire to join the Conference Planning Committee?:  When I ran for Vice-President, I knew conference planning would be a major part of my role!  Event planning is a lot of work, but something I really enjoy!  I was excited to be selected by the membership!  We have a great team working hard to plan a fabulous Spring 2020 conference!  Do not miss it!

Name:  Thad Davidson

Position on committee:  Electronic Resource Liaison

Position duties & responsibilities:  Coordinate with the Electronic Resources Committee to provide laptops, screens, projectors, etc for the annual conference, as well assigning the ERC committee members to a breakout session room to assist with technology if there are issues during the conference. Also coordinates with the Registration subcommittee and Program subcommittee to post conference information to the website. This year that task has taken on a whole new meaning with the new website launch.

Things accomplished for/with this committee:  Answered questions about the website on the committee calls. Very soon will be working on developing the registration site and awards nomination forms

Length of KASFAA membership:  14 years

Position held at respective institution & length of time worked there:  Director of Financial Aid – Technology. Has worked at ESU 14 years

Length of time in financial aid:  14 years

What sparked your desire to join the Conference Planning Committee?:  It is a requirement for ERC to have a representative on the Conference Planning Committee. Thad didn’t delegate the responsibility to his co-chair or anyone else on his committee.

Name: Tammy Garth

Position on committee: member

 Name:  Melinda Harrington

Position on committee:  member

Position duties & responsibilities:  conference registration

Length of KASFAA membership:  17 years

Position held at respective institution & length of time worked there:  Garden City CC Financial Aid Director; 5 yeas as the director, 17 years total at GCCC

Length of time in financial aid:  17 years

What sparked your desire to join the Conference Planning Committee?:  The KASFAA spring conference provides professional development/training for myself and so many others- it’s always a great time with fun people! Being a part of the planning committee for this conference allows me to give back by helping others on this committee to ensure we pull off another very important and much-needed KASFAA spring conference and continue the legacy!

Name:  Angela Karlin

Position on committee:  Member

Position duties & responsibilities:  my assignment is to help plan the program

Things accomplished for/with this committee:  working on the Spring Conference in April

Length of KASFAA membership:  2 ½ years

Position held at respective institution & length of time worked there:  Assistant Vice Provost-Financial Aid and Scholarships.  I’ve been at KU for 2 ½ years.

Length of time in financial aid:  17 years

What sparked your desire to join the Conference Planning Committee?  Planning the conference is a way to work on a high impact event and meet a lot of new people.

Name:  Kelli Lowe Heying

Position on committee:  Corporate Support Liason

Position duties & responsibilities:  Responsible for planning and executing annual spring conference fund raising activity. Coordinates with Associate Member Representative regarding vendor representation at the conference.

Things accomplished for/with this committee:  Helped with theme for conference, decoration, entertainment, update Corporate support committee

Length of KASFAA membership:  13 years

Position held at respective institution & length of time worked there: Credit World Services, Inc Director of Operations 29 years

Length of time in financial aid:  Vendor

What sparked your desire to join the Conference Planning Committee?:  I wanted to get involved and help in any way to benefit the association.

 Name:  Amanda McLaughlin

Position on committee:  I am helping with 2 subcommittees – Awards and Programming

Length of KASFAA membership:  5 years

Position held at respective institution & length of time worked there:  Associate Director of Financial Aid – 5 years.

Length of time in financial aid:  7 years

What sparked your desire to join the Conference Planning Committee?:  I wanted to help in some small way.

Name:  Trish Runion

Position on committee:  Membership Committee Liaison

Position duties & responsibilities:  Liaison for the membership committee to facilitate the New Member conference session and help with their recognition at the awards banquet.

Things accomplished for/with this committee:  This is my 3rd year on this committee; the last two years I worked with other ladies on the Awards and banquet.

Length of KASFAA membership:  4.5 years

Position held at respective institution & length of time worked there Director Student Financial Services at Manhattan Christian College – 2.5 years

Length of time in financial aid:  4.5 years  (5 years in April…)

What sparked your desire to join the Conference Planning Committee?  I love to support and recognize people.  The conference is the place I believe that I can do both as well as work with some fabulous people.

Name:  Lynsey Shipman

Position on committee:  Registration

Position duties & responsibilities:  Responsible for publicizing and managing the registration activities for the spring conference. Work with Electronic Resources and ATAC on updating and launching the online registration form and conference landing page. Create and distribute email teasers and invites to membership. Print nametags, work with local Chamber to get swag bags, and solicit people to staff the registration table during check-in.

Things accomplished for/with this committee:  so far just helping with Theme and Logo

Length of KASFAA membership:  just over a year

Position held at respective institution & length of time worked there Financial Aid Specialist, just over a year

Length of time in financial aid:  21 years

What sparked your desire to join the Conference Planning Committee?:  I enjoy organizing events and thought this would be a great and rewarding experience.

Name: April Sidesinger

Position on committee: Entertainment & and Site Planning

Position duties/responsibilities: I am in charge of booking the evening entertainment for the conference as well as helping with the details for the location site the conference is being held at.

Things accomplished for/with this committee: We have figured out what entertainment we are wanting for the conference and I am excited to showcase the two groups we have went with. They are both local groups and are very different from past entertainment choices.

Length of KASFAA membership: 1 year

Position held at respective institution & length of time worked there: Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Washburn University Institute of Technology. I have worked at Washburn Tech for four year.

Length of time in financial aid: Less than one year in Financial Aid.

What sparked your desire to join the Conference Planning Committee? I have always enjoyed helping plan events and thought it would be a great way to meet other Financial Aid professionals since I am new to Financial Aid.

Name:  Karen Thompson

Position on committee:  I am on the Program committee, and have been involved in conference calls at this point.

Length of KASFAA membership:  Approximately 17 years.

Position held at respective institution & length of time worked there: I am the fiscal officer (Perkins, nursing and soon to be NFLP loans) at Pittsburg State University.  I have been in my current position, AR Manager, for 17 years.

Length of time in financial aid: I have been at Pittsburg State University for 31 years.

What sparked your desire to join the Conference Planning Committee?: I know from personal experience, that this committee does a great job every year, and hope that I can contribute (even if in a small way), to a great learning and networking experience for the entire membership.

Name:  Theresa Turenne

Name:  Diana VanDyke

Position on committee:  Decorating Committee

Position duties & responsibilities:  Purchase and/or make decorations for the conference.

Things accomplished for/with this committee:  Currently researching ideas on decorations within our budget

Length of KASFAA membership:  18yrs

Position held at respective institution & length of time worked there:  F/A Counselor for 18 yrs

Length of time in financial aid:  18yrs

What sparked your desire to join the Conference Planning Committee?:  It is FUN! Working with creating a program or coming up with decorations or finding trainers etc!!  It is just a lot of fun to plan a learning get a way for the entire Kansas Financial Aid Community!  Attached copies of two of the centerpieces that I helped to design and build.  Was a lot of fun!

Name:  Denise Varrientos

Meet the Committee – What the Heck is Association Governance?

Gavel

 

KASFAA’s Association Governance Committee is a little different than other KASFAA committees!  We don’t take volunteers for this committee.  Rather, it is made up of a set group of individuals.  The committee is composed of the President, the President-Elect, the Past-President (serves as chair) and two former past presidents. (For those of you doing the math, that means when you run for President-Elect, you’re kind of making a five year commitment to KASFAA!)  This year’s AG Committee includes Tony Tanking, Darcy Johnson, Sara Vancil, Nathan Buche, and Debbie Brewer.

We have two primary responsibilities as outlined in the KASFAA P&P.  First, the committee is responsible for conducting the nomination and election process for a slate of new officers for the Board.  Second, we review and update the Association’s governing documents.  The first task is straightforward, although it can be challenging!  It is a commitment to run for office so it takes us some time to reach out to potential nominees to talk to them about the positions and try to convince them to run! 

So what about that second task of keeping our governing documents up to date?  What documents are we talking about?  Here’s a primer (try not to yawn while reading):

The By-Laws contain instructions that rule KASFAA as a whole.  By-laws can only be changed by vote of the entire membership.  By-laws are purposefully broad and govern the big picture items for the organization.

The Policies and Procedures Manual contains the instructions that govern the annual operation and decision-making of the Association. The P&P manual may only be changed with approval by the Board at one of the quarterly board meetings. Policies and Procedures remain broadly focused but provide more detail on each committee’s purpose, responsibilities, composition, and service expectations.  The manual also outlines a variety of policies, particularly financial ones.

The Committee Handbooks contain the instructions that govern the tasks of each committee. Timeline information helps volunteers understand time commitments and expectations. Handbooks are updated annually by committee chairs, and AG oversees this update process.

The Strategic Long Range Plan is written and approved by the Board every three years.  In an SLRP, the Association identifies the priority areas and goals toward which it wishes to work in the given span of time.  Every goal in an SLRP is assigned to one or more committees or officers to ensure it is carried out. 

So every time AG meets (which is about once per quarter), we are talking about things that we need to update in these documents and the processes and timelines needed to make those changes happen.  We determine if we need any new policies as well and get those written into Action Items for the Board or the membership to vote on.

On a personal note, I have loved the time I’ve devoted to the KASFAA Board over the past six or seven years.  I’ve gotten to hold a lot of different roles and do many different things from training to taking minutes to planning conferences to developing the SLRP.   Chairing Association Governance has been a highlight as well.  It plays to my strengths of wanting to make sure things are in order, efficient, organized, and well thought out.  It also allows me to fulfill one of the main goals I have when volunteering for any organization – to leave a place better than you found it.  (Can you tell I’m also a Girl Scout troop leader?)  By ensuring our governing documents are sound, AG allows KASFAA to run smoothly and execute all the other great goals and initiatives we make for ourselves.

Sara Vancil
Past-President
Chair of Association Governance

Holiday Traditions around Kansas

As the holidays approach, our committee thought it would be fun to hear from the membership about what holiday traditions happen within your family and/or with friends. Please send anything you’d like to share by Monday, December 16 to one of the committee members listed below…and share pictures, which is even more fun!!

Thanks for all you do for KASFAA!  Enjoy the holidays with your family and/or friends!! (And Remember to Share!)

Association News & Publicity Committee

  • Cindy Kleinsorge – ckleinso@jccc.edu
  • Bonnie Sandefer – bsandefer@ku.edu 
  • Kelly Baker – baker@allencc.edu 
  • Keith Fitzsimmons – KFITZSIM@kumc.edu 
  • Courtney Lockhart – Courtney.Lockhart@wichita.edu 
  • Tanya McGee – Tanyap@ksu.edu 
  • Kim Murray – murray@allencc.edu

 

 

 

 

New Website Update

As you may or may not be aware, KASFAA has undergone a website revamp as our previous web provider, ATAC has closed as of November. Our site has been transitioned to a new provider, MemberLeap, and if you are listed as an active member in the prior KASFAA website database, you should have received an email from webmaster@kasfaa.org which provided you with your login credentials to the new website. If you did not receive that email, please check your spam or I can resend it to you (email me directly at tdavidso@emporia.edu).

One thing that is a little bit different that will most likely just affect primary members is how membership types are now being handled. In case you did not see my earlier email through the message board, membership types now look like this:

  • Institution – this a primary, paying membership record. It is also a parent record with child records associated (or cross-referenced) with it.
  • Institutional – this is a secondary, non-paying membership record and is a child record to the parent, Institution record.
  • Corporate – this is a primary, paying membership record. It is also a parent record with child records associated (or cross-referenced) with it.
  • Associate – this is a secondary, non-paying membership record and is a child record to the parent, Corporate record.

All of us as individuals will have either an institutional or associate member record with its own login credentials to access the site’s member features and will hold our individual profiles, registrations, etc. However, for those of you who are also primary contacts, you will have another login that will be used for paying membership dues and providing information about your institution or corporation. No other business beyond those two things should be conducted under that login that I am aware of. To help differentiate between the two, I have added (PRIMARY) to the last name field, and resent the welcome email for that login. I also highly encourage you to change your ID and password and make it different from your individual record. Thank you for your patience as we continue to work through these issues being under a new system.

Primary members should have had their membership renewals go out today. Please let me know if you have any issues.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thad Davidson, KASFAA Electronic Resources Chair

Exciting for KASFAA & KSU

What to my wondering eyes should appear?! But a name I recognize and hold dear.

I was reading The K-Stater, K-State’s Alumni Association magazine, and noticed in the Class Notes a familiar name. Brenda Hicks is a proud alumna of Kansas State University and we couldn’t be more proud of her!

K-Stater - Brenda Hicks

 Respectfully submitted,

Tanya McGee, Associate Director                                                                                               Office of Student Financial Aid                                                                                                   Kansas State University