2020 Award Recipients – Deborah Byers Outstanding Service Award

Deborah Byers Outstanding Service Award is presented to recognize the outstanding contribution of an individual in the field of financial aid through contributions to KASFAA.


Awarded to Sara Vancil, Federal Student Aid (University of Kansas at time of nomination and voting), for holding numerous leadership roles (including KASFAA President) within KASFAA and RMASFAA, as well as her organization of and follow through on all projects that she is involved in. “Her knowledge of financial aid is exemplary and her passion for helping students is inspiring.”

Deborah Byers Outstanding Service Award - Sara

Sara’s words of thanks

Dear KASFAA Friends,

What strange days we are all living through!  When I took a position with Federal Student Aid in February, I never expected that my work as a training officer would be upended by something like COVID-19.  And I know all of you are feeling the same way as you navigate what this means for your students and your campuses.

I wanted to take a moment to thank the KASFAA Board for recently awarding me with the Deborah Byers Outstanding Service Award, via Zoom, no less!  😊  Being honored with this award means so much given that it seeks to recognize someone for sustained contributions to KASFAA. 

I gave it my all over the past ten years contributing to KASFAA in as many ways as I could.  I’m proud of the work I did with my KASFAA friends in planning trainings and conferences, developing our Strategic Plan, strengthening our financial position, and updating our policies and procedures.  I am very proud of my work with KASFAA, but more than that, I’m so blessed to have made so many great friends and worked with dedicated and creative colleagues on important and long-lasting work.

A very special thank you to Diane Lindeman for nominating me.  I hope you’ll stay in touch and that I’ll see you soon at a future conference!

Sara Vancil


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