What made you want to get involved with KASFAA?
At the time I gained membership onto KASFAA, WSU staff had a strong presence in the organization. I credit our Director, Deb Byers, for that 😊 She encouraged involvement and I could see the relationships others had built throughout the state as a result. I just assumed it was part of the job, jumped in and have been reaping the benefits ever since.
What positions have you held with KASFAA and what has been your favorite so far?
I started on the Training Committee where I served multiple times; Chaired the Membership & Archives Committees, served on the Welcome Committee & Conference Planning, was elected Treasurer-Elect & am now Treasurer.
I would have to say my favorite was Training. Back then, we traveled throughout selected regions with our team of three to present to High School Counselors, TRIO advisors and anyone else in the communities who needed to be up-to-date on all the new things coming down from DoEd each year. My first year, I had the pleasure of traveling with Brenda Hicks and have been in awe of her ever since.
As a seasoned veteran within the financial aid industry, what has impacted you the most about this profession and what has changed the most within the profession?
I think the most impactful thing about our profession is seeing those students who struggle reach graduation & hearing about the great job they landed as a result. Many of them express that never could have happened without financial aid.
It’s hard to say what has changed to most; changes seem to happen every day. I have seen efforts to remove some of the barriers some students have to break through and efforts to put them back in place. It shouldn’t be this hard to get an education! Especially when decent jobs now days require it.
Within this industry have you had any mentors, who were they, if you’d like to say, and what did they tell you as you were beginning your career path in Financial Aid?
I’ve been blessed with great mentors throughout my FinAid career: Deb Byers, Sheelu Surender, Donna Carter, Robyn Bongartz & Joe Donlay all at WSU. Brenda Hicks, Myra Pfannenstiel, Lois Madsen, Tony Tanking, Cindy Kleinsorge, Debbie Brewer and SOOOOOO many more.
Most of their advice consists of “Be involved, your connections will be lifelong. Always be open to learn new things & go outside your comfort zone to grow. Lead by example.”
Who do you admire most? Personally, professionally, and/or globally? Choose one or answer all three…
- Personally – my parents & my boys. Their courage & strength continue to amaze me on a daily basis.
- Professionally – please refer to the previous questions about mentors 😊
- Globally – all those who are striving to bring people together instead of forcing them apart. Those who have sacrificed, or are currently sacrificing, to improve the world for those who follow. People who put others first; there is too much selfishness in the world today.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Curl up with my fur-babies and binge ID shows on Discover+ in the dark.
Is there anything else you’d like KASFAA members to know about you?
I may seem like an extrovert but I’m really not; I’m shy if I don’t know you but, since I consider everyone in KASFAA a friend, it’s easier for me to open up. Remember the “outside your comfort zone” thing 😉