Meet the Board Member – Darcy Johnson – Past-President

What made you want to get involved with KASFAA?

The people. When I started in financial aid, almost all of my coworkers were very involved in KASFAA and I could sense their passion for the committees they were serving on. At my first KASFAA conference a co-worker, Thad Davidson, received the Outstanding Service Award and as I recall, there wasn’t a dry eye at our table. Our director at the time, Elaine Henrie, made sure to introduce me to as many people as she could, and I felt so welcomed. I also witnessed everyone happy to see each other and catch up. When an organization can evoke that sense of belonging, I wanted to be a part of it…plus I like hugs! I thoroughly enjoyed the creativity of the awards committee that year, and I knew that’s where I belonged, so I signed up immediately and three years later I was chairing that committee.

How would you tell new people within this profession to approach their tasks, jobs and career?

Take a breath, find humor as often as you can, you’ll never know everything, and you’ll need to tap in to your patient side. (August might not be the best time for me to answer this question. Ha ha!) Honestly, I would tell them to be prepared for the biggest learning curve of their life, but to hang in there because it is worth it to see the success of the students we helped get there. Start a SMILES folder to keep kudos (the good job kind, not the chocolate kind) in. On those really rough days go back and read through the times that people recognized you and appreciated you. (Shoutout to Connie Corcoran for that idea…I’ve used it lots over the years!) Make connections with your peers in KASFAA…the network we have is invaluable.

What are some of your favorite memories of past years being in the KASFAA organization?

Well one of my favorite memories I shared in the first answer. Getting to go to DC for the Leadership and Legislative Expo was an amazing experience. Receiving a SI scholarship was a great memory. The people, the learning, and the experiences are what make all of the memories standout.

Who do you admire most? Personally, professionally, and/or globally?

I admire all members of KASFAA. We’ve had a rough couple years (who else thinks 2021 was worse than 2020?), but we stay committed (Literally? Figuratively? Take your pick J) and continue persevering to do what we do best: help the students succeed. Keep on keeping on. I believe in each of you and we’re here for each other!

Anything exciting you’d like to share….

I finished a 1000 piece puzzle I started two weeks ago. That is the extent of excitement in my life at the moment.  😊

Here are some photos of cat lady progression 😝

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