The first day of NASFAA was a blast! I arrived on Thursday to attend the PowerFAIDs conference and GUESS who I ran into! Our old friend, Brenda Krehbiel.
Brenda is doing great and loves her new job. It was fun to see her and catch up.
I started today with a NASFAA 50th Anniversary task force meeting. I hope that some of you are planning to go to NASFAA in 2016 in Washington DC – it’s going to be very, very fun and I’m helping to plan the party! We did some initial brainstorming and met each other. The planning will continue for two more years. Keep an eye out for further information.
After that I registered and plotted out my afternoon.
What I love about NASFAA is that I get to spend my face-to-face time learning ideas and gathering inspiration from my fellow colleagues across the nation. While I was waiting for the general session to start, I also perused the attendee list to see who was here from KASFAA. I noticed our own Ben Kohl on the list who I hear is lighting up the Twittersphere. I also noticed Scott Franz who happened to be sitting behind me in one of the sessions I attended this afternoon
I think I saw Robert Gamez traveling up an escalator…but I’m not sure. I also know that Ms. Connie Corcoran is hanging around somewhere, but I haven’t seen her yet.
The opening speaker was Ron Clark. Ron is an award winning teacher and founder of the Ron Clark Academy. He is also an author and quite possibly one of the bounciest speakers that I have ever seen. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Guys, he told a story about how he takes his kids to college campuses all across the nation and during those visits he always talks to the financial aid officers. He thanked us for what we do and called us angels. He was a terrific speaker and left the stage to a wild, standing ovation.
I went to two sessions – one on the future of the Perkins program by three presenters who shared their opinions and how they are preparing for the September 2015 expiration date. I also attended the Federal Town Hall meeting – otherwise dubbed the “Jeff Baker Show.” I picked up some valuable information there on Perkins, the FAFSA and SULA. Jeff asked for feedback on what was good and bad about the way they are asking the parent questions on the FAFSA. Jeff is always fun to listen to.
All in all – it was a great start to the conference. I went to the Welcome reception where I had some of the best grits I’ve had in a long time and spent the evening bumping into friends like Myra, Mindy and Julie, looking at all the vender swag, getting a NASFAA tattoo and chatting up the NASFAA team and people from the RMAFSAA region.
-Brenda Hicks, President Elect