MVP Kay Soltis

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MVP: Most Valuable Professional is a series that features a brief Q&A with a different NASFAA member every couple of weeks. Do you know a financial aid colleague with something interesting to say? Send the names of potential future MVPs and a short note about why you're nominating them to news@nasfaa.org 

Kay Soltis
Director of Financial Aid At Pacific Lutheran University
(Tacoma, WA)

KayKay began her financial aid career at Pierce College (formerly Fort Steilacoom Community College) in Tacoma, WA in 1971. She has spent many years involved in training at the state, regional and national level, including being a non-federal trainer for the Department of Education. She has also served as President of state association WFAA and President of the regional association WASFAA, served on NASFAA's Board of Directors as a Rep-at-Large and as a Regional President, and served as a member on NASFAA's Reauthorization Task Force.

When I'm not at work…  

I'm a big time crafter. My interests range from jewelry designing to basket weaving to crocheting and I love to read. I like a variety of genres, but my favorites are science fiction and mysteries. 

The best advice I ever got was… 

Gather and cultivate a network of colleagues to call on and to stretch myself beyond my comfort zone.

My greatest accomplishment is... 

My children. I am so proud of them and my husband and I are so blessed. 

What is a goal you've set for yourself for the 2013-14 award year?  

To obtain NASFAA University credentials for one module. You're never too old to learn!   

If you had a super power what would it be? 

Flying.

You can have dinner with three celebrities, dead or alive. Who are they? 

One of our astronauts (I don't have a particular one in mind, but since I'm never going to have the super power to fly, I'd want to hear about their experience in space), Nora Roberts (who sometimes writes using the pseudonym J.D. Robb), and J.K. Rowling.

What NASFAA service/product is most helpful to you? 

Today's News and Policy and Procedures template.

My most motivating financial aid experience was when... 

I went the extra mile to assist a student with financial aid and the student enrolled, graduated and is now working as a financial aid administrator. 

Biggest financial aid change I've seen during in my career was... 

Moving to the electronic application. Who would have thought we would be able to see an EFC instantly upon submission of the FAFSA information?

One personal fact that would surprise my coworkers... 

I get very nervous when I have to do any public speaking.

Want to say hello to Kay or reply to something she said? Please leave your remarks in the comments section, below!  

14 Comments

  • Kay has been involved in everything and still remains as enthusiastic as ever!

  • I love Kay! She gives you an instant "pick me up" the moment she smiles at you.

  • Well deserved! Kay was my group leader at the WASFAA summer institute in 2002 when I was a fin aid newbie. She is a great teacher and role model as she is very involved and "walks her talk." - April T. WSU Vancouver

  • Kay is a fantastic, very knowledgeable and supportive peer. Glad to see her get recognized.

    Tracey L

  • Loved reading this article on Kay and agree she is awesome to have worked for and with over the years! I, too, am one of the many that began as a PLU work study student and am still in the field today. Congratulations Kay!! (and for the record, Kay is a wonderful speaker!!)

  • I am one of those one-time student workers who 25 years ago worked with Kay at PLU, and now I am a Financial Aid Administrator. She was, and always has been, a wonderful role model to me. Her passion for our work, and compassion for students, contributed to my decision to work in this field. I always look forward to seeing Kay at WASFAA conferences/training events...she is very deserving of this honor!

  • Having just seved with Kay for the last three years on the NASFAA BoD and last year as part of the Re-Authorization Task Force, it was always encouraging to get her perspective on the issues as she always is a "voice of reason". Definately a FAA MVP

  • Kay so deserves this recognition. She is a great person, mentor, friend and contributor to financial aid.

  • So proud to have you in Washington where your good humor, hard work and congeniality are a trademark. You never seem nervous and inspire confidence. Thanks for continuing to give; you do it better than anyone I know.

  • Thank you, NASFAA, for recognizing, Kay Soltis, as an MVP. She has always approached Financial Aid with compassion and a sense of duty to her students, staff, school, and professional organizations. The dedication and joy she has bringing new people into the business of Financial Aid is evident in the number of her one time student workers who have become Financial Aid Administrators. Her passion for teaching Financial Aid to those that want to learn has driven her to teach at the WASFAA Summer Institute for new Financial Aid Administrators, and WASFAA's Management and Leadership training for advanced FA Administrators. She is always available to help her colleagues at a moment's notice, extending suggestions, never telling someone what they should do, but helping them see issues from all sides. She is a true Financial Aid MVP; thank you NASFAA, for showing Kay how important she is, and thank you to everyone who comments letting Kay know how she's touched your careers. I for one, know I wouldn't be where I am today, without her. Thank you, Kay Soltis.

  • So happy to read this recognition of Kay! She is an MVP in her work and especially as a friend and colleague.

  • Kay is a wonderful colleague and friend; I've counted on her to provide thoughtful responses to wild hair schemes on many occasions. Thanks for the wonderful laugh and down to earth, practical suggestions...MVP indeed.

  • Kay is inspirational! Her wisdom and energy permeate all that she does.

  • Kay is most definitely an MVP. She has been a huge help to me throughout my career and a great colleague. Not just an MVP but also a superstar!

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