MVP Tami Sato

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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 

Tami Sato
Director of Financial Aid at Marshall B. Ketchum University
(Fullerton, CA)

/uploadedImages/System/Images/mvpheadshots/tami_sato.jpgTami has been in financial aid for 32 years and began her career after she answered an advertisement in the Pennysaver for an "assurate typist." Upon losing that position to someone else, she was offered a secretary position in the financial aid office and has remained in the field ever since. Tami has been an active member of the California Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (CASFAA) serving on numerous committees. She also served as WASFAA president during the 2006-2007 year and was a member of NASFAA's Graduate and Professional Issues Committee (GPIC).

The best advice I ever got was...  

Not to take work home. In our profession we work long hard hours, enough is enough.

If I weren’t working in financial aid, I’d ...  

Probably be a starving artist.

One thing working in financial aid has taught me is ...  

That you will never know everything. No matter how long you have been in financial aid, someone will ask you a question no one has ever asked before.

Who do you admire?  

Anyone who can do a presentation walking around and up and down the aisle. I’m more of a podium speaker. After being WASFAA president someone saw me in a hallway and said, “Oh, this is the first time I have seen you not behind a podium.” 

If you had a super power what would it be?  

Always thought it would be great to be able to be in two places at one time. Really would come in handy at times, don’t you think?

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

I thought it was just noble thinking that one person could make a difference, but I read three books about people who did just that. I would like to meet 1) Greg Mortenson from Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin , 2) Paul Farmer from Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder, and 3) Muhammad Yunus who penned Banker to the Poor.

What NASFAA service/product is most helpful to you?  

Hands down, NASFAA's Today's News. First thing I read when I get to the office. Best source of what is happening in our arena.

Most motivating financial aid experience:  

Serving as a Marshall at commencement. At a small college you get to know the students' situations and it is so uplifting to see their families in the crowd and know that these lucky graduates are on their way to a great life.  

Biggest financial aid change you’ve seen in your career:  

I’ve been in the biz long enough to see the loan programs change from FISL, GSL, FFELP and now DL only.

Cat or dog person:  

Neither, just people.

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

11 Comments

  • Congratulations, Tami on your MVP status! I am happy for you and know that you are truly an MVP. Thank you for always making me feel welcome and I truly appreciate all you do for WASFAA and NASFAA. Jackie A.M (the one in Alaska!)

  • There is no doubt Tami is an MVP in my book! Glad she was recognized.

  • I have enjoyed getting to know Tami through regional association involvement. Congrats on the MVP distinction!

  • Tami - you "go" girl! Good to see you acknowledged with this honor. You've always been extremely helpful. Lauren S.

  • Congratulations, Tami! If it weren't for financial aid I wouldn't have found one of my best friends. You definitely are an MVP. Mindy B

  • FABULOUS!! You certainly are a MVP! Congratulations! Linda B

  • Congratulations, Tami. You deserve the MVP title. I enjoyed working with you on CASFAA for many years. You represent our profession so well! Thank you for all you do.

  • Congrats Tammy! Of course you are an MVP! Thanks for everything you do for our profession and the students we serve ! Deb B-G

  • Congrats, Tami! Thank you for your years of service to WASFAA. I am proud to have you as a friend and colleague! Renee D

  • Congratulations, Tami! YOU are an inspiration. I agree about the NASFAA News. I check it every morning as well. Joyce A

  • Congratulations, Tami! You certainly are an MVP. I am grateful for all you do for WASFAA and NASFAA. Wendy O

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