10 Questions With NASFAA’s New National Chair, Billie Jo Hamilton

By Brittany Hackett, Communications Staff

Billie Jo HamiltonMeet Billie Jo Hamilton, NASFAA's 2017-18 National Chair! 
Billie Jo is the associate vice president for enrollment planning and management at the University of South Florida. She supervises the offices of Admissions, Registrar, and University Scholarships & Financial Aid Services. Her career has spanned 36 years and five states. "I started as a student worker at Pittsburg State University (KS)," Billie Jo said. "The director's wife was a high school friend of my mother, and the office manager was from my hometown, so I guess these were my first 'connections' into the work world." 
Over the years, Billie Jo has held directorships at the University of Kansas Medical Center, the University of Tennessee-Memphis, Missouri State University, and Southern Illinois University–Carbondale. She is a past state president (Kansas) and has held numerous elected and appointed positions in RMASFAA, SASFAA, and MASFAA. She has served as NASFAA conference chair, NASFAA Leadership Expo chair, as a commission director, and has presented numerous times at the NASFAA Leadership Conference. She has also held a three-year term as a Representative at Large on the NASFAA Board of Directors. She has a bachelor's degree in marketing and a master's degree in business administration from Pittsburgh State University in Kansas.
As she begins her tenure as 2017-18 National Chair, Billie Jo took some time to discuss with Today's News her goals for the next year and what inspires her as a financial aid professional.
TN: What do you think is the biggest issue facing the federal aid programs right now?  
BJH: The hyper-partisanship that is prevalent in Washington makes it challenging to affect progress in improving the aid programs for students in a meaningful way and as a result, the budget process will continue to drive policy.
TN: What are your top three goals for your tenure as National Chair of NASFAA?  
BJH: Build on the reputation we have gained in Washington as the "go-to" voice on financial aid issues, continue to expand and improve on the training products we offer our members, and encourage those newer to our profession who demonstrate a commitment to their students and their work to view financial aid as a career.
TN: Who has been the biggest professional influence for you over the years, and why?  
BJH: There have been many, but I would say Marilyn Haverly, my first supervisor as a student worker, as she instilled in me a work ethic, and my first supervisor as a professional, Frances Cooper Marks, because she hired a 23-year-old as a director and mentored and guided me for 14 years, honing my skills for future success.
TN: What is the best professional advice you have been given?  
BJH: It is not how well your office runs when you are at work that demonstrates you are a good manager. It is how well your office runs when you are out.
TN: You can have dinner with three celebrities, dead or alive. Who are they?  
BHJ: Robin Williams, Oprah Winfrey, and Katherine Hepburn.   
TN: If I were not working in financial aid, I'd...
BJH: Be operating my own clothing store. I love to shop and doing that for a living would be heaven!
TN: If you had a superpower, what would it be?  
BJH: To teleport from place to place at will.
TN: Something I wish I knew my first year working in financial aid. 
BJH: That my career path was set!
TN: How my colleagues would describe me:  
BJH: Collaborative, open-minded, and a bit demanding!
TN: What NASFAA service/product is most helpful to you?  
BJH: Today's News—hands down!
Watch Billie Jo's address to the NASFAA membership at the 2017 NASFAA Conference in San Diego, CA at nasfaa.org/NASFAALeadership.

Leave your welcome messages, comments, and congratulations to Hamilton in the comments section below!


Publication Date: 8/7/2017

Rebecca D | 8/10/2017 6:56:29 PM

II love the shout out to Marilyn Haverly--that's where I got my start too (as a work-study and eventually Associate Director at Pitt State). They've turned out many Financial Aid professionals over the years. Kudos to you Billie Jo!

You must be logged in to comment on this page.

Comments Disclaimer: NASFAA welcomes and encourages readers to comment and engage in respectful conversation about the content posted here. We value thoughtful, polite, and concise comments that reflect a variety of views. Comments are not moderated by NASFAA but are reviewed periodically by staff. Users should not expect real-time responses from NASFAA. To learn more, please view NASFAA’s complete Comments Policy.

Related Content

NASFAA Policy Update


NASFAA Policy Update


View Desktop Version