Conference attendees at Wednesday afternoon’s Awards Luncheon and Business Meeting were provided with an update on the state of affairs at NASFAA, including the association’s budget and diversity efforts. NASFAA also presented several awards to members and colleagues for their achievements in the financial aid and higher education policy professions.
Attendees first heard from NASFAA Diversity Officer Jim Brooks from the University of Oregon, who discussed the current national climate around issues of diversity and inclusion. Campuses throughout the country “have continued to struggle as we’ve dealt with issues that we have not dealt with before, but have always been there,” Brooks said, noting that NASFAA stands behind its Diversity Statement and continues to work on behalf of its diverse membership.
Brooks also encouraged members to continue to complete their myNASFAA accounts to help the association better understand the demographic makeup of its membership.
Reports were also given by Past National Chair Dan Mann, who spoke about the development of a new strategic long-range plan for NASFAA, and by outgoing National Chair Lisa Blazer, who delivered remarks about NASFAA’s finances on behalf of outgoing Treasurer Brad Barnett who was unable to attend this year’s conference.
NASFAA's 2016-17 National Chair Lisa Blazer passed the gavel to 2017-18 National Chair Billie Jo Hamilton. In her address to attendees, Blazer called her time as National Chair “one of the most incredible opportunities I have ever had.” During her time as chair, Blazer focused on why financial aid administrators “do what we do,” saying, “We are here for students … and I’m really glad we were able to talk about that at all of our conference this year.”
“My challenge to you is to stay connected with states, regions, and national associations,” Blazer said. “Volunteering will be one of the most worthwhile and fulfilling experiences you will have.”
During the meeting, NASFAA presented several awards to financial aid administrators and others who work in the student financial aid arena, including Blazer who was awarded the Allan W. Purdy Distinguished Service Award.
Among the award recipients was Jeff Baker, director of the policy, liaison, and implementation staff at the Department of Education (ED), who was awarded NASFAA’s Honorary Membership Award. The award is the highest honor that the association can bestow on a person who is neither a member nor affiliated with a member organization. Baker, who is set to retire soon after over 35 years in the student financial aid industry, received his award to a standing ovation from NASFAA members.
"If someone asks about me in the future, tell them all I ever wanted to do was help poor kids go to school,” said an emotional Baker.
The full list of this year’s award recipients can be found here.
Publication Date: 6/28/2017