MVP: Most Valuable Professional is an occasional series that features a brief Q&A with a different NASFAA member. 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 email@example.com.
Meet Francisco Valines. Francisco has been a financial aid professional for 38 years, getting his start as a graduate student at the University of Florida in 1982. Since then, he's worked in the financial aid offices at large public universities such as Texas Tech University, Washington State University, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the University of Maryland, College Park. Francisco has served as the director of financial aid at Florida International University (FIU) for 14 years and counting, and said he is motivated by watching his students cross the stage at graduation each semester.
Francisco has served on numerous NASFAA committees and task forces such as the Carnival of Learning Committee, Need Analysis Committee, and Access and Diversity Committee, and previously chaired the Technology Initiatives Committee. He also sat on NASFAA's Reauthorization Task Force and Online Technology Review Task Force, as well as co-authored articles for "The Student Aid Transcript," a former NASFAA publication. Francisco is also currently a Commission Director on the 2019-20 NASFAA Board of Directors, a member of the Compliance Management Track Task Force for NASFAA's upcoming 2020 Leadership & Legislative Conference & Expo, and is about to begin work on the Succession Planning Task Force.
How have you experienced innovation in your career in financial aid?
I've always been technology-inclined. At Washington State University, I developed a dBase, (one of the first database management systems) to establish a database and scoring system for presidential scholarships, before moving to a Mac-based software known as HyperCard. I also worked with the technology lead at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to develop a loan certification form, and created the first financial aid website at the University of Maryland, College Park. At FIU, we've gone from using lots of paper to developing in-house verification e-forms, and then to outsourcing verification and automating the process.
What is one thing you wish you would have known when you were early in your career?
What is the last movie you went to? What did you think?
"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker." It wrapped up the saga pretty well, and I was satisfied over all.
What is a goal you've set for yourself for the upcoming year?
My 2020 goal is to learn the Ruby programming language.
What radio station do you listen to the most in the car?
I commute with my daughters, and we all work full-time at FIU, so it's 104.3 The Shark, an alternative rock station.
Who is your favorite historical figure?
Roberto Cofresi, who lived from 1791 to 1825. He's a Puerto Rican pirate from the early 19th century — and a distant relative.
If you could join any past or current music group, which would it be and why?
The Monkees — I always wanted to be Micky Dolenz.
What would you do if you won the lottery?
Buy an island in the Caribbean and work/consult remotely.
Want to say hello to Francisco or reply to something he said? Please leave your remarks in the comments section below. You can also take a look back at our past MVPs to read any you missed the first time around.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publication Date: 1/13/2020