Allan W. Purdy Distinguished Service Award

The Allan W. Purdy Distinguished Service Award is one of the highest awards that NASFAA bestows. It may be awarded either for significant contributions in the furtherance of NASFAA's goals over a sustained period of time, or for a single contribution of such momentous importance as to deserve the award. An award recipient may come from the financial aid, political, educational, business, or other community.

The NASFAA Awards nomination process is now closed. Winners will be announced this summer at the NASFAA National Conference in Milwaukee, WI.

2023 Allan W. Purdy Distinguished Service Award Winners

Roberta JohnsonRoberta Johnson, Executive Director, Office of Student Financial Aid, Iowa State University

For the past 40 years, Roberta Johnson has served the students at Iowa State University, with the past 20 years in the role of Director of Student Financial Aid. She has been a tireless advocate and champion for student success and accessibility, and has developed numerous programs on campus to help students. Roberta brought Iowa State University into the Direct Loan program as a pilot school, which led to her long-time involvement in the National Direct Loan Coalition, including serving a term as National Chair in sessions, and serving on many committees. During her term as IASFAA President, she developed the leadership development program. Roberta has twice participated in the federal negotiated rulemaking process, showing her commitment to improving the financial aid industry. Her expertise in student financial aid has been recognized by Congress, as she has testified in front of multiple committees. Former Senator Tom Harkin appointed her to the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, on which she served from 2013-15. 

Brad BarnettBrad Barnett, Associate Vice President for Access and Enrollment Management/Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships, James Madison University and NASFAA’s 2022-23 National Chair

With over two decades of experience in the financial aid profession, Brad has been active in state, regional, and national financial aid associations as a presenter, committee member and chair, and elected officer. A past president of VASFAA and SASFAA, he has also served NASFAA in various roles, including conference chair, Standards of Excellence (SOE) peer reviewer, SOE assessment leader, and as Treasurer and Chair of the Financial Affairs Committee. Brad has been honored for his work by receiving the VASFAA Lifetime Membership Award, VAFSAA Excellence Award, SASFAA Distinguished Service Award, and NASFAA Regional Leadership Award. In addition to his financial aid activities, Brad teaches personal finance courses (online and in person) at JMU and provides financial counseling services on a professional basis outside of his role with JMU. 

Past winners list

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