Advanced Topics in Financial Aid Leadership Pathway Sessions

Sunday, February 24

6:45 - 10:00 pm - Optional Washington, DC Bus Tour

Monday, February 25

6:30 - 7:00 am - Exhibitor Set-up

7:00 am - 4:30 pm - Registration Open

7:30 - 8:30 am - Continental Breakfast & Networking

8:40 - 9:00 am - Welcome and Opening Remarks

9:00 - 10:00 am - Idea Lab 1, Part 1: Management vs. Leadership/Developing a Leadership Mindset

Speakers: Ron Day, Director of Financial Aid at Kennesaw State University & Art Young, Director of Financial Aid at Utah State University

This session will compare and contrast management and leadership, from both a philosophical and practical perspective. Focusing on both essential skill sets, we can intentionally develop the habits and approach that will lead to successful leadership that makes a difference. This session sets the stage for why leadership is important and establishes the vision that we are working toward in our track.

10:00 am - 11:00 am - Idea Lab 1, Part 2: Big Picture Discussion About Leadership in FA/Enrollment Management

Speaker: Craig Slaughter, Director of Financial Aid at Kenyon College

This session will address the need for strong leaders in our industry and at our institutions, as well as the need for diversity and inclusion at all levels. Leadership avenues, including involvement in professional associations, will be addressed. We will also identify opportunities to make a difference within the enrollment management approach and how to successfully collaborate in ways that truly make a difference.

11:00am – 12:30pm - Idea Lab 2: Leadership Style Analysis

Speaker: Justin Draeger, President & CEO at NASFAA

This session will use the "Four Sight" Thinking Profile to carefully examine our individual strengths, as well as our intuitive approach to leading others.

12:40 - 2:00 pm - Networking Lunch & Washington Update

Speaker: Justin Draeger, President & CEO at NASFAA

2:10 - 3:30 pm - Idea Lab 3, Part 1: Work-Life Integration & Time Management/Delegation

Speakers: Ashley Bianchi, Director of Financial Aid at Williams College and Ashley Munro, Associate Director at University of Alaska Fairbanks

This session will establish the importance of making deliberate decisions about work-life integration and offer pragmatic suggestions for effective time management to reach individual goals, as well as delegating and mentoring those you lead.

3:30pm - 4:30pm  - Idea Lab 3, Part 2: Networking & Establishing a Strong Support System

Speaker: Lisanne Masterson, Director of Financial Aid at Blue Ridge Community College

This session will explore the importance of establishing a strong and diversified professional network and personal support system. Everyone should have a mentor and great leaders need to serve as mentors.

4:30 - 6:00 pm - Un-Wine'd Networking Reception at the Hotel

Dinner and Evening on Your Own

Tuesday, February 26

7:30 - 8:30 am - Continental Breakfast & Networking

8:40 - 10:00 am - Idea Lab 4: The I in TEAM

Speaker: Brad Barnett, Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships at James Madison University

We know that serving the students at your school requires more than just one person. To meet the needs of your customers, you need to rely on an effective team. But as the leader of a team, others look to you for inspiration and guidance. This session will review valuable tools which will help you encourage and motivate others to do their best work.

10:00 - 10:20 am - Networking Break

10:20 am - 12:00 pm - Idea Lab 5: Lead Others to Potential

Speakers: Billie Jo Hamilton, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Planning and Management at  University of South Florida, Paula Luff, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Services at DePaul University, and Lori Vedder, Director of Financial Aid at University of Michigan-Flint

In this session we'll dive into the exchange of hard work for career development. We'll discuss setting clear staff expectations, and how you can boost members of your team to go beyond their regular tasks and start thinking about professional development. We'll discuss best practices for transformational performance evaluations, establishing inspirational development plans that work, and touch on techniques that motivate toward excellence.

12:00 - 1:20 pm - Lunch Presentation: The Tough Issues in Higher Ed

Speaker: Scott Jaschik, Editor at Inside Higher Ed

1:30 - 3:00 pm - Idea Lab 6: Leading Through Difficult Situations

Speaker: Gena Boling, Director of Compliance at Cornell University

No matter how much we plan, prepare and learn, leaders will face difficult situations for which we're not quite ready. These changes in circumstances require a different set of communication skills. Leaders must be able to recognize when staff are struggling with issues and not hesitate to start critical conversations. Whether you are solving conflict among staff or navigating a campus crisis, these skills will help guide you and your team through difficult situations.

3:00 - 3:20 pm - Networking Break

3:20 - 4:20 pm - Idea Lab 7: Planning for the Future

Speakers: Ashley Munro, Associate Director at University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Shannon Crossland, Interim Executive Director of Student Financial Aid & Scholarships at Texas Tech University

Change is constant, and yet we're rarely prepared for it. Great leaders can lead a team through change while also leading the individuals through the emotional response to change. An important step is anticipating the change. The better prepared we are for the future, the less stress and trepidation we feel.

3:20 - 4:20 pm - Exhibitor Breakdown

4:30 - 5:30 pm - Preparing for Your Hill Visit

Dinner and Evening on Your Own

Wednesday, February 27

8:00 am - 12:30 pm - Hill Visit

12:30 - 1:00 pm - Lunch on Your Own

1:00 - 2:00 pm - Hill Visit Debrief

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