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 Maureen 'Mo' Amos. She has worked in the financial aid profession for approximately 23 years, 15 of which have been at Northeastern Illinois University. Her career in financial aid began at Triton College in River Grove, Illinois when she was looking for a transition career after working for eight years in student activities and athletics at the community college level.
Mo has served on many NASFAA committees and task forces, including the Editorial Board of the Student Aid Transcript, the Leadership Development & Professional Advancement Committee, the Training and Best Practices Committee, the Staff Training & Professional Development Committee, the National Conference Committee, the Access and Diversity Committee, the Publications Editorial Board, and the Prior-Prior Year (PPY) Implementation Task Force. She is currently serving on the Higher Education Committee of 50—or "Forward50"—a group convened by NASFAA and tasked with producing four white papers on specific, pre-identified policy areas related to access, affordability, accountability, and transparency.
What’s one thing you love about working at North Eastern Illinois University?
What attracted me to Northeastern Illinois University was its commitment to the Chicago metropolitan community, its social justice efforts through the Center for Inner City Studies and the level of commitment to professional development. It was a large university that viewed itself and functioned as a small community college – everyone knew everyone, there was much collaboration, and morale was very high.
How my friends describe me:
Hard working, inspirational, giving and busy
How my colleagues would describe me:
Hard-working, inspirational, motivating, intuitive, and a team builder.
My idea of a perfect day:
Having time to act as a caregiver for my mom who has dementia, time to myself to exercise, time to give my team support, time to help students in resolving issues/conflict, time with my nephews, and time to devote to my church/homeless in the community.
One thing working in financial aid has taught me:
Every task—whether student, staff or professional development-related—needs to be addressed each day. It may not be complete, but it needs to be addressed so that as a director I do not lose sight of priorities or critical changes.
What sound or noise do you love?
The sound of a baby or toddler.
What sound or noise do you hate?
Deflection of blame – failure to accept accountability.
The most difficult or challenging thing about my job is:
Staying current, ensuring policies/procedures/boot camp materials are accurate, and ensuring my institution has a climate of compliance—this is not just about financial aid, this is about administrative capability, financial sustainability, and program integrity.
What’s the one thing you won’t skip —or shorten—in the morning?
Caregiving for my mom.
What’s one great or helpful thing your coworkers have done recently?
With my leadership team missing one critical person, my seasoned advising team has assumed the role of training four new advisors in verification, awarding and loan certification. They have noticed the many directions I am pulled in and, without asking, have assumed this responsibility.
Want to say hello to Mo or reply to something she 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: 4/19/2018