By Joelle Fredman, NASFAA Staff Reporter
Conference attendees received updates on the current state of NASFAA at Tuesday’s Award Luncheon and Business Meeting at the 2018 NAFSAA National Conference, including information about two forthcoming NASFAA programs aimed at advancing the career of aid professionals. NASFAA also presented numerous awards to members for their achievements in financial aid and higher education.
The business meeting commenced with an update from 2018-19 NASFAA Diversity Officer Craig Slaughter, who addressed members in place of past-Diversity Officer Jim Brooks, who was unable to attend the conference. Slaughter updated members on all of NASFAA’s diversity efforts over the past year, including the creation of a Diversity Toolkit, which will be rolled out to members this summer, and the addition of multiple conference sessions targeting issues of inclusion, such as Sunday’s pre-conference session led by Lena Tenney. Slaughter also announced that NASFAA will soon be implementing a new program to continue its pursuit of equality in the field, the “Diversity Leadership Program,” which will aim to “advance the careers” of its participants.
NASFAA members also heard from Treasurer Lisanne Masterson, who provided updates on NASFAA’s financial health, and 2017-18 National Chair Billie Jo Hamilton, who discussed NASFAA’s progress toward meeting its long-term strategic goals.
Hamilton announced that, in response to demand from members, NASFAA will begin offering a program for award year 2019-20 to validate the skills and knowledge of financial aid administrators known as the “Certified Financial Aid Administrator” (CFAA) program. This program, which will involve an independent oversight committee, will complement NASFAA’s credentials program and “define the future of [the] profession.” More information about the program will be released in coming months.
During the meeting, Hamilton passed the gavel to 2018-19 National Chair Lori Vedder. Hamilton said her time as national chair is one she will “never take for granted,” adding that “we do what we do for students, and as a result, we pursue a noble profession.” Vedder presented Hamilton with the Allan W. Purdy Distinguished Service Award for her dedication and commitment to the field of higher education and student aid.
NASFAA also presented awards to other members for their work serving students, such as the Lifetime Achievement Award to Bonnie Joerschke, the director of financial aid at the University of Georgia, who has chaired various NASFAA committees, including two tasked with providing recommendations for the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). Joerschke said that financial aid administrators have become more and more essential to ensuring that students succeed in higher education as work continues to open the doors to college to more learners.
NASFAA also presented the Meritorious Achievement Award to three NASFAA members that have gone above and beyond to serve students, such as Roy Lopez, who founded an organization to provide scholarships to low-income students, former NASFAA policy analyst Joan Berkes, and Anna Griswold, who recently retired after 48 years in the financial aid profession.
The full list of this year’s award recipients can be found here.
Publication Date: 6/26/2018