Conference attendees received updates on the current state of NASFAA at Wednesday’s Award Luncheon and Business Meeting at the 2019 NASFAA National Conference, including information about the Certified Financial Aid Administrator™ (CFAA) Program, as well as the Diversity Leadership Program. NASFAA also presented numerous awards to members for their achievements in financial aid and higher education.
National Chair Lori Vedder first invited Craig Slaughter, NASFAA’s diversity chair, to give a report on the association’s diversity efforts over the past year. Slaughter spoke about the inaugural class for the Diversity Leadership Program, a group of six individuals (one from each region) selected from nearly 100 applicants. Two of those members were also among the first 75 people to earn their CFAA. Slaughter also shared news on NASFAA’s Diversity Toolkit, which was introduced to members last year.
Daniel Barkowitz, chair of the CFAA Commission said the certification “will benefit us individually and as a community” by helping to recognize the knowledge and experience members hold as financial aid administrators. He urged other members to look into the program and move forward with the CFAA exam, which has been fully vetted. Quoting Walt Disney, Barkowitz said, “We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious … and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” That path forward, he said, is the CFAA program.
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.
During the meeting, NASFAA also recognized several members and colleagues within the higher education community for their work serving students. The winners of the regional leadership award were Wynette Zuppardi (EASFAA), Susan Swisher (MASFAA), David Martin (RMASFAA), Amy Berrier (SASFAA), Denise Welch (SWASFAA), and Frank Green (WASFAA).
The Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (SASFAA) was the winner of the Gold Star Award for its State President’s Guidebook. The Gold Star Award recognizes innovative ideas in the financial aid arena at any level, targeted toward any constituency.
The National College Access Network, and Robert Kelchen, an assistant professor of higher education at Seton Hall University, were presented with the Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award, while Anthony Sozzo of New York Medical College was awarded the Meritorious Achievement Award.
The Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor which NASFAA bestows upon a member, was given to Pam Fowler of the University of Michigan, and the Allan W. Purdy Distinguished Service Award was given to 2018-19 National Chair Lori Vedder, after she passed the gavel to 2019-20 National Chair Paula Luff.
Ending the meeting, Vedder said she never expected to become a NASFAA National Chair.
“I’m here because, like others before me, I took the time and utilized this valuable resource,” she said. “As an aid professional, I believe strongly that our profession makes a difference. So I stepped outside my comfort zone, as I encourage others to do.”
She urged conference attendees to continue following their passion to serve students.
“That one life you touch may be all they need to be a success in their life,” she said. “Treat each student as if you are the one.”
Publication Date: 6/26/2019