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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet Cheryl Storie. Cheryl has worked in financial aid for 34 years in a variety of roles — she is a former employee of NASFAA, served under a contractor for the Department of Education (ED), and held positions at three universities. Cheryl got her start in the profession at the University of Delaware in 1985, where she worked part-time in the admissions and financial aid offices as a graduate student. Before she finished her master's degree in education, she was hired as the assistant director of financial aid and has been in the business ever since. "I oversaw both enrollment and financial aid for many years, so it's been a fun, well-rounded 'accidental' career," Cheryl said.
Cheryl has presented at NASFAA's National Conference multiple times, served as a national trainer for NASFAA on Need Analysis and Administrative Capability & Campus Wide Compliance, and sat on three NASFAA committees — the Carnival of Learning Committee, Training and Professional Development Committee, and the Journal Review Board. Cheryl also served as the representative-at-large on the NASFAA Board of Directors from 2003-06.
What's one thing you love about working at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC)?
I love our mission and the population of students we educate. We're an open university, and it's very powerful to realize that we help students change their lives. We also have 70 years of history educating military servicemembers and their spouses and families overseas — another very significant accomplishment that is unique to UMUC.
What is something you wish you knew your first year working in financial aid?
That the profession would be so addictive and that I would grow so close to my colleagues in the business!
What is your idea of a perfect day?
It's very corny, but I have to say hanging out with my husband. Perhaps it's on a road trip, at a Navy Midshipmen football game (we're season ticket holders), at one of our grandchildren's sporting events, or just relaxing with friends in front of a firepit. That time makes me realize how wonderful life is and how much I have to be grateful for.
What is your favorite quote or song lyric?
"You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you," by John Wooden, legendary University of California — Los Angeles (UCLA) basketball coach. It is incredibly rewarding to be able to help someone without expecting anything in return. In financial aid, we do that multiple times a day, every day, and that is a wonderful feeling!
What has been your most motivating experience in your career thus far?
Years ago, I had the amazing experience of testifying before Congress — I was fairly young, and it was exhilarating to realize that people were listening to my opinion and (hopefully) using that information to make decisions that could have an enormous impact on others. At that time in my life, it taught me that literally anyone can make a difference.
What on your calendar are you looking forward to the most?
I love the holidays and fall is my very favorite time of year, so September through December is pretty much one huge calendar event!
What's your favorite life hack?
I've learned over the years that I remember things better if I write them down, so I take lots of notes and am a copious list maker. I may never refer to the notes or lists after writing them, but that act of recording helps me remember.
What is your favorite TV show?
I'm addicted to "Chopped" and "Guy's Grocery Games." I love to cook and the creativity of the chefs on those shows just amazes me! I have no idea how they create what they do out of those insane baskets and grocery lists/games!
What would you tell your childhood self?
Two things — don't be so hard on yourself, and appreciate every day because they go by fast.
Want to say hello to Cheryl 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 email@example.com.
Publication Date: 9/12/2019