MVP Lisanne Masterson

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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 protected].

Lisanne MastersonLisanne Masterson
Director of Financial Aid
Blue Ridge Community College

Meet Lisanne Masterson. Lisanne has worked in financial aid for 34 years, beginning when she took a job as a financial aid assistant at Brevard College, a small, liberal arts college in North Carolina. After four years there, the director of financial aid retired and Lisanne assumed the leadership role. "My background is mathematics, but after working for a year at Blue Cross/Blue Shield in the Major Account Rating department and a year teaching high school math, I finally found the best of both worlds — education and numbers — in the financial aid profession," she said. Lisanne, now the director of financial aid at Blue Ridge Community College, said that one thing she loves about her current institution is helping the most at-risk students complete a degree or career training and watching them walk across the stage at graduation.

Lisanne has served as NASFAA's treasurer, representative-at-large on the NASFAA Board of Directors, has chaired NASFAA's Leadership & Legislative Conference & Expo Committee, and sat on NASFAA's Finance and Nominations & Elections Committees. 

What is one thing you wish you knew your first year working in financial aid?

Wow, that was way too long ago! But it is the networking and camaraderie of colleagues, and now close friends, that is a big reason for my lasting in the profession for so long.

What's the biggest financial aid change you've seen during your career?

This will definitely date me, but electronic processing — both for the student and the institution, (i.e. no more filling in bubbles on the Part 3 of the Student Aid Report and mailing them in!)Fishing

Name one thing on your bucket list.

Learn to scuba dive and then swim with dolphins.

If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?

I love football — at all levels. I used to imagine myself playing, but a knee injury playing intramural flag-football in college put an end to my dream. If I were healthy, I'd love to play in a real game.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Besides where I live right now, I would have to say Montana. I go there a couple of times a year to fly fish and absolutely love it there. As John Steinbeck wrote, "I'm in love with Montana. For other states, I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana, it is love."

What is a fear that you have overcome?Alps

As I've gotten older, I find myself my scared of heights, which I think I got from my father. On a trip to the French Alps two years ago, we scheduled a gondola ride up the mountain and then around to Mont Blanc. Unlike my nephew who sat in the bottom of the gondola, I forced myself to look OUT (that's the key — look out and not down). I think of the beautiful vistas I would have missed if I let my fear overcome me.

What is the best gift you have been given?

My most precious physical gift was my grandmother's antique engagement ring. My grandmother and I were very close, especially during my young adult years — so much so that she was my matron of honor at my wedding.

Is there anything you wished would come back into fashion?

Not really, but there is a LONG list of things I never want to see again, including — but not limited to — hot pants, leisure suits, shoulder pads, and Wallabees.

What celebrity would you like to meet for a cup of coffee?

Athletics has always been a big part of my life, so I would say Serena Williams, Jack Nicklaus, or Peyton Manning. One global person of intrigue is Mother Teresa. If I were to include those no longer living, I would have to put Eleanor Roosevelt, Princess Diana, Pat Summitt, or Amelia Earhart on my list.

Want to say hello to Lisanne 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 protected]


Publication Date: 11/12/2019

Lester M | 11/13/2019 7:12:48 PM

A truly inspirational leader and wonderful friend. Her work ethic is beyond approach and her knowledge a great source of regulations, best practices and solid preparedness. Congratulations Lisanne!

Shannon C | 11/12/2019 5:5:12 PM


Joel T | 11/12/2019 3:59:32 PM

This recognition could not be given to a better person. :)

Congratulations, Lisanne!

Lori L | 11/12/2019 11:10:38 AM

Lisanne has been a mentor and friend to me for years! This is a well-deserved MVP for a well-deserving MVP!

Melody L | 11/12/2019 9:49:03 AM

Congrats on this recognition! Well deserved for all your hard work over the years. I know your second favorite state has to be North Carolina. We're glad you're part of our CC system here.

Sharon O | 11/12/2019 9:25:49 AM

Lisanne you are an amazing financial administrator who share your talents and skills with all. We appreciate your support and passion for the profession. I know that you will scuba dive and swim with the dolphins!

Daniel M | 11/12/2019 9:21:37 AM

Congrats Lisanne on being recognized as a NASFAA MVP!!! Lisanne is a true professional, a great leader, and a wonderful friend. I have enjoyed serving with Lisanne for many years and she is one of my favorite people in financial aid!!!

Heather B | 11/12/2019 9:18:22 AM

Lisanne is my hero! She has been a constant friend and colleague over the years. She’s given countless hours to our profession and to NASFAA. Way to go, NASFAA, on picking a colleague that deserves this recognition and so much more.

Lori V | 11/12/2019 8:44:19 AM

Nice to see your face Lisanne! Great person, great representation of a higher ed professional!!!

Lyn K | 11/12/2019 8:40:36 AM

Lisanne - though we have never met, you have been a huge help to me with all of my questions concerning Robert's Rules. Thank you for going the extra mile to assist a stranger!

Sul B | 11/12/2019 8:22:08 AM

Lisanne is a very gracious person. She and I served on the SASFAA P&P committee several years ago and she hosted a group of us at her house. She very inviting and made us feel so welcome.......she's a great person all the way around.

Lisa K | 11/12/2019 8:11:19 AM

Fantastic, Lisanne! A well-deserved acknowledgement for your years of service to our profession and to your colleagues.

Kim J | 11/12/2019 8:8:01 AM

Lisanne is a professional through and through and is a credit to our beloved profession. Thanks for sharing a little bit about yourself ... a great way to start the day!

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