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.
Assistant Vice President for Scholarships & Financial Aid
Texas A&M University
Meet Delisa Falks. After graduating from college, Delisa knew she wanted to work at Texas A&M University and decided to apply for a job in the financial aid office. "I guess you can say 'the rest is history,'" she said, noting that she has worked in just about every area of the financial aid office throughout her more than 32 years in the profession.
Delisa has been very active with her state financial aid association for many years and currently serves as the past president. Additionally, Delisa also served on and chaired her state's financial aid advisory committee. She has also been involved with the Coalition of State University Aid Administrators (COSUAA).
What is one thing you love about working at Texas A&M?
The core values align with many of the same values I possess. I love our student body, as I believe they are some of the best and brightest in the world. My husband and my daughter, and one of my brothers, are former students of Texas A&M.
What has the COVID-19 outbreak taught you about yourself and/or your team?
My team can do anything! I already knew they were awesome, however COVID-19 solidified their awesomeness. The pandemic increased all of our workloads, but we prevailed and enhanced some of our processes due to remote working.
What message would you like to send your colleagues in financial aid during these uncertain times?
Lean on each other and hang in there. Financial aid folks are resilient, and do what they do because they want to make a difference for students. This, too, will pass!
What does your workspace look like?
I have worked in the office most of the pandemic. However, I did get to work at home for a couple of weeks. My view from home was a beautiful green pasture, as I live in a rural community. I was joined in my workspace by my elderly dog for most of the day.
What book or TV show have you read/seen recently that you'd recommend, and why?
I just watched "The Secret" this past weekend. I thought it had a great message — we often assume before we know the full story.
Name one thing on your bucket list.
A trip to Italy!
My favorite thing about my job is:
The students we serve and the people I work with on a daily basis. I've worked with some amazing people!
What are you most looking forward to right now?
Honestly, right now … finishing our home remodel.
What motivates you to work hard?
It is internal. I worked with my parents when I was young and throughout the time I was in college. I watched them run their own businesses for over 35 years. They did not have sick days and rarely a vacation day. They valued their customers and always did the right thing in order to serve their customers. I also learned from working in financial aid that not everything is easy. In the end, you make it work and get the job done in order to serve students and families that are counting on you to assist them in reaching their educational goals. As a first-generation college student, I know the value of an education and what it can mean to an individual and their family.
Want to say hello to Delisa 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: 10/15/2020