NASFAA Virtual Conference Highlight: Unleashing Your ‘Aliveness’

By Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Managing Editor

NASFAA’s 2024 Virtual Conference kicked off on Monday with an interactive presentation providing attendees with frameworks and practices to help them bring their most authentic selves to their professional lives. 

Alisha De Lorenzo, an acclaimed international speaker, award winning educator, and therapist, discussed the ways financial aid professionals can thrive through the challenges in their day-to-day lives, and help them recognize how they matter and belong in their respective offices.

During the opening session, De Lorenzo discussed how to overcome distractions and foster meaningful connections to combat disengagement, disparities, and declining morale that have in recent years plagued institutions.

In her engaging and energetic remarks, De Lorenzo explained the only way we fight overwhelmness and feelings of burnout is not by lowering our standards or doing less, but rather, by unleashing a level of “aliveness” we all seek and noted that “people care about what they create when they feel cared for.” She also stressed the importance of being who you are so others can see themselves at work.

Collaborating with colleagues and approaching their lived experiences with empathy is essential to cultivating a sense of mattering and belonging in the workplace, De Lorenzo said.

"When was the last time that we stopped to ask ourselves, especially when we are struggling with another person's behavior, ‘What is it like to be this person right now?’" De Lorenzo said. “I wonder who in your life right now needs you to see them."

The session went on to highlight how some institutions have fostered their offices to maintain low turnover rates and have boosted employee morale during one of the most difficult years for financial aid offices.

Current NASFAA members may still sign up for the virtual conference through this week. One institutional registration will allow everyone on your roster to attend and access the sessions on demand, post-conference, for six months following the air date, unless the topic matter deems the presentation no longer valid.


Publication Date: 7/9/2024

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