Captain Picard Says…


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Benefits of a RMASFAA membership:

  • Member rates for Summer Institute!

June 11-16, 2017 at the Colorado School of Mines in beautiful Golden, CO

  • Member rates for RMASFAA’s Annual Conference!

Tune into Rmasfaa Wichita! October 15-18, 2017; Hyatt Regency – Wichita, KS

  • Access to Leadership Pipeline opportunities for new and seasoned professionals!
  • FREE webinars!
  • RMASFAA’s Exchange Blog!

Includes updates from RMASFAA’s President, monthly training tips and more!

  • RMASFAA’s Listserv!
  • Access to the Membership Database where you can find colleagues’ contact info!
  • Networking opportunities with friends and colleagues!

Nominations for RMASFAA Officers


Good Day RMASFAA!

Nominations are now being accepted for the next slate of RMASFAA Officers. This is your opportunity to nominate a colleague (or yourself) to run for a RMASFAA office. Your assistance in identifying RMASFAA members for these leadership positions is invaluable to our regional association and helps to ensure continued delivery of RMASFAA’s mission to our membership.

The following positions are open for nomination:

  • President-Elect
  • Vice President-Elect
  • Treasurer-Elect
  • Secretary
  • Associate Member Delegate

The elected candidates for the positions of President Elect, Secretary and Associate Member Delegate will serve on the Board of Directors in the 2017-18 year (board year begins October 2017).

The Vice President-Elect serves concurrently as the Vice Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee (FAC), and automatically becomes Vice President and Chair of the FAC at the installation ceremonies to be held during the next annual meeting after the commencement of the term as Vice President-Elect. The Vice President-Elect is not a member of the Board of Directors nor Executive Council until their year as Vice President.

The Treasurer-Elect shall be mentored by the Treasurer and share responsibilities, with appropriate oversight. The Treasurer-Elect automatically becomes Treasurer at the installation ceremonies to be held during the next annual meeting after the commencement of the term as Treasurer-Elect. The Treasurer-Elect is not a member of the Board of Directors nor Executive Council until their year as Treasurer.

Duties of each position are outlined within pages 9-13 of RMASFAA’s Policies and Procedures Manual. http://www.rmasfaa.org/docs/inside/governingdocs/PandP.pdf

Nominations will be accepted through April 1, 2017, and candidates must be current members.  The RMASFAA Election will be administered online, during the month of May.

The online nomination form if found by clicking on ‘Online Forms’, from the left side of our website homepage. You are also welcome to email a nomination directly to me at kkocer@mtmc.edu. Thank you for your time today, please give some thought to which of your colleagues you would like to see on this year’s RMASFAA ballot – or consider nominating yourself! I look forward to hearing from you.

Ken Kocer
RMASFAA President-Elect and Chair, Nominations & Elections Committee

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President’s Update


Happy Valentines to all of RMASFAA!!  And having said that, in the interest of full disclosure, I feel I should tell you that by nature, I am the Ebenezer Scrooge of February 14th.  I’ve been married to my husband for almost 40 years now, and I can count on one hand the Valentines gifts we’ve given each other since we were married.  When my children were in elementary school, they would come home from school on Valentine’s Day with scores of cute little cards with those obnoxious little hearts with words on them, and would look at me wide-eyed and say “why didn’t we get to make valentines for our classmates??”  So then I would go out and buy cheap valentines in the after February 14th sales and put them away for next year, but would forget I had bought them and we would go through it all over again 365 days later.  Yes, I am pathetic.  (Except of course where my grandsons are concerned…they get massive Valentine packages every year from me.  And when my son sees them, he cocks his head to one side, looks at me with a puzzled expression on his face, and then steals half of their candy.)

But if any group of people was ever worthy of my love and admiration, it’s RMASFAA.  Here are some noteworthy Valentine Shout-Outs for you:

 

Training Committee:  For Janet Dodson and her training committee I send big cyber hugs and kudos!  You have all seen the NASFAA Credentialing training opportunities that they have put together for all of you to potentially take advantage of.  No less than eight sessions will be offered via the web, free of charge for our membership.  We are still working out some kinks with NASFAA in terms of the nuts and bolts, and we apologize for that, but the response has been amazing, and I cannot thank enough the members who have given of their valuable time to prepare for and present these sessions.  I sincerely hope that we see a big jump in credentialing numbers in our states.  We have the best of the best here in the Rocky Mountain Region, and it warms my heart to see how many of you are taking advantage of these opportunities.

 

Summer Institute:  For SI Chair Jenny Leigh Adler and Faculty Chair Susan Stephenson, I owe you a big boxed heart full of chocolates.  An incredible faculty group has already been recruited, and the entire committee is coming together in Denver February 22nd for a planning session.  I am confident that with these crazy ladies at the helm, you will all want to mark your calendars for June 11-16 to either attend or send staff members.  Nobody does Summer Institute like RMASFAA!!

 

2018 Ballot Preparation:  President-elect Ken Kocer is already busy soliciting nominations for next year’s ballot!  For his diligence, support and friendship this year, I send big bear hugs South Dakota way!  There is a wealth of talent and expertise here in our association and we would love to see your nominations for Board positions.  Watch for requests from Ken, put your thinking caps on, and send nominations his way, either for yourself or for colleagues.

 

NASFAA Regional Thought Force:  Just this past weekend saw Brenda Hicks (Southwestern College, Winfield, KS), Art Young (Brigham Young University, Provo, UT , Mary Sommers (University of Nebraska at Kearney, NE) and yours truly headed to Washington DC to meet with delegations from all six regions to discuss alignment between state, regional and national organizations.  While we have no idea what that looks like yet, the conversations are headed in a positive direction, and I hope to share more with you at the State Conferences.

 

State Conferences:  I’ve already received several invitations to state conferences coming up this spring, and Joe Donlay and I look forward to seeing you all there!  If I haven’t done so already, I will be in touch with your state presidents to make arrangements, but they are all on my calendar and I’m looking forward to traveling your direction soon!

 

Winter Board Meeting:  Our next Board of Directors Meeting is scheduled for March 10th in Denver and I look forward to seeing those of you serving on the board this year there.  As always, my heartfelt thanks for giving of your time and talent for our Association!

 

Lots more people to recognize and things to be grateful for, but you will just have to wait for my next blog post.  So again, HAPPY VALENTINES DAY to the greatest group of financial aid professionals in existence!!

 

Vicki Kucera, RMASFAA President

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Webinar Follow-Up


Is your office stress level extremely high? Is your delivery of services not efficient? Does your financial aid director have enough time for planning and compliance oversight? These are all staffing issues examined during Administrative Capability. Before a school may participate in any Title IV program, it must demonstrate to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) that the school is able to properly manage the Title IV aid programs and meet its obligation to educate and prepare students.

RMASFAA has given 99 people an opportunity to become credentialed in Administrative Capability. I was one of those 99 people. RMASFAA is offering an accessible option to obtain these credentials right from your office. They are offered through a webinar series, which makes it easier to those of us who may not be able to travel to get these completed. Brenda Hicks did a fantastic job on presenting Administrative Capability. She provided a straightforward way to follow along on a topic that can be quite complicated to discuss. I am so thankful that I have been given the opportunity from RMASFAA to further my knowledge and better my office.

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The next credentialing webinar is Tuesday, February 14th at 9:30 CST/8:30 EST. The topic is ‘Student Eligibility’ presented by Linda Butcher and Janet Dodson.

To see a full list of webinars go to http://www.rmasfaa.org/Calendar/, Training Listings.

Please click on the corresponding date to register. Spots are limited, so hurry quick before space runs out. Hope to see you there!

 

Haley Lindsey, Training Committee
Assistant Director of Financial Aid
Pratt Community College

RMASFAA Website-Calendars


Greetings RMASFAA family!

Ever wondered what events RMASFAA has going on throughout the year? Can’t find your email about upcoming training events? The RMASFAA calendar on the web is your answer!

Finding the calendar is very simple. First, there is a link on the left-hand side of RMASFAA’s homepage that will take you to the calendar section. Once there you will be able to view the calendar in multiple ways: a traditional calendar where you can click through each month, a listing of events for a particular month, or the comprehensive all listings that will show all future events that have been added to the calendar. There are additional calendars that will only show events of a certain type. Each type of calendar will open in a new window or tab, depending on the web browser you are using.

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The best part is you don’t even need to remember your Username and Password to view the calendar! All events on the calendar are color coded to correspond with the type of event. The legend of the event types is located at the top of each view of calendar. If the title of the event perks your interest, you can click on the event to see further details that include the time, location, and what the event is about. The email of the event creator is located at the bottom of the event in case you have any questions.

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If anyone has any question regarding the calendar or the website, please feel free to contact me. I would be more than happy to answer your questions.

Hope to see everyone in Wichita!

Mac Schwartz – EIC Chair

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Getting to Know You


Introducing a new blog series, ‘Getting to Know You’.  Throughout the year we will be getting to know a financial aid colleague from each state in the region a little better. First up, South Dakota!

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I chose to spotlight Beth Vollan, Assistant Director of Financial Aid at South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota. I’ve gotten to know Beth through SDASFAA after she started at SDSU in 2010. I know a little about her through our visits at meetings and conferences, but it was fun to ask her some questions and get to know more about her. Having both served on NCHELP committees in our previous careers, we found that we both know a number of the same people in the student loan industry.

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What is your background and how did you get into financial aid? 

I grew up in Fargo and Omaha. I attended college at the University of Nebraska Lincoln and graduated with majors in political science and history. After college, the first job I applied for was a claim reviewer position at National Student Loan Program (NSLP).  I had no idea what a claim reviewer did, but I got the job.  I stayed at NSLP for sixteen years, and I have been at SDSU for six.  I never imagined that twenty-two years later I would still be in financial aid.

What is the most unusual or most interesting job you’ve ever had?

The most interesting job that I have ever had was as the student loan ombudsman for NSLP. The work was challenging and rewarding, and many of my borrower cases involved unique situations.  I really enjoyed collaborating with other ombuds-people in the industry who were always supportive.

What would your co-workers say you are known for saying in the office? 

I had to poll my co-workers to answer this one. Apparently, I am known for saying “I will add that to my list”.

What is your favorite book?

The books that I reread most often are the books in the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien.

What is your favorite food or meal you like to make?

Right now, my favorite meal is a homemade black bean burger topped with peanut butter and hot pepper jam and a baked sweet potato on the side. If there is cake for dessert, even better!

What do you like to do for fun or as a favorite hobby?

In the summer I garden. In the winter I bake. I also enjoy reading, listening to music, and antiquing with my spouse.

What is something on your bucket list?

A trip to Europe is high on my bucket list. I have relatives from Sweden who visit the U.S. every few years, and I would really like to return the visit.

What was your favorite toy as a child?

I loved my Spirograph.

 

Marlene Seeklander
Lake Area Technical Institute, SD
Association News Committee

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Feb. 9 NASFAA Credentialing: Campus-Based Programs


The second “RMASFAA presents NASFAA Credentialing” webinar is Thursday, February 9.  The webinar begins at 9:30 AM CST (8:30 MST) and will run approximately three hours with a 5-7 minute break mid-way. There are a maximum of 99 seats and as of this posting, there are less than 20 seats remaining.

If you are interested click the registration link below. Please be sure to use your RMASFAA school membership email address; schools registering that are not current RMASFAA members will be cancelled.

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1733268310998610690

This webinar’s focus is Title IV Campus-Based Programs; the term commonly applied to federal student aid programs administered directly by schools. The programs include the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work Student (FWS), and Federal Perkins Loan program.

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Join James Brocheit, Associate Director of Financial Aid, the University of Northern Colorado, as he leads this educational webinar.

NASFAA and RMASFAA require that you attend the entire webinar to receive the Exam code. Go-To-Webinar can confirm for the moderator your level of engagement. If your engagement level is consistently less than 75%, you may not be eligible to receive the credentialing code needed to access the exam.

This opportunity is available free of charge to current RMASFAA members only.  If you have any questions, please contact Janet Dodson at jdodson@tuitonexchange.org

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