RMASFAA Diversity and Multicultural Committee: Diversity Digest

Greetings from your RMASFAA Diversity and Multicultural Initiatives Committee!  The Diversity Digest begins with a post from Nathan Stratton, Director of Financial Aid, North Dakota University System.  It is our hope that consistent and varied posts will stimulate thinking and encourage broad acceptance and understanding of cultural differences and similarities.  Let us learn to ‘walk in each other’s shoes’. 

~Marge Michael, Chair, RMASFAA DMCI Committee


NASFAA Committee Serves a Diverse Audience with Pre-Conference Program

By: Nathan Stratton, Director of Financial Aid, North Dakota University System

One of the focuses of the Diversity Digest is to bring to RMASFAA’s attention activities going on to support diversity in the profession and diverse institutions throughout our region.  This month, we are focusing on an upcoming NASFAA event that is designed to serve professionals from minority serving and other institutions with fewer resources. 

 I’ve had the opportunity this year to serve on my first NASFAA committee, the Access and Diversity Committee (ADC).  Under the leadership of Youlonda Copeland-Morgan from UCLA the committee has pursued an ambitious training agenda, presenting sessions at a College Board conference for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and, now, presenting a full day pre-conference event at the NASFAA annual meeting in Chicago this July.

 The ADC pre-conference, entitled “Leadership on a Dime: Leveraging Resources on a Limited Budget” focuses on the needs and challenges of aid administration at under-resourced schools.  These schools include minority serving institutions, as well as some smaller private religious-based institutions that have limited budgets as well.  You do not have to be affiliated with an under-resourced school to attend.

 The pre-conference workshop, held on July 21st at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, will feature keynote speaker Dr. Lana Low.  Dr. Low’s focus is student success in higher education and she will present a session on collaborations on campus to leverage resources that aid offices might not know they have. 

 The focus of the rest of the day will be on issues salient to more stressed offices, including staffing, default prevention, policy and procedures, leadership development, technology resources, financial literacy, and networking.  A goal of the day is that participants leave with a strong set of new resources and relationships that they can implement on their campus.

 There is more information on the NASFAA conference website regarding the day, including costs, an agenda and other materials.  Our committee has received generous sponsorship from MOHELA, The College Board, ASA, TG and others, which is gratefully acknowledged.       

Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t share a little about the opportunity to serve on a NASFAA committee.  It has been a busy but rewarding experience, and a chance to build relationships at a national level.  A call for volunteers goes out in the first quarter of every year and I strongly recommend the opportunity to any interested RMASFAA member.


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