Oscar R. ‘Jack’ Hendrix Award Spotlight – Debbie Brewer

I earned my degree from University of Missouri –Columbia in Accounting. I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Upon graduation, I worked in public accounting for a few years in St. Louis and then moved to Kansas City and worked as the manager of the business office at Johnson County Community College. I left there to move back to St. Louis and then ended up back in Kansas. At that time, I was hired in the financial aid department at JCCC with no financial aid experience. My first experience with RMASFAA was Summer Institute in Colorado Springs in 1998 after I had been in financial aid for 4 weeks. Wow was it an experience! I was amazed at the knowledge and professionalism of the people I met. I remember being exhausted at the end of the week because of information overload, too much fun and too many names and acronyms.

My experience at Summer Institute sparked my career in financial aid. I got involved in KASFAA as a chair and/or a member of several committees over the first few years in financial aid. I attended KASFAA and RMASFAA conferences each year and I learned so much from the training and from the people that I met. In 2006, I was approached by Elaine Henrie and she asked if I would chair the conference planning committee for RMASFAA to be held in Kansas in 2009. I thought “that is 3 years away…sure…how hard can it be?” I had the pleasure of co-chairing with Brent Carpenter. We had an amazing conference planning committee and the state of Kansas was able to provide a fantastic RMASFAA conference and we raised over $7000 for our philanthropy. I was honored and humbled to receive the Oscar R. Jack Hendrix award that year.

Since then, I served as Vice President of KASFAA. My experience planning the RMASFAA conference allowed me to work with the KASFAA president to plan 2 state conferences. I have been at JCCC now for 16 years. I do not believe that many of us decided upon graduation from college to be a FA administrator but that is where my path has taken me and I would not change one step of that path.

On a personal note, I have a daughter, Kelsey that works and lives in Dallas, Texas. My son, Brandon, is a senior at Kansas State University. My step son, Brandon, is married to Desak and they live in Oakland, California. I have been married to my husband, John, for 12 years. We have 2 dogs, Emma and Sadie, and I have 2 grand puppies, Champ and Kono.

Debbie was the co-recipient of the Oscar R. Jack Hendrix award in 2009.

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