Oscar R. ‘Jack’ Hendrix Award Spotlight – Jenny Leigh Adler

I have been involved in the wonderful world of financial aid since January 2007, which was my re-entry to the workforce after I took a 2 year hiatus to be a stay-at-home mom (to my one and only child, my son Aiden).  During my 7 + years in financial aid, I have worked at a proprietary school and at a 4 year university (my alma mater), which has allowed me to be involved in all aspects of financial aid (from customer service to operations, and scholarships to Return to Title IV).  My financial aid journey began when my husband decided to go back and get his PhD, so I knew it was time for me to re-enter the workforce.  I then applied for and got a job as an Academic Scheduler at a small proprietary school.  From there I was essentially thrown into the financial aid world when the Director there abruptly quit. Unfortunately, this position taught me everything NOT to do in financial aid, but I did realize that I liked all of the rules, math, and helping students that this position was “supposed” to be about.  Thus, I looked for employment elsewhere, and then started at Colorado State University in the summer of 2008 as a counselor in our Customer Service department. I then moved “upstairs” to our Operations department In March of 2011 where I was the Scholarship Coordinator for Recruitment & Retention, and then in April of 2013 I was promoted to the Assistant Director – Scholarships, which is the position I currently hold.

I really knew I wanted to stay in financial aid and make it my career (versus my previous career in Agriculture; yes, I was actually a hog buyer, an Arabian race horse registrar, and on a wool judging and meats judging team in college) when I was selected for the 2010-2011 Leadership Pipeline class. Participating in Pipeline allowed me to meet some amazing people and directed me to volunteer for my first RMASFAA committee involvement, which was as a member of the Training Committee. I have since participated as a member of the Training Committee for three years, one of which as its Chair, and recently finished my year serving as RMASFAA’s Vice President (thanks all; it was a great year!). I am currently on the 2015 RMASFAA Conference Planning Committee and look forward to seeing you all in Colorado!

RMASFAA is a fabulous organization full of amazing people and I am just happy to be able to be a part of it.  I have learned so much already from the short time I have been involved, and I look forward to being able to learn from and serve my fellow RMASFAA members in whatever positions the future may hold.  RMASFAA, especially through Leadership Pipeline, has also instilled in me the need to continue my education and to always keep pushing myself.  Thus, I am now 4 classes away from finishing my Masters in Management with a concentration in Accounting (to better understand our accountants!)

My advice to others is to put yourself out there and volunteer, even if it’s out of your comfort zone, “Just do it!” I promise you will meet some amazing people, learn a lot from them, and have a ton of fun in the process.

I was truly shocked and humbled when I received the Oscar R. ‘Jack’ Hendrix award in 2013 (13, by the way, is my lucky number since it’s also my birthdayJ) and I am still very much in awe of being a recipient.  THANK YOU!!

–Jenny Leigh Adler

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