South Dakota State Update

Spring has sprung in South Dakota (or at least we think so)! As always, it has been a busy and eventful year in financial aid offices around the state as well as in our state association, SDASFAA.

We just finished up our Spring 2015 conference in Deadwood, complete with guest speakers, great presentations and a slot tournament!

Jesse O'Connell
Jesse O’Connell, NASFAA

Although no one won BIG (enough to retire from the financial aid profession), we all had a good time! Distinguished guest presenters included Jesse O’Connell (NASFAA), Joe Massman (Dept. of Ed), and Art Young (RMASFAA). We also were treated to a very thought-provoking presentation by Kim Bellum (Lake Area Tech) on “How Poverty Impacts Your Work in Education.”  As the conference theme was #FinancialAid, we also focused on ways to use social media to communicate with our students.

Joe Massman
Joe Massman, Department of Education

With the conference being in March, we even held our own “Final Four” basketball tournament (using a kiddie hoop of course, so that some of us had a chance). The overall winner of the tournament was Becky Pribyl, Northern State University.

Becky Pribyl
Becky Pribyl, Northern State University

Special awards:

  • Outstanding Service Award – Ken Kocer, Mount Marty College
  • Doug Steckler Professional Development Award – Erin Richards, SD School of Mines & Tech
Kristi O'Kief with Ken Kocer
Kristi O’Kief with Ken Kocer

As our President Ken Kocer stated, “Many times we have so much on our plates we don’t take the time to realize what we all have accomplished.” He went on to outline some of SDASFAA’s other achievements this past year.

  • Creation of a SDASFAA electronic logo
  • A successful 2014 spring conference in Sioux Falls
  • Updated our Policies & Procedures & registration cancellation policy
  • Hosted a Round Table discussion on financial aid issues with US Senator Tim Johnson
  • We represented SDASFAA by testifying in front of the US Senate Committee on Banking, to voice our views on private student loan issues
  • Conducted Decentralized training in November
  • Presented several successful high school counselor workshops around the state
  • Maintained a balanced budget!

SDASFAA committees have also been working on planning for the upcoming RMASFAA Conference which we will host in Rapid City in 2016….Watch for more information on this exciting conference we are planning for you!

Brenda Murtha
Brenda Murtha

Brenda Murtha
Augustana College
Association News Committee Member, South Dakota

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