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