Leadership Pipeline: Kelly Whittekiend

Continuing the Leadership Pipeline series. The eight participants that make up this year’s class will share their experiences about participating in RMASFAA’s professional development program.

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What is your current position and how long have you worked in financial aid?

I am the Financial Aid Manager at Dixie Technical College (DX Tech) in St. George, UT. I have worked in financial aid since March 2014.

Who is your Leadership Pipeline mentor and describe your relationship with them.

My mentor is Julie Wilson, previous Financial Aid Director of LCCC.

The committee couldn’t have picked a better mentor for me. I am a very direct person and some individuals aren’t sure how to handle me. Julie has the amazing ability to handle all my questions and craziness. I am so glad that I have had the opportunity to work with her.

Why did you decide to join Leadership Pipeline?

I learned about Leadership Pipeline from the RMASFAA newsletter.  I wanted to join Leadership Pipeline to know more about financial aid and feel more comfortable in my role at DX Tech. After speaking with the Student Services Director and explaining to him what the program was all about, he wanted me to apply so I grow in my position.

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far?

The most valuable thing that I have learned so far is that we all struggle with similar issues like communication, gainful employment, what department is in charge of specific tasks, programs making changes without letting the appropriate people know. By having our monthly meetings I have learned how other schools deal with these issues. I have also learned that if I ever need any information, the mentees and mentors will always be there for me.

What is it that you are hoping to come away with at the end of the program?

I know this program will help me become more comfortable in my position and grow as person. I have learned to delegate and say no to projects that don’t really belong to me, organize my day, have a Zero Inbox philosophy and how to communicate with difficult people.

Why would you recommend the Leadership Pipeline program to others?

I would recommend the program to anyone that is new to financial aid and wants to grow in their position. This program has tons of valuable information and will introduce you to great contacts. Because of the monthly meetings with my mentor Julie, the monthly conference calls and the discussions that come from reading “You’re The Director” I have been able to grow in my position.

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