Our annual spring conference was held in Dickinson, ND, located on the western edge of the state. It is the gateway to Medora (a destination you must visit in ND!) and Theodore Roosevelt National Park, which is home to the Badlands. Our conference theme was “The Wild Adventures of Financial Aid….Fun in the Jungle!” Which I think we can all relate to it being pretty wild sometimes….or maybe most the time!
And as alway’s it’s great to be able to reconnect and network with colleagues from across the state, catch up on life and see how things are going. After all, we are one big happy family, right!?
We were fortunate enough to have Joe Massman from The Department of Ed present on a few topics including a Federal Update, assorted Title IV topics, and Verification/Conflicting Information. We also enjoyed having our very own RMASFAA President Vicki Kucera attend and give us an update on what’s going on in RMASFAA. Other session topics included Education Benefits for Veterans, updates on our ND state aid programs, and our Diversity Committee brought in a speaker that provided a session on Underrepresented Population: What’s Not to Know.
This year’s NDASFAA Philanthropy Project recipient was Bakken Paws. Bakken Paws is a non-profit animal rescue and foster group that was started by animal lovers who saw a need for dogs and cats around the Dickinson area. They provide animals with food, shelter and any medical needs they might have. The group did not initially start with the intent to offer pet adoption services but that is now a large part of what makes up Bakken Paws. We even got to cuddle and love up an a few furry friends that came for a visit!
During the conference, we held our annual business meeting, Scott Lingen, NDASFAA Past-President for the upcoming year passed the gavel to Lindsey Benson, NDASFAA President. During our annual meeting committees were encouraged to share updates and any changes for the upcoming year. Marcia Pritchert, Valley City State University was selected as our scholarship recipient. Marcia will receive funding to help with some of her trip expenses to this year’s FSA conference.
NDASFAA also selected President-Elect Karrie Huber from the University of Mary, re-elected Bethany Vincent from North Dakota State University as Treasurer and re-elected Tom Ternes, from the Bank of North Dakota, as Associate Member at Large.
On our last night we held our awards banquet where we recognized years of service awards (350 years to be exact…WOW), congratulated and honored our retirees and recognized those who have gone above and beyond in the field of financial aid.
Scott Lingen, BSC, was awarded the Rookie of the Year award for his outstanding leadership as NDASFAA President, as well as leading our Financial Aid user group meetings.
Bethany Vincent, NDSU, was awarded the NDASFAA President’s Award for all her hard work and commitment to NDASFAA, serving as our treasurer since 2013.
Retirees: Sandy Klein (DSU), Bruce Helgerud (UND), Loretta Prather (UND), and Becky Rude (NDSU)
NDASFAA is working hard on planning the 2018 RMASFAA Annual Conference in Fargo, ND. At the Fargo conference we will be celebrating RMASFAA’s 50th Anniversary. We look forward to seeing you all there!
I hope you all are enjoying your summer and wish you the best in this upcoming year!
Lindsey Benson, Minot State University, NDASFAA President
Heather Fink, Association News Committee