RMASFAA’s 50th Anniversary – My Experience being North of Normal

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I may have just inadvertently called myself weird, but hello we work in financial aid! For fun!! We’re all slightly weird from an outsider’s perspective and for those students and families we help there’s not a minute I’d trade.

So in an effort to stay better trained and on top of my daily chaos, I ventured to Fargo thanks to the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. This was my second RMASFAA and as always the conference and training committees delivered. Every session I learned a plethora of information that I, as well as my institution, will greatly benefit from.

One of my favorite sessions, outside the “normal” aid stuff, was the Creating Community by Greg Tehven. My background is to see cities use their built environments in order to preserve heritage but also to boost economic development. Kudos Fargo!! Definitely some sustainable initiatives in place there to continue for years to come.

However I also loved this discussion because in our respective institutions, state, regional and national association we use our heritage to further advance that of our students. I found this poignant given that it was also a 50th anniversary celebration. The longevity of associations or individuals is what helps our students to succeed. Being able to host and/or attend a training to continue that legacy is vital and key to each of those. That’s why our community of aid administrators is so cool! Our heritage, 50 years and counting now, has proven we can stand the test of time. We pride ourselves on staying informed, current, up-to-date for our students and institutions.

We don’t need a think-tank space necessarily to come up with an idea – but a great committee meeting works too!

We don’t need a thriving downtown to boost what we do – but a great purpose, mission and board will always help to steer the course!

We don’t need a bunch of micro-breweries to set ourselves apart – wait a minute, I retract that statement as I do like sharing a brew with my fellow aid administrators (I’ve got a mini-van story related to that). That’s where we learn about each other, our schools, discuss the similar challenges we’re each faced with daily and bounce ideas and initiatives off of each other.

There were truly too many take-a-ways for me to discuss here. My little green notebook is proof of that, but thank you again for a few spectacular training filled days.

— Sadonia Lane, 2018 Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship Recipient

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