Continuing with our RMASFAA Distinguished Service Award series. Throughout the series we will be asking past recipients of this award to share their stories and experiences with RMASFAA. The next post in this series features Shauna Savage, Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Montana Tech.
Can you tell me a little about your current position and something fun about you?
I am the Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Montana Tech. Some of my responsibilities are managing our scholarship program, being the funky-tech for Banner, and supervising two of the best and hardest workers I know.
My first RMASFAA was in Wichita, KS. There was a group that drove from Montana and to say the trip was epic is an understatement. We still have great laughs over all the crazy things that happened. We made wonderful memories and I’m a little sad that we won’t have a repeat this time around.
How did you get involved in Financial Aid?
When I was in my sophomore physics class at Montana Tech, my professor handed me a sticky note that said I had to go to see the Director of Financial Aid in the Financial Aid Office. I had no idea why I was asked to do so but at the end of the meeting, I was offered a work-study position. I guess it was a good fit since twenty plus years later I’m still in the business.
Can you tell me about your experiences with RMASFAA?
I have served on the RMASFAA Board as the Montana delegate, the Membership Chair, the Electronic Initiatives Committee Chair, and now on the Leadership Pipeline Chair. I have also served on the Association News Committee, Conference Planning Committees, and Conference Program Committees. I enjoyed each area that I served as it really allowed you to get to know people in the association better and to have a better understanding of all the amazing opportunities that RMASFAA provides to its members.
What did (and does) this award mean to you especially since a few years have passed?
It reminds me that good teamwork and perseverance help you reach your goal.
Do you have any relationships with other Distinguished Service Award recipients?
There are many other Distinguished Service Award recipients that I have served on the RMASFAA Board with, become friends with, and reach out to when I have a question, need support, or am looking for mentors for Leadership Pipeline. However, the one that stands out to me is Terri Gruba. She has been a great mentor, biggest cheerleader, and a dear friend.
What has been the best moment of your career so far?
I have lots of great moments from the student who learns to complete their FAFSA on their own to seeing them graduate and move on to successful careers or the relief and gratefulness that a family or student has when they realize that they can afford to pursue their higher education dreams. I think that is why most of us truly enjoy our work.
The one moment that stands out to me personally was being recognized as Montana’s Financial Aid Professional of the Year in April. It was so unexpected and the way my campus responded to the announcement was really overwhelming.
What’s next for you? (Personally or Professionally)
I’m going to take a little hiatus from volunteering professionally, except for the RMASFAA Conference in Montana in 2019, and use the extra time to spend with my youngest daughter. She is a freshman in high school and, now that my oldest has graduated, I know that no one can prepare you for how fast it goes!
Association News Committee – Newman University