Friday, December 14, 2012

SASFAA President-Elect Information

Submitted by:  Brad Barnett, Nomination and Elections Committee Chair

During the February 2013 elections you are being asked to select a candidate for the office of President-Elect, which is a three year term; spending one year as President-Elect, one year as President, and one year as Immediate Past President.  The article is being posted to show you what the SASFAA Policy & Procedure Manual describes as the duties of these positions.

The candidates for the office of President Elect are:
  • Nathan Basford (4 year public, Florida State University – Florida)
  • Nancy Garmroth (2 year public, Spartanburg Community College – South Carolina)

You will be able to learn more about these candidates by reviewing their candidate statement and biographical information on the SASFAA website at www.sasfaa.org

The SASFAA Policy & Procedure Manual describes the duties of these positions as follows:

5.2 President

The president serves as the chief executive officer of the Association and presides at all Board and business meetings. In this capacity the president:
a.      provides leadership and direction to all activities of the Association, the Board and all standing and ad hoc committees;
b.      prior to the NASFAA 2013-2014 year, represents SASFAA as a voting member in the Board meetings, including Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, Inc. (NASFAA). Beginning with the NASFAA 2013-2014 year, represents SASFAA as an observer in the Board meetings of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, Inc. (NASFAA), serves as an alternate voting member in the absence of the SASFAA Past President, provides reports of NASFAA activities to the SASFAA Board and publishes reports in the SASFAA Nine News or on the website as appropriate;
c.      selects all committee chair and liaisons. Works with committee chairs on finalizing committee members, who are subject to final approval of the Board at the first board meeting;
d.      serves as ex-officio member of all committees;
e.      approves expenditures and has authority to pay bills;
f.       submits a written annual report on the year’s activities to Association members; and
g.      represents SASFAA at selected SASFAA affiliated state meetings.

5.3 President-Elect

The president-elect assists the president and prepares for the term of office. Additional responsibilities of the president-elect include the following:
a.      serves as parliamentarian to the Board;
b.      until the NASFAA 2013-2014 year, serves as the alternate voting representative to the NASFAA Board of Directors, provides reports of NASFAA activities to the SASFAA Board and publishes reports in the SASFAA Nine News or on the Web site as appropriate. Beginning with the NASFAA 2013-2014 year, this position will no longer serve on the NASFAA Board of Directors;
c.      represents SASFAA at selected SASFAA affiliated state meetings;
d.      reviews the Manual and makes recommendations for changes to the Board or the appropriate committee;
e.      conducts an orientation session at the annual conference for state presidents-elect;
f.       advises and counsels the president as needed;
g.      begins initial planning for the next annual conference and for the promotion of the event;
h.      selects all committee chairs and liaisons. Works with committee chairs on selecting committee members utilizing a volunteer form;
i.       consults with the Board and budget chair in developing future initiatives; and
j.       performs other duties as requested by the president.

5.7 Immediate Past President

The Immediate past president assists the president and serves as chair of the nominations and elections, awards and the governance and planning committees. In this capacity the past president:
a.      presents a slate of candidates in accordance with the election schedule or calendar for president-elect, secretary, treasurer and vice president to the Board;
b.      solicits nominations for Association awards and presents the awards committee recommendations to the Board;
c.      performs the duties of the president in the absence of both the president and vice president;
d.      serves as a SASFAA voting representative to the Board of Directors of NASFAA.
e.      conducts an annual review of the strategic long-range plan and presents a written report at the June board meeting; and
f.       performs other duties as requested by the president.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

SASFAA Exhibitor/Sponsorship Options for 2012-2013

Submitted by R.  Dewey Knight, Sponsorship Chair

SASFAA is pleased to offer the opportunity for our corporate partners and friends to support our training efforts as financial aid professionals. We continue to offer individual training activities to sponsor, advertise and exhibit.  We have also produced some discounted packages that will allow sponsors to take advantage of some very significant cost savings.  Additionally, for first-time sponsors, an additional 25% discount is provided.

Please review the various sponsorship opportunities at:  SASFAA Exhibitor/Sponsorship Oportunities

Our 50th Annual Conference in Atlanta (February 10-13, 2013) will be attended by over 500 financial aid professionals and we hope you will be a part of the celebration of 50 years of service to students and their families!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Report from President-Elect

Submitted by Zita Barree, SASFAA President-Elect

In my role as SASFAA President-Elect this year, I was recently able to participate in NASFAA’s Interregional Visitation Program by attending the WASFAA Executive Council (Board) Meeting held at the Pointe Hilton Hotel and Resort in Phoenix, Arizona, November 15 – 16, 2012.  WASFAA members are represented by the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, the Pacific Islands, and Washington. 

NASFAA initiated the Interregional Visitation Program in 1998 in an attempt to expand the leadership role for Board members, to provide an opportunity for Board members to interact with NASFAA members, and to increase NASFAA’s visibility and communication within the regional associations.  As a result of NASFAA Board action taken in 2009, the only positions that now receive a subsidy from NASFAA for this program are the second-year Reps at Large on the NASFAA Board and the Regional Presidents-Elect (who may or may not be on the NASFAA Board this year due to a transition whereby only two people from each regional association attend the NASFAA Board meetings and in SASFAA’s case beginning with this year, those are the President and Past President).    

It took most of the day on Wednesday, November 14th for me to travel from Richmond, VA to Phoenix.  I was met at the airport by a group of WASFAA members and was able to enjoy some local cuisine that evening.  The meeting started with lunch at the hotel on Thursday, November 15th and concluded by 11 am on Friday, November 16th.  I was back home that evening by 11:30 pm which made for a very long day but it was nice being back home going into the weekend before Thanksgiving break. 

One of the main differences between the way WASFAA conducts its Board meeting compared to SASFAA is that they started using a Consent of Agenda process last year whereby many of the committee and state president reports are collected and distributed far enough in advance that all attendees are expected to have read them prior to the meeting and only any new information and/or items that need to be approved are reported on during the meeting.  This definitely helped to move the meeting along!

Discussions revolved around fiscal matters, a new Strategic Plan for 2014-2016, the annual conference, communications strategies (web-site, Facebook, Twitter, listserv) and federal legislative updates to name just a few.  I took a good amount of notes and at the end of the meeting, I was asked to make a few remarks.  What I said was how interesting it was to me how many ways our associations are similar even with the differences that also exist.  I also thanked all of them for their warm hospitality and for allowing me to be a part of their Executive Council Meeting.

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I look forward to seeing many of you at the Annual Conference in February!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

SASFAA Conference Regristration

SASFAA’s Annual Conference event will be held February 10 – 13, 2013, at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta, Georgia.
With a program that includes a celebration of SASFAA’s 50th anniversary and a wide variety of sessions to meet the needs of financial aid professionals at all levels, this is a conference you won’t want to miss!
Register for the conference and make your hotel reservation today!
Detailed information is available on SASFAA’s conference website at SASFAA Conference.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The SASFAA Slate is Set!

Submitted By:  Brad Barnett, Nomination and Elections Committee Chair

I am very happy to announce the approved slate of candidates for the elections that will take place just prior to the February 2013 Annual Conference.  The following individuals will be on the slate for the respective positions.

President Elect:
Nathan Basford (4 year public, Florida State University – Florida)
Nancy Garmroth (2 year public, Spartanburg Community College – South Carolina)

Vice President:
Tabitha McCallister (4 year public, University of South Carolina – South Carolina)
Marian Huffman (4 year private, Lee University – Tennessee)
Amy Moser (Vendor/Sponsor, Nelnet – Georgia)
Jennifer Priest (4 year private, Transylvania University – Kentucky)

Stay tuned for more information regarding the candidates and election process.  We will be posting information about the candidates to the SASFAA website, and an announcement will be made once that has been done.  In the meantime, feel free to contact any of the candidates should you have questions for them.  I’m confident SASFAA will be on good hands regardless of the outcome, and I sincerely appreciate each candidate’s willingness to run for office and serve the SASFAA membership.

I would like to thank the other members of the committee below for their work in developing this slate.

  • Vickie Adams (Alabama)
  • Allison Beaver (Florida)
  • Nancy Ferguson (Georgia)
  • Aaron Gabehart (Kentucky)
  • Seph Anderson (Mississippi)
  • Kim Driggers (North Carolina)
  • Allison Sullivan (South Carolina)
  • Lester McKenzie (Tennessee)
  • Melissa Barnes (Virginia)

Lastly, the February ballot will also include one By-law change that the Executive Board would like to present the membership for approval.  It’s rather minor, but needs the membership vote to approve it since it’s in the By-laws.

Current By-law:
Article II – Principal Office
The principal office of the Association, a nonprofit corporation incorporated under the laws of the State of Georgia, shall be in Snellville, Georgia.

Proposed By-law:
Article II – Principal Office
The principal office of the Association, a nonprofit corporation incorporated under the laws of the State of Georgia
, shall be in Snellville, Georgia.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Budget & Finance Committee Report

Submitted by Marian Huffman, SASFAA Budget & Finance Committee Chair

The Budget and Finance Committee met in Nashville, Tennessee on October 24 - 25, 2012 and conducted the annual financial review of the SASFAA records for fiscal year July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012.  The committee commends Nancy Garmroth, treasurer for an outstanding job of complying with the Association’s policies and procedures, for maintaining the records in excellent condition and in an orderly manner which was easy to follow and understand.  The treasurer’s attention to detail was noted on numerous occasions.  The committee commends the board for working within the framework of the approved budget.  The board is continuing to look for opportunities to minimize cost and to maximize the organization’s resources.

During the November 2012 Executive Board meeting, the board agreed to update and clarify the investment strategy of the organization.   The approved plan financial plan is to maintain 15% - 20% of total assets in the day-to-day operating funding.  The remaining assets will be divided between short and long term investments each will contain approximately 30% - 45%.  The short term investments are typically CDs with maturity dates less than 36 months.  SASFAA is currently using a Financial Advisor from Edward Jones to assist in securing CDs and Short Duration Bonds which yield a higher rate of return. Long-term investments have a maturity of greater than 36 months.  At this time SASFAA will continue to utilize NASFAA’s Charles Schwab investment strategy.  This allows SASFAA to benefit from the investment advisors secured by NASFAA.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Georgia State Report

Submitted by Phillip Hawkins, 2012-2013 GASFAA President

"Continue the Momentum!". This is the way I have been greeting GASFAA members on the first of each month at the GASFAA Grapevine blog.  Drawing from my most recent interest in endurance sports (i.e., distance running, and sprint triathlons involving swimming, biking, and running), I have learned the importance of setting realistic goals and training properly to make for a successful competition or race.  Sometimes, setbacks occur, as happened to me in September when I crashed my bike in a race.  Even through setbacks, it is important to rest, recuperate, and re-evaluate the proper time to re-enter a training program or race.  Then during the off-season, it is important to re-focus training on the fundamental techniques of the sports so that next year's races and competitions are more successful than this year.

I see many parallels to these experiences to the work we accomplish in Financial Aid.  We are currently in our "off-season" (so to speak), so many offices are looking ahead to the anticipated changes in 20013-2014 and training their staffs appropriately.  Sometimes setbacks occur - like thinking we understood Pell LEU only to find out a week before disbursement that our software did not necessarily handle it like we thought.  And we often find ourselves fatigued and stressed out during the month of August, so we have to keep reminding ourselves to live healthy to keep the momentum moving forward.  If you would like to follow the "Continue the Momentum" series, the articles are available from the GASFAA website - www.gasfaa.org, and click the link for the GASFAA Grapevine blog.  You might see what appears to be someone "walking on water."

GASFAA is continuing the momentum established by our 2011-2012 Executive Board which was led fabulously by Nancy Ferguson from the University of Georgia.  Nancy reminded us of importance of legislative advocacy and she re-kindled our enthusiasm as an association.  She also prioritized an emphasis on leadership development - for our offices as well as for GASFAA.  We are continuing the leadership development focus this year.

GASFAA delivered the NASFAA Fall Training topic "Direct Loans - The Rest of the Story" on November 1st, 2012 at the campus of Central Georgia Technical College in Macon, Georgia.  Additional basic training and leadership development topics are planned for the winter and spring months.

GASFAA is also busy planning our Spring Conference, to be held May 22-24, 2013 in Athens, Georgia.  The theme for this year's conference is tentatively scheduled to be "GASFAA Celebrates 20 Years of HOPE" and will mark the 20th anniversary of the first Georgia HOPE Scholarship Award which was made in the Fall of 1993.  We are hoping to recognize some of the early state government leadership which gave birth to the HOPE Scholarship program which has enabled over 1.4 million Georgians to attend college since the program began.

Finally, GASFAA is eager to welcome SASFAA to Georgia for the annual conference February 10-13, 2013 at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta!  We hope you are making plans to attend this exciting conference marking SASFAA's 50th anniversary!  We look forward to seeing you in February!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Comment from a member

Submitted by Brandon Dillard, Inceptia

I just wanted to pass along that we have a rep at the PA conference that stated that they do have electricity at the conference hotel but there are folks that are not able to get home due to the conditions.  Our reps' flight has been cancelled until Monday where she has decided to take a shot at renting a car and driving back to NY later this week instead of waiting on flights. I am certain that there are several folks at that conference that will have difficulty getting back home but are currently safe in the conference hotel.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Message from the SASFAA President

I just wanted to let the SASFAA members that have been affected by “Sandy” know that we are thinking of you.  Please send any update you would like to share with the membership to Jane Moore jmoore7@gmu.edu or Amanda Sharp vasharp@una.edu or Jeff Dennis jdennis@swu.edu and we will get it posted.

Jeff Dennis,
SASFAA President

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Legislative Relations Committee Update


Greetings from your Legislative Relations Committee!  Ever wondered where to find a list of the Congressional members in your state?  Ever wondered where to find contact information for your Congressional delegation in Washington, DC?  We’ve included the information for you in this article!  Always remember when contacting your state delegations or Congressional delegations in Washington, DC to communicate via phone, fax, or email.  “Snail mail” is no longer effective due to security procedures.

Our committee is currently working on updating the SASFAA Legislative Guide as well.  We will be emailing that out to members in the next month or so hopefully.  Please let us know if there are any concerns you have and we will be glad to speak with you about them!

Amy Berrier
SASFAA Legislative Relations Chair

2012-2013 SASFAA Legislative Relations Committee:

Amy Berrier, Chair:                             alberrie@uncg.edu
Alabama – Kelly D’Eath                     kdeath@gadsdenstate.edu
Florida – Bill Spiers                            spiersb@tcc.fl.edu
Georgia – Lisa Mitchem                     lisa.mitchem@finaid.gatech.edu
Georgia – Nancy Ferguson                nferg@uga.edu
Georgia – David McMillion                  dmcmillion@piedmont.edu
Kentucky – Shelley Park                     shelley.park@eku.edu
Kentucky – Sandy Neel                       sneel@bellarmine.edu
Mississippi – Joseph Statuto              joseph.r.statuto@wellsfargo.com
North Carolina – Amy Berrier              alberrie@uncg.edu
South Carolina – Michelle Upchurch  mupchurch@limestone.edu
Tennessee – Ron Gambill                   rgambill@edsouth.org
Virginia – Brenda Burke                       blburke@vcu.edu
Jeff Daniels                                           jeff.daniels@pnc.com

The Importance of Legislative Advocacy

By Nancy D Ferguson, GASFAA Past-President

When I became President of the Georgia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (GASFAA), I was unsure of what awaited me in the realm of legislative advocacy. I’ve always been a little bit of a nerd when it comes to politics but I am pretty shy, I’m definitely not that person that walks up to complete strangers and introduces myself. So how did I find myself doing 11 Hill visits to Georgia Representatives last year? I pushed myself to do it because I know how important the work we do is to the students in our states.

How important you ask? In the 10-11 year, 2,086,973 students received $8,034,013,670* in Federal Pell Grants in the SASFAA region. And that was the purpose of my visits, saving the Pell Grant. As you know Pell has been on the chopping block for a while now.  It was important for us to advocate for our students so the legislators know just how important student financial aid is to helping students obtain a college degree. One person can make a difference!

The first step to advocacy is ensuring you have the blessing of your employer. Politics can be a tricky thing and you definitely don’t want to do anything that might jeopardize federal or state funding to your school. I was very lucky in this respect. I did the first round of Hill visits with our Director Bonnie Joerschke who serves as the Chair of the NASFAA Reauthorization Task Force. Not only did our school support us in this endeavor, our legislative affairs office set up the Hill visits. We shared with them the scope of our visit and the handout we planned to leave behind and then wrote a report for the University’s files upon our return.

Decide what kind of advocacy you plan to do. Not everyone has the funding or desire to go to Washington DC. Letter writing and other methods of advocacy can be equally effective.  NASFAA offers great tools for this – tips on the best way to contact your representatives, ways to get their contact information, and even letter and email templates. Be sure to check out the Advocacy section on the NASFAA Web page at http://www.nasfaa.org. Also, when your state or regional association is doing advocacy they may request information from the membership – things like student examples or award data. Please help there where you can because that is important in getting our message across.

Actually going to Washington DC and doing Hill visits was an experience of a lifetime. You’ll rarely meet with the actual legislator but instead with one of their aides. You have maybe ten minutes to get your point across so know your stuff and be clear and concise. Do research before you get there; know what is important in higher education to the Representative with which you are meeting. Know about current hot topics in the aid community because, for example, I went to these visits prepared to speak about the Pell Grant but also spent time answering questions about student loan debt and our state scholarship program. I’ve learned that elected officials like data, cold hard numbers. They especially like it when you focus on their district because then you are literally hitting close to home so try to make personalized handouts featuring that data which they can refer to later. Avoid partisan politics. Try to make appointments for when Congress is not in session so the aides are able to spend more time with you and are more apt to listen to what you have to say. Which brings me to my next point – sad as it is, not everyone is going to listen. Most people were really open to what we had to say, however we did have one (representing a wealthier district in our state) that did not think Pell is a priority. We can only try to make him understand that it is.

Do I think I made a difference? You bet I do. But the fight is not over. Pell and other aid programs are still under attack and we are on the front lines. And every time I talk to a student who is so thankful for the student financial aid that is putting them through college, I am reminded how important our advocacy is.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Note from Heather Boutell

Hi SASFAA friends…. Lisa Tumer and I are serving on the NASFAA Conference Committee this year and representing the SASFAA region.  NASFAA is July 14-17, 2013, in Las Vegas, NV, at the Aria.  I’m hoping many of you are able to join us for the Conference! 
I know some of you have seen the notices on NASFAA News, but in case you haven’t, here is information about interest session proposals.  We have many exceptional presenters in our region, and some of you should share your talents with your colleagues across the nation.  Perhaps you went to a session at your state conference or SASFAA, and noted one of your friends did an excellent job!  Why not e-mail that person and ask them to consider presenting?  Maybe you both could do a session together.  Listed below are the general topics, which cover just about everything we face in our profession.  There are a few different formats as well, from half-day workshops to peer-to-peer sessions. 
Or maybe you want to go to a session on a particular topic, but don’t really care who presents.  There’s a place at the end of this e-mail to submit your ideas to our committee, and we can see if we can find appropriate presenters. 
I’m excited I’ve been asked to serve in this role, and look forward to reviewing some sessions or ideas from my Southern friends.  Take care and enjoy your day! 
2013 NASFAA Conference Interest Session Submission
Submission Deadline: November 2, 2012
Please read the information below before submitting a proposal.
Session Formats
Interest Session
This is the standard 1 hour 15 minute session time slot that NASFAA has used for many years. The session typically consists of approximately 1 hour of presentation and 15 minutes for Q and A.
Peer to Peer Session
Forget about the long PowerPoint presentation and think more interactively about your education session. PowerPoint use is limited in these sessions. The Presenter/Moderator sets objectives and goals for the audience, discusses the topic for no more than 25 minutes and then uses the remaining time to guide and facilitate a discussion with the audience.
Half-Day Workshop
Do you have a more in-depth or advanced session you would like to offer, but cannot fit it into the 1 hour 15 minute timeframe? NASFAA will accept a limited number of ½ day workshops. These sessions will run 2 hour and 30 minutes with a 15 minute break.
How to Submit
Space is limited. Please read the information below and then use the link at the bottom of the page to submit your proposal. Please be sure to select the appropriate "Session Format" field when submitting.
Criteria for Proposals
·        Please use the topical areas identified by the 2013 Conference Committee as a guideline for your submission.
·        The proposal should be clearly written, logically organized and complete. A complete proposal contains:
1.    session title,
2.    session description of 100 words or less
3.    a moderator and at least two presenters (exception: peer-to-peer sessions only require one presenter)
·        Offer diverse perspectives in terms of the panel representation. School type, size, and control will all be considered in terms of the diversity of the panelists.
·        Topic should address school solutions to topics of concern to financial aid administrators
·        The proposal should not focus on (or market) a particular product or service
·        Sessions that include school presenters are given the greatest weight.
Important Information
·        Compose the session description with word processor before submitting it online. Be sure to check spelling, word count to ensure it conforms with guidelines.
·        Multiple proposals from a single submitter may be considered, but NASFAA reserves the right to limit the number of sessions which can be presented by any single individual.
·        NASFAA reserves the right to record all sessions presented at its conference and possibly offer the recordings for sale.
·        Presenters must submit handouts to NASFAA prior to the conference for posting to the NASFAA website.
·        If accepted, all presenters and moderators must register for the conference and pay the appropriate conference registration fee.
·        Those who submit a session proposal must inform all presenters and the moderator that they are submitting their name on a session proposal. Make sure presenters and moderators are aware of the policies listed above. Failure to do so may result in the rejection of a session.
Proposal Review, Selection and Notification Process
The criteria for review of the proposals mirrors the criteria for a proposal. NASFAA’s National Conference Committee reviews and evaluates all proposals based on the relevance of the topic to our conference theme and to the industry, session description, number and type of presenters, and whether the proposal provides an innovative solution to a financial aid issue. The Committee may also develop additional sessions on topics that have not been covered in the submitted proposals. The overall program is crafted to ensure that all subject areas are equitably covered and that they will meet the needs of attendees who are in various stages of their careers - from entry level to the most seasoned executives. Proposal submitters will receive the committee’s decision by mid-December.
Interest Session Topical Areas
The 2013 Conference Committee is seeking session proposals on the following topics.
·        Communication, Leadership & Student Aid Management: concerning the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives including planning, organizing, staffing, leading, or controlling an organization, as well as the marketing of new products and services to students and parents
·        Consumer Information and Customer Service: subject matter related to information that must be disclosed to students or that enhances the interaction between the financial aid office and students
·        Diversity Issues/Student Access & Success: concerning efforts to improve college access and increasing the number under-represented groups in postsecondary education or the financial aid profession
·        Enrollment Management: includes the interaction of campus offices such as the registrar, student accounts, and admissions with the aid office to assist in recruitment, retention, meeting institutional goals
·        Graduate and Professional Issues: subject matter unique to institutions offering graduate and professional degrees
·        Other Resources: related to resources outside Department of Education and/or federal financial aid such as private scholarship or outreach program
·        Program Issues (Grant/Work Study/Scholarships): subject matter related to grant and work programs at the federal, state, and institutional level as well as scholarships
·        Program Issues (Loans): subject matter related to administering loan programs (can include institutional programs)
·        Regulatory Issues: concerning federal regulations becoming effective July 1, 2013, including implementation of said regulations, implementation of federal regulations with effective dates other than July 1, 2013, and/or compliance with federal regulations with effective dates before or after 2013
·        Research & Data Analysis: concerning all theoretical perspectives and styles of research on financial aid; including conducting, presenting, using, and evaluating research
·        Role of Aid Office in Institutional Planning: how the student aid office can market itself to other offices and be included in discussions that affect operations
·        Staff Training and Development: concerning staff training on compliance with federal/state/local regulations and in areas such as leadership skill development
·        Technology/Software Conversion Issues: subject matter related to the use of technology to improve the administration of financial aid and communication with students, campus, and community at large; topics related to changing from one system to another
By submitting a session proposal, you agree to NASFAA’s policies and guidelines listed above.
Do you have a session idea, but need help putting it together? submit your idea here to receive assistance from the Conference Committee.

Friday, September 28, 2012

20/20 Committee Update

Submitted by Nathan Basford

Dear SASFAA Members & Friends:

What is the 20/20 Committee you may ask?  It is what was once known as the "Diversity Committee".

Guess we have all heard those words ,”Diversity Committee” and sometimes may feel that we have beaten that poor horse to death.

The 20/20 Committee name was chosen based on President Obama’s address to the country (see below) stating that by the year 2020; America will have the highest number of college graduates in the world. 

In an increasingly competitive world economy, America’s economic strength depends upon the education and skills of its workers.  In the coming years, jobs requiring at least an associate degree are projected to grow twice as fast as those requiring no college experiences.   To meet this economic imperative, President Obama ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training and set a new national goal: By 2020. America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. 

So we now have a brief history of the renaming of the “Diversity Committee”, and we can move forward! 

This year your 20/20 Committee members are: Jackie Owens, Chansone Durden, Sylvia Jones, Felicia Alister, Melinda Shoy-Clarke, Lisa Carey, Heather Vaughan and Nathan Basford. The committee chair is Em McNair.

Your 20/20 committee has been working to ensure that the upcoming annual conference will be very memorable, especially since it is our “50th Anniversary Celebration”  here are a few of the events that have been planned by the 20/20 committee:
·        Spelman College Glee Club February 10th.
·        Atlanta Institute of Music Jazz Band February 10th President’s reception 7:00 – 8:00 pm
·        Urban Harp Ensemble:  Perform a mini-concert & provide music during dinner on February 12th.
·        Georgia Perimeter  Jazz Band:  Sunday, February 12th 8:30 pm till Midnight
·        Art Exhibit:  Local art from schools around the Atlanta area will be on display during the conference.

Diversity Sessions:
·        Advocacy for Students & Persons with Disabilities
·        “Modern Family”: A Counseling Guide for Financial Aid Professionals

Along with working on conference activities, the committee will begin looking at a possible name change for the committee.  Yes, you read right!  As I stated earlier we have discussed diversity over and over again, and now we must begin to look out- side-the-box to re- define diversity. 

This is an exciting committee to serve on, so if you feel that you have something to offer, and yes, we all do, contact any of the members of the committee to see how you can make a difference.  You can find their contact information by visiting: www.sasfaa.org

We hope to see many of you in Atlanta!

Continue to have a great semester!