Thursday, December 13, 2018

Choosing to Serve

Serving as Leaders

The Nominations and Elections Committee is pleased to present the slate of candidates for SASFAA’s upcoming election.  Special thanks to members who submitted nominations and to those who are willing to serve in a leadership capacity.  SASFAA continues leading as a vibrant organization due to the dedication and involvement of wonderful volunteers.

Candidates for Election
President-Elect          Nancy Tate and Celena Tulloss
Vice President           Joan Bailey and April Tretter

Additional information, including resumes and candidacy statements, will be provided at a later date.  Voting opens Saturday, February 9, 2019, and closes Tuesday, February 19, 2019, at 3 pm eastern time.

Thank you again to everyone who volunteered.

Sharon Oliver
2018-19 Nominations and Election Chair

Serving as Community

- helping, doing something for others, kindness

Hospitality - warm reception, helpful, welcoming to visitors, guests & strangers alike

As we embrace the beauty of fall and reminisce on memorable moments of summer, I hope each of you will remember to take a moment to enjoy the little things in life that evolve into something beautiful.  Our daily encounters with with people from different walks of life really takes special people like YOU to perform the duties of our profession.  We are "game changers" who bridge many gaps in making College a reality... that's who we are!

Our lives are filled with opportunities for Service & Hospitality.  I hope each of you will take time to share these unique qualities with colleagues in your office or campus.  Choose a day(s) to do your "Random Acts of Kindness & Love."  Here are some suggestions to get your creative juices flowing!  Have fun!!
  • Share a small bag of candy, or a candy bar with someone who may be in need or doesn't have access to the simple things in life
  • Make a donation, or do something helpful to make life a little easier for a cancer patient, or caregiver
  • Stand up for victims of domestic violence by volunteering at a shelter, or spreading the word of resources available to victims
  • Bake cookies, and give to random people who cross your path, or workers in a business that you frequent
  • Adopt a shelter pet, or coordinate a food or blanket and towel drive
We're unique & special in our own way but the work we do makes us all ONE.
Let's "Celebrate You, Celebrate Me, Celebrate US and SMILE
(See Me In Love Embrace me for who I am)."

Regina Gilbert
2018-19 Global Issues Committee
(TASFAA Global Issues Chair)

Serving in Difficult Times

A View from the Storm

To say October was a blur is an understatement!

On Sunday, September 30 I left for our computer conference.  On October 5, I flew from there to the SASFAA Executive Board Meeting in Knoxville.  Saturday night, October 6 I flew back to Tallahassee, FL around 11:30 p.m.  The next day we went to church, there was no mention of a storm.  Sunday night we went to our local Publix only to find that the shelves were nearly empty of basic items such as bread, water, canned goods.  As we approached the checkout counter the person in front of us said “Isn’t it amazing how fast the storm has grown?”  My wife and I responded by saying “What storm?”  Only then did we learn that a hurricane was forming in the Gulf.

On Monday, I listened to the weather projections.  The storm would hit the Florida Gulf Coast as a category 1 storm.  No big deal.  We have seen those before.  By mid-morning we were looking at the possibility of a category 3 storm with a projected path over Tallahassee.  Now I am begging to pay attention! 

About the same time I learned that our College emergency team was meeting.  We waited to see what action they would take before the storm.  To our surprise, they closed the College for the rest of the week and asked that no one return to campus until the following Monday. Hearing this only heightened my concern.  What did they know that had not been made public?  Were there anticipated issues we didn’t know about?

By Monday night it was projected that the storm would reach category 3 or higher.  Now I am really concerned!  I spent Tuesday making preparations for the storm.  All items outside had to be brought inside, and those that couldn’t be had to be fastened down.  The day was filled with activity.

Wednesday morning brought more bad news.  Now the storm was predicted to be category 4, or higher.  Regardless of where the storm came ashore we were in for a rough time.  By noon Tallahassee was a ghost town.  The winds were picking up, and with them, rumors of a category 5 storm swirled.  While we had light rain earlier in the day,  around 3:00 the real storm bands arrived.  We lost electricity about 4:30.  The winds were howling, and all we could do was sit and ride out the storm.  Around 5:00 I stepped out on my front porch to see what damage had occurred in my neighborhood.  As I looked around I heard a loud thud, a large hickory tree in our yard had fallen.  It missed our house, but crushed our neighbor's fence and missed his house by only inches.  Around 6:00 the storm passed.  We sat quietly in the dark.

Thursday morning I was up early, dressed, and outside to fully reviewing the storm damage.  Fortunately, our damage was limited to the tree, but the yard was a mess.  Around 8:30, I drove around downed trees and debris, in an attempt to find breakfast.  As I reached the main road I saw unbelievable damage.  Trees down, power lines down, trees across power lines, roads closed, buildings damaged.  Wow!  My heart broke for those who experienced the catastrophic damage. 

By afternoon we were out looking for a generator.  Only stores with generators were open, but we found one at Lowes.  Now, the quest for gas started, and we were fortunate enough to find all the gas we needed. Others were not so fortunate.

On Friday, cleanup started.  My wife, Terrie, and I worked in the yard all day and had to hire a tree service to remove the downed tree.  The day seemed to never end.  Still no power!! 

At this point I had to make a decision.  I was scheduled to attend the Mid-Western Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators as part of the regional exchange as President-Elect of SASFAA.  No power, limited cell phone service, debris all over my yard.  I had to make a decision I never wanted to make – I could not attend MASFAA.  I was truly disappointed as it was an event I had looked forward to for weeks.  At that point I informed President Erslan I could not attend.  In addition I had to call Delta as I wouldn’t use my ticket.  Delta was gracious and gave me full credit for the ticket.

After a couple weeks, Tallahassee Community College returned to normal operations.  The same is not true for our schools to the west inclusive of Chipola State College, Gulf Coast State College, and FSU Panama City.  All received significant damage.

By now many of you are asking “What does this have to do with SASFAA?”  Well, I am glad you asked.  Below are some of the things I learned.

One of the hallmarks of SASFAA is our collegiality.  Through the storm and into this week I have received multiple text messages, calls, and emails inquiring about my safety and asking if I needed anything.  The offers included lodging as needed. In crisis your SASFAA friends stand with you through the storm.

Another lesson I learned is that in difficult times hard decisions have to be made.  I didn’t want to abandon my trip to MASFAA, but it was necessary.  There will be times for SASFAA when we will have to make hard to decisions to keep the association strong.  Our leaders and members must be willing to make those hard decisions.

Finally, and I think the most important thing, I learned that it isn’t about things, it is about people.  In SASFAA our greatest strength is our membership.  You are why we exist, and where our focus must continually strive to make sure what we do serves the membership. 

I am so proud of our profession and our SASFAA membership.  Because of you our view from the storm is truly one of hope.

Those of us who have lived through Hurricane Michael thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and support.

Bill Spiers
2018-19SASFAA President-Elect

Serving through Learning and Gathering

‘Tis the Season…to register for the SASFAA Annual Conference!

Load up the sleigh, and join us in Atlanta as we walk through a winter wonderland of sessions including:
  • How the New Tax Code will Impact Financial Aid
  • NCAA Legislation and Updates
  • Enrollment Management
  • NASFAA U credential sessions: Administrative Capability and Cost of Attendance
  • Program of Study
  • IRS topics
  • Audits and Program Reviews

There will be many, many more great sessions from SASFAA members, NASFAA’s Justin Draeger, a federal update from the U.S Department of Education, and the jolly elf himself, David Bartnicki.

SASFAA is also proud to present a special session, the Community Food Experience, regarding college students with food insecurity, in conjunction with our conference charity  As you enjoy your holiday meal, please remember those 25% of community college students and 20% of four-year college students with very low food security.

Don’t forget to include one of our special Pre-Conference sessions on your wish list!
  • First, the ever popular SASFAA Leadership Symposium, with all-star presenters Sandy Neel, Lisanne Masterson, Ron Day, Billie Joe Hamilton, Michael Morgan and Sharon Oliver
  • Second, by popular demand, the return of Excel for Financial Aid.  This hands-on session will explore all of the ways Excel can be used in the Financial Aid Office for reporting and data analysis.

As you are rocking around the tree, consider signing up for what is sure to be an epic SASFAA lip sync battle! (More information to come)  Of course, it wouldn’t be a SASFAA conference without Bingo.

Don’t delay!  Register by December 14, 2018, and your name will be placed in a drawing for a two-night stay, including breakfast, to the Grand Hyatt Buckhead in Atlanta.

To top off all of these great reasons to attend, the Georgia Aquarium is also offering a special discount to SASFAA attendees. More information is available in the conference section of the SASFAA website. 

Make plans today to join us February 17-19 in Buckhead! 

2018-19 SASFAA Conference Committee

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