It is an honor to be considered for the President-Elect position of VASFAA and I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve the membership. VASFAA is a dynamic organization with a wealth of experience, commitment and comradery that exemplifies the mission of VASFAA to serve the families of Virginia. I came to Virginia over three years ago from Pennsylvania where I served as President of PASFAA and bring with me experience with advocacy, budget management, mentor/training programs and volunteerism that I want to share with VASFAA.
Improving the value of VASFAA membership is critical for the stability of our association but we also need to attract more volunteers to continue to make a difference in Virginia. Volunteers continue to be needed to fill committee and council positions, to expand our FAFSA completion sessions across the state to students and parents, improve Financial Aid awareness, promote and provide professional development opportunities and continue lobbying efforts in both the state and federal advocacy arenas. I will work to promote the value of participation in VASFAA positions and ensure that we have an association model that can continue to provide the backbone of the association.
Our financial resources have been limited, so it is important to examine our financial stability to improve our income stream to insure the future of our association. Working with our development partners, membership chair and the board, I will work to solidify our financial approach for the future through strategic financial planning and expense management.
The only constant is that the world of financial aid is going to change, let VASFAA be the organization that people look to for guidance and information. VASFAA can, should and will continue to make a real difference in so many lives. Thank you again for this opportunity to serve.
Relevant Service record:
Thirty years ago, I entered the financial aid profession for the very first time, starting as a director without an ounce of knowledge about financial aid programs, rules and regulations. Talk about being thrown in the ocean!! After a week of reading regulations for 8-10 hours a day to determine what in the world I had done, I was fortunate to go to summer institute for new aid officers in the Rocky Mountain region. By the end of that week of training, my head was ready to explode, but I quickly and soundly learned that our financial aid associations and the wonderful and generous colleagues I met there would be my lifeline--not only to ensure my survival but to lock me into the financial aid profession for all these years.
During those 30 years, I have served as director at four-year private, four-year public and two-year public institutions and feel I understand our commonalities and those issues that make our jobs a bit different. I have had the privilege of serving as state president of NEASFAA, regional president of RMASFAA, a member of the NASFAA board, chair of NASFAA Leadership Conference, co-chair of RMASFAA Conference, a member of almost every committee at each level, a member of the negotiated rulemaking team for program integrity issues, and a presenter at many, many conferences. I currently serve as Director of Financial Aid and Enrollment Support for Northern Virginia Community College where I have been for nine years.
Outside the profession, I taught a class at my last college entitled "Issues of Unity and Diversity", worked for many years as a volunteer with Alternatives to Violence Project in the Nebraska prison system and in Uganda, organized and chaired a new Habitat for Humanity chapter, and have organized and led many cross-cultural trips with high school and college students. Social issues are my passion, including a current focus on stopping human trafficking. If education is truly the great equalizer, then assisting students who might otherwise not be able to attend postsecondary education is addressing a social issue.
Last year, I had the pleasure of chairing the VASFAA Leadership Workshop. This year, I am chairing VASFAA Conference 2017. I hope it is a fantastic and fun learning experience for all. I am grateful to everyone who has volunteered to assist in making it a robust training event.
Financial aid is a bit like riding rough seas in a sailboat. It takes a tremendous amount of attention to detail, is always challenging and never boring. The past 30 years have been a ride! I would love to think we can look forward to smooth sailing, but it feels like our boat just drifted into the vast unknowns of the ocean. The forecast is looking more and more like rough seas ahead with a chance of strong storms. Keeping the boat upright will be a challenge that can only be mitigated if we keep the lines of communication open and all work together for the common good of students across Virginia and the country. None of us can control the wind. Knowing when and how to adjust the sails might very well determine the future of financial aid. For that reason, I am seeking the VASFAA Presidency.
It is with great humility that I respectfully submit my statement of candidacy for the position of Secretary within VASFAA for the 2017-18 year. As someone that has served in a variety of positions from former Secretary, President-Elect, President, and Past-President, as well as served on various committees over the years, I cannot begin to express how much the VASFAA community means to me personally and professionally. I have grown exponentially by the many colleagues I have had the privilege of meeting and the on-going training options provided to VASFAA members. My passion for financial aid started early on when I began working for Liberty University over 10 years ago. One of the greatest joys for me is seeing students graduate and achieve educational goals and dreams that they never thought were possible. I have a wealth of knowledge and experience with VASFAA that I am able to bring to the position of Secretary and, if elected, I vow to use my voice in a way that will enhance the organization and continue to keep it on a strong trajectory for the future.
Thank you for your consideration of my candidacy.
First I would like to thank the board for validating and approving my nomination for treasurer-elect. In the past I have served on the conference committee and have moderated sessions. I have enjoyed each and every opportunity I have had this far to volunteer and serve in any capacity for VASFAA and I am positive being your next treasurer-elect won’t be any different. I do have the treasurer title under my belt as I am the treasurer of the building fund for my church. By being your next treasurer-elect I promise support VASFAA’s mission and am eager to do so.
I have been in financial aid at Longwood University for 10 years, not a week goes by that I don’t learn something new. When I started at Longwood I had my associates and soon after I began working I started the journey to get my Bachelor’s degree, also from Longwood. I successfully completed my BS in Business Administration in 2014. I live in Southside VA with my husband and our fur child, a jack Russell names Deuce.
Thank you for this opportunity, I can’t wait to serve as your next Treasurer Elect if elected.
It is with great excitement that I submit my statement of candidacy for VASFAA Representative-at-Large! I currently serve as the Director of University Scholarships and Financial Aid at Virginia Tech, and I have been in this role for over three years, and I moved to Virginia to serve in this capacity. I have been in the industry for 20 years. I love my job and the idea of helping students achieving their higher education dreams, and I still believe that financial aid staffs are amongst the hardest working of any higher education institution staff. I have previously been the vice-president of AASFAA and the College Goal Sunday co-chair in ISFAA, and now that I have become more settled in Virginia I hope to be actively involved with VASFAA. I have spent the last few years learning about Virginia’s college landscape and how state aid works. I have enjoyed getting to know my financial aid peers around the Commonwealth, and I would very much like to serve all of us in the Representative-At-Large capacity.
I consider it an honor to be able to submit my name as a candidate for the Representative at Large position for VASFAA. This organization has been extremely beneficial to my professional development and I look forward to the opportunity to serve others within our sector. This year’s theme "Getting by with a little help from our friends" is the personification of my professional and personal missions in life. A career in Financial Aid affords each of us the opportunity to be able to make a difference in the lives of our students, colleagues, and community on a daily basis and for that I am truly thankful.
My career in Financial Aid began at the age of 18 as a result of being selected to be a Federal Work Study in the Office of Financial Aid at Norfolk State University. I was fortunate to be able to acquire a position that not only assisted in funding my education but also lead to what I hope will be a lifetime career choice. I have close to 15 years of experience in this profession serving as a Financial Aid Administrator and now Financial Aid Director for the last 7 years. I am also actively involved in the community and volunteer to speak at college and career fairs to promote Financial Aid literacy throughout the state.
I believe that being a recipient of Financial Aid as well as working in the industry has afforded me the opportunity to be successful in my career and develop a passion for helping those that seek our services and expertise. If elected I look forward to contributing to the success of VASFAA by working diligently to increase membership and participation from all schools that represent all areas of higher education. With great enthusiasm, I welcome the opportunity to be able to serve this organization and give back to an industry that has been instrumental in my life and the lives of others.
I sincerely appreciate the consideration and opportunity to serve.
Sherika Charity has seven years financial aid experience. She is currently the Coordinator of Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs at Rappahannock Community College (RCC), where she has served in this role for three years. Previously, she was the Financial Aid Technician at RCC and worked as a Student Accounts Representative at Strayer University. During her time as a VASFAA member, she has served on several committees to include the 2015 VASFAA Conference Committee and the 2017 VASFAA Conference Committee. She would love the opportunity to represent you as the Rep-at-Large.
Sherika is currently a doctoral student in Old Dominion University’s Community College Leadership program.
Brad is the Virginia Community College System’s Coordinator of Financial Aid. He supports Virginia’s 23 community colleges in areas of financial aid regulation and compliance. In addition, he manages the System’s Student Support Center, an engagement that provides 24/7/365 financial aid and student accounts support.
After a career in law enforcement Brad began working in financial aid, first on default prevention issues for a private, for-profit institution. As a file reviewer at Northern Virginia Community College he was responsible for eligibility determination, verification, aid adjustment, and emergency fund awards. Brad became an Assistant Director, first at the University of Mary Washington, then at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. At both institutions he counseled students, orchestrated outreach events, managed scholarship and grant programs, calculated return to title IV funds, determined SAP and Special Circumstance appeal outcomes, reconciled programs, and developed policy. He then became Associate Director of Financial Aid Operations at Virginia Commonwealth University. There he was responsible for application review, document storage/retention, and loan processing. He also chaired the Income Reduction and Dependency Override appeals committee.
Brad is a first-generation college student, having earned his degree in Criminal Justice at Roanoke College in Salem, VA. After some time in the workforce, he returned to The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. where he attained a Master of Arts in Education and Human Development, Higher Education Administration.
Brad lives in beautiful Richmond, VA with his wife, Elizabeth, two kids, Abby and Liam, and Golden Retriever, Maggie. Abby will start kindergarten in the fall; there might even be some tears. Liam will miss "sissy" at daycare, but will find plenty of rocks, mulch, bugs and other play-things on the playground to occupy himself until he gets to join her. Until then, Brad is sure he can handle himself using his favorite phrase "Back away…" whenever trouble lurks.
Brad has been a member of VASFAA since 2009, with the exception of his time in Washington, DC. He has served on the Conference Committee and currently chairs the Budget and Finance Committee. Brad has found this volunteer work fulfilling and an opportunity to give back to an organization that helped launch his career transition years ago. He looks forward to continue to serve his peers and colleagues and hopes that you will consider voting him to VASFAA’s Board as a Representative-at-Large.