Nominate your IASFAA colleagues!

It’s time for IASFAA Spring Award Nominations!  The awards for the IASFAA Spring conference allow individuals, financial aid offices and students to be recognized.  Please take a few minutes to submit your nominations for the following awards:

  • John E. Moore Award
  • Outstanding Committee Member of the Year
  • Outstanding New Professional
  • Student Success Story of the Year

Nominations are due March 10th.

Award descriptions can be found at

Submit nominations at:

IASFAA Award Recipients

The following awards were presented at the Fall 2016 IASFAA conference in Sioux City:

John Heisner Memorial Lifetime Achievement:  Mark Warner, University of Iowa

John C. Parker Distinguished Service:  Chad Olson, Iowa State University

Congratulations to these well-deserving award recipients!

In addition, Dr. Laurie Wolf, Des Moines Area Community College, was recognized for her upcoming retirement in December.

Years of Service certificates were also presented to IASFAA members with milestone years of service (5, 10, etc.).   If you had one of these anniversaries in 2016 and did not attend the conference, your certificate will be mailed to you.

-IASFAA Awards Committee

Tips to Manage Stress

Manage Fall Stress with Tips for Financial Aid Professionals

Submitted by Debbie Murphy, Senior Marketing Associate
Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc.

With all the change that accompanies the return to school, fall is stressful for many families. But it’s especially so for people who work with students and families to help them successfully navigate financial aid. That’s why we are sharing  a few tips to help you manage stress during one of your busiest times of year.

  1. Make time for self-care so you get sufficient sleep, healthy food, and hydration. Adrenaline associated with increased stress takes a toll on your body. While finding time for self-care is challenging now, it’s more crucial than ever. Log 7 or 8 hours of good sleep each night—or whatever you know you need to be productive—even if you don’t think you can afford the time. Keep water and other hydrating beverages nearby so it’s easy to remember to drink them, and plan to eat frequent small meals or snacks that help maintain your blood sugar level during long days.
  2. Use part of your time outside the office to counteract the way you spend your busy workday. If you spend most of your workday talking, use your commute to unwind by listening to classical, jazz, or whatever music you enjoy. If you’re glued to your computer at the office, give yourself a break from electronics by making your screened porch the only screen you use in the evening. While you may feel too mentally exhausted to exercise, taking a walk or bike ride stretches tired, cramped muscles—and helps you obtain quality sleep, too. And if you’re running from meetings to appointments all day long, plan for quiet meditation or yoga in the evening to help you focus your mental and physical energy.
  3. Use a realistic to-do list. Break up larger projects into small, achievable steps that allow you to tackle each day with a clear idea of what you need to accomplish, and balance these with ongoing duties. You’ll still encounter interruptions and unexpected tasks, but at least you’ll be able to fit them in around a prioritized to-do list for that day.
  4. Don’t try to do it all yourself. Encourage others to self-help—or ask for help when you need it. Both at home and at work, empower those around you to help themselves rather than feeling like you have to do it all. People can only rise to a challenge if they’re presented with one. Provide a link to handy resources your students can use to educate themselves, take a little time to train your colleagues to help with some of your tasks, or ask your significant other to take some of your responsibilities at home (e.g., providing meals one or two nights a week). An added bonus: People who are in a helping mode feel self-sufficient, and are less likely to demand more from you than you can give.
  5. Be where you are. Back-to-school can make fall busy at home and at work. Use a planner and make choices to be where you’re most needed—and then be there mentally, too. Nothing is less effective than wishing you were at your child’s school for an event when you’re sitting at your desk, working to meet a project deadline—or thinking about work tasks when you’re at your child’s soccer game or back-to-school night.

Live on Facebook, it’s IASFAA!

IASFAA has a Facebook page!  Check it out and click ‘like’ to receive updates, photos and fun posts about the latest happenings taking place within the Association.  The IASFAA Talk blog and Facebook will both be used to keep members updated.  Feel free to follow one or both!  Facebook allows members to post comments and photos, but administrators will review content before it goes live.  Check it out!

Laurie Wolf’s message to IASFAA

Dear IASFAA Members,

Recently I returned to my office from a trip to find a surprise on my desk. A plaque from IASFAA for the John Heisner Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award. I must admit that I had tears in my eyes when I walked down the hall to thank Ean Freels for bringing it back to DMACC for me. I wish I could have been at the conference to accept it in person.

I am humbled to have been nominated and for receiving this award. I worked with John Heisner for 12 plus years. He was a kind, thoughtful and caring individual, especially when it came to students in need. For those of us who worked with him, he was bigger than life, with a heart to match.

While my duties at DMACC have not allowed me in recent years to be as active in IASFAA as I would like, IASFAA and its purpose are always in the forefront of what I do. Whether being engaged with a student, a staff member, a member of the public or some government entity. We assist in providing individuals the opportunity to find their passions, to find out who they can be, and their places in the world through education. You can’t find a better reward related to a job than this.

Thank you all for what you do each day for the students you serve. And thank you for this honor.


May 2016-lauriewolfaward03


Laurie Wolf, Ph.D.

Executive Dean, Student Services

Des Moines Area Community College