The Wisconsin Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators is a non-profit organization that provides support to financial aid administrators and other agencies involved in the administration of financial aid programs in Wisconsin’s postsecondary educational institutions.
The WASFAA Blog
The WASFAA Blog contains updates from the WASFAA President, highlights committee activities and member profiles, and provides articles written by members and guests.
We are WASFAA-Behind the Scenes by Cindy Reindl, UW-Milwaukee
There are a lot of parts that make WASFAA run as smoothly as it does. Most of us see members actively working at various volunteer events, conferences, or at trainings or other professional events. What some of us may not see are the members who work diligently behind the scenes to help make a lot of these events and opportunities happen. As Financial Aid Professionals, we all wear various hats in the office; but we also wear a lot of hats outside the office. A member's level of activity may change as their responsibilities outside the office change. Regardless of the hats that you wear; there are still opportunities for members to get involved at any commitment level. This month, We Are WASFAA, is highlighting Kathy Peterburs from UW-Milwaukee and some of the work she has done behind the scenes in the last couple of years.
How did you get started in Financial Aid?
I began working as a Financial Aid Counselor in October of 1998 at Cardinal Stritch University. A few years later, I took a position at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design as an Assistant Director. After approximately 8 years at MIAD, I returned to Cardinal Stritch University as an Associate Director. In August of 2014, I began working for UW-Milwaukee as a Senior Student Services Coordinator managing our front desk Peer Advisors.
How did you first become involved in WASFAA?
All it took was one individual which many of you know since she was our President last year, the one and only Debbie Duff. Funny story about Debbie and I, I attended Mt Mary College and during that time Debbie was a Financial Aid Administrator. I never had contact with Debbie though since I normally saw the Director. While working at MIAD, Debbie reached out to me and asked if I would like to participate on an ad-hoc planning committee for WASFAA’s first Leadership Retreat held jointly with ILASFAA.
What committees do you currently serve on? Describe some of the behind the scenes work that you do.
After participating on the ad-hoc committee, I volunteered to be one of three co-chairs for the WASFAA Professional Development Committee. I held this role for several years and now currently serve on this committee as a member. I have been part of several WASFAA conference planning committees throughout the years too. I also was elected to serve on the WASFAA Executive Committee as a Member-at-Large. This past year, I was asked to take on the role of co-chairing the Corporate Support Committee. At first, I was hesitant as I am unable to participate in many of the conferences due to family obligations, but was encouraged to work behind the scenes and still be a valuable player on this committee. We coordinate exhibitor and sponsorship activities for the conferences and most of our planning is done via conference calls, so it works out well.
What about working in Financial Aid has surprised you the most?
The collaboration and support amongst the Financial Aid community. I have established such an amazing network of colleagues and they are truly a great resource. It is remarkable to see how long so many of us have been in the Financial Aid field.
What advice do you have for someone new to Financial Aid?
Attend as many trainings and conferences as you are able too. You will make many connections through these avenues.
What recommendations do you have for someone who is interested in becoming more involved in WASFAA? How do they get started?
Get involved! All it takes is reaching out to one person or having someone reach out to you, and then the rest is history. It is as easy as reaching out to a co-chair of a committee and showing interest in just becoming a member.