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2011 Spring Conference Awards

By Misten Thompson on April 29, 2011

Photo: Theresa Haarberg

The Distinguished Service Award - Ritchie Morrow

NeASFAA Spring Conference Review
Awards Committee
April 2011

This year’s Spring Conference was held in Grand Island with the theme “Modeling our Future”. The awards banquet was held Monday night April 4th honoring many exemplary and dedicated members of our NeASFAA community.  

We started off the evening doing things a little backwards. We decided to announce a few of the prestigious awards prior to dinner.

The Distinguished Service Award: Caroline Routh and Ritchie Morrow

The Distinguished Service Award is given at the discretion of the NeASFAA President in honor of a person’s outstanding service to the financial aid profession and their commitment to NeASFAA’s mission.  This year President Terri Graham named two winners; Caroline Routh from UNL and Ritchie Morrow from the Nebraska’s Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education.  Both were surprised by special guests that were able to come and help celebrate their accomplishments, Caroline’s husband Larry and Ritchie’s wife Amber and their son.

Bob Minturn: Deana Unger

We also gave the Bob Minturn Award a little early. This award is the highest award that NeASFAA gives to a member who is an outstanding financial aid officer. This award is given in recognition of their leadership activities within the financial aid profession. The following was said about this year’s recipient.

It has been such a pleasure to watch this person grow professionally. They truly are an exemplary model of the kind of professional we should each aspire to be as an active, practicing, financial aid administrator on a college or university campus.  This person balances their personal life, work responsibilities, community volunteerism, while earning a master’s degree. This person also held a variety of offices and committee chair responsibilities at both the state and regional levels of our professional associations.  But here’s the best part.  This person didn’t just go through the motions or serve as a place holder for all of these roles and positions.  They excelled at them.  Every time.  No exceptions. This person makes student’s lives a little easier, the world a little fairer, our profession a little better, and for those of us who’s lives they have touched, a little happier. In my opinion there is no one more deserving of this award.  This year’s prestigious Bob Minturn award went to Deana Unger, UNL

Now here is little insight about what was happening behind the scenes at the awards banquet.  Deana was not able to attend the conference; however she did drive up that evening to surprise Caroline and to congratulate her on her award. Deanna was unaware that she too was getting an award. With Deana, Caroline’s husband, and Ritchie’s family all hiding in the presidents room there was another surprise around the corner. Deana’s husband, Greg and their children also made the trip to surprise her. Just narrowly escaping close encounters we were able to pull it all off with everyone surprised! Thanks to Theresa for coordinating the surprise!!

We continued with the prestigious awards after dinner.

Committee of the year: Finance and Audit

For the past couple of years the Board has been looking at restructuring the membership fees for our organization. This committee has spent many hours researching what other state associations do. They have also put together different scenarios and the potential membership income we can obtain.  They have provided the Board useful information to make an educated decision regarding how to restructure the membership dues. This year’s Committee of the year award went to Finance & Audit Stacy Seim, Marty Habrock, Terri Graham, Kay Dinkelman, and Peggy Tvrdy.

Feel the Excitement: Ritchie Morrow

This year’s Feel the Excitement award goes to a very well known member of our organization. He works with all of us and does it with the upmost respect. He has always been a strong advocate and role model for NeASFAA. This year’s Feel the Excitement award went to Ritchie Morrow.

Rookie of the year: Marty Habrock

Marty served as Vice-chair of the Finance and Audit Committee this year, which is his first major involvement with NeASFAA. This committee is generally tasked with soliciting input to develop the budget and does the annual audit of the Treasurer. This year, however, they were assigned an additional task - to research membership fees paid by other state organizations. Marty spent hours researching this information and organizing it. He also, at the request of the Board of Directors, put together several spreadsheets to estimate income after additional research to gather enrollment information for all the institutions in the state. This year’s rookie of the year went to Marty Habrock  

Going the extra Mile: Erin Dinneen

This year we have a person who has joined everything she could get her hands on. She has only been in financial aid for a little over a year and is on 3 committees. She is on the Training Committee for NASFAA, the Summer Institute committee (vice registrar) for RMASFAA, and is the vice chair for the awards committee for NeASFAA. Now that is what you call hitting the ground running! The award for going the extra mile goes to Erin Dinneen.

Fill the Backpack in memory of Tammi Preston

This year the NeASFAA community lost one of their own. So in the memory of Tammi Preston the awards committee put together “fill the backpack”. The association was asked to bring can food items to the spring conference. We were able to collect 120 lbs of food and $165.00 that was donated to the Lincoln Food Bank in Tammi’s memory. During the banquet, Les Monroe from EducationQuest gave us insight on what a great person our association has lost. Tammi was truly a wonderful person and will be missed. Thank you everyone for your donations. Click here to view a thank you letter from the Food Bank.

We then went on to the fun awards.

The priceless award went to: Randy Sell

Ok you find out that you are going to the RMASFA conference, what’s next?
• Making reservations for RMASFA conference – Check
• Making hotel reservations for RMASFA conference - Check
• Making sure everything in the office is taken care for the time you are gone - Check
• Packing everything you need for conference - Check
• Getting ride to airport - Check
Flying in to the wrong airport (Fargo instead of Grand Forks) and having to call your daughter who is at the RMASFA conference to come get you. - Priceless!
Get out of Jail Free goes to – Janice Volker and Jeanne Haith

I had just been told this great story. It was about some people driving to the conference.  It was dark and they were driving without their lights on. Everyone knows what happens if you are driving without your lights on in the dark right? You get pulled over!  Well the State trooper walked up to their car and asked for their paperwork. He walked back to his car and they waited, and waited, and waited. Finally when he came back he let them go with a warning. He told them to turn their lights on and make sure when they get back to Peru, that they get the correct registration in the correct car.  

Photo Contest!!

Creighton University won The Where’s Waldo no Where’s Bob Award
Clarkson College won The Office of the Frozen Four Award
Western Nebraska Community College won The Most Fun Office Award
EducationQuest won The Most Spirited Award
Hastings College won The Most Creative Award

Generation game!!

In order to spice things up we came up with a game for everyone to play. We had everyone stand up while we asked some questions about the different generations and the history of Financial Aid. If they could remember when it happend they had to sit down. We played this twice. The first game we were trying to get all the brand new members "Less-experienced" to remain standing. In the second game we were looking for the more seasoned financial aid veterans. This game connected our seasoned veterans with our new and upcoming future generations. We provided the winners each other’s name and contact information so they will have someone to call upon if they need to.

The winners were:

Janet Dodson - NSLP, Craig Munier - UNL, Terri Graham - Hastings College

Becca Dobry - UNK, Jessica Mohon - Hastings College, Ashley Montgomery - Clarkson College, Marcy Pierce - Grace University

What a great way to bring together two different generations to reflect on the past and build on the future!

At the luncheon on Tuesday the Awards Committee gave certificates to the following NeASFAA members who have served for a designated number of years:

5 Years went to:
Becca Dobry—University of Nebraska-Kearney
Billie Kitcheyan—Little Priest Tribal College
Tina Larsen—Nebraska Christian College
Joyce Lubeck—Southeast Community College-Lincoln
Taryn Rouse—Union College
Sheila Johns—Western Nebraska Community College

10 Years went to:
Toni Myre—Bellevue University
Bailey Jorgensen—Clarkson College
Sarah Sell—Creighton University
Juanita Czarnick—North Platte Community College (A Division of Mid-Plains Community College)
Angelia Turner—University of Nebraska-Omaha
Grace Hendrickson—Western Nebraska Community College
Lisa Mueller—Education Quest Foundation

15 Years went to:
Wendy Olson—Midland Lutheran College
Ken Schmidt—University of Nebraska-Omaha
Shareen Thewke—University of Nebraska-Omaha
Eric Drumheller—Education Quest Foundation

20 Years went to:
Marjorie Johnson—Central Community College-Columbus
Deana Unger—University of Nebraska-Lincoln

25 Years went to:
Penny James—Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing and Allied Health
Liz Koop—Education Quest Foundation
Mary Jo Smith—U.S. Bank

30 Years went to:
Vicki Kucera—Central Community College-Hastings

New Babies and Grandbabies were recognized with a Piggy Bank or a picture frame.  Welcome the following:

New Babies:
Laura Schultz from Wells Fargo welcomed Shane Thomas
Shareen Thewke from UNO welcomed Presley Jade
Brien Alley from York Colleg welcomed his son Dawson
Kim Vanosdall from Northeast Community College welcomed Bree Vanosdall
Angela Roskeland from Northeast Community College welcomed Nathaniel Roskeland

Congratulations to Glo Hennig for her new grandson, Patrick Robert Reid

Thanks to everyone who nominated someone this year.  Without your nominations we couldn’t celebrate all the award winners.

Congratulations to everyone!!!

2010/11 Awards Committee
Misten Thompson, Chair
Erin Dinneen, Vice Chair
Susan Stephenson
Theresa Haarberg
Corrine Combs
Brien Alley