(by Val Meyers, Michigan Representative)
So, with the formation of an ad-hoc committee to work with the MSFAA conference committees, we were able to set aside a day during the conference for a drive-in event for Bursar and Registrar staff. In addition to sessions from our federal trainer, the attendees also heard from Megan McClean of NASFAA about what is going on in DC that might affect them. There was a session on how the Bursar and Financial Aid office can work collaboratively (presented by a former aid administrator who is now in the bursar area); a presentation of State of Michigan aid for Bursars, and information on Military and Veterans Affairs for Registrars.
MSFAA had hoped to attract about 60 participants to this track, but ended up recording 117 attendees. Many of them were very enthusiastic about what they had learned, and more than one expressed the understanding that they need to review the procedures in their offices to see that they are in compliance.
Our second highlight came in the person of our Federal Trainer. Since we have lost two training officers from the Chicago region, David Bartnicki from the Atlanta office graciously came to our conference to present our federal sessions. As expected, he was knowledgeable and direct, a good communicator, well versed in the regulations.
However, what we could not expect was that he would end his sessions with a song. To the tune of “What a Wonderful World”, he sang to us about seeing SARs and tax transcripts. Later on, he ended his final session with a rousing renditions of “When the Feds Come Marching In”. The creativity and humor was very much appreciated by the 242 MSFAA members in attendance.
Other items of note included the MSFAA Silent Auction charity, an annual MSFAA tradition, which this year raised over $6,000 for the Fostering Futures scholarship program of the State of Michigan, which supplies scholarships and guidance to students from the foster care system to go on to college. The leaders of MSFAA are proud of the generosity shown by our members in raising money for this year’s charity.
David Bartnicki is hilarious! I hope he comes to MI every year!! #msfaawinter15
— Stephanie Petsch (@SPetsch) January 27, 2015
Awesome updates from David Bartnicki this morning with MSFAA. #msfaawinter15
— Mike_Will98 (@mwilliams98) January 27, 2015
Enjoying a great song from David Bartnicki, standing ovation #msfaawinter15 pic.twitter.com/FBod1CZvoz
— Chandra Owen (@mrschandraowen) January 27, 2015
"Reduce financial aid jargon on web & publications" Great advice from Rick Shipman. More white space improves communication. #msfaawinter15
— Kelly Schneider (@Maam_I_Am) January 27, 2015
@#Msfaawinter15 Dave Bartnicki FSA trainer hits a home run he's a hit with MSFAA!
— Lori (@LoriLvedder) January 27, 2015