Skip to content

Profiles in the Financial Aid Profession: Kelly Svenkesen, Laramie County Community College

July 6, 2010

Kelly Svenkesen, WyASFAA President

Dawn Knight: What are you most proud of with your financial aid office?

Kelly Svenkesen: Our office has been through some challenges over the past year, and I really am proud that we have come through them together as a team.  We’ve had ups and downs, but in the end we always come together as a team.

  1. Dawn: What has been the biggest challenge for your office over the past 12 months?

Kelly: The biggest challenge for us has been changes in staff during the big changes in financial aid.  We struggle with keeping up with our own workload while trying to assist in training new staff members.

  1. Dawn: Are there any primary or coming trends that you see in the financial aid office?

Kelly: Let’s see…besides insanity? Okay, okay, that’s been around, I guess. Seriously, I think we are going to continue to see a growing number of applicants, regulations will get even more complex, and [a] greater need for more training and computer (Datatel) support.

Dawn: Do you have any tips for schools that are transitioning to Direct Lending (or what has been helpful to you as you transitioned)?

Kelly: To better your understanding of how the direct lending process works, the best practice is to work a set population of students through the direct lending process so that all the procedures, paperwork, and standards are met and defined.

Dawn: Who within the financial aid community has been your mentor?

Kelly: It’s hard for me to pinpoint one person.  I’d first have to say my mentor through the Leadership Pipeline Program, Terri Stephens, Financial Aid and Data Director at Davis Applied Technology College. Other people who have guided me, whether they realize it or not, [are] Penny James, Pam Palermo, Valerie Walthall and Mary Anne Whitman.

Dawn: Where do you think schools should focus their efforts with regard to default prevention strategies given the industry’s move to a 3-year CDR model?

Kelly: Schools ought to take a proactive approach for developing methods in their default prevention efforts as it moves to a 3-year [CDR model].  Steps for proactive measures include financial literacy programs, analyzing cohort information, and pre-repayment communication.

Dawn: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Kelly: For the longest time I wanted to be a parole officer.

Dawn: What do you like most about your job?

Kelly: I love that I am helping students achieve an ultimate goal!  There is no better feeling that knowing that you are helping someone!

Dawn: What is your favorite book, movie or food?

Kelly: Favorite book – Carrie by Stephen King.  Favorite movie – Pearl Harbor.  Favorite food – most recipes I’ve made out of the Hungry Girl cookbooks; I’m all about healthy cooking.

Dawn: Name one thing that many people do not know about you.

Kelly: Hmm…I think I’m pretty much an open book, but many may not know that I am a godmother to my only niece, Kristen.  I’m very proud of this. Also, if anyone remembers the old Bob Newhart show with the line, “My name is Larry, this is my brother, Daryl, and my other brother, Daryl,” well, I have an uncle Larry, an uncle Daryl, and another uncle Darryl. Just my fun fact.

Dawn: What is your favorite television show?

Kelly: Okay, I’ll be truthful here: WWE Raw (ha, ha). What can I say? Big, strong men beating each other up?  Also, right now it would have to be America’s Got Talent and Vampire Diaries.

Dawn Knight, Rocky Mountain & Western Regional Director (AZ, ID, NV, ND, OR, WA, WY)

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: