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Faces of Nelnet: Ron Hancock, Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions (AR, OK, LA)

November 18, 2011

Ron Hancock, Nelnet Regional Director

Dawn Knight: What conferences have you attended this fall?

Ron Hancock: I attended the Arkansas and Louisiana state conferences in October, and I am just wrapping up the SWASFAA conference in Tulsa, OK. 

Dawn: What is your main focus right now? I know you’re on some projects for Nelnet; can you give me some insight on those?

Ron:  There is an ongoing focus of providing our school customers with a local resource to assist them with all their federal loan servicing questions and concerns. I’ve been working with some internal committees to help create some new tools to help schools better understand their portfolio composition with Nelnet and to also find ways to better solicit feedback and suggestions from our school partners. We are always open to finding better ways to serve our customers, so any input from our colleagues in the financial aid office is appreciated.

Dawn: Have you had any memorable moments over the past year work-wise that you’d like to share?

Ron: I’ve been impressed with all my colleagues in the financial aid world. Even in the face of big changes and trying times, they’ve managed to persevere and keep students at the forefront of their mission. Everything we all do is connected by one thread – that is working to help students achieve their educational dreams. The financial aid profession is often over-criticized and under-appreciated, but it’s pretty impressive what they accomplish and the role they play in advancing the dream of a better future through education.

Dawn: What do you like best about this time of year (fall)?

Ron: I think this is probably my favorite time of year. We typically have some cool crisp mornings followed by some nice afternoons. It feels good to be outside and enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning or sit out by the fire in the evening. Everything comes in some variation of pumpkin flavor, and I get to buy tons of Halloween candy (and keep a good portion of it for myself). And of course….it’s football season!

Dawn: What do you see as the biggest challenge schools are facing right now?

Ron: I think their biggest challenge is trying to keep up with all the recent regulatory mandates and requirements while battling internal budget shortfalls and resource limitations.

Dawn: What is your best recent read or CD you’ve purchased?

Ron: Presidential Courage by Michael Beschloss. It’s about how various U.S. Presidents acted in the face of adversity at critical times in our nation’s history. I’m a bit of a history buff and enjoy learning about our past Presidents, so this is a good insight into how they made decisions (often unpopular or controversial) that ultimately transformed our country.

Dawn: Who has been your Work / Life mentor throughout the years and why?

Ron: As much grief as I like to give him, I actually have to credit Don Buehrer (a Nelnet colleague) as being someone who has helped me over the years. He may not realize it, but little things he’s done here and there have helped me keep things in perspective and always keep a positive attitude. Don and I have worked with one another for nearly 20 years, and his counsel and guidance have been invaluable to me and usually correct most of the time. Plus, when I think of a “mentor” I think of someone older than me, and Don easily meets that criteria.

Dawn: What was the most recent meal you cooked that turned out awful?

Ron: Although I don’t cook very often, I did try making some Broccoli Cheese soup that everyone in the family refused to eat. I’m not sure how you mess up soup, but apparently I found a way to do it!

Dawn Knight, Western Regional Director: AZ, WA, OR, ID, NV, CA, WY and ND

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