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Profiles in Financial Aid: Dana Mingo from Dallas Christian University

August 29, 2012

Dana Mingo, Director of Student Financial Services, Dallas Christian University

As Dana Mingo prepares for her role as the President of the Texas Association of Student Financial Aid Professionals (TASFAA), one thing remains certain—her desire to continually work to stay informed of the developing trends, legislation and resources in the area of higher education. Dana is the Director of Student Financial Services at Dallas Christian University. And, to make things even more exciting for her, Dana transitioned to Dallas Christian in August, after holding several positions within the Dallas County Community College District.

Dana has been extremely involved in TASFAA and SWASFAA, and has volunteered for several other assignments that have prepared her for her new undertaking. She served on the Council for the Management of Educational Finance and the Enrollment Management Committee with Texas Guaranteed. Participation in these organizations has allowed her to work strategically and maintain her professional knowledge. She has a solid history of producing results in the area of staff development, training, compliance, customer service and student services success. Dana was recently interviewed by Don Buehrer, Nelnet’s Regional Director for SWASFAA and RMASFAA.

Don: How did you select financial aid as your profession?

Dana: I started in the profession as a college work-study student. I then moved into a part-time position in FA and then moved into a full-time position within the year. That was 14 years ago!

Don: What major changes have you seen in financial aid during your years in the industry?

Dana: Major changes I have seen have been both positive and negative. I have seen an increase in the Pell Grant awards to assist in meeting the needs of students. Another major change has been moving from the FFELP loan program into the Direct Lending Program.

Don: What is your favorite movie, book, TV show?

Dana:  Favorite movie series is Transformers; favorite book is the Bible, and favorite TV show for now is the new revamped Dallas sitcom.

Don: If you could change one financial aid regulation, what would it be and why?

Dana: Gainful employment-appears my prayers are being answered with the recent court ruling as of June 30, 2012. The GE provisions lacked direction and was burdensome on the FA offices for reporting of programs. The program monitoring over the past year had been problematic, since the development of programs are conducive to the needs of the community. Having to supply the mountains of information for seeking approval in a timely fashion seemed to be a trial and could possible delay the offering of those programs to students.

Don: Who are/were your mentors?

Dana: My mentors have been my grandparents, previous supervisors Reva Rattan and Bobbi White from Eastfield College (TX), and currently my husband, Henry and mother, Deborah Williams. They provide me guidance and strength when I need it.

Don: How have you prepared for your role as TASFAA President?

Dana: I have prepared for this role by attending various leadership workshops locally and at the national level with NASFAA, guidance from the current President Harold Whitis (Texas A&M Health Science), reading and working with the various work groups who have assisted TASFAA.

Don: What is the most enjoyable part of your job?

Dana: Seeing the students walk across the stage each year, not just for themselves, but for their families.

Don: Name one thing about you that most people do not know.

Dana:  I am a swim instructor.

Don: What has been your biggest challenge work-wise over the past 12 months?

Dana: The Dallas County Community College district went through a FA restructuring to centralize their financial aid program, from operations, communications, advising and training. This was a challenging time for the staff; however through team work and collaboration, we were able to make significant strides to meeting the goals set of providing consistent service to the students.

Don: How do you spend your time when you’re not working?

Dana: I enjoy spending time with my family/friends and teaching/working in my church.

Don: If you could invite any three people to dinner, who would they be?

Dana: Jesus Christ, Nelson Mandela and Abraham Lincoln.

Don: What was your most enjoyable vacation (and what did you do)?

Dana:  Spending time in Vegas with my husband; we shopped mostly!

Don: Do you have any upcoming vacation plans?

Dana: Looking forward to traveling with my family, including my mother, brothers and sisters, and their families for Christmas in Florida this winter.

Don Buehrer, Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 30, 2012 8:39 pm

    Thanks for linking to the blog….I will check out your site.

    Jim

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