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Profiles in Financial Aid: Amanda Sharp, NASFAA National Trainer

May 1, 2013
Amanda Sharp, NASFAA National Trainer

Amanda Sharp, NASFAA National Trainer, with husband, son, and daughters

Congratulations to Amanda Sharp for her new endeavor as a NASFAA Training Specialist.  It is with both sadness and excitement that I write this blog article as the University of North Alabama and the Alabama Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators will greatly miss Amanda’s knowledge and positive energy that she brings.  NASFAA is extremely lucky to have her, and financial aid administrators across the nation will benefit from her knowledge and expertise.

Kristi Jones: What is your official title and what does your new position with NASFAA entail?

Amanda Sharp: I am a NASFAA Training Specialist.  My new position will focus mainly on providing training to NASFAA members by way of NASFAA Training Track sessions, NASFAA Webinars, NASFAA University Instructor-led Online Courses, CORE, AskRegs,  and much, much more!

Kristi: Will you stay in Alabama or will you be relocating for the job?

Amanda:  My position allows me to telecommute.  When not in Alabama working remotely, I will be attending various conferences throughout the region providing training to state and regional associations.

Kristi:  Does your new position require a lot of travel?

Amanda:  A NASFAA Training Specialist is expected to travel to provide training; however, the travel demands are by no means overwhelming.  In fact, I am very excited to be able to stay connected with all my friends in the financial aid community by visiting their home states and state conferences.

Kristi:  How long have you been in financial aid?

Amanda:  I began in financial aid in 2007.  Prior to that, I was in banking for 16 years.  Later I taught at the secondary level.  I hope that my combined financial aid and education experience will be a good mix in this new endeavor.

Kristi:  What will you miss most from your previous position?

Amanda: That’s an easy one – the people—both students and colleagues.  I have been blessed to work with some of the best people in the world.  The financial aid administrators at my former institution and in my state and regional associations are fantastic.  They are committed to helping students reach their life goals by helping them receive the education they need to go forward.  The students sometimes put you to the test!  But, ultimately we are there to serve them, and I will miss the day to day contact with students.

Kristi:  Will you still be able to attend the Alabama spring conference each year?

Amanda:  I certainly hope to attend as often as possible.  NASFAA Training Specialists attend and provide training at several state conferences throughout the year;  hopefully, AASFAA will extend an invitation and the conference will be on my schedule!

Kristi:  Is your daughter still working at University of North Alabama and if so, is she sad that you will no longer be working on campus together?

Amanda:  Yes, in fact my daughter AND my husband both still work at the University of North Alabama.  I think both of them may be a little sad that I am not working there with them.  But my entire family has been very supportive of the move to NASFAA.   They all recognize that this is an amazing opportunity for me and have been behind me 100%.

Kristi:  What is the best part about being in your current position, so far?

Amanda:  Another easy question!  Everyone at NASFAA has been so welcoming.  Even during my interview, the entire interview committee put me entirely at ease.  By the time I left, I felt like I had been visiting with old friends.  I am looking forward to the NASFAA Conference in July, so I can meet everyone in person.  NASFAA has a great group of people, and I feel very fortunate to be a part of that group.

Kristi:  What is your guilty pleasure?

Amanda: Chocolate, of course.

Kristi:  Do you have any words of encouragement or advice to leave behind for your fellow AASFAA members and UNA staff?

Amanda: I would like to say to the AASFAA membership and the UNA staff that although I have moved to NASFAA, I will always be a part of the AASFAA and UNA family.  I have made lifelong friendships in the financial aid community that I will always treasure.  My advice would be to encourage those new members of AASFAA or any state or regional association to step out of their comfort zone and take a chance.  When the call goes out for volunteers, committee members, committee chairs, or even elected officers,  go for it!  The rewards will far outweigh the costs!  As for my UNA friends, you all know how much you mean to me.  You are all doing meaningful and often thankless work.  Remember that every day you are changing lives for the better.  Keep up the good work!

Kristi Jones, Southern Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Kristi Jones, Southern Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

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