One of the unique realities of the financial aid profession is the deep, sustained, exceeding, and extraordinarily passionate commitment made by those who work in it. This is a reality that most of us are generally aware of day to day, but it was certainly reinforced in recent weeks as our profession mourned the unbelievable and heartbreaking loss of our RMASFAA President, Deb Byers. As our friend and colleague, Deb personified this passion and commitment - to the students, staff, and faculty at Wichita State University - and to all of us in our regional association.
Deb worked tirelessly on behalf of WSU students. Never one to be constrained by an 8-hour workday, she could often be found on campus, working late into the evening, particularly when she felt that doing so might just make things better somehow for students or her staff in the Office of Financial Aid. Deb's commitment to students might have only been exceeded by her commitment to her staff and fellow financial aid colleagues. So much more than just the Director of her office, Deb was an unassuming mentor and friend to many of us; she very much galvanized a career in financial aid for many.
As a Past President of the Kansas Association of Financial Administrators and recipient of the KASFAA Hall of Fame Award, Deb was tremendously respected by her colleagues throughout her home state, as well. Deb always had a smile to share Ė and a hug for everyone she met. Her warmth, humor, and endlessly approachable personality will be remembered by all who knew her. While we are deeply saddened to lose our dear friend Deb, we take comfort in all of the wonderful memories of her that remain and know how truly fortunate we are to have had her as a friend, colleague, and mentor.
Tribute written by Joe Donlay, Colorado State University
The Rocky Mountain Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (RMASFAA) exists to provide networking opportunities and a community with which to connect and share best practices, premier training opportunities, leadership development for both new and seasoned aid professionals, and overall mutual support of persons involved in the administration of student financial aid.
I am honored to take over the exceptional work and foundation that Deb Byers presented to our membership in October of 2013. There is much work to accomplish the remainder of our year and we hope to accomplish many of Debís goals with passion, dignity and in memory of our good friend Deb.
Please reach out to me with any questions or concerns you may have regarding our Association. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement during this difficult time. I am truly honored and humbled to serve again as your RMASFAA president!