NMASFAA Conference

It was just a short, beautiful drive from Albuquerque to the site of NMASFAA’s annual conference, Ruidoso, New Mexico.   There is a reason New Mexico is known as the “Land of Enchantment”.

Ruidoso, which is referred to as the “Village of Ruidoso”, is nestled in the National Lincoln Forest.  Yes, you guessed it; winding roads, pine trees, and a still a few snow capped mountains.  Can’t see that flying at 30,000 feet!  Ok, snow capped mountains can be seen at 30,000 feet, but you get the picture.

As I pulled into the hotel drive, I realized this would be my first state conference not only as a NMASFAA member, but also as a representative of SWASFAA.  Wearing a couple of hats, just like we all do everyday in the Financial Aid Office.   Oh, I felt a bit of pressure to be on top of my game.  Not sure what I was worried about, as NMASFAA members always make one feel welcomed.

To no surprise, the Conference Planning Committee put together an excellent agenda.  The “Bear Necessities” theme carried throughout the event from the incredible chainsaw carved bears displayed in the rooms, to the relevant topics of the breakout sessions.

Thursday evening’s event was too much fun!!   Brent Small, NMASFAA President, presented annual awards which included the Philo Brasher and years-of-service. Congratulations, Oscar Garcia, on serving students and the financial aid community for all 35 years.  Job well done.

The night was capped off with karaoke and a bit of dancing.  DJ Pete (not sure if that was his name) was quite a mix master.  As I sat with my back to him, listening to what I thought was Wilson Pickett’s rendition of  “Mustang Sally”, boy was I in for a surprise.  I turned around to see DJ Pete crooning “ride, Sally, ride”!  Wow!

NMASFAA Board members joined together for an impressivesive alphabet forming “YMCA” routine.  Ok, it seems that I was the only one  standing with the group who knew all the words to the Village People’s hit song.  Oh, my just another “wow” moment for me…not a good “wow” in this instance.

Oh, by the way, Greg Gallegos (San Juan College) and I decided to put our heads together to create lyrics for a catchy little tune, “R2T4”, set to the music of “YMCA”.   I know, block buster hit in the making!!

My back is almost re-packed for the next adventure, OASFAA’s state conference.  I’ll be “rumbling” my way to Oklahoma City, preparing to be “thunderstruck”!   Can’t wait!

P.S. Whomever may have a video of Thursday evening’s “YMCA” sing-a-long, please “hit” delete!

Janell

 

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About Janell Valdez

I'm honored to be the 2016 SWASFAA president! Financial aid has always been a part of my life. Starting as a work-study student at Washburn University in Topeka, KS to my current position as Associate Director of Financial Aid at the University of New Mexico's Health Sciences Center, I've considered exiting this awesome profession. I look forward to meeting our SWASFAA members throughout the year at state conferences and of course the annual conference in Oklahoma City.

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