TASFAA Community Blog
Hello TASFAA Friends!
Our in-person conference is right around the corner - we finally made it! This will be the first one since 2019! What a struggle it has been to get here. It’s been amazing how much we’ve accomplished together on our Journey thru the Covid crisis and all that came with it. I hope you are considering joining us at the 2022 Conference - we are back at the Cool Springs Marriott in Franklin, TN and we have a very informative conference planned for you. It's not too late to sign up! Just go to this link and we hope to see you there! https://www.tasfaatn.com/event-4636275
“Thank you for being a friend”- Andrew Gold
“This moment this gift…this opportunity”- Sia
Good evening TASFAA Friends!
It is hard to believe that the 2020-2021 year draws to a close tonight as well serving as your president this year. In many ways it has flown by and in others it has been one with no apparent end in sight, yet now it is almost finished. Our theme this past year was Pursue Golden Opportunities, Rise Up & Reach Out, and our conference theme was so appropriate with Friends. As I look back, we pursued many new opportunities for regular training throughout the year, creative ways to serve our students with FAFSA completion, and we truly made new friends. Serving as your president has been a golden opportunity for me personally, and one of the highlights in my career! I want to thank your executive board, committee chairs and all the volunteers throughout the year, as well as our sponsors. TASFAA is an exceptional organization because of your efforts and commitment in support of our mission.
In April, our first-ever virtual conference was a huge success! A round of applause for your conference planning committee, chair, and electronic services co-chairs for creating our roadmap where there was none! We had the most registered attendees in 10 years with 355 friends; 17 sponsor friends; and virtual bingo that could have gone on all evening long! We know how to work hard and have fun. Additionally, because of your generosity in giving to our conference charity, JDFR, we raised over $3700.00! Thank you!
On June 3rd, the TASFAA Executive Board sent advocacy letters regarding six alternatives to student borrower loan forgiveness to Congressman Scott, Congresswoman Foxx, Senator Murray, and Senator Burr. The details of the letters may be found in the June 2021 Board Packet meeting on the TASFAA website. Transparency is of upmost importance to our association success, and as always, the minutes of association business are retained on our TASFAA website for your review. I encourage you to check all the great work completed by this year’s board and past boards.
June 18th-21st, I attended the SASFAA Transition meeting and completed my final duties during the last 2020-2021 SASFAA board meeting earlier today. I have thoroughly enjoyed serving under the leadership of SASFAA President Celena Tulloss. She has done an exceptional job, and I wish her and her new board all the best as she assumes office for an additional term tomorrow for the 2021-2022 year. I also congratulate, Brent Tener, as he begins his term as NASFAA National Chair. TASFAA is blessed with incredible leaders on both the regional and national levels.
Be sure to volunteer and renew your membership this next month. Jeff Norrod is planning for a great year with a board transition meeting scheduled mid-July. This next year will require lots of planning and preparation as we believe we will be in-person once again, so volunteers are always welcome! Also, if you or someone you know is interested in serving on the TASFAA Executive Board for 2022-2023, have them send me an email, call, or send up a bat signal. I transition to Past President & Chair of Nominations and Elections tomorrow, so recruitment for new servant leaders begins now!
Friends, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for the opportunity to serve as your TASFAA President. It has been incredible!
All the best,
“When things go wrong don’t go with them” ~ Elvis Presley
I hope this email finds you safe and well! I never imagined how much those two little words, safe and well, would be so essential in my lifetime. With so many of our friends and family suffering through sickness and loss, and experiencing so many emotions over the state of our nation, please keep our friends, colleagues, and students in our thoughts and prayers. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.
For anyone that does not know me personally, I have been nicknamed Mary Poppins for longer than I can remember by one of my dear colleagues, and it stuck. I see the positive when and wherever possible, almost to a fault. Right now, that positivity is shining brightly from our TASFAA Members that volunteered and participated in so many new ideas that came to fruition! One such idea was our Drive-In to Your Future FAFSA Completion event. With your hard work, we were able to host eighteen FAFSA Drive-In locations across our state, saw over one thousand students to register, and had over one hundred expert volunteers to help them! And that my Friends, is why we are the Volunteer State.
Speaking of Friends, I am so excited to share the work of your conference committee! Your conference committee has been working extremely hard with more meetings than ever before to bring you valuable training that is safe and with respect to your limited resources. This year’s conference theme is...
I am pleased to announce that the Executive Board voted today to host our annual spring conference via Zoom. The committee has great plans in the works, so save the airing dates! Our pilot episode is scheduled on Monday morning, April 19th, continuing Tuesday, April 20th and concluding with the series finale on Wednesday, April 21st. Hope to see all our FRIENDS there!
With our 2021 annual spring conference going virtual, I am even more thrilled to announce that this year’s conference will be FREE to paid members! Yes, you read that right. Conference number 53 is FREE for our TASFAA Member FRIENDS to attend. Ok, point of clarification is needed. Last year would have been our 52nd annual conference. Historically speaking then, this year, The One After We Skipped 2020, will be our 52nd annual conference, but it just did not rhyme with free. We will notify you via email when your free conference registration is open, so stay tuned. There is still time to join or renew your TASFAA membership if you have not already done so to continue having access to future #TASFAAThursday webinars, as well as the 2021 Virtual Spring Conference. The membership fee remains $35.00.
As you are probably aware, we were able to host some fun and informative opportunities for training and networking that concluded in December with the help of our Sponsorship Partners. Our Sponsorship Partners are amazing, and without their expertise and guidance, our training and professional development would not be possible. With our annual conference going virtual, the Executive Board also voted to offer a one-time 2021 Virtual Conference Sponsorship Opportunity for our Sponsorship Partners. The TASFAA 2021 Virtual Conference Sponsorship is valued at $500.00 with many of the same benefits as before, sans table set-up in a vendor hall. More information will be available on our website soon and will be sent to our Sponsorship Partners from Karyn Allen, Sponsorship Chair. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to Karyn via her email address, email@example.com, with any questions, and/ or interest in being a sponsor.
Thank you, TASFAA Members, for participating in our surveys this year! Your feedback has been invaluable to help understand what our members want and need, especially within our historically low travel and training budgets. The Executive Board has used your feedback in every meeting this year to guide our discussion and decisions, so please know that we appreciate your input.
Finally, we always welcome volunteers. If you are interested in serving, we would love to have you! Nominations for the positions on the TASFAA Executive Board are open until January 13, 2021. If you or someone you know is interested in serving on the board, please email Joe Myers, TASFAA Past-President and Nominations/Elections Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also volunteer for other areas of service online, or contact any member of the TASFAA Executive Board. All contact information is on our website. As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions, as do all the members of the Executive Board. I hope 2021 turns Golden for you, and I cannot wait to see you at our virtual spring conference April 19th- 21st via Zoom!
Health and Peace,
Danette S. Seale, MBA
2020-2021 TASFAA President
Pursue Golden Opportunities
Rise Up & Reach Out
Executive Director of Financial Aid
"Life is not about negative circumstances that happen to you, it's about what you do with the golden opportunities hidden within!" ~ Rhonda Byrne
I hope this email finds you safe and well. As TASFAA President this year, I want to personally welcome you back to a new year in TASFAA! It has been a blur for me since spring as I am sure it has been for you too. I hope many of you were able to take vacations and actually be on vacation this summer. We seem to struggle to find a good work/life balance. It is the “I’ll just check this email,” or “let me just work one more hour and maybe I’ll finish” that keeps us from our self-care, and while we have always done that as a group, this year separating work from home has been even harder as many are still working from home. Keeping up with staff and the day to day work has been more stressful and challenging than ever. August arrived and left just as quickly. Everyone has been busy getting students enrolled and aid audited and ready to disburse all while making sure our campuses and offices are staying safe and healthy. Our colleagues and friends from our sponsors have also helped to keep us informed and supported our efforts through the changes we have faced. To say it has been “a lot” is such an understatement, but I hope each of you were able to at least have a restful reprieve from all the work during the Labor Day Holiday weekend, and that you also take a break this weekend as well!
Your 2020-2021 TASFAA Executive Board officially began its service on behalf of the Membership July 1st, and they have been hard at work planning this year with several meetings already held since July. With the help of our sponsorship partners and members of our executive board, we have some fun and informative opportunities for training and networking already planned with more to be added soon!
First up is our Welcome Back & Kickback TASFAA Mixer, sponsored by the TASFAA Diversity Committee, next Thursday, September 17th at 5:00 PM CST (it is 5:00 somewhere 6:00 PM EST). Our own DJ Ego, Eric Farmer, Diversity Chair, will be co-hosting and providing music that evening. I will be sending out more information next week with a virtual link, so be on the lookout for it. Grab your favorite cocktail or mocktail and join us! This will be open to anyone receiving this email.
Now is the time join or renew your TASFAA membership if you haven’t already so that you will continue to have access to other webinars in the works as well as other important information throughout the year. The membership fee remains $35.00. TASFAA will be hosting TASFAA Thursdays for member-only webinars. Be sure the save the following TASFAA Thursday Webinars scheduled so far:
Save the dates for TASFAA Thursdays
The links and more information will be sent very soon as well as more dates and topics that are in the works, so get your membership application in and be sure to check your email. Additionally, a Training Survey is forthcoming. Be sure to complete it so that we better understand your training needs and travel restrictions to assist with our planning efforts for you.
We are looking forward to seeing you at our spring conference April 18-21, 2021 in Franklin at the Cool Springs Marriott too! Please mark your calendars and plan to be there. The Conference Committee is working hard planning a great event for us!
I welcome your comments and suggestions and I look forward to a great year serving as President. Members of the 2020-2021 TASFAA Executive Board also welcome your suggestions. We have other incredible events in the works, and we will need more volunteers. If you are interested in serving, it is not too late! Volunteer online or contact any member of the TASFAA board. Again, welcome back and may you have a great year!
The Woman Who Fought Transit Segregation in 19th-Century New York
by Nicole Javorsky
October 3, 2018
Before Rosa Parks, there was Elizabeth Jennings - a lifelong school teacher.
A century before Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus in Montgomery, Alabama, Elizabeth Jennings Graham defied the racial segregation of public transit in New York City. On July 16, 1854, Jennings (Graham was added to her name after marrying in 1860) was running late to church and tried to ride a white-only streetcar in Manhattan. The conductor told her they weren’t accepting black passengers. She was forced out of the streetcar, and a police officer inflicted injuries by physically pushing her.
“After dragging me off the car, he drove me away like a dog saying, not to be talking there and raising a mob or a fight,” said Jennings, quoted in Frederick Douglass’ Paper later that summer.
Jennings’s actions, and subsequent court case won in 1855, triggered the Brooklyn Circuit Court to rule that African Americans could not be excluded from transit. It wasn’t until the New York State legislature passed the Civil Rights Act of 1873 that racial discrimination in public transportation was explicitly outlawed in New York City. However, Jennings’s case was reported in the press and talked about in a way that forced more New Yorkers to consider the issue of racial segregation on public transportation.
Jennings’s case was reported and talked about in a way that forced more New Yorkers to consider the issue of racial segregation on public transportation.
In the years that followed, Jennings’s contributions became lost to history because no one was writing about her. Meanwhile, documentation, in the form of newspaper clippings, census records, and other documents, remained. Author John Hewitt wrote one of the few pieces of historical research about Jennings Graham in 1990, writing at the time, “By and large, historians and writers have not dealt adequately with [her] story.” In his research, Hewitt continued, “What emerged was the saga of a remarkable family—a bright, proud, cultured, feisty, middle class, 19th century, African-American woman, who stimulated in New York City what Mrs. Rosa Parks was to initiate in Montgomery, Alabama, a hundred years later.”
Chester Arthur, Jennings’s lawyer, had only been admitted to the bar a couple of months before Jennings was pushed off the streetcar, but he made use of a “recently enacted state law making common carriers liable for the acts of their agents and employees,” according to Hewitt, and won the case. Arthur would later become the U.S. president in 1881 after former President James Garfield was assassinated.
In what is likely the first major display of Jennings Graham’s story in recent years, The Museum of the City of New York’s Rebel Women exhibition includes her portrait and a description of her rebellion against racial segregation in 19th-century New York City. Rebel Women opened in July and features New York City women of the 1800s who defied the Victorian-era expectations of them.
“We kind of call her the first Rosa Parks,” Rebel Women curator Marcela Micucci said of Jennings Graham.
It wasn’t until the state legislature passed the Civil Rights Act of 1873 that racial discrimination in public transportation was explicitly outlawed in New York.
What is often left out of Parks’s story is that she had been a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)’s Montgomery chapter for over a decade before the 1955 arrest. Similarly, Elizabeth Jennings Graham spent her life as a schoolteacher promoting the education of black children, an extraordinary effort especially for the 19th century. And as Hewitt noted, “the brilliant success of the trial may well have been a source of encouragement as [Jennings] refocused her attention and energies on another important reality of her life: her role in the ongoing struggle to provide a decent education for the young black girls and boys of mid-19th century.”
This was before New York City’s Progressive Movement, which began in the 1890s. Even by the turn of the 20th century, only 6 in 10 school-aged children in New York were enrolled in school, according to the Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness.
Like Parks, when Jennings Graham refuted the idea that she should be late to church because a streetcar with available space was designated white-only, it was not her first time contemplating racial injustice or acting against the white supremacist status quo. She deserves a place in the history books.
For so many the path to the American Dream is through college. A college education can make a world of difference for most students. The median yearly income gap between high school and college graduates is around $17,500. However, for millions of first-generation, low-income students, the pathway to and through college is broken. They have the ambition and smarts, but face an uneven playing field. Lack of access to capital prevents low-income students from accessing the same colleges, opportunities, and outcomes of higher-income peers.
Each year, seven million high-achieving, low-income students are accepted into, but cannot afford four-year public & private non-profit institutions. Lacking credit history and co-signers, this segment of students is persistently underbanked, facing average out-of-pocket gaps between $5,000 to $15,000 per year. In aggregate, this represents an annual underfunding gap between $35-$105 billion per year (net of institutional aid and the $140 billion Federal financial aid program).
Since 1970, degree attainment for high-income adults has increased from 40% to 77% and barely crawled from 7% to 9% for low-income adults. Sixup levels the playing field with a new system to fund and incubate underserved human capital into transformative economic and social impact at scale. The cumulative value of investing in this population translates into generational mobility, workforce pipelines, and economic development. Researchers estimate that achieving educational equity will generate and add $86 trillion GDP (60-year NPV) to the U.S. economy.
At Sixup we’re committed to changing these statistics. We are creating a movement of students, educators, counselors, investors, corporations, and foundations with a singular, passionate focus: to help low-income, first-generation students reach their full potential in college and beyond.
We’d love to chat with you about how we can work together to make a change. We’ll be at the conference starting April 22, 2018, and are looking forward to meeting all of you. If you have any questions about Sixup please check out our site at sixup.com or email Lenny Akins at lenny@Sixup.com. See you soon!
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TASFAA Conference – Don’t Miss the UTK / Next Gen Session & a chance to win a Yeti Tumbler!!!!
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Dear TASFAA Members,
I hope your year has gotten off to a great start and you have found time to catch your breath, if only for a moment now that classes are well underway. It is a very exciting time for TASFAA as we are just a little over two months from our 50th Anniversary celebration and annual conference. Your conference committee has been working extremely hard to make this year’s conference one of the best in our 50 years as an association. The theme this year is Honoring the Past, Building the Future as we must not forget those that not only helped build TASFAA into the strong association that it is today but also made the way for us to continue the important work for our students for the next 50 years. The conference registration will be open online very soon, and I am truly looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible in April. I also want to take the time to keep the association informed about the ongoing work that TASFAA is doing as well as the recent results of our TASFAA Elections.
A TASFAA member meeting was held on February 13, 2017, at the SASFAA conference in Alexandria, Virginia. About 20 TASFAA members attended. After a welcome and introductions of attendees, Marian Dill, SASFAA Past President, delivered a SASFAA update. Celena Tulloss, SASFAA Vice President, shared information about the 2018 SASFAA New Aid Officers Workshop to be held June 3 – 8 at Wofford College. I would like to encourage any member with 3 years or less experience to attend. TASFAA is pleased to offer the Clyde Walker Professional Development Scholarship to a qualified member.
Our meeting continued with a discussion on TN legislation, specifically the Compete to Complete Act SB 2259 and HB 2114. Many of you were on the January 31 phone call with Tim Phelps and other members of TSAC discussing the bill. Let your institution’s administration know about this bill and the impact it may have on your students. If you have concerns about this bill, now is the time to speak with your Tennessee Legislator.
While at SASFAA Tiffany Summers, TASFAA President Elect from Lipscomb University, and Phyllis Faulkner from University of Tennessee Health Science Center joined Ron Gambill, TASFAA Legislative Chair, on Hill visits! They were able to meet with staff members from the offices of Congressman Cohen (D-TN) , Congressman Roe (R-TN), and Congressman Cooper (D-TN), as well as a member from the office of Virginia Foxx (R-NC). They spoke on behalf of our students and shared support and concerns with the Prosper Act. Thank you to those three for their advocacy!
To wrap up our meeting, Karen Hauser, TASFAA Past President and Nominations Chair, reported on our election results. 401 ballots were submitted, and 198 votes were cast (49%). Karen recognized the Nominations committee and the work done to provide a full slate of candidates. I would also like to express my gratitude to each TASFAA member who ran for office for their willingness to serve TASFAA. Congratulations to the 2018-2019 TASFAA elected officers:
President Elect: Joe Myers, Motlow Community College
Secretary: Kacee Hardy, Dyersburg Community College
Member at Large: Eric Farmer, TSAC
4-yr Public Sector: Jennifer Buckles, UT Chattanooga
4-yr Private Sector: Chanell Thomas, Vanderbilt University
Community College & 2-yr Sector: Holly Malone, North East State Community College
TCAT Sector: Cara Suhr, TCAT Nashville
Proprietary Sector: Mary Kidd, Nossi College of Art
I would like to congratulate Leah Louallen, TASFAA Conference Chair, on her election to the SASFAA Executive Board. Leah will be serving as Treasurer Elect for 2018-2019 and Treasurer for 2019-2020. Leah has served TASFAA in this same capacity in the past, so I know that SASFAA will truly benefit from her hard work and attention to detail.
I would also like to congratulate Marian Dill. Marian is a former TASFAA President, current SASFAA Past President, and Lee University Director of Financial Aid. The NASFAA membership elected Marian to serve as a Representative-at-Large for a two-year term beginning in the 2018-19 program year. The six National Representatives-at-Large are elected without regard to geographical location. This is a tribute to Marian's service to the profession as she was elected not just by TASFAA members but by institutional NASFAA members across the country.
Again, watch for our TASFAA conference registration to open soon. You won’t want to miss our 50th annual conference as it will definitely be one to remember. See you in April!
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