Meritorious Service Award

2023 Award Recipient:  

Chelley Jackson 

Illinois State University

Description: The Meritorious Service award is considered to have an extremely high value and importance and the recipient must have made significant contributions to the profession, association(s) or education in general.

Criteria for Selection: The selection is based upon leadership or work on special projects. The contribution/project can be a single accomplishment and is not required to last the entire year or for an extended length of time. Nominees may be financial aid administrators or related fields and does not need not be a member of ILASFAA.

New Professional Recognition Award

2023 Award Recipient:  

Alexis Alvarez

Loyola University Chicago

Description: The New Professional Recognition award is given annually to recognize the outstanding contributions of an individual who has been in the financial aid profession five years or less.

Criteria for Selection: Individuals will have demonstrated interest in ILASFAA activities, participated in professional meetings, and demonstrated growth within the financial aid profession. This individual will be held in high regard by his or her peers.

Committee of the Year

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2023 Award Recipient:  

 Conference Program Committee Co-Chairs: Heidi Schmidt and Kelly Owens

 Committee members: Jose Ayala, Kim Eck, Jill Gosse, Deb Gossman, Matthew Nettleton, Stacey Schilling, Sherry Schonauer, Mary Struthers

Description: The Committee of the Year Award is given annually to the members of a committee who perform in an outstanding fashion.

Criteria for Selection: Consideration for this award shall be given to any ILASFAA Committee for a special function, conference, project or workshop during the President's term in office. The committee selected for the award should have made a contribution to the betterment of ILASFAA in a manner which is unique or truly significant and brings distinction to the group as a result.

President's Award

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2023 Award Recipient:  

 Salinda Jo Branson

Spoon River College

Description: The President's Award is considered to be one of ILASFAA's highest awards. This award presented at the discretion of the President.

Criteria for Selection: The President selects the recipient of this award based on the individual's contribution to the Association during the President's term in office. The criteria to be used is based on the President's discretion or initiative, but may in fact be based on the completion of a special task, publication, survey or a host of other criteria.

Recognition of Retirement Awards

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2023 Award Recipients: 

Stacey Bennett

Parkland College

Barb Levin

Harper College

Pam Lytel

Parkland College

Connie Negron

Oakton Community College

Tina Tindall

DePaul University

Cheryl Warmann

Oakton Community College

Timothy Wendt

Parkland College

Description: The Recognition of Retirement award is given to those who retire from the financial aid profession during the current year.

Criteria for Selection: The criteria for this recognition is based on retirement from the financial aid profession due to reasons of health, age or institutional eligibility. The person must have served the most recent ten (10) years as a member of a financial aid office or in a position eligible for membership in ILASFAA. The retirement must have taken place during the current year or be scheduled to take place within 6 months immediately following the conference. The individual must be an ILASFAA member during the year prior to retirement.

Sustained Service Awards

person at computer

2022 Award Recipient:  

Debbie Forrester

Elmhurt University

Description: The Sustained Service Award is presented to regular members of the Association and is considered to have high importance.

Criteria for Selection: The recipient must have been active in the profession for a minimum of 10 years and have made substantive contributions to ILASFAA.

Lifetime Achievement and Years of Service Awards


2023 Award Recipients:  

20 Years of Service

Mary Adkins - Moraine Valley Community College
Kelly Owens - Elgin Community College
Maribel Ruiz - Joliet Junior College
Jamie Petersen - Oakton Community College - DesPlaines
Nancy Perryman - Saint Frances Medical Center College of Nursing

25 Years of Service

Erica Guzman - University of St. Francis
Angela Weaver - Lewis & Clark Community College
Brian Drabik - Northwestern University - Evanston
Salinda Jo Branson - Spoon River College

30 Years of Service

Patrick James - School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Michelle Trame - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Scott Seibring - Illinois Weslyan University
Connie Negron - Oakton Community College-Skokie

35 Years of Service

Samuel Nelson - Illinois Student Assistance Commission

40 Years of Service

Tina Tindall - DePaul University
Mary Wright - Knox College
Barb Levin - Harper College

Description: The recipient of this award exemplifies the ideals of service to the profession, support of colleagues and advocacy for students. This award is the highest honor ILASFAA bestows upon an individual member and requires significant contributions over an extended period of time; therefore a recipient may not be named each and every year.

Years of Service: Each year ILASFAA honors those who are continuing members and have served students in the Financial Aid Profession for 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and 45 years.