The Department of Financial Aid at Newman University is made up of amazing individuals who have helped incoming students throughout the years in countless ways.
Among these individuals is Director of Financial Aid Myra Pfannenstiel, whose hard work and willingness to go above and beyond was recognized when she was awarded the Deborah Byers Outstanding Service Award on April 13, 2017.
Pfannenstiel began working at Newman in July 2016 but has had approximately 22 years of experience in financial aid.
"I've been doing it a little while," said Pfannenstiel. "It gives me my connection to students, to help students meet their educational goals, what they want to achieve in life, and where they want to go. I get to help them find the financing to be able to do that and make that dream become a reality."
To be a candidate for the Deborah Byers Outstanding Service Award, financial professionals in the state of Kansas nominate an individual, and those nominations are received through the Kansas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (KASFAA).
"We have a wonderful group in Kansas that Newman University belongs to as an institution," said Pfannenstiel. "It provides training and support and different things throughout the year."
The Deborah Byers Outstanding Service Award is presented to recognize the outstanding contribution of an individual in the field of financial aid through contributions of KASFAA. This award is significant because it is centered around the KASFAA membership, recognizing one of its own.
Pfannenstiel said, "It was given to me by my peers for things that I did, that I've done throughout my career in financial aid, and the supportive students and financial aid professionals themselves and the state association."
She went on to say that she was "totally humbled and honored, because my peers — the people that I work with, that are in the same profession that I am — saw what I did and wanted to recognize that. That was very humbling and honoring."
When asked if she enjoyed her work here at Newman her reply was quick and accompanied with a smile.
"I absolutely enjoy working here at Newman. It was the right fit when I came here. Joining the Newman family just felt right. Sometimes it's hard, regulations aren't always fun, and when you have the [U.S.] Department of Education and Congress making decisions, we get to implement and try to explain that to students or parents. It gets a little hairy but it's still fun to do because the true heart of it is just wanting to help, wanting to make things happen for students."