Paula Luff, the associate vice president of Enrollment Management and Marketing, has been elected to chair the board of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. On Feb. 6, she was chosen by NASFAA's general membership of nearly 20,000 financial aid administrators from 3,000 institutions.
"To be recognized by my peers is a great honor because it represents a pinnacle in the financial aid profession," Luff says. "More importantly, it gives me the opportunity to influence discussions that can really make a difference for DePaul students."
As the largest postsecondary education association with institutional membership in Washington, D.C., NASFAA has a prominent voice in regulatory debates. Luff will play a key role in building and maintaining NASFAA's relationships with congressional members/staffers and key administrators at the U.S. Department of Education. Her selection comes at a critical juncture.
"This is a time of unprecedented change and volatility. As aid aministrators, many of us are facing incredible challenges in implementing regulatory changes, serving students and families in financial crisis, and managing tight budgets and staffing shortages," Luff explains. "But during times of chaos, there are moments of opportunity. NASFAA has leveraged those opportunities to lead policy discussions and keep the needs of students at the forefront of the minds of those creating new legislation and regulations."
Luff's election reflects not only her strong professional credentials, but also DePaul's reputation as an innovative and effective financial aid organization.
"Her new role with NASFAA will pay dividends for the university," says David Kalsbeek, senior vice president of EMM. "We all benefit by having our institutional commitment to access and attainment represented in shaping professional practice and public policy at the national level. Paula's leadership in NASFAA undoubtedly enhances DePaul's position and prominence."
Luff has an extensive track record with NASFAA and its affiliates, having previously served as president of both the state and regional chapters as well as several leadership positions within the national organization. Her achievements are a reflection of her commitment to making higher education accessible to those who otherwise might not have the opportunity.
"I have been part of, and witnessed the power of, saying the right thing at the right time to the right people in positions of authority to positively impact our students," Luff explains. "I am excited about doing this at a national level, and incredibly grateful for all the support I've received from DePaul to serve the higher education community in this capacity."
Luff will serve a three-year term starting in July 2018. She'll serve the first year as chair-elect and take on the official duties of chair in July 2019.