August/September 2002 Online Publication       

Overall, this was a great week filled with a lot of learning that will come in handy at my office.

WASFAA Happenings ...
My WASFAA Summer Institute Experience
by Irma Rodriguez,
Glendale Community College, AZ

When I first arrived, I did not know what to expect. I have never had to stay in a residential life/dorm room. I had been told that we would have common bathrooms; the only common bathroom I've ever shared is with my kids, so needless to say, I was kind of nervous. It turned out that my roommate and I had our own bathroom and it worked out great.

All week we processed and dealt with financial aid. On Monday we had a surprise visit from Verlena (a.k.a. Jack from Claremont Graduate). Her explanations on how to understand the application process were phenomenal. We also covered student eligibility and documentation, cost of attendance, federal methodology, and diversity. We also learned that you must never forget to document, document, document, and the term "it depends".

In our small group, there were fourteen people. We discussed everything that was brought up in our sessions. We were able to discuss subjects that we did not understand, which brought a lot of things into perspective. We started to feel at ease with each other.

When we had our field research day, five of us went to explore Lake Tahoe. There was Diane from Chela Financial, Valerie from Cal Poly, Angelina from Pima College, Martha from Northwest College, and myself from Glendale Community College. We had a girl's day out. We drove around the lake to Emerald Bay. The sights were spectacular! We continued driving to Tahoe City, then to the Ponderosa Ranch. Angelina and Martha have always wanted to meet Parnell Robinson from the show Bonanza. On our way to the Ponderosa, Martha and Angelina started singing the theme of the show; needless to say, we all joined in. When we got there, the Ranch was closed. Angelina was so disappointed that we had to pry her off the fence before she climbed over. She was so heartbroken that it hurt. Martha had so much wanted to have a glass of wine with him.

When we returned to Reno, we had a great dinner at a place called La Vechio's. Martha ordered her wine and toasted to Parnell. On our way back to UNR, we passed the Ponderosa Hotel and Casino. Martha and Angelina wanted to stop to see Parnell playing the slot machines. This was a great day!

Thursday we were briefed on packaging status, the use of professional judgement, and on managing cash at the institution. That night, we had our banquet with all the WASFAA presidents and were awarded our certificates. We then had a great party where we all got to unwind. Overall, this was a great week filled with a lot of learning that will come in handy at my office. I enjoyed learning and socializing with people from other colleges. It is something I will never forget.

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