Assisting students as they confront the financial challenge of attending college is a passion for Lisa Hoskey, who will be starting her position as the new director of student financial services at Ithaca College on March 7.
As director of student financial services, Hoskey will supervise the financial aid staff as well as the staff who help students review options in paying for their education.
Staff Writer Gena Mangiaratti spoke with Hoskey, who is currently the director of financial aid at the State University of New York Institute of Technology in Utica, NY, about the position she will be taking on and why she enjoys working in financial services.
Gena Mangiaratti: What attracted you to work at IC?
Lisa Hoskey: I had shared with the staff that I was very selective about the places that I applied for when I decided it was a good time for a change and really, Ithaca has got an excellent reputation and it’s a beautiful area. And when I came for the interview, it was incredible because the students that I met really seemed to enjoy their experience, and that’s a wonderful thing.
GM: What does the position of director of financial aid entail?
LH: It is really sort of leading the student financial services area that is made up of not only the staff at Ithaca that helps students with financial aid: filing the FAFSA, the college profile, that sort of thing, but it’s also the group that students work with when they have to make payments on their account. So it’s sort of a full service position in the sense that we try to get students through that whole process.
GM: What are your plans for the future at IC?
LH: What I’ve learned over many years of being in this field is I want listen. I want to hear what the staff has to say about the experience, and I want to hear where they see the positive impacts of those, whatever challenges they may face, and I want to hear from the students and just generally any of the constituencies that are around that are impacted by my future office.
GM: You have a Masters of Education in leadership and instruction for inclusive classrooms from Utica College. How are you able to apply this to your work in financial services?
LH: One of the things you learn especially in that field —and the key word I think in that degree is inclusion — is its ways to help people be successful. Maybe you learn better by reading, where I do better hearing a lecture, for example. It helps not only with supervising staff, because you can really play the folks’ strengths and see where they are coming from — how they process information, but it also helps when you’re dealing with students. Honestly if you think about it money is one of those things that gets everybody a little bit revved up. So when one of the ways to be successful helping students navigate that process is to be able to communicate with them effectively, whatever that may be —whether it’s via e-mail, whether it’s face-to-face, group presentations. There are several mediums, and I think that the Masters in Educational Leadership and Inclusion really opens your eyes and encourages you to look at all the different ways of sharing information.
GM: What is your favorite part of working in financial services?
LH: My passion is accessibility to college. It’s a wonderful experience for me to be able to help a student through that process and to be part of that process from freshmen year to senior year and to see where that goes. College is quite an experience, and in many cases, is a life changing experience for students and I feel blessed to be able to be part of that.