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SXU's Sue Swisher Receives Distinguished Service Award


Saint Xavier University's (SXU) Susan Swisher, executive director of Financial Aid, has received the Allan W. Purdy Distinguished Service Award from the Midwest Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (MASFAA).

The highest award bestowed by MASFAA, the Allan W. Purdy Distinguished Service Award honors an individual who has made outstanding achievements to the financial aid field and who has demonstrated service to fellow professionals, students and others. The award's key criteria are based on significant contributions over a period of time, and Swisher has numerous accomplishments in her tenure.

Swisher has been in the financial aid field for over 40 years and has served as SXU's executive director for 28 years. Throughout her professional career, she's been active at the state, regional and national level, having served as a regional representative of the National Association of Financial Aid Administrator's (NASFAA) board of directors. Swisher is past president of the Illinois Association of Financial Aid Administrators (ILASFAA) and MASFAA. She has received ILASFAA's Meritorious Service, President's and Sustained Service Awards, MASFAA's Meritorious Service, President's and Leadership Awards, and NASFAA's Leadership Award.

"It was an honor to be recognized by MASFAA," said Swisher. "I initially became involved with this organization by attending their conference and then networked with peers to receive the training and professional development necessary to lead the Office of Financial Aid."

Swisher finds it important to stay professionally involved in the field as the policies and procedures for Title IV programs can change from year to year, and conferences are an important venue for learning about changes. They're also excellent resources for networking and discussing  topics such as technologies associated with financial information systems, improved practices for dealing with aid applicants and recipients, program compliance, record-keeping and more.

Swisher's commitment to service excellence at SXU is part of what makes her the perfect recipient of the award.

"Excellence is conveyed by ensuring the Office of Financial Aid is an efficient operation that is student-centered. We are dedicated to working with our students to ensure their college education is accessible and affordable," said Swisher.

Swisher's goals for the future include continued leadership that promotes training and professional development for her staff to enhance their professional growth in the same way she has benefited.