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Bellarmine Financial Aid Director Receives Prestigious Industry Award

Apr 21, 2009

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Bellarmine University's director of financial aid, Heather Boutell, has received the 2009 Herb Vescio Distinguished Service Award from the Kentucky Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (KASFAA). Association president Jennifer Cosens Priest presented the award to Boutell during the group's spring conference last week in Erlanger, Ky.

The Vescio Award is the association's most prestigious honor for financial aid professionals, and recognizes an individual's contributions to the association or the profession.

“Heather wholeheartedly believes in what KASFAA is all about -- providing training, networking and other professional development opportunities to financial aid administrators so that we can continually improve our service to students and families,” Priest said. “She is a leader in the financial aid community and is very deserving of KASFAA’s highest award.”

Boutell also serves as president of the Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (SASFAA). Only four Kentuckians have been elected as president of the association in its 45-year existence. In her role, she travels to the organization's nine southern states to present sessions and updates to financial aid administrators to motivate and educate them about trends in the profession. As SASFAA president, she also sits on the board of the national association.

“I am so honored to receive this award,” Boutell said. “Many of my mentors have received this honor, and I am thrilled to be in their company. KASFAA means a great deal to me, because I believe in its mission of providing opportunities, equity, and access for higher education.”

Boutell has worked in financial aid for more than 17 years, beginning her career as a graduate assistant in the office of financial aid at the University of Louisville. During her financial aid career, Boutell also has worked at Sullivan University and at the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA).

Boutell and her staff regularly offer financial aid workshops to parents and families in the Louisville area. The workshops go through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) line-by-line and explain the various state, federal and institutional programs available for college students. She also participates in a Kentucky Educational Television call-in show regarding financial aid eligibility and programs, and has served as an on-air panelist and as a phone bank volunteer for many years.

Bellarmine University is an independent Catholic university offering more than 50 majors, as well as graduate degree programs and a doctor of physical therapy. Forbes magazine and the Princeton Review rank Bellarmine among America’s best colleges, and U.S. News and World Report consistently ranks Bellarmine as a top tier university.

For more information about the Kentucky Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, visit: -end-

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