Ms. Asia Woodson is the heartbeat of the Office of Student Financial Aid. Whereas the physical heart pumps blood, Ms. Woodson’s pumps documentation filled with critical information. Her role is crucial as she serves as a liaison between students and financial aid counselors. Although she is not a financial aid counselor by title, she is by heart. When in doubt, students are always guaranteed the best answer by contacting Ms. Woodson.
Ms. Woodson explained that the office has undergone some technological upgrades since she began her current duties five years ago. At that time, the office was still using typewriters. Upgrades, however, like transferring information into a strictly electronic database, do take time and prolong tasks longer than the students might prefer.
As an initiative for change, Ms. Woodson suggested the department begin emailing electronic letters rather than licking and sealing envelopes one by one for 3,000 students. Ms. Woodson’s small, yet big initiative allowed for her to not let technology become a barrier.
A heart for helping students
The complications of technology can become draining, but it does not take away the fulfillment of reassurance from Ms. Woodson, as she stated, “Knowing that students have their answers and once they walk out the doors they will not be confused about anything regarding the financial aid process is something that I cherish. I do not want any blank minds going out the front door.”
Ms. Woodson’s expertise in her job has helped many students — especially one in particular. This student told Ms. Woodson he would not take out any loans. Achieving this goal would be difficult, but the student managed to exceed his goal as he continues to accumulate more than enough funds to attend Tuskegee.
Nonetheless, Ms. Woodson stressed, “Always be proactive. There are billions of scholarships, but it is a student's responsibility to apply for them and commit to the work that goes into completing applications.”
No place like home
Tuskegee is what Ms. Woodson breathes and lives, as she is a native of the town. She would not take her talents elsewhere. However, it was noted that she likes to live and breathe outside of the university if possible. She manages to do so by spending quality time with her daughter, who is in the fourth grade, and enjoying quiet time. She even went on to say, “Although my daughter is in the fourth grade, working in the office has taught me that it never too early to begin planning for anything.”
Ms. Woodson is an essential element to the Office of Student Financial Aid, just as the heart is an essential organ of the body. Her caring personality will continue to make the department prosper. If students were not aware of her hard work they should now be aware and continue to give her the spotlight for her efforts every day.