Filtered by author: Stephen R Garman Clear Filter

MASFAP’s Elf on the Shelf Counting Down to the Conference


Wednesday, December 7, 2016 – 5 days until the conference

Read More

On team building… By Kelly Fleming

What comes to your mind when you hear the word team.  Sometimes, it’s a collective term used too often to describe things that it’s not really meant to describe.  There are many off shoots of the word as well…team work, team training, team building.  Webster does not have a definition for team building, however defines team work as: “marked by devotion rather than an individual achievement.”  Wikipedia states team training as “designed to improve efficiency, rather than interpersonal relations” and that team building “enhances social relations and defines roles within teams, often involving collaborative tasks.”  The simple definition of team according to Webster, “a group of people who work together.”  Sounds not too difficult to understand, right?  No stress involved, right?  Um…sure.  Teams are complex.  Teams need attention.  Teams need development.  If you stop and think about it, how many teams are you a part of?  At work, at home, at Church, in your neighborhood, in your community, in MASFAP.  Are all of your teams successful?  Why or why not?  Are teams successful because they have good leaders?  Are teams successful because they have dedicated members or participants and everyone pulls their weight?  Are teams successful because they have cohesion and unity and everyone gets along?  Are teams successful because they are organized?  Successful teams take much effort.  How many times have you participated in a team building exercise and at the on-set groaned.  Come on be honest.  Team building exercises are built to expose problems within the group.  Is that why you groan?  Who likes to be exposed?  How many times though have you come away from a team building exercise with an “ah-ha” moment and grown from that moment?  Know however, that a team builder is not a quick fix to mend a team that appears broken.  It won’t magically help poor leadership or broken communication, teams that appear unproductive or without vision.  The team builder will identify where the challenges are and then smaller teams will need to be formed to dig deeper into the underlying causes.  Often times team building is not given the attention it deserves.  The activity is fun, but the follow up is lacking.  Studies have shown that if done right, participants become more united, more committed, morale becomes higher and performance increases.  And why?  Because all participants should have been a part of the decision making along the way and ultimately of the outcome.  Some take aways…team members are individuals with different needs, ultimately individual differences.  Teams should be created and utilized with each individual in mind so as to be built with their strengths in mind, not their weaknesses.    

When’s the last time you’ve participated in or planned a team building activity?  Are you overdue?  What are you waiting for?”

Read More

MASFAP’s Elf on the Shelf – counting down until the conference!

Check out Sparky’s Adventures this week!

Friday, December 2, 2016– 10 days until the conference

Read More

MASFAP’s Elf on the Shelf – 14 days until the conference

sparky-14-days-untilToday Sparky was spotted eating a salad and trying to lose the 5 pounds he gained over Thanksgiving! Speaking of food…. We are going to have great food at the conference  – including salad! Still time to register – at!



Read More

Happy Thanksgiving! 20 Days Until the MASFAP Conference!

Sparky wishes you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the time with your family and he looks forward to seeing you next week when the countdown to the conference will continue!


Read More

Grab a gift for charity – 21 days until the conference

Sparky wants to encourage you to pick a “virtual gift tag” and purchase a gift for one of the families MASFAP is adopting.

Take a moment to read about the families:

Read More

Sparky found his Ugly Sweater! 24 days until the conference

Look! Sparky is now sporting his Ugly Sweater he found to wear for MASFAP’s Ugly Sweater Contest – after searching high and low he borrowed the sweater from his friend Nick. Do you think he will win? Do you have yours yet? Ugly Sweater Contest is Monday of the conference!

MASFAP’s Elf on the Shelf – 25 days until the conference

Check out the picture of Sparky out shopping today for his Ugly Sweater for the MASFAP Ugly Sweater Contest. He is having a hard time finding his size!

sparky-25-days-untilDon’t forget Monday of the conference to wear your UGLY SWEATER! You will get your picture taken for submission into the contest. Everyone will vote – and the ugliest/tackiest sweater wins a prize!

MASFAP’s Elf on the Shelf – 26 days until the conference

SPARKY ANNOUNCING LAST CALL FOR ASSOCIATE MEMBERS to exhibit and/or sponsor at the MASFAP Conference!

sparky-26-days-untilSparky was today found making some calls out to MASFAP Associate Members. He wants all of our fantastic Associate Members to attend the conference to give information about products to us at a booth! Here are the exhibitors who have registered so far:

Read More

MASFAP’s Elf on the Shelf – 27 days until the conference – conference charity


Do you remember two years ago when the conference charity was the Lake of the Ozarks Idiots Club? This year MASFAP will again help the students and families in the Lake of the Ozark area through our partners – The Lake of the Ozarks Idiots Club! Danna and Denny Hiner, the founders of the Idiots Club, are so excited to see you all again!

Read More

MASFAP’s Elf on the Shelf – 28 days until the conference

Sparky was just found today making some decorations for the MASFAP conference. He REALLY hopes you are planning on attending the conference! Sparky is feeling a little lonely today since no one has commented to his blogs. He would like you to respond with a comment to this blog to let him know what you are most looking forward to at the conference December 12-14!

Visit to register!!!!

Read More

MASFAP’s Elf on the Shelf – 32 days until the conference

sparky-day-3Veterans Day, tomorrow November 11, is when we pay our homage and respect to the veterans serve and have served the country. Thank you to all of the veterans reading this blog – you are heroes!

Sparky will be off tomorrow for Veterans Day as he salutes all the Veterans for their service to our country.

Read More

MASFAP’s Elf on the Shelf – Day 2

sparky-day-2After standing in line for over an hour to vote last night and staying up into the wee hours of the morning watching the election coverage, Sparky, MASFAP’s Elf on the Shelf, is so tired, shocked and kind of confused about everything. He’s waiting to get out of bed until his Starbuck’s kicks in…

So the day after the election, Sparky can’t wait to hear more about how the election may affect education at the Annual MASFAP Conference. What do experts think could happen with the change in office?

Read More

MASFAP’s Elf on the Shelf – Day 1

Hello MASFAP – have you heard of the Elf on the Shelf? Well MASFAP has its own ELF on the Shelf named Sparky. He is Merry about MASFAP! Sparky will guide you through the next month until MASFAP starts on December 12!

He will be frequently pictured on the blog getting ready for MASFAP – his goal is to help you prepare for the upcoming conference.

Read More

PJ and PPY By Sarah Bright

My sister and I were raised by a single dad, which was considered a unique family structure in the 1980’s. As a result, we have always been close.  During my last years of high school my dad remarried, and my step-mom and sister joined our group.  Those with blended families know it takes time to work out the kinks (there is hope ~ we tease that twenty years later we all get along!).  To add to the stress of a new household size, at this same time, my dad’s company closed, laying him off from work.  He used this unfortunate event as motivation to return to college full-time to begin a new profession.  Concurrently, my sister, who is one year older than me, was graduating from high school and enrolling in the same college as my dad.  A year later I joined them.  All three of us attended the same college simultaneously!

Until transitioning into the financial aid profession, I did not fully comprehend the important role our offices play on a college campus. When working with students, I try to reflect on my own life experiences, like those years when my dad, sister, and I were enrolled at the same college.  Professional judgments may not have been available twenty years ago, but if they had been, our family would have benefited from one.

Read More

MASFAP Election Outcome By Gena Boling

Election fever is in the air, and I’m here to announce a much friendlier version of the election cycle (in comparison with that little one happening in early November) has come to an end; we’ve rounded out the 2016 MASFAP Elections. Here is a comprehensive list of those you have elected to represent you in leading our great association!

 President-Elect: Kerry Hallahan, Logan University

Read More

Higher Ed Political Talk By Maya Walker Lawrence


If you’ve gotten a chance to see any interactions between the Democratic nominee for president, Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump, it is quite obvious that these two are infatuated with each other – I kid! During this week’s presidential debate the world saw firsthand how dissimilar Hillary and Donald are. Just like the candidates themselves, their plans for Higher Education couldn’t be any more different! For instance, in a town hall event earlier this year, Trump said that education was one of the three most important priorities of the federal government, but he has pledged to drastically cut or eliminate the U.S. Department of Education during his presidency. Hillary has made it clear she would not eliminate the department, but has not released a plan to revamp or scale back the size of the department.

Read More

September Happened… By Melissa Findley

What the heck happened? I think September just happened… September is like no other month, I am going to venture out and say it’s the busiest month of the year. September, it sneaks up on you, you blink your eyes and it is gone.

To me, the craziness of September is not expected… August comes expectantly with the back to school craziness. November and December are also predictably hectic with the holidays and the end of the year. September seems like such an innocent month. Wrong!

Read More

MASFAP Board is meeting now

Good Afternoon!

The MASFAP Board is meeting now – do you have a topic or suggestion for the Board to discuss? Or just say hello? Please respond with your topic (or hello) by adding a comment!

Read More

‘Twas The Night Before MASFAP By Dan Dick


‘Twas The Night Before MASFAP

Read More