Personality: Lisa Siudym, Financial Aid Director

Institutional Lifestyles

When Western’s new Financial Aid Director Lisa Siudym speaks, her vowel sounds give away the Michigan in her. But she disagrees.

“You guys have the accent,” she said about the folks in her new community.

When Siudym, decided to make a change of location, she was looking for several factors in a new college community. She wanted some place that was growing, had a good reputation and was smaller than what she was used to in Michigan. She also wanted a good team to walk into and said she found that with her co-workers in the financial aid department.

“The staff here is really devoted, and they have a real concern for the students,” she said.

Lisa SiudymSiudym, who has 23 years of financial aid experience, said that it wasn’t really a career choice. She just sort of fell into it and liked it so much she’s been with it ever since.

“I enjoy working with the college students,” she said. “I know a lot of decisions we make are going to determine whether students can attend.”

She comes to Western after working for three other colleges: Kattering University, Oakland University and St. Clair County Community College. When she interviewed for the position at Western in mid-May, she knew there wouldn’t be any hurricanes. However, she also knew she would have to contend with a new weather event that Missouri is famous for.

“I did ask about tornadoes,” she said.

The new director has been in town for only a couple of months. When she was here in May she didn’t get to see much of the community, so she’s been exploring. She said she loves the “cool architecture,” lofts, the parkway and the Belt. She’s also been trying to do all of her business locally in St. Joseph.

“When I saw you had a Sonic and a Dillards, I knew I would be okay,” she said.

She describes herself as approachable, which many Western students will appreciate. She said she’s the kind of gal who likes to get in the trenches and roll up her sleeves. And she’s a sports fan.

“I’m excited to be at a school with Division II sports,” she said. “I’m ready
for football. I’m looking forward to becoming a Chiefs fan, especially since the Lions aren’t doing so well.”

And she’s not just a spectator. Siudym enjoys scuba diving and gold. No doubt she will be able to satiate her love of the outdoors in Northwest Missouri, too. She said she wanted a climate where the winters would be milder than those in Michigan.

Wait ‘til she gets a load of some Northwestern Missouri winters.

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