Division Cabinet Members
Roberta L. Johnson
Director of Student Financial Aid
M.S., Counselor Education, Iowa State University, 1988
B.S., Elementary Education, Iowa State University, 1981
B.S., Home Economics Education, Iowa State University, 1978
Roberta Johnson joined Iowa State University's Office of Student Financial Aid in 1982, moving up through a series of positions until she became Interim Director in February 2003.
In the last twenty years, the big change in her field has come in the increased reliance on technology to deliver services. Operations were "very manual" when she began, but now, she explains, "understanding systems and computer technology is a major part of the job."
Succeeding at daily challenges - helping students figure out how to finance their educations, developing new data systems, or encouraging staff to think creatively about new ways of doing business - gives Johnson great satisfaction. "My goal," she says, "is always to go home at night knowing that what I accomplished during the day has made a positive difference for Iowa State students."
How do the students she assists today compare with those of her own undergraduate days? "They seem more sophisticated," she says, "possibly because they are exposed to so much through the Internet and other media." But she also points out that today's students are the same as students of a quarter century ago in terms of their hopes, dreams, and goals.
Johnson knows that students look to her office for the means to make hopes, dreams, and goals come true. When asked to come up with three ideas or principles to help those students who are struggling to finance their educations, she offered these:
2. Money can buy both wants and needs, but it does not buy happiness.
3. Use credit wisely.