What brought you here to UMass Medical School? I was working as an educational advisor at the Colleges of Worcester Consortium and a friend recommended me for the position of assistant director of financial aid. What do you love most about the work that you do? The students. They are exceptional people: smart, polite, interesting and interested. They are the best part of my job. How would you explain your work to your spouse/child/a student? I make sure not just rich people become doctors. Best kept secret about your department/lab/division? Well, it’s not really a secret, but we love babies. If you have a baby while you are here, you HAVE to bring him/her in to meet us. What is the practical application of your work? We process student loans and grants so students can live and eat and go to school. Which trait do you most admire in yourself? My ability to laugh at myself. What’s the question you’re most often asked about your work – and the answer? When will I see my money? The answer depends on when your semester starts! Describe yourself in six words or fewer. Sports freak, book lover, television kid. If you were stranded on a deserted island, name three things you would want. ESPN, water and food (in that order). If you could have dinner with a famous person, living or dead, who would that be and why? This one is easy—Laura Ingalls Wilder. She is absolutely responsible for the way I look at life. What has surprised you most about UMass Medical School? When I first started here it was the lack of a campus. I really missed that. But it is getting better. I love the lawn, and I think the new building will have a more “campus center” feel. Who or what inspired you to enter your field? The financial aid office at my undergrad campus was always so nasty. I guess I wanted to counteract some of that bad karma. What are some of your hobbies/interests outside of work? Watching sports and taking road trips to sports events. I also love to read. What is your most treasured possession? My mother’s wedding ring. What book have you read, or what movie have you seen, most recently? I just finished A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. It was hilarious. Who are your heroes? Laura Ingalls Wilder and my mother. I think pretty highly of Eleanor Roosevelt and Bobby Kennedy too. What’s the most exciting thing happening in your field right now? They are threatening to take away the subsidy on student loans for graduate students. What would you tell someone who was considering applying to UMass (as a student or for a position)? If you’re nice and smart (in that order), come on down!