Winter Quarter 2009
I am nominating: Bradley Hendrix
Years of Service at Cal Poly: 2
Department: Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships
Position: Loan Specialist
Why are you nominating this person: Brad is one of the best examples of student centeredness and dedication that I have come across during my 20 years in higher education. He is committed to serving our students and providing them with the knowledge and understanding they need to navigate through the loan process. Brad previously worked for Cal Poly Pomona about 12 years ago. He left to move up North to care for his ailing parents. His heart remained with Cal Poly Pomona. Brad starts work each day at approx. 6:00am when most of us are just awakening to arrive to campus by 8:00am. He uses this extra uninterrupted time to work on student cases that require extra attention. Brad is diligent and consistent with every student case he handles ensuring that each loan is processed in a timely manner for the students to receive the funds they need. Brad deserves to be recognized as a Division of Student Affairs STAR because he treats every student with polite, kind and courteous service and is a true listener and champion for them.
Student-Centered Philosophy: The focus each day for Brad is the students he serves. He believes in and stands strongly behind the hands-on experience and learning outcomes as a measure for student success. Brad spends countless hours working directly with students to ensure they have a full understanding of what a loan is and what responsible borrowing means. He walks through the loan process with them including going on-line and completing the workshop and signing the promissory note. He allows the student to be a student, to communicate their concerns, needs and overall thoughts with him and he follows through with all suggestions he receives. The students (and parents) truly appreciate his open and honest demeanor as evidenced by the many cards, gifts and letters received on his behalf.
Integrity: Brad treats students, staff and co-workers with the utmost respect. Brad believes strongly in education and he tries to transfer that belief to students to have them gain the most they can from their college experience as this is the key to their success and the start of a bright future for them. Even though we are bound by many rules, regulations and policies, Brad knows where he can and can’t “bend” the rules to benefit the students. I trust that he would never put himself, the student or the University in a position that would not result in a positive outcome.
Interconnectedness: Brad has developed a very positive working relationship with all of our lender partners and outside agencies. This has allowed him to gain insight into product information and loan benefits that are on the horizon for our students to take advantage of. On a regular basis, he keeps our loan recipients up-to-date with any and all information that comes his way. He is the bond between our students and their lenders and guarantee agencies. As a result of keeping both parties connected, he has been able to resolve student loan issues with a positive outcome for the student. He works collaboratively with our Student Accounts and Cashiers office and together they have awarded, disbursed and balanced over $40 million dollars in loan funds which assisted 9385 students during the 2007-2008 academic year.
Passion: Brad demonstrates the passion he has for financial aid every second of the day. He is energized by the positive student interaction his has. That energy is explosive and the students he serves pick up on it immediately. This makes them comfortable discussing the most difficult of subjects (finances) with him. He does not give up when student cases seem to be a lost cause. He researches, contacts colleagues and/or uses every avenue he can to bring the situation to a positive resolution. He has volunteered and has been approached to sit on the board of several lending agencies, but due to the nature of our business, this has not been allowed. Brad would love this opportunity as it would put him in a position to recommend change to loan processes and practices that were not in the best interest of the student.
Quality: The quality of Brad’s work I believe is beyond expectations of the students and sometimes staff. He takes on extra duties from the counseling staff to alleviate their workload which allows them to spend more time with students. Because Brad has worked previously for other institutions specifically with loans and for a very prominent lender, he has been able to improve his expertise in the loan area and develop best practices for Cal Poly Pomona to follow. Brad never leaves a project undone. He works until he has resolved the entire projects or until a student is satisfied with the outcome. In situations that cannot result in a positive outcome, Brad meets with the student to explain the situation, review strategies taken and discern why the results are not favorable. Even though the situations are not resolved, Brad ensures that the students understands why and knows what to do in the future to avoid the same challenge. Brad is extremely patient in these types of situations, even with the toughest of customers!
Richness of Diversity: Brad works with over 9000 loan records and students. With that comes varying learning abilities, learning styles and many other differences amongst our students, yet to Brad, they are all the same. They are all in need of financial assistance and his mindset is to help them acquire what they need. Our students demonstrated a need to have more selections for lenders to process their loans. Brad took this and went to work. He researched other loan delivery systems, scheduled demonstrations for each and provided me with a recommendation for change to meet the needs of the students. We ended up moving to a different loan delivery platform that would allow students more choice and access with lender selections.
In what ways does this person enhance or contribute to the Cal Poly Pomona campus community?: Brad is silent but strong! He speaks softly but carries a big stick! He is that diamond in the rough! Whatever positive cliché you choose, he fits the bill. Students enjoy being around him, staff enjoy his witty antics and I enjoy his laughter and sense of humor. When a student refuses to speak to anyone other than Brad and will wait an hour for him to return from lunch, or just stop by to see how he is feeling, tells me that he is special in their eyes. The care student’s show for him makes him a shining STAR!