Lenoir-Rhyne University is an institution that has been recognized for its work providing financial aid for its students. Now Director of Financial Aid Courtney Thompson-Ballard has been recognized and selected to participate in the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators Diversity Leadership Program.
According to the program, it provides selectees from marginalized and underrepresented groups with a robust portfolio of benefits, mentorship and guidance on how to develop as a leader at the state, regional and national level.
Thompson-Ballard is the lone participant selected from the south region.
"I am really excited for the opportunity to grow in this industry," she said. "I'm excited to connect with individuals I may have not otherwise had the opportunity to meet from all over the country. It will be nice to share ideas and gain resources so I can help improve my institution, my office and my division."
A 2004 and 2010 graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne, Thompson-Ballard was recognized as one of LR's staff members of the year in 2020.
Lenoir-Rhyne was recognized as the No. 3-ranked university in North Carolina and No. 22 in the South in terms of best value with 100 percent of students receiving grants or scholarships to help defray the cost of tuition, according to the U.S. News and World Report.
"I am so proud of Courtney's selection to participate in the NASFAA Diversity Leadership Program," said Rachel Nichols, vice president for enrollment management. "This is a significant honor as only six participants were chosen nationwide. This is a wonderful tribute to her current skills, as well as the leadership she can provide to her NASFAA peers."
In the year-long program, Thompson-Ballard will connect with mentors throughout the country in the financial aid field. She'll also have the chance to take classes on cutting edge practices, sit on committees and be part of a national think tank.
The program typically hosts a national conference each summer in Washington, D.C., however, the conference this year may be held virtually.