Nick Kordek - Director of Enrollment Services, Director of Financial Aid

 

What College functions does your role encompass?

I oversee the team that is responsible for registrar, bursar, and financial aid operations. This office also coordinates classroom use and schedules courses, does billing and collections, and manages the awarding of federal funds, grants, and institutional monies. We ensure that students are billed in a timely way and are registered for classes appropriately. I am also directly responsible for reviewing and awarding financial aid packages to incoming students.

It’s essential that this office maintains proper processes and makes sure to follow federal regulations. It’s the livelihood of the College in a sense, so making sure that we maintain our eligibility for funding is a critical responsibility.

 

What is your professional background?

I grew up in Baldwinsville and attended college at SUNY-Polytechnic in Utica. My undergraduate degree is in finance and accounting. I then completed my master’s in business administration degree at SUNY Oswego. While attending SUNY-Poly I was a work-study student in the colleges financial aid office.

My first job out of college was as a financial aid advisor at Bryant and Stratton. In 2011, I moved to Denver and completed my MBA degree online. I worked in financial aid at different schools in Denver. My last job there was in the Denver Public Schools as the lead student accounts representative, where I oversaw all tuition billing, student payments, and third-party billing, among other tasks.

 

Do you have a philosophy about work and about managing a busy team?

I have a team of people who are awesome at their jobs, and I trust they do what they do well. We have a really solid team, so much of the responsibility is just making sure we’re all on the same page and doing things as a team together.

I’ve been at the College about 11 months, and in this role for 8 months, having started here as financial aid coordinator. I took over for Chris Mandel, who’d been here about 30 years. We have big shoes to fill but we’re fortunate that we that they still provide us some support and guidance when we need it. We’re thankful they are very invested in the College and want to be sure things carry on well.

 

What is the best part of your job?

It’s my colleagues, plus the students we work with, and seeing those students succeed. If students are having trouble getting financial aid approved, the point where they achieve that financial help is a very, very rewarding moment. We see students come in as freshman and leave as seniors, and it’s great to watch them grow as individuals. It makes it worth all the work you do for that person all four years they are with you.

 

As a workplace, what’s the thing you enjoy most about the College?

I liked the small school atmosphere, and it was a reasonable distance from where I wanted to live (in Baldwinsville). It had been a long time since I’d been on a traditional campus, so I really liked that environment.

 

Do you have a favorite time of the academic year?

It’s graduation. That’s the culmination of students’ hard work, your hard work, and everyone on campus puts a lot into that occasion. To have graduation be successful and to watch the happy students and their families, it’s pretty cool to be part of that.

 

What prompted you to return to this area from Denver?

I got married while I was in Denver, and when we started a family, we wanted to move back closer to my family here. The cost factor there wasn’t in our favor. We thought that given this area’s affordability, we could have a better life here and also have a lot more family support.

 

What is something interesting that most people might not know about you?

My wife and I had triplet boys two years ago — Cameron, Lucas, and Jacob. It was a complete surprise. They are fraternal triplets (not identical) and at all different stages of development. When they were six months old, we put six people, two cats, three car seats, and one triplet stroller on a plane from Denver to return home. We ran into cancelled flights and all kinds of roadblocks on that trip, but finally got here.

Raising three two-year-olds, you go through a lot of emotions every day. I’ve grown to appreciate patience a little more and I’ve come a long way in that regard, professionally and personally.