Mary Adkins, Moraine Valley Community College financial aid expeditor and Veterans Affairs (VA) education benefits certifying official, received the National Association of Veterans Program Administrators (NAVPA) Service Award.
NAVPA is based in Washington, D.C., to address policy issues and general concerns with congressional staff and VA leadership. For the last 14 years, Adkins has certified student veterans for their classes each semester, which enables them to receive a housing allowance and have tuition covered by the VA. She also attends regional and national training sessions to stay current on changes with VA benefits and is an active member of both the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and NAVPA.
Ryan Kelly, Moraine Valley coordinator of Veteran Services, nominated Adkins for the award.
“As our school certifying official, the responsibilities are demanding. She provides the utmost attention, graciousness and selfless attitude to ensure our student veterans and dependents receive the highest quality service. Her exemplary service to our student veterans is shown when they need assistance with veteran benefits or even financial aid. Mary will always find an answer and follow up with them. The care she provides demonstrates value and appreciation,” he said. “She exemplifies all the desired qualities in a school certifying official.”
In his letter of recommendation, Joe Scroggins, Moraine Valley director of Financial Aid added, “Mary has become a great asset to our veterans. They know they can come to her with questions and will be treated with courtesy and kindness. Mary knows the ins and outs of all rules and regulations. She has personally helped hundreds of veterans graduate with various associate degrees and certificates. She takes joy in knowing she is helping our veterans better their lives.”
Adkins was surprised at receiving the honor, which she received virtually at the NAVPA conference, her first time attending.
“I am honored and grateful to be the recipient of this award from this established and recognized national organization. It is rewarding to be acknowledged and recognized,” she said. “I have always and will continue to enjoy working with our student veterans to help them achieve their educational goals.”