Samreen Khurram Selected for NASFAA’s Diversity Leadership Program


Congratulations to Samreen Khurram from Lone Star College; who is a member of NASFAA’s Diversity Leadership Program. This program provides selectees from a wide range of diverse backgrounds with a robust portfolio of benefits, mentorship, and guidance on how to develop as a financial aid association leader at the state, regional, and national level.

TASFAA is very excited for Samreen to have been selected for this program.

Delisa Falks
TASFAA President

Samreen Khurram
Director, Financial Aid
Lone Star College-Tomball
Tomball, TX

When Samreen entered into the field of financial aid 18 years ago, she did not know she would be kickstarting a career in helping students—much like herself—succeed in higher education. She accepted a student-worker position at Houston Community College after hearing about the job from her financial aid advisor, and discovered that she really “enjoyed helping students achieve their educational goals by providing them with financial aid options and advice, which would help alleviate financial stress from them.” In her current position serving as the financial aid director at Lone-Star College-Tomball, Samreen has offered numerous financial literacy sessions for students, and partnered with other departments and community leaders to create learning experiences for students in their desired field of study. Samreen has also worked with several community donors to design scholarships geared toward minority students.

“Being myself a part of a minority group, I am fully committed to enhancing skills that can help underrepresented groups of the community overcome challenges and roadblocks they face today in their educational environment,” Samreen said. “Through this leadership program I want to be able to guide and mentor people of not only different races and genders, but also people from different generations, sexual orientations, religious affiliations, and people with disabilities. I believe this leadership program will also empower me to bring my ideas and experiences to the larger conversation on education policies, which are critical to the future success of our students.”

Why is diversity important to the profession of financial aid and higher education?

It is our goal in financial aid to provide quality service without any bias to students who come from a variety of backgrounds. In order to better assist a diverse student population, we need to understand their needs and backgrounds, which can be achieved by diversifying the financial aid profession. Diversity not only brings new ideas to the table, but also encourages and sets examples for students that anyone can be successful.

How have you seen diversity in higher education change since you began your career? What gaps/issues remain?

Over my 18-year career in financial aid I have seen improvement in the inclusion and acceptance of people based on their gender, race, cultural background, sexual orientation, and religion. But a lot of work still needs to be done—especially at the college and university leadership level. We need leaders who can relate to the students and staff not through training, but through personal experiences.

What are some of your career and personal life goals?

I want to start a non-profit organization that helps and guides underserved and underrepresented populations through their educational paths. I feel that a lot of students who are first-generation college students need early guidance from their middle school to help them achieve their educational goals. This will include educating the parents and students on the ups and downs of the education system and giving them advice on how to navigate the admissions and financial aid processes.

If you go back to any period in time, when would that be and why?

I want to go back to the 1990s with my son. I miss all those cartoons and the childhood experiences. I would love for my son to spend his toddler years in a minimum-technology environment.

 What’s your favorite way to relax?

I relax by coloring or playing video games.

 Any hidden talents?

I can read a student aid report

Nominate Your Colleagues!

The Awards & Scholarship Committee is now accepting nominations for the Financial Aid Star Award, Financial Aid Support Award, Teaching and Mentoring Award and the TASFAA Hall of Fame Award.

Criteria for the awards are listed on the nomination form, now available on the TASFAA website.  Please review the criteria and select the award for which you feel the nominee

deserves and complete the corresponding section to complete the nomination process.

Nomination deadline is June 14, 2019

Submissions may be made via fax or email to:
Dede Gonzales, TASFAA Awards & Scholarship Committee Chair. See form for more details.

Good Luck to everyone!

Candidates for the TASFAA Board

Dear TASFAA Members,

Thank you to everyone who nominated a candidate or volunteered to run this year for the TASFAA Board of Directors.

This announcement serves as the official notice to the TASFAA Community of the candidates running for the position of President-Elect and At-Large Members for the 2019-2020 TASFAA Board of Directors. The ballot will open on Monday, June 3, and the Primary Contact (voting member) for each institution will be notified via email of the ballot being open. The ballot will close on June 17th at 5:00 p.m. (CST).

Please take a few minutes to review the list of nominees below. I have attached two documents (President-Elect Candidates and At-Large Board Member Candidates) that contain a biographical statement, statement of candidacy and picture for each candidate.

Candidates for President-Elect

  • Taryn Anderson – University of Dallas
  • Diane Todd Sprague – University of Texas – Austin

Candidates for At-Large Board Member

  • Cynthia Butler – Dallas County Community College District
  • Dede Gonzales – Texas State University
  • Danchees Ingram – University of Texas – Southwestern Medical Center
  • Jael Perez – University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley
  • Christina Pikla – Trinity University

I look forward to receiving your ballot (one per voting institution) beginning June 3. If you have any questions, please let me know.



Christopher D. Murr, Ph.D.

Nominations and Elections Committee Chair TASFAA Past President 2018


Click the link to view the attachment

President-Elect Candidates

At-Large Board Member Candidates