New Employee Spotlight – Teresa Buchmann

We’d like to take a moment and recognize our newest employees to Green River. Please take a moment to learn more about them, in their own words. buchmann-teresa

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the new Director of Student Financial Aid. I started working in financial aid in 1999, back when the FAFSA was on paper and we weren’t sure if computers would work in the year 2000. I have worked at several different colleges in my career which gives me a unique perspective on the many different ways we can help students. Most recently I have been the Financial Aid Supervisor of the Puyallup campus of Pierce College.

I have a strong passion for helping students take their next step and helping them change their family tree through Financial Aid. Financial Aid made my education a reality, and I love being a part of changing so many student lives.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I love how the mission of Green River highlights a student focus. Responsive services is the perfect way to describe my view of customer service. There is no one-size-fits-all answer in financial aid. I’m excited to work for a college that has this viewpoint in its DNA.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I love listening to podcasts. A few that are always downloaded on my phone:

America’s Test Kitchen, Revisionist History, Radiolab, This American Life, Freakonomics, Plant Money, Serial, Reply All, and Homecoming

What was the very first job you ever had?
My first job was at Subway. I started working when I was just 14, which meant I couldn’t touch the ovens. In my interview I made the joke that the witch from Hansel and Gretel might push me into the oven if I were less than 15. I’m confident this sealed my new job for me and got a lot of laughs. I learned a lot of great customer service skills in my time at Subway (and I can make a sandwich in less than a minute).

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I am most excited about leading a new team and leveraging technology to help us serve students faster and better. I have great ideas of how we can minimize barriers for students so they can get enrolled faster and have better support while enrolled.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
My goals are to streamline the process of financial aid for students and decrease the processing time.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?

  • My three boys (8, 16, 19) and the great men they are becoming (and, of course, my husband who guides our family so well).
  • Completing my Bachelor Degree while a single mom, working full-time
  • The changes I made at Pierce Puyallup including decreasing processing time and making the financial aid department the friendliest place on campus.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
I asked my former staff at Pierce for suggestions: Sunshine, Bubbles, Financial Aid Guru, Smiley, Sparkles, Pollyanna (because I always see a silver lining), SuperSquirrel (Think “squirrel” in the movie UP, always being pulled in multiple directions, but able to navigate it with grace and get everything done).

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
While it isn’t a hidden talent, I love to cook. So I would offer to cater the talent show and let people with real talents perform.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Guiding
Resources
Education
Equity
Nourishing

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