Linda Wimbley, Assistant Director of Student Financial Aid, has left an impact on the lives of students she has come across. As a financial aid counselor, this was not something she knew would happen. Through her compassion and love for lending a helping hand she has helped many students.
Wimbley knew that she wanted to work in financial aid after interning in financial aid. After graduation, she was offered her first job at Mississippi State University. She began working at LSUS in April of 2000. She specifically does grant reporting. She works with the TEACH and Pell Grants.
“I had met the LSUS team here at a conference and they had mentioned that they had a position open. I was at LSUA at that time. I was looking at a change of environment and location,” Wimbley said.
She wanted to move from Alexandria and this led to her applying for the position.
“It was along the lines of what I was doing, so it was a very smooth transition once the job became mine”, she added. She has always loved the campus environment.
Wimbley mentioned that LSUS has the feeling of being small and family-oriented, like other campuses she has worked for. She expressed her love for the college campus environment.
“I’ve always loved the campus environment. Most of all my professional positions have been on a college campus, so I love the college campus,” Wimbley said.
One thing she did not know is that she would have an impact on the lives of students. She has had many students come back to thank her for the acts of kindness she has given. Wimbley feels that her biggest accomplishment is seeing students from the time they enter the door until they walk across the stage.
Jenessa Premus, financial aid student worker, mentioned that Wimbley’s compassion and kindness are some of her best qualities.
“[She] has taught me life skills that I will take with me on my future endeavors. Every day I can learn something from her, whether it be from watching how [she] interacts with students or the manner in which she takes on each challenging task given to her,” Premus said.
“She has taught me the value of hard work, the importance of empathy, and to appreciate the opportunity to serve others, in this case, in the financial aid office,” Premus added.
Premus admires Wimbley’s selflessness, charisma and passion. She mentioned that working with Wimbley is a great experience.
Wimbley’s sense of compassion has been something she has expressed more over her time working. She believes that this job teaches you to be patient and humble.
“I think you just never know a person’s life experiences that has gotten them to the point that they find themselves in. So I think it has taught me to be appreciative, compassionate, or to have a little bit more compassion,” Wimbley said.
The toughest part about her job is delivering bad news to students. Telling students that they are not eligible or that they do not meet academic standards is her least favorite part of the job.
“The advice that I would give them is to take their education and their learning serious. Believe it or not, it is going to help to shape what their future can be [and] is going to be,” Wimbley said. She reflected on students who find themselves in academic trouble.
Wimbley believes that when students come to college they have to make it a priority to follow through.
“If they’re going to come to college, make that a priority, follow it through, complete that degree so that they have some say in what career path they want to go by and not be forced into one because they don’t have the credentials or career set,” Wimbley continued.
Wimbley expressed her love for her coworkers. She described how much of a team they are.
“I think we are a team and because we spend so much time with each other I view us as a family,” Wimbley said. She knows that each counselor would stop and listen, if needed.
Mesha Small, of Financial Aid, described Wimbley and professional and outgoing with a big heart.
“I would say she is very outgoing when it comes to her job. She is very professional. She always looks in the best interest of a student and she is always going to go above and beyond to help a student. She has a big heart,” Small said.
In Wimbley’s free time she enjoys spending time with her son. She tries to spend as much time with her family as she can when able. For her, it’s the small things that count.
If you want to sit and talk with Wimbley, or just say hi, you can find her in the Financial Aid office. You too may see her use of the golden rule and positivity shine through.
“Treat people as you want to be treated. I think that’s the golden rule. If you can help, help,” Wimbley said.