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Faculty & Staff Spotlights

Debra Sutliff


Deb SutliffHonors & Awards:

Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service
On Point for College Campus Angel Award
College Recognition for 30 Years of Service as of May 2018

What do you find most rewarding about your job and why?

The most rewarding part of my job is the satisfaction in knowing that I’ve assisted students and families with understanding and settling their College bills. Having an extensive knowledge of the financial aid process is a must for someone in my position, so that we can offer solutions for students. Even after thirty plus years on the job, I still work with many first generation college students, who are sometimes overwhelmed by the entire college process. Knowing how to settle the college bill on a timely basis can be a daunting task! I try to approach students and families with empathy and compassion on a daily basis. I keep something on my bulletin board from a conference several years ago, and it still holds true, especially in a position like mine: “We have rules and regulations that would make most people’s head spin. But underneath all of the stress and worry we carry from our personal and professional lives, is our fundamental belief that what we’re doing is making a difference in the lives of individuals, who without our help, might never find the resources to enrich and better their lives through a postsecondary education.”

What attracted you to Herkimer College?

The College had created the new position of Bursar in 1988, and I had recently moved to the area, having previously worked at SUNY Plattsburgh as a Financial Analyst. I felt the job would allow a perfect combination of being able to use accounting and finance skills, and contact with students on a daily basis. I was proven right, as my interaction with students, families, staff, and faculty has been a wonderful experience! I credit our long-standing President, Dr. Ronald Williams, for having the foresight to add that position to the College, and was thankful to be offered the role back in May of 1988.

What are your hobbies or interests outside of work?

Enjoy spending time with family. I am the youngest of six, and am fortunate to have a wonderful brother, four sisters and their families living within about 90 minutes of me. We get together frequently. I also have two daughters and a wonderful granddaughter, Madalynn. I enjoy travel, especially to warm climates, walking for exercise, and an occasional visit to a casino. I was fortunate enough to travel to Italy, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Florida, and Tennessee within the last few years.

What do you enjoy most about working at Herkimer College?

I am lucky to work with wonderful professionals on a daily basis, which includes all of the staff that I supervise – my Assistant Bursar, and three great senior account clerks. In addition, my supervisor, our College Controller, is terrific at her job! My daily interactions with our Financial Aid, Registrar, and Admissions Offices make driving up that hill every morning a pleasure even after all of this time!

What makes Herkimer unique or special compared to other colleges?

In addition to having a truly beautiful campus located in a valley that has breathtaking views, I believe as a small college, we (all faculty and staff) pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service. I think we truly have a supportive and close-knit campus community that is always willing to go the extra mile to help students succeed.

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