Today@Sam Article

SMMC Director Named Financial Counselor Of The Year

Sept. 15, 2015
SHSU Media Contact: Tammy Parrett

Patsy CollinsFor many students, their first year of college is the first time in their lives that they are expected to be financially responsible. Without their parents there to guide them and encourage them to make the right decisions, the adjustment is often a struggle.

Sam Houston State University’s Student Money Management Center exists as a tool for those students, providing them with the unbiased education and tools they need to achieve financial independence.

Patsy Collins, director of the SMMC, was recently recognized as the 2015 Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education’s Counselor of the Year for the hard work and dedication she and her staff put into their work.

“We work tirelessly as a team to educate the students of Sam Houston about how financial principles such as personal budgeting and goal setting relate to their current spending habits and their various income streams,” said Collins. “We work with students to develop various strategies to pay for school and maximize their personal net worth by potentially reducing their debt in the form of student loans, payday loans and credit cards.”

Collins will be honored in November at the AFCPE Symposium in Jacksonville, Florida, where she will team up with Paul Goebel, senior director of the SMMC at the University of North Texas, to make a presentation on fraud, entitled “Bridging Research and Practice: Financial Fraud – Shattering the Illusion of Invulnerability.”

Anyone with money can become a victim of fraud, according to Collins. Her advice to students on avoiding fraud on a college campus is to keep belongings close, as wallets and computers can be used to further victimize the student by stealing their identity or private financial information.

In addition to her work with AFCPE, she recently contributed a chapter about how her team collaborates and engages students in learning about financial literacy for a book that will be published later this year, entitled “Financial Literacy Education: Addressing Student, Business, & Government Needs.” 

Collins, an SHSU alumna, received her bachelor’s degree in business administration, with an emphasis on management and economics, in 1981 and her master’s degree in higher education administration in 2013. Prior to her return to SHSU, she worked as an accountant and a risk manager in the energy industry. She then worked for the Financial Aid Department at SHSU before becoming the director of the SMMC.

“I think the combination of my education and these career fields have given me some unique skills that enable me to lead the Student Money Management Center and the students of SHSU,” she said.

“This award from my peers at AFCPE is such a great honor,” said Collins. “The AFCPE is devoted to continually educating the professionals in our fields so we can provide the best possible financial advice to our clients.”

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