Hope Dixon

University of San Diego, School of Law

A few things about me...

Educator Traveler AdventurerPublic Transport Queen DEI Advocate Reader Admitter of FailuresHiker Community Builder

My journey so far

I’ve had the opportunity to work for both a major student loan company and a healthcare organization and have an excellent understanding of how these complicated systems work, and how to explain them to others. I’ve spoken to thousands of people about their student loans, how they didn’t understand how the system works, and many didn’t even finish schooling, because of the personal struggles they were facing. Because of my work in student loan servicing, I really wanted to work in financial aid and try to be a part of the solution to the problems I was seeing. Working in higher education has been extremely rewarding and I feel lucky to have gotten to know so many amazing students and staff. Through my work in financial aid, I have worked with many international students, DACA students, and traditional and nontraditional students alike, from all paths. No student is the same, and all have their unique set of circumstances. During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, I worked with Penn State University as a Contact Tracing Team Supervisor. In this role, I was regularly dealing with escalated situations and student crises. Many students had mental health struggles with isolation and quarantine. Many students were struggling with the switch to online learning, especially our students who were also struggling with other physical and learning disabilities. The pandemic shined a light on the gap between what a student really needs to be truly successful and the resources currently available to them. In my current role, I work as part of a 7 person team at the University of San Diego, School of Law. We work in the Admissions and Financial Aid Office and I am on the team that creates and processes student financial aid offers and awards. We also complete all federal work-study hiring for the law school and offer to counsel students in financial need. I am particularly passionate about providing financial literacy education to students and helping them make smarter borrowing choices.

The best environment for me is:

time for deep work in the AMVirtual or in person collab time

Communication is really important in a team, Emails and messaging leave little room for dialog and creative collaboration. I think purposeful meetings for touching base, team building, brainstorming, and professional development are important and we have many tools available to have them in person or virtual. More voices at the table mean more ideas and better solutions.

Things that deeply motivate me…

Helping others ❤️Getting things done ✅Work to make the 🌎 a better placeBeing my most authentic self 🎨Learning as much as I can 🤓

I'm a mission-driven person who loves to learn. I truly believe education is the game changer when it comes to changing your socioeconomic level and as a first-generation student who struggled to get through, it's a value of mine to do what I can to prevent this suffering for others.

I like to get feedback when its given…

1:1emailface to facewith contextwith examplesweeklyI would love tools and suggestions.

How I relax

Goofing off with my roomies, sending postcards to friends, and adventuring.

My core values

AchievementAdventureCommunityFairnessLearningMeaningful WorkRespectService

Working with people with shared values and a shared mission makes me happy. I like helping people and sharing knowledge and feeling good about the work I do.

I learn best by…

doing itGuides for reference are the best!

I like processes that make sense. If something takes a really long time, I'm probably already trying to find a more efficient process for it. I like to ask questions about what I'm learning.

Epic work fails

Misapplied a big payment, it went to the Feds & took 3 weeks to get back!

Even when you think you're doing everything right, and you've got it, you are not infallible. I didn't believe I had truly made the error until my supervisor showed me what I had done. I applied it to their Federal loans rather than their commercial (FFELP loan). Double-check your work, and be open to the idea that you can make a mistake because we all do.

My areas for growth

Stays composed throughout conflict or difficult situationsWilling to openly have difficult conversations

I am a people pleaser by far and like to make everyone happy even though I logically know that can't always be the case, so I continue to work on having the tough conversations and still trying a way to turn them into a win.

How I stand out

Mentors and develops teammates for their growthCreates warm, caring relationships with teammatesStays true to own values with integrityMotivated by making community/world impactIntentional and strategic project planning

I expect a lot out of myself and am driven by a passion to help students succeed.

My Candor Graph

What does this graph mean?