LaQuey promoted to director of financial aid

PLAINVIEW - For the past eight years, Karen LaQuey has enjoyed working with students at Wayland Baptist University, serving in the office of student financial aid. But even after being promoted to Director of the office recently, she says none of that will change.

"My whole purpose for being here is my love of the students and desire to help them, and whatever capacity I'm in, that's my purpose," she said.

An employee at Wayland for the past eight years, LaQuey previously served as associate director under Bob Womack, who left the university in August. She began working in the office as scholarship coordinator, a position she held for two years before moving up.

The transition has been a fairly easy one, since as associate director, LaQuey was more than familiar with the inner workings of the financial aid process. But she does bring a few new goals to the office.

"I want the quality of customer service for our students and parents to be better," she said. "I think we have great service now, but I know it can be better. And we want to be able to improve the turnaround time on paperwork as well."

LaQuey applauded her staff for their work and said she knows with their support those goals can be achieved.

"I'm lucky to have a really good staff and we're all on the same page as far as what we want to accomplish for our students."

The job, of course, is not without challenges. Among the chief challenge, LaQuey said, is improving service and communication to Wayland's 12 other campuses. The Plainview office staff processes financial aid paperwork and questions for students throughout the entire WBU system, involving nearly 7,000 students. She has set a personal challenge to build stronger relationships with those campuses.

A native of Carlsbad, N.M., LaQuey has lived in Plainview since 1993. She has an associate's degree from New Mexico State University - Carlsbad and a Bachelor fo Science in Occupational Education from Wayland. She is currently working toward a Master of Arts in Management, which she hopes to complete next August.

LaQuey is married to Johnny, a contract welder, and has five children and six grandchildren.