Sandy McDaniels: Decades of Support at Jackson College

Sandy McDaniels started at Jackson College in 1980 fresh out of high school. 

Sandy McDaniels retires after 40 years of service

 “A couple days later I started going to classes and working in the financial aid office,” she said. 

 She graduated from Jackson College in 1982 and seamlessly transitioned into the role of secretary to the director of financial aid.  

 “I liked the work I was doing as a student employee and then it just seemed like a natural progression to keep on doing that same job because the secretary happened to quit right when I graduated and just seemed like perfect timing,” she said. 

 Over the span of 42 years, Sandy has been part of numerous transformations within Jackson College. 

 “Things used to be very manual. Like award letters, they were hand typed on carbonless copy paper two pages long with just stacks and stacks of folders.” 

 She has held a couple of different titles in financial aid throughout her time including financial aid technician and financial aid coordinator. Her main responsibility working with student loan program. Her primary focus has always been assisting students. 

 “It’s just having them understand what you’re talking about and actually following through with things that gives you a good feeling. A lot of them are thankful,” McDaniels said. “Just helping students understand what they need to do and when that light bulb clicks on makes you feel good to know they’re getting it.” 

 According to Jackson College President Dan Phelan, Sandy has been an indispensable asset to the institution.  

 “Through the years she has adapted to numerous challenges and changes that come with technology and time,” he said. “She can teach and guide her fellow staff through complex situations and has an eye for detail. She is able to share her institutional history with others, helping them make informed decisions.” 

 And as she heads off into retirement, she says she’ll miss her colleagues the most. 

 “The biggest thing is the people I work with I’ve known a lot of them for a long time and they’re really good friends. That’s going to be the hardest part,” she said.  

 She says she doesn’t have any big plans for retirement and is looking forward to spending more time with family.  

“The best part will just be to have the extra time to do what I want but mainly spend time with family and grandsons who are around seven and nine,” she said. “They’ll definitely keep me busy.”