Five Questions with Emily Baldwin

Emily Baldwin and her husband out hiking.This month’s employee profile features Emily Baldwin, assistant director of Federal Work-Study Programs in the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA). Learn about Emily’s background in sociology, her path to supporting hundreds of UGA students each year through the Federal Work-Study program, and some beautiful hiking destinations that you can add to your spring travel list.


Q – To start, can you tell us about your current role and responsibilities as assistant director of Federal Work-Study Programs?

A – As the assistant director of Federal Work-Study Programs, I manage all the FWS programs on and off-campus. Around 500 students each year participate in the FWS Program. I oversee around 75 on-campus partnering departments, 15 non-profit off-campus partners, two for-profit off-campus partners, and 11 partnering schools with our America Reads & Counts Tutoring Program at local elementary and middle schools. I am in charge of managing more than $1 million in Federal Student Aid funds, FWS awarding, training, compliance, payroll accounting, and reconciliation.

I also act as the Office of Student Financial Aid Peer Financial Counseling Program Coordinator, which is a program that utilizes peer-to-peer mentoring to help students manage their finances, increase their understanding of financial concepts, and provide resources and support to empower students to achieve long-term healthy financial habits by enhancing financial literacy.


Q – What was your career path like, and what led you to UGA and the Office of Financial Aid?

A – After graduating with a BA in Sociology, I worked in several areas in the field of social work, including juvenile diversion, mental health outreach, and service coordination for individuals with developmental disabilities. Upon moving to Georgia, I worked as a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act program counselor and managed grant funding for students who were dislocated workers or seeking occupational skills training.

I was not expecting to end up in the student financial aid field, but I am very happy to have found my career path now. I started as a financial aid advisor with OSFA, then moved up to a lead advisor, and I now act as the assistant director of the FWS Programs. At OSFA, I can utilize my transferable skills from the social work field when working with our UGA students and families. OSFA has given me unlimited professional development opportunities for growth and advancement, and I am now a nationally certified financial aid administrator. I hope to continue a career in the student financial aid field as an associate director or director in the future.


Q – Can you tell us about any projects you are working on now? What are some new programs or projects you are excited about that are coming up?

A – We are currently working on continuing to provide meaningful FWS job opportunities on and off-campus for eligible FWS students. We are also working to expand our America Reads & Counts tutoring program to add more literacy and math tutors from UGA to support our local elementary and middle school partnerships in Athens. In addition, our Peer Financial Counseling Program hopes to conduct additional financial literacy presentations and webinars in the upcoming year. Collectively, everyone at OSFA is also excited to expand our presence on campus with our satellite office at the Tate Student Center during the summer to further assist our students.



Emily Baldwin's painting of a large leaf.Q – What do you like to do outside of the office – are you involved in any organizations, or do you have any favorite hobbies?

A – I have been highly involved in our Georgia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators for the past few years on committees helping plan workshops and conferences for our financial aid colleagues across the state.

Outside of work, I love yoga, hiking, painting, and playing video games. My favorite places to hike are Rabun Bald and Tallulah Gorge State Park in north GA, Craggy Gardens Trail in Black Mountain, NC, and the trails here at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia.

My favorite video games of all time are all The Legend of Zelda games, the Dark Souls game series, Bloodborne, Elden Ring, and Stardew Valley.


Q – What is a fun fact about you that your coworkers might not know about you? 

A – I won a talent show by hula hooping to “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” by Dead or Alive. The talent show was for a summer church camp as a teenager. There were about 20 acts (my competitors were peers), and I was the only hula-hooper in that competition. But I may be willing to accept current challengers for a hula-hoop-off!

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