In his new role, Lucas will oversee all aspects of the college’s Financial Aid office, as well as heading scholarship distribution and the federal work study program. He said he is looking forward to helping students find the financial aid packages that work for them, utilizing both traditional and alternative options and tailoring those solutions for their individual needs.
“They have chosen this school for a reason, and I think it shows. They’re trying to meet deadlines, they try to understand, and they ask questions,” Lucas said of Trocaire students. “I want them to learn that we have options to help get the financial support they need, and that we’re always here to offer more insight on those other options.”
Lucas said he is looking to exploring further scholarship opportunities, as well as increasing student engagement with his office and finding out what they need. He wants to implement a more counseling-based, face-to-face approach to the financial aid application process.
“I sometimes tease that financial aid departments have become more of a document intake-type process,” he said. “We’re more focused on tasks—‘I need this, this and this to accomplish that.’ I want us to focus more on what does this mean, and what action is each student taking?”
A native of Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C., Lucas was most recently employed as the director of financial aid at Bryant & Stratton College’s Online Division. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from the University of Phoenix and will graduate with a Master of Science degree in public administration & justice studies from Southern New Hampshire University this year.
Currently, Lucas—a self-described “foodie” and lover of the outdoors—lives with his three-year-old boxer, Gunther, in the Elmwood Village area of Buffalo.
“It’s a great community, and it’s been a very welcoming community,” he said. “Before I moved here, I knew nothing of Buffalo besides Buffalo wings and Buffalo Bills. It was such a surprise to me—there’s so much more, the architecture, the history, the neighborhoods. I’m learning more every day.”
Lucas said the Trocaire family has also been a welcoming one.
“It’s been great to get to know the Trocaire community,” he said. “The great thing I’ve seen so far is such a great energy. There’s definitely a passion—everyone is very dedicated to the mission and values of Trocaire, and it shows. This is definitely a student-centric organization.”