The Foreign Service Journal, October 2022

AFSA NEWS 60 OCTOBER 2022 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL Changes to Public Servant Loan Forgiveness In an Aug. 10 message to State Department employ- ees, Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources Brian McKeon highlighted important changes to the Public Servant Loan Forgive- ness (PSLF) program, avail- able to all federal employees, that may affect many AFSA members. Good news for those with federal student loans: The Department of Education recently made changes to the PSLF program, called the “Limited PSLF Waiver,” to help federal borrowers get their loans forgiven and pay off their loans faster. This waiver allows bor- rowers access to additional PSLF credit, even if they had been told previously that they had the wrong loan type or the wrong repayment plan. The Limited PSLF Waiver is only available until Oct. 31, 2022; learn more about it at Once you submit a PSLF form and qualify, you will start accruing credit toward PSLF. If you previously applied for PSLF, it’s a good Congratulations to the AAFSW & SOSA Award Winners idea to update your employ- ment certification. Those who applied and were subsequently denied because of the loan type are encouraged to apply again. Remember, you must take advantage of this Limited PSLF Waiver before Oct. 31, so please take immediate action to secure this tempo- rary benefit. n In early August, winners were announced for the 2022 Sec- retary of State Award for Outstanding VolunteerismAbroad (SOSA) and the Champions of Career Enhancement for Eligible Family Members (CCE-EFM) Award, both sponsored by Associ- ates of the American Foreign ServiceWorldwide (AAFSW), as well as DACOR’s Eleanor Dodson Tragen Award. Created in 1990 at the suggestion of Secretary of State James Baker and Mrs. Susan Baker, the SOSAAward recog- nizes remarkable volunteer efforts and is given for activities performed while posted to a U.S. mission. This year’s winners, hailing from five different geographic regions, are as follows: Justin Wimpey (EFM in Antananarivo, Madagascar) for his creation of a pressure cooker that reduces charcoal depen- dency for cooking, and his role in helping to establish a women- led business to distribute the pots across Madagascar. Denis Rajic (FSO), Michele Rajic Tang (EFM), Vicki Daniel (HRO), and Ellin R. Lobb (CLO) in Shanghai, China, for their work organizing wholesale food deliveries for U.S. direct-hire staff and families and local employees of Consulate General Shanghai during the COVID-19 lockdown. Meredith Wiedemer (EFM in Chisinau, Moldova) who opened the Sunflower Center to provide children’s program- ming, psychosocial support for mothers, and employment to Ukrainian women refugees. Debra Stock (EFM in Doha, Qatar) for her work fundrais- ing and organizing volunteers to receive nearly 60,000 Afghan evacuees at the Al Udeid Air Base. Jesus Carlos Valles (EFM in Port-au-Prince, Haiti) for his more than 1,000 volunteer hours at the Carpenter Training Center of the St. Luke Foundation for Haiti, where he taught at- risk young men to earn a living using machinery and carpentry tools. Honorable mentions: Sonia Carolina Torres López (EFM in Conakry, Guinea); Ling L.C. Conley (EFM in Beijing, China); Ondrej Hindl (EFM in Tbilisi, Georgia); John Wesley Kane (EFM in Tel Aviv, Israel); and Wiley W. Skaret (EFM in Bogotá, Colombia). The CCE-EFMAward was developed to recognize those who go above and beyond their job descriptions to expand and elevate job opportunities and long-term career enhancement for Foreign Service family members. Stephanie Anderson (EFM in Berlin, Germany) and Lauren Steed (EFM in Guangzhou, China) are this year’s joint winners for their work as creators and co-hosts of the podcast “Avail- ableWorldwide” and their virtual “FS Education and Lifelong Learning Expo” showcasing professional services offered by 35 EFM small businesses. The Eleanor Dodson Tragen Award, sponsored and adminis- tered by the DACOR Bacon House Foundation, honors a spouse or family member who has promoted rights, programs, and benefits for Foreign Service families, as did the late Mrs. Tragen. This year, DACOR selected Alison W. Davis (EFM in Coto- nou, Benin) to receive this award in recognition of her tireless advocacy work as chair of post’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. All awards will be presented to recipients at the annual AAFSWawards ceremony on Nov. 17, 2022. n