In short, Tim Blank is “the bill man” for Emerson’s 4,000+ students. His main role as assistant director of student accounts is to handle the College’s student billing process. Bills, which are created and managed in Banner and TouchNet, are sent out three times per year, before the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
Blank collaborates with a number of departments to ensure that the bill for each student is correct. He works very closely with Financial Aid regarding financial aid awards and with Housing and Residence Life regarding room and board costs. He also works with Education Abroad and Domestic Programs to make sure that students who study off campus are billed properly. He consults with Admission to ensure that enrollment deposits are processed correctly and that incoming students are billed properly. And he also works with Administration and Finance on the back end of the billing process.
Blank looks over the payments that his office receives each day, reconciling them and sending them to be deposited. He also troubleshoots students’ questions and sends out billing notifications and reminders. He oversees the processing of refunds for students who have extra money in their accounts, which is often used for living expenses.
Blank is also the administrator of the student health insurance program. According to state law, students who have full-time status are required to have health insurance coverage, either privately or through the College. Blank oversees the health insurance waiver process and works with Aetna, the College’s provider, on ensuring that students are properly enrolled into the plan.
Blank started his Emerson career as a counselor at the Student Service Center in 2013. When the center dissolved in 2014, he moved to Student Accounts. He notes “fun students and colleagues” as one of the reasons he enjoys working at Emerson. He likes that many of his colleagues share similar interests and are friends outside of work.
He is also grateful to have the “full experience” of being a staff member and a student. He is enrolled in the human resources track of the Communication Management graduate program and hopes to graduate next spring. He is particularly grateful to work for and attend a school that offers a challenging and well-rounded education.
Blank attended Providence College for his undergraduate education and graduated with a degree in psychology. He started his professional career as a mental health counselor at a community health agency in Rhode Island. His main responsibility was to assist patients in finding recovery through helping them find employment.
He used this experience to transfer to the higher education industry and worked in the Career Services Department at two colleges before coming to Emerson.
Blank has a busy personal life. He sings in a local chorus and plays all of the woodwind instruments. One of his greatest passions is board games. He is an active member of the Boston game-design community and started a small business called Gameworthy Labs. He ran a successful Kickstarter campaign in the spring to get his first board game manufactured. Oh My Gods! is currently at the printer. This past fall, he was one of the directors of the Boston Festival of Indie Games, New England’s largest indie game convention.
A native of Warren, Rhode Island, Blank currently lives in Braintree, Massachusetts. He is the youngest of 12 and has one cat, Zelpuz (named for a type of card in the board game Cranium). Needless to say, he is looking forward to a very festive holiday season!
Nancy Howell (Creative Services)