Insights from Paul Goebel, 2018 Inceptia Ambassador
The Art of Learning

Inceptia was proud to be Platinum Sponsor for this year’s Higher Education Financial Wellness (HEFW) Summit. As part of our commitment to broadening the financial wellness discussion, we sponsored an essay contest to choose an Inceptia Ambassador, someone who would be a welcoming source of engagement for those both attending and observing the conference from afar. We were happy to have Paul Goebel fill that role; here are his thoughts on his HEFW experience.


Benjamin Franklin wisely observed, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” I saw these words come alive when I attended the 2018 Higher Education Financial Wellness Summit in Portland this July as Inceptia’s inaugural HEFW ambassador.


A Learning Community
Most presenters involved their audiences with some type of exercise or discussion. You could feel the energy and desire for learning among the attendees: many new to the field of personal financial education; others, seasoned professionals with several years of experience sharing their insights and expertise. And a growing number of colleagues like myself: becoming veteran elders with many more years of service to students. Regardless of their backgrounds, experience, institution type, or titles, every one of the 300+ attendees had one goal in common – to learn.


I believe one test of determining whether a conference program is comprehensive lies in the degree of difficulty attendees experience when selecting which sessions to attend. In Portland I heard from many fellow attendees how hard it was choosing one session over another.


Presenter Highlights
Another point of distinction for a conference program is having keynote speakers who genuinely engage their audiences with new ideas, different perspectives, and calls to action. The three keynote speakers (behavioral scientist, community college president, and a vice president for finance and administration) at this year’s summit introduced attendees to new and thought-provoking ideas and programming initiatives. Kudos to the HEFWA advisory Committee for planning another outstanding program.


Particularly popular in this year’s program was Dr. Sarah Newcomb’s keynote address. Dr. Newcomb is a behavioral economist with the Morningstar organization. She discussed her work in assimilating research findings within the field of behavioral science into tools for individuals and financial advisors.


I thoroughly enjoyed Emily Schwartz’s Just Budget Already! Using Motivational Psychology to Influence Students’ Money Behaviors session. I aspire to be a presenter like her. A great combination of knowledge, humor, and audience engagement. Wow.


This year I also had the opportunity to facilitate two sessions with colleagues I have not had the pleasure to work with in the past. I am proud that the summit offers opportunities to feature and highlight new professionals and their work. One lesson I apply to every conference I attend – whenever possible steal good ideas! I did just that, and came back to my campus with a bagful of good ones I stole from others.


You can now view a number of the sessions at


How was the experience of serving as Inceptia’s inaugural HEFW ambassador?
It was an honor and privilege...even though I was not given an official sash to wear! Seriously, I thoroughly enjoyed introducing others to the incredibly talented on-site team and the company’s financial education resources.


As an industry leader and innovator, I appreciate Inceptia’s efforts to continually focus on building a brighter financial world for students and schools. Being entrusted to provide on-site commentary through my limited Twitter skills was both frightening and fun.


A big shout out to Carissa and the entire Inceptia team for bestowing on me the honor of serving as the first in what I hope will become a very long line of HEFW ambassadors.


Inspired to attend the summit?
Planning has already begun for the 2019 Higher Education Financial Wellness Summit. The 2019 summit will be held at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN July 14-16, 2019. Registration is scheduled to go live on January 28, you've got some time.


One highpoint for the 2019 summit will be the introduction of a new student-centered program -- “The HEFW Student Experience.” A one-day student symposium that will be held prior to the summit. The event will bring students from around the country together to discuss financial wellness in the higher education world and engage in peer learning experiences.


Stay informed by visiting for updates and latest news. See y’all in Bloomington next July!


PAUL F GOEBEL MBA, CPFM is the founding and managing director of the Student Money Management Center at the University of North Texas. The center has received numerous national and institutional awards of excellence under his leadership. Paul and his team of professionals and student mentors have worked tirelessly to streamline all money management education services under the oversight of one dedicated office serving as a single entry point to eliminate frustrations and confusion among students seeking support, counsel, and resources. Paul was named Educator of the Year by two national associations and was selected to serve as Inceptia’s inaugural HEFW Ambassador.