Ways to Get Involved with the UMBC Wellness Initiative

The Wellness Initiative was created in 2008 to support the health and well-being of each of our faculty, staff, and students. The Initiative focuses on providing programs, services, and information that support physical, mental, and emotional wellness for individuals, one-on-one relationships, and groups.

There are many ways to get involved with the Wellness Initiative at UMBC.  We have compiled a list that is available on our Wellness Initiative myUMBC Group.  Once you join, you’ll see the link on the homepage under ‘Documents.’

Please also visit our Wellness Initiative website for additional wellness resources, information, and support!

How to Be An Inspirational Leader (10/29)

Inspirational leaders somehow find a way to get more out of their people than would have seemed possible. They get great results while maintaining the engagement and excitement of their team.

Very few people are born with the charismatic leadership abilities that naturally drive those around them to dig deep to achieve their all-out best. But these skills can be learned. When you attend this facilitated Webinar, you’ll learn the strategies used by the most inspirational leaders of all time to ignite incredible performance from people, strategies like:

  • The secrets of motivation – what works and what doesn’t
  • Communicating your vision effectively to encourage buy-in
  • Simple motivation strategies that have a big effect on inspiration and morale
  • And more!

This workshop will be on Tuesday, October 29, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. in COMM 329.

This program is full. To be added to the wait list, contact hrtraining@umbc.edu.

Campus Child Care Center – Follow-up

This is a follow-up to keep the campus community informed regarding the unexpected closure of the Y Preschool Center at UMBC on Sept. 18 due to water damage and related safety considerations. There have been a number of questions about the center, and we would like to provide the campus community with additional information.

How has the closure impacted UMBC families using campus child care services?

The 18 UMBC families directly impacted by the closure faced a very difficult challenge in finding alternative arrangements for their children on such short notice. Individuals and offices throughout the campus stepped up to support affected parents and families, serving as points of contact to hear needs and concerns, and assisting with referrals to other campus offices, as needed. Human Resources was able to arrange for liberal leave policies to go into effect for employees unable to make it to work in the days following the closure. The Office of Undergraduate Education worked with students affected by the closure to address any short-term academic concerns.

On behalf of the campus, we would particularly like to thank Jess Myers, director of the Women’s Center, Fritze Charne-Merriweather, special assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs, Jarrett Kealey, assistant director in the Office of Undergraduate Education, and the Human Resources and The Women’s Center staff.

For anyone still facing concerns or challenges, please contact Fritze Charne-Merriweather at 410-455-2395 or charne@umbc.edu. The Women’s Center is located in The Commons, Room 004 and can be reached at 410-455-2714 or womens.center@umbc.edu.

When will we know more about the future of child care/preschool service on campus?

After the remaining materials in the center are removed (to be completed the week of Oct. 7), we will consult outside experts to determine the logistics and cost associated with repairing the damaged building, which will help us to determine the feasibility of the repairs. We anticipate a full report, including a cost estimate, by December.

UMBC values child care as an important part of supporting families and a good work-life balance. While the building evaluation is conducted, we will bring together a group of interested campus community members to explore the future of child care for the UMBC community. Anyone interested in participating in this discussion should contact Lynne Schaefer, lschaefer@umbc.edu.

Why wasn’t the problem found sooner?

The child care center situation was identified when staff in the center reported water damage on a portion of the drywall. Facilities Management then removed several feet of drywall to determine the cause.

UMBC has two methods for identifying water infiltration problems in buildings: visual inspection and self-reporting. As our building engineers and tradespersons perform work throughout the campus, they will take note of anything they see that may require further investigation. Occasionally, we receive calls from offices to report visible water damage. Unfortunately, with more than 4 million sq. ft. of building space on campus, these are the only feasible methods for identifying such occurrences. It is not advisable to perform destructive testing unless water damage is evident, visually.

We will continue to periodically report on this issue, as it evolves. In the meantime, if you have any questions, concerns or comments, please contact Lynne Schaefer, Vice President for Finance and Administration at lschaefer@umbc.edu.

President Hrabowski speaks about education and U.S. workforce on Education Nation panel

national_education_summit_logoUMBC President Freeman Hrabowski joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, former governor of Michigan John Engler and U.S. Manufacturing Council’s Mary Isbister to discuss the role of higher education in preparing the U.S. workforce for global competitiveness in a panel discussion at NBC News’ fourth annual Education Nation Summit.

The segment, What It Takes: Keeping Up with the Competition, Part II – Our Workforce, moderated by NBC NewsTODAY” co-anchor Matt Lauer, revolves around the recently released Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) report, which compares the skills and competencies of the adult workforce in 23 countries. According to the exam, Americans performed below the international average on math, reading and problem-solving.

“Scores will continue to go down until we bridge the gap between the haves and have nots,” said Dr. Hrabowski. “We need a new value system that it’s cool to be smart in America. We need to celebrate academics like we celebrate sports.”

The panel discussion was also covered by WBAL-TV in a story highlighting the disparity in test results between the U.S. and other nations. Dr. Hrabowski agreed with Sec. Arne Duncan that the growing “opportunity gap in our country” needs to be addressed. “We have so many, a large percentage, of our Americans who are from low-income families, who have not had an education and have not had the opportunity to learn to read and think critically,” Hrabowski said.

The Education Nation Summit brings together more than 300 of the country’s top thought leaders and influencers in education, government, business, philanthropy and media to discuss the relationship between education and opportunity – helping to engage the U.S. in an unprecedented discussion about how to improve education and prepare our youth for the jobs of the future.

BreakingGround lunch invitation (11/1)

BreakingGround organizers have heard from faculty interested in integrating civic engagement into their courses and research that it would be helpful to have a forum to share ideas, ask questions and build connections with other faculty doing similar work.

BreakingGround Lunch Meeting
Friday, November 1
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Dresher Center Conference Room
Performing Arts and Humanities Building (2nd floor)
Lunch served

Please RSVP to delana1@umbc.edu if you are interested in attending.

In addition to providing a chance for open conversation and Q&A, this lunch is an opportunity for faculty and staff who are attending the Imagining America Conference at Syracuse University to share what they learn from other universities about how to practice and enable publicly engaged scholarship.

October SkillSoft Topic of the Month: Performance Management Series

This series of courses outlines the five phases of a performance management system: planning, monitoring, improving, reviewing, and rewarding. You will also learn how to monitor and improve your employees’ performance using a four-step process that covers setting targets, collecting the necessary information, analyzing that information, and responding to performance gaps that appear, and how to rate employee performance objectively by applying a five-category rating scale. The series provides strategies to prepare yourself and your employee for an annual appraisal meeting, instructs you in how to conduct such a meeting, and gives you an opportunity to practice. Finally, it outlines some principles for developing effective rewards and presents a technique you can use to link compensation to different levels of performance.

  • Planning for Performance: mgmt_37_a01_bs_enus
  • Monitoring and Improving Performance: mgmt_37_a02_bs_enus
  • Reviewing and Rewarding Performance: mgmt_37_a03_bs_enus

Visit the UMBC SkillSoft website for a Quick Start Guide, FAQs, and the link to log in to SkillPort.

For more information about the Business Exploration Series courseware, click here.

To schedule a department presentation about using SkillSoft for professional development, call ext. 5-6262 or hrtraining@umbc.edu.

Recently Hired Staff

Please join the Department of Human Resources in welcoming our recently hired staff:

  • Colleen Marquart, Academic & Advising
  • Gabrielle Buzgo, Undergraduate Admissions
  • Erin Minnigh, English
  • Renee Angelo, Shriver Center
  • Allison Mohler, Shriver Center
  • Gerald Lacher, Facilities Management Central Plant
  • Emily Blatter, Shriver Center
  • Dorothy Sheu, MIPAR
  • Andrea McMillen, College of Natural & Mathematical Sciences
  • Bryan Rossi, MIPAR
  • Katharine Scrivener, Office of Marketing & Creative Services
  • Geneen Godsey, Shriver Center
  • John Roemer, Campus Card
  • Maritza Webb, The Hilltop Institute

Presidential Teaching and Research Professor Nominations

The 2013-14 Presidential Teaching and Research Professor nomination materials were recently distributed across campus. Nominations should be forwarded to the Office of the Provost no later than December 2, 2013.

A copy of Dr. Hrabowski’s letter and appropriate guidelines can be found on the Provost’s website under Resources for Faculty and Staff. If you have any questions concerning these awards, please contact Jerilyn Johnson in the Provost’s Office at 410-455-2333.