CDC information regarding the Zika Virus

Recently, there have been several documented cases of Zika virus in infants born with microcephaly (abnormally small heads) in Brazil. This has warranted the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to issue a travel alert to regions with Zika virus outbreaks, including parts of South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Samoa, and Cape Verde. Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant are advised to postpone travel to areas with Zika virus transmission. Travelers should also take precaution to prevent mosquito bites.

To date, there have been no local cases of Zika virus, nor any originating in the continental United States, but there have been some cases among returning travelers. According to the CDC, with the recent outbreaks and the number of cases increasing among travelers returning the United States, it is difficult to determine how widely the virus will spread.

Zika Virus is a mosquito-borne virus transmitted via mosquito bites.  It is estimated that 80 percent of those infected with Zika virus are without symptoms. Symptomatic disease is usually mild and symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). There is currently no vaccine or other preventative medication for Zika virus. For more information, see the CDC page on Zika virus.

University Health Services will continue to monitor the status of this situation.

Safe Zone Training

Attending these workshops is your path to becoming a formal member of UMBC’s SafeZone network of allies! Both those who do and do not identify as LGBTQ themselves are encouraged to attend.

  • February 23 or April 5: Session I in the SafeZone lineup provides a greater level of understanding of LGBTQ terminology and builds awareness of LGBTQ communities.
  • March 1 or April 12: Session II in the SafeZone lineup focuses on building allyship and prepares participants to join UMBC’s formal network of SafeZone allies.

Register at: www.tinyurl.com/SafeZoneUMBC

Contact Joe Levin Manning at lgbtq@umbc.edu with questions.

UMBC Suits You: Professional Clothing Closet Drive (2/22 – 3/9)

“UMBC Suits You” is collecting new and gently used professional clothing as part of Career Crush in April.

Students will have the opportunity to learn about dressing professionally and will then be able to select one free outfit to use in their job search. We are asking staff to donate new and gently used professional clothing at collection bins around campus from February 22nd – March 9th.

Starting February 22, Professional Clothing can be dropped off at the following on-campus locations:

  • Career Center, Math/Psych 212: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Mon-Fri)
  • The Women’s Center, The Commons: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Mon-Thurs), 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Fri)
  • Campus Information Center, The Commons: 7:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. (Mon-Fri), 10 am – 8 p.m. (Sat- Sun)
  • Residential Life Office, Erickson Hall: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Mon-Fri)
  • Center for Women in Technology (CWIT) Office, ITE452: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Mon-Fri)
  • Human Resources, Administration Building 5th floor: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Mon-Fri)
  • Performing Art & Humanities Building, Box Office: 7:30 a.m. – 8 pm (Mon-Fri)
  • The Shriver Center, Public Policy Building: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Mon-Fri)
  • Alumni House: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Mon-Fri)

UMBC Alumni and Community Members are encouraged to drop off donations at some of our neighborhood locations:

  • Alumni House: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Mon-Fri)
  • UMBC Training Centers: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Mon-Fri)
  • bwtech@UMBC (Cyber Incubator): 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Mon-Fri)
  • bwtech@UMBC (South Campus): 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Mon-Fri)
  • Baltimore County Public Library- Arbutus 9:00 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Mon-Thurs), 9 am–5:30 pm (Fri-Sat), 1 pm – 5 pm (Sun)
  • Performing Art & Humanities Building, Box Office: 7:30 a.m.–8 pm (Mon-Fri)

Items that will be accepted: dresses, shell tops, button-up shirts and blouses, skirts, blazers, dress pants, garment bags, belts, ties, skirt suits and suits.

Items that will NOT be accepted: jewelry, handbags, shoes, and general accessories.

For more information on accepted items, check out our myUMBC post.

Clothing donations will be used to benefit UMBC students and will not be considered as gift-in-kind or donation to UMBC. Clothing donations are not eligible for a tax-deductible receipt. Any leftover clothing will be donated to local non-profits, Suited to Succeed and the Franciscan Center’s Attire 4 Hire program.

Special thanks to T. Rowe Price and ZIPS Dry Cleaning for partnering with us once again on this endeavor.

Any questions or concerns about this project can be addressed to Kate Atchison, Career Center, kphelps@umbc.edu, 410-455-2216.

Navigating SkillSoft Practice Sessions

Do you want to enhance your knowledge and skills but just can’t find the time?  Are you intimidated by SkillSoft and don’t know where to start?  Join us as we delve into all that SkillSoft has to offer you for your development!

SkillSoft e-Learning at UMBC provides faculty and staff with online courseware to enhance and grow professional and personal development skills and expertise.  In this 1.5 hour session, you will learn basic navigation and how to search for courses, participate in a short group video course featuring a different common-place business issue each month and discuss suggested strategies learned.  These sessions will also include dedicated time each session for staff to take individual SkillSoft modules, exploring and learning important skills and expertise needed for success at work and beyond.

Sessions will be offered monthly on Fridays from 10:00-11:30 a.m. in Engineering, Room 025 on the following dates: 10/16, 11/13, 12/11, 1/22, 2/19, 3/18, 4/29, and 6/10.

For a SkillSoft Demo, FAQ’s and a Quick Start Guide go to www.umbc.edu/skillsoft.

Space is limited! Register for each above date separately in the myUMBC training group: http://www.umbc.edu/training.

Shared Services Centers (SSC) Town Hall Meeting (2/16)

Join us at our next Shared Services Centers Town Hall on February 16, 2016 in UC312 at 10 a.m. to discuss updates, reactions, and metrics of our first two SSCs. Main discussion points include:

  • Update on the first six months of operations for each of the new SSCs (AAOU and CNMS)
  • Data from the new RT ticketing system being used by the departments and SSCs to submit and track requests.
  • Staff reactions to the services being delivered.
  • Results and updates of the new TAP (Toolkit for Administrative Professionals) website – your single source for information on administrative tasks at UMBC
  • Update on Phase II planning – who is next?

We will also engage in open public dialogue, giving the UMBC Community an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.

Changes to the State Wellness Program

On January 19, 2016 the State of Maryland issued a press release regarding major changes to the State Wellness Program. As you may recall, the State Wellness Program was implemented in 2015 in an effort to keep healthcare premiums low for state employees, while improving overall health. Since then, the State has recognized the challenges associated with the program and has made significant changes that will address employee concerns and still promote engagement with the medical providers. Here is an overview of the changes:

  • The surcharges have been eliminated for 2016 and 2017 regardless of whether the member completed his or her wellness activities.
  • Those who completed the 2015 healthy activities do not have to complete them again in 2016; the $0 copay for all Primary Care Provider (PCP) office visits (including sick visits) will continue through December 31, 2016.
  • Engagement in disease management is not required. Members can engage voluntarily.
  • Age/gender appropriate screenings are not required; however, members are encouraged to complete these voluntarily.
  • Those who did not complete the healthy activities in 2015 may complete them now in 2016 and begin enjoying the $0 PCP copays once they are completed.
  • The New “Healthy Activities” for 2016 are:
    • Select a PCP
    • Complete either the medical plan’s health risk assessment OR the State health risk assessment
    • Have your Physician complete the Provider Notification Form

We want to sincerely thank our UMBC employees for their patience and feedback during the first year of this program. The changes outlined above are the result of your feedback and that of other State of Maryland employees and were adopted as positive incentives for people to use the resources offered by the plans in order to maintain, or improve, overall quality of life. If you have not yet taken advantage of the free copays, you still have time to do the activities outlined above.

If you need more information please visit the State of Maryland Wellness Program website to view the FAQ. If you have questions please contact Human Resources, 410-455-2337 or hrbenefits@umbc.edu.

Operation of Drones on Campus Prohibited

A message from Michael Pound, Director, Environmental Safety and Health:

Due to the current FAA Regulations and safety concerns regarding UAS/UAV/drone operations, UMBC is unable to permit the operation of any UAS/UAV/drone on campus, either for research or recreation, as we are within BWI Airport Class B airspace and the restricted flight area of Washington, D.C.

We are working to locate other possible areas in which flight may be permitted, and we encourage members of the UMBC research community to contact Environmental Safety and Health for assistance with their research-related flight requests. The Office of Research Protections and Compliance can also provide support with the processing of these requests.

Unmanned aircraft are becoming increasingly popular, but have sparked concerns due to privacy, security, and safety issues. All drones of any size now require approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, though many expect FAA rules will continue to evolve.

The University of Maryland Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Test Site offers researchers, students, government, and industry access to extensive resources and pools of expertise in every aspect of UAS research. For more information, please refer to the documentation below:

If you have any questions, or would like more information concerning Drone/UAS/UAV safety, please contact Environmental Safety and Health at 410-455-2918 or esh@umbc.edu.