June 1st, 2020 Edition

HR NEWS - June 1st Edition



Something To Think About: Mental Wellness


If there has ever been a time to think about your mental well being.  This is it. The pandemic environment, plus the uncertainty of so many future activities has been compounded by a week of intense community unrest and violence.

What are you feeling? Can you name it?  Do you know what type of action or support will be helpful to you today?  As we grow our emotional intelligence, we get better and better at finding the language that gives expression to a sensation or emotional response.  Having the language for how we feel, enables us to begin regulating and making choices that serve our wellbeing.

We encourage all staff, and all departments to spend a little time this week just checking in on the emotional level.  Whether it be one-on-one or within your department as a group.  Without there being a right way or a wrong way to feel, can we hold space for the many different things any one of us might be experiencing?

To support this theme of Mental Wellness, we are excited to announce a great new benefit for Kaiser members.  Kaiser has provided an annual subscription (value $69.95) to the app CALM.  It’s a fantastic resource with thousands of mental fitness talks, sleep stories, music, guided visualizations, meditations and more.  Anyone, who might not be a Kaiser member,  can try CALM for free for 7 days too. For the Kaise members, get Calm now at

News & Updates

The College will be supporting an SMC Week of Staff Recognition next week, beginning June 8th.  During this week individuals and department leaders are encouraged to take their own action in recognizing and celebrating those you work with and rely upon for your work.

There will be Departmental Staff Recognition Events on Wednesday June 10th & Thursday June 11th.  Staff are encouraged to join with their department, but if you are not able to do so, feel free to join any meeting.  Staff celebrating 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 & 35 years will be celebrated along with general messages about our work as a staff this academic year.

The schedules and Zoom links are as follows:

Staff Celebration #1: Wednesday, June 10th, 10am

Student Life, Business Office, Public Safety, Human Resources, Facilities, President’s Office, Mission & Mission & Ministry

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 951 0166 1670

Staff Celebration #2: Thursday, June 11th, 10am

IT, Advancement, Athletics, Enrollment & Communications, Registrar, Admissions, Financial Aid and College Communications

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 941 3016 3932


Staff Celebration #3:Thursday, June 11th, 1pm

Academic Affairs, Academic Programs & Planning, Library/Museum, Student Success (SEAS coaches, HP, CPSC and KSOE, SEBA, SOS & SOLA-specific staff

 Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 961 7434 6052


The week will conclude with an End of the Year Staff Celebration, held Friday June 12th @ 3:00pm via Zoom for all staff and an announcement and celebration of Staff Distinction Award Winners. The event will be hosted by Staff Council. Register for this event here to be entered to win raffle prizes!


Upcoming Events & Training


Wellness in the Workplace Webinar Series

Tuesday, June 2nd - 12-1PM - Conscious Eating

Led by Claudia Horwitz, Coach and Conscious Eating Practitioner

In stressful times, eating well and consciously can be a complex and tricky thing to do.  Give yourself a bit of support by showing up for this session and hearing some helpful stories, practices and tips about eating with greater consciousness.  Claudia Horwitz, coach and consultant to many social change leaders throughout the country, will lead this session as a master practitioner - down here in the weeds with the rest of us - offering what she has learned, as she has navigated the process of eating with greater consciousness.  You'll get even more benefit from this session if you pay compassionate attention to your own eating habits for a few days before.  This session will be part story, part information sharing and part practice.

Register here.


Reflecting on Work & Life Management During Shelter in Place as a Parent

Friday, June 5th, 10am

We know this time brings particular challenges for parents working at home with children home from school and other activities.  We are offering this session in an effort to support you to think about how you are managing through, and adjustments that may need to be made as you move into the summer months.  You can register for this session here.

Practicing Active Hope

Tuesday, June 16th - 12-1PM

Led by Karin McClelland, Director of the Mission and Ministry Center with a special guest.

Come be introduced to a practice that can help people connect to what’s happening, and land in a place of hope that can be restorative and life giving.

Register here.



Staff Spotlight on Facilities Services

The Facilities Services department has been hard at work during the pandemic.  While we have made efforts to honor the shelter in place, the nature of the work most of us do requires an on-campus presence.  The Facilities staff has been busy making repairs in residence hall rooms and other buildings, maintaining the campus grounds, including athletic fields, weed and brush abatement in preparation for fire season, and coordinating the packing, storing and shipping of student belongings.

We would like to recognize the following individuals from the maintenance staff who have been flexible and have been working hard to support mission critical services and maintain the physical property:

Mark Aguirre, Mark Allan, James Alesi, Brother Chris Donnelly, Jeff Eisenmann, Cesar Gallo, Russ Griffin, John Johnson, Fernando Ruiz, Jorge Gomez, Alfredo Gonzalez, Gerardo Gonzalez, Miguel Gonzalez, Scott Logan, Mike Mayo, Sean Peck, Shane Sealy, Nick Storr, and Jose Valera

Shane Sealy has worked on campus to supervise maintenance staff and coordinate activities.  He has been flexible, reliable and his leadership has been indispensable, particularly in times when the management team was off campus. 

Alexis Thomas has coordinated all of the packing, storing and shipping for student belongings (93 in all), so residence halls could be cleared.  This involved coordinating schedules for Zoom meetings between students, staff, Campus Housing and Residential Experience, tracking all the items, making sure they were either delivered to a storage room or shipped, and following up with all parties involved.  Trinka Courtemanche worked hard to procure supplies during this challenging time, enabling other staff to stay safe and to do the work that is needed.

Jennifer Weiland and Malia Medeiros (Meetings, Events and Conference Services) have demonstrated flexibility and outstanding customer service as MECS works with constituents to adjust their plans due to COVID-19. They have worked with internal and external clients to reschedule weddings, overnight conferences and single day events that people had put significant effort into planning. They have simultaneously been building new office manuals, improving the office's data management/reporting, devising a marketing plan and participating in extensive testing of the AdAstra software upgrade in partnership with the Registrar's Office and IT Services.

Thank you for all you are doing!