July 2016

Carolina Blood Drive exceeds goal in latest collection

The Carolina Blood Committee thanks the Carolina community for your outpouring of support at the annual Carolina Blood Drive. Because of your generosity, this year’s blood drive collected a goal-breaking 842 pints of lifesaving blood. These 842 pints helped UNC top 25,000 pints collected since 1988. More than 75 volunteers gave over 300 volunteer hours, and approximately 200 Red Cross staff members made the blood drive a smooth and positive experience for donors. 

Photograph by Jon Gardiner. Courtesy of UNC Multimedia Library.

Three forum delegates honored with Kay W. Hovious Awards

Arlene Medder (Auxilary Services), Clare Counihan (Carolina Women's Center) and Samara Reynolds (formerly Career Services) were honored with Kay W. Hovious Awards for outstanding service to the Employee Forum at its June meeting. Medder has served as a liaison to the Carolina Campus Community Garden and has improved publicity and volunteer recruitment for the garden. Counihan and Reynolds have served on the Education and Career Development Committee. Reynolds organized the first Careers in Higher Education mini-conference, a well-attended event that offered perspectives on working in higher education for students and others interested in building their careers in a university setting. Counihan regularly contributes to the Career Corner monthly column, forum communications and advocacy. 

Photograph: Counihan (left) and Medder (right) hold Kay W. Hovious Award plaques. Courtesy of Charles Streeter.

Gazette covers forum meeting; changes to overtime eligibility

The latest version of the University Gazette covers the last full Employee Forum meeting discussions, staff award winners and recent changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

According to Linc Butler, associate vice chancellor for human resources, the Office of Human Resources will release more information regarding the latest Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) changes in the University Gazette. In the meantime, if you have specific questions about how the changes might apply to your position, please contact your HR representative.

Community Garden seeks more summer volunteers

The Carolina Campus Community Garden invites staff to attend volunteer days throughout the summer on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays. Community Service Leave (CSL) can be used to participate in work days with the permission of your supervisor during your regularly scheduled work hours. Be sure to check the work day calendar before heading out to the garden to volunteer.

The garden has been very productive this summer. Last week, volunteers distributed 130 pounds of food to 24 second-shift housekeepers. Photograph below courtesy of Claire Lorch.



State Health Plan changes announced

The State Health Plan’s Board of Trustees approved the changes for the 2017 benefit year that include increases in the annual deductible for the Enhanced 80/20 and Traditional 70/30 plans. There were no changes to the Consumer-Directed Health Plan. To learn more, visit the State Health Plan website.

New free resource available to Consumer-Directed Health Plan members 

A new resource is available for free to State Health Plan Consumer-Directed Health Plan (CDHP) members. RivalHealth is a fitness-based wellness tool that engages members with daily exercise and nutrition activities designed especially for you. The resource is also available to Wellness Champion work sites. Visit the RivalHealth enrollment page to register.

Summer Safe Zone trainings available for staff

Safe Zone creates a network of community and campus staff, faculty and students to support people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions on campus. Upcoming sessions will be held on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 from 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. (open to all community members) or Tuesday, August 9, 2016 from 1:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m. (faculty/staff only). Please register on the LGBTQ Center's website and contact the Center at lgbtq@unc.edu for more information. Participating in Safe Zone training counts as paid work time.

Take yoga or tai chi classes at the Ackland

Enjoy an hour of meditative movement surrounded by art in the Ackland's galleries. Yoga and Tai Chi will be offered all summer long! These classes are free to Ackland members or $5 per session for everyone else. Learn more about these programs and sign up here.

Library and ITS co-sponsor SkillfUL series

Ready to get a head start on your web presence this summer? Want to give your resume an update? The R.B. House Undergraduate Library is putting on a series of free drop-in workshops to teach you these things and more! All classes will meet in Undergraduate Library Room 124 from 12-1 pm.

• Monday, June 27 — Create an ePortfolio with WordPress

• Wednesday, June 29 — Build a UNC-branded Website: Use the Heelium WordPress Theme

• Monday, July 11 — Design a Flyer in Photoshop

• Monday, July 18 — Make Your Resume Stand Out with InDesign

• Monday, July 25 — Build a UNC-branded Website: Use the Heelium WordPress Theme

No registration is required. General computer skills are required, but you do not need specialized prior knowledge. We have lab computers for you to use, but also feel free to bring your laptop. If you have any questions, please contact Meggie at meggiel@live.unc,.edu.

Departments invited to participate in FallFest

FallFest has become an integral part of student life at Carolina. As a long-standing tradition, the initiative provides an engaging, safe, and alcohol-free event to all students after New Student Convocation. The night consists of an involvement fair, information tables, demonstrations, competitions, performances, and lots of free food and prizes. Departments are invited to participate by becoming sponsors or tabling at the event. More information is available on the FallFest website.

State Health Plan 101 webinar to focus on maximizing benefits

The State Health Plan has launched a “State Health Plan 101” monthly series of webinars to help active members make the most of their benefits. The next webinar, “Understanding Your Health and Wellness Benefits,” will be held July 12 and July 19 at 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Learn how to maximize your wellness benefits and save money during this free, one-hour online session. Attendees will also have a chance to ask questions during the webinar. Registration is limited, so sign up early to reserve a spot.


Community Service Leave spotlight

Becky Wilkes, GIS specialist at MEASURE Evaluation, used her community service leave to coach the Camelot Academic's FIRST Lego League Robotics team (named the Robfooxes).  She and her co-coaches also brought the team to the State FLL tournament at NC A&T University this past February. The Robofoxes built their own Lego Mindstorms programmable robot, with multiple attachments of their own design, which then had to be sent out to solve various challenges with Lego contraptions. They won a prize for their project presentation at the regional tournament, and their robot earned enough points to send them on to the state level tournament. Becky says thanks to "UNC’s generous program and my supervisor’s flexibility" for the opportunity!

Photo courtesy of Becky Wilkes.

Submit your story about community service leave

Have you utilized your community service leave? Send a picture and a short blurb (300 words or less) about your experience and what you've gained from using your leave, and we'll feature you here! Email submissions or questions to Kelli Raker at raker@email.unc.edu.


Forum book club

Join us for "Submission"

UNC Staff are invited to join the Employee Forum book club on June 30, 2016 from 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. at Bulls Head Book Shop. We will discuss the book Submission by Michel Houellebecq. The book can be purchased at a special discount online or in the store at Bulls Head Book Shop. Lunch will be provided with registration. http://tinyurl.com/jtuuqtz Please email employeeforum@unc.edu if you have …

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Join us for "The Seasons of Trouble"

UNC Staff are invited to join the Employee Forum book club on July 28, 2016 from 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. at Bulls Head Book Shop. We will discuss the book The Seasons of Trouble: Life Amid the Ruins of Sri Lanka's Civil War by Rohini Mohan. The book can be purchased at a special discount online or in the store at Bulls Head Book …

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Join us for "On Beauty"

UNC Staff are invited to join the Employee Forum book club on August 25, 2016 from 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. at Bulls Head Book Shop. We will discuss the book On Beauty by Zadie Smith. The book can be purchased at a special discount online or in the store at Bulls Head Book Shop. Lunch will be provided with registration. http://tinyurl.com/jgblft6 Please email employeeforum@unc.edu if …

Read more.

Join our online reading group on Goodreads and stay connected to other book club members between meetings, make recommendations for future selections and rate the books that we've selected. 


Tell us how we are doing

Do you like the new newsletter? Is there something we can improve? What content would you like to see in future issues? Email Katie Turner and Kelli Raker (co-editors) at intouch@unc.edu