Notary course sponsorship to end

October 31, 2017

Due to cuts to the Employee Forum’s budget, the Forum will no longer sponsor the Notary Public Certification courses (either in person or online), effective Spring 2018. The Employee Forum has sponsored this class for several years, enabling employees to secure a notary public certification at no cost.

If employees are still interested in pursuing certification as a notary public, there are a number of options:

  • Durham Tech offers a full-day session at least two times per month for $95. More information can be found on their website.
  • Wake Tech offers frequent sessions each month (throughout different campuses) for $85. More information can be found on their website.
  • UNC’s Educational Assistance Program allows supervisors “to support academic activities that directly relate to the organization’s identified knowledge, skills, and behaviors (organizational competencies), and which support the mission, vision, and values of the organization.” The supervisor would apply to this program if having a notary public in the unit was directly related to the unit’s successful function.
  • Employees can use the Professional Development Grant to pay tuition if certification would benefit themselves but is not essential to their unit. The Forum will continue to offer the Professional Development Grant, which opens to accept applications on December 1, 2017 and on April 1, 2018. Grants are awarded on a first come, first serve basis.

If you have any questions, please contact Clare Counihan (clarecounihan[at]unc.edu), the chair of the Education and Career Development Committee, or Shayna Hill (Shayna_Hill[at]unc.edu), the Chair of the Employee Forum.

Shannon’s story: The importance of blood donation

May 31, 2017
Shannon and Marsden (Photo courtesy Shannon Harvey).

Shannon Harvey, an employee with UNC Global and delegate on the Employee Forum, understands first-hand the importance of blood donation. She and her husband Matthew welcomed their son, Marsden, into the world on February 27, 2017, at N.C. Women’s Hospital, after seven years of marriage. The joyous occasion was accompanied by a frightening complication, necessitating emergency surgery.

Shannon received a total of seven units of blood during the birth and subsequent surgeries. Surgeons estimated that she lost nearly her body’s full volume of blood during labor, an emergency which would have resulted in her death had there not been enough donated blood on hand. Blood donation agencies, like the American Red Cross, made it possible for Shannon’s story to have a happy ending. Mother and son are home in Chapel Hill now and recuperating well.

The experience left Shannon with a renewed sense of focus on the importance of blood donation, and she plans to work closely with the Carolina Blood Drive Committee upon her return from leave. “Give blood if you can, as often as you can,” she advises. “It’s entirely possible that you’re not just helping a stranger, but someone you know, a coworker or friend.”

The Employee Forum is glad that Shannon is healing well and looks forward to her return to her work and the Forum. We hope her experience inspires other UNC employees to give blood at the 29th Annual Carolina Blood Drive, which will take place on June 6 in the Dean E. Smith Center from 7:00am – 6:00pm. Your donation helps save lives.

Greenhouse is open

February 24, 2017

By Arlene Medder, former UNC Employee Forum Delegate

For quite a few years, Claire Lorch, manager of the North Carolina Botanical Garden’s Carolina Campus Community Garden (CCCG), wished for a greenhouse. A greenhouse would provide an opportunity to propagate a greater number and variety of plants based on cultural preferences and disease resistance, and she could involve volunteers in that process.

Distributing mature tomato plants is a CCCG tradition greatly appreciated by the Garden’s primary recipients, UNC housekeepers.  With a greenhouse, they can expand beyond tomatoes to other easy-to-grow vegetables that can be grown in containers or in a garden.  It is another way the CCCG can assist in providing nutritional food and encouraging healthy eating habits.

Thanks to funds from the student organization Renewable Energy Special Projects Committee (RECPC), a partnership with NC State School of Design faculty and students, and the efforts of architects and builders from Szostak Design, two solar consultants and others, her wish is now granted.  Construction of the greenhouse began in the summer of 2016.

The greenhouse, recently completed, will be in production very soon. CCCG will host a ribbon-cutting/reception/tour on April 21st. All those who contributed to this effort will attend and the public is invited to join in the celebration.