As most of you know, this year’s HECMA Roundtable will be in the beautiful Denver, CO. We touched base with some of our wonderful case managers who are involved in the planning and currently live in the area to get some ideas for things that you cannot miss during your down-time when you join us this year!
Don’t forget--May 30th is the last day to register for the roundtable! Visit www.hecmaconference.org to learn more and to register.
1. Red Rocks
Red Rocks has tons of things to do, from hiking to concerts, all while enjoying an amazing view! For those of you who love the outdoors this is the place for you.
2. Botanic Gardens
The Denver Botanic Gardens has tours, concerts, and a science pyramid. Take a stroll and enjoy the beautiful scenery during some of your down-time at the roundtable.
3. Rockies Game
Are you a sports fan? The Colorado Rockies will be playing home games at the tail end of the conference for those who want to enjoy some peanuts and Cracker Jacks!
4. Comedy Works
Comedy Works is located right near campus and hosts comedians both new and famous every night of the week.
5. Union Station
Union Station is a 100-year old historic landmark that houses shops, bars, and restaurants. They offer high-end food choices to those that are simple and quick and there is a beautiful “indie” bookstore for you readers visiting the area.
6. Elitch Gardens Theme Park
Do you love roller coasters and water rides? Then Elitch Gardens Theme Park is for you! There are thrill rides and family rides, so everyone should be able to find something that meets their comfort level.
7. Denver Art Museum
Current exhibitions include contemporary art and an upcoming Western exhibit just in time for the roundtable--tickets are only $13 and there is so much to see!
8. Denver Museum of Nature & Science
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science has an IMAX theater, planetarium, and there is currently an exciting new Vikings exhibit! For those of you going solo and those who may have family tagging along, this is a fun option to spend some of your free time.
9. Molly Brown House
According to its website, “Historic Denver’s Molly Brown House Museum is among the most visited historic sites in the state of Colorado, and one of only a handful of sites nationally dedicated to the interpretation of a woman’s story.” The cost is $11 for adults and $9 for teachers and educators, so bring along your university ID!
If there is one thing Denver is famous for, it is all of the amazing breweries! The city is frequently ranked as one of the top cities for craft beer--touch base with some of our amazing hosts at the roundtable and find out their favorite places to go and where you can get the hoppiest IPA or best hefeweizen around town.
5 REASONS TO ATTEND THE HECMA ROUNDTABLE
It is hard to believe, but the annual HECMA Roundtable is only 44 days away! On a personal note, attending the Roundtable has been one of the most impactful professional development opportunities in which I have participated. Whether you are a friend of HECMA, a new member, or a seasoned case management professional, we think there are many reasons to attend our annual event; here are 5:
1. Build your network
HECMA’s greatest strength is our membership. Whether you are communicating through the listserv or benefiting from the generosity of others through the library, we are an Association built on the work of many. It’s no secret that we are a small field, and spending time and learning from professionals who do similar work gives us the chance to meet, connect in person, forge relationships, and grow and develop our own professional practice.
2. Learn from national experts
HECMA is fortunate to have grown large enough to have the resources to host nationally recognized leaders in the fields of threat assessment, violence prevention, and case management. This year, Dr. Marisa Randazzo, a national expert on threat assessment and targeted violence, will provide our keynote. She previously served for ten years with the U.S. Secret Service as their Chief Research Psychologist, directing all Secret Service research on school shootings, insider threats, stalking, and other types of targeted violence. Additionally, this year representatives from Maxient and Advocate Symplicity will be present to share information about their platforms with interested parties, and NaBITA representatives will be there to present on their threat assessment tool, SIVRA-35, and to present a case law update on legal issues that impact our work. Where else will you find a such talented, experienced, and qualified group of experts all in one place to discuss topics that directly impact YOUR work?
3. Attend educational sessions
Your colleagues across the country are doing amazing work, and are willing to share it with you! This annual conference is the only one that focuses exclusively on case management, and presenters often share freely of their methods, resources, and example policies and procedures that you can take back and adapt on your own campus. The Roundtable also offers chances to connect more informally with presenters and other attendees, so you have ample opportunity to touch base with presenters at other times for more information or to establish a more personal relationship.
4. Explore a new city
Because the Roundtable location changes each year, there is always a chance to go somewhere new. The Roundtable committee makes a considerable effort to build both a comprehensive and robust schedule, while balancing opportunities for personal time to explore what our host city has to offer. Denver in particular boasts a wealth of attractions, shopping, and arts and culture activities available. You can explore some of these here: https://www.denver.org/things-to-do/
5. Reignite a passion for your work
And lastly, it’s nearing the end of our academic year. We are all tired, as are our students. It becomes easy to forget why we do this work in the first place. Attending the Roundtable is a time to focus on ourselves, our professional development, our skillset, and reignite a passion for our work.
There is still time to register for the annual conference and pre-conference sessions. For the five reasons above, and more, I hope you will consider joining us in Denver. For those of you who have attended before, what are your top reasons to attend the Roundtable? Please comment below!
Senior Assistant Dean of Students
Behavioral Intervention Team Case Manager
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
ASCA. A Natural Partner for HECMA
Some of you may know that Katherine Zilmer and I recently traveled to the ASCA Annual Conference in Jacksonville, FL, at the invitation of the organization. We were provided the opportunity to present about HECMA and the field of higher education case management as well as staff an exhibitor's information table about our fabulous organization. This opportunity grew from connections that we made via our CAS membership with initial conversations held with myself and Mackenzie Schiemann, and then moving things forward to our current partnership via Katherine Zilmer.
ASCA, for those of you who may not know, is the Association for Student Conduct Administration and you may have seen them on our twitter feed as @TheASCA. The following (from their website) aptly provides an overview and introduction to their work and purpose: "The Association for Student Conduct Administration (ASCA) is the leading voice for student conduct in higher education. ASCA and its members are dedicated to upholding the integrity of the student conduct process, resulting in the ability to build safer educational communities and positively impact the higher education experience."
We find that in many ways, our associations are traveling down paralleled paths and we hope you find that the same is true of your work with colleagues in student conduct on your campuses. The goal of providing an additional mechanism for individual and campus safety is inherent in the foundation on which higher education case management emerged. Our path to this goal is through a focus on interventions through the provision of resources, a growth in resiliency, and support of individual success- all with an eye on the difficult balance of student rights, campus safety, risk, and behavior mitigation. Student conduct is designed to ensure a safe and healthy campus community and a partnership between the two functional areas is vital to an institution's and students' wellbeing.
While at ASCA, Katherine and I met colleagues who were building or enhancing their behavior intervention / student concern / CARE teams and exploring case management positions. We got to chat with current, former, and future HECMAtes and we were proud to introduce many student conduct professionals to our field and our association. We look forward to representatives from ASCA joining us at our annual roundtable this June and for the opportunity to collaborate further in the future. We believe this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship and look forward to what is to come! In the comments, tell us how you work with student conduct colleagues at your institution!
Chair, Training & Professional Development
IS A HECMA LEADERSHIP TEAM ROLE RIGHT FOR YOU?
Spring has arrived and we have four positions up for re-election. If you have served on a committee or want to get further involved in shaping our field, consider putting your name on the ballot. Here are are a few more reasons why you run for an office:
Applications forLeadership Candidates are now being accepted. Voting starts soon!
CHECK OUT THIS LINK - HECMA 2017 ELECTIONS - FOR MORE INFORMATION !
When Jennifer Henkle reached out to ask me to write a blog on navigating professional life and working toward a doctorate degree, I laughed out loud. I couldn’t at that moment imagine what I would have to offer. But for the first time in two years, I really thought about my time in school.
If I could give three pieces of advice:
You can always come home. I joined the University of Tennessee in 2008 after having worked on an inpatient psych unit, a sexual assault center, and with international child protection. I remember my interview with the Vice Chancellor of Student Life like it was yesterday. He was discussing the role, expectations and the emerging field of Case Management. I was thinking to myself, even if I could pull this off for only a year, I would get a full week off at Christmas for the first time in my adult life. I took a deep breath, reminded myself of my mother’s mantra - you can always come home - and answered confidently that I could do the job (fingers crossed).
You will be 38 either way. Fast forward five years, two kids and more than a full time job as the Director of the Center for Health Education and Wellness. The University’s College of Social Work invited applications for the inaugural class of the Doctorate of Social Work Program. By now, I knew that I wanted to be in higher education. I knew to grow in higher education most positions required a terminal degree. I said to my mother, “I will be 38 when I finish.” She accurately replied, “You will be 38 either way.” Over the course of three years, there were times I doubted myself more than I ever have doubted myself. There were times that I thought I could not go one step further. There were days that I drank too much coffee and cried at my desk. But, I did it. I turned 38, got a doctorate and had a third baby within 4 months of each other.
You will need a team. So here is what I would tell you, if you are considering another degree, you can do it. Without doubt, if you are an effective Case Manager in Higher Education - you have the ability. AND you will need to ask for and accept help. Case Managers have a tendency to want to do and be everything. In fact, it is why we are good at our jobs. But this leap, will take a team. My colleagues proof read my papers. My supervisor brought two bean burritos with extra sour cream every Sunday at lunch to my office. My husband entertained, dressed and distracted our girls. My friends forgave me and loved me from afar when I had no time for a social life. My classmates inspired me, challenged me and became my second family. My mom made food, did laundry, and when I needed it reminded me why I made this commitment.
Congratulations on being at a place in your life where further education is possible.
Dr. Ashley Blamey works for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville as the Director of the Center for Health Education & Wellness and was the inaugural president of HECMA from 2012 to 2014.
Opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of HECMA. If you agree or disagree with the content of this post, we encourage you to engage in a respectful dialogue in the comment section below. HECMA reserves the right to remove any comment that is inaccurate or offensive.
If your students are anything like those I work with, they are more than likely attached to their devices and difficult to reach in person. The vast majority of our traditionally aged students belong to Generation Z, a cohort that has never known of a life without the Internet, smart devices, or social media. While this group of students is not very different from those considered “Millennials,” they are extremely motivated and the majority wish to obtain a university or advanced degree. Since beginning my role at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, I have had to get creative and find ways to effectively reach and support our students while also finding methods to keep my office current when it comes to technology. While many of you may have found creative ways of providing services, I wanted to share what I have learned with each of you. Thus, I present “Five Techy Resources for Higher Education Case Managers.”
1. Apps: I used to work at Apple as a family room specialist (code for person who repairs devices). As a result, I got used to keeping my eyes out for great, new apps that could help make my life easier. Our students are certainly smart when it comes to their devices and typically don’t need help finding the newest “thing”, however many may not have ever considered downloading apps that could contribute to their positive mental health.
One great app that exists for this purpose is Pacifica. Pacifica is a free app that offers tools for dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression and an online support network of other users. It’s CBT focused for those clinical folks out there!
Another app that I highly recommend is Headspace. Headspace focuses on mindfulness and helps teach the user in short increments. I tell students that even if they are incredibly busy, they can find ten minutes a day to do a session. It is free but you can pay a yearly subscription fee to gain access to more modules (though there are more than enough free ones that are great). I personally use this one regularly and adore it!
2. Online Crisis and Counseling Services: Like I said, our students have not lived in a world without smart devices. Many of the students I meet with express discomfort in the idea of talking to someone face-to-face in therapy or may even have telephone anxiety. One of the coolest resources out there is the Crisis Text Line. This resource, supported by the JED Foundation, allows individuals to text the word “START” to the number “741-741” and start talking to a live trained counselor for free 24/7.
Another online crisis tool is IMALIVE. It’s free resource for individuals to speak to a trained crisis counselor, however at this time it is only available during certain days and times of the week.
As for non-crisis resources, I used to volunteer for 7 Cups of Tea. This is another confidential and free online tool (that also has a rad app) for individuals to speak to a trained listener. It is not a tool for crisis help, but is great for our students who want someone to talk to but may be afraid to do so face-to-face.
3. Online Scheduling: I have discovered in my student outreach attempts that students are more likely to schedule and attend a meeting with me if they are able to set up their appointment via a website, rather than if they have to call. With that, I began using an online calendar tool to allow students the freedom to create appointments at their leisure. I personally use Calendly because it is free and works with Outlook (which is the platform my institution uses for email and calendar). Calendly permits you to create multiple appointment types, which is really helpful if the length of your appointment is based on the appointment type. Many of the advisors on our campus use SuperSaaS--this tool is convenient for students because they can sign up to get text message reminders, however there is a fee associated with the institution or individual who wants to use the service.
There are so many services out there and many work better with Google calendars specifically. I recommend doing a quick Google search or to ask for recommendations in the comments of this blog post!
4. Texting: Have any of you noticed that students rarely respond to emails or phone calls and nine times out of ten they don’t even have voicemail set up on their phone? I quickly discovered in this work that the best way of reaching a student quickly (especially if there is a concern and you cannot locate an emergency contact number) is to text message them. I use Google Voice, which allows me to set up a separate number that I can use to text and call students. I am able to turn on “Do Not Disturb” when I am not at work and all of my calls and messages (both text and voicemail) are saved in my email for documentation purposes later. The iOS app is great and makes it incredibly easy to text and make calls via that number on your cell phone. The Android app is a bit more cumbersome, but still easy to use. I love this tool so much that I have convinced most of our division to do the same! If you don’t want to try Google, AIM also allows you to text students free and anonymously.
5. Electronic Referral and Intake Forms: Chances are most of us already use online referral forms. If you don’t, I highly recommend it! I request that every referral come through this method, so if a professor or parent calls about a student of concern I listen and consult with them and then request that they fill out the form so that I can fully document the report as well as ensure it is in their words (you can find mine at www.utc.edu/studentofconcern). It is also helpful to talk to your IT department and see if you can have the form located at its own URL. As you can see, mine above is relatively easy to remember. However, when you click on it you can see that the full Maxient URL is far longer and more complicated. You are able to create referral forms in both Maxient and Advocate, but if you are using a different platform you may have to get creative! Think about creating a Google form if your particular software system doesn’t offer this feature.
Outside of the referral form, I use an online intake form which has significantly cut down on my paper use in the office. The intake form automatically creates a report for me with the student’s information in Maxient that I can then use to update their case notes, etc. (I did the same thing when our university used Advocate) Students appreciate that it seems somewhat advanced, especially when they use an iPad to fill it out as they wait. If you have any questions on how to develop your own, please feel free to reach out!
Have you found any other great resources? Share them in the comments or by emailing me at Jennifer.E.Henkle@gmail.com
Jennifer Henkle (she/her/hers) works for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga as the Assistant Dean of Students and Case Manager. Connect with her on Twitter: @jennifa1987 When she's not there, find her on her on Facebook or connect via LinkedIn.
Opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of HECMA. If you agree or disagree with the content of this post, we encourage you to engage in a respectful dialogue in the comment section below. HECMA reserves the right to remove any comment that is inaccurate or offensive.
A Fresh Look at Marketing for the New Year
Case Management can be a complex field and sometimes difficult to market to our surrounding community. Often, we face challenges such as lack of buy-in, budget, or manpower. Here at the University of Central Florida (UCF), our Care Management staff has put in hours, days, and years to get to the level of marketing that we have reached today. We have a smaller staff, started with a modestly low budget, and have grown leaps and bounds beyond where we’ve started. We provide non-clinical case management to over 700 students each academic year, and our numbers continue to grow. We also oversee a campus-wide caring initiative (UCF Cares) with a team of 20 student ambassadors to help spread the word about our support services. Here are some tips to remember for marketing your area and showing your institution what you’re all about! Our goal is to ensure that students don’t fall through the cracks and that our campus community has the knowledge and skill set to demonstrate care and comfortably make a referral to our services.
1. Stay Focused and Consistent: Make sure that your area or initiative has a specific mission and/or goals. Focus on communicating this clear and specific message to your community. What is your office name? What services do you provide? How can you be reached? Do you have a tagline that makes sense? Keep it simple.
Our staff visits as many academic or student affairs departments we can throughout the year. We do this annually to ensure they know our names and faces, what our area provides, and how we can work with them. We also make sure to be present at student and parent orientations, and often table regularly outside of our office with giveaways. We stick with the common theme logos, even if our content changes. Make sure to always put the logo on everything you create.
2. Partner: Never underestimate the power of a good partnership. Our office has teamed up with other leaders on our campus such as Housing and Residence Life, the Recreation and Wellness Center, Counseling, Health Services and more! These offices partner with us to make up our UCF Cares initiative team to provide programming and support for students. Because we all have the same goals for the safety and well-being of students, we share in a lot of things; programming efforts, marketing, services, and even monetary resources. We have been able to provide more programing and marketing materials by teaming up with other offices who generate their own funds because we share the workload and a common goal.
3. Increase your reach: Social media is your friend! We encourage everyone we meet to follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. We share valuable content such as scholarships, programs, university resources, job opportunities, and puppy pictures-everything you need as a college student. Our UCF Cares Ambassadors fill the gap with student to student outreach. They host educational and social events throughout the year to spread the word. We have also worked with students to create marketing videos for our office for students, faculty, staff and parents to get to know us a little better. We also offer trainings to student groups, faculty and staff, Resident Assistants, and present at orientations.
4. Get Creative: Research what resonates with students, what has worked well at other institutions and your community, and put your own twist on it! Don’t have a creative bone in your body? Team up with someone who does. For example, our university marketing team created a spin-off of the how are you feeling today? poster that people love! They provided us with swivel cards with various emotional faces and tips on how to deal with students experiencing the coinciding concern. The phrase From Caring Comes Courage can also be seen on many student and staff t-shirts at UCF which was another popular marketing campaign. We also repurposed some older lengthy Emergency Guides and transitioned them into quick glance resources and support tips and contacts for student concerns. These were provided at Faculty orientations and directly to departments.
What kind of support can you get at no cost? Think: Interns, student ambassadors, a Facebook page
5. Customer Service matters: Referrals are at the crux of the work we do on a daily basis. If the campus community doesn’t understand or trust what we do, the referrals won’t come in. The majority of our initial growth was from faculty and staff who had positive experiences with making a referral to our office. They were able to find out, either from speaking directly with care manager or through website FAQ pages, what to expect from a referral. They felt involved in the process, which led to telling their peers about our services. Take the time to develop simple talking points or website information that will quickly convey what the reporter can expect.
Hopefully these tips will give you some inspiration on creating a brand and marketing your area! Happy New Year!
Blog Post Written By:
Angela Newland, Care Manager, University of Central Florida
Ann Marie Palmer, Associate Director, University of Central Florida
As Case Managers in a college environment we tend to focus a lot on the wellbeing of our students, of our colleagues, of our referral sources. During fall term, perhaps to cope, our focus moves to the one–to-two week break from classes at its end. As if its this shining light in the far distance that grows brighter as the semester comes to a close. I often wonder if we put too much pressure on this time of year. Not for the many holiday traditions it might represent, but for its role as our stress oasis. As if to say that re·ju·ve·nate becomes our droned mantra, much like the Dalek’s ex·ter·mi·nate is theirs. I hope our’s is internal. Even the definition of rejuvenate holds out some sort of miracle experience: “To restore to an original or new condition.” Rather than seeking to be new again – I think I will embrace a new 3 R’s for education. Relax. Recharge. Refresh. And my hope is that we all find moments that allow us to recharge and enter the new semester refreshed for the next set of students and tasks who seek our assistance.
Here are 5 Tips that may not wholly rejuvenate but may help create space for the 3 R’s.
[tips reprinted from: blog.edmentum.com; author- Scott Sterling, 12/21/2015:]
1. Read for pleasure
[Case Managers like] Teachers don’t get many chances to read for leisure during the school year. If there aren’t papers to grade [or referrals to process], often other materials are required reading for work. This year, pick out a few books that you would like to read during the break—whether they are education related or purely for fun. Whatever you choose, make sure that you can finish it before returning to school. Not being able to finish a book can be as stressful as not starting at all.
2. Try yoga, meditation, or another restorative technique
Winter break is a great time to try yoga, meditation, or other relaxation practices. Without the day-to-day stress of being at school, you’ll be calmer and much more likely to start a practice that will actually become habit. If you don’t want to spend much money or make a commitment, lots of yoga studios offer free introductory classes or even a regular by-donation class. There are also lots of free apps for meditation available to download and use at your convenience.
3. Make travel easier
A lot of people have to travel over the holidays; entire books have been written about the stress that can cause. Instead of flying during the peak days and times, try to plan your travel on dates that are less busy. If you’re driving, take your time and plan stops along the way to see (and enjoy) the sights. Too often, we are focused on the destination. Think more about the journey to make this year’s holiday travel a more relaxing experience.
4. Make time for yourself
During breaks, many teachers feel guilty if they don’t spend all of their time with their family. However, winter break is just as much about recharging as it is reconnecting. So, don’t feel bad about setting some boundaries and dedicating time for yourself to rest, pursue your interests, or get together with friends. The children will have plenty of new toys to keep them busy.
5. Expand your craft
Some people just can’t stop becoming better teachers, even for two weeks. For them, rejuvenation might mean getting excited about the upcoming semester instead of setting aside thoughts of school. If you fall into this category, take the time to investigate new classroom tricks or strategies to try out in January. That first ring of the school bell after break will sound that much sweeter if you have exciting new ideas to put into action.
May the Winter Break bring You Space and Time for Yourself.
(even if its wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff)
Higher Education Case Managers Association
*Reference: Dalek - is from the British science fiction televesion series, Dr. Who.
Five Ways to On-board New Staff
The first identified Student Affairs Case Manager was at the University of Miami in 2000. The first case management Roundtable took place in 2008 at Virginia Tech. HECMA was officially established in 2012 and at present has a membership of more than 350 individuals. (Case management and higher education: Building upon your institution’s capacity, NASPA 2015) To say that the field of Higher Education Case Management is growing is an understatement.
As positions are created and added it is important to provide thorough and appropriate training and orientation. Whether you are a case manager in a newly created position or the person hiring additional staff members, we think the below steps are essential to “on-boarding” new staff.
1. Meet campus partners:
Coordinating efforts across campus is an integral part of a case manager’s job. In an effective system, one should not be contacting campus partners to coordinate services “in an emergency.” Creating and fostering relationships should happen in advance and be ongoing.
When on-boarding a new staff member, create (or develop for yourself) a list of essential campus partners and set up individual meetings with each person/office. This provides new staff the opportunity to meet campus partners as well as learn their way around campus.
2. Set aside time for research and review:
Familiarity with resources and processes is another key element for a successful case manager.It’s easy to succumb to information overload when in a new position.Set aside specific time with specific topics for research and review for new staff members.A great place to start is the “recommended resources” section of www.hecma.org (http://www.hecma.org/recommended-resources.html).The HECMA Library (available to HECMA members only) has even more resources.
3. Provide case studies/reviews and/or shadow meetings:
Learning in a vacuum can be boring and lack context.Engage your new staff in case studies and/or permit him/her to shadow meetings.Even if your staff is not new to case management, he /she is probably new to your institution and/or office.Help them learn how your system works and cases are processed.An additional benefit to this is that you may learn something in the process.A new set of eyes offers a new perspective.
If you are in a brand new office/position and there is not previous precedent set, utilize case studies with your campus partners and/or BIT to learn. This is a great way to further relationships and develop the BIT.
4. Have a project to “own”: We all have that stack of “to dos” to get to once things slow down. Empower your new staff to help with that. What better way to learn your system, meet campus partners and become fully integrated? As a supervisor, you’ll need to provide the appropriate guidance and tools but then let the new employee fly.
Examples of projects could be:
a. Website updates
b. Format and process updates to alert software system
c. Creation of/edit a rubric
d. Updates to presentations
If you are in a brand new office this is probably the easiest task as there may be no processes, systems, forms, etc. even developed yet. Try not to become overwhelmed with creating it all now. Work with your team and supervisor to prioritize projects and then work from there. Utilize the HECMA library to find examples and guidance.
5. Integration into campus/departmental community:
This is fairly standard for a new employee at any organization. The value of organizational and departmental orientation should not be undervalued. Some of the most important relationships with organizational partners can be made via orientation and training. These gatherings are usually quite diverse in their make-up and provide a brief exposure to a variety of topics.
In 2013, HECMA established a definition for case managers in higher education; “Higher Education Case Managers serve their University and individual students by coordinating prevention, intervention, and support efforts across campus and community systems to assist at risk students and students facing crises, life traumas, and other barriers that impede success.” (HECMA 2013) If you and/or your staff are not fully oriented to your larger campus systems, how can you support students effectively?
Does your larger office or division host informational meetings and/or social gatherings? If so, plan to attend and encourage your staff to do the same. Are there committee opportunities within your organization that need members? These are great opportunities to work on various projects and engage with offices and individuals on campus you might not normally.
Most campuses also have an HR office that offers training and development beyond new employee orientation. Take advantage of those (often free or low cost) professional development opportunities.
Before engaging in campus committees and/or other activities, I recommend developing a sound professional development plan and schedule expectations. Although it’s important to be involved that should not occur at the expense of core job functions or “just because.” Figure out what time permits and your goals require first.
Even if we have not hired or trained new staff, we have all been new employees at one point or another. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments on other important components of “on-boarding” new staff. What did you find helpful (or unhelpful)? Let’s do what HECMA does so well, and engage in conversation and learn from one another.
Therese Y. Smith
Membership Director, HECMA
Director, Community of Concern Team
University of Kentucky
5 Ways to Enjoy Summer at Work
Many of us do not have 10 month contracts and therefore miss the opportunity to soak in all of the fun and sun summer has to offer. Although we have vacation time, it is often not enough time to take in all that summer has to offer.
Here are 5 tips for making the most out of your summer while working full time:
1. Eat lunch outside
Leave your desk or the University dining area and escape to the outdoors. Spend an hour listening to the birds, reading your favorite book, or enjoying this glorious weather. Feeling really outdoorsy? Bring a blanket and have a picnic on a grassy area on campus.
2. Walking Group
You are not the only one who is yearning for that summer air. Invite a colleague or two to take walks with you around campus. This will not only lift your spirits but will also integrate exercise into your daily routine.
3. Outdoor Meetings
As Case Managers we often handle highly sensitive information when working with students. However, there have been many times when I have offered students the opportunity to meet with me outside and they have welcomed the opportunity. I will often offer this opportunity with students that are doing well and are meeting with me to check in; knowing that the content of our meeting will be low intensity. Many of our students have busy lives and also miss the opportunity to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful weather.
You can extend these outdoor meetings to University staff; they too would enjoy the opportunity.
4. Arrange for an office picnic or BBQ
Nothing says summer like a BBQ! Pick a mutually agreed upon time with your colleagues to BBQ or picnic on campus during lunch. This will give you the opportunity to take advantage of a typically slow time of year to re-connect with colleagues. Positive relationships with colleagues positively contributes to our own work performance and keep us energized.
5. Head to the Beach (or your favorite outdoor spot)
Pack a bag (beach bag, if the beach is where you’re heading) and go! It typically doesn’t get dark until 8pm, so spend the last hours of daylight at your favorite outdoor location. Enjoy some after work tranquility and get the most out of your Summer!
Case Manager, Student Affairs
Office of the Vice President
Florida Gulf Coast University
NOTE: At HECMA we know that even in times that are filled with grief and loss, taking care of one's self and one's team can make an important difference. And to be reminded that from desolate winter can grow an invincible summer. ~ JJ Larson