peerTransfer now live

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The University now offers international students a new way to make tuition payments through the use of peerTransfer. The service will allow students to pay the University from bank accounts in their country of origin without having to arrange for a wire transfer or pay bank transfer fees. Students will transfer money from a bank account in their home country to peerTransfer, and peerTransfer will then transfer the money to the University on behalf of the student. Foreign exchange rates offered through peerTransfer are typically better than those offered by banks.

Newly enhanced classroom support hotline

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The Office of Classroom Management (OCM) hotline has been enhanced to align with University-wide support services and has expanded the hours of availability for technology services. While the phone number will remain the same (612-625-1086), callers will be prompted to select from a menu of options that allow you to reach the support staff who are best able to meet your needs.

Technology calls will be routed to a team of support professionals who are available 24 hours a day. OCM support staff remain available for all other classroom and scheduling-related calls from 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday - Friday.

ASR poll participation

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As mentioned in the previous issue of News & Notes, we'll be featuring poll questions in order to elicit feedback on ASR matters. This week, we're asking a more serious question in addition to something fun. Questions are being included in News & Notes rather than in a larger employee survey; however, ASR directors are still very interested in receiving feedback from staff about what is going well and what can be improved upon. We're hoping this new delivery format will encourage more staff to complete the survey questions so we can continue to improve ASR. If there is a significant drop in the response rate, though, we may need to revert to the previous format.

Our inaugural poll question asked whether you preferred donuts or cookies as office treats. Donuts edged out cookies by nine votes with a final count of 36 to 27. Stay tuned for when donuts will be making an appearance in your area!

All responses are anonymous. If you have ideas for questions you'd like to see here or other ideas for improvement, please submit them through the ASR suggestion box. Results from both questions will be shared with the ASR directors, as well as in future issue of News and Notes.

Answer this week's poll questions!

OCM classroom projects underway

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The Office of Classroom Management (OCM) has completed two-thirds of its 2014 Classroom Technology Renewal projects. In many classrooms, systems have been enhanced by adding a document camera and class capture outputs. Additionally, OCM has completed its summer project in the West Bank Auditorium located in the West Bank Skyway.

OSF update

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With the exception of Duluth's Graduate & Professional careers (MED, PHARM, and GRAD), all campuses and all careers have been packaged at least once. Additionally, responses are rapidly coming via the Electronic Financial Aid Award Notification (eFAAN). The 2015 aid year marks the first year the Twin Cities campus will be continuing to package our Borrower-Based Aid Year (BBAY) populations in batch throughout the year. (BBAY populations are MED, DENT, PHAR, and VMED.)

The University is in contract negotiations with Destiny One as the vendor for non-credit registration. The project team continues to define the scope of work and its funding proposal was approved by the budget team, which is a huge win for the project.

The project team is targeting a late August/early September implementation kick off. Also, there are two new positions posted to support the non-credit implementation efforts. Please share the Business Analyst 2 and the Solution Trainer postings with friends or colleagues who would be a good fit for ASR.

One Stop hot topics

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During the first half of July, the top questions received by One Stop Student Services included the following topics:

1) Financial aid packaging
2) Billing/payment
3) Transcripts
4) Loans

One Stop will also welcome five new counselors on Wednesday, July 23.

Tour East Bank sculpture art

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Mix a bit of culture with exercise on Wednesday, July 30 at 12:00 p.m. during a tour of East Bank's sculpture art. The wellness event will feature a 45-minute walking tour of five interesting pieces of campus art. The tour will be led by Josh Geiger from One Stop Student Services who will provide a narration about the pieces of art, the artists who designed them, and how they fit into the University's culture. Staff are encouraged to join in this educational walk during their lunch hour. The tour will begin at noon on the 3rd floor of STSS near the Helping U desk and conclude at Northrop where you can either enjoy your own brown bag lunch or something from the Northrop Plaza grill.

Wellness tip: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

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The Center for Spirituality & Healing offers Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which is a way to take control of our lives and to be aware of influences that affect our health and wellbeing. In a stressful world (or work environment), it's important to learn how to relax and rejuvenate. For a list of upcoming MBSR sessions, visit the Center for Spirituality & Healing's website.

Matriculation matters

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The word matriculate is most commonly used as a verb. It means to enroll in or be admitted to a group, such as a program, college, or university. When it is used this way, it is usually followed by a preposition, such as at, into, or to. It does not mean "to graduate." For example, here is an instance where it is used correctly: "Bob and Sarah both matriculated to Columbia University."

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