October 2012 Archives

Student Veterans Appreciation Day 2012

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Join fellow University of Minnesota students and staff at the 6th annual Student Veterans Appreciation Day on November 15, 2012 at McNamara Alumni Center. The event recognizes the important contributions of University student veterans, military members, and their families.

This year's event will include a short program, including speakers and an introduction of the Tillman Military Scholars. A chili luncheon will be provided for guests, and the best part? It's free!

For more information, including program details, visit the One Stop website.

Don't forget to submit your team picture!

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Many of you might remember the video from last December's staff event featuring ASR's many teams. The time has come to give this video a face lift. Please submit your team's picture, team name, the names of all individuals featured in the picture, and the names of anyone who is on the team but not featured in the picture to asrcomm@umn.edu. We've extended the entry period to December 7, but please move quickly! It takes some time to put the video together. Questions can be directed to Ingrid Nuttall.

There is still time to complete your evaluation of last month's internal customer service kick-off event. We have received useful feedback and several good ideas for future resource development. If you haven't already completed the event evaluation, it remains available for your feedback.

Thank you,
The Customer Service Team
Gary Andersen
Olga Kavun-Wozniak
Carrie Otto
Toni Pangborn
Didi Nguyen
Paula Seeger
Jackee Wernersbach

Politics in the workplace

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A friendly reminder to keep any political conversations respectful of other people's differences. ASR embraces a diversity of opinions and the directors believe that a healthy debate about ideas is important. However, it is also important to respectfully disagree without dismissing or minimizing the beliefs of others.

Please review the test site for the new Intranet

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It's been almost five years since the launch of the ASR website, and a lot has changed in terms of the technology we have to support our web presence. As a precursor to giving the ASR website a face lift, communications and web staff have separated the content that is truly internal into a separate intranet. (This step is essential before we can revamp our website because the software that currently supports it is no longer feasible to maintain.) They are asking for you to review the test site and see what you think.

Note the custom search bar at the top that allows you to search both the intranet and the current ASR website for content. This means once the Intranet goes live, you should still be able to use it as your first choice to find resources related to your work in ASR.

Please send any feedback on the site to Ingrid Nuttall by Wednesday, October 31.

Once the intranet goes live, the content that is duplicated on the ASR website will be removed, and work will begin in earnest to update asr.umn.edu. Questions about this next phase can also be directed to Ingrid.

The Development Team is hard at work on planning the agenda for the ASR staff event on December 12. The team is pleased to announce that University president Eric Kaler will speak to us about the future of higher education and what it means for all of us. Vice Provost and Dean Bob McMaster will also join us, and Sue Van Voorhis will provide an update. The event is tentatively scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. in Coffman Memorial Union (check-in begins at 8 a.m.). More details will be shared in the coming weeks. The event has been added to your calendar; please RSVP to assist the team in their planning.

Get to know Graduate Student Services & Progress

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In July, the Graduate Student Services and Progress (GSSP) staff joined ASR's Office of the Registrar, and they've been as busy as ever. A team of three, their main responsibility is upholding the integrity of graduate and professional students' records. This is done by processing forms that mark student degree progress, such as filing masters theses and keeping track of doctoral oral and written exams.

Unlike undergraduate studies, graduate programs are not completely coursework-based, but rather self-designed with the guidance of an advisor to meet individual research needs. In addition to verifying that graduate students have completed the necessary steps for their degree, the GSSP staff also collaborates with the graduate education transition team to ensure a smoother flow of policies and processes, as responsibilities once housed in the Graduate School continue to shift to the colleges and ASR.

The team currently serves 10,000 students and over 150 graduate programs. Each year, they process 3,000 graduate degree plans. Stacia Madsen, coordinator of doctoral degree services, reviews roughly 700 doctoral dissertations for formatting consistency per year; Amber Cellotti, coordinator of master's and certificate degree services, handles the paperwork for 1,700 master's degree students that graduate each year; and Renae Faunce, coordinator, Graduate Student Services, reviews Graduate Degree Plans, manages committee workflows, and answers graduate education policy and procedure questions.

Recently, the team worked with members of the graduation education transition team to complete the committee and adviser assignment workflows. These new workflows replaced processes for initiating and updating graduate and professional students' committee information and graduate students' adviser assignments. In addition to creating new workflows, the GSSP team also worked on the redesign of the Graduate School website.

Right now, the GSSP staff is meeting with different colleges on campus to review graduate education policies to clarify roles and responsibilities as they relate to policy and procedure. Based on feedback they receive, the team will determine how to best support colleges and programs as they transition into their new roles now and in the future.

In addition to their day-to-day responsibilities, settling into their new space in Williamson Hall has sometimes been a challenge. "We're getting used to the new office environment and how we allocate tasks," Amber said.

But they've taken the changes in stride. To accomplish so much, the team supports each other and is very collaborative, adopting an integrative approach to different tasks.

Having a passion for what they do also makes the job easier and more rewarding. "We're supporting students who are going to make a major impact on the world," Renae said. "They're doing groundbreaking work, and we make it easier for them to focus on that and not have to worry about administrative stuff."

GSSP staff:
Amber Cellotti, coordinator, Master's and Certificate Degree Services
Stacia Madsen, coordinator, Doctoral Degree Services
Renae Faunce, coordinator, Graduate Student Services

The people in your neighborhood: Pat Rickard

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Pat Rickard has been a University employee since 1986, working at one point in the College of Education Student Affairs Office and in the Institute of Technology Dean's Office. In 2006, she moved to ASR in Imaging and Files.

She currently works on the student records side of Imaging, processing student name changes and resolving duplicate student records. She also images and indexes College in the Schools registrations and student-athlete information, and audits the work of the Imaging student workers.

Imaging is the process of scanning documents to eliminate paper and store the documents digitally. All student records (past and present) are scanned and either manually indexed or linked to the student information through PeopleSoft. These records are stored in the system called ImageNow.

Pat was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, but moved to Minneapolis when she was a baby and hasn't left since. Before she began working at the U, Pat remembers one very unique job that she had working third shift as a pizza maker at the Totino's pizza factory. Her mother didn't want her to work nights alone, so she tagged along. Pat was responsible for a number of tasks, including putting on pieces of pepperoni or laying out the pizza dough.

"Needless to say, it was a very messy job and one we didn't last long at before we decided enough was enough," Pat said. "We would laugh about it every night on our way home from work. We felt like Lucy and Ethel when they worked in the chocolate factory."

Most of her jobs before the U were in the medical area, including at a blood bank and a nursing home. Pat has always been interested in the medical field and considered being a nurse or a doctor once, but her passion really lies in forensics. "If I could do my life over again, I would go into some kind of forensics field," Pat said.

Pat's interest in the forensics field has grown from her love of crime books, shows, and movies. Her favorite book is the ...in Death series by J.D. Robb. In fact, if she could be any character, it would be Eve Dallas from the series. "She's so interesting and looks at everything from a different perspective because of how she was raised," Pat said. "She's her own person and sticks to what she believes in."

Pat also loves to travel. She has owned her own timeshare in Lake Buena Vista, Florida for more than 20 years. "It was the best quick decision I've ever made," Pat said. She has been to most states in the U.S., including Hawaii and has traveled to Canada and Mexico. One of her favorite places to visit is Cape Cod.

When Pat isn't at work, she loves watching her three grandchildren grow up. "My grandkids are 11, 14, and 17," Pat said. "I love to watch them play sports like soccer, hockey, football, and baseball."

Precisely Pat:
1. When Pat was 14, she was voted Snow Queen at a neighborhood park board sponsored dance.
2. If she could have any superpower, she would want to twitch her nose, like Samantha in Bewitched, and go anywhere she wants.
3. Pat loves to crochet. Her biggest project was a 3-foot doll that she calls the "faceless wonder," because she could never get the face to look just right.
4. Her first concert was Brenda Lee at the Minnesota State Fair.
5. Pat grew up with five sisters and one brother.
6. Pat's favorite kind of music is 50's and 60's music.
7. She loves scary movies that make her jump out of her seat.
8. She had been in a bowling league for 18 years.
9. She was a stay-at-home mom for 10 years.
10. Pat can tap dance. She took lessons for about five years.

Customer service kick-off event

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The internal customer service kick-off event is coming up October 24 from 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. in the St. Paul Student Center North Star Ballroom. Please indicate on your calendar if you will attend the event. This is a mandatory event for all staff present this day. Here is the agenda for the morning.

• Check-in 8:00-8:30 a.m.
• Welcome and topic introduction
• Scenarios and director sharing
• Speaker on conflict and team dynamics
• Toolkit introduction
• Wrap-up and self-reflection
• 12:30 p.m. Box lunch provided

There is a short activity that we ask you to complete prior to the event. The activity, called the "Hot Button Profile," will be a topic of focus and discussion for the speaker. It will take you approximately 5 minutes to complete. You are not required to share your results with anyone. Please complete the assessment, print out your results, and bring them with you on the day of the event.

Parking: If you have a parking contract, you have reciprocal parking in the Gortner Ave. ramp. Use of the Campus Connector or carpooling is encouraged. If you would otherwise have to pay for parking, you can ask for a parking coupon at the registration table when you arrive.

There will be no food or beverages provided prior to lunch. You are welcome to bring your own.

If you have any questions about the event or the assessment activity, please contact any member of the event planning committee:

Toni Pangborn
Carrie Otto
Olga Kavun-Wozniak
Gary Andersen
Jackee Wernersbach
Didi Nguyen
Paula Seeger

Move of HR staff to WBOB

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You may have heard that some Office of Human Resources (OHR) staff currently located in Donhowe moved to WBOB at the end of September. However, this does not mean that ASR staff will be occupying Donhowe any time soon; some OHR staff currently located in Morrill Hall will be moving into the vacant space in Donhowe, so there's still no room for us. An email was sent about this change at the end of September to all University staff, and you can still read it online.

The people in your neighborhood: Cosmin Tarau

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Originally from Cluj, Transylvania, Romania, Cosmin Tarau loves to travel. He's been to Europe, Asia, and several states in the U.S. He even owns a vacation home in Oahu, Hawaii and a cabin in Wisconsin.

While in high school, Cosmin took one of the most important trips of his life. He moved to Orange County, California to be with his parents, who had moved there six years prior. "I didn't know any English, and I didn't like being there," Cosmin said. "But things fell into place, and I'm really glad that my parents had us come to the U.S., even though we were separated for six years."

Now, Cosmin's parents still live in Orange County, while he moved to St. Paul seven years ago. Cosmin and his wife have been married seven years and have an 11-month-old son named Sam.

This past December, Cosmin got his bachelor's in business management from Metro State University. He is considering getting his master's of business administration from Carlson School of Management.

This past May, Cosmin started working in ASR as a principal collections representative supervisor for Student Account Assistance (SAA).

"This is my first time working at a University and dealing with student debt," Cosmin said. "I work with students to make sure they have money to pay back their loans." Before ASR and his tour in Iraq, Cosmin worked in collections dealing mostly with credit card debt and repossession services.

In his spare time, Cosmin loves to travel, swim, ski, and snowboard. "Now that I have a kid, I spend most of my time taking care of my son," Cosmin said. "But I love doing anything in the water. I grew up in the water." In fact, he has been certified in SCUBA diving since 2007.

Cosmin is also a veteran. He was in the military for six years and did a tour in Iraq for a year as a motor vehicle transportation operator. "When I was deployed overseas, I was in a supervisory role in the military," Cosmin said. "I drove the lead vehicle in a convoy of over 50 trucks."

After being deployed overseas for a year, Cosmin remembers feeling happy to see his family again and incredibly proud of himself. "That first day back in Minnesota was amazing," Cosmin said. "Everyone was greeting us and thanking us for our service. It was a moment that made me proud to be American."

Crux of Cosmin
1. Cosmin's first concert was Coachella.
2. Cosmin swam competitively for more than 12 years.
3. If Cosmin could be any superhero with any superpower, he would be Aquaman, so he could swim fast enough to beat Michael Phelps.
4. His favorite food is Sarma.
5. His dream house is one of the homes off East River Road.
6. His wife attended the U of M and is now a chemical engineer at 3M.
7. His hometown of Cluj is known for having one of the biggest medical schools in Europe.
8. His favorite show is the Simpsons, and he has seen every episode.
9. Cosmin doesn't read unless he has to, but the last book he read was Legends of Olympus, and his favorite book is an insurance law textbook.
10. He dressed as Count Dracula for Halloween one year. "Given my background, it seemed appropriate," he joked.

U of MN selected as a military friendly school

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The University was named by G.I. Jobs magazine as a Military Friendly School for 2013. This means the U ranks in the top 15 percent of all colleges, universities, and trade schools nationwide. Way to go, us!

Representing ASR at the University Senate

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The 2012-13 academic year marks a century of shared governance at the University of Minnesota. ASR is represented on the University Senate by Travis Trautman (Academic Professional Senator), Carolyn Davidson and Paula Seeger (Civil Service Senators). Several events are planned to highlight the centennial achievement and you are invited to participate. There are also several Senate committees and subcommittees that are still actively seeking members. Find more information online or contact one of your representatives for more information about how you can participate.

Changes to U of M sign-in pages

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On Friday, September 28, 2012, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) updated the University of Minnesota sign-in page. Due to feedback from the University community, the guest account creation and student account initiation links now send users to a new page that provides more detail about how to choose the proper account.

Save the date for the the Enterprise System Upgrade Project (ESUP) Kickoff Event on Tuesday, October 16, at 1 p.m.

The event will begin with an opening session that provides an overview of the project for ESUP team members, as well as managers, University leadership, and other key stakeholders. This will be followed by more detailed sessions specifically for ESUP team members, discussing methodology, roles and responsibilities, and more.

Kickoff planning is underway, and more details about the location and agenda will be shared as they are finalized. For now, staff who will be working on the project full-time should plan to attend from 1 to 4 p.m. University leaders and others not formally on the project team can plan to leave after the opening session or follow the discussions online via streaming video.

Beginning Saturday, October 13, the Office of Information Technology will upgrade the critical software (PeopleTools) that supports PeopleSoft Campus Solutions and Financials. To accommodate this upgrade, all PeopleSoft systems (e.g., Financials, HR, and Student Administration) and related applications (including One Stop self service), will be unavailable from 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 13 until 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 14. Batch jobs will not run during the upgrade. Full functionality will be restored by 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 14.

This upgrade will allow the University to continue to receive technical support from Oracle, and is a critical building block for the Enterprise System Upgrade Project. More information is available on the PeopleTools Upgrade page.

Schedule Builder launched on October 1

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A new scheduling tool called Schedule Builder launched October 1, 2012. Students and advisers can use this tool to create class schedules based on selected courses. Students using Graduation Planner will be able to include the courses they've placed in their graduation plans as well. It also allows students to email possible schedules to their inbox and then print for reference during registration.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

September 2012 is the previous archive.

November 2012 is the next archive.

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