March 2013 Archives

The People in Your Neighborhood: Elyse Paxton

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Anyone who knows Elyse Paxton can describe her in two words: sweet and bubbly. When asked what two things she couldn't live without, she immediately said, "Chapstick and sunshine. I'm addicted to chapstick and it would be really depressing to never have sun. Everyone needs sunshine."

A Minnesotan by marriage, Elyse moved to the Twin Cities area in 2006 after graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in speech communication. Originally from a suburb outside of Chicago called Mount Prospect, Illinois, she currently she lives in Plymouth with her husband Weston and Corgi named Max.

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Almost a year ago, Elyse started working on the ASR Communications Team as a communications coordinator. She is the main communications contact for all Office of Classroom Management and One Stop student veterans communications. She is also the manager of most ASR publications, including The Ledger, News and Notes, The Record, and the Scheduling Update.

One of the major publications she has recently undertaken is the University course catalog. "I create and format the PDF version of the University catalog for all system campuses," she said.

On top of all this, Elyse also edits and approves courses and program descriptions in ECAS and PCAS.

"I love working in ASR," Elyse said. "The Communications Team is very collaborative. We don't have any projects where just one person handles everything; it often involves the whole team."

Feedback is an important aspect for any job she has. She frequently receives immediate feedback on her work. "I'm surrounded by so many smart people," she said. "It's inspiring to meet such bright, intellectual people."

Before joining ASR, Elyse worked primarily in magazine publications. Her last job was at a gardening magazine called Gardening How-To as an associate editor. Before that, she worked at an automotive magazine in St. Paul called FenderBender.

"I didn't know anything about cars," she said. "I learned a lot and my perceptions changed dramatically about the industry."

In her spare time, Elyse enjoys reading. She reads anything from historical fiction to nonfiction books about mountain climbing. "I especially like ones about climbing Mount Everest," she said. "It's just so interesting to read about how people can push themselves like that."

This year, Elyse is pushing herself by running a half marathon in June. Her other goal for the year is to learn how to cook better. "My husband does most of the cooking, but I'm trying to be better at it," she said.

Last September, Elyse got married at the University Landscape Arboretum in Chaska. She met her husband on Match.com. They went to Riviera Maya, Mexico for her honeymoon because she loves tropical locations, warm weather, and sunshine.

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"If I could be anything, I'd be a famous author who works on the beach with a fruity drink in hand," she said. "That would be the life."

Elyse's Essentials

1. Elyse wanted to grow up to be a jockey.
2. She loves historical fiction. Her favorite book is A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers.
3. Her first concert was Green Day.
4. Elyse can name all of the U.S. presidents in order (Be sure to quiz her next time you see her!)
5. "Saved by the Bell" and "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" were her favorite TV shows as a kid.

6. Elyse is scared of snakes.
7. The most adventurous thing she's ever done is white water rafting in the Grand Canyon.
8. Her favorite band is Coldplay.
9. She can't whistle.
10. She sponsors a young girl in Rwanda.

Food for thought

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Wise words: "Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow." -- Swedish proverb

Props to University Veterans Services

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University Veterans Services was recently featured in the winter 2013 issue of Legacy magazine for its outstanding effort to help ease student veterans' transition from service to school. The article also highlights that the University was named one of the nation's most supportive institutions for student veterans by a Washington Post report in June 2012. Way to go Veterans Services!

Got diversity?

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Want to learn how to better embrace equity and diversity within your personal and professional life? The University's Office for Equity and Diversity offers a series of workshops each semester. If you attend 10, you can earn an Equity and Diversity Certificate. Pretty cool, huh? All workshops are free of charge and include a combination of teaching and group discussion. If you're interested, be sure to fill out a PDR for your supervisor's approval.

ServiceNow conundrums

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Has your unit just transitioned to ServiceNow or you still looking for some helpful hints? Check out the 43 service now tips and tricks.pdf cheat sheet we've got for you. It's chock full of 43 tips and tricks.

Overcoming interview jitters

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New or open positions pop up often at the U. Maybe one of them seems like the perfect fit for you, but thinking about the interview makes you break out in a cold sweat. Don't worry; interviewing is a stressful process so it's okay to experience some anxiety. The good news is that you can learn how to hide it so no one but you know how nervous you feel. Here's a great article that offers 21 tips to keep those knees from knocking.

Food for thought

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Wise words: "Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows." -- Michael Landon

FNU or First Name Unknown

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ASR recently began offering an explanatory letter to students who have only one legal name (like Prince) in PeopleSoft. The letter explains that the University has changed how single names appear on a student's official documents. This includes transcripts, transmissions to the National Student Clearinghouse, Direct Loans, and certification letters. These documents will now match those issued by the Social Security Administration, meaning that FNU (First Name Unknown) will be used in the first name location. The letter is available to staff who produce transcripts and certification letters. For questions, contact Pat Rickard.

MOOC, anyone?

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We sure love our acronyms, don't we? This one stands for massive open online course, and it's just as its name depicts. The University will partner with Coursera (www.coursera.org/minnesota), a leading MOOC platform, to develop free online courses. That's right, they're free. Anyone is welcome to sign up. Since there can be literally thousands of participants in a course, completing assignments is based on the honor system and often includes peer feedback. So far, five University faculty members plan to offer Coursera courses. The University does not currently offer credit for completion of MOOCs.

Story call

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We're always looking for interesting people to profile in our People in your Neighborhood features. If you'd like to share what you do at the U, and some cool things about yourself (And yes, you do have fun, unique, perhaps even awe-inspiring or hilarious experiences!), we want to know more about you! (And if you work in ASR-IT, we really want to hear from you.) If interested, email Mandee Kuglin.

Find your niche

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Looking to connect with some like-minded co-workers? Join a professional group! Tons of them exist around campus, and it's a great way to network with others who have similar job responsibilities as you but work in different units. Here's a site that lists all the professional groups you can choose from. Once you find one that interests you, don't forget to submit a PDR so your supervisor is kept in the loop. (Thanks to Christa Nichols for sharing this great resource!)

Tech trouble

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If you use ServiceNow, customers may not be receiving the notification that you have resolved the ticket, unless you click the correct button. When resolving a ticket, be sure you click the "Resolve Incident" button and not "Save and Go." The "Save and Go" button should only be used if you're expecting a reply back.

People in your neighborhood: Richard Campo

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Years ago, Richard Campo's life took a turn into the world of financial aid. A direction he never thought it would go in, but one he hasn't looked back from since.

In 2005, Richard was working for the U.S. Department of Education's TRIO programs, educational-access programs for first-generation, college-bound students. He worked with two different schools in Minneapolis/St. Paul providing students with advice on entering college.

"This job was how I got interested in financial aid," Richard said. "I was helping students and they didn't have in-depth knowledge of financial aid. I actually met Larry [Bloom] and Mike [Arieta] from OSF while working at this job."

In 2008, Richard began working in ASR as a One Stop Student Services counselor. He helps students, parents, and staff navigate the registration, billing, and financial aid processes.

"I really enjoy helping students," he said. "I feel like I am making a difference and that I have a chance every day to provide information that would really help a student."

Richard is also a member of two One Stop committees: the Tuition Refund Appeal (TRA) committee and the Financial Literacy committee.

As a member of the TRA committee, he reviews forms submitted by students who wish to have tuition charges forgiven or refunded based on extraordinary circumstances, such as medical reasons or military activation. As a part of the Financial Literacy committee, he presents to classes and groups on campus about how to make good financial choices.

Richard and his wife, Martha, live in St. Paul. They have been married for two years. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Richard moved to Minnesota when he went to college at St. Olaf for his undergraduate degree in history and social studies education. He is currently finishing up his master's degree from the U in higher education policy administration.

When Richard isn't giving financial advice, he enjoys being outdoors. He loves camping and hiking, especially in the Boundary Waters. He loves water activities as well, including kayaking and canoeing. Reading is also a large part of Richard's life. He likes historical books, memoirs, biographies, and travel books.

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Richard also enjoys spending a lot of time with family. His wife is one of 13 children so they go to quite a few family events.

Richard is also quite the do-it-yourselfer. He loves to garden and he even brews his own beer, usually 20 gallon batches at a time. Cooking is another favorite past time. He even built his own wood-fired pizza oven in his backyard.

"I got the inspiration from my co-worker Tom Taff in One Stop," he said. "It didn't take that long to build. It's not too big. It's on a steel cart in my garage and it's made out of the earth."

Richard also loves dressing up in interesting Halloween costumes. One year he dressed up as a toothbrush. He and his wife once went as Batman and Robin. Richard was Robin and his wife, who is much shorter than him, went as Batman.

Another year, he went as Pac-man and his friends were the ghosts. "We chased each other around," he said. "The costume was so big, I got stuck in a stairway at a bar."

Richard's Riddles
1. If he could be any character for a day, he would be Casper the Friendly Ghost. "I like making friends."

2. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell was the last book he read.
3. His favorite food is lasagna.
4. Richard's most interesting job was when he spent one summer driving a bread truck to catering companies, grocery stores, and local restaurants.
5. Groundhog Day is his favorite movie.
6. Richard would love to go back in time and live in Athens, Greece during the height of civilization. "I would love to hang out with Socrates."
7. He grew up wanting to be a park ranger.
8. His first concert was the Rolling Stones when he was very young. He remembers being very confused.
9. His biggest fear is leaving the gas on the stove or leaving his keys in the door.
10. If he had super powers, he would be Stretch Armstrong.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from March 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

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