April 2013 Archives

People in your neighborhood: Nate Peterson

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A few months ago, Nate became the newest Assistant Director in One Stop Student Services. The new position is a perfect fit, because he has dedicated his career to helping students.

Originally from Hastings, he currently lives in St. Paul with his partner, Ryan, and their two cats: Binx and Orangey. If you've yet to meet him, he has often been described as an outgoing and witty charmer.

Nate Peterson Pic.jpg

Nate has a bachelors degree in sociology and Spanish and a master's in higher education and student affairs. Before One Stop, he primarily worked in residence life at various universities across the country, including University of St. Thomas, The Ohio State University, and Loyola Marymount University. He says that working in One Stop is a totally different way of working with and supporting students.

Nate loves working at the U and in ASR because of the professional development opportunities that are available. He said that one of main draws of the U and One Stop is that they encourage and support professional development so much.

As an Assistant Director, Nate supervises the West Bank One Stop location and three counselors in the STSS location. He also supports staff development and supervises daily counselor tasks. Nate also sits on the Behavioral Care Team, the Financial Literacy committee, and the Welcome Week planning committee.

"Working in One Stop provides a lot of opportunities to reach out to people from all areas of the U," he said. "Having experience in residence life helps me understand the perspective of other departments and of students."

Beyond University work, some of Nate's more interesting jobs include waiting tables at a Chinese restaurant, working concessions at the Metrodome, and rebuilding and rearranging American Eagle stores. However, if he could be anything, he would be a stay-at-home dad.

In his spare time, Nate enjoys spending time with his nephews and being the "cool uncle." He is an avid runner, inside or outside. Being outdoors is very important to Nate, even in the winter. When Nate lived in Los Angeles, he said he hated not having four seasons. Nate also loves restaurant hopping and discovering new places to eat.

Nate is also in the market for a house. "My partner, Ryan, and I are house hunting currently," he said. "We've looked at over 50 houses in Columbia Heights, St. Paul, and South Minneapolis." They are also hoping to add a Boxer puppy to their family soon.

Music is also a big part of Nate's life. "I could not live without music. It just adds so much to every situation," Nate said. "I love the band Journey. I will never stop believing." He even has a Journey tattoo.

Nate's Nuances
1. Nate's favorite movie is Interview with a Vampire.
2. His favorite food is Oreos. "I can't walk by them without buying them.".
3. Nate's guilty pleasure: teen paranormal romance novels such as Twilight and Blue Bloods.
4. Last Halloween, Nate and a group of friends dressed up as characters from the Avengers, even some of the lesser known characters.
5. Nate wanted to grow up to be a country western singer. "I used to sing pop songs in a country western voice."
6. He has a fascination with Dolly Parton.
7. His biggest fear is soup and hot liquids. "I'm convinced it will melt my insides."
8. Nate loves the sound of freeway noise and traffic. "I like knowing there is traffic. It soothes me."
9. The Facts of Life, Hercules, and Xena Warrior Princess were his favorite shows as a kid.
10. His first concert was Wango Tango featuring Styx and REO Speedwagon.

The People in Your Neighborhood: Chris Dinger

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Chris Dinger considers science and technology an essential part of his life. When asked what two things he could not live without he replied, "a computer and the internet."

He has always loved science. Growing up, he thought he may be an astrophysicist or an astronomer. Chris ended up with a degree in computer science from Mankato State University and will receive his master's degree in software engineering this May.

Currently, Chris is the Web Team manager. "My job is to act as a filtering mechanism for the team," Chris said. "I try to manage the deluge of incoming requests so the team can remain focused and effective."

Chris has been a member of the Web Team for more than six years, originally starting out as a web developer. In January, he was promoted to manager. One project he has been heavily involved in is the development of the Tuition and Fee Management System. He writes code and develops several applications and systems for ASR.

"People on the Web Team are really passionate and that's great to work with," he said. "Everyone cares about what they are doing and they're excited to be at work everyday."

Before starting at the U, Chris worked at a private company developing medical software, including an ambulance dispatch system. He decided that he didn't enjoy working for a private company and came to the U because of its diverse culture.

"You get to work with so many different people at the U," Chris said. "I feel like I'm doing something that matters."

Chris and his wife, Agnes, currently live in Minneapolis with their six-month-old son Kai and their Pomeranian Coco. Chris is originally from Inver Grove Heights, while his wife is from Indonesia.


Chris considers himself a nerd. In his spare time, he tinkers with various web programming and technology devices to keep up with the industry. He calls himself a "hobbyist electrical engineer."

He enjoys being outdoors and camping. He is also an avid musician. "I have a music room in my basement, though I don't use it much now that I have my son," he said. "I can play the guitar, drums, keyboard, and the trumpet."

"Now people are going to know the depth of my nerdiness when they read this profile," he said.

Covalent Chris
1. Chris's favorite food is Indonesian street food.
2. He enjoys nonfiction books, especially physics books. The last book he read was The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley.
3. Stone Temple Pilots was Chris's first concert.
4. The most adventurous thing he's ever done is travel across Europe for a month.
5. Chris' biggest fear is drowning. He went scuba diving once and said it was terrifying.
6. Chris says people would describe him as friendly, quiet, and nerdy.
7. If Chris could be anything, he would be a successful musician or rockstar.
8. Growing up, Chris' favorite TV shows were science shows like Bill Nye the Science Guy, Mr. Wizard's World, Newton's Apple, and Nova.

9. Though Chris considers himself a nerd, he hates video games.
10. His favorite vacation spot is Bali, Indonesia.

Food for thought

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

Two ASR employees receive President's Award

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Ray Troyer, Classroom Technical Services (CTS) Engineering Manager, and Kris Wright, Director of the Office of Student Finance (OSF) recently were awarded the 2013 President's Award for Outstanding Service. The award is given for outstanding work to make the University one of the preeminent institutions in the nation. A reception honoring recipients will be held at Eastcliff on Tuesday, June 11, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.

New template for UMN Google sites

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University Relations recently added an official University header and footer template to Google Sites. To try it out for yourself, go to the Google Sites and then click the "Create" button. Then click on the "Browse gallery for more" link. You'll see a long list of templates. Choose the template named "U of M Official Google Sites Template I" (at the bottom of the list). You're all set!

FERPA refresher

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You've probably learned a lot about FERPA (which stands for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, by the way) since you were hired, but brushing up on your knowledge of protecting private student data sure can't hurt. Read more about this federal law in the ASR Employee Handbook (scroll down a bit). Or, have some fun and take our fabulous FERPA tutorial! (Click on the ULearn link to sign in and then enter "FERPA" in the search box.)

ASR wordmark guidelines

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An official ASR wordmark has been finalized. Check out the new internal wordmark guidelines for more info. Don't forget the ASR wordmark should be used on all external ASR documents.

Food for thought

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Wise words: "Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Grammar guru

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If spelling errors trip you up while posting on Facebook, tweeting, or emailing, help has arrived. Grammarly Lite is a free tool you can download that catches your errors before you broadcast a message to the social media world. Kinda cool, huh?

Catch some Zzzz's and save some moolah

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It may sound pretty unbelievable, but you can actually save money by remembering to take naps. (Hello, kindergarten again!) Turns out, people that are always tired and rundown don't make the wisest financial decisions. Read on for more reasons about why saving money may come down to simply getting some serious shut eye.

New Google gadget

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Post-it notes are great... until you realize you stuck them somewhere that you can't easily access while at work (uh, the refrigerator or the magazine lying on your coffee table). But, now, so long as you have an Android device or tablet, you can all but eliminate this pesky problem. Google recently created Google Keep, which stores notes and reminders in Google drive and syncs with all of your devices. (Thanks to Jeremy in OCM for sharing this cool new tool.)

Handy handbook tips

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As Sue Van Voorhis mentioned in her March monthly update last week, each issue of News & Notes will now highlight a topic covered in ASR's Employee Handbook. Each piece will focus on ASR practices and procedures and/or general office etiquette. Upcoming topics include cell phone usage in meetings, performance reviews, health and safety, and a FERPA refresher. Do you have a specific area you'd like highlighted? Email asrcomm@umn.edu.

Women's hockey team back-to-back champs

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A huge congratulations to the women's hockey team for an outstanding year, with a special congrats to ASR student worker Kinzey Johnson, who is a member of the team. For the second year in a row, they're NCAA Champions. Not only that, but this year they finished the season with an impressive perfect record of 41-0-0. Including last season, their winning streak has reached 49 consecutive wins. (Thanks to Jackee Wernersbach for highlighting Kinzey's amazing achievement!)

Review ready

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Ah, the yearly performance review. If the thought of this meeting fills you with anticipation, that's normal. But try to balance out your sense of apprehension by being prepared. Here's a quick slideshow with some excellent tips on how to ace your review. And be sure to have your IDP updated, too!

Volunteers needed

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ASR's Development Team is looking for volunteers to be interviewed for a staff video that will be shown at the staff event in May. If you're interested, please contact a member of the Development Team listed below:

Christa Nicols
Katie Johnson
Adam Howard
Holly Johnson
Stephanie Kearley
Marit Gladem
Dan Delaney
Kris Wright

About this Archive

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

March 2013 is the previous archive.

May 2013 is the next archive.

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