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Employee Assistance Program

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Are you feeling stressed about work or something in your personal life? The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a counseling and consultation resource for University employees and their spouses, partners, and dependents. Whether you're feeling overwhelmed or burned out at work or coping with relationship or family issue, all sessions are completely confidential and can be in-person or over the phone. For more information, visit the Office of Human Resources website.

Responding to media requests

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It may not occur often, but there's a chance you could receive a request from the media to provide information for a publication or news release. If this happens, refer the person to University Relations, which is the central communications office for the University. If someone requests information about financial aid, direct them to Kris Wright in the Office of Student Finance. For more information, check out the Employee Handbook.

Pet away your stress!

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Are you in need of a stress reliever? Stop by Boynton Health Service and decompress with the help of a furry friend. Pet Away Worry and Stress (PAWS) features therapy animals, including dogs and Woodstock the chicken (yes, really!). PAWS visits are free and open to all faculty, staff, and students from 3-5 p.m. on Wednesdays through spring semester.

Brainy biologists

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If you have a chance, be sure to check out the second floor of STSS this Friday. Biology 2002 students will be presenting their final capstone projects from 8-10 a.m. in the general purpose study space on the second floor.

The students have been working hard on their projects all semester and often have fascinating results to share. Dean Bob Elde from the College of Biological Sciences (CBS) also encouraged staff to check out the students' work during his keynote address at the fall 2013 ASR staff event.

Benefits open enrollment

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Do you need to make a change to your benefits? If so, or if you'd like to open a flexible spending account for 2014, be sure to adjust your medical or dental plan choices during November. (The open enrollment period ends Dec. 2.) During this time, you may increase the amount of your existing short-term disability by up to $200 by completing a paper application, and, if eligible, you may enroll in or increase long-term disability coverage. You may also add child life insurance. Make your changes online via Employee Self-Service by Dec. 2. For more information, see the benefits guide or call 4-UOHR (612-624-8647).

ASR ESUP standout

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ASR's Richard Toetschinger was recently featured in the ESUP blog for his exemplary teamwork skills. Read all about his contributions to the Student work stream here.

Politics at work

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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.

Summer movies in the garden

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Grab some popcorn and soft drinks! The University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum will be showing family-friendly movies in July and August. The films include The Mighty Ducks on July 11 and Miracle on August 8. Movies are free with gate admission. For more information, click here.

Summer music

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Looking for some cheap entertainment this summer? Northrop will be hosting free outdoor concerts on Northrop Plaza beginning June 7, as part of its 59th Annual Northrop Summer Music Festival. Concerts are held on selected Wednesdays at noon and Fridays at 7 p.m. during June and July. Free food and beverages will be featured throughout the series from various local vendors. For more information and the full schedule, see Northrop summer concerts.

Spring loan exit counseling

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On April 18 and 19, FA-IT sent more than 3,400 emails inviting soon-to-be graduates to complete online loan exit counseling. This is the largest batch of loan exit counseling invitations sent to date. The loan exit team worked hard the past several months to ensure students are able to navigate the new online system, and their hard work paid off. Student Account Assistance has received fewer questions regarding loan exit counseling than in the past, despite the fact that more students have been asked to complete the process.

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