Self-Improvement Month

September is Self-Improvement Month! Self-improvement can be related to many things, whether it’s learning something new, maximizing a strength or focusing on your physical or emotional wellbeing. Celebrate this month by taking some time for yourself, growing and using these MSU resources to help get you started.

Creating and Sustaining a Positive Workplace

Take advantage of this personal development course in October. The Creating and Sustaining a Positive Workplace course will help you break the seven habits of negativity and other secrets of getting along. For more information, click here

Take a Walk Around MSU

Utilize our beautiful campus or take a stroll through the East Lansing area. Taking a walk is great exercise, but can also improve your mental and emotional well-being.

TIAA Webinar: Strategies for Staying on Track

The WorkLife Office is hosting a webinar to help you stay on track of your financial goals. This opportunity will give you tips on how to have a solid financial future even after you’ve stopped working. For more information, click here

Identify and Maximize Your Strengths

This course will teach you how to benefit most from your strengths based on your CliftonStrengths Assessment. The assessment identifies your natural patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving, so that you can discover what makes you exceptional and maximize your potential. For more information, click here

Spartan Clothing Swap

Work on your self-improvement by cleaning out your closet, helping the planet and giving back to others in the community. The Surplus Store and Recycling Center are hosting a clothing swap where you can swap your clothes in good condition with others and keep them out of the waste stream. For more information, click here

Wellbeing Wednesdays: Supporting Each Other Through the Next New Normal

The WorkLife Office and Health4U have partnered to bring you Wellbeing Wednesdays. This informal webinar will focus on how we can support each other during continued change and the importance of self-care. For more information, click here

Ready, Set, Change!

This personal development course will demonstrate how organizational change can result in better outcomes. Join this November to improve and take charge of your organizational environment. For more information, click here

Strings Sing: 2022 Music and the Garden Series

Take in the natural beauty of the W.J. Beal Botanical Garden, relax, and enjoy some chamber music and jazz at the 2022 Music and the Garden Series. For more information, click here

Women’s Networking Association: All Things Women’s Health – Understanding and Taking Care of Your Body

The Women’s Networking Association will host this webinar to teach women how to best take care of and listen to their bodies. For more information, click here

The Power of Habit™

This personal development course will teach you how to replace undesirable habits with productive ones. Join us in October, and kick those bad habits for good! For more information, click here.  

Share your favorite self-improvement tips and comment below!

Happy Honeybee Day!

It’s Honeybee Day! To celebrate these buzzing beauties, do your part in taking care of them. The College of Natural Science has outlined what you can do to help the bees in the Michigan Pollinator Initiative.

The Michigan Pollinator Initiative aids MSU in furthering the MSU 2030 Strategic Plan. The strategic plan highlights MSU’s goal to achieve stewardship and sustainability. Here’s a few tips you can use to help our honeybees and be a good steward of resources, pursuing initiatives in a manner that ensures MSU’s long-term sustainability and success.. 

Remove Bees Safely

If you discover bees on your property that are disruptive, work with a local beekeeper to see if they can be saved.

Plant for Pollinators

Add more flowering plants to your home garden or lawn. To learn more about this process, click here.

Advocate

Understanding policies and advocating for pollinators is a great way to support the bees. To do this, you can find your representatives or learn more about the legislative process.

To learn about the Michigan Pollinator Initiative and find out more about what you can do, click here. To learn more about the MSU 2030 Strategic Plan, visit strategicplan.msu.edu.

HR Welcomes Colleagues and Students Back to Campus

Dear Spartan Colleagues,  

As your new Chief Human Resources Officer, I am pleased to welcome faculty and staff to a new academic year. We spent the last two years facing unprecedented challenges of the global pandemic and being vigilant in our efforts toward employee wellbeing, health, and safety. Spartans met these challenges with great care, resilience, and Spartan will. Let’s continue to work through this together and be sure to utilize available resources. The Wellbeing at Work guide, the Employee Assistance Program, vaccine verification, exemption forms, and more information can be found on the Together We Will site. 

In preparation for our largest student enrollment, we look forward to seeing you back on campus while employing flexible work options. Herein lies our next challenge of navigating paradox and competing priorities. The future of work involves innovation, agility, and commitment to excellence. We strive to balance instructional imperatives, business operations, and new work modalities including hybrid and remote schedules. We prioritize employee and student engagement and promote equity and fairness while addressing individual needs. I have every confidence in our campus community to tackle this challenge. Take some time and read our mission, values, and strategic plan for inspiration and guidance: 

By 2030, we envision a Michigan State University that has significantly expanded opportunity and advanced equity, elevated its excellence in ways that attract vital talent and support, and has a vibrant, caring community. – MSU 2030 Strategic Plan

I look forward to my first fall as a Spartan—enjoying Michigan State’s gorgeous campus as the colors set in and students arrive with renewed energy and excitement for everything it means to be part of the Spartan community.

Thank you for your continued work and dedication to the University, our students, and our land-grant mission. These are challenging times, but Together We Will. We wish you a safe, healthy, and successful academic year. 

Go Green!

Christina K. Brogdon, PHR
Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Michigan State University

MSU Surplus Store

With the school year approaching fast, it’s the perfect time to check out the best-kept secret on campus, the MSU Surplus Store! You can visit online here or shop in person on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The MSU Surplus Store and Recycling Center helps keep MSU green by innovating the community’s used materials. Last year, the center was able to divert 13 million pounds of material collected from the landfill. 

The store also prides itself on their zero waste policy, meaning that if they collect something that cannot be resold, they recycle it for parts at their onsite recycling center. If you are interested in learning more about the center, visit their website here

The store sells a wide variety of products with anything from school supplies to furniture. In addition to the store and website, the surplus store has an Amazon Storefront, eBay account and Etsy account. The best part of these online resources are the textbooks, so if you are a student or have a student at home, check out these sites before buying your textbooks at full price somewhere else. 

You can visit the MSU Surplus Store at 468 Green Way, East Lansing. While in-person shopping is only open on Fridays, the store offers curbside pickup Monday through Friday. To shop or learn more about the store, visit msusurplusstore.com

Back to School 2022

Whether you have one of those families that loves shopping for back to school, or they dread it every year, MSU Benefits Plus has you covered. All benefit-eligible employees can log into the MSU Benefits Plus portal with their ZPID, which can be found on EBS, and find dozens of discounts to get you and your family heading back to school in style without paying full price. 

Below are just a few examples of what might be useful this time of year. 

Computer & Electronics

Technology is now an essential part of the school supply list so enjoy extra savings on those investments through a variety of retailers, even here at MSU. 

  • Apple: Employee pricing on everything you purchase
  • HP: Up to 52% off computers and accessories
  • Dell: Up to 30% off using the Member ID PS113067902
  • Lenovo: Back to School savings of up to 70% off until August 21!
  • MSU Tech Store: Purchase all kinds of tech with prices exclusive to MSU staff, faculty, and students

Family and Dependent Care

Back-to-school season is busy so it’s a great time to make sure you have the best childcare for all-day service, after school, tutoring, or even date night. 

  • KinderCare: 10% off with code CORESTREAMCLIENTS
  • Learning Care Group (includes TutorTime of Okemos and DeWitt): 10% off childcare and free registration
  • Care.com (available through MSU WorkLife Office): FREE premium membership (savings of $156 per year)! 
  • Eat at State: While they can’t watch your kids for you, they can provide the whole family with a convenient dinner option that includes choices sure to please everyone, and at a discount for faculty and staff!

Clothing and Apparel

Everyone wants a great outfit for their first day of school, whether you’re a student, an educator, or even if it’s just another day at the office. 

  • Bombas: 20% off with code CORE20 (plus a pair is donated with every pair purchased!) 
  • Forever 21: 20% purchases of $65 or more with code BMSM20
  • JCPenney: Save an extra 15% with code AFFSHOP1
  • Spartan Spirit Shops: Visit any Shop in person and show your Faculty/Staff ID for 20% off!

Education 

Learn a new skill, stock up on textbooks for those fall courses, and show your Spartan spirit, all at a discount through these local organizations. 

For all of these discounts and more visit the HR Website or the MSU Benefits Plus portal. Employees can also call Benefits Plus at 888-758-7575 with any questions. Back to School is on at Michigan State!

August Events Round-up

Are you looking to find events for you and your family this month? There are activities (in-person and virtual) on campus and in the Greater Lansing community that are perfect for summer. Many events require registration, so be sure to click the links to learn more.

Campus Events

Starts August 325th Annual Muelder Summer Carillon Concert Series (free): Enjoy the bells of Beaumont Tower, for free, every Wednesday.

August 6Family Day: Grow (free): Enjoy Family Day at the MSU Broad Art Museum. There will be hands-on, interactive activities throughout the museum.

August 14Architecture Tour (free): Celebrate the 10th anniversary of the MSU Broad Art Museum by learning more about the building’s unique architecture.

Starts August 18Tuesdays with Morrie: Come see the play based on the best-selling memoir of all time, Tuesdays with Morrie at the Wharton Center.

August 18Vince Gill featuring Wendy Moten: Enjoy music from recording artist Vince Gill and singer from The Voice, Wendy Moten at the Wharton Center. 

August 27Public Making Hours (free): Join fellow community members in working on creative projects.

Lansing Events

Starts August 2 –  Michigan Princess Lunchtime Cruise: Enjoy lunch and music from Dixieland Jazz Band on a cruise down the river on August 2 and 18. 

August 3Concert in the Park (free): Enjoy music from Global Village at parks all over LansingAugust 18 Zoo Night: Come see the Potter Park Zoo after hours with drinks and food. For guests 21 and over. 

August 20Art Feast (free to enter): Enjoy this arts and craft festival in the heart of Old Town Lansing. 

Health and Wellness

Starts August 3 Explorations in Eating (free): Learn what “normal eating” looks like with registered dietician, Abby Richey, on Teams August 3, 17 and 31. 

Starts August 3 Fresh Air Fitness: Pilates in the Garden (free): Enjoy the outdoors and pilates in the W.J. Beal Botanical Garden on August 3, 10 and 17. 

August 21Wellness Weekend Series: Movement Workshop (free): Move, converse and interact in a low pressure environment meant for all people.

Family-Friendly Activities

August 1 Sensory Friendly Hours: Visit the Impression5 Science Center for their sensory friendly hours.

August 2National Night Out: Touch-a-Truck (free): Bring the whole family to explore fire trucks, ambulances, police vehicles and more.

Starts August 5Chasing the Ghost Particle: From the South Pole to the Edge of the Universe: Learn about Earth’s most remote locations at the Abrams Planetarium every weekend.

Starts August 5Summer Concert Series (free): Enjoy live performances on Friday nights in the Ann Street Plaza.  

Starts August 5SkyTellers: Seasons and Moon: Hear from Native American Master Storytellers at the Abrams Planetarium every Sunday.

August 649th Annual Art Fair (free): Enjoy a fine arts and craft show in historic downtown Grand Ledge.

August 8  – MSU Bug House Monday Night Open House (free): View insects from all over the world at the MSU Bug House.

Staycation Activities

Are you looking for some fun activities for the family this summer, but want to stay local? Check out these East Lansing gems for family fun or date nights.

The Graduate

The Graduate Hotel in East Lansing features the Graduate Rock Bar. This rooftop restaurant is perfect for the whole family or date night. Enjoy their incredible view of MSU campus. The Graduate Rock Bar is open seven days a week and 21+ only after 8 p.m. For more information, click here.

East Lansing Family Aquatic Center

Now open! The East Lansing Family Aquatic Center is the perfect place to soak in the sun with the whole family. The Aquatic Center has a variety of features including a sunbathing deck, drop slide, splash park and more. The Aquatic Center is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. For more information on rates and passes, click here.

East Lansing Farmers Market

This growers-only market is the perfect place for a Sunday getaway. The market features Michigan products and produce like fruit, cheese, flowers and more. The market is open every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Valley Court Park. For more information, click here.

What’s your favorite local activity or destination? Share with us in the comments!

Happy Cow Appreciation Day!

It’s Cow Appreciation Day! To celebrate these four-legged friends, take the family to the MSU Dairy Store for a tasty treat or visit the Dairy Cattle Teaching and Research Center south of campus to say hello and share your appreciation in person! 

The MSU Dairy Store sales support the teaching, research and outreach mission of the Dairy Foods Complex, where students interested in a career in the dairy foods industry have access to current equipment, technology and training. MSU’s research aids scientists in addressing food safety and processing issues.

The dairy store serves a wide variety of ice cream flavors that change daily. Through the month of July, they are serving a specialty cotton candy ice cream sundae topped with pop rocks, cotton candy and an MSU Bakery cupcake. For those who like their dairy on the savory side, the dairy store also sells cheese by the block or in gift boxes. 

The MSU Dairy Store summer hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. To learn more about the MSU Dairy Store, click here.

For a fun outdoor family activity this summer, visit the Dairy Cattle Teaching and Research Center, located on the university farms immediately south of MSU campus at 4075 N. College Road, between Forest and Jolly Roads. Visitors are welcome at the farm during daylight hours and can visit any animals accessible from outside or with open doors. The Michigan State University dairy herd is maintained for teaching, extension, and research purposes. Learning experiences are provided for classes in both Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine.

Spartans’ Top Tips for Successful Hybrid or Remote Work

With the implementation of MSU’s new remote work policies, many of us are officially working a hybrid or remote schedule or are considering doing so in the future. 

We asked Spartans who work all over campus to share their best tips for their hybrid or remote work schedules. The top tips below cover leveraging Teams, establishing a consistent routine, staying connected with colleagues, and more. 

Tips for a Successful Hybrid Schedule

“Having a docking station at home and work makes things very seamless. A daily morning routine to get yourself focused for work is also helpful.” –Elizabeth V.

“Our team takes turns covering the administrative office, so we are always open, and everyone gets to work from home a few days a week. During our weekly Zoom meetings, we talk through shared tasks and have a few laughs. We also have mini-retreats each semester to plan for big events, projects, and challenges. The hybrid schedule helps us to focus and enhance productivity while giving our staff the flexibility to achieve better life balance.” –Mary Beth G.

“Work with your team to determine the best days for in-person and remote work. Put a sign at your desk letting people know when you are remote or in-person and how to reach you. Add reminders to your calendar at the end of your location transition day to bring your work materials with you for the next morning. When switching from remote to in-office, place your bags by the door the night before to help you remember. Use a laptop with a docking station for an easy transition. When remote, reach out to coworkers to ensure everything is running smoothly and see how their day is going.” –Brooke P.

“I highly recommend using the Microsoft Teams apps: Tasks by Planner and To Do and Remind Myself. Tasks by Planner and To-Do allows me to create a digital list of tasks and arrange them by priority, due date, and active or completed. Remind Myself is for tasks unsuited to my calendar but require attention. The application provides the option to list and snooze your reminders. All reminders appear as a chat notification in Teams. Both applications allow me to remain focused and organized in the office and home!” –Bianca P.

“Wake up at the same time, no matter where you work. Keep a notebook of your daily tasks that is easy to carry back and forth. I have a file on a shared drive to access from both locations. Try to maintain a healthy diet at home and in the office. Exercise daily—podcasts make it fun. Take time when you are in the office to connect with others.” –Sue S.

“To ensure I have the information I need in the office and at home, I have a file folder holder I keep important documents in that I take back and forth. The files stay in the folder until I need them.” –Rhonda B.

Tips for a Successful Remote Schedule

“My team has co-working times–Teams meetings where team members join for a set amount of time. We discuss how we’re doing, what we’ve been working on, and what we want to work on during our time together. The meetings keep us connected and allow us to get help if needed.” –Kelly S.

“When working remotely, put on music you like. I listen to my ‘Liked Songs’ playlist for a happy boost. I also like to put on a video I’ve seen multiple times that I can ignore. As a former teacher, I would often grade papers and write lesson plans with the movie, ‘You’ve Got Mail’ playing in the background.” –Corinne L.

“I think it is important for people working remotely or in a hybrid setting to have a designated office space (not a dining room or kitchen table). Remote work comes with its perks. If I don’t have a Zoom meeting all day, I will usually dress a little more comfortably. On days when I have meetings, I will dress as if I were going to the office. Do what makes you comfortable and productive! Be sure to take breaks too! I will sometimes block my calendar for my lunch break so I don’t forget and others will see that I am away on my calendar.” –Marie G.

“Stay in a routine, utilize your calendar and practice good time management. Stay in touch with your team and if you are caught up, ask your supervisor if you can do more to help. Take your designated lunch hour to maintain your routine. Time management skills are key to working remotely. Set yourself weekly and daily goals to accomplish tasks in an effective and timely manner.”

Christine H.

Thank you to everyone who shared their ideas! If you have more tips, share them in the comments!

July Events Round-up

Are you looking to find events for you and your family this summer? There are activities (in-person and virtual) on campus and in the Greater Lansing community that are perfect for the summer. Many events require registration, so be sure to click the links to learn more.

Events on Campus

Starts July 625th Annual Muelder Summer Carillon Concert Series: Enjoy the bells of Beaumont Tower, for free, every Wednesday.

July 10Architecture Tour: Celebrate the 10th anniversary of the MSU Broad Art Museum by learning more about the building’s unique architecture.

July 14Beal Botanical Garden Tour: Toxic Plants That ‘Fly Under the Radar’: Learn from garden curator, Peter Carrington about what plants may be more dangerous than you think.

July 17Soft and Sharp Jazz: 2022 Music and the Garden Series: Bring the whole family for art and science activities, followed by a concert featuring the MSU College of Music chamber music and jazz. 

July 30Public Making Hours: Join fellow community members in working on creative projects.

Lansing Events

July 8Comedy Murder Mystery Cruise aboard the Michigan Princess: Let the detective in you come to life with a buffet and a trip down the river. 

July 8Live Music with Darin Larner Band: Enjoy a wide range of music from Lansing’s own Darin Langer Band. 

July 9REO Town Marketplace Celebrates Mardi Gras: Enjoy all the festivities of Mardi Gras  right in Lansing. 

July 14 –  Michigan Princess Lunchtime Cruise: Enjoy lunch and music from Dixieland Jazz Band on a cruise down the river. 

July 21Zoo Night: Come see the Potter Park Zoo after hours with drinks and food. For 21+ guests only.

Health and Wellness

July 12Good Form Walking/Good Form Running Clinic: Learn injury avoidance practices and improve efficiency of movement while running or walking. 

July 23Wellness Weekends Series: Meditation Tour: Utilize meditation and mindfulness techniques to deepen your experience of art. 

Family-Friendly Activities

Starts July 1Bad Astronomy: Myths and Misconceptions: Come debunk astronomy myths at the Abrams Planetarium every weekend. 

Starts July 1 A Teenager’s Guide to the Galaxy: Learn about different science topics at the Abrams Planetarium every Sunday. 

Starts July 8Summer Concert Series: Enjoy free live performances on Friday nights in the Ann Street Plaza. 

July 10Brunch on the Lawn: Bring a blanket and enjoy brunch from Whipped and Tin Cup Cafe & Creamery Trailer. 

Starts July 11Eaton County Fair: Enjoy live entertainment, rides, contests and more until July 16. 

July 11MSU Bug House Monday Night Open House: View insects from all over the world at the MSU Bug House. 

Starts July 12Play in the Park: Bring the family for an interactive children’s entertainment series July 12 and July 26. 

July 17Abrams Planetarium Sensory Friendly Shows: Enjoy sensory friendly shows where everyone is welcome. 

July 30Michigan’s Bacon Festival: Celebrate bacon with food, games and live music for all ages.  

July 30Sensory Friendly Hours: Visit the Impression5 Science Center for their sensory friendly hours. 

Learning Opportunities

July 6Building, Accessing, and Using Contemporary Anishinabe Collections of Michigan State University Museum: Join this ZOOM presentation and learn about the traditional arts of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. 

July 12 & 13The Office of Employee Relations (OER) and the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD) Presentation: Join this interactive presentation regarding employees with disabilities and the process for requesting workplace disability accommodations. This program will build awareness of disability as part of diversity, inclusive language, and disability accommodation resources.

July 13The Power of Habit: Learn how to replace bad habits with good ones in this course. 

Starts July 14Science Gallery – Youth Symposium “Hot and Bothered”: Learn about climate issues until July 19.

July 282022 MSU Autism Conference: Come listen to panel discussions at The Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Department of Pediatrics and Human Development annual event.