Showing thanks to co-workers

thanksgivig graphic-smallThe spirit of Thanksgiving is sometimes buried behind hectic food preparation, travel plans and premature holiday and shopping distractions. It’s important to remember that Thanksgiving provides us with a time to reflect upon the good fortune and good people in our lives.

Many of these good people are those that you work with, sharing experiences as you work toward the same goal. It’s easy to show them your gratitude in simple gestures that will bring the spirit of Thanksgiving in your office. Here are a few ways to show thanks:

  • Bring in a treat. Food brings people together and gives you an opportunity to show off your cooking skills. Bringing in some Thanksgiving leftovers is also a great way to clear out an over-stuffed fridge.
  • Write a note. You don’t need to clear out the shelves of the Hallmark store for this one. Even just a sticky note placed on your co-worker’s computer or a quick email can be enough to convey your gratitude.
  • Say “thank you.” Perhaps the easiest of them all, simply telling your co-workers that you appreciate them, especially by mentioning something specific that they have done for you, can brighten their day.

Before heading home to your family this long weekend, remember to send a smile or a kind word to those in your MSU family.

Learn how to improve your emotional intelligence

The upcoming Skillsoft Live Event, free to MSU employees through elevateU, focuses on a particular human quality that affects your everyday thoughts and actions.

elevateU offers thousands of online resources for free to MSU employees
elevateU offers thousands of online resources for free to MSU employees

On Wednesday, December 2 at noon EST, Travis Bradberry will present “Emotional Intelligence 2.0: Taking Your Game to the Next Level.” His presentation will take place in San Diego, but you can get a front row seat through your computer screen.

Bradberry is the award-winning coauthor of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and the cofounder of TalentSmart, the world’s leading provider of emotional intelligence tests and training services. Emotional Intelligence is ability of an individual to recognize their own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior. It is responsible for 58 percent of your job performance. Bradberry will enable you to capitalize on your emotional intelligence and in turn improve the overall quality of you decision-making skills, leadership capabilities and much more.

You can view this presentation live and for free through elevateU. You do not have to sign up in advance; log in to EBS, select your ESS tab, click the Professional Development link and then the elevateU link. Once you are in elevateU, click the title of the presentation in “Live Events” under “Upcoming Events” in the home page before the presentation begins.

Safe Commuting Tips

This article was written by the MSU Bike Advisory Committee.

MSU has upgraded to the silver level of the Bicycle Friendly University Award! As we continue to advance the bicycle-friendly nature of MSU, it’s important for drivers to do their part in ensuring safety on shared roads.

A cyclist travels alongside cars on Farm Lane. Photo courtesy of Tim Potter.
A cyclist travels alongside vehicles on Farm Lane. Photo courtesy of Tim Potter.

As you drive to work, why not use more attention and compassion towards your fellow commuters and make the morning commute safer and more enjoyable for everyone? Remember that your fellow commuter might be on foot or on a bike and that every one of them means one less car on the road and one less car competing for a parking space!

If you drive a car to work you should take special care when passing cyclists. Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities on Michigan roads as other vehicles. When passing a cyclist, make sure to pass at a safe distance. Don’t attempt to squeeze by cyclists in the same lane even though you think there’s enough room, as they may suddenly need extra room to avoid potholes, dead animals, or an icy patch on the road. Many places, including the City of Grand Rapids, already have safe passing laws that require 5 feet of safe passing distance.

Also, don’t forget to watch out for pedestrians at cross walks. Michigan law requires vehicles to yield to pedestrians in cross walks.

At the same time cyclists and pedestrians are required to follow traffic rules: don’t cross a street when you have a “don’t walk” signal or a red light. Michigan law requires cyclists to stop at stop signs and red lights just as any other vehicle.

But besides following basic rules, even more important is to be alert and courteous. This makes commuting a better experience for everyone. Just remember, the cyclist you just buzzed might be working at the Clinical Center and giving you a flu shot later, or it might be the professor of your next MSU class.

All commuters share two goals: get to work safely and get home safely after work. Let’s work together to make that happen!

Want to help MSU become more bike friendly? Attend a meeting of the MSU Bike Advisory Committee


MSU Police MOVE SAFE campaign 

League of Michigan Bicyclists safe cycling handbook 

MSU Bike Commuter Benefits:

Learn More about Safe Bicycling 

Michigan Law Regarding Bicycling

Clerical-Technical Award 2015

Congratulations to Mindy Nienhouse, the 2015 recipient of the Michigan State University Clerical-Technical Award!

CT Award 2015
From left to right, Clerical-Technical Union President Deb Bittner, MSU Human Resouces Assistant Vice President Sharon E. Butler, award recipient Mindy Nienhouse and director emeritus of the MSU Study Abroad program Dr. Charles Gliozzo at the 2015 CT Award ceremony.

The Clerical-Technical Award is sponsored by the Thomas and Concettina Gliozzo Endowment Fund and recognizes outstanding clerical-technical employees. For six years Mindy has done amazing work with the College of Human Medicine, and she embodies the ideals emphasized in the award. These include respect for everyone in the workplace, concern for students, faculty, staff and colleagues, providing significant contributions to the community and innovative thinking.

Mindy exhibits these qualities every day as she juggles two clerkships, two elective rotations, serving as the administrative assistant to the Emergency Medicine department and the variety of additional responsibilities that Mindy has volunteered to take on. In her nomination, one faculty member wrote that she is “innovative, creative, and has an amazing capacity to complete her own work diligently, while still taking time to help others in the unit.”

Outside of work, Mindy serves as a youth counselor, advocates for healthy living and fundraises for important causes. One staff member wrote, “What is impressive is that her fundraising efforts are typically not a requirement of any of the races – her fundraising is a result of her own care and passion.”

Watch this video to learn more about Mindy and her work with the College of Human Medicine.

Mindy’s efforts were recognized at an award ceremony in Grand Rapids attended by her family, colleagues and Human Resources staff. Congratulations and thank you to Mindy Nienhouse for serving MSU, your colleagues and your community!

Thank you veterans!

U.S. flag
“Armistice Day” became Veterans Day in 1954.

MSU Human Resources extends its gratitude to all veterans that have served and defended their country in the U.S. military. It is impossible for those who never served to understand the experiences of the men and women who have, but Veterans Day gives us the opportunity to recognize their sacrifice and bravery.

We especially thank veterans at MSU, including students, faculty and staff, for choosing to join the MSU community after your service for the United States.

If you are a veteran, consider self-identifying as one in EBS. To do so, visit the Personal Information link under your ESS tab. Self-identifying allows MSU to send specific information that pertains to you as a veteran.

Veterans, let the Greater Lansing community serve you today! An abundance of businesses across the country thank veterans by offering free food and discounted services to them, and East Lansing is no exception. Eat out at your favorite restaurant or try a new one this Veterans Day.

As winter approaches, learn your COOP responsibilities

MSU Snow Plow
Snow removal crews work hard to clear roads and paths for everyone walking and driving on MSU’s campus. Photo courtesy of MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities

The university never completely shuts down, and it needs support to maintain vital operations even during severe weather, major utility failure, health or environmental crisis, or any other emergency. MSU recently developed guidelines for departments to use in these situations, and each faculty and staff member needs to know their role during an emergency and if they are required to work.

The Continuity of Operations Plan, or COOP, was due November 1 by each Major Administrative Unit. Those responsible for completing and submitting their COOP need to do so immediately.

Each unit administrator or supervisor is responsible for sharing the COOP with their employees to ensure that everyone is aware of their responsibilities. It’s also very important to notify critical personnel that they have been designated as such. Critical personnel are MSU faculty and staff who perform designated critical functions and services and are, therefore, required to work when a modification or curtailment of normal operations occurs, as detailed in the department’s COOP.

In addition, the best way to find information about an emergency or modification of operations is through the MSU website and MSU Alert. Get the COOP template and find out more about the guidelines for maintaining critical functions at MSU here.

Job of the Week 11/6/15

This week we are highlighting a Contract and Grant/Sponsored Programs Administrator III (posting #2305)  with Vice President Research and Graduate Studies in the Office of Sponsored Programs. This position supports faculty during award review and facilitates the negotiation and acceptance of externally funded projects by MSU. Responsibilities include reviewing and negotiating award documents for official signature; drafting and negotiating subcontracts; reviewing and interpreting language in solicitations, awards, and other legal documents; reviewing proposed budgets; preparing complex summaries of the relevant award terms and conditions for faculty, university officials, and research staff; initiating award account setup; composing correspondence to internal and external sources.

MSU Jobs IconFor a complete description of this position, and to view all of our current postings, please go to and select Support Staff under the Fast Jobs Search.

Prevent the cold and flu this season

First snowfalls, holiday preparations and the beginning of basketball and hockey seasons might be fun, but they signal the onset of a dreaded annual occurrence: cold and flu season.

The cold can happen year-round, but the flu is generally seasonal and can be more harmful. The first step to prevent the flu is getting the vaccination in the fall. There are four more campus flu clinics providing free shots to faculty and staff until November 16.Continue Reading… Prevent the cold and flu this season

Events Round-Up November 2015

Here are some events happening over the next month that may be of interest to MSU faculty and staff. Please visit the links for more information. Many events require registration.

Community Events

Thursday, November 5 – Thursday, November 12

East Lansing Film Festival, Studio C! and Wells Hall

Saturday, November 7

Broad Family Day, noon – 4 p.m., Broad Art Museum

Thursday, November 12

World Usability Day, 8 a.m.–3 p.m., MSU Union

Saturday, November 14

“Our Oath in Action” Homeless Animal Awareness Event, 10 a.m.–3 p.m., Meridian Mall

Friday, November 20

Silver Bells in the City, 6 p.m., Downtown Lansing

Sunday, November 22

Global Festival, 1–6 p.m., MSU Union

Wednesday, November 25

Lansing Turkey Trot, 9 a.m., Lansing Community College

Friday, November 27 – Sunday, November 29

The Nutcracker, times vary, Wharton Center

Development, Training and Wellness

Wednesday, November 4

Healing Power of Guided Imagery, 12:10–12:50 p.m., Abrams Planetarium

Friday, November 6

Payments to Non-Residents and Foreign Vendors,  8:30 a.m.–noon, 10 Nisbet

Tuesday, November 10

Writing Workshop: Highlighting Writing Skills on Resumes, 3–4:30 p.m., 10 Nisbet

Friday, November 13

Making Learning Accessible Conference, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m., MSU Union

Tuesday, November 17

Conducting Successful Focus Groups, 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. 10 Nisbet

Kitchen Skill Drill: Latino Cuisine, 12:10–12:50 p.m., McDonel Hall

Wednesday, November 18

Essentials of Employee Relations, 8:30 a.m.–noon, 10 Nisbet

Saturday, November 21

Silver Bells in the City 5K, 9 a.m., downtown Lansing