Nominations are Open for the Student Employee of the Year Award!

If you work on campus, you know how important student employees are to the success of your department and the university. Do you know a student who consistently goes above and beyond in their work? Supervisors have the chance to recognize these exemplary Spartans by nominating them for the Student Employee of the Year award by February 8, 2021.

Find more details and the nomination form on the Department of Student Life website.

Eligible nominees must be:

  • Currently registered in an MSU degree-granting program.
  • Employed on student employee payroll for a minimum of three months between June 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021.
  • Nominated by their supervisor. Only one student employee may be nominated per supervisor. Complete an online nomination form here.
    Note: Graduate assistants, residence hall staff and other student employees who do not fall under the jurisdiction of MSU Student Employment or the Student Employee Payroll may not be nominated for this award. They are eligible for other recognition programs.

All nominees will be honored with certificates. The MSU Student Employee winner’s name is submitted for consideration for the State of Michigan competition. All nominees will be acknowledged at the virtual reception on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, via YouTube Premiere. Learn more about the award on the Department of Student Life website.

Motivational Monday Round-Up

The new year is in full swing! While resolutions are made with the best intentions, it can be hard to maintain high spirits as time progresses. If you find yourself doing the same old routine and those new year’s resolutions are a distant memory, Todd Bradley, HR Learning and Organization Development Specialist, is a great source of motivation to get you back on track.

Todd’s Motivational Monday videos are a monthly series of short videos that began during the summer of 2020. These videos were designed to motivate and inspire MSU employees, exploring topics like rational thinking skills, emotive skills and more for both professional and personal development. Visit the MSU HR YouTube channel to view Todd’s full series of Todd Talk videos.

Motivational Monday: Problem Solving 101

Todd outlines a foundational approach to problem-solving in our everyday challenges.

Motivational Monday: Strategic Critical Thinking

To sharpen rational thinking skills, Todd shares quick and easy ways to enhance strategic thinking and influence long-term success.

Motivational Monday: Emotional Intelligence

In this video, Todd explores the different facets of emotional intelligence and ways to boost it both professionally and personally.

Motivational Monday: Gratitude

Todd ends this series with a video on gratitude and the benefits of expressing it in our lives.

Visit the MSU HR YouTube channel to view Todd’s full series of Todd Talk videos.

Resources and Upcoming Courses for HR Professionals

Are you a Human Resources (HR) professional at MSU? Whether you handle HR processes in your college or unit on a regular or infrequent basis, the following training opportunities and resources will help you stay up to date on relevant topics.

Upcoming Instructor-Led Courses

Please Note: you may use available educational assistance funds to pay for the following courses through HR Organization and Professional Development (OPD). Take advantage of this year’s educational assistance benefit before it resets at the beginning of fall semester!

  • Certified Human Resources Specialist (CHRS): In this virtual offering of the five-session series, participants will receive fundamental knowledge to be a successful HR professional. Pass a take-home exam to achieve CHRS certification. Course Dates: July 14, 21, 28, August 4 AND 11.

  • Advanced Certified Human Resources Specialist: As a Certified Human Resources Specialist, you know how important it is to stay abreast of changes in employment and labor laws. This CHRS follow-up program has been designed exclusively to help Certified Human Resources Specialists to stay up to date on important employment and labor law changes, discuss hot topics in HR management, learn how to apply best practices, and continue to build your professional network. Attend Advanced CHRS and earn 14 continuing education credits towards CHRS recertification. Course Dates: August 9 AND 16.

Free e-Learning Resources

  • Mitigating Bias in Hiring e-Learning Course: Learn about best practices and procedures for reducing potential bias in the screening and interview process and obtain tools for increasing understanding and self-awareness.

  • elevateU: The free elevateU online learning platform for MSU employees has a variety of resources on human resources topics. After you login to elevateU, select The Library in the top navigation, then Business Skills from the dropdown menu, followed by Human Resources in the sidebar. Subcategories on this page include HR Certifications, Engagement and Retention, Diversity and much more.

    In particular, we recommend the SHRM-CP/SCP: HR Competencies series, which identifies and discusses the eight behavioral competencies critical for HR professionals. These include Ethical Practice, Leadership and Navigation, Business Acumen, Relationship Management, Communication, Consultation, Critical Evaluation, and Global and Cultural Effectiveness. 

CUPA-HR Free Courses

The CUPA-HR website has a variety of free courses available, including a CUPA-HR: Boot Camp self-paced e-learning course that offers a higher education perspective on essential HR topics. Find all the CUPA-HR courses on the Knowledge Center CUPA-HR website.

Not yet a CUPA-HR member? Select Register for any of the linked courses on the CUPA-HR site, then choose Create a New Account in the Sign In section. Be sure to choose Michigan State University as your Organization to enjoy free membership and course access.

Employee Discounts to Support New Year’s Resolutions

If you have any New Year’s resolutions related to health and wellness goals, MSU Benefits Plus has a variety of discounts and deals that may help you achieve them. These discounts and deals are exclusive to MSU employees.

To access all the discounts, visit MSU Benefits Plus and sign-in using your ZPID number (located on your Spartan Card ID badge), or you can find the number in EBS. If you haven’t used MSU Benefits Plus previously, you’ll need to sign-up using your ZPID number to access the discounts.

Exercise More

  • GlobalFit: explore GlobalFit’s growing library of free virtual classes and resources through Corestream’s GlobalFit Portal, along with exclusive discounts for members on popular fitness and wellness products. You will need to select “Activate Benefit” in the top right-hand corner and enter your contact details in order to access all the deals. Find deals on a variety of products and services, including LesMills on-demand fitness classes, virtual Honor Yoga and Meditation classes, elliptical and treadmill machines, gym memberships, POLAR heart rate monitors, and much more!
  • FitBod: Receive 1-month membership, plus 25% off your membership if you decide to sign-up. Visit the site to redeem your free month and/or follow the instructions to sign-up for membership and receive this 25% discount.

Reduce Stress

  • Calm App: Get 57% off* the #1 app for meditation and sleep! Enjoy access to the Calm app 1-year subscriptions for only $29.99 (normally $69.99) when purchasing through this link.
  • Headspace: Try Headspace and learn the essentials of meditation and mindfulness with their free Basics course. Enjoy a free two-week trial of Headspace using this link.

Eat Healthier/Cook More

  • Shipt: For $79 per year, receive unlimited free deliveries from participating retailers on all orders over $35. Plus, get $10 off your first order. To receive this special pricing, sign up using this link and redemption code: 5ABFF1969DF.
  • Freshly: sign up to get chef cooked, healthy meals delivered right to your door. Get $60 off your first five boxes when you use promo code get60 at checkout using this link.
  • Home Chef: Get 50% off your first home chef box (up to $40) when you use code CS50 at checkout using this link.
  • EveryPlate: try Everyplate at $2.99/meal + get 20% off next 2 boxes. Use coupon code Q6-4DFGE at this link..
  • PlateJoy: get $10 off at PlateJoy using promo code GET10 at checkout using this link.

The HR website also offers other deals you can find on-campus through the MSU Tech Store, MSU Bakers, and the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center, among others. You can check out some of those deals at MSU HR Website.

For more information on discounts through MSU Benefits Plus, visit the HR website. If you have any questions about the discounts, please call MSU Benefits Plus at 888-758-7575.

Retirement Planning: 2021 IRS Retirement Plan Contribution Limits

Whether you’ve just started working at MSU or have been here for 30+ years, it is important that you continue to monitor and adjust how much you’re saving if you want to have a comfortable retirement.

The IRS places limits on how much employees can contribute to a retirement plan each year. The IRS recently announced the retirement plan limits for 2021:

  • The annual employee contribution amount continues to be $19,500 for 403(b) and 457(b) plans.
  • The age 50 catch-up contribution amount continues to be $6,500 for 403(b) and 457(b) plans.

If you want to save as much as you can for your retirement, there is a tool in the EBS Portal called the Max Savings Contributions Calculator available to assist you. This tool automatically displays the remaining amount of retirement contributions you have available before reaching one of the limits, and the equivalent percentage of your pay to help you spread that out for the year.

To access this tool:

  1. Login to the EBS Portal with your MSU NetID and password.
  2. Click the My Benefits tab at the top.
  3. Click the Benefit/Retirement tile.
  4. Select Enroll/Change my Retirement/Health Savings Account Options in the drop-down menu and then click Next in the bottom right.
  5. Navigate in the bar graph to the Savings Plans screen by clicking Next in the bottom right.
  6. The Max Savings Contributions Calculator screen will display. This display will automatically show the remaining amount of retirement contributions you have available (if any) before reaching the IRS limit.
  7. You can adjust the percentage of your contributions to any retirement plans you participate in by clicking on the pencil icon, and then choose Select to make the change.
  8. If you want to enroll in a new plan, begin by clicking on the paper icon next to the plan and vendor of your choosing, and then enter the percentage of your new contribution and choose Select to enroll.
  9. Make sure to click on Save in the bottom right to complete and save any changes/enrollments.

If you are an academic year faculty or academic staff employee, or a Voluntary 403(b) Base participant age 50 and over, contact the HR Solutions Center at 517-353-4434 or for further assistance in calculating your maximum contribution percentage.

Learn More About MSU’s Retirement Plans 

The HR website contains a wealth of information about the different types of retirement plans offered, retirement investment vendors, and planning tools available.

Upcoming Virtual Professional Development Courses

Whether you’ve jumped into the new year with a list of goals to work on or need a little inspiration, HR Organization and Professional Development (OPD) has a variety of online, live courses to help you. Find a list of upcoming courses sorted by topic below. You’ll see some familiar course names now offered in a virtual format, alongside some newer courses like Managing Employees Remotely and The Power of Habit.


Customer Service

Human Resources



  • Managing Employees Remotely – January 20: Shifting to remote work has required changes in our perspectives and approaches to work, and successfully managing employees in this environment means strengthening new and different skills. Learn more about how to do just that in this new, one-hour virtual course.


  • Query Studio – January 27: Query Studio is an ad hoc reporting tool that can be used to produce queries against enterprise data (HR and Finance) as well as additional data that has been added to the dimensional models in MSU’s enterprise data warehouse.
  • Records Management and Retention at MSU – February 25: Learn the rules, regulations, and strategies to help manage university records. Class will cover both electronic and print documents.

Personal Development

You can find all the current virtual Organization and Professional Development courses on the HR website. Class enrollment is completed within the EBS Portal. Employees may use available educational assistance funds towards course fees (if any).

Mentorship Resources and Tips

Updated January 2023

Over the past few years, the workplace has changed dramatically with many of us working remotely and dealing with changing priorities. As we say goodbye to another year and look forward to 2023, take some time to reflect on your experiences with co-workers over the past year; they may influence the goals or skills you choose to work on moving forward.

Do you admire a colleague’s ability to patiently manage a project during periods of change? Or maybe you have a co-worker with a talent for staying on task and engaging team members during hybrid meetings? Many of the qualities you appreciate in others are skills that anyone can develop with proper coaching through mentorship.

Beyond developing your skillset, mentorship is an opportunity to broaden your network and ability to see issues from multiple points of view. Among the many things we’ve learned over the past few years, one key takeaway is how important cross-team support and collaboration are to creative problem-solving and innovation, especially during stressful times.

Whether you’re looking for a mentor or you’d like to become one, the following articles written by Senior HR Professional Kathie Elliott can help you get started:

  • Mentoring in the Workplace: Think mentorship is just one-on-one help from a more experienced colleague? Think again! There are many mentoring structures to choose from, depending on the goals of the mentors and mentees. Identify which structures may help you in your career.
  • Finding a Professional Mentor: Finding the right mentor can make a big difference in your career. Once you find a potential mentor, how should you approach them? Find ideas for turning a current professional relationship into a mentorship.
  • How to Become a Mentor: You may want to consider becoming a mentor if you have the experiences and skills to offer. Even if you are early in your career or new to your position, you still have knowledge to share. Find steps to take to be ready when a mentorship opportunity arises.

Additionally, as you think about the goals or skills you want to work on and how mentorship could play a role in achieving them, consider tying them to your Performance Excellence goals (for support staff). For more information about how to set yourself up for success as you identify goals, check out this When SMART Meets HARD: Setting Goals that Matter article.