September Events Round-Up

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

Campus Events

Starts September 1Meet Your Campus Art Museum (free): Come check out the exhibitions and make a custom tote bag at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum On September 1 and 2.

September 1Wharton Welcomes featuring Charlie Burg (free): Celebrate the new school year at the Wharton Center with an evening of alternative/funk music, ice cream, games and more.

September 9Opening Reception for 1.5° Celsius Exhibition (free): Visit the MSU Museum for the opening reception of the new exhibit that addresses climate issues.

September 17: Garden Day 2022: These workshops at the Plant and Soil Sciences Building will teach you more about plants.

Learning Opportunities

September 13Family Employee Resource Group: Children with Special Needs (free): A panel of local experts will answer your questions about children with special needs and share resources in this Zoom webinar.

September 14ERGO 100: Intro to Ergonomics (free): Join this Zoom course and learn about common ergonomic stressors in the workplace.

September 17Diving Into Math with Emmy Noether (free): Enjoy this play at the FRIB Laboratory to celebrate one of the most influential mathematicians.

September 22International Employee Resource Group: Welcome Session (free): Join this Zoom webinar to connect on issues related to our international community.

Health and Wellness

September 9Spartan Clothing Swap (free): Ready to clean out your closet? Bring your unwanted clothes to the Surplus Store and Recycling Center and exchange clothes with someone else.

September 17Lansing Walk4CMT (free): Bring the whole family for a day of walking and fundraising for a cure for Charcot-Marie-Tooth. 

Family-Friendly Activities

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

September 3 Family Day: Power of Story (free): Enjoy Family Day at the MSU Broad Art Museum. There will be hands-on, interactive activities throughout the museum.

September 12 MSU Bug House Monday Night Open House (free): View insects from all over the world at the MSU Bug House.

September 30East Lansing Welcomes the World (free): Enjoy this event for International students and families to meet the community and enjoy children’s activities, food, a photo booth and more.

Job of the Week: Payroll Assistant II

This week, MSU Human Resources features a job posting from MSU Finance for a Payroll Assistant (805810). The MSU Finance department monitors the financial health of the university and provides analysis and formulation of strategies to deal with these issues. 

The Payroll Assistant is responsible for the processes and maintenance of all functions of the Academic Salary, Non-Academic Salary and hourly payrolls to meet payroll goals according to University policies and procedures. They will monitor and review reports for accuracy and timeliness and verify payroll information. They will also communicate with Human Resources and University departments to exchange information needed to resolve problems and meet deadlines. For a list of all responsibilities, click here

The ideal candidate should have an Associates degree in a business related field. They should have three to five years of experience in monitoring payroll issues. They should also have experience in spreadsheet and word processing software.

To learn more about the MSU Financial department, visit To apply for this position, submit an application here by September 6.

Leadership Blog Series: Ready to Lead

Written by Sharri Margraves, Director for HR Organization and Professional Development

How did you know you were ready to lead? What inspired you to take that first step? What is your mission as a leader? Who helped you see you could be a leader and who helped you along that path? I’m curious about the journey that brought you where you are now as a leader, and where you want to go in the future.

In my case, I didn’t think about any of this when I first started in a leadership role. My first job out of college was as an APSA level 10 supervisor at MSU, and I was just happy to have a position in my field. So, armed with my dietetics degree, off I went into “institutional food service” as a personnel supervisor. Thankfully, I was able to attend a six-week training program before being assigned to my permanent spot.

The joke was on me because I was sent to that training unit just a few days before the start of the fall semester. Let’s just say that I decided to immediately start looking for another job! In that first year, the colleague who made my job bearable quit, another experienced colleague was experiencing a personal crisis, and our supervisor was demeaning and unethical. Then, one day I came into work, and the supervisor’s office was cleaned out—something was about to change.

Senior leaders began coming to the unit daily, and an interim leader was assigned. I took on new job responsibilities and challenges. The climate we operated in was hectic and unsettling, but I found a groove. I encountered many challenges the first year but was seen by others as a leader. I certainly made mistakes and missteps all along the way (I still do), but I was given a chance and found people who cared and were willing to help me learn. My experience showed me the rewards of being kind and helpful to new people. I was also given the gift of recognizing lousy leadership and the impact it can have.

Throughout my career as a leader at MSU, I’ve made it a point to take on stretch assignments and do all I can to continue to grow—public speaking was particularly hard. I figured if I kept growing, I would be able to help others be successful too.

Here’s what I’ve learned: Encouraging and empowering others will help our needed leadership talent grow. Always be on the lookout for talent—hire people better than you and model positive leadership by refining their gifts and talents. Find others that need a chance and the grace to grow into the leaders we need, whether they are individual contributors or supervisors.

Leadership Resources from OPD

MSU offers and continues to develop resources to support leaders and managers at all stages of their professional journeys. HR’s Organization and Professional Development (OPD) launched the New Leader Development Series in January 2021, designed to give new leaders a survey of different topics related to both leading and supervising/management. More than 70 people will be making the connection with this fall’s cohort. Although this next series is full, consider the January 2023 cohort for you or members of your team.

OPD is also excited to announce a new leadership workshop and the return of a re-engineered course that’s been extremely helpful to MSU leaders: Strengths Based Leadership and Crucial Conversations for Accountability (previously titled Crucial Accountability), both available for registration in EBS for fall dates. Check out the recent HR post Learning and Development Resources for Supervisors for additional courses and other resources to help you grow and advance on your leadership path.

Are there resources not currently offered by MSU that you feel would be useful to your growth as a leader? What support would help you feel ready to lead? I’m interested in your story and what could make a difference in growing MSU’s leaders. Feel free to comment below or contact me directly at


Photo by Christina Morillo:

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.


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

Job of the Week: Communications Manager II

This week, MSU Human Resources features a job posting from University Arts and Collections for a Communications Manager (805914). The University Collections and Arts initiatives supports units across campus including the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, the MSU Museum, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and more.

The Communications Manager is responsible for assisting in the development of a communications strategy that creates a visible presence for the arts at MSU. They will create a new media and public relations campaign that raises awareness of the arts as a key component of MSU’s educational, research and placemaking activities. For a list of all responsibilities, click here.

The ideal candidate should have a four-year degree in Journalism, English, Communications, Telecommunications, Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations or a related field. They should have three to five years of experience in public and media relations. They should also have experience in communications and project management.

For more information about University Arts and Collections, click here. To apply for this position, prepare a resume and cover letter and apply here by September 6.

Educational Assistance: Fall Reminders

With this year’s Educational Assistance, or “Ed Assist”, support staff benefit resetting with the start of the fall semester, now’s a perfect time to refresh your Ed Assist knowledge and take advantage of this opportunity for your learning and development. Here are a few important reminders regarding this benefit. New to Ed Assist? Start here for an overview.

Educational Assistance Balance Reset

If you are eligible for Educational Assistance, your Ed Assist funds reset each year with the start of the fall semester. You may check your current Ed Assist balance within EBS.

  1. Log in to EBS.
  2. Access the My Career & Training section.
  3. Select the Educational Assistance System tile.
  4. Hover over My Account in the top menu.
  5. Choose EdAssist Balance.

Credit and Non-Credit Options

You may receive financial assistance for both credit and non-credit courses, which may include training, seminars, workshops, conferences, or other educational opportunities. Use this benefit to enhance your professional skill set or help you reach Performance Excellence goals.

For non-credit courses, like professional development courses available through HR, support staff employees have up to $800 per year to use toward course registration fees. The course must be considered job-related and from an approved institution/program to receive assistance.

For credit courses, you can receive up to 14 credits per academic year. Your financial assistance level is determined by your union group, the type, of course, you’re taking (graduate or undergraduate), and where you’re taking the course (MSU or another university). The course must be considered job-related, degree-related, or career/professional development-related.

Taxation Information for Graduate-Level, Degree-Related Coursework

When using Educational Assistance funds toward graduate-level, degree-related classes for credit, it’s important to remember and plan for IRS tax exemption rules. The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) provides an exemption of up to $5,250 in a tax (calendar) year for graduate-level, degree-related courses reimbursed/waived through employer educational assistance programs, such as the one at MSU. Any amount of the benefit over $5,250 for degree-related, graduate-level courses is considered taxable income by the IRS.

If you utilize Ed Assist benefits for graduate-level, degree-related courses for credit over the $5,250 exclusion amount, appropriate tax withholding will be made, and the amount will be added to your gross wages. If a tax liability is determined, the deductions must be completed within the same calendar year. If this tax situation applies to your Ed Assist usage, you will receive notification via email in the fall, typically around September. This notification will indicate the amount of Educational Assistance received in the calendar year, how much of that amount is taxable, and on which paychecks withdrawals will occur to cover the outstanding tax liability.

Keep in mind: This tax liability, dictated by the IRS, applies ONLY to any Ed Assist benefit usage over the $5,250 limit when applied to graduate-level, degree-related courses for credit. For example, if you received $6,250 in eligible Ed Assist benefits in a year, then you would only be taxed on the $1,000 amount that is more than the exclusion limit and owe a percentage of that $1,000 as your tax liability.

Find detailed information about Educational Assistance – including how to apply – on the HR website. Contact Organization and Professional Development at with questions.


Photo by ThisIsEngineering:

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

Job of the Week: Culinary Services Retail and Events Manager

This week, MSU Human Resources features a job posting from the Division of Student Life and Engagement for a Culinary Service Retail and Events Manager (801943). The Division of Student Life and Engagement engages students in active learning, ensures students are prepared for leadership roles and enhances educational environments.

The Culinary Service and Events Manager is responsible for managing and coordinating concessions, retail, cash, food sales, novelties and other areas related to the Culinary Services department. They will hire, train, schedule and review the performance of support staff. They will also coordinate with community service groups to provide work at athletic and special events. For a list of all responsibilities, click here.

The ideal candidate should have a four-year degree in hospitality business or business administration. They should also have three to five years of experience in management, retail, cash food operations and overseeing multiple operation sites.

To learn more about the Division of Student Life and Engagement, visit To apply for this position, prepare a cover letter, resume, three professional references and apply here by August 17.

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

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
  • (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!


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!