HR Buzz: Thankful for…

On this, the week of Thanksgiving, the Office of Human Resources shares thoughts on some things for which we are thankful.

Seasons and all that each brings to southwest Michigan,

Completing a full term of in-person learning and working,

Technology that keeps us connected and the talented colleagues who make it all happen,

Skilled people to keep us safe and comfortable,

Colleagues who leap hurtles to support our students,

Hundreds of community members who are committed to our collective health and safety,

Creative and solution-seeking minds,

Tenacious hunger to keep plowing ahead,

Passion, dedication, care and friendships.

Thank YOU from your Human Resources team,
Renee, Jenn, and Miasha

HR Buzz: Fun Fall Activities

The morning air is crisp. The fall foliage shows off its rainbow of color. Consider these fall activities to make the most out of the season.

Go apple picking

Take a leaf-peeping road trip

Go for a hike

Plant bulbs for next spring

Visit a pumpkin patch and pick pumpkins

Make a pinecone bird feeder

Have a fall picnic

Gather up leaves in a big pile, jump in, repeat

Take a bike ride

Make a big batch of chili and host a gathering

Dig up old sweaters and donate them

Bake (and enjoy) an apple or pumpkin pie

Grab a blanket and go stargazing

HR Buzz: Small steps, big results

The desire to “be healthy” is a common goal many of us share. Yet, that can mean different things depending on how you define “healthy.” The first part of your journey is understanding what “your healthy” is. These tips can help:

Consider these questions: What does healthy mean to you? How would you describe it in the context of your life? For example, are you struggling with your own needs and those of others? If so, your healthy may be recognizing how vital your well-being is and developing a plan to find balance.

Put it into words. Write it down, type it up, record it on a video or voice note on your phone— any method to get your idea of healthy out of your mind and into your world.

Determine small steps to take that will add up to the big result: Your healthy. Pick 2-3 things that can fit within your lifestyle. Based on the example above, this could be: On Saturday evenings, I am going to take some “me” time.

Practice your small steps until they become habits. Make an effort to follow through on your small steps, and when you notice that you’ve been doing them most of the time for several weeks, consider building
on them with new small steps! Building on your small steps and adding more over time, while maintaining the previous steps, will add up to big results.

Reassess. As you start to feel good about your progress and meeting your small steps, redefine your healthy. Are you not quite there yet and want to take your first idea of healthy further? Or since you’ve made some changes, does healthy mean something different to you now?

Whether you maintain your original idea of healthy or expand upon it, the idea is to focus on simple steps you can slowly and easily incorporate into your lifestyle that will get you where you want to be.

Small steps add up at the end of a year

  • 1 hour per week of relationship-building becomes 52 hours of connectivity.
  • 15 minutes of daily activity becomes 90 hours of movement.
  • Saving $1 per day becomes $365 earned.
  • 1/2 page of daily journaling becomes 182 pages of memories.
  • 10 minutes of mindfulness per day becomes 60 hours of reflection.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

No person should be subjected to the fear, shame, and humiliation that an abusive relationship produces. If you or a loved one need help, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) 24/7. Or call 911.

Bee Part of the Swarm

There is still time to be part of the swarm! Learn more and sign up to help Buzz.

The Hive is buzzing! Buzz will fly to the nest on Friday, October 15! Buzz is foraging for a few worker (chaperone) Hornets. Avoid the sting of missing Buzz, who will be flying around campus all day on Friday.

Buzz is impressed with our community commitment to Live United. Our 2021 Week One participation doubled over the same period last year! Our goals are attainable!

Sincer-bee,
Buzz’s Brood

HR Buzz: Public Service Loan Forgiveness Limited Waiver Opportunity

On Oct. 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education announced a change to Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program rules for a limited time as a result of the COVID-19 national emergency. Now, for a limited period of time, borrowers may receive credit for past payments made on loans that would otherwise not qualify for PSLF. Under the new rules, any prior payment made will count as a qualifying payment, regardless of loan type, repayment plan, or whether the payment was made in full or on time. All you need is qualifying employment and to act before the deadline, currently set for October 31, 2022. Learn more by visiting the Federal Student Aid site.

Questions about the PSLF Program

FedLoan Servicing

1.855.265.4038

FedLoan Servicing

Send your completed Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) to:

U.S. Department of Education
FedLoan Servicing
P.O. Box 69184
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9184

PSLF Form Completion

A member of the Human Resources team can complete and sign the employer section of the PSLF form. For privacy reasons, please do not email the form if a social security number is included.

Renee Boelcke, Jenn Williams, Miasha Wilson
Office of Human Resources
Mandelle Hall, First Floor
Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm
hr@kzoo.edu

HR Buzz: Fall health checklist

As cold and flu season is upon us and the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, it’s more important than ever to keep up with
health and safety measures. Here is a simple checklist to consider:

Get a flu shot. Both the flu and COVID-19 viruses
will likely be spreading this fall. The CDC recommends that all
people 6 months and older get a yearly flu shot to help protect
against influenza infection. Different flu vaccines are approved
for different groups of people such as those 65 and over, so
talk to your doctor about what’s best for you.

Nourish your body and mind to help strengthen your
immunity.
Bundle up and take a brisk walk outside—
exercise and sunlight can help improve your mood, sleep,
energy, and more! Choose nutritious meals, limit snacking, and
stay connected with others.

Get reacquainted with yourself. Consider these self-awareness exercises.

  • Think of three things in your life for which you are grateful. Try to make at least one of them is something about you.
  • Try meditating. The most basic form of meditation is deep breathing.
  • Take 5 to 10 minutes daily to self-reflect. Consider all of the things that are going on in your life.
  • Keep a journal. This can be a great way to help self-reflect by looking back.

HR Buzz: Spotlight on the Center for International Programs

The Center for International Programs (CIP) is comprised of eight colleagues on-campus, as well as fifteen Resident Directors around the world, plus our wonderful Peer Advisors, Welcome Team Members, and Student Assistants. Margaret Wiedenhoeft has the longest time with K of the group. The group can be described as adaptable, funny, and competitive.

Did you know? CIP works with colleagues or students in almost all 24 of the world’s time zones!

Message for the K community: The pandemic has forced us to reckon with the vast differences in resources, infrastructure, and support amongst our students and colleagues around the world; we hope that as we move through this next stage, we can begin to work towards addressing the disparities we all have witnessed. We stand in awe of the persistence of the students who had to respond to multiple changes in circumstances and disappointment when plans had to change. We appreciate the flexibility and support from multiple offices on campus to help get students off-campus for the fall and to work with our students who were attending K from various places around the world. Thank you!

Resident Directors Conference, 2019 photo by Tony Dugal
Halloween 2019 – Marvel Character Theme
Halloween 2019 – Marvel Character Theme
CIP Peer Advisors and Welcome Team members, fall 2020
CIP Peer Advisors and Welcome Team members, fall 2020

HR Buzz: Lucasse and Ambrose Award Recipients Announced

Kalamazoo College announced on September 15 that one faculty member and one staff member have earned two of the highest awards the College bestows on its employees. Anne Haeckl, K’s senior instructor in the Department of Classics, received the 2022 Florence J. Lucasse Lectureship for Excellence in Teaching, and Dan Kibby ’91, the enrollment systems manager in the Office of Admission, received the W. Haydn Ambrose Prize for Extraordinary Service.

Read Andy Brown’s full article at https://www.kzoo.edu/news/lucasse-ambrose-awards/.

Congratulations Anne and Dan!

HR Buzz: What’s Buzzing?

HR Buzz launched in February 2021. Nearly 100 readers have subscribed to HR Buzz. We learned about colleagues from a different areas through the Spotlight on series. There have been tips for gardening, grilling, sun safety, and other timely topics. Readers offered contributed with comments and feedback. Now is your chance to play an active role in content development!

What do you, or your colleagues, want to read about?
Send your ideas in an email to renee.boelcke@kzoo.edu or submit a comment below.
Thank you for reading!

Spotlight on

Fun fact: If one department/unit is featured per month, it will take 5 years to feature each unit once.

HR Buzz: Making the most of mornings

No one likes a harried morning rush. Consider these tips to streamline morning routines in your household.

Start the night before

To jump-start the morning routine, plan ahead. Before bedtime, decide what you will wear and, if necessary, prepare lunch. Set the breakfast table. Take a few minutes to go over the next day’s schedule. Check that bags are packed up and by the door.

Take a few minutes for yourself

Give yourself a few minutes to relax, eat breakfast, drink coffee, exercise, or do whatever helps you get in the zone for the day.

Make waking up a little more relaxing

Loud alarms can be jarring and start the morning with an unneeded jolt. Set your alarm to play a favorite song. Try waking up to your favorite breakfast snack. A more pleasant wake-up doesn’t mean it has to be longer—just gentler.

Stick to the clock

Make sure there are clocks easily visible around the home. Use manageable benchmarks like: “At 7:25, shoes should be on.” Or, “At 7:30, I need to be out of the door.”

Follow a routine

Make every day as predictable and routine as you can. Follow the same schedule at the beginning and end of the day. The morning schedule can look something like this: Wake up, clean up, get dressed, eat breakfast, gather bags, do a double check, then leave for the day.

Stay organized

Designate spots for keys, bags, school supplies, sports gear, coats, and jackets. This way, everyone always knows where to look for things in the morning. Plastic containers or labeled baskets can keep items within easy view, which makes looking for things in the morning simpler.

coffee mug in a window