Staff Newsletter November 2012

November 2012

November is a very important month for UI employees! Please keep the following dates and deadlines in mind:

Annual Enrollment for Employee Benefits  October 22, 2012 – November 9, 2012
Information on plan changes and the reasons behind them can be found in the enrollment materials being mailed to your homes, as well as on the web at . It is important that you take the time to review your benefits and ensure you have the best coverage for you and your family for 2013.

Enroll or make changes from October 22 to November 9, 2012
Enrolling is easy through VandalWeb. To enroll, simply:
log in to VandalWeb
click on the "Employee Menu" Tab
click on "myBenefits" link
click on "Annual Enrollment"

Remember! Benefits are locked in for the year: In general, you cannot change your elections during the year unless you have a qualified life-style change in status, such as getting married or having a baby.

Classification and Compensation Study – Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ)
As you are aware, on October 31, 2012, the University of Idaho will launch access to the online Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ) for the Classification Study currently under way, of all non-faculty positions.

The PDQs are the first (and most important) part of the Classification Study. Training sessions are available to all employees and will help you complete your own PDQs and provide tips on how to present your position in the best possible light. This will help the Sibson Consulting group classify your position accurately. Supervisors will receive guidance on things to watch out for when they review their supervisees’ PDQs. There will also be plenty of time for questions.

Training Sessions:
Training #1 – (Open to all Employees)
When: October 31st, 2012
Place: Borah Theater in the Student Union Building (SUB)
Time: 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Conference Call Number: 1.888.706.6468
Conference Call Participant Code: 7779847

Training #2 – (Open to all Employees)
When: November 7th, 2012
Place: Borah Theater in the Student Union Building (SUB)
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Conference Call Number: 1.888.706.6468
Conference Call Participant Code: 7779847

Statewide staff and supervisors can participate in one or both of the training sessions in the following ways:

On the day of your session, download the “UI PDQ Training Materials” PowerPoint presentation from HR’s Classification Study website or visit: S:\HR\PDL-TrainingDocs\UI PDQ Training Materials and call the conference call number below; and/or

Access the webinar option by clicking on the appropriate date below. Once registered, you will receive an email confirming your registration with information you need to join the webinar.

Register for a webinar session by clicking a date below:
Wed, Oct 31, 2012 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM PDT
Wed, Nov 7, 2012 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM PST

In addition to the general sessions, individual units, colleges or departments can request a session for their staff by emailing their related HR Business Partner:
Stephanie DeMars,  
John Feeney,  
Kathryn Leavitt,  

Staff Affairs Learning and Development Individual Grant Awards
The Staff Affairs Learning and Development subcommittee is pleased to offer the opportunity for staff to apply for small grant awards to assist in covering expenses associated with trainings, conference, etc. that promote the professional growth and development of our staff. If you are interested in applying for a grant, please feel free to contact the Learning and Development subcommittee at or check the Staff Affairs website for instructions on how to apply and appropriate forms to submit.

Questions, Comments or Concerns?
As always, the Staff Affairs Committee is available to answer questions, comments or concerns you may have that relate to Staff issues at the University of Idaho statewide. Please do not hesitate to contact us at .

Ana Burton, Chair

Alternative Giving Helps The Community at the Holidays
By Mary Silvernale-Shook, Alternative Giving Market of the Palouse Volunteer
Shop Local, Buy Local, Give Local! Come support 28 local nonprofits at the 4th Annual Alternative Giving Market of the Palouse, Wednesday, December 5, 4:00pm-8:00pm at the Prichard Art Gallery, 414 S. Main Street in Moscow, in conjunction with the Light Up the Night Holiday Parade.

This fun holiday event promotes sustainable giving. Enjoy holiday shopping by honoring family and friends by giving them meaningful gift cards from local nonprofits. Choose from a wide range of gift denominations, starting at $5. “These small gifts can go a long way in touching someone’s heart and embodying the true spirit of the holidays” says Market co-founder, Dianne Daley Laursen.

Online giving is available at from November 23-December 8. For more information visit, find the Alternative Giving Market of the Palouse on Facebook, email, or call Dianne Daley Laursen at (208) 310-1231.

University of Idaho, Boise

November 10—Rake Up Boise Team Vandals
The University of Idaho Boise Vandals will once again be gathering for our annual participation in RAKE UP BOISE on Saturday, November 10th. RSVP to Meg Stephenson so we can keep you informed of all the relevant information. What a great way to get some exercise and do some needed community work before watching the game with BYU (in Provo, time still to be determined)!

Comings and Goings
Steve Keller is the newest University of Idaho Admissions Counselor. He is based in Twin Falls and working to represent the university in schools throughout the Magic Valley, Wood River Valley, Salmon, Southeastern Idaho and Northern Nevada. Steve grew up in SE Idaho, and he is an alumni. His office is located at the University Research and Extension Office, Evergreen Building, CSI Campus. He can be reached at, 736-3600.

Leigh Gallagher is the new CER AA3. Her most recent positions include working as a business manager with subsidiaries of CH2M Hill in UAE and Puerto Rico—and as a department manager for Power Engineers, Inc. Leigh has a BSBA in management information systems and operations management from University of Arizona. We welcome Leigh to the CER, College of Engineering, and UIB team.

A Terrific Opportunity
A group of students from the Idaho Urban Research and Design Center have been given the opportunity to work independently with the Idaho Bird Observatory, a research-based outreach program at Boise State University, on the design of a proposed interpretive center along the Boise River east of Boise. This facility will give the public the opportunity to learn about research the program does on migrating bird species, and view the many bird species dependent on the Boise River for survival. In accordance with the creed of the Idaho Bird Observatory, the design intends to reconnect people with the natural environment around them. To achieve this, the design endeavors to blend the interpretive center into the site’s natural topography both aesthetically and functionally, facilitating an emotional connection to the landscape. From the design work, the Idaho Bird Observatory will use the beautiful imagery of the proposed interpretive center produced by the students to recruit donors and generate funding for the implementation of the project.

A New Vandal!
Stephen R. Miller, Associate Professor of Law, and his wife, Birgitt welcomed Isolde Edith Dau-Miller into our family. (The first name is pronounced "ih-ZOHL-dah.") last month.
Baby Miller
She weighed 7 pounds, 7.5 ounces and 19.5 inches in length.

Silver and Gold Spirit Award
Congratulations to Russ Joki, University of Idaho Faculty member, and Jim Dickinson, University of Idaho alumnus as the first recipients of the Silver and Gold Spirit Award, created by the University of Idaho Boise’s Community Engagement Network. They each received a $50 gift card to the VandalStore and their name on a plaque that will reside in Joe’s Corner. The awards were presented to Russ and Jim at the Employee Appreciation Luncheon on October 10th.

Silver and Gold Spirit Award Silver and Gold Spirit Award
Kronenberg completes US Aid Food Safety Project in Republic of Belarus
Jeff Kronenberg, Extension Food Processing Specialist for the University of Idaho and TechHelp has returned back to Idaho after having completed a volunteer assignment in Belarus for the US AID CNFA Farmer-to-Farmer Program. Kronenberg completed a two week project involving two assignments. He provided food safety, HACCP, and ISO 22000 training/consulting for the snack food processor Onega in Minsk, the capital city of Belarus. The second task was providing a three day food safety and HACCP workshop for Belarus food industry personnel at the Scientific-Practical Center for Foodstuffs, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. During the project, over 40 individuals from private or government owned companies participated in food safety training courses. Besides the US AID sponsorship, the project was also supported by the University of Idaho, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, International Programs Office.

Onega is a private enterprise that manufactures snack products, including potato crisps, in-shell flavored sunflower seeds, muesli bars, roasted peanuts, crackers, and instant mashed potatoes. All of the potato snack products are made using potato/wheat pellet technology, which does not require fresh potatoes and related storage infrastructure. Currently products are manufactured in a facility near Minsk, and a new plant is under construction in Minsk, Belarus. The new plant will include a potato chip processing line, making snacks from fresh potatoes. The company is pursuing food safety certification under the FSSC (ISO) 22000 Global Food Safety Initiative audit scheme, and requested assistance in this area from CNFA. Belarus borders the European Union (EU) (Poland, Lithuania), but stringent EU food safety regulations limit the ability of Belarus processors to expand markets. Compliance with ISO 22,000 food safety requirements is expected to help companies such as Onega increase export opportunities to the EU and thus grow the Belarus agricultural economy.

The three day food safety and HACCP workshop at the Center for Foodstuffs in Minsk provided cutting edge information to Belarus food processors, certification body auditors, local consultants, and government personnel interested in the continuous improvement of food safety. This included the latest information on controlling drug residues in food products, and environmental control of pathogens through plant "zoning" procedures. Many of the companies and government-owned enterprises represented are also attempting to export to the EU, and are in various stages of certifying their facilities to meet international food safety standards. During the workshop, participants divided into teams to conduct group exercises in the development of HACCP plans for example products. The workshop and course manual were presented in Russian, courtesy of a translator provided by the Minsk CNFA office.
Graduates of the Onega HACCP workshop
Graduates of the Onega HACCP workshop

University of Idaho, Coeur d'Alene

Women in Science
We had another successful year for Women in Science. Over 140 high school sophomore girls and their science teachers visiting the Harbor Center for a fun-filled day. One of the most popular activities was new this year—the students got to meet and interact with female scientists in small groups during lunch and were wowed by presentations given by graduate students who travelled up from Moscow. A big thanks goes out to everyone who helped put on this amazing event!

Women in Science 2012
Women in Science 2012
Women in Science 2012
Cyber Security Workshop
Dr. James Alves-Foss visited Coeur d'Alene on Thursday, October 25 to talk about Cyber Security. In the morning, local educators and businesspeople met with him for a short presentation at the Harbor Center, and in the afternoon, there was a continuing education workshop held at the Research Park in Post Falls. Our thanks to Dr. Alves-Foss for taking time out of his week for these well-received and exciting events.
This month’s presentation featured Dr. Michael A. Pickering, Senior Researcher for the Army Center for Enhanced Performance housed at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Dr. Pickering will be the new department chair for Movement Sciences at the University of Idaho beginning in January 2013. His presentation was titled "More than sport: Expanding performance psychology research into military contexts."

University of Idaho, Idaho Falls

Textbook and Instrumentation Fair – October 4
UI-Idaho Falls and the Center for Advanced Energy Studies hosted a Textbook and Instrumentation Fair. Vendors included publishers such as Cengage and Follett along with instrumentation manufacturers Canberra, Thermo Fisher Scientific, NETZSCH and Swagelok.
Debbie Caudle, Textbook and Instrumentation Fair
Debbie Caudle was the Team Lead for Textbook and Instrumentation Fair

BYU Idaho Grad Fair – October 11
Faculty and staff from the Idaho Falls Center joined representatives from the College of Graduate Studies at the Fall Discovery Fair hosted by BYUI on October 11.
Stephanie Thomas and Maxine Dakins, BYU Idaho Grad Fair
Stephanie Thomas, COGS Graduate Student Advisor, and Maxine Dakins, Associate Professor, Environmental Science ready to answer questions at the BYU Idaho Grad Fair

Fall arrives in Idaho Falls
Trees at the University Place campus in Idaho Falls display Idaho Gold
Trees at the University Place campus in Idaho Falls display Idaho Gold.

Click here for upcoming events for Moscow - Boise - Coeur d'Alene - Idaho Falls - Twin Falls  

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave. —Elmer Davis

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. —John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul. —Michel de Montaigne

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude. —Cynthia Ozick

When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them. —Chinese Proverb

Staff Newsletter Contributors: Ana Burton, Michelle Carda, Liz Ridgway, Debra Rumford, Angela Sowers, Carol Spain

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