Staff Council Quarterly Newsletter


February, 2010

Welcome to the winter edition of the Staff Council Newsletter. The goal of this newsletter is to enhance communication with staff members across campus. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions regarding the content of the newsletter, please use our web form.  Physical Plant staff can also obtain a paper form from Mary Anderson.

Topics Include:

  • Meeting with President Wilson
    • Role of Staff Council
    • Board of Trustees
    • Faculty/Staff Relationship
  • New Staff Members
  • Suggestion Boxes
  • Elections Upcoming
  • Answers to Questions

Committee Election Update (top)

Staff Council would like to thank all staff who self-nominated for service on a University committee. Your participation is essential.

The following staff members will serve on University committees:

  • Staff Council: Ann Harding, Julie Lappin, Trevor Sierra
  • Health Care Advisory Committee: David Shiers
  • University Speakers Committee: Patti Henderson
  • Strategic Planning and Budgeting Committee: Stacey Shimizu
  • All University Judiciary Committee: Reenie Bradley, Stacey Shimizu
  • Faculty-Staff Recognition Committee: Roshaunda Ross

Capital Campaign Kickoff (top)

Be sure to be a part of the "Transforming Lives" Capital Campaign announcement on Wednesday, May 13, from 8:00-8:50 a.m. in the Hansen Student Center atrium. Come hear about the campaign and how it will affect the campus community. There will be time for questions and answers. Below are some topics of interest that will be addressed:

  1. How will the Campaign affect the students?
  2. What is the endowment and how does it affect me?
  3. Will my salary and our departmental budget increase?
  4. What role will my department have in this Campaign?
  5. How will the Campaign affect IWU nationally?

Welcome New Staff Members   (top)

  • Stephanie Kohl Ringle, Operations Coordinator, School of Music, March
  • Natalie Schmidt, Office Coordinator, Alumni Relations, March
  • Dana Alverez, Office Coordinator, Advancement, April
  • Michele Brady, Associate Director of Development-Major Gifts, April
  • Jean Lieder, Senior Office Coordinator, Advancement, April

A warm welcome goes out to our new colleagues!

Lunch with the President   (top)

The Staff Council is pleased to offer another opportunity for staff members to have lunch with President Wilson. Lunch will be held on Tuesday, May 19, from 12:00 - 1:00. Please sign up for this lunch only if you have not yet had the opportunity to attend in the past by emailing Linda Biehl.

Morocco Initiative   (top)

Several faculty and staff will travel to Al Akhawayan University this June as part of the IWU Faculty/Staff Seminar, also known as the Morocco Initiative. The Initiative will provide faculty and staff the opportunity to further study and discuss their area of work or scholarly expertise with their counterparts in a Muslim-dominated country. Faculty and staff have been meeting throughout the semester to research and discuss the projects they will pursue in Morocco.

Staff writer Rachel Hatch and Career Consultant Robyn Walter would like to share their experiences thus far during the Seminar and in preparation for the trip:

Rachel Hatch

Never having traveled abroad, learning that I would be part of the Morocco Seminar filled me with excitement, interspersed with panicked moments of facing the reality that I would be flying to another country.

My fears have been allayed, and my interest fueled, by our weekly seminar meetings. During our sessions, we have explored readings on topics such as the changing roles of women, the economic challenges the country faces, the avenues of education for the Moroccan people, and the idea that food in Morocco represents its place as a cultural crossroads.

Going into the meetings, I was aware I would learn about Morocco – a culture and land completely different than my own. What I did not know is how much the information would change how I will approach the June trip. My project is to write a story about the university where we will be staying – Al Akhawayn in Ifrane, Morocco. What I thought would be a simple story on an institution is evolving into an understanding of what the university represents to all of Morocco – the pulling forces of education and tradition, and what it means for a nation to emerge from its colonial past. Now each person I see, from university scholars to street vendors in the souks, will be part of the larger picture of a country known as the gateway to the West. And I cannot wait to meet it.

Robyn Walter

Since January we have been meeting regularly to discuss readings on aspects of Morocco related to the specific projects of each person, in addition to a more comprehensive history and description of the country. Each participant researches their topic (economics, environmental issues, career choice, etc.) and selects a few articles for the group to read and discuss.

While I had a project in mind, I have not done extensive research since graduate school (over 20 years ago), and haven’t done electronic research beyond Google! I wasn’t sure where to start. I sought assistance from a colleague, and found Stephanie Davis-Kahl (Librarian and Associate faculty) to be of enormous help! What Ames didn’t have, Tony Heaton helped me access from other sources. In a short time I had a wealth of information. Further, as I learned more about Morocco I broadened the scope of my project. Learning about career choices at the university level first means understanding the country’s educational system, its strengths and weaknesses.

Our near weekly discussions have been interesting and at times lively. While we came to this project from very different professional backgrounds and experiences, we have all learned a great deal about Morocco. In late April we met at the Nadeau household for a Moroccan meal to which we all contributed. The opportunity to meet more casually and enjoy each others' company while discussing our plans for the trip was perfectly timed. I am excited and feel so fortunate to visit this North African country, and to do so with greater working knowledge of its citizens, their history, and culture.