UMSL Welcomes Andrew Kersten, Dean of College of Arts & Sciences

On August 1st, UMSL welcomed Dr. Andrew Kersten to the position of Dean for the College of Arts & Sciences.  Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. Kristin Sobolik, said of Dean Kersten, “He has excellent broad-based administrative experience including growing and nurturing interdisciplinary connections and community. He understands the importance of student success and faculty development and will be a great member of our UMSL team.”  Dr. Kersten was formerly the Dean of the College of Letters, Arts, & Social Sciences at the University of Idaho as well as a Professor of History.

Visit the UMSL Daily for more information regarding Dean Kersten.  Human Resources welcomes and congratulates Dean Kersten, and thanks Dr. Terry Thiel, on her excellent service and leadership as Interim Dean for the College of Arts & Sciences.

UMSL Title IX Coordinator Interviewed on St. Louis on the Air

                                Dana Beteet Daniels, UMSL Title IX Coordinator

Dana Beteet Daniels, UMSL’s Title IX Coordinator, was interviewed last week on St. Louis Public Radio’s program, St. Louis on the Air, along with other experts on the topic of Title IX.  The program focused on increasing attention to Title IX, and the handling of sexual assault and discrimination issues by universities across the country, with mention of UM President Mun Choi’s recent message reaffirming a, ““commitment to institutional accountability, transparency and the protection of our students, employees, patients and visitors.”

Check out St. Louis on the Air Producer, Evie Hemphill’s, highlights of the interview in her post, “Area Universities Grapple with Increased Attention to Title IX
in Light of Michigan State, #MeToo,” which also features a recording of the interview.


Student Employee Spotlight: Audri Adams

In the last edition of HR Update, we asked for submissions about outstanding student workers.  Thank you to Assistant Teaching Professor, Ann Torrusio, of Pierre Laclede Honors College for suggesting we feature Audri Adams in our first Student Employee Spotlight!

Audri has been a student worker throughout her entire academic career at UMSL.  She earned a BA in History, a Professional Writing Certificate and an Honor Certificate from UMSL in December 2017, and is currently a Graduate student in History at PLHC.  After transferring from St. Charles Community College, Audri worked in the Honors College Computer Lab and then began Office Assistant work in PLHC’s main office, shortly before earning her BA.  She was a Teaching Assistant in the Honors College this past semester, as well. Continue reading “Student Employee Spotlight: Audri Adams”

Seven Alternatives To ‘Thank You’

Recently, the Recognition task force completed the 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace quiz. Words of Affirmation ranked highest among all participants as the preferred method of recognition. Below is an article recently posted by Forbes Community Voice affirming how genuine gratitude and appreciation make an impact on how you make others feel in the workplace.

Post written by: Cord Himelstein, VP of marketing for HALO Recognition, helping companies worldwide create meaningful recognition strategies that celebrate their people.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Saying “thank you” is our business when it comes to the corporate world. In a nutshell, my company helps companies find better ways to say it to their employees. Needless to say, communications and public speaking play a huge role in realizing that. A good general lesson I’ve learned is that simply saying “thank you” is not always enough. It can wear out its welcome, or worse, come off as insincere. Everyone can benefit from having multiple tactics for saying it.

There is quantifiable power in gratitude.

Basic kindness has real power. For example, in an NBC Season of Kindness Poll, 70% of the 2,650 adults surveyed said they would forgo a 10% raise for a kinder boss. In most areas of life, gratitude is always welcome and a requisite for getting things done smoothly. Whether or not a person says “thank you” after you do something for them is a much-relied-upon barometer for sizing up the intentions of others in life. We all intuitively recognize the phrase as a bar of social grace, and that’s what can complicate matters.

In our line of work, we try to quantify gratitude. We tally up plaudits by location and help companies understand why “thank you” isn’t cutting it in some places. From a communications perspective, we get to observe the interesting side effects gratitude has across large populations over time. One of those side effects is repetition and casualness in the way we say thanks.

We can get into a habit of saying “thank you” for everything. It becomes a reaction instead of an interaction. We forget to call out specific things. We stop identifying the real qualities we appreciate about the person or relationship. We become generic with our gratitude and important details — the building blocks of genuine relationships — are lost. The effects are insidious and easy to ignore.

Variety makes us tick.

In a 2014 LinkedIn post, renowned author and personal coach Tony Robbins identified six basic needs that make us tick, based on psychologist Abraham Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs theory. Robbins argues that as much as we need certainty and comfort to be happy, we also need uncertainty and variety to grow.

People don’t want generic lives and eventually get tired of the same old thing. Our burning need to create new experiences that enrich our lives, what Maslow called self-actualization, is strong. To that point, how you communicate thanks is just as (if not more) important as remembering to do it in the first place.

Here are seven alternatives to ‘thank you.’

Saying “thank you” in a slightly unexpected way is a minor speech adjustment with the potential to unlock a lot of good energy and elicit more sincere responses. It also establishes new lines of communication and, as a bonus, increases your personal mystique. These seven alternatives are great ways to catch people off guard and create deeper bonds. And they might make them feel better about themselves than a generic “thank you” would.

1. “I appreciate you.”

2. “Let me know if you need anything else.”

3. “Couldn’t have done it without you.”

4. “You made this easy.”

5. “You’re so helpful.”

6. “What do you think?”

7. “I’m impressed!”

‘Thank you’ is still cool.

You shouldn’t take this to mean that saying “thank you” isn’t cool anymore. It’s still very cool, and if you like saying it, don’t ever stop. But what this all boils down to is that people need more than rote validation to feel fulfilled in a relationship. They need opportunities to self-actualize, as well as a touch of variety to offset certainty every now and again. Anything you say to a person over and over again to the same tune is going to lose its effect and turn into static over time. As Mr. Robbins might say, it’s about giving people the surprises they actually want.

Sargeant McEwen of the UMSL-PD Promoted to Lieutenant

Congratulations to UMSL Police Department’s Tom McEwen, recently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant!   Lt. McEwen will manage the officers and supervisors in the Bureau of Patrol.

Those of you on campus during the last two decades are likely familiar with the longest-serving member of the police department. Lt. McEwen is now in his 24th year, having started in 1994. During his tenure, he served in the capacity of Police Officer until 2003, when he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.

Lt. McEwen has seen many changes to the University in that time. When he first started, there were no students living on campus, and nuns and priests occupied some of the buildings that now make up UMSL’s south campus. Over the years, Lt. McEwen has worked for five different Police Chiefs.

Lt. McEwen was instrumental in implementing the original UMSL Police Department bike patrol unit in 1995.  In fact, he has even observed, pursued and apprehended a suspect who had just stolen a vehicle from the campus while patrolling on his bike!     Lt. McEwen will continue to be a part of the bike patrol unit.

Lt. McEwen is married and has two children. In his free time, he enjoys long motorcycle rides exploring new areas.


Congratulations to the 2018 UMSL ALDP Participants!

The University of Missouri System Dr. Elson S. Floyd Administrative Leadership Development Program (ALDP) is a prestigious program that provides professional development opportunities and ongoing support to administrative leaders on all campuses system-wide.  The ALDP is respected as a proving ground where emerging and current leaders alike can expand and refine their leadership skills, with a focus on building the foundation for a robust teaching and learning environment. Continue reading “Congratulations to the 2018 UMSL ALDP Participants!”

UMSL Staff Recognition Project Update

In July 2017, HR informed the campus that the Employee of the Month Program was taking a hiatus to create a more effective, meaningful recognition program.  To that end, HR has created a taskforce for input from the broader campus community to create a vision and guiding principles for effective recognition, with tools for leaders at UMSL to create dynamic approaches for recognizing their people. Thus far, we have met several times and are currently researching ways to implement our findings. Once we have determined the best outcome, we will be sharing the results!

UMSL Employee Service Awards: November 2017 – January 2018

THANKS to the following employees for their service to UMSL.  Please join us in congratulating them for reaching a new milestone!

November 2017

5 Years
Lorrie Austin – University Communications
Jennifer Brake – KWMU
Wayne North – IT Services
James Webb – International Studies & Programs

10 Years
Mary Etta Birdsong – University Operations
Krystal Lang – Admissions

15 Years
Jeffrey Croft – Facilities Services

20 Years
Joyce Mays – Custodial Services

30 Years
Donna Bonner – University Advancement

35 Years
David Johnson – Facilities Services

December 2017

5 Years
Nathan Daugherty – International Studies & Student Programs
Kimberly Schroeder – College of Education
Karen Wawrzyniak – Multicultural Student Services

10 Years
Linda McQuary – Child Advocacy Center

15 Years
Cassandra Gay – Admissions
Pollyana Appleton – IT Services

25 Years
Jerry Hoffman – Admissions

January 2018

5 Years
Sylvia Baker – Academic Advising (CAS)
Sarah Klekamp – Academic Advising (CAS)
Doris Benz – Registration & Degree Audit
Dan Freet  – UMSL-PD
Marquetta Wise – KWMU
Paul Lowery – MSC Operations

10 Years
Lee Hasegawa – International Studies & Student Programs
David Opfer – Facilities Services
Ellen Asher – Computer Education & Training
Edward Riedel – MIMH

15 Years
Beatrice Shivers – Ctr. Character & Citizenship

25 Years
Paul Westermann – Computer Education & Training

30 Years
Teri Furlow – Admissions
Mary Fowler – Academic IT Services

35 Years
Janice Carrell – Academic Advising (COBA)

Ann Taylor Selected as Dean of the College of Education

The following is by Marisol Ramirez from the 12/13/17 UMSL Daily:

The College of Education at the University of Missouri–St. Louis expects a seamless transition of leadership with Ann Taylor stepping in as its new dean.

Taylor will assume the role Jan. 1 after having served as the college’s interim dean since August 2016.

After conducting a nationwide search, the committee tasked with finding the new dean felt confident in Taylor to drive the College of Education forward. Continue reading “Ann Taylor Selected as Dean of the College of Education”

Elizabeth Eckelkamp Chosen as Associate Provost for Student Sucess

Congratulations to Elizabeth Eckelkamp who will serve as UMSL’s first Associate Provost for Student Success!  Beth was formerly an Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences.  In her new role, she will be responsible for development and implementation of strategic priorities for academic advising, first-year programming, curricular design and the reform of associated university policies and procedures.   Read more…