Category Archives: Programs

Welcome to our New WorkLife Intern!

We recently welcomed our new WorkLife Connections Intern, Morgan Laajala, to our team. Please read on to get to know her a bit better. We are looking forward to her working with us and helping to build WorkLife Connections programs here at Michigan Tech!


Hi everyone! My name is Morgan and I’m the new intern for the WorkLife Connections Program. I have been working to help organize events, researching other university’s work life programs, and building awareness to the program by setting up social media pages.

I am a second yemlaajalaar business marketing student at Michigan Tech. There was never a question about what university I wanted to attend, as it was always this one. My mom and two sisters graduated from here, and I couldn’t wait to follow in their footsteps. While my classmates were researching and choosing colleges during our senior year, I was confident in my choice and I have not regretted it. I’ve been enjoying my classes so far and I’m excited to continue learning more. I’m not quite sure what I plan to do with my degree yet, but I have at least two more years to figure that out. All I know is that I hope it allows me to travel. During my time here, I would love to study abroad for a semester.

Speaking of travel, I got to do some this summer when my best friends and I took a ten-day road trip out east. We visited New York City for the first time, wandered around Washington, D.C., swam in the Atlantic Ocean, hiked Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina, white water rafted in Tennessee, stayed in a cabin high in the Smoky Mountains, and finished off our trip in Nashville. I have always wanted to travel, and after that trip, I only wanted to see more beautiful places! I am so lucky to have these crazy friends that are always up for every new adventure. When I’m not dreaming about my next travel destination, I enjoy meeting new people and trying new things, painting, writing, and spending time with friends and family.

I am excited to be a part of this important program at Michigan Tech. I have been researching other universities such as Yale University, Michigan State University, and Brown University. There are many different dimensions that come with a Work Life program, and I am gaining knowledge on what those are. I hope I can be useful in helping the WorkLife Connections program meet its goals to help Michigan Tech’s faculty, staff, and students balance their work and home lives.


Thanks for Attending “Relax for the Holidays” Open House

By Shannon Brodeur, SWEAT Coordinator

Faculty, staff, and students enjoyed our 3rd annual “Relax for the Holidays” open house on November 9. Attendees let go of stress with aromatherapy, yoga and relaxation, chocolate tasting and more.

WorkLife Connections and Employee Wellness would like to thank the following individuals and business for donating their time, expertise, and prizes:

  • Joan Kero, yoga instructor
  • Vicky Sleeman, Young Living Essential Oils
  • J. Jukuri Spa and Salon

Winner of the massage and sauna package from J. Jukuri Spa and Salon is Lorrie Graff, Office of Advancement.  Thank you to everyone who attended.


Financial Wellness Series Lunch and Learn

By Connor Will, Business Operations /  WorkLife Intern

Join us on October 25, 2016 for WorkLife Connection’s first Financial Wellness Lunch and Learn.

On October 25, from noon to 1:00 PM, Jay Ruohonen, Vice President for Business at Superior National Bank, will present on the ins and outs of applying for “Your First Mortgage.” Join us in MUB Alumni Lounge A to learn about the process to apply for a new mortgage, how to be a responsible mortgage holder, how to manage your finances accordingly, and other important details about applying for and handling mortgage loans. Anyone who is considering buying a new home, upgrading or downsizing, or purchasing your dream vacation home in the next few years will find this Lunch and Learn to be particularly informative.

Click HERE to RSVP as you learn how to take the steps toward your mortgage. Feel free to bring your lunch; beverages will be provided.


Knitting Can Create Mindful Spaces in Stressful Times

By Morgan Laajala, WorkLife Connections Intern

WorkLife Connections and Employee Wellness hosted a “Knitting for Wellness” Lunch and Learn on Wednesday, October 5 in Memorial Union Ballroom B3. The Lunch and Learn had a great turnout, with about 31 attendees. The presentation was given by Silke Feltz, a knitting enthusiast and Humanities PhD student.

Silke talked about Knitting at Michigan Tech, StreetKnits (an international knitting charity), how knitting can be beneficial to your mental health, and provided resources for other knitters. Studies have shown that regular knitting and similar

Silke Feltz, humanities PhD student, discusses the wellness benefits of knitting at the 10/05/16 Lunch & Learn.
Silke Feltz, humanities PhD student, discusses the wellness benefits of knitting at the 10/05/16 Lunch & Learn.

needle work activities produce benefits for knitters, including creating mindfulness, lowering blood pressure and heart rate, helping quit a bad habit, improving cognitive function, and increasing happiness. Silke loved sharing her passion with others, and said that doing the presentation “was like a spa treatment for [her] soul.”

When Silke is taking a break from PhD work, she enjoys walking her dog, spending time outside, doing yoga, and of course, knitting. She explained that even during her busiest days, she takes her knitting with her and will take five minute breaks between grading papers to knit. This helps her to keep calm, relax, and focus on the task at hand.

Silke’s advice to other knitters is to realize that it’s just like any other skill that requires practice and commitment. If you keep practicing, you will eventually be able to knit without even thinking about it. Most importantly, give it a try, commit to it, and don’t get frustrated.

If you would like to learn more about StreetKnits or donate needles, yarn, or knitwear, check out their Facebook page or e-mail streetknits2013@gmail.com. If you have questions for Silke, e-mail her at shfeltz@mtu.edu.

 


An Invitation to Staff to Join Michigan Tech’s Pilot Staff Mentoring Program

The Staff Mentoring Program Committee invites all university staff interested in working with a trained mentor to fill in the Mentoring Interest Form. Forms must be submitted by August 15, 2016 to be considered for participation. Click HERE to fill out the Mentoring Interest Form.

In 2015, Michigan Tech received a grant from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) to develop a staff mentoring program, designed to train mentors here on campus who would like to work with their colleagues to assist with things like:

  • Finding ways to more effectively blend work and home life demands
  • Developing job skills to assist with career growth and advancement
  • Learning about the University and opportunities to become more involved
  • Improving professionalism and communication skills
  • Finding opportunities to network and meet people from other departments
  • Addressing challenging workplace situations
  • Learning more about University resources and benefits

Seventeen mentors have recently completed their training; about two-thirds of these trained mentors are members of the AFSCME and UAW unions. The overall goal of the Staff Mentoring Program is to provide staff with an opportunity to work with a trusted colleague to help with career growth and development here at Michigan Tech.

Questions? EMail worklife@mtu.edu or call Ann Kitalong-Will, Staff Mentoring Program Committee Chair, at 7-1809. See also the 2016 Staff Mentor List.


Intro to Qigong and Tai Chi Lunch and Learn

WorkLife Connections and Employee Wellness invite you to join them for an interactive Lunch & Learn with Darlene Basto, North Star Qigong and Tai Chi, from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 28 in Memorial Union Alumni Lounge A.

Interested in learning about Qigong and Tai Chi?  Find out how these ancient Chinese arts can help relieve stress by promoting circulation, balance, and alignment.  Wear comfortable clothing for an interactive demonstration.

Register here. HuskyPAW members may claim 100 bonus points for attending. Bring your lunch. Beverages will be provided. Email Shannon Brodeur with questions.


Beginner’s Running Clinic Lunch & Learn with Dr. Reminga

WorkLife Connections and Employee Wellness invite you to join them for a Lunch & Learn with Dr. Reminga, Northern Foot Care Center, from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 15 in Memorial Union Alumni Lounge B.

Interested in starting a running program? Learn about proper footwear, training tips and the foot-body connection to help yourself stay injury-free.

Register here. HuskyPAW members may claim 100 bonus points for attending. Bring your lunch. Beverages will be provided. Email Shannon Brodeur with questions.


Benefits Services & Employee Wellness offering Dietitian Services

In the recent WorkLife Quality survey, many respondents indicated they would be interestested in working with a registered dietitian. I’m pleased to share the following announcement sent out by Michigan Tech’s Employee Wellness:


Benefit Services invites you to participate in a new wellness initiative between Michigan Tech and Aspirus Keweenaw. This is an 8 week program that gives employees access to a registered dietitian. The program includes:

  • One 60 minute initial individual consultation (in-person)
  • Two follow up phone calls during weeks 2 and 4
  • One final consultation during week 8 (in-person)

The program is divided into two groups Nutrition Basics and Nutrition Enhanced.

Nutrition Basics is designed for employees interested in paying more attention to foods they eat or employees that need guidance on where to start.

Nutrition Enhanced is designed for those who have already made changes to their eating habits but need additional support. Employees may choose the plan that best meets their needs. For additional program information, please visit the wellness website.

This is a pilot program for active, benefits eligible employees that will begin onMarch 14, and run through May 9. Space is limited to 15 employees in each group.

You may register for the program here. Enrollment is based on a first-come first-served basis. Enrollment into the program will close at 8 a.m. on Monday, February 29.

 Please contact Benefit Services at 7-2517 or email benefits@mtu.edu if you have any questions.


WorkLife Annual Survey Still Open

We in the WorkLife Advisory Committee appreciate the feedback you have provided to us thus far regarding your concerns and challenges when it comes to work-life integration.

Our first annual survey remains open, and will be open until December 28, 2015. This survey asks for information relating to challenges you face between work-related demands and home-life responsibilities, childcare needs, adult-care needs, and self-care needs. We also ask about what areas of work-life blending you would be most interested in or find most helpful.

Please help us out by taking about 10-15 minutes to provide your feedback. Click here to take the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/worklife_connections .

All answers are completely anonymous.

Our goal in the New Year is to develop new programs for you, based on the data provided through the survey.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at worklife@mtu.edu . If you are interested in serving on the committee, please email us as well.

Thank you for your help.


Meet Amelia, WorkLife Connections Program Coordinator Intern

Amelia Newman, Assistant WorkLife Coordinator Intern
Amelia Newman, Assistant WorkLife Coordinator Intern

Hey there, Michigan Tech. I’m Amelia, the new intern, working on Worklife Program Coordination. My job is to help the WorkLife Committee to organize events and programs, update the website, and help the committee to keep track of projects.

I’m a four-and-a-half year business management student, on my last semester here at Michigan Tech. On the one hand it feels like it’s been a long road, while on the other I often wonder, “Where did the time go?” I have loved what I’ve been studying here at Michigan Tech, and I plan to use my degree even though I don’t know where I’m moving next. I hope to live in the northern or western U.S., otherwise overseas. I also love long outdoor adventures. If it were up to me I’d spend most of my time kayaking, climbing or skiing mountains, or riding horses. I’m also generally very social and enjoy meeting new people, experiencing new-to-me cultures, playing with kids and cute animals, too. For instance, on the side I often help some friends of mine at their growing sheep farm.

One of my favorite experiences was my recent study abroad opportunity in Ireland a year ago. I made many crazy friends there and am going back to visit after graduation. I had a ton of fun in Ireland, of course, and even made time for four upper management courses taught by people with cool accents. In fact, for one of my classes, I researched and wrote a paper about the challenges of work-life integration. My work history includes working at a hotel before coming to Michigan Tech, my sewing/designing hobby on the side, working a summer for DTE Energy, and a continuing office assistance job for the university in the Humanities department.

Here are a few of the things I’m working on as the WorkLife Coordinator Intern:

  • Researching to benchmark other universities’ workplace flexibility policies.
  • Reading through some of your committee work and thoughts.
  • Building and updating the WorkLife Connections website.
  • Attending committee and sub-committee meetings as I’m able.
  • Sharing ideas, documenting the WorkLife Committee’s activities.

 

I am also assisting with scheduling and other day-to-day tasks to help support the WorkLife Connections Office and Committee activities. I’m excited to be a part of this important work, and I’m learning a lot about start-up activities in my work as an intern. I hope to start a business of my own in the future, so working with the new WorkLife Connections Office is helping me learn about some of the details and challenges of start-up organizations. Upon researching, I learned the extent of what other peer universities in the U.S. such as Virginia Tech, Michigan State, Cornell, etc. already have in place regarding flexibility/work-life initiatives. And so I’m catching on to the direction we’re heading, and looking forward to helping WorkLife Connections move toward our goals to help Michigan Tech faculty, staff, and students integrate and blend the many facets of our lives.