IN THIS ISSUE: Updated benefits handbook available online | Spice Box offers themed meals beginning Feb. 3 | Healthy Weigh program adds training | Free space available in Washington, D.C. | Program enables NCSA collaboration | Program helps with making lifestyle changes | Nominate your student employee by Feb. 17 | Pet first aid and CPR training available | Aesop exhibition opens Jan. 20
Updated benefits handbook available online
An updated State of Illinois Employees Benefits Handbook has been published by the state’s department of Central Management Services. The 78-page handbook is available as a PDF at http://go.illinois.edu/StateEmployeeBenefitsHandbook.
CMS publishes an updated handbook every five years, which details the state of Illinois health, dental, life insurance and other benefit programs. This handbook is supplemented each year with an appendix published during the annual Benefit Choice period, which describes any changes and annual rates for that plan year. Employees are encouraged to review the new benefits handbook.
Certain employees also may be interested in the following new booklets:
Quality Care Health Plan
For members of the Quality Care Health Plan, there is a new appendix to the state handbook, QCHP Medical Benefits Summary for Employees: http://go.illinois.edu/QCHPbenefits (PDF).
Separate handbooks are available for retirees:
- State of Illinois Retiree, Annuitant, and Survivor Benefits Handbook: http://go.illinois.edu/RetireesHandbook (PDF).
- Quality Care Health Plan Medical Benefits Summary for Retirees: http://go.illinois.edu/QCHP_Retirees (PDF).
If you have any questions, contact the Urbana campus UPB Benefits Services office, 217-333-3111 or email@example.com.
Themed meals begin Feb. 3
Guest chefs from as far away as Florida will share their talents at the Spice Box for another season of themed meals overseen and prepared by hospitality management majors at the UI. Many local and Chicago-area professionals also will provide guidance to the students throughout the semester.
The first dinner of the 2012 Spice Box season will be Feb. 3. The meal will have a Greek theme. It is the first of 19 dinners planned for the semester. The guest chef, Paul Guerrero, comes from Wildfire Restaurants in the Chicago area.
“The opportunity to work closely with industry professionals gives our students a realistic, hands-on experience in managing a restaurant and the team of individuals that composes a successful staff,” said Jill Craft, the instructor of the Spice Box course.
A longstanding fixture on the UI campus, the Spice Box, located on the second floor of Bevier Hall, is a working laboratory for students majoring in hospitality management in the department of food science and human nutrition.
Additional meals feature an array of themes, including “Arabian Nights” (Feb. 10), “Brewery-inspired Cuisine” (Feb. 17), “Bear’s Den” (Feb. 24), “Unlocking the Door: A Culinary Tour of Door County” (Feb. 29), and “Early 1900s Speakeasy” (March 7). More meals will follow on Wednesday and Friday evenings throughout the semester.
“The students are offering a broad spectrum of themes and menus that provide diners with a variety of opportunities otherwise not found in this area,” Craft said.
A complete list of the dates of the meals, meal themes and guest chefs is available on the Spice Box website at www.spicebox.illinois.edu. Full menus will be posted online as they become available. Interested persons also can email Craft (firstname.lastname@example.org) to sign up to receive periodic emails about upcoming offerings.
Each dining event offers either a four-course meal, including salad, appetizer, featured entree and dessert, or a two-course salad and entree combination. A specialty alcoholic beverage and a regular wine list also are offered. Price varies according to menu. The meals are available by reservation only. Reservations are available at 5, 5:30, 6, 6:30, 7 and 7:30 p.m.
To reserve seating, call 217-333-6520.
Healthy Weigh program adds training
If your New Year’s resolution involves losing weight, join “The Healthy Weigh,” a weight-management support group specifically designed for UI employees. The meetings, led by a health educator and a certified wellness coach, supply reliable information, teach life-management skills and provide group support to help participants attain their weight goals and increase self-confidence.
New members also may receive training on the basics of weight management the first five weeks of the program. The basic training class meets prior to the support-group meeting. The training covers such essentials as how to select a weight-management training that works for you, how to lose weight healthfully and effectively, portion control, overcoming barriers to weight loss and more. Members may then join the support group in progress.
The Healthy Weigh program will meet for 12 weeks on Tuesdays, starting Jan. 31. The weight-management training is from 5:15-5:45 p.m. The support group meets 5:30 – 6:15 p.m. Confidential, private weigh-ins are available from 5-5:30 p.m.
All sessions meet at the UI Wellness Center in the Activities and Recreation Center. Parking is free after 5 p.m.
Employees may attend individual sessions or sign up for the entire series. The cost is $7 per single meeting or $60 for the series.
Free space available in Washington, D.C.
Free office space and meeting facilities in Washington, D.C., are available to UI faculty members during the 2012 calendar year.
Located at the Ballston Metro stop and next door to the National Science Foundation, the NCSA ACCESS Center is just minutes from downtown Washington, D.C. The facility provides high-end audio and videoconferencing capability as well as high-speed networking and wireless connectivity. The ACCESS Center can be used by visiting Illinois faculty and staff members as local office space and for small meetings at no cost. The facility also can be reserved, for a fee, for larger events.
Program enables NCSA collaboration
The Institute for Advanced Computing Applications and Technologies is seeking applicants for its Faculty Fellows Program, which provides resources and support to enable UI faculty and staff members to pursue collaborative projects with the researchers and computer technology experts at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.
Since 1999, these fellowships have allowed more than 100 researchers to access and benefit from NCSA’s high-performance computing and storage environment, cutting-edge visualization and virtual reality technologies, data-mining capabilities, and opportunities for multidisciplinary collaboration. Because of these fellowships, researchers can combine their vision with NCSA’s capabilities to tackle research problems and projects that would otherwise be out of reach.
A primary goal of the IACAT Fellowships is that they lead to long-term, sustained collaborations, enabling new and joint funding opportunities for both fellows and NCSA staff.
Fellowship proposals must be written jointly with an NCSA collaborator. Proposals will be reviewed by a panel of experts and be based on review criteria similar to those used by the National Science Foundation.
Proposals are due Feb. 29. Awards will be announced April 30 with a project start date of May 16. Any questions about the fellowships or the application process can be directed to Jay Roloff, email@example.com. For more information about the fellowship and how to apply, go to http://go.illinois.edu/IACATfellowships.
Program helps make lifestyle changes
The UI Wellness Center wants to help employees make their resolutions a reality. Its new monthly series, “Building Blocks for Better Living,” will provide the necessary tools to make lasting lifestyle changes, leading to greater health and wellness.
This series of lunchtime sessions focuses on lifestyle management skills that have been shown to ensure long-lasting success. The class schedule:
- Feb. 1: “Your Wellness Road Map” uses goal setting and rewards to reach wellness goals.
- March 7: Who’s On Your Team?” helps participants build a social support network to enhance wellness.
- April 4: “Getting Unstuck” uses problem-solving techniques to overcome barriers to wellness.
- May 2: “Keeping Track” uses the power of self-monitoring for long-lasting behavior change.
- June 6: “I Think I Can!” helps build self-confidence to support reaching wellness goals.
Classes meet from 12:10 to 12:50 p.m. in the UI Wellness Center in the Activities and Recreation Center. Metered parking is available.
Participants may attend one session or the entire series. The free program is open to all employees – you do not need to be a Campus Recreation member to attend – however, registration is required. To register, call 217-265-9355 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
No matter what your resolution – lose weight, stop smoking, manage your time, get fit, cope with stress – this series will help participants succeed.
Nominate your student by Feb. 17
Each year, the Office of Student Financial Aid coordinates the UI Student Employee of the Year Contest and Recognition Event. The contest and event are designed to recognize outstanding contributions made by the more than 10,000 undergraduate student employees on campus.
At the event, the UI Student Employee of the Year, a runner-up, and two honorable-mention winners are announced along with the Champaign and Urbana America Reads/America Counts Tutors of the Year. The winning Student Employee of the Year receives a scholarship and is forwarded on for state, regional and national consideration. For the second time since the university began declaring a Student Employee of the Year, the 2011 Urbana campus winner was chosen by the Midwest Association of Student Employment Administrators as the State of Illinois Student Employee of the Year.
Faculty and staff members are encouraged to nominate their student employees for this award. Undergraduate student employees are eligible to be nominated if they currently are employed on campus and have been (or will have been) employed for at least six months between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. Candidates will be evaluated based on their reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism and uniqueness of contribution as determined through the nomination letters. Nomination forms and letters are due by Feb. 17. More information on how to submit a nomination and submission guidelines are online at www.osfa.illinois.edu/aid/employment/seoty.html.
The Student Employee Recognition Event will take place during National Student Employment Week, April 8-14. All nominators and nominees are encouraged to attend the event to celebrate and support the undergraduate students that work on this campus. In addition to the campus Recognition Event, the Office of Student Financial Aid encourages all departments to organize activities during National Student Employment Week to recognize and thank their student employees for their many contributions.
Pet first aid and CPR training available
A new offering from Pet U teaches pet owners how to prepare for emergencies that involve their cat or dog.
“Red Cross First Aid and CPR” will be offered 8 a.m. to noon Feb. 11 in Room 2271 of the Veterinary Medicine Basic Sciences Building. The class also will show pet owners how to protect themselves and their pet from further harm during emergencies with the use of prompt, effective first-aid actions and care.
Taught by Dr. Kandice Norrell, the primary-care veterinarian at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, this session will focus on providing immediate and temporary care until the pet can be taken to a veterinarian for attention.
Participants will receive their choice of a cat or dog first-aid book and DVD set, along with a course certificate, participant packet, and information about pets and disasters.
Registration deadline is Jan. 30. Space is limited and late registration will not be accepted. The registration fee is $35. To register for this session, go to https://ecommerce.aces.illinois.edu/petU_urbana/.
Pet U sessions are open to human participants only (no pets allowed).
A complete listing of this year’s Pet U sessions can be found at http://vetmed.illinois.edu/ope/petu/urbanaschedule.html.
Aesop exhibition opens Jan. 20
“Wise Animals: Aesop and His Followers,” an exhibition of rare and interesting texts relating to fables, opens Jan. 20 in Room 346 of the Main Library.
Curated by Willis Goth Regier, the director of the UI Press, “Wise Animals” traces the fabulous arc of the Aesopic tradition.
The exhibition helps answer pressing questions: Did Aesop really exist? How did the fables grow out of Latin and Greek manuscript collections? And how did the West come to embrace these simple vignettes of animal life and find in them complex answers to human moral quandaries?
Drawing upon the impressive holdings of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, as well as key contributions from Regier’s private collection, the exhibition presents 25 important works from the past 500 years of Aesop’s fables.
A favorite subject for fine illustration, the exhibition also features pictorial work by Francis Barlow, William Blake, John Tenniel, Gustave Doré, Milo Winter and others.
Regier will lecture on the exhibition at 3 p.m. March 14. This lecture is free and open to the public.
Regier also is the author of a full-color, 24-page booklet accompanying the exhibition. A special online version of the exhibition also will be available from the Rare Book & Manuscript Library website at www.library.illinois.edu/rbx/.