HR Newsletters 2021

NEWSLETTER Human Resource

1st Quarter 2021



A message from Cynthia Jiles, Assistant Executive Director, Human Resources


What We Lost in the Fire, We Are Working to Find Amongst the Ashes in 2021 F or many, the hope is that 2021 will serve as The Great Reset. Of course there is no red button to make things as they were. As true to life, nothing ever stays the same and true to the old cliché “without change there is no progress.” So our Great Reset mustn’t be rooted in attempts to return to what once was. Instead, we must look forward to the POSSIBLE which is also entrenched in our purpose—the education of change. It is safe to say that you all are tired, but you can never give up. The so- bering fact is that you have each made tremendous sacrifices and many have had their lives irrevocably changed. Know this: for every problem there is a response, even a solution. Outcomes may not always be what you imagined. Nonetheless, the search for the possible should serve as your motivation to continue in your willingness to work towards finding suitable answers. For one of the few times in global history, everyone is having the same conversation. To varying degrees and mixed approaches —but may we take this opportunity to strengthen our bonds of commonality. This is our boat. Don’t ever be so comfortable that you forget the unpredictability of life. Don’t forget lessons learned from this past year. As we strive to improve the lives of others, may we increase in compassion. May we be resolved with a resilient nimble mindset and hope in our hearts to keep moving for- ward. Transform Uncertainty into Opportunity. Together Forward. Welcome to the Mississippi Community College Board’s Human Resources news- letter. The goal of our newsletter is to provide staff with news and information about MCCB policy updates, Human Resources’ programs, and agency events. The newsletter is emailed to staff on a quarterly basis.














We are here for you!



The Season of Gratitude

I am extremely grateful for the staff and all you do to further the mission of our institutions.

Andrea Mayfield, Ph.D.

What a YEAR it has been.

While this past year wasn’t at all what we planned, it brought us many fast-moving changes. We’ve seen the rise of the human spirit. We’ve seen leaders emerge. Our managers have worked to support their employees both personally and professionally. They have worked to be that foundation when it really matters. Many have worked tirelessly to implement methods of engagement methods to keep their teams

progressing forward.

As we move into the 2021, take time to reflect on the great work you’ve accomplished and the outstand- ing efforts of your team.


Human Resources 2020 Division Summary Activities & Accomplishments

Final stats for 2020 include:

 Above standard COVID response in policy and safety measures

7 New hires

Internship Program

 17 Professional Development Sessions Hosted

16 Wellness Sessions Hosted

 6 Pocket PD Videos Created and Shared

 1 new year-long training program introduced




Inclusivity in the workplace

COVID Vaccine

Legalized marijuana

Student loan payments

Tax code changes

Minimum wage

Congratulations to Shelika!


MCCB Director of Workforce. Shelika works well with her moni- toring team and is a true delight to work with. She knows work- force policies backwards and forwards and holds the colleges accountable. Her expertise and knowledge of the WESS system provides tremendous access to colleges and MCCB.

Shelika was selected as Employee of the Quarter:

 Provides innovative ideas for the way we provide services to our community colleges;

 Works hard to maintain relationships with colleges;

Has unquestionable integrity;

Is an expert in her field;

Bridges divisions together; and

 Successfully helps colleges work through database issues.

Dr. Andrea Mayfield


NEW HIRES/INTERNS Please help me welcome our new team members!

Courtney Casabella Title: Instructional Specialist for Adult Education Email:

Courtney has been hired has the Instructional Specialist for Adult Education. This position will work with all of our AE program in supporting online learning for our students, as well as provide in- struction statewide to all of our community college adult educa- tion instructors on quality online instructional practices.

Welcome Courtney!


Deborah Kimble Title: MDRS Intern for Athletics Email:

Deborah is serving as an MDRS intern for the Athletic Division.

Please help me welcome Deborah!


Nathan Weatherly Email:

Nathan is serving as an Athletic Division intern to learn and assist in all aspects of athletic support and development.

Please help me welcome Nathan!



Section 8: Business Management


Title: Inventory

Initial Date of Adoption: November 18, 2016


Code Number : 8.14

1 of 1


Revision Date:


Employee Use of Assigned MCCB Inventory

State employees have no ownership rights in or control of State property, which is defined to include all office space, space adjacent to the workplace controlled by the State or State agency, furniture, fixtures, equipment, and inventory including without limitation, all computer soft- ware, databases, servers, computer hardware, discs, and information of any kind contained in or recorded on physical or electronic data sources of any kind. Each MCCB employee has a general obligation to safeguard and make appropriate use of inventory/property owned by or accountable to the MCCB agency. This obligation includes but is not limited to:

 Notifying the Property Officer of any movement of inventory/property

 Exercising reasonable care in use to prevent damage and maintain the good condition of the assigned property

 Exercising reasonable security measures to prevent theft or misuse of the assigned property

 Reporting lost, stolen, damaged or otherwise impaired property to Property Officer

Removal or reassignment of any inventory/property without following the proper procedures for transfer will constitute a disregard for policy and may result in disciplinary actions.

Inventory forms are located in the Inventory Forms folder on the S: and Z: drives:

Asset Assignment Form

Transfer of Inventory Form

Hand Receipt Form

Equipment Report for: Missing or Stolen Property


Any user who knowingly and willingly violates this policy is subject to discipline, as set forth in Policy 2.8 of the Mississippi Community College Board Policies and Procedures Manual. Furthermore, in the event of an illegal activity, the user will also be reported to the appropriate law enforcement authority. If an employee has any questions regarding this policy or any situation not specifically addressed in this policy, the employee should see his/ her supervisor.



Shana Hansen


Shana Hansen 601-432-6141


Vision care is a critical component of overall health care– even for people who think they have perfect eyesight.

Contact Information for Plan Participants

 Medical claims: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi (BCBSMS) , Phone 800-709-7881

 Find a participating provider: AHS State Network , Phone 800-294-6307

 Hospital admissions, certifications and wellness coaching: Active Health Management , Phone 866-939- 4721

 State Life Insurance Plan: Minnesota Life (Securian), Phone 877-348-9217

 Telemedicine, online doctor visits and registered dietitians: American Well (Amwell)





Dr. Krystal Thurman

Q4 Updates

Employee Learning Week

The Division of Human Resources and the Division of eLearning and Instructional Technology participated in the Association for Talent Development’s Employee Learning Week (ELW) during December 7-11, 2020. The purpose of ELW is to increase awareness about the strategic value of learning in organizations. During the week, we hosted two webinars, we launched two short learning videos, and we announced the 2021 ExCEL participants. Additionally, we spent the week sharing highlights to staff and on social media. As you might have noticed, the week was not too different than other weeks. That’s because we aim to pro- mote learning all year long through a variety of approaches. We love helping others learn and grow!

2020 Professional Development and Worksite Wellness Sessions

The Division of Human Resources offer s a variety of training sessions to support the growth, health, and well- being of all. Most webinars are recorded and available for review at any time. Videos are viewable only by those with an email address. Be sure to visit the MCCB Professional Development Channel to re- view past webinars from 2020.


MCCB offers staff the opportunity to develop personally and professionally through a variety of monthly webinars. Sessions are planned according to the results from the annual employee needs assessment. Catch up on missed webinars or revisit your favorites at the MCCB Professional Development Channel or by vis- iting the links below. Tip - bookmark the MCCB Professional Development Channel so it will always be easily accessible.

At Home Activities for Children Progression of Life Planning

      

Basic Hygiene During a Disease Outbreak

Basics of American Sign Language

Financial Planning Personalities at Work

National Preparedness Month

 Understanding Mental Health and Suicide Prevention  Maintaining Home Landscapes  Alcohol and Drug Addiction and Prevention  Open Enrollment




MCCB Pocket PD is a new addition to our professional development offerings in 2020. The approach is mod- eled after The Online Network of Educators (@ONE), which is a service of the California Virtual Campus - Online Education Initiative (CVC-OEI). Each month we aim to deliver professional development in a pocket- size format. Topics shared are meant to support your professional and personal growth in just a few minutes. Enjoy these PD sessions and keep them in your back pocket for review when needed.

Episode 1: Zoom User Basics Episode 2: Travel at MCCB Episode 3: Tips for Outlook Episode 4: Bike Share Program

   

 Episode 5: S.M.A.R.T. Goals to Enhance Performance Management  Episode 6: Purchasing at MCCB


The Community Challenge for Change (C3) Wellness webinars encompass a variety of health and wellness related topics. Each webinar was provided by a Mississippi Department of Health community partner. These sessions are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Stay health aware by joining fu- ture C3 Wellness webinars and by reviewing past sessions.

Heat Safety and Skin Cancer Awareness

      

Lead Poisoning Prevention Building a Healthy Plate

Mindful Fitness Cancer Prevention

Community Water Fluoridation Nutrition Facts: Label Reading

 Eight Elements of a Green and Healthy Home  The Importance of Mammograms and Self Breast Exams  Mobility in the Workplace: Improving Mobility to Feel Better and Reduce Pain  Lung Cancer Awareness  Mobility in the Workplace (Part II): Shoulders and Back

Webinars provided by Active Health are not recorded.

To learn more about how you can contribute to continued learning at MCCB, please contact Dr. Krystal Thur- man at



2020 Professional Development Champions

Michael Mozee and Dr. Sheriece Robinson were recognized as the 2020 P rofession- al Development Champions. This is awarded to the person(s) who attended the most professional develop- ment training sessions throughout the calendar year. Michael and Dr. Robinson attended 14 of the 16 PD sessions offered in 2020. We appreciate their commitment to continuous learning! Both employ- ees received a special happy from the Center for Professional Development. 2020 C3 Wellness Enthusiast Patrice Carr was recognized as the 2020 C3 Wellness Enthusiast. This is awarded to the person(s) who attended the most C3 Wellness webinar/info sessions throughout the calendar year. Patrice attended 17 of the 18 C3 Wellness sessions offered in 2020! We appreciate Patrice’s commitment to health and well-being and her desire for continuous learning! Patrice will receive a special happy from the Center for Professional Develop- ment and C3 Wellness team. 2020 Pocket PD Contributors At this time, we’d like to say a special thanks to MCCB colleagues who contributed time and content knowledge to our Pocket PD series in 2020.

Veronica Dunning Jacob Goodwin

   

Shana Hansen Cynthia Jiles

Dr. Krista LeBrun

Sherriel Rush

If you would like to be a 2021 Pocket PD contributor, please contact Dr. Krystal Thurman.


2021 1st Quarter Professional Development Schedule




Session Type

January 12, 2021 11:00 am – 12:00 pm January 26, 2021 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm January 28, 2021 11:00 am – 12:00 pm February 4, 2021 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm February 10, 2021 10:00 am – 11:30 am February 10, 2021 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm February 11, 2021 11:00 am – 12:00 pm March 10, 2021 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm March, 2021 Day and time TBD March 25, 2021 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

State Agency Spotlight: Mississippi Department of Archives and History

MS Department of Archives and His- tory (MDAH) Claude Courtney, Active Health Management Dr. Philip Tew, Arkansas State Uni- versity Claude Courtney, Active Health Management Courtney Littleton, Department of Mental Health Kenneth Wheatley and Jim Miller Claude Courtney, Active Health Management Dr. Shane Hunt, Professor of Mar- keting at Idaho State University Pamela Davis-Thomas, MS Depart- ment of Health PERS Representative


New Year-New You


How to Get Rich…or at Least Not Go Broke


Preventive Posture


Public Employee’s Retirement Sys- tem of Mississippi (PERS) and Missis- sippi Deferred Compensation (MDC)


Mental Health Matters


Grant Writing Workshop


Super Foods


Personal Branding 101


Health Eating Habits


>> Stay tuned for additional webinar announcements! <<

Follow the MCCB Professional Development Channel to get instant updates about new content - https://

We love to hear your ideas so please reach out to us at If you’d like to offer a Pocket PD session to your colleagues, we offer a tutorial and template to get you started.


ExCEL Expanding Capacity for Effectiveness and Leadership

The rising stars of leadership. Congratulations to the inaugural participants of MCCB’s ExCEL leadership training program!

Jim Miller , Assistant Director for Resource Development, and Dr. Sheriece Robinson , Curriculum Special- ist, have been selected as the 2021 ExCEL participants.

The new internal training program will begin January 21, 2021 and will conclude December 17, 2021.

It is our sincere hope that the ….will inspire future leaders and colleagues.

Congratulations to Jim and Dr. Robinson!


THE KNOWLEDGE BANK PEER TO PEER LEARNING AND DISCUSSION P lanning for the agency’s succession and knowledge transfer is more critical than ever. Peer to peer learning will help close the gaps. This is an invaluable tool in providing more insight to staff and reducing hidden bias often associated with the knowledge transfer process. We are committed to accessibility and inclusiveness. This interface will serve as the platform for validating processes and maintaining agency knowledge.


Sandy Crist and Jim Miller


On behalf of the team organizing the MCCB At-a-Glance initiative, please accept my most sincere thanks to everyone who has been working on/submitting their Division materials. This is a very busy time for every- one and your focus on this project is both appreciated and worthwhile.

That said, it has been brought to our attention that completed materials for each Division will not be vital to the community college Presidents' orientation in February. Considering everyone's busy schedule, as well as this fact, it has been decided to extend the due date for submission of MCCB At-a-Glance materials to Fri- day, April 30th. I have attached the Content Development Guide to assist those who have not yet complet- ed all deliverables. I will be following up intermittently over the next few weeks, but please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly if you have any questions or issues -

Thank you! Jim Miller



Adult Education: Bronwyn Robertson PODCAST about Mississippi Adult Education and Smart Start Adult Education Success in Mississippi

MCCB Social Media

Dr. Krystal Thurman

The MCCB is on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We want to highlight the outstanding work taking place at the agency, but we need your help. It’s simple – send me an email that includes any pictures and infor- mation that you’d like to share. If you prefer to text the information, ask me for my cell. I’ll help craft the narrative for the social media platforms and, if needed, I can help create an image. If a division already has a social media account, please don’t forget to tag the agency in those posts.

Looking for some ideas? Here are a few examples:

Highlighting CTE Month

 Announcing new and or revised CTE curricula

 Sharing staff member accolades (e.g. awards for their field)  Highlighting the specific and significant work provided by your division (using only 280 char- acters or a link to more details)

Keep in mind, I’m always available to help and will continue to contact you for assistance sharing our efforts via social media.

Last, be sure to follow, like, #, and share! Facebook @mississippicommunitycollegeboard Twitter @mccb_info Instagram @mccb_insta


Are you new to Canvas or need a refresher? Our January webinars are perfect for just that. Join us this month as we discuss the basics of the Canvas LMS and learn a few tips and tricks!

Speed Grader, January 13, 2021, from 12:30, pm to 1:30 pm In the Speed Grader training, participants will learn how to use the Canvas Gradebook and Speedgrad- er. The facilitator will demonstrate how to give student feedback through Speedgrader and grade as- signments through the use of rubrics. RCE Basics, January 20, 2021, from 12:30, pm to 1:30 pm The RCE Basics webinar is an introduction to the creation of course content using the New Rich Con- tent Editor. It is designed to demonstrate how to develop structured course page content using de- fault features in the RCE (Rich Content Editor). The webinar will include identifying RCE elements, the process of inserting visual elements for organization, and the construction of a course page. Tips and best practices for content structure will be discussed. This webinar will include a live demonstration. The New Rich Content Editor will go live January 16, 2021. This webinar may be beneficial for all Canvas users regardless of years of experience. Personalized Learning Using Mastery Paths, January 28, 2021 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm Mastery Paths allow instructors to customize learning experiences for students. This session will intro- duce participants to the capabilities and use cases of Mastery Paths. Participants will explore ways that Mastery Paths can be used to differentiate assignments or provide choices for students. By the end of the session, participants will feel comfortable in using Mastery Paths in their courses.

To register for webinars or learn more, visit the MSVCC Academy website.

All MSVCC Academy training opportunities are offered complimentary to an unlimited audience. You are encouraged to share this information with your colleagues. Interested participants can register through the MSVCC Academy Catalog. If you have ques- tions about professional development opportunities offered by the MSVCC Academy, please contact Dr. Ari- anna Stokes at

MSVCC Academy


MSVCC Courses

Self-Paced Courses

MSVCC Enrollment Tool Growing With Canvas

Building a Culture of Academic Integrity Turnitin Canvas Plagiarism Framework

Instructional Design Services Information

Dear MCCB Colleagues,

As COVID-19 continues to impact the way we engage with each other and our constituents at the colleges, many of us may be creating digital course content and media. To support your instructional design needs, Dr. Christa Wilhite, Instructional Design Specialist, is available to provide assistance and will help you execute your vision in a way that works effectively. What is instructional design? Instructional design is the creation of engaging learning experiences and mate- rials, with the goal of sparking and holding interest and enabling knowledge and retention in the learner. The design process involves a close relationship between the subject matter expert (SME) and the designer. The SME provides learning/lesson content to the designer, who creates the course layout, ensures accessibility, and aligns the content and assessments with the learning objectives.

Some of the design support services provided include:  Writing course and learning module objectives  Organizing the course into learning units or modules  Creating the layout and design  Guidance on accessibility of course content  Locating and/or creating multimedia

Courses created within the Division of eLearning and Instructional Technology are grounded in quality design standards which ensures the success of the course and users. If you have a design need, whether self-paced, facilitator-led, interactive module, video lecture or more, please contact Dr. Wilhite at to initiate the design services process.

Thank you, KRISTA M. LEBRUN, PH.D. Assistant Executive Director for eLearning & Instructional Technology



Shana Hansen


On behalf of the Education and Research Center (ERC) Wellness Committee, please allow me to express my deep appreciation for your continual support of ERC’s Annual Health Fair for state employees. After much discussion, our campus coordinators have decided not to host the January 2021 Annual Health Fair due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While we remain dedi- cated to encouraging employee wellness, we feel that it is our responsibility to protect the health of the participants and vendors. Thank you for understanding during these difficult times. We are looking forward to hosting in 2022 with a tentative date of January 27, 2022. We hope to see you there! ON-CAMPUS FLU SHOTS CANCELED Unfortunately, due to the pandemic MPB will not be allowing outside entities to come in and administer immunizations this year. We do however encourage those who would like to have immunization to visit the nearest CVS. If you provide your insurance infor- mation there is a $0 copay.

Than k you and as always please let me know if you have an questions.



Wellness Ambassadors

Regular physical activity can improve your quality of life and help you tackle stress. Exercise strengthens your heart and improves your circulation. Regular exercise can also lower your blood pressure.– Health Topics


Wellness Ambassadors

Adopt a thoughtful wellness practice with self-care in mind: skincare, nourishing meals, revi- talizing sleep habits, relaxing bath times, and journaling.

Pocket PD: Mindfulness & Mindful Meditation

MCCB Wellness Days Initiative

January – December 2021 MCCB employees who visit their physicians for an annual wellness check will be given the op- tion to take personal leave or to work off-site the remainder of the day of the visit. Employ- ees must immediately submit documentation of the annual visit to Human Resources in order to participate in the provided option. February 2021 – January 2022 In addition, MCCB employees are provided 5 EAP visits per year. February 1 will begin the new period for 2020. MCCB employees who visit EAP will be provided the option to take per- sonal leave or to work off-site the remainder of the day of the visit. Employees must immedi- ately submit documentation of the EAP visit to Human Resources in order to participate in the provided option.



Mrs. Lauren Stewart

H ave you heard that Covid is only the Flu? What about this one - it doesn’t affect children? How many times have you heard that Covid isn’t real?? Before November 25, 2020, I would have agreed with you on many of the crazy Covid outtakes. But after November 25, 2020 my life changed forever. It was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I woke up feeling kinda crappy. I called my mom to tell her that I thought me and my kids needed to be tested before coming to her house for Thanksgiving; I had a cough that wouldn’t go away. I made an appointment that very day and we drove to the medical offices and sat in our parking spot to wait for the nurses to swab us for Flu, Covid, and Strep. The drive home was the longest. I waited for our doctor to call us; to tell us that everything was ok and we were cleared for Thanksgiving with my parents. To my shock, both of my children tested positive for Strep and I tested positive for COVID-19!! I was confused, scared, sad, and anxious. The first day you really just don’t know how to feel. I woke up on Thanksgiving Day feeling very isolated. I was achy and had a little bit of fever and had a weird reaction to smells in my house. I thought the house was on fire somewhere. I said it had to be something electrical. I even said things like “it smells like rubber or chemical burning.” Apparently one symptom of Covid is some- thing called Phantosmia. Phantosmia is medical word for a smell that is simply not there. Thanksgiving was a very sad day. My parents dropped off food and left it in my car (my car became the drop off for items our friends and family would leave for us). We waved through the window to my parents. Internally, I knew things would get better but in the moment I was consumed with a lot of sadness. We had never spent Thanksgiving alone. The only thing that kept me going were my children. This is how Covid 19 began at my house. Over the next 2 weeks there would be many difficult days and a lot of days spent just trying to rest and regain strength. The timeline gets very construed and messy now, simply because I do not have a good recollection of the days and how things fell. I simply knew I would pray away one symptom and another would appear. The list of the very real symptoms were coughing, chills, fever, headache, aching, upset stomach, and the loss of taste and smell. With the loss of taste and smell, comes weight loss, you simply lose interest in food. Keep in mind, food is a fuel for regaining strength and it’s like my body was working against itself and setting me up to fail. Don’t get me wrong every woman strives to lose weight and you would think I would be so excited that I had just lost 15 pounds and did not have to do a thing!! …Not like this. Not this way. I was empty and lifeless and I would push through another day trying to cling on to something positive to just make it through the day. A little history on me - I am married with 2 kids: ages 7 and 8. As with any good mom, I knew I had to take care of my children. I honestly do not know how I found the strength to make any of that happen. I am a very independent person and I usually do all the things at my house. For the first time as an adult, I was passing out my address to coworkers to bring over food. I was accepting help; that is how much Covid took

continued -


COVID IN REAL LIFE - continued

Mrs. Laruen Stewart

out me. After several days of moving from couch to bed and bed to couch I realized my children had really been taking care of me. I can remember my son telling me “mommy, I brought you water because you need to stay hydrated” and my daughter getting me up to just take a bath and making sure I had a towel and clothes to put on. It makes you a very proud parent when you realize just how strong and independent you have raised your children to be. Ok, I am sure you are wondering… “Where is her husband??” My husband works for Precision Drilling and works 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off. He was scheduled to come home the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Because of our COVID diagnosis, we decided he should not come home in order to stay well; so he had to stay with his parents. All of this was a good idea until Friday morning about 3am. I woke up from a dead sleep and could not breathe. I got up and ran the shower thinking the hot steam would help. It did not. My 8 year old was up with me. She did anything I asked her to do. After 2 hours I broke and called my husband to come home and help with the kids. I then called an ambulance for myself. I

left my home unsure of what the outcomes would be. After monitoring, tests, IV antibiotics, and fluids I was discharged to continue more medication at home. My diagnosis now was no longer Covid, it was the aftermath- Pneumonia. I was thankful that I was getting to go home. The reality is that some Covid patients never make it home. I had healthy children and a healthy husband at home. I was grateful that I was going home. Covid is VERY REAL to me. It has given me a new perspective on how to fight and be diligent on getting well. My outlook has been forever changed. I pray that everyone takes the masks and social distancing seriously. The only way we are going to survive this is by realizing this is our new norm. It will forever be some- thing that we will have to deal with. Please love your neighbor and wear the mask! Please stay home if you are sick! Please check on your friends and cowork- ers!

Last but not least!

MCCB Family, Thank you for the texts, calls, and food. It truly meant more than you know. This work family is amazing!!

Love, Lauren Stewart



Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the newsletter contributors are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the agency.

Human Resources


Dr. LaToya Sterling’s suggestions: Office Etiquette The Unspoken Rules In the Workplace by Sonja L. Traxler

Other Recommended Reading:

Minority Leader by Stacey Abrahms

Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

Lean In by Sheryl Sanderson

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown


What’s Happening in the World of Curriculum?

Dr. LaToya Sterling

T he Office of Curriculum Instruction and Assessment is committed to delivering top quality services to the colleges in the great state of Mississippi. Our goal is to have top-notch students work-ready on day one! The staff in the Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment are working like bees to research, revise, and create curriculums. Covid-19 has not stopped our flow, but we have a new normal. Our meetings are taking place via zoom ver- sus our traditional face to face meetings. It has been great working with our colleges and industry partners. They have been able to adapt to the new normal which has allowed us to meet with industry representa- tives who otherwise would not have been able to attend the meetings. We are always vigilant and mindful of current trends, board policies, and cutting edge innovations that may come about in our state. It is our duty to our state, industry, students’, and community colleges to research and keep a relationship with various boards, industry representatives, and our community college col- leagues. This academic year we have over 15-curriculums on the schedule for revision, updates, or the creation of new programs. This is not to mention those that may come about due to industry needs or new trends. We have met with all colleges to receive input from them on ideas for new programs and or curriculum. We are always open to new thoughts and/or ideas. Colleges are aware of our multiple exit points, which provides flexibility within the 15-hour options along with the 30-45-60 model. There are also additional options for an accelerated certificate, work-ready certificate, career, and technical options depending on programs. One of the major components in our curriculum design is allowing flexibility to our colleges to meet the needs of the industry. Our curriculums are industry-driven. Each college has craft committees that we meet with to discuss various board priorities, company or business trends, best practices, and work-ready out- comes. Also, when writing a curriculum, we crosswalk our student learning outcomes with national standards or state board standards to ensure our curriculums are preparing students for national or state certifications. We recognize that many industry partners need different student learning outcomes in different parts of our state. Our curriculum design allows the flexibility that our stakeholders need as well as the opportunity to fulfill the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) requirements.

Additionally, we can meet those needs with multiple options or new course re- questsif a curriculum is not yet up for revision. Our colleges also have the option of including up to 25% in a course.


ENCOURAGEMENT CORNER (as published with the ATEA Board of Trustees)

Dr. Shawn Mackey

ENCOURAGEMENT CORNER Every part of the globe is evaluating their pathway forward. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us all to think about our profession, professional status, and how we have been forced to evolve. Most important- ly, personally, we have had to make choices, uncomfortable/life-altering choices, for personal survival and the protection of our fellow neighbors. Many have experienced financial, physical, emotional, and mental challenges; while others have experienced a greater connection to family, friends, learning, and spirituali- ty. Without a doubt, most would not argue that 2020 will be remembered as one of the most eventful in our history. What we discovered is that the education system we know (delivery), higher education institutions (technical and community colleges), organizations (ATEA, AACC, etc.) were not exempt from the effects of the pandem- ic. Rather, the pandemic has caused us to explore innovative educational practices, apply different budget models, and allow the very best technology to redefine the work we perform. Ultimately, I think we will be better for it. I have heard many people state that we are going through a difficult time. It took me weeks, if I’m honest months, to identify the true strength and promise in that statement. It is because we are going “through” the difficult time that signifies that an ending is on the horizon and that new beginnings are inevita- ble. Therefore, my educational colleagues, friends, and neighbors be encouraged that the future will belong to those that chose to persevere as you have. As we all battle COVID fatigue, let’s continue to modernize, transform, strategically budget, and collaborate. This shall be our mission as we harness our new arsenal of educational weapons to triumph in the future.

Hair is optional!!!


A Time for Reinvention

Dr. Krystal Thurman

M uch discussion surrounds the stressors brought on or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Financial hardships, home-schooling children or grandchildren, adaptation to new and different technology, anxiety, stress, and the list goes on. One aspect mentioned less frequently is the way in which the pandemic has forced us to rethink our sense of self. Each of us faced a deluge of upheaval and change that spurred from the stay-at-home and safer-at-home orders. While it may have been overwhelming, it encouraged or pushed (depending on how you perceive it) each of us to rethink the way we live and manage our lives. 1. Introverts, like myself, rejoiced at the prospect of working from home. Extroverts, on the other hand, probably sought to remain connected more frequently through means of technology, phone conversa- tions, and, when allowed, face-to-face small group gatherings. For many organizations, it was an oppor- tunity to test how work-from-home would impact productivity. Many of us have a stronger sense of un- derstanding about how we prefer to conduct our working lives and the degree to which we need social interaction and community on a day-to-day basis. 2. Financial hardships or concerns triggered many to take a deep dive into our finances. Building up a hefty savings account has never seemed more important. To reach our savings goals, we have been forced to evaluate how we spend and evaluate what is truly necessary. Many are now assessing financial well- being and taking steps to respond to potential future financial strains. 3. All that “extra” time, i.e. time not spent commuting to and from work or children’s schools, each day mo- tivated many of us to take advantage of different, new, and/or more frequent exercise. Thirty minutes of walking a couple times a week became thirty minutes to one hour of walking five days a week. Now that restrictions have lessened, many are looking at ways to continue healthy habits established during stay-at -home orders. We are now at a point of greater awareness, a turning point if you will, for moving forward – for rein- venting. Kimberly Davis (2020) stated it well when she said, “Amid the chaos and loss of control, our own sense of self is one of the few things we can control.” Not everyone has experienced the pandemic in the same way or to the same degree. A commonality among us, however, is how we can use the experiences to re-evaluate what our emotional needs are, what our financial well-being should look like, and what we wish to see from our relationships with others whether with friends, family, co-workers, or our community. What you want out of life may be far different than what you had planned only a few months ago. Cut through the noise of the world and exert control over the things you can change. Now’s the time to reinvent your life; you’ve already been forced to make difficult changes that you might not have otherwise made. Find ways to keep the positive and overcome the negative. There’s truly no time like the present. Following are but a few examples of ways the pandemic has impacted our lives:

Rerference: Davis, K. (2020, June 4) Reinventing yourself: Who will you be post COVID-19? HR Daily Advisor. https://



Ergonomic health is important to our daily well-being-Dr. Davidson

Dr. LaToya Sterling

2020 has brought about many challenges! We all have heard statements like “we are in unprecedented times,” “the new normal,” and the constant reminders that we are in a pandemic. Everything is centered around virtual work, being six-feet apart, using sanitizers, and hand-washing. A few things we did not realize when taking on the new normal is the effects on our health including our men- tal and physical well- being. For example, it was not uncommon for us to invite our co-workers and colleagues into our homes to socialize or have a business meeting. However, with the new normal, all of a sudden there an immediate challenge for us to have a home office; with the daily zoom meetings, constant webinars, non- stop emails, and the occasional phone call. Our environment changed, but the work remained. In a recent interview with Neil Davidson, Doctor of Physical Therapy, he stated, “There is a recent uptick in patients with neck and back pain since the start of the pandemic. Many of my patients were not prepared for an at home office and took to the couch, bed and kitchen table to complete their work not realizing what seemed to be a comfortable area would have such an effect on the body.” Dr. Davidson recommends getting a desk with an office chair and moving every couple of hours as you would if you were in your office building. “Frequent mobility is very important as it relates to our overall physical health. You do not want to stay in one position too long,” said Davidson. A recent article in the Better Home and Garden magazine by Katy Kiick Condon, January 2020, imaged by Agnese Biocchi, has outlined a visual for a great seating position for an at home office. The article highlights correct seating position, lighting, and background. Creating a space that is quiet, provides natural lighting, and a nice background is key to a nice home office. Also, remember to keep your camera lenses clean and avoid any glass frames in the background which may cause a glare. According to Dr. Davidson, virtual work should not put our health into compromising situations; rather, it should be configured to allow us to be more focused and active which is congruent with healthy work habits. In the first few months of the quarantine, we were provided with several webinars designed to keep us fo- cused on our health by the professional development office. Two of the biggest tips was getting dressed every day and eating healthy. Remember, ergonomic health is important to our daily well-being and work produc- tivity.

Condon, K. K. (2020, January). Life/Ask bh&g. Better Homes and Garden , 13.



EVERYDAY HEALTH My Infertility Journey

Mrs. Krystal Adcock

1 in 8 couples suffer from infertility, and it is a topic that many people view as taboo despite how common it actually is. I can attest that infertility is an extremely lonely, painful, and traumatic experience. Although it is understandable that reproductive medical jargon may be confusing and possibly make some people feel un- comfortable, it is a conversation that should be discussed more openly in order to increase infertility aware- ness in our society. On a hot July Tuesday in 2015, I was diagnosed with a very rare congenital birth defect that caused both of my fallopian tubes to be blocked and completely dysfunctional. This diagnosis meant it would be impossible for my husband and me to conceive a baby naturally without the help of a type of assisted reproductive tech- nology called In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). I wish I could say I handled the devasting news with grace; but my heart and dreams were shattered that day, and I have never been the same since. Before my diagnosis, I did not know much about IVF. During an IVF cycle, a woman takes medicine to help multiple eggs grow and mature until they are ready to be surgically extracted. All of the mature eggs are ferti- lized with sperm in a laboratory dish to make embryos. A viable embryo is then transferred into the woman’s uterus in hopes that the embryo will implant and form a pregnancy. Any remaining embryos are cryo- preserved (frozen) to be used for later embryo transfers. We did back-to-back IVF cycles in Arkansas in 2016 and 2017. Unfortunately, both of these cycles were un- successful, and we did not have any embryos leftover to freeze and use later. After the heartbreak of the first two cycles, I was not sure that I could handle another round of IVF. The emotional, mental, physical, and fi- nancial effects of IVF were more taxing than I ever imagined. In 2019, we attempted our third IVF cycle at CCRM in Colorado. This cycle was successful, and we had 8 healthy embryos (2 boys and 6 girls) that were viable for cryopreservation. We transferred one of the male embryos in April 2019, and our Henry was born that December. Although we have been blessed with our miracle IVF baby, I am still reminded of the heart-pounding, gut- wrenching fear of the unknown that is the epitome of infertility. Despite the million+ emotions we have ex- perienced throughout this journey so far, God has more than exceeded our expectations. I can now honestly say that I believe God’s timing truly is perfect, and everything we go through happens for a reason. Our adopted daughter Hayley (age 20) would not be here if things would not have happened the way they did. God first answered our prayer to become parents when He placed her in my English classroom in 2016. Somehow, God knows what we need even when we think we have all of our wants figured out. I am so in- credibly thankful for the blessings of this struggle! “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18).







January Birthdays

14 Shelika Hooker 16 Jason Carter

February Birthdays

5 Dr. Krista LeBrun 12 Megan Akins 13 Dr. Andrea Mayfield

March Birthdays

7 Nikitna Barnes 13 Dr. Tierra Flowers 13 Jeb Stuart 17 Sherriel Rush 21 Veronica Dunning 28 Cindy Goodin


Want two free movie tickets?? Answer these questions below. One winner will be selected at random! Most answers can be found in this issue! Submit your responses to - no later than Thursday, January 28 — 5 pm. Drawing to be held February 2. 1. Your seat should place you how many inches from the camera of your computer? 2. Find the tiny waving snowman—List the page and accompanying article. 3. What is ExCEL? 4. What PD is scheduled for March 2, 2021? 5. Which employment policy was highlighted this quarter?

TRIVIA ANSWERS 4th Quarter 2020

1. Blue, red, green, yellow 2. Various 3. Works 4. Various 5. Nepotism

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GOOD EATS — Tuna-Stuffed Avocados with Corn Salsa


For the Salsa: 1. Use a knife to slice the kernels off 2 ears of corn. Add corn into a heatproof container with 1 ta- blespoon water, cover, and heat until cooked, about 1 to 2 minutes. Col to use tin the salsa. 2. Prepare other ingredients, chopping the tomato, cilantro, red onion, and jalapeno. Add into a bowl, along with the corn and lime juice. 3. Stir together to combine. Taste, adding more lime juice or jalapeno depending on desired taste. Let sit for flavors to mingle. For the Tuna: 1. In a medium bow, add the tuna. Chop the cel- ery and add to the tuna. 2. Into the tuna, stir in yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. 3. Mix the prepared corn salsa into the tuna. 4. Halve and remove the pit from each avocado. Drizzle a little lemon juice on the top of each avocado half to prevent from browning. Spoon tuna mixture into each avocado half, packing as much tuna into each as possible. 5. Serve immediately or place in the fridge to chill before serving.

Ingredients Servings 6 Serving Size 1/2 avocado stuffed For the Salsa: 2 ears corn, shucked and kernels cut off 1 tablespoon water 1 cup chopped tomato (about 1 medium tomato) 1/2 cup chopped cilantro 2 tablespoon finely chopped red onion 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno 2 Tbsp. lime juice, plus more if need (from 1 lime) For the Tuna: 1 (12.6 oz) pouch of chuck light tuna in water 1/2 cup chopped celery 1/3 cup fat-free, plain Greek yogurt 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus more as needed 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 3 avocados (halved, pitted)


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