HR Newsletters 2023

Human Resources 1st Quarter 2023


Ready or Not—2023 is Here!

A great 2022, with the promise of a better 2023.


We are a hardy bunch who subscribe to the mindset that challenges are not roadblocks, personal control is control, and commitment keeps us fo- cused. Heading into 2023, your Human Resources is striving to enhance our em- ployee-centric experience and grow our thriving collaborative culture. This is made possible when you bring your best version to work each day.




Keep it up! Remain positive and set the stage for a great new year.


1. Look for ways to expand your role as an MCCB team member 2. Focus on the good things your colleagues are accomplishing 3. Be consistent and reliable


4. Make time for wellness and self-care 5. Spend time with your co-workers 6. Serve as a role model and/or coach



7. Make communication a priority 8. Be flexible and willing to adjust 9. Show your commitment 10. Understand what you require to be successful




Make 2023 the year that you try something new, forgive past transgres- sions, remember your passions, help protect nature, inspire and mentor a junior colleague, and focus on purpose over external valuation.


Welcome to the Mississippi Community College Board’s Human Resources newsletter. The goal of our newsletter is to provide staff with news and infor- mation about MCCB policy updates, Human Re- sources’ programs, and agency events. The newsletter is emailed to staff on a quarterly basis.

My wish is that 2023 brings you opportunity, resources, and harmony.

A message from Cynthia Jiles, Assistant Executive Director, Office of Human Resources My Purpose is People

Working with you in mind. Human Resources




Where is TikTok Banned? Tracking State by State

Sixteen states have taken action against TikTok

As TikTok grows ever popular, particularly among younger users, several states have taken action against the app. Most have cited cybersecurity concerns surrounding the app's relationship to the Chinese government. Please be mindful of the cybersecurity risks when accessing many external apps and always refer to MCCB ’ s 8.11 Acceptable Use Policy for Technology when working on a MCCB issued device .

Government Technology


Our newest MCCB team members.

Satya Maddali

Research Analyst Accountability Division

Elizabeth “Liz” Serio

Purchasing/Records Technical Specialist Finance Division

Ashley Hobson

Program Specialist for Post-Sec Student Orgs Programs Division

Linda Grant

Technical Specialist for Finance Payables Finance Division

Brandi Ratliff

Program Specialist for Professional Dev/Training Programs Division

Tyiesha Johnson

Delta Aviation Project Manager Accountability Division



Congratulations to Sherriel on entering this latest phase— Retirement! Sherriel served as a team member of MCCB from June 2013 until December 2022 as the Purchasing/Records Tech- nical Specialist.

We wish Sherriel all the best in her future endeavors!

Thank you, Sherriel, for your service to the Mississippi Community College System!

Sherriel Rush Former—Purchasing/Records Technical Specialist

The MCCB Family

2023 State Holidays

Established under MISS. CODE ANN. § 3-3-7:

 January 1 —the first day of January (New Year’s Day);  January 16 —third Monday of January (Robert E. Lee’s birthday and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birth- day);  February 20 —third Monday of February (Washington’s birthday); t  last Monday of April (Confederate Memorial Day);  last Monday of May (National Memorial Day and Jefferson Davis’ birthday);  July 4 —fourth day of July (Independence Day);  first Monday of September (Labor Day);  November 11 —eleventh day of November (Armistice or Veterans’ Day); t  he day fixed by proclamation by the Governor of Mississippi as a day of Thanksgiving, which shall be fixed to correspond to the date proclaimed by the President of the United States (Thanksgiving Day); and  December 25 —twenty-fifth day of December (Christmas Day).

In the event any holiday hereinbefore declared legal shall fall on Sunday, then the next following day shall be a legal holiday.


2023 Agency Events

January 9-11, 2023 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Adult Education—New Teacher Academy January ________________________________________________________________________________________________ CTE—Institute for Teaching and Learning February 24-24, 2023 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ WHEMN Conference The mission of WHEMN is to identify, develop, advance, and support women in higher education. The annual confer- ence is certainly a vehicle that supports this mission and allows all of us to grow in our areas of higher learning. March 8-10, 2023 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Creating Futures Through Technology Conference The 2023 program will explore the use of technology in higher education, K12 and workforce development. April 11, 2023 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Phi Theta Kappa All-American Conference June 7-8, 2023 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Summer Athletics Conference




We are working diligently to develop and share content that is valuable to you - whether that's an in-person session, online webinar, virtual meeting session, eBook, case study or planning guide.

Kindly share your feedback and/or suggestions:

The Employee Engagement Committee will consider your feedback.

Cynthia Jiles Jim Miller Dr. Arianna Stokes Dr. Erin Eaton Dr. LaToya Sterling Dr. Christa Wilhite



Whether you’re in a leadership position or working toward one, this program will help you develop skills to lead teams to success.

How we are focused on moving you forward.

People managers are on the front lines. Managers/supervisors are often the first to respond to workplace issues be- fore HR gets involved (as they should). The employee experience is essential for attracting and retaining our talent. Trained managers impact an employee’s sense of belonging and engagement. Consider this an enhancement. Let’s get you set up for success. ExCEL in leadership.

ExCEL is a key component of our developing succession plan. To meet your goals of professional growth and develop- ment, prepare to apply for the 2024 class.

MCCLA The Mississippi Community College Leadership Academy

The Mississippi Community College Leadership Academy was developed in the spring of 2009 to address the projected need for upper-level leaders in the Mississippi community college system.

MCCLA’s Goal The MCCLA is organized around the practical needs for future community college leaders, specific to the Mississippi community college system. Consequently, much of the material presented and discussed in the Leadership Academy are relative to the operation of Mississippi’s community colleges.

Applications will be released soon.



Holistically, healthy balanced employees are 53% more likely to be productive and 74% more likely to be satisfied with their job. As the new year gets off to a GREAT start, we are considering how to better meet your needs across all stages of life and the diversity spectrum. Our aim is to help you address your needs as they are presented.

Leave your feedback here for Shana Hansen:

Help us, help you.


“If all you can do is crawl, start crawling.” RUMI


Deferred compensation is an addition to an employee's regular compensation that is set aside to be paid at a later date. In most cases, taxes on this income are deferred until it is paid out.


Contact Shana Hansen ( for more information. All participants must have a signed waiver on file to enjoy C3 Wellness Benefits.


Question of the Quarter

Why are women more likely to be injured in a car crash than men?

Surprising Answer: Because there aren’t any good female crash dummies.

That is correct “women are 73 percent more likely to be injured and 17 percent more likely to die in a vehicle crash than men. But vehicle manufacturers aren’t required to use female dummies in crash tests, so most don’t. And if they do, it’s infrequently and the dummies’ physical makeups only represent a very small percentile of the female population.“

Long story short: Ladies, please wear your seatbelt.

Government Technology 20Today&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=238240020&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_LQgw6xLekRyR6uVkNxrLzJHu0qmEodRC_o8YCRhOwa7SmppcD7TH47oT2emecRzzfumgnoMbx8BKGMg4N- EmsUYvU5A&utm_content=238240020&utm_source=hs_email


A bad apple.

 People who deliberately speed. They know there is a speed limit and consciously (not accidentally through a mo- mentary lapse of thought) and deliberately speed.  People who walk straight past a sign that says no dogs allowed or no fishing but do it anyway, because they can’t be bothered to find an appropriate area to fish or walk their dogs.  People who park in a disabled spot at a supermarket because they have less distance to walk, and it is more con- venient, presumably thinking, “Why should disabled people get all the good spots?”  People who take their dog for a walk and don’t pick up the animals’ droppings.  People who can’t be bothered going to a trash can, so they throw litter or cigarette butts out of their car win- dows. These examples are mostly minor, but they are indicators of people who already have a disregard for compliance and the rules of society. Somehow, their behavior has to be magically changed when they enter work life with the expec- tation of following policy or procedures. Selfishness contributes to unethical behavior and is the source of many cases of non-compliance. Perform a self-check to ensure you are not part of the problem. Ethical behavior is based on shared principles and the values of society. This permeates into policy compliance and can influence others. Don’t allow questionable actions to go unchecked and make sure you are setting the example that will enhance a culture of compliance, equity and belonging.



MCCB Wellness Initiative

MCCB is committed to your holistic health and wellness. In added measure to enhance wellness opportunities to staff, MCCB has instituted a new wellness initiative. Wellness Days.

MCCB employees who visit their physicians for an annual wellness check will be given the option to take personal leave or to work off-site the remainder of the day of the visit. Employees must immediately submit documentation of the annual visit to Human Resources in order to participate in the provided option. In addition, MCCB employees are provided 5 EAP visits per year. February 1 will begin the new period for each year. MCCB employees who participate will be provided the option to take personal leave or to work off-site the remainder of the day of the visit. For approval, employees must immediately submit documentation of the EAP visit to Human Re- sources.

Approved Providers: MEA Cares, American Fidelity Counseling Services, and/or your chosen Licensed Professional mental health provider.

EAP Provider Contact Information: American Fidelity: This service is provided via telephone. 1-800-295-8323 Access the informational flyer in the link below. and/or

MEA: MEA Cares: 1-800-844-6503 or 601-898-7520. This service can be accessed in-person or virtually.



Combatting SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

1. Keep active. Research has shown that a daily one-hour walk in the middle of the day could be as helpful as light treatment for coping with the winter blues.

2. Get outside . Go outdoors in natural daylight as much as possible, especially at midday and on brighter days. Inside your home, choose pale colors that reflect light from outside, and sit near windows whenever you can.

3. Keep warm . It's been shown that staying warm can reduce the winter blues by half. Keep warm with hot drinks and hot food. Wear warm clothes and shoes, and aim to keep your home between 18C and 21C (or 64F and 70F degrees).

4. Eat healthily. A healthy diet will boost your mood, give you more energy and reduce weight gain over winter. Balance your craving for carbohydrates, such as pasta and potatoes, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.

5. See the light. Some people find light therapy effective for seasonal depression. One way to get light therapy at home in winter is to sit in front of a light box for up to two hours a day. Light boxes give out very bright light at least 10 times stronger than ordinary home and office lighting. "Some people find that using a dawn simulator [a bedside light, connected to an alarm clock, that mimics a sunrise and wakes you up gradually] as well as a light box can enhance the beneficial effect.” 6. Take up a new hobby. Keeping your mind active with a new interest seems to ward off symptoms. "It could be anything, such as playing bridge, singing, knitting, joining a gym, keeping a journal, or writing a blog. The im- portant thing is that you have something to look forward to and concentrate on." 7. See your friends and family. It's been shown that socializing is good for your mental health and helps ward off the winter blues. Make an effort to keep in touch with people you care about and accept invitations to social events, even if you only go for a little while.

8. Talk it through. Talking treatments such as counselling, psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you cope with symptoms. See your GP for information on what's available.

9. Join a support group. Sharing your experience with others who know what it's like to have SAD is very thera- peutic and can make your symptoms more bearable.

10. Seek help. If your symptoms are so bad that you can't live a normal life, see your GP for medical help.



When Was the Last Time You Tooted Someone Else’s Horn?

There are countless reasons to praise others. First and foremost, it’s just the right thing to do. This is a practice that can be performed even when you are not in a position of authority.

The holiday season reminds many to be thankful and to show kindness to others. During this time in particular, we are reminded to show goodwill . What better time than now to begin a life practice of showing appreciation for oth- ers? So, how do we start this process? Ask yourself the following: What went well for me or the agency? And who helped me along the way?

Well, start by identifying the standout achievements of your colleagues, the support you received to complete a diffi- cult project or those who went above and beyond to make your life a little better and easier.

Peer-to-peer recognition is shown to have numerous positive effects for employees and employers. This is an invest- ment in both the employee and the agency alike. The potential return on investment is high and leads to higher levels of employee engagement and performance. Thankless work oftentimes leads to an exact opposite outcome. I’m cer- tain we can agree that this makes sense.

How do we put this into practice?

“At its simplest, an email or even a text message drawing attention to how someone’s words or actions positively im- pacted you can have a large...effect. This is because it doesn’t often happen ...that someone takes time out of their day to say “I see you, you are phenomenal and this is what you mean to me.”” You can personalize your message by specifically stating the work performed and how their action(s) resonated with you. An email, text, or quiet notecard are appropriate means of messaging. You can also give small gifts—such as food items, coffee, and gift cards. At other times, more public recognition in front of peers is a more fitting show of appreciation. Give a shout out in a team meeting, at a conference, or even during a general lunch. You can also go a step further by writing a message to the person’s supervisor expressing thanks for the action performed and/or the help provided This goes a long way and can also aid as an objective evaluation metric during performance evalua- tions.

So if someone, anyone, has done a good deed, acknowledge it. Toot some horns!

By Mary Shirley.



Craving a more focused direction this year? Corral those mental, physical, social, and professional barriers. Build your tomorrow.

Mental Find your balance. Be present, mindful, and intentional. What does this entail?

1. Time block —get away from the digital world, 2. Celebrate tiny joys —whatever they may be, 3. Reflect on your day —Journal, 4. Listen intently to yourself and your surroundings , and 5. Reduce distractions .

Are you carving out time to renew? What are your priorities? Are you sacrificing for the appropriate things or are you sacrificing the important for the transient —evaluate the cost-benefit. Meditate to find your center. And most im- portantly, stop negative body talk. Value who you are and own yourself. If you want something better, YOU have the power to make it happen. Physical Sit less and move more. Stretch. Spend more time outside. Find a physical activity you enjoy (be about it). Eat more whole foods. Get quality sleep. Visit your doctor. Social Your environment influences all aspects of your life. What contributions are you individually making to enhance soci- ety? Whether realized or not, we all have a duty to improve the world in which we live. This is much more than re- porting to work and paying taxes. Volunteer and/or start something that has meaning to you. Everything starts with an idea and action. Be it your action or inaction—there is an impact. Don’t hesitate to do your part. It all matters. Professional So the world of work has shifted yet again; as it should. For some, self-identity is tied to their careers. Are you on track to meet your professional goals? If not, what are your barriers? As long as you are breathing, there is oppor- tunity to achieve. Setbacks may occur, but should be viewed as challenges not a derailment. If learning something new is daunting—start small.



CPR training can save your life, your children's lives, your parents' lives, or even a stranger's life . Our very own Dr. LaToya Sterling is pictured below mastering CPR techniques. Thank you, Dr. Sterling!

IHL’s division of Risk Management provides training and certification, led by Glynn Babb, free of cost.

Use the link below to request training:


The Drug Enforcement Administration has issued a Public Safety Alert warning Americans of the alarming increase in the lethality and availability of fake prescription pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine. The Public Safety Alert coincides with the launch of DEA’s One Pill Can Kill Public Awareness Campaign to educate the public of the dangers of counterfeit pills and urges all Americans to take only medications prescribed by a medical professional and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist.

Be aware that teens and young adults have access to order counterfeit pills online. Stay aware, stay alive.


GOOD EATS Quick Easy Yogurt Bark

Easy yogurt bark recipe - a delicious healthy snack recipe that kids and adults love.

PREP TIME 10 minutes ADDITIONAL TIME 1 hour TOTAL TIME 1 hour 10 minutes


1 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt

2 tbsp cream cheese (optional)

 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced lengthwise  handful raspberries or blueberries  1 tsp vanilla  1 1/2 Tbsp honey  3 Tbsp coconut flakes

INSTRUCTIONS  Mix the cream cheese, yogurt, honey and vanilla using whisk, a blender or a food proces- sor. Stir in 1 Tbsp coconut flakes.  Line a small baking pan with parchment paper and spread the yogurt mixture inside.  Spread out the sliced berries over the yogurt and sprinkle some coconut flakes.  Freeze for at least 1 hour, or until firm, cut in pieces and enjoy!


January Birthday

16 Jason Carter

February Birthdays

5 Dr. Krista LeBrun 12 Megan Akins

March Birthdays

7 Nikitna Barnes 13 Jeb Stuart 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 Friday, January 13, 2023—5 pm. Drawing to be held January 17.

1. Who is our agency partner that provides CPR training for MCCB staff? 2. If learning something new is daunting—start __________________? 3. How many Smartsheet links are included in this newsletter? 4. Are you familiar with MCCB EAP? 5. When was the last time you recognized a co-worker’s accomplishment (s)? 6. Why are women more prone than men to be injured in car accidents?

You are encouraged to submit personnel and division information

for quarterly publication.


I know you are busy, so we will keep it as short as you need. Let’s chat about the things you care about. See a few of the most requested topics below:

Employment Regulations, Employment Policies, PTO, SMARTSHEET, FMLA, FLSA, Workers Compensation, Professional Development, Pandemic Response, PSLF, etc.

Chat with Me

(601) 432-6524

Thank you for the important work you do.



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