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Staff Council Newsletter


We are pleased to bring you the AU Staff Council summer 2012 Newsletter! Inside this issue, you'll laugh as you get to know personally the Staff Council Members (there are 9 newbies!), learn more about Staff Council activities, recap our spring Successes and see our upcoming projects and events. Read on as Adell Crowe, Co-Chair, interviews herself (a unique twist to our ongoing interview series with Staff Council members). Thank you for the great turnout at Staff Appreciation week this May. As always, we at Staff Council are honored to represent you.



Matteo Becchi, Chair

Adell Crowe, Co-chair

Kat Mirance, Secretary

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This year we have 9 new members on our team! Aside from learning which department they work for, who they represent on campus, what committees they take part in and how they enhance the AU community, you will find out interesting information on the members. They have answered the really tough questions in life…

1. What is your favorite movie/book of all time?

2. If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have 1 song to listen to, what would it be?

3. What difference do you want to make at AU?

4. How do you think Staff Council can help this year?

5. If you could have one super power, what would it be?     


Simply click on or click on the Council Representatives tab on the Staff Council homepage.  Get to know them more than just by name!

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Staff Council will be busy this fall with meetings, new initiatives, and our favorite service activities! We’re working hard to finalize our fall semester events calendar and will you keep updated on developments through the AU Staff Council website and Facebook page. In the meantime, check out what’s already planned for the fall:


Important dates for university offices:

August 27: Fall classes begin

September 3: Labor Day; university offices closed

November 22-23: Thanksgiving; university offices closed Thursday and Friday

December 22-January 2: Winter break; university offices closed


Staff Council events (tentative):

August: Opening Convocation: Staff Council Supported Event (8/24)

You are invited to join President Neil Kerwin, the administration, faculty, and staff as we open the academic year and formally welcome the Class of 2016 and incoming transfer students. Highlights of the ceremony include remarks by President Kerwin, Student Government President Emily Yu, and Scholar-Teacher of the Year Richard Sha. Faculty and staff will gather in the Bender Lobby at approximately 10:30 a.m. to greet the students as they enter the Bender Arena.

End of October: Staff Council Book and Media Swap

Not sure what to do with that stack of Dan Brown novels sitting next to your couch? Trade them in for something new! Drop off your books, DVDs, CD’s, etc. (no textbooks or reference materials, please) from 9am-12pm in the designated Book and Media Swap area, and come pick up some new ones to take home later in the day.

Mid-November : Staff Council Luncheon & Dollar Drive kick-off

Join us for this opportunity to meet your Staff Council Representatives, share a meal with your colleagues, and hear from HR about benefits changes and the annual benefits open enrollment process.

The luncheon also marks the start of the Staff Council Dollar Drive – an opportunity for every AU staff member to give back to the local community by donating $1 to benefit a local charity. In past years, all funds raised have been donated to Martha’s Table to provide nourishing meals to DC families in need. 

December: Dollar Drive continues!

More activities, events, and service opportunities are in the works – remember to “Like” us on Facebook for up-to-date event announcements!

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We selected Adell Crowe, head of the Staff Council Service Committee for the past two years, to feature this issue. A former journalist, Adell asked that she interview herself. Here’s her Q and A:

Interviewer Adell:  So let’s skim over the boring stuff and get right to the juicy, gossipy parts of your life.
Adell :  There are none. I worked as a journalist for the Gannett Company (which owns USA TODAY and 80 other newspapers) for 30 years and in 2009, came to American, first in the Partnerships Office in SOC and last October to Student Affairs in the Office of Campus Life. As part of the Student Affairs team here I advise some of the more than 230 student organizations on campus including student media.  
Interviewer Adell:  (Snore)
Adell:  Parts of my journalism career were kind of interesting. When I was 16 I was hired by my local paper The (Nashville) Tennessean to be the first female “copyboy.” I took stories from the editors to the linotype operators in the press building and ran errands for the staff, which included Al Gore, who was a reporter.
 Interviewer Adell:  Linotype machines? You sound extremely old. Did you cover Reconstruction or the New Deal?
Adell: Hilarious. After college (University of Missouri) I covered city government and then was sent to D.C. to be the Washington correspondent for The Tennessean and other southern papers owned by Gannett. By then Al Gore was in the congressional delegation I covered.
Interviewer Adell:  This has potential: single young reporter in DC. I’m thinking it was like Sex in the City with a southern twang.
Adell:  It wasn’t. I met my husband (also a journalist) while playing softball within months of moving here. We were married 27 years ago in the backyard of the AU Park house where we still live.
Interviewer Adell : Same house and husband for 27 years, same job for 30, you sound change averse.
Adell:  Not really. We added some kids and we have replaced things as they wear out:  We are on our fourth car and third cat.
Interviewer Adell : Work with me here, anything interesting about the  20 years at USA TODAY?
Adell:  It was a terrific job. I was an editor first in News shortly after the paper started; then I went to Sports and helped plan the logistics and coverage of the Lillehammer and Barcelona Olympics. But I spent most of my time working for the top editor where I had a range of assignments including directing newsroom training and serving as the paper’s ethics officer. I also wrote an occasional feature, such as this one about the time our family switched homes with a family from Northern Ireland for two weeks.
 Interviewer Adell : So what’s up with the wet hair?
Adell: One of the best things about working here is being able to swim during lunch. I can get to the pool, swim half a mile and be back at my desk in 55 minutes. If I dry my hair or button my clothes it takes longer.
Interviewer Adell : If anyone has read this far they are still trying to figure out what you have done for Staff Council to warrant this long, boring feature story.
Adell: Well, to be honest, I’m not sure. I’ve helped coordinate the service activities of the Staff Council but it’s been easy. The AU staff has stepped up in a big way and responded enthusiastically to all of our initiatives. We’ve collected and donated thousands of books during our five annual Book and Media Swaps (700 books during the May swap.) In November the staff donated dozens of bags of warm coats and clothing to A Wider Circle and in December the staff donated more than $1,100 to Martha’s Table. For the last two years we have worked with students to collect some beautiful prom dresses for “Once Upon  A Prom” during prom season. And in May our “Professional Clothing Drive” brought in hundreds of beautiful suits and dresses. I’m always surprised and humbled by the generosity of the AU Staff and the hard work of the Staff Council.
Interviewer Adell : So aside from  the pool and the three-minute commute, what do you like most about AU?
Adell: Working with an engaged and knowledgeable staff is wonderful, riding my bike to work (love those commuter vouchers!) is a gift, and being part of a community committed to sustainability and service is really rewarding. But the best part has to be working with students (and the Dav is pretty great too.)    

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First Successful Pet Adoption on Campus

Katie Mattern, who is a full time staff in the Athletics Department at AU, walked home one day with her newly adopted dog “BO” in late May. “It was love at first sight,” Mattern said. “We’ve already gone on a road trip together!”

Katie had been on the look-out for a dog and when AU Staff Council decided to bring The Washington Humane Society Mobile Adoption Unit to the Quad, Katie was ready. “It was perfect that they came,” she said. “And the process was so easy. After filling out the application and brief interview, I took BO home two days later.”

I sat on a bench outside of Mary Graydon Center and watched her play with him. “He loves people and wags his tail at every person. Be warned that he starts licking immediately,” she laughed.

Bo is a Sheppard and Beagle mix. “He looks like a Sheppard with the body of a Beagle,” she said. As I watched them, you’d think he was six or seven years old by his playfulness, but he’s really 10. He has a hint of gray on the tip of his nose. “Because of his age, no one wanted to adopt him,” Mattern said. “But he’s perfect for me.”

The Washington Humane Society reached out to Staff Council in hopes that AU might have some potential adoptive parents, and we were excited to host them. “AU is the first location where the Humane Society has facilitated a successful mobile adoption,” said Scott Jones, former Staff Council Chair.

Mattern said the Mobile Adoption staff members fell in love with BO and wanted to see him find a happy home. There are many other pets waiting to find a loving home, so Staff Council plans to partner with The Washington Humane Society again this upcoming year. “We want others to have the same opportunity Katie did,” Jones said.  As I was finishing my interview with Katie and Bo and about to walk away, an AU student came up the sidewalk to meet BO. Immediately, BO went into his lap and started licking his face. “Didn’t I tell you?” Katie said smiling. Welcome BO, to the AU family. We’re happy to have you.

Other notable Staff Council Spring Successes:

700+ Books Donated to Better World Books

100+ Women’s Professional Clothing Attire Donated to A Wider Circle

Participation in Campus Beautification Day, Martin Luther King Jr . Day of Service, and Dr. Seuss Day

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Get to know: the Staff Council Communication Committee

In addition to Staff Council meetings, SC representatives also serve on Staff Council subcommittees. Each newsletter we will feature a different SC subcommittee and its activities.

Did you get an e-mail invitation to the fall luncheon, or find out about an upcoming book and media swap through the Staff Council Facebook page? If so, you are already familiar with the work of the AU Staff Council Communications Committee. This newsletter? It is -- as you might have guessed-- produced by the Communications Committee.

The Communications Committee helps get the word out to AU Staff about Staff Council Events and other information of interest to Staff. This past year, the committee focused on increasing their social media presence and promoting the Staff Council Facebook page. “The page is designed to be a convenient way for AU staff to get information that’s useful to them, not just info about Staff Council events,”says committee co-chair Celina Ryan. Past posts reminded staff about special staff benefits such as free flu shots and saving 10% on campus food purchases when paying with dining dollars. 

The committee also takes on special projects and this year they interviewed current and past SC members to create a short video about the Staff Council. “We wanted to show people what Staff Council is all about. We interviewed staff who served on Staff Council 5 or even 10 years ago, as well as current members,” says Sarah Goldberg, committee co-chair. “In making the video we learned a lot about the history of the Staff Council first-hand from members.” The video was then posted to the Staff Council website and promoted during the Staff Council Elections.

For this upcoming year, the Communications Committee has 4 returning members and 2 new members and the group is working on investigating whether a Sharepoint Team Site could help Staff Council members and committees share documents and coordinate their activities more easily. Although some members have a communication, web , or design background, most members do not. “I joined with minimal web experience,” Ryan said. "Now I have learned how to maintain our website." With committees like the Social Committee and Service Committees already starting to plan fall events like the Staff Luncheon and this semester’s books swap, pretty soon the work of the Communications Committee will be coming to an e-mail in-box near you.

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