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August 10, 2015


Pedaling for a cure

Tim with support team

Pelotonia rider Tim Malloy poses at a checkpoint with members of the Columbus State Pelotonia support team, from left, Beth Bates, Aletha Shipley, Nichole Bowman-Glover, Kelly Weir and Karen Riley. Malloy rode in his seventh Pelotonia in honor of his late father.  


Shared database works better thanks to accountant


Abby Peterson is an acknowledged Microsoft Access expert, and when she was asked to make the Parking and Accounting database work better, she took on the challenge with ease.

“Abby exemplifies the initiative we encourage from all our employees,” says Vanessa Cummings, supervisor of Parking and Facility Access, who nominated Peterson for Employee of the Month. “She stepped up, worked with her customers to learn their needs, and determined how she could improve the efficiency through a more robust use of the database. The new product allows increased data tracking, queries, and improved sharing of information between departments. Abby’s work is value-added, and is already paying off in our ability to more efficiently serve all of our customers.”

“Abby took a suggestion for a process improvement and made it happen,” says Annetta Keller, Peterson’s supervisor. “Students will see fewer potential errors, and parking tickets will be processed in a more timely and accurate manner.” 

“Abby saw that a process was cumbersome and riddled with opportunities for errors, and used a great skill that she has to make it better,” says Jan Ellis, director of Accounting Services. 


Instructional designer strives for technical perfection


Whether it’s setting up long-distance job candidate interviews on Skype, bringing campuses together for Shared Governance via videoconferencing, or live streaming special events to external groups, Erin Kinser “strives to make all technological aspects of presentations as impactful as possible, “ says supervisor Jason LaMar.

Kinser was given the Part-Time Staff Employee of the Month award August 5, as nominated by Cathy Hatfield, although she has recently been hired full time.

“Erin has been a dedicated part-time staff employee for many years and has always performed her work with dedication, thoroughness and attention to detail,” says LaMar. “Now, as a fulltime employee, she is continuing that tradition of excellence in her day-to-day work.”

“Because of Erin’s expertise and her willingness to go above and beyond her daily job responsibilities, Columbus State can now provide our off-campus locations with the opportunity to attend Shared Governance meetings without driving to Columbus,” says Hatfield.  “Erin not only demonstrates her ability to resolve media issues,  but provides tools, techniques, organization and training for every request—from beginning to end,” continues Hatfield.

“Erin is a very dedicated and knowledgeable employee of the College. She is a person whom I would always want as a part of my team!”


Join PONO this fall!


The PONO Diversity Learning Community is a space for Columbus State students and employees to build community and participate in open dialogue about diversity-related topics during the course of a semester. There are two opportunities to join a PONO cohort each school year at the beginning of the autumn and spring semesters. PONO sessions are typically held on Fridays from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

group photo

Last fall’s PONO cohort included students and employees, front, from left:Katie Hong, Amber Koons, Afia Chrappah, Wanda Demons, and Kopano Marumo; back row from left: D’Eborah Chapman Amaal Shehabi, Jenna Long, Barbara Allen, Brett Welsh, Jude Carstensen, Susan Ward, Bettina Batts, Vanessa Langhurst, and Aisha Mcrapth.

The schedule for fall is:
Orientation - September 18
Family Dynamics - September 25
Race and Ethnicity - October 2
Gender and Sexual Identity - October 16
Religion and Faith - October 23
Class and Socioeconomics - October 30
Health and Wellbeing - November 6
Wrap Up and Final Session - November 20

If you are interested in participating in the PONO Diversity Learning Community, go online to fill out the electronic application. Employees are strongly encouraged to speak with their supervisors about participating in PONO and have supervisors complete the Supervisor Acknowledgement Form. For more information about PONO, contact Sarah Baker at ext. 2426.




Find Help Desk support in TL

Beginning last week, all Help Desk walk-in support has been moved to the computer commons in TL 116 and the Cyber Café. Starting autumn semester, the Cyber Café support team will be available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. For later hours, the Help Desk will be available in the Commons. Some of the resources available include username and password assistance, CougarWeb and Blackboard support, email and other software assistance.


Hill and Baker

Hill, Baker participate in Undergrad Fellow program

Renee Hill, dean of Student Life, and Sarah Baker, specialist in the Global Diversity and Inclusion Center, were accepted to be a mentor/mentee pair for the 2015-2016 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Undergraduate Fellows Program for the third year in a row.

The opportunity allows select undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing a career in higher education and student affairs, to explore the career with the guidance of an on-campus mentor.

The Undergraduate Fellows Program allows students from traditionally under-represented populations to explore student affairs, diversifying and broadening the pipeline to jobs in higher education. To learn more about the program go online here





Fiscal and Compliance Service - not a risky business!

Holmes and Casey

Managing the college’s fiscal and compliance services are Murray Holmes and Shawna Casey.

Fiscal and Compliance Services is a mighty department of two people, handling everything from internal controls, checks and balances, to tracking fixed assets and insurance. How might this relate to your day-to-day work? Accidents sometimes happen at Columbus State and insurance claims can follow.  When this happens, Fiscal and Compliance Services can assist you in navigating the claims process, when appropriate. 

When entering into agreements or contracts, a Certificate of Liability is often required.  Murray Holmes helps to manage property and general liability risk, and works with the college’s insurance. Please feel free to direct any questions to Holmes at ext. 5471.




Part-time reviews due Aug. 28

Part-time employee annual reviews are due to Human Resources by Friday, August 28.  All information needed to complete the annual reviews can be found on the annual review webpage: For additional information or assistance, contact Human Resources at ext. 2408.













Submit your news to Update

Do you have news or an announcement for the employees of Columbus State? Send your news to Update, the Columbus State newsletter exclusively for employees. Update is published every Monday and Thursday during the semester, and on Mondays during semester breaks. Send your news to by Friday at noon for inclusion in the Monday edition, and Wednesday at noon for the Thursday edition. Update editors reserve the right to edit submissions for clarity, brevity and editorial style.

Submit your news to students in Campus Life

Are you hosting a special event for students, starting a new class next semester, offering a workshop or seminar of interest, or would you like to share a special student success story? Send your news to Campus Life, the weekly online publication for Columbus State students. Send student news to by Tuesday at noon for inclusion in the Wednesday edition of Campus Life. Campus Life headlines are sent to students via email each Wednesday during the semester.