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April 25, 2019


Significant Open Enrollment
changes for health benefits

healthcare provider logos

For many years, if you did not want to make changes to your health care benefits at Columbus State you merely did nothing during Open Enrollment. The coverage you received one year automatically continued the following year. However, this year is very different. If you do nothing, you will lose the health care benefits for you and your dependents.

This year, you must do one of three things: re-enroll, enroll, or waive your benefits. Even if you plan to keep your benefits the same you must re-enroll. The process is different this year bcause Human Resources is introducing a new online portal – BenefitFocus. (Note: you will enroll, re-enroll, or waive coverage through the portal.)


  • Open Enrollment education process begins on May 1
  • Open Enrollment registration begins on May 17
  • Open Enrollment ends on May 31
  • Benefits start on July 1, 2019, and will continue until June 30, 2020

The BenefitFocus portal will have a variety of conveniences for employees. You will be able to access it at any time to see what benefit plan - or plans - you’ve elected and what the cost is per pay period. You will be able to easily see and change your beneficiaries. You will also be able to change your contact information such as a phone number or an address.

What’s more, when you make a change, it will update your information with all plan vendors that you are using: medical, vision, and dental. BenefitFocus will be accessible on desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. It will send essential reminders throughout open enrollment.

There will be four new benefits available: identity theft protection, critical illness coverage (heart attack, stroke, etc.), hospital indemnity (payments per day spent in the hospital), and accident insurance.

To enroll or to re-enroll you will need:

  • Full legal name of all dependents
  • Social Security number for all dependents
  • Date of birth for all dependents

Eligibility verification documents:

  • For child/children: birth certificates, adoption certificate or Placement Papers
  • For a spouse: tax documents (if married more than a year), marriage certificate (if married less than a year)
  • For a domestic partner: Domestic Partner Affidavit
  • For a spouse or a domestic partner: working or non-working spouse affidavit 
  • EOI – Evidence of Insurability if you are increasing your current supplemental life election or dependent life benefit. 
  • Information for your beneficiary: full legal name, date of birth, and social security number. (Trust information if applicable and organization information if applicable.)

To assist in the transition to the new portal, Human Resources will host multiple educational sessions in computer labs (see below) so that you will be able to enroll, re-enroll, or waive coverage with someone there to assist you. If you have questions, contact Jason Love at extension 2107 or contact Deborah Robinson at extension 2177.

Information and Training
A link to register for the information sessions and the computer training sessions is not yet available. We’ll provide the link here when it is posted, and in Monday’s Update.

Open Enrollment - Information Sessions

Columbus Campus
Wednesday, May 1, 3:00 p.m. - WD 412

Thursday, May 2, 12:00 p.m. - WD 412

Tuesday, May 7, 12:00 p.m. - WD 412

Wednesday, May 8, 9:00 a.m. - WD 412

Monday, May 13, 3:00 p.m. - WD 412

Wednesday, May 15, 9:00 a.m. - WD 412

Open Enrollment - Information Sessions

Delaware Campus
Thursday, May 9, 9:00 and 11:00 a.m., 1:00 and 2:00 p.m. - MO 245






Open Enrollment - Computer Lab Training

Training sessions will be 30 minutes long and can be scheduled on the following dates during the times listed.

Columbus Campus

TL 114 - 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 
Tuesday, May 14

Tuesday, May 21

Wednesday, May 22

CT 106 - 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 
Wednesday, May 29

Thursday, May 30

Friday, May 31

Open Enrollment - Computer Lab Training

Delaware Campus

MO - 245 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 23

Security and privacy during Open Enrollment

The College values your information security and privacy. Throughout this process our IT department diligently reviewed the information to ensure its ability to protect your information.

The new BenefitFocus portal utilizes a defense-in-depth model to prevent intentional or inadvertent data leakage, which includes personal health information (PHI) as defined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), credit card data as defined by PCI-DSS, and financial SEC reporting data. Additionally, files are encrypted during uploads and while stored in the Document Center.



Last chance: Quality Team Award nominations due tomorrow

Get your nominations in for the annual Quality Team Awards. They will be accepted until Friday, April 26. The purpose of the team awards is to recognize groups that have used cross-division teams to improve College processes or values, have implemented innovative teaching and learning programs, and have worked collaboratively to improve student success. Projects must have been completed by March 31, 2019, to be eligible.

Team leaders should go to and download and complete the Quality Team Award application. They must also solicit a letter of support from the project’s director, chair, or cabinet member. The rubric used to score applications is also available at the link above.



Supporting Students: #C StateProud


We asked Lauren Jones, “How does it make you feel supporting students through the Foundation?” She says, “#CStateProud.”

At Columbus State, helping students is at the center of everything we do. Giving to the Foundation is yet another way for every employee to support students by funding scholarships, programs, and student emergency needs. The 2019 Employee Giving Campaign runs through May 1. All donations are tax-deductible. You can donate one time or spread your gift out through payroll deductions. For example, donating $5 per paycheck turns into $120 at the end of the year! But ultimately, there is no gift too small and all gifts matter. Click here for more information or to give today.

Watch this video where our students want to say thank you.

As a bonus, any employee who has donated in the past year up until May 1 will be entered into a drawing for a reserved parking space on the Columbus Campus. If you have questions or would like for a member of the Foundation to speak with your staff or a group on campus, contact Jesse Jones, annual fund officer, at extension 5101.  



5K countdown: It's not too late to register

cougar challenge logo

The countdown is on as the annual Cougar 5K Challenge is less than two weeks away. You can take part as an independent runner, or be a member on one of five teams: Rebecca Butler’s Cougar Corps, Sean Asbury’s Cougar Proud, Tina Diggs’ Cougar Striders, Terrence Brooks’ Spirited Sprinters, and Curt Laird’s Wellness Warriors. You can see all five teams and the number of members on this link. At press time Thursday morning, Asbury's team was in the lead with 41 runners. There was a tie for second: the teams for Butler and Laird both had 29 runners registered.

The Cougar 5K Challenge will be held Saturday, May 4 at 9:00 a.m. on the Delaware Campus. Sponsored by the Staff Advisory Council, all proceeds support book scholarships for students. Register and get more information here.

Still needed: 5K volunteers
Volunteers are needed to help prior to and on the day of the event. If you’re available sometime before Saturday, May 4, or on the actual day of the race from 8:00 a.m. - noon, contact Sherita Golden at extension 5988. 



Nursing Students to hold campus Health Fair

Graduating nursing students will host a campus Health Fair next week. They have prepared educational offerings covering a wide variety of health topics affecting our community. They range from nutrition, emergency preparedness, physical fitness, human trafficking, substance abuse, and organ donation to name a few. Additional issues include mental health, domestic violence, family planning, cancer, and smoking cessation.

As part of their active and collaborative learning coursework, student groups have chosen topics based on community needs, developed educational materials to address those needs, and planned how this information should be presented. The Health Fair allows the groups to implement and evaluate the planned education that is presented.

The Health Fair will be held on Wednesday, May 1 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. in the courtyard outside Nestor Hall. (Rain location: Nestor Hall study lounges.) The Health Fair is open to the entire College. Students will engage participants by offering activities, games, popcorn, cotton candy, and raffle prizes.

On May 2 and 4, students will again present their topics and educational offerings at the United Methodist Free Store on Parsons Avenue.

Here’s how you can assist: Students are requesting that you drop off personal hygiene donations such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and deodorant at the Health Fair. Those items will then be donated to the Free Store.

Spring Concert next week

The Columbus State Concert Band and Woodwind Ensemble’s Spring Concert will feature the local premiere of three pieces which the band participated in commissioning. The guest artist is Columbus Symphony violinist Olev Viro who will perform the “Theme from Schindler’s List” by John Williams. Band Director Thomas Lloyd will present a video presentation on the Twentieth Anniversary of the Concert Band. The Woodwind Ensemble will perform works by J.C. Bach, Blas Maria Colomer, Florence Price, and Alexey Koslenko. For more information contact Thomas Lloyd. The concert is free of charge and will be held Tuesday, April 30 at 8:00 p.m. in the WD fourth floor Ballroom. It can also be viewed live, or watched later, at


Third Friday is tomorrow

Please join our discussion around the Adult Learner at our final Third Friday for the academic year. We will discuss quantitative data around our adult learners and their challenges and successes. We will also dig into qualitative data including the most recent Adult Learner survey results. This report identifies the perceived alignment and disconnects between the College and our adult students. To register, log in to Cornerstone and go to the “Events Calendar” under the “Learning” tab. Click on “Third Fridays” listed on April 26. Select “Request to register.” (See this guide for search and registration tips.) Third Fridays will resume in September 2019. Third Friday will be held tomorrow, April 26 from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. in the Library Studio (CO 111).




Empowering Diverse Abilities ERG meets tomorrow

The Empowering Diverse Abilities ERG offers a supportive, inclusive, and confidential environment for college employees who identify with a disability or as a caretaker for someone with a disability. Please join us on Friday, April 26 from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. at Stauf’s Coffee Roasters, 350 Mt. Vernon Ave. For additional information, please contact Michael Hicks or Jennifer Shah.


Aspiring Leaders ERG workshops today, May, and June

The next workshop theme for the Aspiring Leaders ERG is “Managing Yourself to Greatness.” As they continue with their seed planting process, they want to use their leadership philosophy to help guide them in three upcoming workshops:

The first session in the series is entitled “Who Am I” where we will continue our journey to understand ourselves and how our leadership philosophy can help catapult us into greatness. It will be held today, Thursday, April 25 from noon – 1:00 p.m. in the Library Studio (CO 111).

Thursday, May 30: ‘The Strength Within’ where each participant would have completed the Strengths Finder survey prior to the session. We will analyze our results to help us see what we are strong at and what this means to our greatness.

Thursday, June 27: We will explore the thought of “Empowered to Lead.” The group will dive deeper to explore our strengths and how this can relate to our work and leadership style today so we can see how our greatness can be actualized in our life currently.

Come and grow organically with the Aspiring Leaders ERG as they continue to “Bloom where we are planted” at #CState. They are helping to make our College stronger! For more information contact Tywan Banks or Jesse Jones.



Human resources masthead

Information session on Rally web platform today

This information Session will review the web platform and trouble shoot any technical issues or questions you may have. It will be held Today, April 25 at noon in Franklin Hall 310.

Any employee and spouse or domestic partner covered under the UHC plans through Columbus State must reach 8 coins (previously 8 points) under the Health Rewards program to maintain a 20% payroll contribution. The cycle started July 1, 2018 and runs until June 30, 2019. Questions: contact Nichole Bowman-Glover, wellness coordinator at extension 3989.




around the discovery district banner

Library book festival

The Columbus Metropolitan Library will host its annual Ohioana Library Book Festival featuring more than 100 authors, panels, book sales along with kids and young adult programs. The Festival will be held on Saturday, April 27 from 10:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Main Branch at 96 S. Grant Ave., Columbus. More information is here.

Pearls at Kelton House

“Pearls: Nature’s Gift” will be presented at Kelton House this weekend. This is an opportunity to view and purchase a gift for Mother’s Day, or for yourself. Pearls have adorned women for centuries and have graced the necks of women all around the world. This event is $7 per person and reservations are limited. Contact Kelton House at 614-464-2022 or Pearls: Nature’s Gift will be held on Sunday, April 28 at 2:00 p.m. at Kelton House, 586 East Town St., Columbus. More information is here.



in case you missed it


Theatre Columbus State presents "A Doll's House"

Theatre Columbus State’s production of “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen continues its run today through Saturday night. The production is a drama with comedic moments. Read more and see the trailer here.

College Knowledge: IT

Did you miss IT’s session on In-Service Day? Join the IT department at College Knowledge for a repeat of the content from “IT Matters: Bridging the Technology Gap.”

Overview: Do you like free software? Fast Wi-Fi? Being well-informed of available technology? Join IT for College Knowledge where IT will address common misconceptions and share helpful tips that can benefit everyone in our Columbus State community. You will walk out with concrete ideas on how to apply your new knowledge to promote student and employee success. The session will be held on Friday, April 26 from 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. in CT 108.

If you’re interested in this, or any of the classes, register by logging in to Cornerstone and under the “Learning” tab go to the “Events Calendar.” Click on the event listed under the date listed above and Select “Request to register.” (See this guide for search and registration tips.)



Be part of the next Campus Resource Fair

Columbus State’s Open House for prospective high school students is coming up. Throughout the day, future students will have an opportunity to hear what Columbus State offers. They will experience a self-selected academic and career pathways break-out session, take a guided walking tour of campus, and much more. 

One key portion of the event is the Campus Resource Fair. It features information about student support departments and academic programs. The Campus Resource Fair will be held on Friday, April 26 from 12:30 – 1:00 p.m. in the Nestor Hall west student lounge.

If you are interested in hosting a resource table featuring your department or program at the Open House, please contact Jessica Bagby, assistant for Future Student Experience, Events, and Programs.


Retirement and Estate planning seminar

Presenters from Manning & Napier Inc. are Kyle Ryan, vice president and client consultant, and Tom Lesko, senior wealth management consultant.

The retirement and estate planning seminar will be held on Tuesday, April 30 from noon - 1:00 p.m. in the Media Studio in the lower level of the Library. Lunch is provided. Seats are limited so you must RSVP here. Family members of employees are invited.


Department of College Recreation & Wellness (CRW) offerings

Group classes

H.I.T.T. at noon
Roll and stretch at 12:30 p.m.

Yoga at 5:30 p.m.

Kettlebell express at 11:00 a.m.
Roll and stretch at 11:30 a.m.

Total body conditioning at 11:00 a.m.
Yoga at noon

Group classes are held in Delaware Hall room 158.

Self-Defense Program
This empowering self-defense training for men and women combines fitness training and martial arts. It is taught by experienced instructors on the Columbus Campus. All classes are provided free of charge. 

You can take a few classes, or progress through four levels of training where you will learn valuable techniques to keep yourself and others safe. 

Mondays at 5:00 p.m., Thursdays at 10:00 a.m., and Fridays at noon.

All self-defense classes are held in the Columbus State Police Department Training Room in Delaware Hall room 047

CRW Podcast
The health and wellness podcast, Guidance with Grace, can be heard on SoundCloud. It is updated regularly throughout the year. It is also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, and Spotify.

More department information is here. If you have questions, email


DEIS faculty Blackboard training workshops

Blackboard Grade Center Small Group
Tuesday, April 30
1:00-2:00 p.m.
CT 119
Register here:



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 9 a.m. for inclusion in the Monday edition, and Wednesday at 9 a.m. 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 9 a.m. for inclusion in the Wednesday edition of Campus Life. Campus Life headlines are sent to students via email each Wednesday during the semester.