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Spring 2015 Next Steps Classes

Our Next Steps classes go beyond the basics, offering essential skills for work and life. Classes can improve your overall effectiveness, making you more valuable in your present job and positioning you for increased responsibility, for moving up, or for trying something new.

Working Better Together

Leadership and Communication: Skills for Supervising
Tuesdays, 1 to 2:30 p.m., Campus Center 904, March 24 to April 21, No class on April 7

Are you ready to take the next step on your career ladder? Do you want to grow your leadership skills? This 4-session class will cover effective communication, teamwork and working with groups, problem solving, managing conflict, and leadership styles. You can use these skills in any workplace, especially in jobs that involve supervision, and they may help you move your job and career goals along.       —Leslie Fraser, instructor

College for a Day
Monday, March 16, 7:45 a.m. to 2 p.m., Holyoke Community College

Interested in a college education? Try it out for free on Monday, March 16, at Holyoke Community College. You can take sample classes in: business, forensic science/criminal justice, electronic media/computers, health, nursing, biology, culinary arts, and more.  Learn about admission options and transition to college programs too.  UMass employees are eligible for tuition waivers. Register early—space is limited to 10 people who we are able to get release time for.  —Fran Fortino, instructor

Career and Education Advising - Contact Leslie Fraser for an appointment: 545-1600 or

Could you do almost anything if you only knew what it was you wanted to do? Do you know what you’d like to do, but need help getting there? Would you like some help with work and education goals? Make an appointment with Leslie Fraser.

Workplace Writing

Who Done It?  Working on the Writing Craft: Create Your Own Characters In a UMass Collaboration
Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Photo Lab 302, February 10 to March 17

Join us for a six-week writing class that explores the craft of writing—techniques, tools, and writing resources—while class members collaborate on a creative labor/management workplace story. This could be our own mystery theater, or a work of creative nonfiction that weaves characters and story lines into a campus bestseller. Who knows what we’ll come up with? We’ll work on character development, narrative, dialogue, style, impact, and writing with power—in a participatory writing project that we’ll create together. We’re counting on you to add your words to our workplace wordplay.
 —Leslie Fraser, instructor

Writing at Work: Texting vs. Emailing
Monday, March 30, 10 to 11:30 a.m., 210 Dickinson

Don’t use texting shortcuts when you email at work! This workshop covers basic email etiquette, correspondence, and responding to questions using email. —Leslie Fraser, instructor

Writing at Work: How to Say It & Get Your Message Out
Tuesday, April 7, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Photo Lab 302

Promoting events, writing copy for e-blasts, delivering your department news… what works? —Leslie Fraser, instructor


In addition to the classes listed below, Workplace Education is working directly with AFSCME Local 1776 and USA/MTA to offer anti-bullying education to union leaders and representatives. Workplace Education and Workplace Learning & Development are working with PSU/MTA to offer similar workshops. We anticipate working with GEO (the graduate students’ union) in the near future.

Intro to Anti-Bullying

Wed, January 14, 10 a.m.-noon, Campus Center 163C
Friday, February 20, 2 to 4 p.m., Campus Center
Thursday, March 12, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Campus Center
Friday, April 3, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Campus Center
Thursday, May 14, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Campus Center

All new faculty and staff need to take an Anti-Bullying Workshop, jointly offered by Labor/Management Workplace Education and Workplace Learning & Development. If you missed the mandatory spring 2014 workshop about workplace bullying, please sign up for this introductory workshop.  All employees required to take this workshop shall be granted release time to attend.  Co-facilitated by LMWEP and WLD

Exploring Bullying in the Workplace
Wednesday, April 9, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Campus Center

This workshop will explore how workplace bullying is defined, and what staff and faculty can do to support a respectful and bully-free workplace. Campus procedures and resources for dealing with bullying will be covered. This workshop is offered as a more in-depth follow-up to the mandatory Intro Anti-Bullying Workshop. —co-facilitated by Amy Brodigan, LMWE, and Margaret Arsenault, WLD

Stopping Workplace Bullying - Becoming an Active Bystander
Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., January 15, January 22, and January 29, Campus Center Room 917 and
Thursdays, May 14 and May 21; 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Campus Center
Tuesdays, May 26 and June 2, 9 to 11:30 am,  Campus Center 803


Have you seen behavior that hurts or undermines other staff? Do you want to help create a campus community where everyone is respected? Join us for a class that will help you stop and change hurtful behavior. Instead of being a passive bystander—wondering what to say or do—learn new skills for change and empowerment and become an active bystander. Co-taught by Leslie Fraser, LMWEP, and Chris Mckenzie-Willenbrock, WLD

Green Your Home!

Save Energy & Save Money. These three very popular workshops will show you concrete ways to save energy and money with home retrofits and solar energy options!

Low-Cost Home Energy Options & More
Thursday, April 2, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Campus Center 805

In this workshop you’ll learn twelve different ways to really lower your energy usage, cut your utility bills, and help the environment. Most are free or low-cost, while others require some investment, including heat pumps. All have very good returns on the investment.  You’ll also learn where to find funds to do energy upgrades to your home. Taught by Peter Talmage, former Greenfield Community College energy efficiency instructor.

Solar Hot Water
Thursday, April 16, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Campus Center 805

Find out how solar hot water systems work and what state and federal incentives are available for your home. A two-collector solar hot water system can provide 60-70% of the hot water for a two- to four-person household. State rebates can help reduce costs of a two-collector solar hot water system to about $2500 or less! Solar hot water collectors can be matched up with many different backup sources.  A free home site evaluation option is included. Taught by technical staff from Stiebel-Eltron  in Hatfield, MA.

Solar Electricity
Thursday, April 23, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Campus Center 805

Learn how solar electric PV (photovoltaic) systems work and ways to make it affordable right now. Solar electricity benefits include:
•    Reduction or elimination of your electric bill
•    Increased resale value of your home, but not your taxes
•    30% federal tax credit on your PV system
•    $1000 state tax credit
•    Cash rebates up to $3250
•    Income through the sale of Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs)
•    25 year equipment warranty
•    System payback within 5-7 years
You’ll also be able to set up a free home site consultation visit. Taught by local PV installers from Northeast Solar.

Health and Wellness

Getting Healthy - What do you need to do?
Thursdays, 12 to 1 p.m., February 12 to March 5, Campus Center 917

Many of us know what to do when we get sick, but we’re not sure about how to be—or stay—healthy. We’ll learn about some of the wellness programs that UMass, GIC plans, and western Massachusetts have to offer. We’ll work on “health coaching”—ways to support our friends, co-workers, and family in their quest for good health, and tips for getting the support we need for own wellbeing. We’ll also learn some yoga and workplace wellness exercises and explore online wellness resources.  –Leslie Fraser and Alison Ozer, instructors

Get Moving UMass - Lunchtime Walking Group
Mondays, 12 to 1pm, April 6 to May 4 (No class April 20), Meet in front of the Recreation Center

UMass staff are encouraged to join the Rec Center’s “Get Moving” campaign by walking and talking once a week for four weeks. While we walk, we’ll learn about wellness topics and plan strategies that will keep us moving into fitness and better health. Learn about what fitness programs the UMass Campus Recreation Center has to offer, and get information about their pro-rated membership fees.
–Jill Isabelle and Recreation Center Staff, instructors

Working in the UMass System

Workshops that help you to navigate the UMass workplace. Sign up for one or more sessions.

Ssession 1: Moving Up
Thursday, March 26, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Campus Center 804

A  great opportunity to meet with people who have changed jobs on campus—hear what they did, and get ideas from the employment office about what you could do too. -Yvonne Campbell and Carmen Jimenez, Employment Office, and a panel of UMass employees.

Session 2: Resumes and Cover Letters
Thursday, April 2, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Campus Center

This session will help you evaluate your skills, review your résumé, look at different résumé styles, and get feedback on how to present yourself in writing. We will also review cover letters and thank-you correspondence in the job search process. Bring your résumé, if you have one. Leslie Fraser, LMWEP Coordinator of Campus Career Initiatives

Sessions 3: Making a Good Impression
Thursday, April 9, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Photo Lab 302  

Now that your résumé is ready to go, we will practice interviewing skills and tips for presenting yourself to others. We’ll also learn about networking, informational interviewing, communicating, and making connections—in person and through social media.  Leslie Fraser, LMWEP Coordinator of Campus Career Initiatives

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