Student Affairs Staff Connection  

January, 2016

Campus scene

Dear Colleagues,

It's a new year, a new semester, and the campus is once again bustling with activity and energy. The remaining days of the month bring opportunities to help others, learn new skills, share your viewpoints, and have fun. Explore and stay tuned – February's right around the corner!

Best wishes,
The Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Campus Life
319 Whitmore
Phone: 413-545-2300 • Email:
Student Affairs and Campus Life Website


Register to vote!
The registration deadline for voting in the upcoming presidential primaries is Wednesday, February 10; the deadline also applies if you're already registered and want to change party affiliation or other information. Register online with your Massachusetts driver's license.

Alumni Association scholarships
Each year the Alumni Association presents more than 100 scholarships and awards totaling some $100,000 to UMass Amherst students. Applications are being accepted until Tuesday, February 2. Encourage deserving students you know to apply now!

Donate your career clothing
Donations of clean professional or business casual clothing and accessories in good condition are being collected for a career clothing tag sale coming up next month. Drop off donations by Wednesday, January 20 at 235 Whitmore, 107 Berkshire House, 101 Wilder Hall, 511 Goodell, or 115 Commonwealth Honors College, behind Roots Café.

New home for Parent Services
The Office of Parent Services has relocated to Knowlton Hall; the new mailing address is 691 North Pleasant St. OFC, Amherst, MA 01003-9399. Phone numbers and other information remain unchanged. Please update your contact information.

The CWC website is live
The Center for Women and Community's new website is here, with a clean, contemporary Drupal interface showcasing its many offerings. The center's email address has also changed; reach them at

Education and personal development

Free workshops and trainings
Workplace Learning and Development hosts "Understanding Union Contracts" Thursday, January 21, 9 a.m. to noon in Campus Center room 804-08; the session focuses on collective bargaining agreements, non-faculty contracts, and applying agreements to the workplace. "Journal Workflow Training" takes place Wednesday, January 27, 10 noon in room 115 of the Physical Plant; it's aimed at staff responsible for general ledger adjustments.

Wednesday, January 27: Civility and Free Speech
2 to 3:30 p.m., Campus Center room 162-175
Join your colleagues for "Civility on Campus: Balancing Civility and Free Speech." The free session will help you think critically about language, understand how to facilitate conversations on campus, reframe students' understanding of free speech, and give students skills for productive behavior, at school and beyond.

More free classes
Enhance your skills and life with free classes offered by Labor/Management Workplace Education. Online registration is underway; classes begin in February and include beginning Office 365 and Excel, an introduction to Drupal at UMass, communication and leadership, workplace writing, English for language learners, and more.


Athletics action
It's a busy end of the month for UMass sports, with hockey, men's and women's basketball, and a dual meet for the swimming and diving teams. Grab your maroon gear and cheer them on!

Monday, January 18: "Eyes on the Prize"
5 to 8 p.m., Student Union Ballroom
Join the campus' observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a free screening of one of the most important, influential civil rights films of all time. Watch, share a meal, and talk about the issues, then and now.

Wednesday, January 20: Town Manager forum
9 to 11 a.m., Woodbury Room, Jones Library
Share your opinions on the skills, experience, and attributes Amherst needs in its next Town Manager at a community forum facilitated by recruiter Bernie Lynch of Paradigm Associates. Can't attend? Email your comments to

Wednesday, January 20: Sexual assault investigations and trauma
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., UMass Police Department
The Center for Women and Community hosts a training for Hampshire county law enforcement and prosecutors, and victim advocates. Participants will learn about the impact of trauma on memory, and how the brain and body react, helping them respond more effectively.

Tuesday, January 26: A fresh take on "Swan Lake"
7:30 p.m., Fine Arts Center Concert Hall
Choreographer Dada Masilo brings a high-energy South African lens to Tchaikovsky's classic tale of a princess turned into a swan by an evil curse. The show tackles issues of sex, gender, and homophobia in a country confronting the impact of AIDS.

Thursday, January 28: "Question Bridge: Black Males"
Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
2 to 5 p.m. weekends, University Museum of Contemporary Art

It's opening day of a new video installation which aims to represent and redefine black male identity in America. Be part of the conversation with the interactive platform available at the show. The exhibit continues through May 1.

Saturday, January 30: Children's resource fair
10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Student Union Ballroom
The Office of Family Resources hosts a free resource fair for those with children from birth to five years old. Event highlights include games, performances, a visit from Forest Park's Zoo on the Go, arts and crafts, and face painting.

Staff news

Associate Dean of Students Sally Linowski is co-presenting at the NASPA Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention Conference, January 21 – 23 in Orlando, Fla. A national expert in prevention, Linowski was invited to speak by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The opening day session, "SAMHSA's Strategic Prevention Framework: Practical Applications for Colleges and Universities," will include examples of how UMass Amherst uses the framework in its prevention planning. The following day, Linowski and Diane Fedorchak, director of the university's BASICS program, join colleagues from the University of Albany and the University of Arizona for "Getting Unstuck: Identifying and Managing "Organizational Relapse' in AOD Prevention Programs." The mini-institute explores a newly identified phenomenon occurring in model prevention programs in place for 10 years or more, and offers strategies for continuing program success.

Christina Landeta-Burdick joins the Dean of Students Office as assistant dean of students for student conduct, effective January 19. She comes to UMass Amherst from Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where she served as director of Residence Life and Housing.

Residential Life facilities engineer Mike Lucey retires from UMass at the end of the month, after more than 33 years of dedicated service to the department and the university. Please join us in extending best wishes as he begins the next chapter of his life.

Residence Education is welcomes two new staff members and shares recent changes in the area: Kristen Hunsinger has joined as resident director of the Patterson/MacKimmie cluster. She comes to UMass from a similar role at Binghamton University. Sara Moretti is the new residence director of Dickinson Hall; she joins UMass from Framingham State University, where she served as an area director.

Andre Manukyans, interim assistant director for the East Multi-Year Residential Area, accepted a position as student services program coordinator at Glendale Community College in California, while Veronica Young, interim leadership and engagement specialist, accepted a position at Quinnipiac University; both were effective earlier this month. Please join the Residence Education staff in thanking Andre and Veronica for their contributions, and wishing them well.

Following Andre and Veronica's departures, Noga Flory and Julia Mohala have assumed responsibilities for the East Multi-Year area, in addition to their residence director positions for this semester; both will report to Lisa Giddens, assistant director for the Southwest Multi-Year area, who has also assumed additional responsibilities. Julia will supervise Margaret Felis and Leo Lin in the Sylvan area; Noga will supervise Oprah Jrenal and Sammy Tabari in the Central area. Will Elum, assistant director for community standards, will supervise the resident assistant training committee for the semester; Kristen Dedrick will advise the Sylvan Area Government.

The position of assistant director for leadership and engagement will be vacant for the sprint semester. The search has been extended and will be reposted soon, with plans to fill the position during the summer. Ryan Young, assistant director for the Southwest Residential First Year Experience, will continue to provide leadership for the area, supervise graduate staff members Johannes Raatz and Kate Rivard, and advise the Residence Hall Association and National Residence Hall Honorary.

Patty McGill, assistant for Residential Life human resources, was recently nominated for an "of the month" award through the National Residence Hall Honorary. She was recognized for her ongoing contributions to student success, including informal mentorship of students at the department's Student Leadership Center.

Dawn Bond, director of Residential Life Student Services, provided the keynote address for the 2016 NEACUHO Residential Operations Drive Conference at Manhattan College in December; her talk focused on "Student Success Through Excellent Service." Bond was joined by Colby Gray, senior staff development specialist, for an additional presentation, entitled "Clocking In to an Inclusive Community: What Does Bias Prevention Look Like for Facilities Operations Staff." Residential Life Student Services staff members Lacey Olson, Fernando Alejandro, and Corey Edwards were also in attendance.

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