Fall 2020 Classes

Partnership for Worker Education 

Fall 2020 Course Offerings 

To register for any of these classes, please complete the registration form (at https://www.umass.edu/worker-ed/register)


Computer offerings: 

You might have noticed that our menu fall offerings fall is leaner than usual.  Our menu is leaner; we are setting aside staff time to provide assistance to employees on furlough, as those needs arise.  In June, our furlough webinars were attended by 1,400 employees and our furlough resources were viewed 9,000 times.   


Webinar: Microsoft Teams: Video Conferencing and Calling (Replacing Zoom) 

Do you struggle with Zoom? Is working from home blurring your work/personal boundaries? Is communicating with coworkers more difficult now that we’re working remotely? Using Microsoft Teams can solve all of these problems – in Teams, you can call and videoconference seamlessly without having to open Zoom, and without having to track down your coworkers’ contact information. This brief webinar will review the functionality of making calls and video conferencing within Teams, and how to make interoffice communication a lot simpler. (Jeff Napolitano) 

Tuesday, October 20, 12pm – 12:45pm 

Thursday, November 19, 12pm – 12:45pm 

Friday, December 11, 2pm – 2:45pm 


Webinar: Microsoft Teams: Cloud Storage and File Management

With IT support for Box ending, and the increased use of Microsoft Teams, how to handle your files is an important issue for UMass staff. In this webinar, we will review the functionality of cloud storage and file management in Teams, including migrating your files into teams, the implications on file permissions, and how to easily share and use documents amongst your department. (Jeff Napolitano) 

Thursday, November 12, 12pm – 12:45pm 

Tuesday, December 15, 12pm – 12:45pm


Upgrade Your Computer Skills remote class  

Good UMass jobs require more technical skills than ever before with more remote work due to Covid.  In this 5-week class, we will do a quick introduction to Zoom, then discuss buying a computer and practice your computer skills by learning how to use Google Docs and apps.  It is free for all UMass staff and easy to log into with your UMass ID.  We will answer any related computer questions and boost your computer skills.  Access to a computer or tablet with internet connection is required. 

Thursdays, 9-10:20 a.m., Oct. 22 - Nov. 19 (Fran Fortino) 

Intermediate Microsoft Excel (remote class)

Build on your knowledge of Excel and learn more functions and formatting tricks. This 5-week intermediate Excel class will cover more complex formulas and useful functions, cell and conditional formatting, linking worksheets, and pivot tables. You’ll learn how to format worksheets effectively, use Excel functions like IF, VLookup & Match, analyze worksheets and create pivot tables to make your data easier to understand. Prerequisite: basic knowledge of Excel. 

Thursdays, 10:30-12 noon, Oct. 22 - Nov. 19 (Fran Fortino)  

Stay tuned. We anticipate offering additional computer and workplace technology sessions this fall.  Each will be taught by one of our skilled computer instructors.  


Career Growth & Learning 

Résumés, Cover Letters & Interviewing Tips 
Learn how to create a résumé that works for you, craft a cover letter that promotes your strengths and skills, practice interviewing, and gather tips on using social media, networking, and putting your best self forward in the world of work. (Leslie Fraser)

Tuesday, October 6, 10:30am to 12pm 


Career and Education Advising  

Are budget cutbacks and the pandemic affecting your work? Do you know what you’d like to do, but need help getting there? Would you like some help with work and education goals? Are you planning to start an apprenticeship, technical training, or college program and need some support for going back to school? Make an appointment with Leslie Fraser. Contact Leslie Fraser for an appointment: 508-224-8281 or lfraser@umass.edu 


Writing & Communication Courses

Writing with Power, Writing Together 

Do you want to improve your writing? Now that you are working remotely and writing more to communicate with your co-workers and supervisor, do you want some tips on sharpening your wordsmithing skills? Do you want to practice writing in a supportive group of other writers? Participants will focus on writing exercises tailored to their needs and situations. We will use writing prompts, class feedback, and writing resources to discover what makes for good writing and keeps readers interested in what you have to say. Everyone is welcome—bring a computer or a notebook and pen with you, and let’s write together. Leslie Fraser, instructor. 4 sessions: Thursdays, October 15, October 22, October 29, November 5, 1:30 to 3pm 


Beginning Level Workplace English  

Are you comfortable understanding and speaking English at work? Do you want to read and write English better? Beginning English class teaches you vocabulary and grammar to help you at work and in your daily life. In Fall 2020, we will study about work and home life in the Covid-19 pandemic. Your teacher and classmates will help you feel more confident with your English skills. (Melissa Kane) 

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-3 pm


Intermediate Level Workplace English  

Learners will work at an intermediate level to improve everyday communication skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing English. Lessons will focus on language needs for work and home, with the goal of enabling students to communicate effectively and confidently. (Amy Brodigan) 

Monday and Wednesdays 1-3 pm.


Introduction to Workplace Anti-Bullying  

All new faculty and staff need to take an Introduction to Workplace Anti-Bullying workshop, jointly offered by the Partnership for Worker Education and Workplace Learning & Development. If you are a recent UMass employee, please sign up for this introductory workshop. You will learn how to define workplace bullying and the UMass Amherst campus procedures and resources to address bullying and create a respectful workplace.

Thursday, October 22, 10am to 12pm


Workplace Wellness Courses

Mindfulness and Nutrition for Workplace Wellness 

During this pandemic, many of us know what to do when we get sick, but we’re not sure about how to be—or stay—healthy. In this weekly class, we will learn mindfulness practices for focusing and stress reduction. And we will explore resources for good health and nutrition and identify the support you need for your own wellbeing. Join us every week, or when you are able to. Leslie Fraser, instructor. Monday, October 5 - December 14, 12-1pm 


Joining Together for Pandemic Support and Strategies 

During this pandemic, many of us have faced challenges in juggling family and childcare with work life demands, setting up work environments at home, and maintaining social connections while physically distancing. If the pandemic has affected your work and life—including furloughs, layoffs, and the stress of an uncertain future—gather with others to share support and strategies for living in these times. Join us every week, or when you are able to. Leslie Fraser, facilitator. Weekly one-hour drop-in sessions on Tuesdays, October 6 - December 15, 12 to 1pm 


Respectful Workplace  

This workshop, offered by the Partnership for Worker Education, Workplace Learning & Development, and Equity and Inclusion Office, is a campus response to support new employees in creating a community of dignity and respect. The workshop explores what signals respect at work, what signals disrespect, and strategies to cultivate inclusion and belonging to build a culture of respect at UMass. (Leslie Fraser)

 Monday, November 2, 1 to 3pm


Recreation Center Virtual Wellness Classes and Resources

During the pandemic, the Campus Recreation Center offers live online group fitness classes every day—including Vinyasa Yoga, virtual boot camp, virtual rec spin, Zumba, and more. This virtual programming is accessible to all within the UMass community who have a UMass email address. You can create an account at www.IMLeagues.com/UMass using that email address and then choose from the virtual programming offerings once you have verified your email account. Check out fitness and nutrition offerings on the Virtual Campus Recreation Fall 2020 webpage: https://www.umass.edu/campusrec/VirtualCampusRec. And visit their wellbeing resources at https://www.umass.edu/campusrec/programs/fitness/wellbeing-resources.  

Check the Rec Center schedule for classes. You must use your UMass email to sign up. 


Building Bridges Courses 

The Building Bridges Public Art and Engagement Initiative draws on the power of solidarity and creative expression to bring people together and create a bridge across difference. Drawing on our campus commitment to Building a Community of Dignity and Respect, the Building Bridges courses seek to foster new connections among UMass community members who come from greatly varied backgrounds and hold differing perspectives. These courses are co-sponsored by the Office of the Associate Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 


Singing Our Way to Freedom: A Film Screening and Community Dialogue with Paul Espinosa

In our ongoing effort to continue Building a Community of Dignity and Respect, we offer this one-time film screening and community dialogue on the power of song in building movements. Singing Our Way to Freedom chronicles the life of Ramon “Chunky” Sanchez. This event is part of the Building Our Movements: The Power of Song Building Bridges course but is also a standalone event. All are invited. We learn how a young Mexican American kid from a small rural town in the middle of nowhere becomes a leading musician of the Chicano civil rights movement. We see how he learns about the power of music and imagination as the film takes us on his journey and struggles for freedom. Following the film we will have a facilitated dialogue among staff, students and faculty. (Wednesday, October 28th 12:00 - 2:00)
Part of the Office of Equity and Inclusion's Watch. Learn. Grow. film series and in partnership with the UMass Labor Center. Co-sponsored by the Commonwealth Honors College and the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latinx Studies. 


Our Immigrant Voices 

This Building Bridges course brings together immigrant employees to get to know each other and to discuss ways they would like to amplify their voices and realities. Participants and facilitators will work together using Photovoice - where participants take photos to highlight important issues in their lives and stimulate dialogue - and create a display that will be showcased and presented to the campus community. Anyone in the UMass staff community interested in being a part of this course is encouraged to sign up. — Jacob Carter, facilitator Tuesdays, 1:00 – 2:00 Virtual Meetings, 8 sessions starting on Tuesday, October 6th  


Showcasing Worker Artists at UMass 

This course brings together worker artists to get to know each other and to explore the ways in which they can showcase the talents of worker artists on campus. Participants will be planning for different exhibitions on campus -including an all-campus showcase event in spring 2021 -and how to increase the visibility of worker artists, their art and their experiences on campus and beyond. Anyone in the UMass staff community interested in being a part of this course is encouraged to sign up—Joe Connolly and Jacob Carter, facilitators

Thursdays, 10am - 11amVirtual Meetings, 10 sessions starting on September 17th  


Building Our Movements: The Power of Song  

As part of our Building Bridges programming on the theme of worker rights as human rights, this course examines the role of music in the struggles for these rights. This semester, we will focus on the role and power of song, as it has been used in the movements for worker, civil, and human rights. We will explore the ways in which selected labor and civil rights songs have come from and been used in a range of contexts over time, and the ways in which they may change as new generations adopt and adapt these songs. Continuing a tradition in this series of courses, the class will include an open virtual showing and discussion of "Singing Our Way to Freedom", a new documentary about the life and music of Ramon “Chunky” Sanchez, a musician, composer, and community activist, who has used music in movement-building, from the time of Cesar Chavez and the early Chicano rights movement through today's immigrant rights' protests. The class will also provide opportunities to reflect on, share with the class - and, if desired, write and perform - songs connected to power in your own lives and actions. Jacob Carter facilitating with co-presenters including Pat Greenfield, Jerry Levinsky and Paul Espinosa.

Wednesdays, 12:00 – 1:00pm, Virtual Meetings, 5 sessions starting on October 7th 


We highly value employee suggestions for course offerings.  Thank you so much.