Blogs

Brad's Blurb

Dear Staff,

Remember to mark your calendars for the A&S All Staff Retreat scheduled for August 13 (Wednesday), from 10 a.m-3 p.m in the Student Center Ballroom.   

Last year the College of Arts and Sciences staff redefined and clarified our College’s professional standards.  These standards go to the core of who we are as a staff and help drive our mindset and behavior toward organizational success.  Below is a reminder of our guiding standards as we get read to embark upon another school year.   I encourage you to think about what they mean and how you can exemplify them on a daily basis.   

A&S Staff Professional Standards

Competence:  Performing ones’ work well; recognizing problems and actively identifying solutions; demonstrating initiatives; seeking feedback; being accountable; understanding how one’s work supports the goals of A&S and the University’s mission; and working with integrity.
For example:

•             Does the employee understand how his/her role supports the College and its mission?

•             Does the employee understand the policies and guidelines appropriate for his/her position?

•             Does the employee recognize problems?

Social Media 101 + 102: Workshops in September

Last year, I offered the Department Managers and interested staff a session about social media, a 101 course, that guided people through a brief history of social media and how we can use it in Higher Education, as well as basics for getting started: setting up accounts, which networks are optimal for which kind of media, etc. I'm also offering a new sessions, Social Media 102, the following day. 102 will get more into the content aspect of things: ways to engage audiences, attract followers, incentivize interaction, and ways to create 'shareable' content. 

Interested in both or either of these workshops - or might know about someone in your department or program who would benefit from these sessions? Please RSVP to jessicah.hohman@uky.edu by September 1st. Brief descriptions and details about both are below: 

Five Things About Me

Will BickersI’m originally from Havelock, North Carolina. However, I now call the beautiful city of Lexington my home. I’m a proud graduate from the University of Kentucky in May 2011. I received a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and completed three minors in Communication, History, and Geography. During my time as an undergrad I established myself as a UK Tour Guide and a Summer Advising Wildcat Assistant. These positions helped me realize my passion for this amazing “See Blue” community eventually guiding me toward being a UK Recruiter for the Chicagoland area. After working as a UK Recruiter for two and half years I transitioned into my current role as A&S Recruiter and Retention Coordinator.

Five Things About Me

camille harmonI was born and raised in Lexington, KY.  I graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2012 where I earned my BS in Community Communications and Leadership Development (Agriculture Communications). I began working at UK in 2010 as a student worker in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.  I moved to STEPS in 2012 before becoming an employee in the College of Arts and Sciences this past June.  I will be married a year in August to my husband Matt and we live here in Lexington.  We have a 7 year-old Australian Shepherd/Border Collie named Oliver. 

 

Brad's Blurb

Dear Staff,

Please mark your calendars for the next A&S staff retreat scheduled on August 13 (Wednesday) in the UK Student Center Ballroom from 10:00 am-3:00 pm.  Lunch will be provided.  During the retreat you will hear from Dean Kornbluh about the future goals and objectives of the College, meet new staff members, have the opportunity to join break out discussion groups on Work Life Balance, Professional Development, and Collegiality/Workplace Professionalism,  hear from the Culture Committee about actions taken this past year as a result of the feedback from the fall semester culture survey and information on the completion of the next survey, and hear from the Staff Council on their goals for the upcoming year.   Keep an eye out for more information in upcoming A&S Newsletters as well as an email invitation. 

OCBILs & YODFELs

 

I recently stumbled upon the OCBIL theory. In the words of Hopper (2009): “OCBIL theory aims to develop an integrated series of hypotheses explaining the evolution and ecology of, and best conservation practices for, biota on very old, climatically buffered, infertile landscapes (OCBILs). Conventional theory for ecology and evolu- tionary and conservation biology has developed primarily from data on species and communities from young, often disturbed, fertile landscapes (YODFELs), mainly in the Northern Hemisphere.” As a geomorphologist, and in particular a biogeomorphologist interested in coevolution of landscapes, biota, and soils, the OCBIL-YODFEL contrast is extremely interesting—mainly because it implies a key role for landscape age, stability, and geomorphic disturbance regimes in the development of ecosystems and evolution of biodiversity patterns.

PHYTOTARIA, SOILS, & LANDFORMS

 

One of my major research interests is the coevolution of soils, landforms, and biota. I’ve been working in this area pretty steadily since about 2000, but until 2013 I was completely unaware of some work being done along the same lines, over about the same time period. This is the work of W.H. Verboom and J.S. Pate from Western Australia, who among other things developed the “phytotarium concept.” Phytotarium defines the specific plants and microbial associates driving specific pedological changes during niche construction. This concept, and a wealth of work on biogenic origins of pedological and geomorphological features such as clay pavements, texture-contrast (duplex, as they call them in Australia) soils, and laterites, was highly relevant to my own thinking (e.g., Phillips, 2009a; 2009b), but though I consider myself familiar with the biogeomorphology and pedogenesis literature, then and now, I had somehow missed it.

Deep sandy duplex (vertical texture contrast) soils, Western Australia. Photo credit: Dept. of Agriculture & Food, Western Australia.

UK's Legal 101 Class

 Last week, I attended Legal 101: An Introduction to the University of Kentucky’s Office of Legal Counsel.  It was an interesting course, and I would recommend that, if you work here, you take it.

 The course matter covers everything from how Governance works at the University to how we are affected by State funding and laws.  Some more specific topics covered include: UK contracts and signature authorizations, conflicts of interest, confidentiality, ethics, copyrights, privacy, open records (FERPA and HIPAA), use of technology (including social media), and more.

 I was surprised at how much I learned and the amount of subject matter that touches areas we deal with on a daily basis—from making purchases, to using your UK email, to protecting our students’ information. 

 For instance, did you know that, due to UK policy and the Open Records law, information sent or received through your computer is subject to be reviewed or subpoenaed?  Or, how about the fact that including a favorite comic strip in presentation or handout could be a copyright violation (unless it falls under the doctrine of fair use—which it might for educational purposes)?  Ok, one more.  Did you know that the use of any UK logos (including trademarks and images) is prohibited on personal social media profiles?

Brad's Blurb

Dear Staff,

It was encouraging seeing everybody who could make it to the A&S Staff Awards Recognition Luncheon.  It was a great opportunity for the College to recognize the entire staff for your hard work and exemplary efforts over the last year.   Congratulations to everyone that received service awards and to the Staff Excellence Award nominees and recipients.   Here is a recap of the awardees:

5 Year Service Awards:  Nijad Zakharia, Sarah Condley, Daniel Whittaker, Jennifer Ellis, Kari Burchfield, Peter Idstein, Mohammed Shammisaldeen, Samir Gunjan, Emily Denehy, Seth Taylor, Sara Perkins, Joe Wiley, Hayward Wilkirson.

10 Year Service Awards:  Jaime Brown, Melissa Cowan, and Marc Heft

15 Year Service Awards:  Mike Adams, Lynn Webb, Michael Stottman, Brian Doyle, and Lori Eckdahl

20 Year Service Awards:  Kim Reeder and Pam Webb

25 Year Service Awards:  Christine Levitt and Stacey Wilks

30 Year Service Award:  Arthur Sebasta

40 Year Service Award:  Adrienne McMahan

Bi-Weekly Outstanding Staff Award:  Diane Riddell

The Monthly Outstanding Staff Award:  James Morris

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