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April 2020


When I accepted the position of Chair in 2020, I could never have guessed that I’d be addressing my colleagues during a global pandemic in the final months of my term on Council. In an effort to continue our great work and maintain professional staff connections, we moved our March and April professional development sessions to live webinars. We hope you have been able to attend these valuable sessions from IMPACT Solutions and enjoyed connecting with colleagues. 
Council continues to meet by web conference and election nominations for the 2021 academic year will open soon. Due to financial and health considerations, we have canceled our May 19 Annual Meeting and we have been advised to delay the awarding of our scholarship due to uncertain financial standing with endowments. We have also suspended all future professional development grants, pending fiscal year 2021 budget recommendations. 
Many of you are working from home in our “new norm” like I am; others may be using their accrued paid time off to sustain their income during remote operations. These unorthodox situations present a variety of new challenges for all of us, both professionally and personally. Whether your daily struggle is to accomplish work with anxious, bored children to tend; worry for the health of yourself and your loved ones; food or income insecurity; or missing family and friends as you practice isolation, there are resources to help you cope. The IMPACT Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) offers free, confidential support for you and your household members, dependents away from home, and parents and parents-in-law with 24/7 phone and mental health chat options, as well as an easy to use portal with timely, topical webinars and quick tips (use “UT” as the member login).  
On a personal note, I’ve also found some solace in using web tools to have virtual coffee and dinner with friends using FaceTime and free web conferencing software. If you’d like to have virtual coffee with me, please feel free to reach out to me via email or our PSA Facebook page.

Keep soaring like the Rockets you are!
Melissa Gleckler
UToledo coronavirus website
The university has a dedicated website to centrally house all of its coronavirus content. UToledo is also gathering Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
Visit the UToledo coronavirus website
Pharmacies offer curbside pickup, mail delivery
To provide extra protection for patients and employees, The University of Toledo’s outpatient pharmacies are offering new ways for individuals to receive their prescription medications without having to enter a pharmacy during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Read more in UToledo News
Molecular diagnostics specialists bring COVID testing to area; PSA members on the team
Working in the lab are, back row from left, Heather Byrd, Nicole Ortiz and Heather Kvale,
and front row from left, Michelle Lewandowski, Holly Mohon and Shauna Rasor.
As the world watched a novel coronavirus begin to spread beyond central China, a team of molecular experts at The University of Toledo Medical Center were already weighing how they might be able to test for the dangerous new disease here in northwest Ohio.

We'd like to share kudos to this team of experts, including Cynthia O’Connell, the lab’s administrative director, and lab supervisor Heather Byrd, both of whom are PSA members. 
Read more in UToledo News
Leadership was focus for March Professional Staff Development series session
Sandra Bishop from IMPACT Solutions discussed Leadership in March as part of our Professional Staff Development series. 

Here are some key takeaways, as well as some slides below.

Managers are more quality control, nuts and bolts, consistency and execution whereas the Leaders can be anyone who has a clear mindedness and looks for a workaround. They make sure things are effective and efficient for everyone. 

Being self-aware and self-management to improve the whole: know thyself is key.

Think about why…what are you your values and purpose? 

What top 3/5 values do you have? Do your actions speak to those values? Why do you do what you do?

“Dare to lead” –Renee’ Brown

Important thoughts:
  • High EQ
  • Ability to recognize when a difficult conversation has to take place
  • Ability to advocate for yourself
  • Know your triggers and fears
  • Know how to influence others and be optimistic
April Professional Development series webinar provided strategies for negotiation
Our April Professional Development session featured David Rust from IMPACT Solutions. 

David covered twelve powerful points to be aware of during your next negotiation. 

Whether you are negotiating with children or for your next car, job, or home, negotiations are taking place.

He helped to drive home how important it is to have all the information ready, keep your emotions in check, understand the time frame, and know who holds the power.
We were delighted to see over 60 PSA members joined at each webinar! We hope you found the information valuable and look forward to bringing you another year of quality professional development opportunities when our series resumes in the fall.

Ideas for Professional Development

We're looking for ideas for the 2020-2021 school year!
Email with Professional Development
topics you're interested in.

Visit our Professional Development page for more information
President Gaber shares State of the University
Watch the State of the University address.
In her fourth annual State of the University address delivered via video amid the global coronavirus pandemic, UToledo President Sharon L. Gaber recognized the resilient leadership of the campus community to stay true to its mission amidst difficult circumstances.

“These may be challenging times, but we’re in this together,” Gaber said. “Thank you for all you’ve done, and continue to do, for The University of Toledo. I am so proud of how you’ve stepped up — as students, as faculty, staff, alumni and community members — to not only ensure that our academic mission continues forward, but also realizing that our collective sacrifices are for the greater good of our region.”
Learn more
Rocket your Way Virtual 5K set for April 15-22
In order to provide ample time for race completion and to encourage the entire UToledo community to partake in the fun, the Rocket your Way Virtual 5K race will now take place from April 15-22. Participants can complete the 3.1 miles anytime and anywhere on one of these dates in order to participate.

Submit proof of completion of the virtual 5K race by April 24, 2020 to add your name to a list of finishers that will be published for the UToledo community to celebrate. All participants also earn a finisher certificate and social media graphic to share!
Learn more
PSA Annual Meeting CANCELED
We are sorry to share the news that we have decided to cancel our Professional Staff Council 2020 Annual Meeting, originally scheduled for May 19 on Health Science Campus.

Jessica Napier

Assistant Director
Shah Center for Engineering
Career Development

How long have you been a Rocket and in what capacity?

I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Toledo in 2011 and just celebrated my two-year anniversary as an employee in March. I began working for the university as a Success Coach in March 2018 and have been working as Assistant Director in the Shah Center for Engineering Career Development since February 2020.

How would you describe your job?

I work in the Shah Center for Engineering Career Development, within the College of Engineering, assisting Mechanical Engineering students in their co-op and job search in many ways including: reviewing résumés, providing professional networking advice, co-teaching a professional development course, and assisting students in honing their interview skills through mock interviews. Our team also hosts employer recruiting events throughout the year, including the Engineering Career Expos held in fall and spring semesters.

What distinguishes UToledo from other workplaces?

What distinguishes UToledo from other workplaces is the vast network we as employees have in each other for expertise, guidance, and support. I am so grateful for the collaboration of employees from various offices across campus. Additionally, the professional development opportunities available to me through the Shah Center for Engineering Career Development and College of Engineering are unparalleled and I am so grateful for the opportunities that have been available to me in this position.

What resources from UToledo are your “must-haves” to perform your job?

Again, I would have to say collaboration with employees from offices across campus is essential to my being able to assist students in navigating difficult situations. Also, the entire team in the Shah Center for Engineering Career Development is incredibly helpful and supportive and my most valuable resource for performing my job.

What is your favorite thing about UToledo?

My favorite thing about UToledo is walking across campus in the beginning of fall semester. I love the energy of having all the students back on campus and reliving some of the great memories I have from my undergraduate years while walking past familiar spots.

Can you tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know or would be surprised to learn?

I am a bit competitive when it comes to music trivia. I love playing Name That Tune and my specialty is ’90s music.
Want to be in the Spotlight, or know someone who should?
Nominate yourself or a colleague for a Spotlight feature
in an upcoming newsletter with our web nomination form.

The Professional Staff Association (PSA) of The University of Toledo consists of all classified exempt, classified salaried, and unclassified administrative and professional employees who do not belong to a bargaining unit and do not have faculty rank. The group of approximately 1,200 employees
was officially recognized by the University in 1992.

The Professional Staff Council (PSC) is the elected body that represents PSA to the administration on topics such as the past PSA compensation study, changes in health benefits, assisting with the Outstanding Staff Awards and other various issues.

Please contact PSC with any questions, concerns and ideas.
There is also an anonymous feedback form.
PSA Committees

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