Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Practical Matters: How to Access Your Office Computer Files Remotely

by Sarah Kain Gutowski, Chair, New Member Mentoring Program

Happy Labor Day! I hope you enjoyed your day off, because we don't have any more holidays until October -- and then the Academic Calendar gets a little screwy. But I'll talk about that in another post!

For now, I wanted to share with you one of THE most important and useful tips someone once shared with me -- the fact that we have access to computer files that we create on our office computers. And we don't have to resort to a flash or portable hard drive to do it. 

I know it's been hot, but savor these last summer days.
This means that if you forgot to upload that PowerPoint lecture to Blackboard, and now you're standing in front of your students wondering if they will take the same kind of notes without the usual visuals, you don't have to worry. You simply access your My Documents folder, locate the lecture, download it, and begin class.

OR, maybe you're working on a report at work and the clock hits 5 p.m. -- you have to go pick up kids and take them to soccer, karate, basket-weaving, etc. You think, I'll work on this later, after everyone's in bed. And then that time comes, four hours or so later, and you realize, *@#$?! I didn't save the document to my jump drive!   

No problem. You simply access your My Documents folder, locate the document, download it, and begin working. (For a short while -- you need your sleep, people, and that report can probably wait.)

How do you do that? you ask. Well, I'll tell you (as if you haven't figured that out yet from the title of this post). Far be it from me to encourage laboring over a weekend (and especially a holiday weekend at that) or into the wee hours of the night, but you should know that if you ever forget to email yourself a document or save it to a flash drive, there's still another way to access your files without driving several (or several + several more) miles back to your home campus.

First, type https://roam.sunysuffolk.edu/ into your web browser (or, you know, click the link and then bookmark it). You'll arrive at this:

Then, enter your MYSCCC login information. You'll be taken to this screen:

At this point you're asked to select the link to your home campus. It's important to note that if you were formerly an adjunct who began teaching on another campus, or even a full-time member transferring from another campus, your files are probably located under your original campus. (example: I transferred to the Eastern campus from the Ammerman campus a couple of years ago, and my files are still located under the Ammerman link.)

Click the link and be patient. I find that depending on the amount of traffic on the college server or the strength of the wifi signal at my own home or the coffee shop where I'm working, it can take a minute or two for something like this to appear: 

Use the arrows on the top right of the screen to scroll through the list until you find your MYSCCC Login. When you do, click the link, and you'll be directed to another link for your files ("My Documents").

Once you're in there, you can access anything that you created on your office computer and saved to your My Documents folder. (A word of warning: if you were working on a document and didn't save it to your My Documents folder, you'll be unable to open it up remotely.) You can even upload documents that you create at home to the school's server, and they'll be ready for you to access once you return to the office. All in all, this little tool is a pretty useful one to remember. Remote access to my office files has saved me time and stress on more than one occasion. May it do the same for you!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Welcome, New Faculty!

by Sarah Kain Gutowski, Chair, New Member Mentoring Program

The rose bush next to my office window blooms in August.
Welcome to SCCC, new members! 

I'm sorry that I missed meeting most of you at Orientation on Friday. Hopefully, once the relevant and necessary forms were filled out, you learned some useful and interesting facts about life at the college and ended the day feeling excited and energized about your future at Suffolk.

But if you didn't, don't fret. It's completely normal to have felt a little overwhelmed -- after all, there's a lot of information at Orientation that's thrown at you all at once and it can be really difficult to keep track of all the names and faces you meet during the day.

That's one of the reasons the Faculty Association started our New Member Mentoring Program. We recognize how difficult it can be to acclimate to any new job, let alone at a college, where the infrastructure can be complex and more often than not, a little confusing. Having a peer mentor, someone familiar with the college environment and its policies and procedures, not to mention its diverse student body with varying needs, can really make a world of difference in the transition to your new role as faculty, librarian, specialist, or professional assistant at SCCC.

Over the next two weeks, the campus coordinators for the New Member Mentoring Program will be working closely with me to pair you with a mentor. You'll receive an email notifying you of that person's name and contact information, and then shortly after you'll receive an email, office visit, or phone call from your mentor.

Your mentoring experience will last for the entire 2016-2017 academic year. (This is also true for those of you who arrived in the spring but weren't paired with a mentor yet -- you still receive a full year of mentoring!) You'll receive, on a regular basis, information through the official New Member Mentoring Program blog, The Undercurrent. Each new post from the blog will be sent to your school email address, along with a hyperlinked archive of past posts from the year. For the most part, I'll be writing these pieces, but they'll also feature voices from guest writers across our three campuses.

In late September or early October, you'll be invited to a Bagel Brunch on your campus, where our FA officers and your campus coordinator will give you a special white promotion folder (the biggest asset, some argue, when planning and preparing for your promotions) as well as more information about how the college runs and what to expect in the upcoming weeks and months. It's also a really good opportunity for us to check in with you, see how things are going, and help you troubleshoot any problems if, of course, you have them.

During the fall semester your mentor will check in with you periodically, and at one point you will arrange a date and time to go out to lunch -- on the FA. This off-campus, one-on-one opportunity is your chance to get to know a little of the landscape surrounding your campus (like, where the good diners and coffee shops are) as well as to speak frankly and openly about your experience at SCCC in a less formal setting.

In November, you should make a sincere attempt to attend In Hindsight: What You Can Learn from My First Year, the first event of the newly revamped FA Discussion Series, and a panel discussion featuring faculty who began their careers at SCCC -- and went through this same mentoring program -- just last year. (Save the date: November 18 from 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. on the Ammerman Campus, in the Mildred Green Room, Babylon Student Center). Also, you'll receive an electronic copy of The Word, our FA newsletter, and you'll learn the date and time of our annual Holiday Party. You are encouraged to attend this celebratory and social event, and bring a spouse or partner as well -- your own ticket to the party is free, courtesy of the FA.

When we return from the winter break to begin the spring semester, your mentor will again check in, see how things are going, and take you out to lunch before the academic year ends. Additionally, there will be two more FA Discussion Series events to attend (one in February and one in April)

Your first academic year at SCCC and your time in the New Member Mentoring Program will close with an appreciation dinner and social gathering in late May or early June, where the FA will officially thank all of the members who work tirelessly on behalf of the union's efforts, like your mentors, and congratulate all of its newest members on successfully completing their first full-time year at Suffolk.

Should you have any pressing questions or concerns before you're officially assigned your mentor, please feel free to contact your New Member Mentoring Program campus coordinator via email or phone:

Grant Campus

Pete DiGregorio
Sagtikos 108
peterd _ at _ fascc.org
digregp _ at _ sunysuffolk.edu

Ammerman Campus

Jonathan Brockman
Life Science 230
jonathanb _ at _ fascc.org
brockmj _ at _ sunysuffolk.edu

Eastern Campus

Nina Acquavita
Orient 220
ninaa _ at _ fascc.org
acquavn _ at _ sunysuffolk.edu

You should also feel free to contact me directly:

College-Wide Chair of the New Member Mentoring Program

Sarah Kain Gutowski
Orient 123
sarahg _ at _ fascc.org
gutowss _ at _ sunysuffolk.edu

That's it for now -- best of luck with your first week of the academic year! Be on the lookout for an email about your mentor pairing soon . . .  
From left: Jonathan Brockman (Ammerman Campus); Nina Acquavita (Eastern Campus); Sarah Kain Gutowski (College-wide Chair); and Pete DiGregorio (Grant Campus)