Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Conference Attendance and Reimbursement

by Sarah Gutowski, Chair, New Member Mentoring Program

At the end of this week I'll be traveling down to Virginia to participate in two poetry readings with a colleague. Because these readings are a part of my professional development, and in support of a recent publication, I'm able to request reimbursement from the college for expenses associated with the trip. Additionally, I'll be taking two "T" days -- time separate from sick days or from personal days on my monthly leave report.

Oh hey, Autumn. Nice of you to show up.
It's important to note that I submitted my request for reimbursement earlier in the semester, and it was approved by my academic chair and campus dean well before the dates of the trip. In fact, our Governance bodies at SCCC recommend submitting your requests at least six weeks in advance of your conference or professional obligation. To submit a request, you need to fill out a form which will require you to estimate the cost of travel, hotel, registration, meals, etc., and support it with documents that prove your intention to attend said event (like a conference registration receipt, or a letter that confirms your participation as a reader or panelist, etc.).

You’ll submit these forms to your academic chair, who must approve them first, and then he or she or your department’s administrative assistant will forward them to the Central Business Office. They’ll do their thing with the application, and then it will find its way to your executive dean for approval. THEN (yes, there’s more, much more!) the application will be sent back to your department’s administrative assistant, who will turn the application (or, in fancier terms, “requisition”) into a purchase order. Also, you’ll receive a nice letter in the mail notifying you that your conference attendance has been approved.

Once you’re approved, all you have to do is write that paper for the conference! (Or simply plan your itinerary and pack your bags, you lucky thing.)

After you’ve traveled and rubbed elbows at the conference/event, you’ll return home and – no matter how jet-lagged you are or how many papers or projects you find waiting to be graded – FILL OUT MORE PAPERWORK. You’ll need to submit two forms (a Travel Expense Voucher and a Contractual Travel Payment Request form), receipts, and materials (save your name badge! And the conference brochure!) that prove you attended your conference and, therefore, deserve to be reimbursed. Also, you’ll need to type a letter to the Central Business Office (a “Conference Report”), akin to a “What I Did At Summer Camp” writing assignment. You need to submit this paperwork within three months to your department’s administrative assistant, who will ask your academic chair to sign it, and then he or she will forward it on to Accounts Payable.

I know that three months sounds like a ridiculously long amount of time, but when you attend a conference in March, and return to a spring semester filled with papers and events and meetings, that June deadline can encroach fairly fast. And if you find that you missed the three month mark, be it by two weeks or two months, you risk not having a single penny of your conference costs reimbursed. (Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything. Nope. Not me!)

You can find the official description of procedures in a document on the FA’s website. This document is nice, too, because it includes active links to all of the forms I mentioned above.

I realize that as you navigate your way through your first semester, you may not be thinking of attending a conference just yet. But eventually, you’ll want to, and the process can seem really intimidating. Try to save a copy of this post somewhere so that you can refer to it when that time comes.

Additional but important items about conferences:
  • Contractually, we are all entitled to $1500 for conference expenses between September 1, 2013 and August 31, 2015. 
  • There’s nowhere on the leave report to officially record “conference leave” or "T" days, other than to type a message for your supervisor under the “notes” section of the leave report. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Guest Post: Tech Tips!

by Liz Foley,Grant Campus Coordinator, New Member Mentoring Program

Editor's Note: SKG again! Please welcome Grant Campus Coordinator Liz Foley as our second guest blogger of the semester. Liz, who works in the Educational Technology Unit on the Grant Campus, has some particularly useful information for those of us who are new to SCCC. Personally, I don't know where I'd be without the last two tips -- it seems like there's always some document I began at school that I need to access and finish at home, or vice versa -- and having access to my files, and/or being able to use my laptop on campus, has helped me be infinitely more productive than I would be otherwise.
New job, new office, class prep, departmental meetings, meeting new people… and TECHNOLOGY too!
Here are some tips that you may not be aware of to get you started with working with the technology here at SCCC:

  • There is electronic equipment available in most every classroom which you may incorporate into your classes, including computers, projectors, Smartboards, and DVD/VHS players. Each campus has an Educational Technology Unit (ETU) that you would contact if the technology is not working. Each campus will explain their service request system. While the technology is not working, call the Media Services department on your campus to deliver a smart cart that has a computer, a projector and a VHS/DVD player. Meanwhile, always have a backup lesson plan that does not include using the technology!

  • If you have any issues with your office computer, you may submit a Desktop Service Request Form using the following link - http://desktop (this only works on campus) or call X4357 or x4505. This link works from home - http://depthome.sunysuffolk.edu/Central/CSS/survey/srform.asp to submit a request.

  • You are provided an SCCC email account, which is an official means of communication from the college, which you access through your MySCCC faculty portal and then clicking on the email icon in the upper right of the page. You may also access your email directly through http://www.sunysuffolk.edu/exchange, logging in with your SCCC credentials.

  • Rule of thumb: Always use the BCC: line (Blind Carbon Copy) for all of your student’s email addresses when sending emails to your class, and not the To: line, so as to keep email information private from other students.

  • Did you know that you can access files in your ‘My Documents’folder that reside on your office computer from home?

  • Using https://roam.sunysuffolk.edu, you will then see this screen: (Include the s in http)


Click on ‘Continue to this website (not recommended)’ and you will see this screen:

Login using your SCCC credentials to proceed.

  • Did you know that you can access files in your ‘My Documents’folder that reside on your office computer from home?

  • Do you want to connect to SCCC’s wireless while on campus? Log into your MySCCC portal and on the Home tab in the right-hand column, click on ‘Wireless Access Network Registration’. Then click on ‘Acceptance Confirmation’. You may register up to two devices for wireless access, contacting the Academic Computing Center on your campus to troubleshoot any problems.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Art of Being Mentored

by Sarah Gutowski, Chair, New Member Mentoring Program
You may have noticed that earlier this week, we were all sent an email from Chris Gherardi, College Associate Dean of the Office of Faculty & Professional Advancement, about a workshop on mentoring that will be held this Friday, October 18, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. in the Mildred Green Room of the Babylon Student Center (Ammerman Campus).
Being a new member, the act of mentoring may be the last thing on your mind. (For instance, if you're out East, you may be more preoccupied with the plague of flies that have taken up residence in your office, and wonder whether this is a sign of End Times. If you're at Ammerman or Grant, you may be wondering if the plague of VERYIMPORTANTWHATEVERYOUDOMAKESUREYOU'RETHERE meetings is a sign of End Times.) You may be -- and rightly so -- more interested in being the mentee. And you may think that, as a mentee, there's really very little work to be done on your part.
At least, that's what I thought before I took part in a similar mentoring workshop last year, which was co-sponsored by The Office of the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and the Faculty Association. At this workshop, many of the FA mentors, and some of the academic chairs and administrators across the three campuses, were led through a seminar by members of ELT (NYSUT's Education and Learning Trust) where we discussed the importance of mentor-mentee relationships and ways to help those relationships be really useful to both parties.

Go ahead. Cast a long shadow.
That's where I was introduced to the idea of "being mentored' as an engagement, as opposed to something that just happens to you. At the back of the ELT booklet on mentoring, there were two pages of a handout titled “For the Mentee: Getting the Most Out of Being Mentored” – and these were what changed my perspective. So I thought YOU, the new members, might find some of this information useful, too. After all, I think most of us regard being mentored as a passive role, when really (and as we learned in the seminar) it’s much more dynamic than that. 
The ELT handout, quoting the author Hal Portner in his book “Being Mentored: A Guide for Protégés” (Corwin Press), states that in order to get the most out of mentoring, you should “be” the following:
  • Be ready – “Wholeheartedly accept the opportunity to be mentored”
  • Be willing – You need to “believe that you have an ongoing need to learn . . . When you are doing something you believe in – when what you are doing sits well with your set of values and is relevant to your life – you will do it better; you will do it with passion.” Additionally, you need to “have confidence that being mentored . . . can make a difference between success and failure.” And lastly, you must  believe that “being mentored can help you remain in the profession and have a satisfying and gratifying career.”
  • Be able – “Whether you have a mentor who offers little help or support, or a mentor who throws so much information and help your way that you are constantly overwhelmed [Blog Author’s note: Funny, that sounds like somebody I know . . .], or a mentor who is . . . experienced [and] who understands how to work effectively with a protégé, you will still get more out of being mentored if you are ‘able’. Being able means having the knowledge, skills and understanding necessary to be proactive in the mentoring process. Being proactive means not only being ready and willing to access the resources available to you, but also being empowered to do so.”
And finally, the handout offers these “Principles for Success”:
  • Take the initiative when it comes to having your needs met as a protégé.
  • Avoid making assumptions about your mentor’s plans and expectations.
  • Solicit feedback from your mentor as a way to improve.
  • Receive feedback objectively.
  • Attempt to construct ways to learn from seemingly untenable situations.
  • Take responsibility for your personal well-being.
  • Contribute to the learning of other educators.
I think that first point about taking initiative is really important at this stage in the game. Make sure you have what you need as you begin your career here at SCCC, and your path will be far less rocky and intimidating. After all, the adage "You're your own best advocate" rings true here, too. Please don't misunderstand -- your mentor is here for you, the New Member Mentoring Program Campus Coordinators are here for you, I'm here for you, and the FA officers are here for you -- but none of us can even begin to help you if we're unaware of what's going on. If you need us, please ask us for our ideas, advice, feedback, and/or time. 
And we're not just offering to help out of the goodness of our hearts. That'd be nice, but ultimately there's a more practical reason: if your needs are being met, you're going to be more productive. You'll perform better, and chances are you'll be more ready, willing, and able to step up and help the college when the college requires it.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Ask (for a list of New Members and Mentors) and Thou Shall Receive (Eventually)

By Sarah Gutowski, Chair, New Member Mentoring Program

First, I'd like to welcome Matt Okerblom as the new Eastern Campus Coordinator for the Mentoring Program. He's taking over for Theresa Dereme, who was lured from the Eastern Campus to the Grant Campus with a new job and title: Interim Assistant Dean of Student Services/Director of Counseling. Please join me in wishing Theresa the best of luck in her new position, and in welcoming Matt to our motley crew.

Second, how'dya like our new look? It's the bee's knees, eh? This little update is serving as a test; with it, I'm going to make sure that the ol' list serve is compatible with Blogger. Notice that all of the prior posts from this academic year have been archived and are accessible in a menu to the right. Also, we've incorporated a nice little "cloud" of labels, so that you can find posts according to subject matter and tags more easily.

Sometimes even superheroes lose their footing;
that's why we have Mentors!
(Har har har)
 (My dog ate the superhero)
Third, and last, some of you requested a list of this semester's new members and mentors. I'm happy to comply. Just remember: this list shall be used for good, and not for reasons nefarious and underhanded. (I can't imagine what nefarious and underhanded reasons you might have, but there you are. The rule still exists, guys and molls. As in, don't be a palooka, and everything'll be jake.)

Fall 2013 New Members and Mentors

Grant Campus

New Members  //  Mentors 

Laura Alberts  //  Victoria Sinacori
Joan Wozniak  //  Victoria Sinacori
Kimberly Coluccio  //  Sue DeMasi
Kathleen Ayers-Lanzillotta  //  Alyssa Kaufman
Margaret Kennedy  //  Jeff Epstein
Jason Ramirez  //  Bruce Seger
Gregory Ryan  //  Tony Zajac
Michael Selmer  //  Al Heraghty


New Members  //  Mentors

Danielle Groneman  //  Theresa Morales

Ammerman Campus

New Members  //  Mentors

Christopher Kavander  //   Paul Basileo
Melissa Adeyeye  //  Emily Lauer
Raymond Di Sanza II  //  William Burns
Nicholas Giordano  //  Albin Cafone
Elizabeth McCormick  //  Meridith Leo-Rowett
Hsiaofang (Sharon) Huang  //  Vera Hu-Hyneman
Mark Kenny //  Vladimir Jurukovski
Brian Koralewski  //  John Bockino
Rachel Schmidt  //  Cecilia Spellman

Eastern Campus

New Members  //  Mentors

Misty Curreli  //   Justin Turner
Jamie Emmetsberger  //  Katherine Aguirre
Todd Gardner  //  Joe Napolitano
Richard Mack  // Johanna MacKay
Aimee Mattiolo  //  Jodi Levine
Rachel Millings  //  Erikka Mendez
Meredith Starr  //  Adam Penna
Susan Wood  //  Kristen Cosentino