Thursday, March 17, 2016

Practical Matters: The FA's Executive Council

by Sarah Kain Gutowski, Chair, New Member Program

If you would like a particular issue brought to the attention of the FA (separate from a grievance) your Executive Council Representative is the person you should contact.
An EC Representative's primary charge is to serve as a liaison between the union's membership and its officers. You may have noticed, however, that our officers are pretty approachable and easy to speak to, so the other significant function of the Executive Council is that it occasionally acts as a decision-making, or governing, body within the union.
Because that's a fairly important charge, EC Representatives are elected by members within their academic areas (although some academic areas are grouped together). This is one of the reasons it's so important to become a voting member of the union. (If you haven't yet, please do!) You'll find the following list available also on the FA's web site under Contact information 

Ammerman Campus Representatives
Area Representative
Nursing, Health & Human Services Lisa Aymong
Music, Art, Theater, Philosophy, Women Studies Alex Nohai-Seaman
Library Central Krista Gruber
Social & Behavioral Studies, Legal Studies Denise Haggerty
English Audrey Delong
Business Admin, Business Information Systems, Accounting Kevin McNamara
Biology & Physical Science Matt Pappas
Counseling Matt Zisel
Engineering, Computer Science, Industrial Technology Mike Simon
Math Jane-Marie Wright
Communications Melanie Weinstein-Zeolla

Grant Campus Representatives
Area Representative
Business Programs Ali Laderian
Nursing, Health Science, PE, Veterinary Carmen Kiraly
Social Science Andrea Macari
Library, Counseling, Liberal Arts Bruce Seger
Natural Science & Math Deborah Wolfson
Humanities Vacant

Eastern Campus Representatives
Area Representative
Science, Math, Social Science,
Business, Nursing, Culinary, PE
Nic Pestieau
Library, Humanities, Counseling Teresa Morales
PA / Specialists Representatives
Area Representative
Programmatic Maureen Arma
Instructional Labs Deb Kiesel
Technical Areas and Instructional centers Andrew Stone
Adjunct Representatives
Area Representative
At-Large PA & Specialists Maureen Sandford
Counseling & Education Vacant
Science & Engineering Doug Cody
Math Russell David
Social Science Vacant
PA, Specialist- Instructional Labs Joan Cook
Foreign Languages, ESL, ASL, Reading Marshal Stein
Retiree, Guild Christopher Gherardi
Nursing, PE, Health Science Adam Holtzer
English Katelynn Delduca
Humanities Michelle LaPorte
Culinary, Fire Protection Technology, Library, Electrical Tech, Drafting, Interior Design Pricilla Pratt
Business, Accounting, Communications, Telecom Vacant
The Executive Council meets monthly throughout the academic year to discuss the business of the union and its membership. You can find the minutes of past EC meetings archived on the FA web site under Documents>>Executive Council Minutes. Looking through some of these documents might give you a better idea of what kinds of concerns the EC meetings cover.

And, if a spot on the EC is ever free in your subject area, I strongly urge you to consider running for the position of Representative. I was a member of the EC as an adjunct, representing the English adjunct faculty, and I learned a lot about the union and our college in my time there. Also, service as an EC Rep counts as College-Wide service, which helps around promotion time. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Practical Matters: Being Prepared for Your First Promotion

by Sarah Kain Gutowski, Chair, New Member Program

You may have noticed that yesterday you received an email blast from the Faculty Association about the annual spring promotion workshops held on all three campuses. 

Why, yes, I am, Sean Tvelia! Thanks for asking!
Also, you may have ignored that blast, thinking, "Oh, I don't need to worry about that. I have such a long time until promotion!"

Actually, you don't. You'll be surprised at the speed with which that first promotion will sneak up on you -- really. One day you're confused about where to find chalk or how to fill out your leave report, and the next you're receiving a letter from your Campus Executive Dean reminding you that you're eligible for promotion in rank. 

To help alleviate the natural stress and anxiety one can feel over promotion, one should be as prepared as possible. One way to do this is to actually attend the promotion workshops in your first year -- there, you'll hear our union's Vice President, Sean Tvelia, speak alongside your Campus Executive Dean about the process: how to apply, the timeline of promotion, what to consider while filling out your A-form. For those who are about to fill out the A-form, this will be reassuring and procedural. For new members, however, this should be strategic. Now is your time to plan:  what kind of items will I need to write on my A-form? What can (and should) I do at the department, campus, and college level to successfully fill out my A-form?
Guess who's gonna be busy this summer? This gal!

Another way we intend to help you anticipate and prepare for that first promotion is through our New Member Discussion Series. At the end of April, we'll hold our final event for the year, and I think it may be one of our best yet: "The Art of the A-Form: What You Can Learn from My First Promotion Cycle." This event, held in the Mildred Green Room of the Babylon Student Center (Ammerman Campus) from 11-12:15 p.m. on Friday, April 29, will feature three to four classroom and non-classroom faculty who will share the good and the bad parts of applying for promotion. Part inspiration, part cautionary tale, these faculty will give you advice on what to do -- and what to avoid -- as you ascend the promotion ladder (and the step scale) at SCCC.

If, by chance, you can't make your campus promotion workshop AND you can't spare time for that Friday event in April, take some time at the end of your first year here to peruse the FA's web site and the promotion materials available there. Just looking at the A-Form (and the observation forms that your chairs or supervisors will need to fill out) can give you a good idea of what to expect in that crucial year -- because the process, from start to finish, is almost a year long.

Also, remember that your faculty mentor is a great resource for candid conversations about promotion. Ask them about their experiences, and let them know what your plan is -- sometimes another point of view (particularly an experienced one) can help you navigate (or completely avoid) problems you didn't even know were possible. 

And then, once you've covered the basics and established a good plan, breathe a little easier and appreciate the fact that you're ahead of the curve. (And enjoy the springlike weather this week -- a new season is almost here!)