Move-In infographic

2014 move in stats
*All numbers are approximate.

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Sneak peek at new U Store merchandise

The new academic year means a new suite of jackets, polos, tees, and other merchandise at the University Store. Marketing and Retail Services Manager Katie Simmons-Barth shared some images of her favorite just-in items, plus gave us the scoop on upcoming sales and fall trends.

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Thanks, Katie! All items above can be found in the store or online. You can also follow the University Store on Facebook or Instagram (@TUstore) to get access to brand new merchandise and pop-up sales.

Interview by Pam Gorsuch, photos by Katie Simmons-Barth

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Behind the scenes: Osler Bridge

Osler bridge with staff

The 120-foot long, 22-foot wide Osler Bridge opened last Friday to provide safe passage for more than 3,500 students, employees and visitors traveling between the main campus and West Village every day. Below, project Manager Jonathan Lindhorst gave us some behind the scenes stats on what it took to build the bridge, which is heavier than the Statue of Liberty! 

  • An average of 45—and sometimes up to 70—construction staff worked six days a week for 15 months to build the bridge. The man hours spent constructing the bridge are equivalent to the credit hours required to earn 67 bachelor’s degrees.
  • Two steel beams which each weigh as much as a tractor-trailer provide the main support for the bridge. In the photo above, you can see one of the tan beams surrounded by the Towson University lettering. It doesn’t look too big in the photo, but that beam is six feet wide! The average person could stand inside its edges.
  • Nearly an acre of pavers make up the surface of the bridge and the walkways on either side of it. That’s more than three times the size of the average home lot in our area.
  • If you stood next to the bridge’s Towson University lettering, it would come up to your waist. Each letter is three feet high, or more than half the height of the average male in the U.S.

Huge thanks to Jonathan (pictured above with Electrical Trades Chief Joseph Laumann, who helped to make the bridge a reality) and to everyone who worked on the project. See a video of the bridge’s grand opening celebration here.

By Pamela Gorsuch

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A day fishing with OTS

This blog often covers the daily work lives of A&F staff, but rarely have we shared our colleagues’ lives outside of the office. This summer, I got a glimpse into OTS’s work hard/play hard mentality as I headed out on their annual fishing trip.

I must admit, I was nervous. I don’t work in OTS and I’ve never fished as an adult–much less gone out on a massive chartered boat on the Chesapeake Bay. But like the others on board, I had chipped in my charter fare and shown up at the docks ready to compete for the day’s top prize: a red and white kayak, to be awarded to the person who caught the two largest combined fish of the day.

Tom Slemp, Tyler New and Nathan Leonard summoning fish

Tom Slemp, Tyler New and Nathan Leonard summoning fish

While there were no professional fishermen on board (just a professional yo-yoer–Nathan Leonard has traveled as far as Ohio for competitions), the competition was fierce. I couldn’t help but laugh as I witnessed the elaborate tactics used to court an advantage over fellow fishermen. I was lucky enough to be let in on some of these practices, including “fish summoning,” wherein one attracts fish using magic powers. Summoners are typically younger OTS employees who assume various poses designed to draw the biggest fish. The older staff watched with amusement, but they aren’t exempt from antics. I’ve learned firsthand that if you bowl against them in the faculty/staff league, you should not leave your ball out of sight. Whenever I have a missing bowling ball I always find it hidden near the OTS team’s table.

The trip wasn’t all about fishing–many boaters were just as interested in talking with each other as they were concerned about winning the kayak. I walked by a group of people joking lightheartedly on one side of the boat and then listened to a conversation about theoretical physics on the other. Talk about varied conversations!

As the day went on, I realized my nervousness about the trip was for nothing. I was welcomed by each staffer there, and they took the same interest in me as they did in each other. Before I knew it, I was familiar with everyone on the boat. If I didn’t know better, I’d think the “F” in A&F stood for friendly.

In the end, I tied for first in the fishing competition (owing, of course, to my supreme summoning powers). But the laughter and  camaraderie with new friends was the true prize of the day. The trip was the highlight of my summer.

By Tyler New

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Personnel announcement

Wondering what’s going on in the division? Look no further—upcoming events, recent new hires, and next month’s birthdays are listed below. If you’d like to contribute an item to the personnel announcement, e-mail adminfinance@towson.edu.

Did You Know?

Earlier this month, a Kazakhstan delegation which included administrators from two of the country’s leading universities met with A&F staff to learn about campus sustainability. Director of Architecture & Engineering David Mayhew and Director of Energy Engineering & Conservation Dennis Bohlayer shared information about TU’s green building projects and discussed best practices related to campus sustainability.

The TUPD won honorable mention in the 2014 Maryland Chiefs of Police Association and Maryland Sherriffs’ Association Law Enforcement Challenge. The challenge judged the efforts of police departments in identifying, communicating and enforcing traffic safety problems such as impaired driving and speeding. The challenge is sponsored by the Maryland Highway Safety Office. 

The TU Store participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. See the video here.

New Hires

Dena Barnwell, Auxiliary Services Administrative Assistant
Tracey Davis, OTS Project Manager
Jacob Eisinger, Facilities Maintenance Mechanic
Tory Gilliard, Shuttle Bus Driver
Marcos Herrera, One Card Associate
Sarah Hogge, Facilities Management Assistant
Justin Jones, Shuttle Bus Driver
Siobhan Keplinger, Assistant Facilities Support Specialist
Terry Knepp, Dining Services Mechanic
Kanesha Mason, Parking Control Aide
Victoria Parham, Police Communications Operator
Raymond Poe, Parking Enforcement Associate
Corey Schmidt, Facilities Electrician
Tynnetta Smothers, Shuttle Bus Driver
Emma Taylor, Child Care Center Lead Teacher
Angela Walker, Parking Control Aide
Banessa Watson, OTS Manager of Enterprise Applications & Data Services
Marcus Weeks, Event & Conference Services Moving and Storage Specialist

football

Events

Football has begun! The Tigers’ home opener vs. Central Connecticut is tomorrow, August 30 at 6 p.m. in Unitas Stadium. See you there!

New York Times bestselling author Wes Moore will talk about his life and book, “The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates” in the SECU Arena Tuesday, September 2. Doors open at 6 p.m.; for more information call 410-704-2332.

TU offers drop-in dance classes for adults Monday through Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings beginning September 2. Ballet, jazz, tap and modern dance are all offered; prices range from $11 – $14 for a single class, multi-class packages are offered at discounted rates. Go here for more information.

Tailgate with A&F Saturday, September 20 before the Tigers take on North Carolina Central. The tailgate is from 4 – 5:45 p.m., the football game starts at 6. For more information or to RSVP, email Kelly Crispo.

Birthdays

September 2 – Shantel White, Auxiliary Services
September 3 – Timothy Collins, Auxiliary Services
September 3 – John Kaczynski, Facilities Management
September 3 – John Kestler, Facilities Management
September 3 – Jeff Schmidt, OTS
September 5 – Donna M. Auvil, University Budget Office
September 5 – Stephanie Herpick, OTS
September 6 – Keith Brown, Fiscal Planning and Services
September 7 – Jennifer Stano, Human Resources
September 8 – Sue Brodie, Fiscal Planning and Services
September 8 – Tom Snow, Facilities Management
September 9 – Adrianne Pitts, Auxiliary Services
September 10 – Joanne Bracken, OTS
September 12 – Corey Schmidt, Facilities Management
September 13 – Jay Bands, Facilities Management
September 13 – Sherry McKendry, Human Resources
September 13 – Don Sauer, Facilities Management
September 14 – Cathy Mattingly, University Budget Office
September 14 – Stacy Elofir, Auxiliary Services
September 15 – Randy Hallameyer, Facilities Management
September 15 – Bill Meagher, Fiscal Planning and Services
September 16 – Sue Walsh, Fiscal Planning and Services
September 16 – Jamie Uppercue, Fiscal Planning and Services
September 17 – Robert Keenan, Facilities Management
September 17 – Kim Tremper, Fiscal Planning and Services
September 17 – James Heath, Jr., Auxiliary Services
September 18 – Susan Glaeser, Fiscal Planning and Services
September 18 – Edgardo Berrios, Facilities Management
September 19 – Thomasina Anderson, Fiscal Planning and Services
September 19 – Patricia Burke, OTS
September 19 – Darlene Richardson, Auxiliary Services
September 20 – Robert Campbell, Auxiliary Services
September 20 – Beth Walsh, Auxiliary Services
September 20 – Jenyfer Lewis, Auxiliary Services
September 22 – Bruce Campeggi, Auxiliary Services
September 22 – Lori Frantz, Auxiliary Services
September 23 – Rachel Morgan, Fiscal Planning and Services
September 23 – Don McCree, Facilities Management
September 24 – Audrey Cutler, OTS
September 24 – Andy Martin, OTS
September 24 – Raymond Monczewski, Auxiliary Services
September 25 – Linda Makowske, Fiscal Planning and Services
September 27 – Gail Vogel, Facilities Management
September 29 – Karen Childs, Auxiliary Services
September 29 –Angelo Rinaudo, Facilities Management
September 29 – Leonard Wernsdorfer, Auxiliary Services

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Sneak peek inside TU in Northeastern Maryland

Towson University in Northeastern Maryland (TUNE) will kick off student orientations next week, marking the completion of a project more than eight years in the making. Below, we got a sneak peek inside the new building before its doors open to the public:

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By Pamela Gorsuch

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5 projects you need to know about

It’s surprising but true: summer can be just as busy (and sometimes even busier!) than the rest of the year as staff head out for vacations and return to anxiously prepare for the year ahead. The bustle can make it hard to stay in touch with even the most compelling campus projects. Here are five you’ll want to know about, including a major improvement to software you use every day.

1. Order online, take food to go

Beginning this fall, Dining Services will allow you to skip the lines by ordering food via the new Tapingo mobile app. The app will let you order select menu items from several dining facilities, including 7720 Grille. You pay directly through your mobile device (both OneCard and credit cards are accepted), then pick up your meal and head back to your desk—no waiting in the order or checkout lines! The app is free and will be live by the beginning of the fall semester, with additional dining locations added by the spring.

2. Office upgrade means more space, better functionality

For many of us, access to Microsoft Office is as essential as access to a computer itself. If you’re a Word, Excel or Powerpoint junkie, you’ll love the Office upgrade kicking off this fall. The project will increase H drive size by five times, increase email storage by 200, and give you the ability to access your files from wherever you have internet. Basically, it’ll make it easier for you to do your work when and where you want, plus collaborate with others and then save that work without fear of maxing out space (goodbye, archiving!). Stay tuned for project updates in T3 over the coming months.

3. Single maintenance request system to open for entire campus

Submitting a maintenance request is getting much simpler. In the past, access to submit online maintenance requests was limited to building coordinators, so a staff member with a request would have to email the coordinator, who would submit the issue using one of three different forms. Beginning this fall, there will be one online system for submitting all routine facilities-related requests, and anyone can use it. To submit a request, you’ll simply log in with your Net ID and password, then complete the form to enter the location and nature of the task. If a service you need isn’t listed on the form, simply contact Work Control (x4-2481, workcontrol@towson.edu) and a staff member will guide you through the process.

4. Wireless access, simplified

Currently, faculty, staff and students needing wireless access for a campus guest have to sponsor them personally, filling out a web form to get a temporary username and password. Not difficult when you have just one visitor, but a pain when you have multiple vendors needing access. Beginning this fall, that pain will be gone when OTS replaces the current TU Guest wireless network with TU Open Access. The new network, available to all visitors, will not require a username and password. OTS Associate Director of Communication Services Eric Cannizzo says TU Open Access will make wireless easier to use and more accessible on campus. “The changes will simplify access for campus visitors and reduce the administrative overhead,” he says.  Faculty, staff and students should still use “TU Secure” to access the wireless network because it has extra security to protect University data, but sponsoring access to the guest network is one thing they can check off their list for campus visitors.

5. New goals for A&F departments

Assessment isn’t just for academics anymore. Based on accreditation requirements, beginning this year each TU department is being measured and assessed on achieving quantifiable goals that tie to a TU2020 theme. For example, one of Human Resources’ goals is to provide supervisory skills to university supervisors, aligning with the TU2020 theme of serving as “a model for leadership development”. The first draft of A&F’s departmental goals were presented and reviewed by a cross-section of faculty and staff earlier this month and received great reviews. The President will report on the university’s overall assessment progress at her Fall Address this September. Staff members are encouraged to remain aware of their departmental goals, since as assessment evolves it will touch everyone.

By Pamela Gorsuch

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A&F pioneers employee share

Parking and Transportation Services drivers lend a hand, painting Towson Town Garage.

Jacks of all trades: Parking and Transportation Services drivers lend a hand painting Towsontown Garage.

Work on a college campus ebbs and flows with the season. For some, academic breaks are a time to catch up and prepare for the semester ahead. For others—like Parking and Transportation Services drivers—it means less work hours and fewer wages.

“Most of our drivers go 3-4 months over the year without any income or have to find second jobs during the breaks,” said Pamela Mooney, director of Parking and Transportation Services. “Obviously this is difficult–most people need steady income.”

Facilities Management has the opposite problem: their workloads increase while they accomplish as much as possible without the tumult of students on campus. Both departments had a need, and after working with the Budget Office, Human Resources and Payroll, they developed a solution that benefited the departments and their employees.

The agreement is simple: interested Parking and Transportation Services drivers lend a hand to Facilities Management during academic breaks. As a result, both departments get the help they need during critical times, and their employees get consistent work. To date, eight employees have taken advantage of the agreement. One participant, Driver Robert Bucklew, says he’s thankful to TU for keeping drivers employed.

“Splitting time between driving and working for maintenance has been a good experience. My co-workers and I appreciate the effort to keep us working through the slower summer season, and the maintenance staff—especially Tom Durange —has been great about offering guidance and direction as we learn our new jobs.”

Having employees work for two departments is certainly unconventional, but it offers consistency, helps Parking to better attract and retain staff, and expands the pool of available staff during emergencies. When either department needs additional help, the time is given to drivers who want more hours.

By Lindsey Morgan

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Personnel Announcement

Wondering what’s going on in the division? Look no further—upcoming events, recent new hires, and next month’s birthdays are listed below. If you’d like to contribute an item to the personnel announcement, e-mail adminfinance@towson.edu.

Retirements
Sonny Luebben, a longtime Facilities Management employee, retired from TU with more than 25 years of service this month. Please join us in wishing him a happy retirement.

New Hires
Give a warm welcome to these new A&F employees:

Heather Dorr, Environmental Health & Safety Insurance Administrator
Dorothy Hersey, Assistant Transportation Manager
Chatema Hilliard, Lead Parking Customer Service Associate
John Kaisler, OTS Support Specialist
Stephanie Puryear, University Store General Assistant
Jacob Sandruck, Facilities Planner
Andrew Webster, University Store General Assistant
Thomas Williams, Parking Control Aide
Donna Yeagle, Human Resources Benefits Manager

Events
The Ball Up Streetball Tour will bring innovative basketball skills to SECU Arena August 9.

Explore the universe over time at the Planetarium Show in Smith Hall Friday, August 15.

Tickets are now available for the captivating Ailey II dance performance in the Stephens Hall Theatre September 20.

Birthdays
August 3 – Mark Clark, Office of Public Safety
August 3 — Michelle Dacey, Human Resources
August 4 – Dylan Missimer, Facilities Management
August 4 – Susan Brown, Auxiliary Services
August 6 – Bill Kerfoot, Facilities Management
August 6 — Debbie Phillips, Human Resources
August 8 – Steve Cullum, Facilities Management
August 9 – Rob Neff, Facilities Management
August 10 – Sharon Freedman, OTS
August 10 – Dineli Weerasooriya, OTS
August 10 — Stephanie Flanagan, Fiscal Planning and Services
August 12 – Michael Lewis, Facilities Management
August 12 – Channon Young, Auxiliary Services
August 16 – Becky Mundschenk, OTS
August 16 – Tyra Thomas, Facilities Management
August 17 – Gregory Yackley, Auxiliary Services
August 20 — Mike Bradley, OTS
August 22 – Craig Turkington, OTS
August 22 – Rene Florendo, Facilities Management
August 22 – Levi Weathers, Facilities Management
August 23 – Tom Rose, Facilities Management
August 24 – Don Miller, Facilities Management
August 25 – Tracie Rusnak, Facilities Management
August 27 – Paul Clutter, Facilities Management
August 31 – John Hook, Facilities Management
August 31 – Yvonne Stevenson, Auxiliary Services

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The department that embraces disagreement

With seven full-time staff managing more than 25,000 active OneCards and distributing more than 100,000 event tickets a year, the Auxiliary Services Business Office (ASBO) has its hands full. Below, ASBO Manager Brett Collins shares the department’s mantra for growing effective student staff, plus their plans to expand the use of OneCards.

ASBO

Staff in the Auxiliary Services Business Office

What does your department do?
I like to say that we’re three offices in one. Our OneCard Office is the administrative arm of the department—they handle inquiries, administer meal plans and audit meal points. Our Business Office handles money, accepting payments and giving refunds for retail/dining points, parking permits, etc. The Ticket Office manages ticketing for campus events and petty cash for the SGA and campus housing.
UGrad Union 0207What major projects are you working on right now?
We’re looking at expanding the services offered by OneCards, which could potentially mean reissuing updated cards to the entire campus…no small feat!. We’re also moving toward a new system that would enable event tickets to be printed online and scanned at entrances.

What’s it like to work for the Business Office?
It’s really familial – many of our staff have been here for years and we’ve learned how to communicate with one another. Sometimes we disagree, but we embrace that as stemming from caring so much about what we do. We’re very open about sharing ideas and we always find a way to move forward.

We’re also big proponents of hiring and promoting students. Our office typically has 10-15 student employees plus several graduate assistants, and we’re a great stepping stone for them to get full-time employment. One example: we hired student employee Ashley McAvoy as a contractual employee after she graduated, and later brought her on as a full-time regular employee. Just recently she was hired by Enrollment Services. We’ve groomed quite a few other students who have gone on to great positions all over campus. It’s important to us that we give all of our staff opportunities to grow in their careers.

What are your departmental traditions?
We have big potluck lunches throughout the year. Everyone contributes a dish, and it’s great to see our different backgrounds come out in the foods we bring. We also celebrate our new hires with lunches welcoming them to the crew! It’s nice to get them started on the right foot.

CBE commencement 57

What does your department do better than others?
We pride ourselves in great customer service. A few examples:

A customer and eight of her family and friends rushed to the ticket office after getting stopped at the SECU Arena gate trying to get into the Harlem Globetrotters show. She had accidentally bought tickets for the wrong show day! We were able to transfer her tickets so the whole group could see the show that night. The customer was so relieved she burst into tears!

There’s also a lot of stress and excitement around folks trying to get tickets for commencement. We had a graduate’s mother call because she was having trouble printing her tickets. After going back and forth for an hour, we discovered the source of the problem: her son had given her the wrong Towson email address for accessing the tickets! We confirmed the correct address for her and she printed the tickets just fine.

Whenever someone comes to us stressed and leaves excited, it’s a great thing.

What’s misunderstood about ASBO?
The variety of customer groups we work with is staggering. In the span of one day, our staff could be negotiating with local business owners for the OneCard off-campus program, helping parents make meal plan decisions, talking students through vending machine issues, issuing OneCards to new faculty and working with internal staff to ticket an event.
West_Village_Dining1

Do you think your work makes a difference?
Absolutely. We make it easier for students to achieve their goal of a college degree by offering the tools to live and learn comfortably. Whether it’s easy access to retail points for laundry, permits for parking on campus, or meal plans for eating in the dining halls—we worry about the things students need so they don’t have to.

By Pamela Gorsuch

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