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A new look for campus shuttles

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How’s this for a spring renewal: TU’s shuttle buses are getting a new look. By this summer, all 18 of the university’s shuttle buses will be painted shiny black and feature one of two designs—the classic TU swoosh or the athletics Tiger. The first bus was finished early this year following a more than month-long overhaul which included removing the old graphics, completing any necessary body work, painting, drying and ventilation, and applying the new graphics.

In addition to replacing the worn-out paint on the existing buses, Parking and Transportation Services Director Pam Mooney says the new design aims to help draw attention to the shuttles, thereby increasing ridership. Take a look at the new designs above!

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What 13 A&F employees are working on right now

Spring is here and A&F is hard at work on some major projects. From developing a robust mobile app to giving a voice to victims of crime, click through the slideshow below to see what 13 of your A&F colleagues are working on right now. Descriptions are typed out below for anyone having trouble reading the signs.

A big thank you to the staff members who let us take their photos and to those who helped coordinate the photo shoots!

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In order of the slideshow:

MaryAnn Davenport, Management Advisory and Compliance Services: “Working with external auditors on various audits. Conducting reviews to promote efficiency, effectiveness, and compliance”
Brian Raley, OTS Instructional Services: “Coordinating the design and installation of classroom technology in TU’s Northeastern MD building”
Larry Holbrook, Donna Auvil, Sherry McKendry, Kelly Crispo, Nick Gingue, Paul Thomas, Jerri Sumwalt, various departments: “Planning and coordinating the Employee Appreciation Picnic”
Lisa Taylor, Construction Services: “Renovations to Burdick Hall”
Phillipa McQueen, James Andrew, and Jeff Russell, Parking and Transportation Services: “Reaching Our Goal of 95% On-Time Service”
Debbie Reid, Glen Dining Hall: “Preparing for Nutrition Month at the Glen”
Zeeshan Aslam and Steve Kettinger, OTS Information Systems, “MY TU Mobile Student & Faculty/Staff Self Service Mobile Application”
Frank Hubbard Butler, Office of Public Safety: “Building the campus-wide Chemical Inventory Database”
Robert Rankin, Event and Conference Services: “Prepping SECU Arena for yet another event in an ever expanding schedule!”
Corporal Kia Williams, TU Police Department: “Preparing for National Victims’ Rights Week”
Michael Scribner and Julie Leary, OTS Client Services: “Repurposing decommissioned lab & classroom computers on campus for those in need”
Kerry Spence, Facilities Planning: “Refurnishing the Kinesiology Department in Burdick Hall”
Michael Noll, Office of Human Resources: “Effective Supervision Program – Consistent theory and application training for TU Supervisors”

 

What’s your big project this spring? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Photos and article by Lindsey Morgan

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Meet the Staff: AVP of Auxiliary Services Dan Slattery

AVP of Auxiliary Services Dan Slattery, pictured here at the A&F Annual Meeting.

AVP of Auxiliary Services Dan Slattery, pictured here at the A&F Annual Meeting.

When Associate Vice President (AVP) of Auxiliary Services Dan Slattery joined the A&F team this past fall, he brought with him 20 years of experience in university administration. During that time, he held positions in Auxiliary, Facilities and Campus Safety. He says his main drive in all of them was helping students. 

“In the beginning of my career, my dream job was to work as Dean of Students at Cape Cod Community College, because of my interest in Student Affairs,” Dan said. “But work sent me in different directions which has made the journey all the more interesting.”

Lucky for us, Dan is now putting his student-centered focus to use as AVP of Auxiliary Services. In this role, he oversees a variety of important campus functions, including Dining, the University Store, Event & Conference Services, Parking & Transportation and more. He says his goal is to strengthen the bonds between these departments while increasing student involvement.

“I’ve been used to a large group of students working directly in my offices, many of whom I got to know over time and who became important sounding boards for ideas, questions, focus groups and the like whenever we were considering an initiative,” Dan said. “Here at Towson, I’ll need to reach out a bit more to create that connection but I’ve found several fellow administrators ready to assist in making it happen. It’s my belief that listening to students and then doing what you say you’re going to do serves us all well.”

To meet this goal, Dan intends to utilize existing groups such as the SGA to gather valuable feedback on services and projects that will help his departments maintain or beat the expectations of the campus community.  

Citing various awards Auxiliary Services has won, Dan says he sees no need to overhaul Auxiliary Services. He says the department is already a success, and will continue to set the bar high. Working together, he believes they can make Towson University the leader in the field of Auxiliary Services.

When he’s not working, Dan likes to spend time with his wife, Louise, and their three sons. He also enjoys traveling—this summer he’s going to Ireland with about 10 of his college baseball teammates, where they’ll relax, play golf and relive old times.

With Dan’s family-friendly attitude and student-centered focus, we have no doubt he’ll fit in well at TU. As he said himself, “So far, my interests have melded well with Towson.”

Please join us in welcoming Dan to the division!

 

Article by Tyler New and Lindsey Morgan
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Meet the staff: Sidney Thomas

By Tyler New

By Tyler New

As regular readers of this blog know, I am an English major. This places me in a small group of people, as only 8 percent of undergraduates major in the humanities. I feared I may be the lone English major in A&F until I learned about Sidney Thomas, a former English major who joined the division this fall.

Like many English majors—including myself—Sidney intended to pursue a career in law as a youth; or, as she put it, she “knew” law was the career for her. She lists analyzing, creating, writing and interacting with people as some of her interests, so such a career seemed apt. Sidney’s next career choice, chosen in college, was teaching—also appropriate for such interests. It seemed as if Sidney would teach “indefinitely,” but that, too, was supplanted by another position involving words: program and communications assistant for Parking & Transportation Services.

Sidney wanted to expand her horizons and utilize her English degrees in a field that did not involve teaching, and she says that Towson is a great place to do it. In her current communications position, she is able to draw upon her wealth of writing experience and her mastery of the English language; she not only has the expertise synonymous with teaching grammar, but she has also been published for her personal writing.

I suspect that this accomplished writer and former Language Arts teacher will serve the division well, both in writing related tasks and beyond. Sidney’s qualifications go beyond those measurable on paper: through my interactions with her, and through her answers to my interview questions, I found that she is personable and has a great sense of humor, which are helpful traits in communications. I was not expecting the answer to my question “Is there anything you’d like mentioned in your article?” being “I love omelets but hate scrambled eggs.” I appreciated the humorous curveball during one of the most stressful times of the term.

Other things you should know about Sidney? She says, “I love cooking from scratch, trying new restaurants, reading, writing (poems, articles and short stories), watching movies, shopping, traveling, spending time with family, pictures and the beach.” I am not surprised to hear such eclectic interests from an interesting individual. I will also not be surprised when Sidney produces exceptional work in her new position.

Parking & Transportation Services' Program & Communications Assistant Sidney Thomas

Parking & Transportation Services’ Program & Communications Assistant Sidney Thomas

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ECS’s Tradition of Giving

Pam Mathias

By Pamela Mathias

With the holidays upon us, many folks are consumed with the thought of gifts: buying them, giving them, receiving them. But sometimes the best gifts are those you give to people that you don’t even know. The Event & Conference Services (ECS) staff knows this firsthand.

Every fall for the past four years, our staff has collected supplies to provide underserved children with the tools they need for academic success. This year, we donated nearly 150 items to the students at Mars Estates Elementary School in Essex, Maryland.

ECS Account Clerk Yvonne Stevenson and I traveled to the school this fall to hand-deliver the supplies to school Principal Sharon Whitlock.  Her face lit up as we brought in three large boxes filled with notebooks, pencils, folders, backpacks and more. She was so thankful for the donation.   As Yvonne and I walked past the school’s classrooms, we were touched to see the faces of students who might get an academic boost from the supplies that our office provided. That’s what gift giving is all about.

ECS donation at Mars Estates

Left to right: Pam Mathias, ECS Senior Event Manager; Principal Whitlock, Mars Estates Elementary School; Yvonne Stevenson, ECS Accounting Clerk

My colleague, Events Manager, Jenna Sieverts, got the same feeling last month when she delivered a special quilt to a non-profit organization, in Baltimore City. The quilt is near and dear to many of our hearts in ECS, as we started working on it back in the summer of 2012!

That summer, as we worked hard hosting numerous workshops, camps and conferences, our Associate Director Jeannie Deckelbaum, asked some of the groups to donate a program t-shirt for a good cause. We collected 20 t-shirts in all and decided to get creative! The idea for a quilt was born. After many hours of hard work and tired hands, the quilt was finished and displayed in the Union this past summer. But as the weather got cooler, it was time for the quilt to find a more useful home.

This October, Jenna proudly delivered the quilt to the Helping Up Mission.  They are an organization that helps young homeless men get back on their feet by offering warm beds, meals and counseling. Helping Up Mission staff member Nick Mezzanotte says that the quilt will provide much comfort to their guests for years to come. 

ECS quilt donation

From left: ECS Event Manager Jenna Sieverts and Helping Up Mission staffer Nick Mezzanotte

As we approach the holidays, ECS plans to continue giving back through the university’s Toys for Tots drive and other programs.  Join us—it truly feels as good to give as it does to receive!

 

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Parking Services Takes Home National Award

Pam Gorsuch

By Pamela Gorsuch

On a stage in California in front of an applauding audience. It’s an unlikely place for Parking and Transportation Services Director Pam Mooney to find herself, especially in the middle of a semester. But last month, that’s exactly where Pam was as she accepted the prestigious technology award from the National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS) at their annual conference in Anaheim.

The award is given to Auxiliary Services departments who use technology creatively to improve services to customers. It is bestowed on only two departments a year—one at a large school and one at a small school. TU’s Parking and Transportation Services received the award in the large school category for its License Plate Recognition (LPR) program, which has enabled more efficient parking operations since its implementation in 2011.

“LPR allows us to do more with less,” Pam said. “We can enforce parking regulations more frequently with fewer staff members, helping to keep parking spaces available for our paying customers.”

In the past, parking enforcement staff had to physically check each vehicle on campus for the appropriate permit. Now they drive vehicles equipped with the LPR system, which quickly scans each vehicle’s license plate and checks it for a valid permit as well as police department flags. The system alerts the driver if there’s a violation or a safety concern, at which point they can issue the ticket or call the police. The more efficient method means a more accurate enforcement system and a safer campus—all while saving costs for the university.

“LPR is saving us thousands of dollars in reduced staff hours, plus it allows us to use virtual permits which further reduces costs,” Pam said. “The system paid for itself in about two years.”

That cost savings isn’t just good for the department; it’s good for all permit holders. As a self-support entity Parking and Transportation Services has to raise funds for its operations through permit sales. The more efficient they can be, the more they can mitigate increases in permit costs—something of interest to all NACAS members.

“Towson University was selected as the winner of this award because it was not only innovative, but potentially adaptable to many campuses,” said David Wahr, chairman of the NACAS Awards Committee.

Along with the technology award, Pam received a free registration to the NACAS conference so she could present information about LPR to fellow attendees. Here she is accepting her award alongside the small school award winner and award sponsors Shop24 Global:

NACAS award ceremony

Left to right: Jason Santoro, Shop24 Global; Pam Mooney; Robert Walker, UNC Greensboro; Brent Johnson, Shop24 Global

 

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Event and Conference Services’ Unity Quilt

By Tom Judd

At first glance, people may think that Towson University goes dark after the students leave for the summer. In fact, it is just the opposite.

While there are a handful of students on campus taking summer courses, the conference rooms, athletics fields, dining hall and dorm rooms are bustling with activity with groups from all over the state and country.

Athletic teams, local government agencies, teacher associations and many others find their way to Towson University each summer to work on skills for their particular field.Unity Quilt HQ

From the beginning of June to the beginning of August, Towson is alive with these diverse groups of people sharing experiences while coming together in unity, to learn from each other and to have an amazing Summer.

At the end of the 2012 summer sessions, Event and Conference Services collected apparel from 20 different groups so that a Unity quilt could be made. The beautifully crafted quilt is a great reminder of what the University stands for: education, diversity, and community involvement.

ECS is donating the quilt to Helping Up Mission. Helping Up Mission provides hope to the poor and homeless in the Towson/Baltimore Community by providing services for the poor, addicted, and homeless, including meals, overnight shelter and long term recovery programs.

The quilt is a great reminder that no matter how diverse our backgrounds, our professions, our age groups or our lifestyles, we can still come together as a community to help those that need it most.

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Life at the University Store: Towson Pride

by Katie Barth

by Katie Barth

Every now and then I’m reminded of why I love working at a college. I work for the University Store in marketing, and I focus primarily on sending messages out to the public, whether that be a status update on our store’s Facebook page, an ad on our website, or simply showing up to events and being involved. There are times when I can’t help but be moved by something or someone. This week, for instance, I have been doing quick photo shoots with students all centered around spring. We have all this cute and fun new product in bright colors and fluorescents but that isn’t what my focus is. I want to show the general feel that I get from Towson, and that I hope others get too.

As we all know, our University has changed quite a bit over the past 10 years. We have opened new academic buildings, enrolled new students, built new residence halls, grown significantly in numbers and have taken on a new President, all while facing a huge budget crisis. In spite of these enormous changes, however, the feel of our “Towson” has remained the same. Throughout this time of change the University Store has adapted and has tried to keep up. I see a significant difference in the store from when I started ten years ago to now.UStore celebration

We are no longer just at our desks or hiding in a back office; we join you, the TU community, out on campus and celebrate you as much as we can. I have made a point to reach out and find students to model our clothes, to represent our product and to look great doing it. Our Facebook page is completely filled with images of students, faculty and staff wearing the product and enjoying their University in whatever way they choose. Our website celebrates our campus in much the same way. We have also taken on a new look in the actual store, removing the clunky customer service counter and replacing it with two streamline desks in two different locations in the store. The new, open sales floor makes room for new products and new activities. We look forward to the potential this fresh space offers our customers and us.

The store has also dedicated much of its time and money to supporting student groups, sponsoring events, doing community service and exceeding customer service expectations. Our store consists of full-time staff members (12 of which are TU alumni) and student employees. We are learning about our campus community and are committed to it as much as any other department.

We are very fortunate that our Towson brand is such a great one because it means our products are  more than just  sweatshirts or  hats They represent the college careers of students as a unique experience. It is a source of pride.

Towson is home for me in many ways. I met my partner here, I got my degree from here and I have worked here for (going on) 10 years. Towson is every day for me. These students are just a few of the smiles I have seen blossom and become something great right before my eyes, and that is definitely something to feel proud of. The University Store will continue to find new ways to highlight, engage and celebrate Towson University’s campus community. We hope you will join us in doing so.

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Charge Your Electric Vehicle on Campus

By Jaslynn Hutley

By Jaslynn Hutley

Electric vehicle charging stations will be available on campus free of cost beginning late spring 2013. In order to contribute to the Go Green Initiative, the University will install over 15 charging stations throughout campus. The charging stations will be available to both TU affiliates and to visitors on campus. All individuals who wish to use the charging stations must have a valid TU parking permit Monday-Thursday 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Friday 6 a.m. – 3 p.m. The charging stations will be located in all of the campus garages and in the Administration Building parking lot.

These stations are a part of the ChargePoint network. ChargePoint® is the largest online network of independently owned charging stations operating in more than 14 countries. For electric vehicle (EV) drivers, ChargePoint provides state of the art features, including the ability to locate, reserve and navigate to unoccupied charging stations with online tools and with mobile applications for iPhones and Androids.   For more information about the charging stations’ network and for instructions regarding how to sign up, please visit our webpage.

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Just Another Day At The Beach For E&CS!

By Pamela Mathias

The thermometer registered a chilling 21 degrees.  Wind cut into their skin like razorblades.  Sand and snow swirled recklessly through the air, chaffing their faces and bare limbs.  As they  entered the frigid water, the high pitched screams and cries of shock pierced the beach.  Frigid Swim

No, this  isn’t the latest Hollywood horror story.  It’s the body numbing experience of 10 Towson University representatives from Event & Conference Services.  On January 25, 2013, their team, better known as the “Ice Guys,” participated in the Corporate Day portion, of the 17th Annual Special Olympics of Maryland, Polar Bear Plunge.

“My feet were completely numb and I couldn’t feel my legs.  But, I felt so proud to be standing next to my co-workers as we were shivering,” Brooke Jacobs stated.   “As a team, we came together and raised so much money and had so much fun!  The support from our friends, family and University family was awesome.  It was an experience that I will never forget.”

The dedicated E&CS team raised over $5895 in donated pledges for their willingness to take on the icy waters of the Chesapeake Bay.  The brave team consisted of six professional staff members, three student staff members and one staff member’s daughter.

The Team (l to r): Brooke Jacobs, Adam Weaver, Jordyn Reese, Haley Walsh, Bill Murphy, Jessica Laatsch, Kelsey Marshall, Tom Judd, Beth Walsh, and Jason Deckelbaum.

The Team (l to r): Brooke Jacobs, Adam Weaver, Jordyn Reese, Haley Walsh, Bill Murphy, Jessica Laatsch, Kelsey Marshall, Tom Judd, Beth Walsh, and Jason Deckelbaum.

Tom Judd declared: “The best part of doing it was knowing that we raised thousands of dollars for the hardworking Special Olympics athletes just by jumping into some cold water!  They are so appreciative of every dollar that is raised.  It makes the whole event so worth-while.”

Special Olympics of Maryland has hosted their Summer Games for the past 8 years at Towson University.   Many of the Event & Conference Services staff work closely with the participants and create some wonderful memories.

“Our department gets to know the Special Olympics athletes during their time each summer on our campus,” added Adam Weaver.  “Raising funds by plunging is an easy way to give back to them and provide money for experiences that they may not be able to have otherwise!”

Will the E&CS team fight the elements and plunge again next year?

“Absolutely,” said Beth Walsh. “Just try and stop us!  Plans are already being made to exceed the funds raised this year! “

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