Smeal Update: July 30, 2021

Tips for navigating our transition to a mixed work environment

As we draw nearer to Penn State’s campus-wide Aug. 16 return-to-in-person-work deadline, we will offer news and tips to help ease the transition. We should all do our best to be patient, assume positive intent, and continue to follow standard processes.

Many in the Smeal community will be returning equipment to their work spaces. The RIIT Group advises against waiting until Aug. 16 to do so. Flat carts are stationed inside the Shortlidge entrance doors to assist employees with moving heavy objects. The RIIT Group does not have any personnel available to help.

Employees are asked to reconnect items and power on computers to verify that everything is working properly. Computers may take up to an hour to boot up if they have been off for a long time due to the installation of Windows updates. If any technical issues arise, employees are asked to submit a work order through the Smeal Service Management Portal:  and click the blue “Make A Request” button. Select the appropriate category and fill out the form. No staff are available for walk-in or phone requests.

As we learned during the abrupt transition to remote working in March 2020, new norms require open minds, flexibility, and patience. Remember that we are all trying to serve our students and other customers while affording maximum flexibility to one another. Standard processes for requesting assistance or support not only from the RIIT Group but also eLDIG and Facilities, remain in place. Please continue to follow these regardless of your work arrangement.

New application deadline for online business analytics certificate program

For the first time, students interested in earning the Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics, taught by Smeal faculty, can enroll in Penn State’s spring semester.  The new application deadline is Nov. 1 and allows students to enroll in the spring 2022 semester, which starts on Jan. 10. Previously, students could only begin the program during Penn State’s fall semester, which starts in August. Read the story.

Smeal in the News

Penn State Smeal mentioned in Poets & Quants article

Smeal was mentioned in a Poets & Quants story about the fall reopening plans of 100 leading business schools. The story can be found online.

Save the date for the Fall All-College Meeting

The Smeal Fall All-College Meeting will be held from 3:30-5 p.m. on Sept. 14. More details will be forthcoming.

Do you know someone who rocks? Nominate them!

Each month the Smeal Staff Advisory Committee names a You Rock! Award recipient. You can nominate a co-worker for the You Rock! Award online.

The Smeal Community Weekly Poll

This week's survey asks if you have ever met a famous person. Click this link to participate. Results will be shared during the next Smeal Community Zoom, at 1 p.m. Monday.

Questions from faculty

Are the COVID-19 vaccines associated with fertility issues?

The COVID-19 vaccines do not cause fertility issues, according to Catharine Paules, infectious diseases physician, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Read the full FAQ here.

Will COVID-19 variants continue to emerge if vaccination rates don’t rise?

Andrew Read, director of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, explains that viruses experience frequent changes in their genetic code, and sometimes these mutations could make a virus more dangerous. Read the full FAQ here.