Smeal Update: May 21, 2021

Inaugural issue of Smeal Magazine available online

The first issue of the college’s reimagined and redesigned alumni publication Smeal Magazine is now available online. The May 2021 issue includes news, features, an alumni perspective, faculty opinions on a trending topic, and much more.

Woods endow Smeal scholarship to encourage diversity in actuarial science

Penn State alumni Candace and Richard “Rick” Woods have made a $250,000 commitment to endow the Candace J. and Richard A. Woods Scholarship in the Penn State Smeal College of Business. Read the story.

Smeal Return-to-Work Exception Request Form now active

Full-time staff and academic administrators who desire a remote or flex work arrangement for fall 2021 should complete the Smeal Return-to-Work Exception Request Form by June 1. Employees and supervisors should discuss employee preferences and departmental needs and expectations prior to submitting the request. Employees already in a remote work arrangement pre-pandemic, under an approved telecommuting agreement, or who wish to return to the office five days per week do not need to complete the form. Requests will be reviewed by supervisors, unit heads, and Dean Whiteman in consultation with the Smeal return-to-work taskforce. Decisions will be communicated by July 5. For more information, see the email from Tamara Giluk sent on Tuesday.

Managers reminded to review, submit staff JRWs

All managers must review and submit staff JRWs to Human Resources before the JRW portal closes May 26 as part of the Compensation Modernization Initiative (Penn State News article). Staff should already have submitted their JRW to their manager. Managers should review, work with staff to finalize, and submit to HR by May 26. Access the online JRW form through this webpage. A complete list of FAQs is available on the microsite for the Compensation Modernization Initiative. For more information, see the email from Penn State Human Resources sent on Monday. 

Performance review cycle ends June 30

The end-of-year ratings phase of the performance review cycle began March 17End-of-year reviews must be completed by June 30. Staff employees should have received a notification in their Workday inbox to complete their self-evaluation. Employees must have approved goals in Workday, or they will not receive the notification or have access to complete end-of-year evaluation activities. Workday will launch end-of-year activities once this is completed. On June 30, Workday will close for this review cycle. After June 30, it will not be possible to enter evaluation comments or overall ratings in Workday. For more information, see the email from Penn State Human Resources sent on Monday. Anyone with questions should reach out to HR Services at 814-865-1473.

Mister Rogers Calls — Won’t you be my neighbor?

In a continued effort to increase a sense of community during these remote times, we are re-inviting you to participate in the May edition of Mister Rogers Calls. By clicking this link, you will be asked to select your affiliation within Smeal. You will then be randomly matched with another member of the Smeal Community and you both will receive a notification via email. The team members will then schedule a Zoom call for sometime within the following week, based on their availability. The only guideline for the Zoom call is that it should last about 30 minutes, and it is suggested you do not talk about work (other than a brief introduction). After this meeting, you may meet as often as you like, or participate in the next round of calls, in an effort to connect with additional members of our community. Please respond by Tuesday to participate in this round of calls.

Celebrating years of service

Kelly Swigert, an academic adviser in Undergraduate Education, celebrated five years of service with Smeal on May 2.

Smeal farewells to share

A mother/daughter duo will retire at the end of this month. Debbie Weaver, administrative support assistant in the RIIT Group, and her daughter, Lori McCracken, administrative support assistant in the Department of Risk Management, will both retire on May 31. Debbie has worked at Penn State for more than 20 years in two different time spans. Lori has worked at Penn State for more than 30 years. Congratulations to you both!

Smeal in the News

Forrest Briscoe quoted in Medscape story

Forrest Briscoe, professor of management and Frank and Mary Jean Smeal Research Fellow, is quoted in a story about a Harvard geneticist who is auctioning off his sequenced genome and the value of individuals' DNA. Read the story (registration required):

Workday is now available in a mobile app

A link to access either the Penn State Workday website or the Workday mobile application is now available via the Penn State Go App. With the mobile application, employees and managers are now able to leverage the tool to perform some of the most common actions in Workday – such as entering, submitting, and approving time and reviewing pay slips – without being tied down to a laptop or desktop. Find more information in this Penn State News article.

Next Week at Smeal

Penn State Executive Programs Webinar (Noon Thursday)

Join PSEP for its monthly webinar titled “Workers’ Rights in Global Supply Chains, Identifying Risks and Addressing Violations.” Guest speaker Mark Anner, professor of labor and employment relations and director of Penn State’s Center for Global Workers’ Rights, will discuss workers’ rights and the effects of the global pandemic. Attendees are asked to register online.

Do you know someone who rocks? Nominate them!

Each month the Smeal Staff Advisory Committee names a You Rock! Award recipient. The May recipient is Sharon Cox, communications and events manager for the Center for Supply Chain Research. Congratulations, Sharon. You rock! You can nominate a co-worker for the You Rock! Award online.

The Smeal Community Weekly Poll

This week's survey asks you to settle an age-old Pennsylvania convenience store debate. Click this link to participate. Results will be shared during next week's Smeal Community Zoom.