Smeal Update: November 19, 2021

Giving thanks for all of your hard work

As we head into Thanksgiving, I want you to know that I am giving thanks for all the hard work you’ve done this year under trying circumstances. Students are grateful for the in-person experience they’ve had this fall, and many people in Smeal worked to make that experience a great one. Thank you!

Help prepare for January return to campus

As mentioned in the Community Zoom on Wednesday, in the coming weeks we will be asking unit heads to work with supervisors to develop plans for providing sufficient staff office coverage during traditional core hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Jan. 3. You can help with this by speaking with your supervisor regarding creative ideas on how to do this. We continue to support flexibility for employees where possible but must also meet business and customer service needs. We anticipate finalizing these arrangements prior to the winter break.

Reminder: Register for Smeal Holiday Reception

The annual Smeal Holiday Reception will be held from 3:30-5 p.m. Dec. 9 in the Business Building Atrium. We will have food, drinks, music, and a photo booth. Please RSVP online by Dec. 1. Check your inbox for an email dated Nov. 15 that also includes details on the Staff Advisory Council Themed Basket Raffle.

Share your message for Smeal Holiday Video

Once again this year, we want to help spread holiday cheer by sharing messages from the Smeal community on the Smeal Holiday Video. Check your inbox for an email titled “An appeal to the Smeal Community” that was sent on Nov. 16 to learn all of the details.

McKees make estate commitment to Penn State

Smeal alumnus R. Bruce McKee and his wife, Lucille, recently made a $1 million estate commitment to Penn State that will be split equally between funds that will benefit both Smeal and Penn State Abington. Read the story.

Borrelli named to Smeal Board of Visitors

Jason Borrelli, senior principal for operations at EQT Exeter, was recently appointed to Smeal’s Board of Visitors. Borelli attended his first meeting last week. Read the story.

GivingTuesday campaign targets student financial hardships

The Office of Development and Alumni Relations is partnering with the Office of Undergraduate Programs to raise money on GivingTuesday, an international day of giving that will take place on Nov. 30. Funds raised will be used to alleviate financial stress for Smeal students via the newly established Smeal Student Emergency Fund. The fund provides financial support for students who unexpectedly cannot afford food, rent, utilities, internet access, medical bills or other necessities. You can join the effort by making a gift between now and Nov. 30, or by becoming a “Champion” to spread the word ahead of GivingTuesday. For more information, read about the campaign on Smeal News or by following the Smeal social media channels.

United Way remains a critical resource for the area

As it does every year, Penn State has named the Centre County United Way its charity of choice. The University is encouraging all employees and members of our community to take part in helping to support the many vital services provided through the United Way. The campaign officially began last week, with a mass email to all University Park employees and the publication of this letter from University leadership in both the Centre Daily Times and Penn State Today.

DEP, WIB partner to help Toys for Tots

The Office of Diversity Enhancement Programs and Women in Business are collaborating to help Toys for Tots for Centre County. If you would like to help bring. Joy to a child this season, consider bringing a new, unwrapped toy to 204 Business Building. The groups are also collecting non-perishable food items to help restock local food pantries. Donations will be collected through Dec. 9. All toys and food items will be distributed to children in need within Centre County. If you would like to participate in the annual wrapping schedule, registration is required for each session. Information on the wrapping schedule and collection locations can be found online.

Know someone who rocks? Nominate them!

Each month the Smeal Staff Advisory Committee names a You Rock! Award recipient. The honoree for November is Emily Baxter, an instructional designer with the eLearning Design and Innovation Group. Congratulations, Emily. You rock! You can nominate a co-worker for the You Rock! Award online.

The Smeal Community Weekly Poll

Click this link to participate in this week’s survey. Results will be shared during the next Smeal Community Zoom, at 1 p.m. Monday.

Smeal Update taking off next week

Penn State’s annual recognition of the Thanksgiving holiday provides a brief respite to the entire University community. We hope everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the company of friends and loved ones. We all return to work and campus on Nov. 29 for the final two weeks of the semester. Smeal Update will return to your inboxes on Dec. 3.