The Owl HR Exclusive - March 2024

Kennesaw State University Human Resources newsletter for faculty and staff.

March 2024


Highlights in this issue:

Last Call: 2024 Staff Awards


Meet Staff Spotlight, Chris Ward


2024 Annual Retirement Ceremony


Goal Setting Training for Managers


WW for Anthem Members


Last Call: 2024 Staff Awards Nominate your highest performing Owls

Do you know a staff employee or staff leader who: Makes a positive impact in the KSU or local community? Nominate them for the Positive Impact to the Community Award. Demonstrates insightful vision leading to innovative outcomes for KSU? Nominate them for the Excellence in Innovation Award. Exhibits outstanding leadership balancing collaboration, competition, creativity, and control to advance the university's mission? Nominate them for the Outstanding Leadership Award. Significantly impacts student success in personal, professional, or academic development? Nominate them for the Student Success Impact Award. Shows exceptional dedication and contributions to KSU's mission and goals? Nominate them for the Outstanding Owl Award. These awards provide financial incentives for winners.

Mark your calendars and take action to nominate an outstanding staff employee for a 2024 Staff Award on or before Friday, March 8, 2024, by completing the online form .

Staff Awards are a great way to recognize employees’ achievements and to let them know that their work is important, valued, appreciated, and makes a difference within the KSU community and beyond.

The Owl HR Exclusive

Meet Chris Ward, KSU’s first Staff Spotlight of 2024!

As our university grows, the demand for exceptional individuals to join KSU remains ongoing. To enhance the attraction and retention of top-tier talent, we have actively been showcasing our identity as an employer, emphasizing the aspects that our staff find most appealing about KSU: our purpose, community, growth opportunities, and stability. The above story featuring Chris Ward, the director of web services at KSU, reflects on his connection to the university and the impact it has had on his life. He expresses that KSU is inseparable from who he is, almost like it's a part of his DNA. Over the past decade, his role at KSU has required him to focus on leadership, and he feels that he has discovered his strengths and where he excels in that aspect.

Chris concludes by stating that working at KSU gives him a sense of purpose, and he considers the university his family. The script provides insights into Chris Ward's personal and professional connection to Kennesaw State University. Chris will be showcased on the I-75 sign, our HR website, and across various social media platforms. We extend our gratitude to Chris for sharing his positive perspective on his experience at KSU and elaborating on how the relationships he has cultivated here imbue his days with meaning.

Stay tuned for more information on KSU‘s Employee Campaign!


You are invited...


Tuesday, April 9, 2024 11:00 am - 12:15 pm Prillaman Hall Room 1105

Join us as we honor those faculty and staff who celebrated the joyous milestone of retirement during the 2023-2024 academic year.

Goal setting enables employees to understand their work expectations. We see dramatic progress in employee and team performance when they effectively set goals that closely align with strategic objectives. In this manager training, we will explore the new online process, importance of strategic goal setting, and tips top leaders use to achieve greater success. Goal Setting Facilitated by HR Business Partners

Upcoming Sessions Tuesday, March 5th 11:00 am - 12:00 pm Thursday, March 7th 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm Friday, March 8th 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Monday, March 11th 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Tuesday, March 12th 10:00 am - 11:00 am Friday, March 15th 9:00 am - 10:00 am

Tiffany Layden

Christine Arabatzis

Todd Carper

Stay In the Know ...

Follow our HR Events Calendar

Angela White

Lisa Haskett

Rachelle Stiver


Have you been thinking about taking classes at KSU or another USG institution? Are you aware the USG has a Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) available to help reduce the cost of classes for eligible employees? Want to learn more? Understanding the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

Course Objectives: What is TAP? Eligibility

Join LaFaye Boykins, our HR TAP Coordinator, to learn more about the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)!

Application Process Financial Benefits and Impacts

TAP portal opens 3/15

Wednesday, March 6, 2024 1:00PM - 2:00PM Virtual session via Teams

Eligible employees should submit, and supervisors must approve, TAP applications through the TAP portal prior to the application deadline for applications to be considered for the TAP waiver. A new application must be submitted each semester.

DEADLINE April 15th

The Owl HR Exclusive

Wellness Corner

Weight Watchers is now available for our Anthem Members!

Receive accountability, customized plans, and incentive kits when you join! Are you already a Weight Watchers member? That’s great! Those that joined Weight Watchers prior to our plan opening to Anthem Members, you can sync your current account to receive our new offering at no cost to you!

It's already March, and if you haven't started working toward your 2024 goals that you promised yourself, then NOW is the time to take action.

For more information, Anthem Members can go to For questions about registration, contact Weight Watchers at 866-204-2885 Want KSU Well-Being to come to your department and present or discuss a specific well-being topic? Contact Mitch Palmer at to schedule today!

Mitch Palmer is the Employee Wellness and Fitness Manager. He holds a masters degree in Human Performance and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning

Specialist as well as an Exercise Physiologist.


HR Highlight

Meet your HR Coordinators The HR Coordinators responsibilities collectively cover the entire employee life cycle, from onboarding to off-boarding, and involve compliance-related tasks such as collecting and processing documentation for various purposes, including adherence to policies and promptly responding to all inquiries with accurate and consistent communication.

Their oversight extends to the following tasks: Collecting I-9 documentation for staff, faculty, and students Onboarding students Workers’ Compensation Internal/OneUSG Transfers

Unemployment Terminations (Involuntary/Voluntary) Additional (ex. Name change, Immigration status update, onboarding / off-boarding questions)

Hon Ly has been an HR Coordinator at KSU since 2021. She supports the BSC-AUX division. Contact Hon at: or 470-578-4738

Lucy Ndungu has been an HR Coordinator at KSU since 2021. She supports the following divisions: EXT, OPS, PDC, RES, SCM, ART, CBO, EET, HSS, ISY, AAF, ATH, ESE, and OGE. Contact Lucy at: or 470-578-4300 Shantell Robinson has been an HR Coordinator at KSU since 2022. She supports the following divisions: ACM, BUS, DUA, FIN, LAF, HRS, COM, CSE, HHS, LIB/MRB, PRE, EDU, GDC, HON, IAU, OLI, and STA. Contact Shantell at: or 470-578-3605

The Owl HR Exclusive


The Power of sharing your positive work experiences on recruitment Sharing positive work experiences has become a key strategy in recruitment, helping attract top talent and build a thriving organizational culture. Highlighting employee success stories and growth opportunities showcases our University’s culture and values, appealing to prospective employees looking for a workplace that meets their aspirations. This approach not only enhances KSU’s image as an employer of choice by emphasizing a positive work culture and opportunities for advancement but also boosts employee referrals, which are a highly effective recruitment channel. Happy employees are more likely to recommend their workplace, leading to higher-quality candidates and better retention rates. Moreover, positive work experiences improve candidate engagement and retention, as they can see themselves thriving in the workplace, and are more likely to become dedicated advocates for the university. In essence, leveraging positive work experiences in recruitment strengthens our employer brand and workplace culture, providing a competitive edge in attracting and retaining top talent.


2023 Chili ‘N Cheer

The 2023 Chili ‘N Cheer and Years of Service program was a remarkable success, drawing a crowd of nearly 900 employees. Heartfelt congratulations to all our dedicated faculty and staff who marked significant years of service milestones. We truly value and appreciate the commitment and contributions of those who have stood with us through the years, recognizing that tenure and longevity are integral aspects of our workplace culture. A special shoutout goes to the winners of the 2023 Holiday Sweater competition: Heather Mead (Most Creative), Will Kemp (Ugliest), and Tyler Reinagel (Most Festive). Your festive spirit added a delightful touch to the event! Stay tuned for more information on Staff Appreciation Week events in 2024!

The Owl HR Exclusive



We're Hiring! Kennesaw State University is hiring for the following positions. Know a friend or family member that may be interested in working at KSU? Help us find our next great hire!

Parent and Family Engagement Manager

Office Manager - Bailey School of Music

Specialist, Retention

Office Manager, Registrar & Records

Webmaster & SEO Senior Specialist - COM

Data Analysis Manager

For a complete listing of all open positions available at KSU, please visit

The Owl HR Exclusive


THE TWISTED KITCHEN Twisted Kitchen aims to satisfy ALL pasta lovers out there, with their one-of-a-kind, homemade sauces. Their concept is simple, YOU are the Chef! Come through the door and tell us what you want and we’ll make just that out of fresh ingredients, sauces, seasonings, and spices. Enjoy a fresh, hot meal within 5 minutes! Enjoy 10% off with your valid KSU ID. 125 E. Barrett Pkwy - Suite 111 - Marietta, GA 30066


IT BENEFITS YOU TO KNOW... As you experience changes in your life, it is a good idea to verify that you have the correct individuals named as the beneficiaries on your accounts. Life Insurance: Please log in to OneUSG Connect-Benefits to check or make changes to your beneficiaries for your life insurance.

Retirement & Savings accounts: Contact your vendor to make changes.


Employee Assistance Program (EAP) The Sandwich Generation: Coping with Multiple Roles

An increasing number of individuals are juggling two roles simultaneously – caring for their own children and their aging parents. Many are also balancing workplace demands. The following are some strategies to help manage the pressure that comes with fulfilling these roles.

Prioritize tasks that align with your values. Issues often surface that seem urgent in the moment but are actually not essential. these matters can easily trump more meaningful activities. Decide where your priorities fall so that you can make decisions about what is important to you at the moment. This way when you naturally can’t get to everything, you can feel a sense of satisfaction that you have accomplished tasks that are of high value. Let go of perfection. We often place unrealistic expectations on ourselves. Reduce guilt related to feeling inadequate when it comes to meeting all demands, by bringing your best self to everyday tasks. Accept that you’re giving it your all and look at missteps as opportunities for growth. Make time for fun. Create opportunities to engage in enjoyable activities by embedding fun into roles, even if only for 10-15 minutes. A non-preferred task can turn into something enjoyable when you shift your perspective. Fold laundry while listening to a podcast or catching up with a friend, for example Actively notice the enjoyable everyday moments. Becoming absorbed in small moments of joy and being present to experience them can help switch off daily responsibilities and enhance positive emotions. Remember your why. Bring conscious awareness to the importance of your current role. When faced with challenging or unpleasant tasks, remind yourself that you will feel the benefits later on, which can help provide a buffer to in-the-moment stress. Celebrate small successes. It’s often not easy to see how your hard work is paying off until you look back on your efforts and notice how certain sacrifices have paid off. Take a moments to acknowledge the outcome of your actions, especially when you might not receive positive affirmation from others. Sometimes a perspective shift can help when managing the complexities of balancing multiple roles. Your Employee Assistance Program is also available to support you. Reach out for referrals to counselors, childcare, summer camps, adult care, in-home services, and much more.

Evans, K, et al. “Working Sandwich Generation Women Utilize Strategies Within and Between Roles to Achieve Role Balance”. National Library of Medicine. Accessing December 22, 2023 from

Your Employee Assistance Program

Anytime, any day, you have access to mental health professionals available to connect you with free and confidential services and resources to help you be your best. Simply call to get started today.


24/7/365 PHONE: 1.844.243.4440

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The Owl HR Exclusive

Great Mood Cater Your Next Meeting, Event or Celebration From

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Select your favorite on-campus location

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Pick up your order on your event day

Kennesaw State Baseball is BACK! KSU faculty and staff can purchase season tickets at a discounted price of $69 by contacting the ticket office at (470) 578-6957. We are also offering our 5 game Teasley Suite package for $129 which includes food, drinks, and covered patio seating.

We are excited to get started and finish our ASUN conference campaign with a bang.

Click here to purchase tickets!

$69 ONLY

The Owl HR Exclusive


WELCOME NEW KSU OWLS Newly hired KSU employees featured at New Employee Orientation (NEO)

JANUARY 22, 2024

Briana Willer Cindy Farris Corey Bridges David Smith Elaina Johnson

Elliot Dennis Eric Stevens Frankie Berryman Hannah Young IIana Blumenfeld-Gantz Imari Witten James Lewis James Sweet Jasmine Huffman John Bohannon Katie Ragsdale Kenya Johnson Keriyanna Jones Madison Smith Marissa Long Ralphaina Dubuisson Robin Faulkner Weston Gillespie

JANUARY 29, 2024

Alesia Stradford

Alexis Johnson

Amanda Giddings

Arhea Haywood

Carlos Price

Daniel Frentress

Horacio Arias-Rodriguez

Larry Fry

Terrika Sloan

The Owl HR Exclusive

FEBRUARY 5, 2024

Chelsey Gillilan Armani Glover Austin Mack Barshar Flenory Gregory Browning Helena Diaz

Jose Rodriguez Kathleen Grim Marcus Adan Michael Pelton Monica Ridenbaugh Payton Berry Raymond Smith Rophe Wilson Sara Skiba Shawn Betz Zaynab Massenburg FEBRUARY 19, 2024

Briana Briscoe Brianna Conroy Cameron Norcross Dalton Whitten David Stilwell

Harrison Potter Jason Stewart John Robinson Lizzie Maguire Lucas Abramson Malia Hennies Maria Sibrian de Najarro

Maria Simanca Michelle Hewitt

Miles Bomeisl Thomas Jones Trabin Bennett #OWLONBOARD


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