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Greetings from the Office, Clerical, and Technical Staff Assembly!
OCTSA is off to a great start with lots of action in the committees and exciting opportunities on the horizon!  We have had great speakers from Tide for Tusk and Alabama Reach, and look forward to hearing from the UA Benefits Office in November and Teresa Faulkner in December concerning getting organized and establishing goals for the new year.
Our projects for this year will continue to be Alabama Reach and the Coat Drive.  We are asking everyone to participate in these projects by bringing household supplies to our monthly meetings for the students associated with Alabama Reach.  Please see the link on the OCTSA website for more information and a list of immediate needs.  We will also be collecting monies to buy gift cards for these students at Christmas as well.  We will again join forces with the PSA to collect “gently used” and new coats as well as all outerwear for the annual Coat Drive.  These items are being donated to Temporary Emergency Services.
I appreciate all who stepped up as representatives for the UA Standing Committees as well as those who agreed to co-chair OCT committees.  These appointments are very important as we gain valuable information from the Standing Committees, and generate proposals and projects from the OCT Committees. 
OCTSA is here to serve and we welcome your ideas and concerns regarding office, clerical, and technical staff.  Your comments may be forwarded to octstaff@ua.edu.  If you would like more information or are interested in joining OCTSA, please feel free to attend our monthly meetings.   Meetings are held the 2nd Thursday of the month at 3:00 p.m. in 110 Aime.
Dee Cook, OCTSA President


Guest speakers: 

December 2013Janice Palmer and Melissa Green

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • Crucial Conversations – deals with dialogue involving emotional or risky topics
  • Manage Elite – topics for better for managers
  • Library of Materials including books, DVDs, and training activities
  • Employee Assistance Program – articles, tips, self-assessment
  • Skillsoft Training Academy – mandatory compliance training
  • Skillport Online Training – desktop skills
  • Go System – time management program

 Melissa gave an overview of Skillport and eLearning opportunities. Skillport is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all UA employees to access and learn about desktop programs. Skillport offers courses in Microsoft Office such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint at beginning and advanced levels. Departments may purchase additional licenses to access Business and IT Professional courses and resources. Website for additional information: http://hr.ua.edu/learning-  development.

January 2014 – Dr. Rebecca Kelly, Health Promotion and Wellness and Jennifer Turner, Counseling Center

Dr. Kelly shared information on Maintaining a Work-Life Balance and New Year, Healthy You.
She explained the importance of living in balance and gave relevant examples for how our lives 
can quickly get out of balance. Spoke about UA’s wellness program, the different club levels, 
(Crimson, Gold, Silver, and Bronze) and the progress of the annual screenings. 1 in 3 at UA 
participates in the annual screenings and everyone that participated improved in their health from the previous year. She promoted Strive for 5 Program and encouraged us to think about goals for the new year and shared a Wellness Wheel model. For 
more information regarding Health and Wellness see link: http://wellness.ua.edu/

Jennifer shared handouts on How to Manage Distressed Students, How to Refer A Student, and 
Overview of the Counseling Center.  For more information on the Counseling Center see link: http://counseling.ua.edu/

February 2014 –  Lane McLelland – Director, Crossroads Community Center
CCC is an initiative to connect people across cultural barriers, build relationships, and educate on 
various issues. A major program of CCC is Sustained Dialogue where relationships are 
transformed through a series of conversations. Lane conducted an exercise for our group called, 
“Who Are You? This activity allowed the participants to learn things about others that they may 
not have known.
Sustained Dialogue consists of 8-15 participants who meet for a set time to discuss a particular 
issue to develop strategies to improve campus/community regarding “The Big 8” –
1.) Socioeconomic Status/Class; 2.) Race & Color; 3.) Ethnicity; 4.) Sex & Gender; 5.) Sexual 
Orientation; 6.) Ability Status; 7.) Age; 8.) Religion. 
For more information: crossroads.ua.edu

March 2014 – Paige Miller, Women’s Resource Center
WRC provides victim’s advocacy and counseling services for students, faculty, staff, and 
Shelton State students. All services are free and confidential and may include hospital 
accompaniment, help with legal and judicial options, academic intervention, location of safe 
housing, information and referrals. A victim’s advocate is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a 
WRC sponsors campus and community programs to educate public regarding interpersonal 
violence that may affect both women and men. WRC does see male clients and offers various 
resources such as Harbor Training to prepare faculty and staff for disclosure and assistance with 
interpersonal violence. For more information: wrc.ua.edu

April 2014 – Laura Rice and Mike Butts – Campus Mail
Ms. Rice and Mr. Butts led a very informative Question and Answer session on postal issues 
relating to Campus Mail and how the process works between Campus Mail and USPS, UPS, and 
other entities. Campus Mail may pick up your personal stamped mail in the department; 
however, they cannot deliver personal mail to departments. All mail delivered by Campus 
Mail must be University business. U.S. Postal Service delivers mail to Campus Mail around 
7:30 Monday through Friday, where it is then delivered to more than 215 box numbers on campus by mid-morning. 
Campus Mail has taken over the Paty Package Center and the Ferguson Post Office and is now 
referred to as the Ferguson Mail Center. This location can do everything the Post Office does 
except issue money orders. 
The Sustainability Program for Campus Mail provides resources such as binder clips, rubber 
bands, and paper clips at no charge to departments. Order from their website.
For more information: campusmail.ua.edu

Service and Outreach Committee


The Service and Outreach Committee encourages faculty and staff to support Alabama REACH.  Alabama REACH is a program that was established with a mission to empower current and former foster youth, orphans, emancipated minors, wards of the State, and homeless youth in a supportive environment that allows students the freedom to pursue higher education.  Alabama REACH has a pantry to stock needed items such as toiletries, non- perishable food items, gift cards, gas cards, extension cords, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, paper towels, sheets, towels, and laundry detergent.  Along with help stocking the pantry, employees can volunteer to be mentors, sponsors, or a host family.  For more information, employees can contact Jameka Hartley, Coordinator at 348-5819, jyhartley@aalan.ua.edu.  Alabama REACH is located in 303 Lloyd Hall.


Professional Development Comm.

Outstanding Office, Clerical, and Technical Staff Award

The Professional Development Committee presented the second annual Outstanding Staff Awards on Thursday, May 8, 2014. The two recipients were Brandi Kizziah, Administrative Secretary, Arts & Sciences Deans Office, and April McIntosh, Office Associate Senior, Chemistry Department. Janice Palmer, Workforce Development Specialist in the Department of Human Resources presented the awards.

Leslie Davis, OCTSA award winner Brandi Kizziah, Janice Palmer

Leslie, OCTSA award winner April McIntosh, Janice

Staff Life Committee

The committee has been diligently working on a proposal for a more economical Bama Dining meal plan for UA employees.  Our proposal requests the opportunity for UA employees to purchase a minimum of 10 meals on their Action Card for $5/meal. 

We are also continuing to pursue acceptance of our proposal with Transportation Services regarding parking costs for Faculty/Staff permits.   This proposal would base permit costs on salary ranges less than $50,000 and ≥$50,000.  Another concern being discussed is the safety issue of bicycles and skateboards on campus.

Communications and Public Relations Committee

The Communications and Public Relations Committee is responsible for facilitating timely, two-way communication between the Assembly and OCT staff employees on matters perceived as important to constituents.

Any questions or suggestions about the website or newsletter should be directed to Allyson Holliday: ahollida@ua.edu


On behalf of the OCTSA officers, a big thank you to all of the representatives and committee members!

Dee Cook, President
Todd Hester, President-Elect
Lacee Nisbett, Secretary
Lynette Scales, Treasurer
Cassie Schultz, Parliamentarian
Sherry Phillips, Past-president


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Contributors: Allyson Holliday, Dee Cook, Leslie Davis, Angelia Mills

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