Faculty/Staff News Now Feb. 4, '19

Faculty/Staff News Now - Vol. 1, Issue 1

Employee Appreciation - Mark Your Calendars!

The Employee Appreciation celebration for faculty and staff is coming soon. Sponsored by the Division of Human Resources in partnership with The Office of the President and The Office of the Provost, this festival offers a full week of family-friendly activities. This year’s theme: Carnival of Flashes. Learn more.


President’s Award of Distinction is Here

The President's Award of Distinction recognizes and rewards staff members who have demonstrated outstanding achievements, service, leadership and dedication to Kent State during 2018. Learn more and complete the nomination form by Feb. 15.


Update Your Personal Information

Please take a few minutes to make sure all of your information is accurate by completing the following steps:

  1. Log into Flashline
  2. Select the Employee Resources category
  3. Select Personal Information – from this list you can update any of the various items. However, we specifically encourage you to make any necessary changes to the following data:
  • Preferred Name Form
  • Updated Addresses and Phones
  • Update Emergency Contacts
  • View/Update Ethnicity & Race
  • View/Update Disability Status
  • View/Update Veterans Classification

See Preferred Name tips for faculty and staff, or view frequently asked questions related to preferred names. Please direct any questions about updating your personal information to hr-records@kent.edu.  You may also contact them at 330-672-8316 (x2-8316).


Flexible Spending Account Deadline Approaching

The Flexible Spending Account (FSA) plan year of January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018, has ended. The IRS requires that any 2018 balances remaining in your FSA at the end of the calendar year be spent by March 15 and the related expense information filed by June 30, 2019, or the balance will be forfeited.

This means that if you had a balance of funds remaining in your FSA as of Dec. 31, 2018, you have until March 15, 2019, to incur qualified expenses (i.e. deductibles, co-pays, eyeglass, dental expenses, etc. not covered by the plan). Incurred expenditures must be filed by June 30, 2019. This is known as the IRS "use it or lose it" rule and there are no exceptions.

Filing a claim is easy and can be accomplished by filing your claim via your PNC Benefit Plus online account, or downloading and completing the PNC Reimbursement Request Form.

To file a claim online, log into your PNC BeneFit Plus account and click on Accounts." On the far right of the screen, click on the drop down arrow next to the box titled "I want to" and click on the words "File a Claim." From there, follow the instructions to complete your claim online. You may need to attach supporting documentation.

To file a paper claim, download and complete a copy of the PNC Reimbursement Request Form. Attach a copy of the detailed bill or Explanation of Benefits and either mail or fax the information to:

PNC BeneFit Plus

Consumer Services

P. O. Box 2865

Fargo, ND 58108-2865

Fax: (855) 628-5950

For any questions concerning your 2019 FSA account, you may contact PNC BeneFit Plus Consumer Services at 844-356-9993, or email pncbenefitplus@healthaccountservices.com with any questions. Representatives are available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. E.T. You may also contact the University Benefits office at (330) 672-3107 or benefits@kent.edu.


Sign Up for Your “Know Your Numbers” Onsite Health Screening 

Step One Toward Your $300 Wellness Reward – Final Dates

Don’t leave your wellness dollars on the table for the new year. There is still time to register for your "Know Your Numbers" health screening to put you on track for your $300 Wellness Reward.

If you haven't done so already, remember that you must have your "Know Your Numbers" screening done annually IF you are working toward the $300 Wellness Your Way reward. For the 2019 calendar year, your screening must be done between Sept. 1, 2018 - April 30, 2019. You can take advantage of the convenient onsite screenings provided by Be Well Solutions or have one completed with your primary care physician and have the results populated in the Tier 1 Physician Screening Form available on the Be Well portal. The choice is yours.

The remaining dates are available for the onsite health screening. Follow the "How to Schedule" instructions below as registration is required.





Feb. 27

Heer Hall

6:00 – 9:00 am
(early morning available)

March 5

Kent Student Center Ballroom
*To be held in conjunction with Employee Appreciation Day for 2nd/3rd shift

9:15 pm - 11:15 pm
(evening hours)

March 12

Heer Hall

7:45 - 10 a.m.

March 28

Kent Student Center – Ballroom Balcony

7:30 - 10:30 a.m.

“Know Your Numbers" health screenings are complimentary for full-time, benefits-eligible employees only. Employee does NOT have to be enrolled in the university-sponsored health plan.

How to Schedule Your Appointment

  • Login to your private Be Well portal at portal.bewelldata.com. If you have never logged into Be Well, there are special instructions for first-time access at http://www.kent.edu/hr/benefits/partners-bewellsolutions.
  • Once you are logged in, select "My Appointments," then "Worksite Screening." Choose the date and location that best meets your schedule. Please keep in mind that you will need to fast for 8 to 10 hours prior to your health screening and blood draw is via a finger prick.
  • To complete/update your online health risk assessment for 2019 while logged into Be Well, select "My Wellness" and then select "Health Risk Assessment."
  • Results of your screening always remain confidential and will be provided directly to you by Be Well at the time of screening.

For questions regarding the Be Well portal or wellness point tracking, please contact Be Well directly at 1-888-WEL-SERV (935-7378). For all other questions, you may contact the Employee Wellness Office at 330-672-0392 or wellness@kent.edu.


Lunch & Learn: Benefits of a Plant Based Diet (LIVE STREAMED)

Accessible from All Campuses/Locations with Internet Access

What do the Paleo, Zone, Atkins, Mediterranean, Omni, Vegetarian, and South Beach Diets all have in common? While all of these diets vary in many ways, they all emphasize incorporating plenty of vegetables and other plant-based foods into your diet.

On Tues., Feb. 5, from noon - 1 p.m. you will learn all about plant-based foods, including vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, oils and whole grains. This seminar also covers:

  • The scientific evidence supporting the known benefits of various plants. 
  • Specific phytochemicals and antioxidant properties of plants. 
  • Different variations of a plant-based diet.

    Register to attend via live-streamThis lunch-time presentation is open to all full and part-time employees. For full-time, benefits-eligible employees participating in the Wellness Your Way program, this session will be worth 10 points towards your Tier Two total. 

Lunch and Learn: Financial Wellness: Tax Planning

On Tues., Feb 19 at noon, Financial Advisor Sean Deasy will help attendees gain a basic understanding of the types of taxes and tax planning strategies. The seminar will cover the different types of tax that we face in our daily lives and provide strategies that can be used to save on the amount of taxes we pay. Finally, we will discuss tax-favored investments and how you can use them to increase your after-tax return.

A light lunch will be provided for attendees. Space is limited and registration is required. This session is not available for live streaming.

To see a complete list of financial wellness programs, visit our financial wellness webpage at www.kent.edu/hr/benefits/financial-wellness.


Kent State of Wellness Ramps Up Mindfulness and Meditation Offerings for Spring Semester

Taking better care of yourself should top your list of New Year's resolutions!

Start off your spring semester with mindfulness and meditation skills that can help you become more resilient, more mindful and more rested, and enjoy the many other benefits associated with this wellness approach.

Meditation Across Campus

The Kent State of Wellness initiative Meditation Across Campus is back with more locations available for your convenience. Meditation Across Campus, which began last semester, offers free, facilitated 30-minute meditation sessions for members of the Kent State University community.

Meditation sessions began the first week of classes and continue through the end of the spring semester, except for the week of spring break. There is no commitment to attend, and participants can select a location and time that is convenient for them. You do not have to work or take classes at any of the locations to join a session.

Newly added locations this semester include the Center for Architecture and Environmental Design, Rockwell Hall, Schwartz Center, Student Accessibility Services and Williamson House. Meditation sessions also will continue to hold at the Center for the Visual Arts, College of Business Administration, Kent Hall, LGBTQ Student Center, Lowry Hall, the Student Multicultural Center and University Library.

For more information, including locations, dates and times for the Kent Campus meditation sessions, and additional resources, visit www.kent.edu/stateofwellness/meditation.


Want to learn how to make mindfulness a lifestyle? Kent State of Wellness also is offering Koru Mindfulness training, where participants can learn meditation and mindfulness skills to help them become more resilient, more mindful and more rested.

This free, four-week, 75-minute class is open to faculty, staff and students. Participants will receive a free Koru Mindfulness book and a certificate will be issued following completion of the training program.

Spots fill up quickly, so register today!

Session 1:
Mondays, Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25 (5:30-6:45 p.m.)
Kent Student Center, Room 308
Register here

Session 2: 
Tuesdays, Feb. 5, 12, 19 and 26 (8:30-9:45 a.m.)
Kent Student Center, Room 308
Register here

Session 3:
Wednesdays, Feb. 6, 13, 20 and 27 (2-3:15 p.m.)
Kent Student Center, Room 308
Register here

For more information about Koru Mindfulness training at Kent State, visit www.kent.edu/stateofwellness/meditation/koru or contact Ms. Celko at mcelko1@kent.edu.


Reward yourself with the gift of mindfulness this year. Kent State of Wellness is offering Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program for free to Kent State students, faculty and staff. The MBSR program, which launched in 1979 at UMass Medical Center, is evidence-based, practical and transformative for people who want to reduce job, family or health-related stress. The program engages participants physically, emotionally and intellectually to cultivate resilience and a greater sense of ease and effectiveness in work and life.

What to Expect:

  • Eight weekly classes (a 2.5-hour class each week)
  • Free orientation session on Monday, Feb. 25from 7-8 p.m. at Kent Student Center, Room 308
  • One seven-hour weekend retreat session (April 27, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; location TBD)
  • Workbook
  • Guided instruction
  • Facilitated by MBSR-certified teacher Julie Kapper

Register here.

Class Schedule:

Free up your calendar in March and April for this free, eight-week program. Your mind will thank you for it!

  • Monday, March 4, 5:30-8 p.m., Kent Student Center, Room 317
  • Monday, March 11, 5:30-8 p.m., Kent Student Center, Room 309
  • Monday, March 18, 5:30-8 p.m., Kent Student Center, Room 315
  • Monday, April 1, 5:30-8 p.m., Kent Student Center, Room 317
  • Monday, April 8, 5:30-8 p.m., Kent Student Center, Room 309
  • Monday, April 15, 5:30-8 p.m., Kent Student Center, Room 317
  • Monday, April 22, 5:30-8 p.m., Kent Student Center, Room 317
  • Monday, April 29, 5:30-8 p.m., Kent Student Center, Room 317

For more information, visit www.kent.edu/stateofwellness/meditation/mbsr.

David J Poluga Earns Professional Airport Accreditation

Congratulations to David J Poluga, MBA, A.A.E., Kent State University’s Airport Manager. Poluga was awarded the distinction of Accredited Airport Executive (A.A.E.) by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE). He joins an elite group of airport executives who have completed all requirements of the 64-year-old program.

To qualify for his distinction, David had to successfully complete three phases of the accreditation process: (1) pass a 180-item multiple-choice examination, (2) fulfill a writing requirement, and (3) demonstrate, in the final interview by a panel of A.A.E.s, his knowledge of airport management, business administration, and general transportation economics. David’s achievement attests to his ability to meet these stringent requirements and his experience in managing a public airport.

By fulfilling all the requirements leading to the title of Accredited Airport Executive, David joins a select group of individuals who have earned the designation in the six plus decades of the accreditation program’s existence. At present, fewer than 10 percent of AAAE’s members throughout the country are active accredited airport executives.


In Memoriam

Kent State University recently lost two of its family members, Deloris. L. Noll and Herbert Hochhauser.

Professor Emeritus of English Dolores L. Noll won the 2010 Diversity Trailblazer award. The award was presented to Dr. Noll by Dr. Lester Lefton and Kent State's Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Alfreda Brown.

A national pioneer in gay and lesbian issues, Noll was an early contributor to Kent State's own history of supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender studies. That history goes back to 1972, when Noll became the first professor to teach a gay and lesbian issues course at Kent State. Noll also was a founding adviser to the Kent Gay Liberation Front, now called PRIDE! Kent, one of the oldest gay rights student organizations in the country.

Professor Herbert Hochhauser led Kent State University’s Jewish studies program from 1980 to 1999, died Jan. 1. He was 83. In May 2015, Hochhauser was the honored guest at a dinner held on campus and attended by more than 100 people.

Hochhauser lived in Akron until 2016 when he moved to Boise, Idaho, to be near his family. He taught German literature and Jewish studies at Kent State for 35 years. He was the director of the Ohio Council on Holocaust Education (now Ohio Council on Holocaust and Genocide Education) and director of Kent State’s Ethnic Heritage and Jewish Studies programs. His later work focused on helping to expose German physicians and corporations that conducted unethical medical experiments on prisoners of war.

Kent State has the Dr. Herbert Hochhauser Endowed Fund for Jewish Studies, which funds scholarships for students, guest speakers and education-abroad opportunities.