A&F V.I.S.I.O.N. NEWSLETTER - October 2023 Issue
10/24/2023, 12:35:01 PM

Comprised of Division features, accolades and achievements, as well as valuable "In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)" news you can use, each edition of the newsletter highlights key information and resources across the Division's departmental, operational and service unit areas. Subscribe to the A&F listserv.

Parking Payroll Learning Public Art Finance Policies

Dear Colleagues: 

October marks the time of the year for exciting football matchups and preparations for what promises to be a thrilling Big 12 basketball season. For the Division of Administration and Finance, it also marks the launch of our Staff Award Appreciation Event website, and the opening of the nomination portal for the A&F staff awards.

Please review the Staff Appreciation website, where the award categories and their criteria are highlighted. I hope you will consider nominating your colleagues as we plan to celebrate our recent divisional accomplishments with a festive barbecue luncheon at our A&F Staff Appreciation Event, scheduled for April 4, 2024. Award submissions are due by Monday, November 27, 2023. Divisional leaders are currently hard at work on event planning to ensure a wonderful celebration to honor A&F employees and their achievements.

One up-coming opportunity for UH employees to connect this fall is through the Faculty and Staff Tailgate, scheduled for Saturday, November 11, 2023. I hope that you and your families are able to attend the tailgate, part of the UH Homecoming festivities, and will stay to cheer on the Cougar football team as they face the University of Cincinnati. Please review our feature article in this month’s newsletter from Human Resources to learn more about event festivities and details.

This month, the University of Houston Police Department hosted their annual National Night Out event. Typically held outside the Student Center South, inclement weather shifted the event indoors, but that did not deter the campus community from attending, learning, and having fun with UHPD officers and other campus safety-related departments. Please read the feature article to learn more about his year’s event. 

  • An update on Auxiliary Services’ Cougar Textbook Access Program (CTAP).
  • Highlights from UH Dining Services’ inaugural Oktoberfest celebration.
  • Reminders from Human Resources about FY24 Mandatory Training.
  • A feature on the university’s Food Safety team.

These are just a few of the feature articles in this month’s newsletter. I encourage you to review the newsletter to stay connected with all our divisional updates and accolades for October.

Thank you for all that you do every day to support our UH community. 

Highlights & Features

Staff Award Appreciation Event Set for April 4

Mark your calendars for the A&F Staff Award Appreciation event scheduled for April 4. The luncheon will provide the division an opportunity to celebrate employees in increments of five years of service to the university and employees who demonstrated exceptional service in 2023.

Additionally, nominations are open for the staff awards.. Staff can nominate colleagues across four categories: “V.I.S.I.O.N.” Award, the Team Innovation Award, the Team Impact Award, and the Silent Service Award. Nominations are due by Thursday, November 27th. Read the award descriptions and learn how you can nominate a colleague.

National Night Out a Success Despite Last-Minute Venue Change

Flexibility was the unofficial theme of the University of Houston Police Department’s 2023 National Night Out festivities in October, as the department moved to an interior space at the last minute due to the inclement weather earlier this month.

Despite the last-minute change, National Night Out went on without a hitch with over 200 attendees. Students were drawn to the event by the snow cone truck stationed in front of the University Center and the UHPD police vehicles serving as beacons for the festivities. Read more about National Night Out.

Oktoberfest Celebration Takes Over Moody Dining Commons 

The University of Houston’s Dining Services hosted an Oktoberfest-inspired celebration in Moody Dining Commons in October as part of its Culturally Inspired Event Series, and by all accounts, the campus community enjoyed every second of it.

The Oktoberfest celebration, in partnership with musical performers Das Ist Lustig, UH’s Institue of Global Engagement, and the Modern and Classical Language Department, is a first for UH Dining Services and joins other cultural events held throughout the year. Read more about the Oktoberfest celebration.

CTAP: From Pilot to University-wide Program

The university’s flat rate course materials program, called Cougar Textbook Access Program (CTAP), received high marks from participating students this fall semester.

Fall 2023 was the first time this program was available to all undergraduate students, after being launched as a pilot program in spring 2022. This fall, 77% of undergraduate students participated in the program, which is voluntary for students, as they can opt-out of the program by the official registration date. Read more about the CTAP program.

Food Safety Team Keeps UH System Eateries Up to Code

There’s no shortage of food options for University of Houston students, faculty, and staff. From the two dining commons on campus to the large national brand establishments and food trucks, as well as food events such as the Farmers Markets and Wolffest there are dining options at UH to support all culinary tastes and dietary needs.

Overseeing UH System food establishments to ensure they meet food safety standards falls on the shoulders of the Food Safety department, which comprises three inspectors: Christina Martinez, Latoya Mathis, and Teshana McKnight. Read more about the Food Safety department.

Cougar Card Services 1969 Throwback

Cougar Card Services recently unearthed a photo from 1969 that showcases how far the department and technology have come in the past 50 years. Back then, students would handwrite their names, UH ID number, and even sign their cards. The photo, captured in the office, was carefully cut out and pasted on the card before being laminated. Follow Cougar Card Services on Instagram to stay up to date on their ongoings.

I SEE U with Eddie Robinson

In this week’s episode, Eddie Robinson chats in-studio with Houston native Kendrick Scott about his decision to shed light on an untold, dark history. I SEE U airs on Saturdays at 1 p.m. on News 88.7. You can listen and subscribe to the podcast online or join in the discussion at talk@ISEEUshow.org or @ISEEUshow on social media platforms.

Guest Pass Donations Help Students Battle Food Insecurity

To support students on campus that may be experiencing food insecurity, UH Auxiliary Services gives 24/7 student meal plan holders the opportunity to donate some of their Guest Day Passes to students in need each semester. Food insecurity is characterized by the USDA as a state in which food intake and normal eating patterns are disrupted at times during the year because of a lack of money and other resources.

During the Fall 2023 donation period, unlimited meal plan holders donated 125 guest passes. Those passes are provided to the UH Center for Student Empowerment for distribution to students in need of assistance.

Environmental Health and Safety Attended Exxon Mobil’s PALS 2023 Workshop

John McNeely and Bin Yang represented Environmental Health and Safety at the recent ExxonMobil’s PALS (Partners in Academic Laboratory Safety) workshop for 2023. The mission of PALS is to address the gap between industry and academia in awareness and training regarding individual safety responsibility, and to promote, communicate, and integrate best practices in safety management from both the academic and corporate partners. Read more about what EHS learned at the PALS workshop.

UHPD Chief Moore Represents UH at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference

University of Houston Police Chief Ceaser Moore spent time in October at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in San Diego. The conference provided an opportunity for police chiefs to train, network, and learn. Additionally, Chief Moore participated in the organization’s 5K in support of the San Diego Police Foundation, finishing with a time of 30 minutes.

Video of the Month

Are you Smarter Than a Fire Marshal? To raise fire safety awareness, Fire and Life Safety Technician, Sara Walker, took to the streets of UH to ask students and staff basic fire safety questions. Watch the video and test your own fire safety knowledge.

Staff Spotlight

Cougar Cudos

October Cougar Cudos goes to Carmen Bello, Robert Birkline, Karen Flore, and Leslie Traore. To nominate a fellow staff member, fill out the Cougar Cudos Nomination Form.

Facilities/Construction Management Awarded APPA Award

APPA has awarded Facilities/Construction Management its highest institutional honor, the APPA Award for Excellence in Facilities Management. The win provides F/CM the opportunity for national and international recognition for their outstanding achievements in facilities management. Congrats to Facilities/Construction Management!

Crime Prevention Officer Felipe Gutierrez Shines in New Role

The University of Houston Police Department’s new Crime Prevention Officer, Felipe Gutierrez, has been in the role for a short time but has already made his impact felt on the campus. Officer Gutierrez has been coordinating UHPD’s community engagement events, provided active shooter event training, and met many incoming students during new students, staff, and faculty in orientation meetings.

“Chief Moore and the rest of UHPD have noticed his outstanding efforts and are very pleased with Officer Gutierrez’s efforts, enthusiasm, and representation of the department and the University,” said UHPD Captain Damon Hines.

UHPD Builds Trust with Students at Moody Towers

Moody Towers Residential Life Coordinator Dr. Brock Taylor appreciates the time UHPD Officers Felipe Gutierrez, A. Watkins, E. Romann, N. Jones, Officer Guerrero, and Officer L. Jones have spent at Moody Towers fortifying the community by attending Residence Advisory staff meetings, game nights, and during the fall semester move-in.

“These remarkable officers, our modern-day heroes, take immense pride in the badge they wear and the duty they uphold. Their dedication to our residential community is an inspiration to us all,” said Taylor.

“I wish to express my gratitude for the exemplary service provided by the UH Police Department. The exceptional commitment, compassion, and dedication form the foundation of our community’s overall well-being.”

ICYMI: News You Can Use

HR Benefits POWER HOUR set for November and December

Join the HR’s Benefits Team in person to learn how to maximize your benefits! Attend an open forum where you can meet members of the team face to face to ask your questions about the different benefits the University offers: Health & Benefits Plans, Retirement Plans, Optional Benefits, Power Up Employee Wellness, Leave benefits, and more.

Plan to attend an in-person session in the Human Resources Center training room on Thursday, November 16, or Friday, Dec. 8, from 12 – 1 PM. If you can’t meet in person, please join us online via Teams.

UH Dining Services Updates

As we head into November, UH Dining Services would like to remind the campus community that the hours of operation may vary during holiday weeks and as we head into the end of the Fall semester. Please be sure to check for specific campus dining location hours as you plan your breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Additionally, guests can receive 15% off the regular lunch door rate at Cougar Woods Dining Commons on Monday – Thursday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. by paying with Cougar Cash!

Events & Reminders

Faculty/Staff Tailgate set for November 11

Mark your calendars for this season’s Faculty/Staff Tailgate on November 11. Join fellow faculty and staff companions in the pre-game festivities before UH Football’s matchup against the Cincinnati Bearcats.

Head to uhcougars.com/promo to obtain your free ticket using the special promo code FASTAFF23. The promo code grants faculty and staff one complimentary ticket and the opportunity to purchase additional tickets at a discounted rate of $10.

HR Reminds You to Complete the UH Mandatory Training for FY24

The Mandatory Training Requirements for Fiscal Year 2024 deadline is November 17. All mandatory training must be completed by that date. To access the trainings, log into AccesssUH and click on TAP Employee Online Training.

Any UH System that fails to complete their required training modules will not have met their job expectations, therefore making them ineligible for merit increases. For questions regarding the training, contact HR at 713.743.3988 or hrsc@uh.edu.

Save the Date: A&F Rocking Reindeer Party

The holiday season is upon us, and the Division of Administration & Finance is celebrating in style with the A&F Rocking Reindeer Party on Thursday, Dec. 7th from 2 to 4 p.m., in the Student Center South Houston Room and Ballroom. Mark your calendars now to welcome the holiday season with an afternoon full of fun. We plan to have multiple ways to engage so be prepared to interact, enjoy a treat and ultimately have a joy filled afternoon.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

A reminder from UH Occupational Health Services: Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the U.S. and the second-leading cause of death in women, but men can get breast cancer too. A breast self-exam is an early detection tool that uses a combination of physical and visual examinations of the breasts to check for signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Make breast self-exams a regular part of your health routine. To learn more about symptoms, risk factors, and prevention, visit the CDC’s Breast Cancer Awareness page.

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Cybersecurity Awareness Month aims to raise awareness about digital security and empower faculty, staff and students to protect university and personal data from digital forms of crime. IT Security is celebrating with an awareness campaign which contains professionally designed materials that are available to all of the UH System campuses.

Each campus received new materials weekly to display by way of digital signage, website, printed signage, lab computer screens, and on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and X. Some of the messages shared from IT Security include turning on multifactor authentication, using strong passwords and a password manager, recognizing and reporting phishing, and updating software.

Submit a story to the A&F Newsletter by filling out the form.

A&F Resources

Cougar S.A.F.E

University of HoustonParking Payroll Learning University Information Technology Finance Equal Opportunity Services

Parking Payroll Learning Public Art Finance Equal Opportunity Services
View web version
This is an official message sent by the University of Houston. To verify the validity of this message, email security@uh.edu.

Parking Payroll Learning Public Art FinancePolicies