University Staff Association Council plans Spring Assembly

Staff Association Council Administrator Marcie Johnson and the other SAC members discussed ideas for the upcoming meeting in May in the William Pitt Union Thursday afternoon. Will Miller | Staff Photographer

This May, Pitt staff and community members will get a crash course on balancing health and work.

The Staff Association Council, an organization of 75 elected representatives from University staff,  has began preparing for its fifth annual Spring Assembly. Five SAC members met on Thursday morning to plan the May 10 event, which will include workshops and interactive sessions to help Pitt staff improve their lifestyles outside of the workplace.

Through CPR, self-defense sessions and small discussion groups and lectures, the SAC hopes the Spring Assembly will train workers to be both efficient in the office and healthy outside of work.

This year’s theme is health and wellness. According to Robyne Ivory, SAC Chair and Pitt library administrative assistant, past themes have ranged from technology to professional development. Ivory said 350 Pitt staff and community members attended the Assembly last year.

The overall event schedule consists of discussion sessions starting at noon, followed by workshops and networking. The SAC will announce a specific time once it finalizes details of the event.

As a guest speaker. Chancellor Patrick Gallagher will discuss the importance of a healthy workforce and how he utilizes University resources.

“Last year, the Chancellor introduced his strategic plan involving his global vision for Pitt. This year, we are hoping he’ll share how the plan has moved forward,” Brian Pasquini, SAC member and Computing Services and Systems Development security for Pitt, said.

The SAC has invited Tom Coloc from Life Solutions, a section of Pitt’s Human Resources department devoted to helping staff and faculty balance work and personal life, Judy Dodd, an assistant professor in the school of rehabilitation and health sciences, and Renee Rogers, an assistant professor for the school of education, to facilitate during the sessions and workshops.

Additionally, Maura McCall, a staff member for Pitt’s School of Nursing, will lead a CPR session, and Pitt Police are planning to host a self-defense workshop.

To encourage attendance, the council is raffling prizes at the end of event. Although the council has not finalized the prize selection it is considering slap bracelets, yoga bags or a membership to the University Club.

“This is one way we’ll thank people for attending and will also give them an initiative to come back to health-related events such as this one,” said Marie Johnson, the secretary of the human resources department at Pitt.

The SAC will determine registration dates for the Spring Assembly at a later date, but the event is open to all Pitt faculty and staff. Although the event was free last year, Johnson said they are still determining if the SAC will charge a registration fee this year due to high attendance in the past.

Johnson said the SAC is hoping to attract a bigger crowd this year and encourages all attendees to stay for the discussion after the keynote speaker.

“We are hoping that this year will be just as successful as the past years and will benefit the Pitt staff and community in showing that people can be both productive and healthy,” Johnson said.

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