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HR Winter 2016 - Employee Newsletter

March 3, 2016

Message from Mary Harper Hagan

For two years Human Resources (HR) has been producing EmployeeNews, the quarterly employee newsletter for St. John’s staff and administrators. We hope you enjoy reading the many stories that highlight your remarkable colleagues and our students.

In this issue we continue to celebrate our employees with a focus on our Director of Multicultural Affairs, Ching-Wen Rosa Yen. In February, St. John’s celebrated Black History Month with many events on campus, including hosting noted poet Sonia Sanchez; and our own talented students produced and starred in this tribute video, My History, My Future.

Meet Ching-Wen Rosa Yen

Meet Ching-Wen Rosa YenWhether St. John’s is a part of her—or she’s a part of St. John’s—is just a matter of perspective. Either way, the two are inseparable.Threaded mutually by the pursuit of social justice, inclusion and service, the University and its Director of Multicultural Affairs, Ching-Wen Rosa Yen, are cut from the same cloth. Read the full story »

In the News

Read about how St. John’s is transforming the student employment experience in the latest issue of The Higher Education Workplace, a national magazine for college and university professionals.

Employees and Retirees Crochet for the Homeless

Handmade scarves and blankets are being donated to homeless New Yorkers through an informal initiative started more than a decade ago by St. John’s employees. Hilde Vogelmann, now retired from the payroll office, taught Senior Benefits Specialist Laura M. Luecke Lobacarro to crochet during lunch breaks years ago. Read the full story »

Eighth Employee Cohort Completes Vincentian Mission Certificate Program

Eighth Employee Cohort Completes Vincentian Mission Certificate ProgramA 16-month journey including educational workshops, Vincentian service, and reflection culminated for 15 St. John’s employees as they became the eighth cohort to successfully graduate from the Vincentian Mission Certificate (VMC) program on Friday, January 15, 2016. Read the full story »

The St. John’s Family Is Forever

For many St. John’s University employees, their connection to the University does not end when they stop working. After sharing their time and talent with the St. John’s community for so many years, they enjoy the opportunity to get together with former colleagues and friends by participating in the St. John’s University Retirees Association. Learn more »

St. John’s University Embraces Lifelong Learning for Employees

The University’s Human Resources training curriculum offers 230 workshops with an average of 4,300 annual participants; management and professional certificate programs;; the new continuing education certificate program; and programming to support career mobility, with countless ways for employees to hone their management and professional development skills.

For more information, select from the following links:

Stay Connected and Informed

In the event of an emergency, will the University know how to contact you, and will you know what to do? While the likelihood of a major emergency situation is remote, emergency planning will help keep our University community safe in the event of a crisis. Here’s how you can Stay Connected During Emergencies. Also, make sure to periodically review your emergency contact information and home address on UIS located in the Employee Toolbox under the Employee tab. Keep this information current to ensure those closest to you can be contacted without delay if the need arises.

If your office moves, remember to update your campus address in UIS. Click the ‘View/Update Campus Address and Phone’ link in the Employee Toolbox. If you need assistance updating this information, please contact the Payroll Office at 718-990-1471.

Not Getting an Electronic W-2? You Are Missing Out!

Did you know that you can view and print your 2015 W-2 online, and use it as the official form for filing your 2015 taxes? When you elect to receive your W-2 online, you will have the convenience of secure access at any time and receive your W-2 earlier than mailed copies.

Log in to UIS, go to the Employee tab and locate W2 On-line Consent located under Tax Forms. You can revoke your consent at any time. If you have any questions, call the Payroll Office at 718-990-6345.

The New Year Rings in a New Minimum Wage

Minimum wage in New York State was increased to nine dollars per hour, effective December 31, 2015. View this and other required city, state, and federal postings on our Employment Posters web page.

Employee Benefits

After a comprehensive external search, Human Resources is pleased to announce that Sara Honen Leupp has been promoted to the position of Employee Benefits Director. Sara initially joined St. John’s and the Human Resources department as a Benefits Specialist in 2005, and was promoted to Senior Benefits Specialist, Employee Benefits Manager, and, most recently, Associate Director of Employee Benefits. Please join us as we congratulate Sara on her new position.

When you think about benefits, think Bswift - the new online portal that lets you access your SJU employee benefits during Open Enrollment and year-round. During 2015-2016 Open Enrollment, when Bswift was introduced at St. John’s, more than 500 faculty, staff, and administrators used it to make benefit changes.

Access the Bswift portal year-round to make changes to benefits such as qualified transportation, life insurance, and long-term disability insurance. You can also update life insurance beneficiaries, home addresses, phone numbers, and add or change benefits when a life event occurs, such as a marriage or birth of a child.

Visit to start using Bswift now! For instructions, download the flyer. Additional Bswift training sessions will be offered to eligible employees this spring.

The SJU 403(b) Plan is the only employee benefit that is not currently available on the Bswift portal. For questions regarding your retirement plan, please contact the Benefits Department at 718-990-2363.

Upcoming Events

EAP Workshop: Care for the Caregiver
March 9

Emergency Readiness Training
March 15

Quality Service Module I
March 16

Managing for Success
March 17

People Management: Corrective Action
March 18

View a complete list of upcoming employee trainings.

For registration assistance, please contact [email protected] or call 718-990-2330.

Policy Highlight

Stay informed of the latest policy changes. Revisions are always added to Recent Policy Updates link in the HR Policy Manual. Or refer to the Employee Handbook for policy summaries, employment information, and campus resources and services.

Employee Snapshot

Employee SnapshotRose Costales, retiree Hilde Vogelmann, and Laura Luecke Lobacarro with items crocheted for the homeless.

Snap your own selfie on campus! Send your photo to [email protected], tell us who you are, where on campus you took the photo, and you may appear in an upcoming issue of employeEnews.


Let us know what topics you would like to see covered in a future issue of employeEnews.

Send us your suggestions at [email protected].