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Human Resources Upcoming Programs
February 27, 2007, Volume 53, No. 24

Penn Walking Program

Nearly every recommendation for how to improve one’s health includes a suggestion for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day, on most days of the week. Walking is one of the easiest and most common activities that individuals can add to their daily routine. It requires very little preparation other than good shoes and a desire to succeed, and can be done anytime, anywhere—without special equipment or facilities. Walking does not need to interfere with work demands and can be incorporated into a normal workday, if desired, by adding a walk to the lunch hour and/or before or after work. 

Human Resources wants to help you increase your daily activity level and improve your health and well-being by introducing a pilot walking program. We believe that faculty and staff who make walking a greater part of their everyday activities will feel better mentally, physically, and emotionally, and be more productive as a result.  Participants may also decrease their risk for chronic and/or critical illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancer.  Regular physical activity, such as walking, can also increase immunity to common communicable diseases to which we are exposed daily, such as colds and other viruses.

The walking program offers faculty and staff:

• Pre- and mid-program informational meetings at convenient locations across campus
• A welcome packet with general information about the program and a booklet to document your activity, your walking progress, throughout the 12 weeks of the program 
• Inspiring messages throughout the duration of the walking program
• Gifts for those who participate and succeed
• Chances to win prizes, including a laptop

What do I have to do?

• Pre-register and attend one meeting before the program begins and one meeting at the 6-week milestone, mid-way through the program.
• Walk and keep track of your progress!  

When and where can I attend a meeting and find out more information?

Meetings will be held at five different locations across campus. Orientation meetings will be held the week of March 12, and mid-program meetings will be held the week of April 23. Details will be available when you pre-register.

Orientation/Welcome Event


Monday, 3/12/07; 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.


Tuesday, 3/13/07; 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.


Wednesday, 3/14/07; 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Irvine Auditorium

Thursday, 3/15/07; 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Business Services

Friday, 3/16/07; 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

How will my progress be tracked?

You may choose to track your progress in a log book or online.  You’ll receive your log book at the Orientation/Welcome meeting, and the link to the walking program website will be made available to you at a later date.

Please note: pre-registration is required for participation. For details on how to pre-register, go to www.hr.upenn.edu/quality/wellness/walking.asp. If you do not have online access, you may call to have us register on your behalf. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Human Resources at (215) 898-5116 or suzsmith@hr.upenn.edu.

Cross-Cultural Communication in a Global Penn Community

Penn is a multicultural institution, with students, faculty and staff from all over the world.  This makes for a very diverse, vibrant community —and at times, a rather confusing one. The Division of Human Resources and the Office of International Programs (OIP) are piloting a new program this spring, aimed at enhancing communication in the cross-cultural workplace. Whether you’re an international scholar/staff member or someone who works closely with one, we hope this program will help you bridge the cultural gap.  Sessions will be led by Rodolfo Altamirano, a trained cross-cultural educator, conflict mediator, former international student/scholar, and current Director of International Student & Scholar Services at OIP, and Patricia Tsao, an international scholar with 20 years experience working and managing in the academic research environment in the US. For more information or to pre-register, visit the online Course Catalog at www.hr.upenn.edu (click on Course Catalog at the top of the page) or call (215) 898-3400.

Part 1–What You Need to Know to Be Successful in the Penn Workplace; March 27; 9 a.m. to noon; free. Geared toward international scholars and staff, this session will address how to succeed in the cross-cultural workplace. Learn more about the culture of the Penn workplace and other topics, including:

• practical tips and advice on avoiding miscommunications and misunderstandings in the workplace,
• gaining a better understanding of how academic departmental systems work, and
• how best to support your supervisor/Principal Investigator.

Part 2–What You Need to Know to Support Your International Scholars and Staff; March 29; 9 a.m. to noon; free. Geared toward Principal Investigators, business administrators and managers, this session will help you develop a greater understanding of the behaviors and practices international scholars and staff may bring with them from their home cultures. Having a “global” understanding will help you better support the international scholars and staff in your department.  Topics will include:

• how values, perceptions, and expectations differ between cultures,
• how to manage conflicts and problems with international scholars/staff, 
• what you need to know about the workplace dynamics, behaviors and practices in international cultures, and 
• practical tips for working with international staff.

Work-Life Balance Workshops

Dealing with the demands of work and personal life can be challenging. That’s why we offer a variety of free workshops led by experts from Penn’s Employee Assistance Program and Work & Family Benefit provider, Penn Behavioral Health, to offer information and support for your personal and professional life challenges.  Note that each workshop listed below will include an optional Q&A period from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. For more information and/or to pre-register, visit www.hr.upenn.edu/quality/workshop.asp or call (215) 573-2471.

Advanced Methods in Handling Difficult and Angry Interactions; March 14; 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; free. This seminar is designed to provide attendees with specific skills and strategies for effecting “Win-Win” solutions for hard-to-manage relationships—personal and professional. Participants will learn advanced methods in assertiveness, collaboration and partnering, and handling internal reactions.

Building Your Child’s Self-Esteem; March 21; 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; free. This workshop is designed to teach parents how to identify children with self-esteem issues and provide methods for building and maintaining a healthy self-image for any child. Participants will learn to identify the components of healthy self-images, define the parental role in image/esteem development, and take action steps to healthy self-images.

For personalized assistance with dependent care issues and personal well-being, contact Penn’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Work & Family Services provider, Penn Behavioral Health, at 1-888-321-4433 or www.hr.upenn.edu/quality/wellness/eap.asp, or go to the EAP website at www.pennbehavioralhealth.org. For questions on QOWL programs, contact Human Resources at fitzpatl@hr.upenn.edu or (215) 573-2471.

Professional & Personal Development

Take advantage of the many development opportunities provided by Human Resources. Simply pre-register for programs by visiting the online Course Catalog at www.hr.upenn.edu (click on Course Catalog at the top of the page), or contact Learning and Education at www.hr.upenn.edu/learning or (215) 898-3400.

Brown Bag Matinee–Fish! and Fish! Tales; March 7; noon to 1 p.m.; free. Back by popular demand, we’re re-running Fish! and Fish! Tales as part of our Brown Bag Matinee series. Fish! is a tool to help you lead people toward creating an environment in which people are truly connected to their work, to their colleagues, and to their customers. 

Managing Conflict in a Diverse Environment; March 8; 9 a.m. to noon; free. Cultural differences guarantee a certain vibrancy in any community. They also suggest that there will be some cultural collisions along the way. The conflict, if handled well, can contribute to the growth and vitality of a community. Topics covered will include the value of cultural diversity, common sources of misunderstanding, strategies for addressing conflict, and techniques to improve cross-cultural communications.

Career Focus Brown Bag–Closing the Gap; March 21; noon to 1 p.m.; free. The “gap” refers to the communication gap that often occurs because of differences in the ways men and women communicate. Recognizing and understanding these differences will make for more effective communication in the work place.

Career & Life Strategies for Baby Boomers

The “Career and Life Strategies for Baby Boomers” series was so successful when we ran it last year that we’re doing it again!  If you missed these sessions the first time around, here’s your second chance.  And even if you did attend last year, you may want to take another look because several NEW topics have been added this year.  “Career and Life Strategies for Baby Boomers” includes monthly lunchtime sessions on topics generally relevant to Penn staff within 2-10 years of retirement. Some topics may appeal to you more than others, so you can pick and choose which sessions you want to attend.  All sessions are free; however, registration is required.  For more information or to register, visit the online Course Catalog at www.hr.upenn.edu (click on Course Catalog at the top of the page) or call (215) 898-3400.

More on Money Matters; March 28; noon to 1:30 p.m.; free. Income from Social Security will be an important source of revenue for you in retirement. When should you start to draw your social security payments?  What about taxes?  How will working after retirement affect your payments?  A representative from the Social Security Administration will speak to these and other issues and provide important information for your pre-retirement financial planning.

Baby Prep 101: Preparing for Baby

If you’re planning to start a family or add to your existing family, please join us for the Spring 2007 health series Baby Prep 101: Preparing for a New Baby in Your Life. Experts from Penn and UPHS will present helpful information and field your questions at these free lunchtime sessions.  For information or to pre-register, visit www.hr.upenn.edu/quality/workshop.asp, or contact Human Resources at (215) 898-5116 or suzsmith@hr.upenn.edu.

Exercise and Pregnancy; March 7; noon to 1 p.m.; free. No doubt about it, exercise is a big plus for both you and your baby (if complications don't limit your ability to exercise throughout your pregnancy). Although you may not feel like running a marathon, most women benefit greatly from exercising throughout their pregnancies. Exercising during your pregnancy can make you feel better, reduce constipation, relieve backaches, help you sleep better, assist you in regaining your pre-pregnancy body, and most importantly, prepare you and your body for birth. Emphasis will be on understanding how and when to exercise while pregnant and the precautions that should be taken.

—Division of Human Resources

Almanac - February 27, 2007, Volume 53, No. 24