A-Z Index

October 2021 | HR Monthly Bulletin

Please welcome our new bearcats!

Taylor Ashford 

Assistant Transfer Specialist

Wick Cunningham

Assistant Cross Country & Track Coach

Jennifer Downing
Transitional Kindergarten Instructor
Horace Mann Laboratory School

Carissa Everhart
Staff Nurse/RN
Wellness Services

Duane Havard
Director of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving
Alumni Relations

David Leipold
Employee Well-being Coordinator
Human Resources

Carmen Long
Custodial Services

Tess Lovig
Annual Giving/Alumni Relations Specialist
Alumni Relations

Cameron Morrison
Admissions Representative

Casey Wenstrand
Career Services Specialist
Career Services

Employee Anniversaries

Congratulations to these employees for their milestone years of service in October 2021!

25 Years

Jared Groomer Carpenter Maintenance

20 Years

David McClintock Electrician Maintenance

15 Years

Sherry Gutzmer Custodian Custodial Services
Andrew Hefner Custodian Custodial Services
Rex Welch HVAC Technician Maintenance

10 Years

Carma Kinman Alumni & Constituent Relations Specialist Alumni Relations

5 Years

Ashley Weybrew Custodian Custodial Services

Policy & Required Training Updates

Policy updates

New Missouri law requires employers to provide leave to victims of domestic or sexual violence

Gov. Parson recently signed the Victims of Economic Safety and Security Act (VESSA) into law, which requires employers with 20 or more employees to provide unpaid leave to employees whose family or household member is a victim of sexual or domestic violence.

Employees should provide at least 48 hours advance notice, unless providing such notice is not practical. Up to two weeks of unpaid leave is provided to any employee seeking medical attention, counseling, victim services, legal assistance, safety planning or relocation during any 12-month period. Documentation may be required. The employee’s group health insurance will be maintained while on leave.

Mandatory training

Northwest is again partnering with Vector SafeColleges to provide training related to a variety of topics throughout the 2021-2022 academic year.

Additional Trainings and Development Opportunities

Career Pathing 

Staff may register for Career Pathing opportunities on the Human Resources website.


Student Employment

Student Employment Satisfaction Surveys will be distributed the second week of November. All student employees and supervisors will receive an email with the survey information. Student employees should be compensated for their time to complete the survey. We ask that you please encourage your student employees to participate.

Opportunities to Get Involved

Northwest affinity groups

Affinity groups are designed to create safe spaces for members to share and process experiences. As allies, our affinity group also allows participants the opportunity to identify ways in which we can appropriately use our privilege to bring about social change. For more information, visit Northwest affinity groups.

Employee Resource Groups

Northwest Staff Council

Northwest Staff Council represents a unified voice for all Northwest staff. To learn about the staff, upcoming events, or if you have any concerns, visit Northwest Staff Council.

Employee recognition

The Employee and Recognition Committee of Staff Council has initiated the use of Kudoboard! This is a way for any employee to give thanks to colleagues who have gone above and beyond and deserve recognition. Each month Staff Council representatives will send links from the previous month’s Kudoboard, so you can view all of the kudos and see if you received a shout-out. We encourage everyone to use this frequently as a way to say thanks to our coworkers who are working so hard.

You can now access the Kudoboard at myNorthwest. To view October's Kudoboard and to submit a shout-out for November, visit

Mental Health and Wellness Resources

The Office of Human Resources highlights the following resources that employees may use as necessary. Mindful by BlueKC, the EAP and TAO are completely confidential:

Mindful by BlueKC

Mindful by BlueKC is a behavioral health initiative dedicated to reducing stigma around behavioral health in our communities while making care accessible and affordable for members. Mindful by Blue KC is a commitment to covering the health needs of the whole person and comes to life as a set of tools and resources to address stress, depression, anxiety, substance use and more. This ensures that members can access and afford the behavioral healthcare they need.


Mindful Advocates are available 24/7 and are licensed behavioral health clinicians who match members to providers and guide care plans. Mindful Advocates may be contacted at 833.302.6463. For more information, visit Mindful by BlueKC initiative.

Blue KC Virtual Care App

If you download the Blue KC Virtual Care app, you will have affordable access to virtual behavioral health care. You can schedule a visit with a board-certified behavior health therapist right from your smartphone tablet or computer. 

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

All Northwest employees are eligible to use Ability Assist Counseling Services sponsored by The Hartford. Read about the many benefits this program provides »

TAO-Therapy Assistance Online

This is a private online library of behavioral health resources. This is a free and confidential resource available to faculty and staff as well as students. For more information, visit TAO-Therapy Assistance Online

Wellness Services is offering a variety of online programing. Follow Wellness Services on Twitter and Instagram at @nw_wellness for updates.

New Directions resource program center

The center provides reliable information about a variety of mental and behavioral health topics. For more information, visit New Directions Health Resources.

For information about a specific substance use, visit New Directions Substance Use Disorders Center, or call the Substance Use Disorder Hotline at 877.326.2458.

If you have any questions, please email

Benefits and Wellness Information

Open enrollment

The open enrollment period for employees will close Oct 29. If you are not making changes, no forms are needed for medical, dental, vision or supplemental life insurance. If you are making changes, all forms must be received by 5 p.m. Friday, Oct 29. For complete details about open enrollment, click here

The Missouri Cafeteria Plan open enrollment period will end Dec 1. Participants must re-enroll every year. If you currently participate or want to enroll, visit and use employer code MO.

New Optum Financial website

Optum Financial is excited to bring you more value and choice as we launch enhancements to the solutions, online experience, and resources you use today. 

As of Oct. 22, employees may access their new account at the Optum Financial website. Employees also should have received a new card by mail. If you have not received your card or if you have questions about accessing your line account, email Optum Financial client services at

For complete details about this transition, visit the Transition Resource Center.

MOSERS Ready to Retire fall 2021 webinar

Employees who are within five years of retirement eligibility are invited to attend a Ready to Retire webinar.

MOSERS educational webinar

MOSERS is offering an educational webinar for employees who are new to state employment. This is a great opportunity to start learning about the employee retirement plan administered by MOSERS. To accommodate different work schedules, both day and an evening sessions are available.

Dependent Care Flexible Savings Account

Effective immediately, you may newly enroll or increase your existing election for the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through the Missouri State Employees’ Cafeteria Plan (MoCafe). The IRS increased the limit for the 2021 plan year from $5,000 to $10,500. If you are married and file separate tax returns, that limit is increased from $2,500 to $5,250.

We anticipate at this time that the annual maximum will revert back to $5,000 for the 2022 plan year. This is your opportunity to take advantage of extra tax savings for the 2021 plan year.

Please keep in mind that this change is prospective only. You cannot file claims for expenses that have already been incurred prior to this change going into effect. So set aside money for expenses that will be incurred after your election is approved. And, remember you need to incur these expenses on or before March 15, 2022, and file your claims on or before April 15, 2022, to be reimbursed. If the funds are not used, the funds are forfeited.

Enroll or modify your existing enrollment by completing a 2021 Dependent Care Special Election form (available under the Resources tab on the MoCafe website, The election change will become effective on the first of the month, after approval of the request.

For more information, contact the Office of Human Resources.

MO Deferred Compensation 

The MO Deferred Compensation team of education specialists offer individual appointments via web or phone and live webinars. If you have questions about your MO Deferred Compensation account or want to learn more about saving for retirement, visit MO Deferred Compensation Event Registration

Mindful by BlueKC

Mindful by BlueKC is a behavioral health initiative dedicated to reducing stigma around behavioral health in our communities while making care accessible and affordable for members. Mindful by Blue KC is a commitment to covering the health needs of the whole person and comes to life as a set of tools and resources to address stress, depression, anxiety, substance use and more. This ensures members can access and afford the behavioral healthcare they need.

Mindful Advocates are available 24/7 and are licensed behavioral health clinicians who match members to providers and guide care plans. Mindful Advocates may be contacted at 833.302.6463. For more information, visit Mindful by BlueKC initiative.

MyBlueKC mobile app available for download today

The MyBlueKC app makes it easy to manage your Blue KC coverage - no matter where you are. The app helps you understand your healthcare plan and how it works. The app provides a customized experience based on your plan and coverage and includes the following benefits:

If you have already registered your account on the website, you may use the same login for the app. For additional information, visit MyBlueKC Mobile App.

A Healthier You (AHY)

A Healthier You is Blue KC's health and wellness program focused on achieving outcomes by improving the health of members. AHY offers helpful tools and resources as well as a personalized empowerment portal and mobile experience, uniquely designed to learn more about each member and provide the appropriate support, incentives and interventions for the members health journey. Members also may earn points for completing health actions and can potentially win digital gift cards to retailers such as Amazon, Target and Walmart.

For information about logging in to your AHY portal, visit Accessing A Healthier You. To learn how to earn points and be entered into the gift card sweepstakes, visit Live well, earn points, & reap the rewards

Blue365 deals

Blue365 is a free health and wellness discount program offered to Blue KC members for year-round discounts on gym memberships, fitness gear, healthy eating options and more. To register and browse available discounts, log in to your portal and select Health Programs in the Health & Wellness menu. For more information, visit Join Blue365® and start saving today!.

Blue KC Virtual Care app

If you download the Blue KC Virtual Care app, you will have affordable access to 24/7 health care. You can schedule a visit with a board-certified doctor or behavior health therapist right from your smartphone tablet or computer. Blue KC Virtual Care is convenient for everyday medical and behavioral healthcare. 

Delta Dental virtual visits

Delta Dental has partnered with to provide 24/7 access to a dentist, 365 days a year. dentists provide initial consultation services and can write prescriptions when appropriate. Members will be referred to a Delta Dental network dentist for definitive diagnosis and treatment. For more information, visit Delta Dental - Virtual Visit.

Campus recreation offerings 

The Foster Fitness Center, the Student Recreation Center and the Hughes Fieldhouse walking track are free for all employees and spouses to use. Employees and spouses must complete the assumption of risk and waiver of liability form on CatPAWS in advance of using the Foster Fitness Center. For more information, visit Fees & Memberships.  

The Mozingo Outdoor Education and Recreation Area (MOERA) is located nine miles east of Northwest at Mozingo Lake Recreation Park. It offers a variety of outdoor programs, including a high ropes challenge course with a Carolina climbing wall, Alpine obstacle tower and TDC team-building course as well as a shotgun range and canoes and kayaks on the lake. Contact Chase Hall at or 660.562.1759 for information and reservations. 

For a complete listing of campus recreations hours of operation, click here

Mosaic offerings

Mosaic Medical Center-Maryville offers a personalized weight management program called Healthy Lifestyles. The program is designed to help people of all ages and sizes achieve an improved quality of life through medical nutritional counseling, teaching and lifestyle changes. For additional information about the program, visit Healthy Lifestyles: Personalized Weight Management Program.

Health Risk Assessment & Open Enrollment

Health Risk Assessments

The on campus biometric screening event is now complete. If you were unable to attend, you can also complete the Physician Screening Form and fax directly to Blue Cross Blue Shield. The online health risk assessment is available to be completed on your A Healthier You portal through Nov 26. 

Northwest employees and spouses covered by the health insurance plan who choose not to participate in the Health Risk Assessments will experience a premium differential of $20 per month for health insurance starting in January 2022 (premium differential will begin on your December 2021 paycheck). For employees and spouses, that is $20 each for a total of $40.

For more information about the Health Risk Assessment, contact the Office of Human Resources at 660.562.1127.

Employee Appreciation Football Game

Save the date on Saturday, Nov. 13, for the All-Employee Appreciation Football Game, hosted by the Office of Human Resources and Bearcat Athletics. The pre-game reception will be at the Hughes Fieldhouse from 11 a.m. to noon. More details are coming soon.


Employee Discounts

State Employee Discount

The State Employee Discount Website provides Missouri State Employees and Retirees with opportunities to purchase deeply discounted tickets for events the whole family can enjoy. In addition to attractions and entertainment, the website offers year-round savings for education, products, services and technology.  

To learn more information on other products and services available, visit State of Missouri Employee Discount website.


View T-Mobile's perks for Northwest Missouri State employees »

Home Chef

Home Chef is recognizing our nation’s educators and school support personnel with a 50 percent discount on their first scheduled Home Chef meal kit and a $10 discount on five subsequent deliveries. Simply use code EDU50 at checkout to begin receiving your education discount.

Get Started with Home Chef

Home Chef makes home cooking simple. Their fresh, weekly meal kits are customized to your liking and delivered straight to your doorstep. Minimize your trips to the grocery store and distress your evenings with delicious, pre-planned meals starting at just $6.99 per serving. Here’s how it works:

Your education discount is available at // and, if you are already a customer, you can verify with on the payment page of your account to begin receiving 10 percent off all future orders.


COVID-19 vaccine

The Wellness Center has the Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines. Walk in between 2 and 3 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, or call 660.562.1348 for an appointment.

Paperless billing

Would you like to sign up for paperless billing? We can email your billing statement to the email address of your preference. You can sign up at any time by completing the Faculty/Staff email billing address under Personal Information in your CatPAWS account, or complete the information at

Reminder: Bearcat Food Pantry

The mission of the Bearcat Food Pantry is to provide a source of food and necessities for Northwest students and employees experiencing food insecurity and hunger. The food pantry is located in the J.W. Jones Student Union and is accessible from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Northwest accepts food donations for the pantry at the Student Engagement Center and the Office of Student Affairs located on the second floor of the Student Union. For a list of most needed items, visit Bearcat Food Pantry. Monetary donations to support the food pantry should be directed to the Northwest Foundation and are tax-deductible.

We Gotchya!

We Gotchya! is supplying feminine products in high-traffic ladies rooms on campus. For more information about We Gotchya! visit

Friends of International Students

Friends of International Students (FIS) is a community-based organization established to match interested area individuals and families (friends) with international students at Northwest. The program goals are to provide support to the students as they become adjusted to their new home and to promote friendship and understanding between people of different nationalities.

FIS is recruiting more friends to connect with international students. Friends are asked to make contact with assigned students at least once a month during their year-long commitment to the program. Contact can take many forms, including family dinners, attending sporting events, pumpkin carving and various other activities involving two-way cultural tradition sharing. For more information or to apply, contact board members at or visit

Does your department need office supplies?

Please check the “How to Purchase Office Supplies” guide. Various binders, hanging file folders and other office supplies are available at no cost to departments at Central Receiving.

Purchase Requisition Training Videos

The Purchasing Department has created instructional videos explaining how to create a purchase requisition and a Central Stores purchase requisition in Banner/INB. The videos are available in MyNorthwest - Employment Resources

Workstation Safety Guidelines

It is important for employees to apply good ergonomic practices. To view a complete list of ergonomic suggestions, visit Workstation safety guideline.

Missouri State Emergency Management

The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency will be conducting an exercise at the Hughes Fieldhouse and in lot 62 (south of the building) on October 20 and 21, 2021.

Reminder: Homecoming parade road closures

University Police reminds the campus community that it closes select roads during the Homecoming parade to ensure the safety of all visitors and participants. This year’s Homecoming parade begins at 9 a.m.

University Police will begin blocking off lots at 6:30 a.m. Saturday. Note the following road closures in conjunction with the parade:

Tailgating lots will open immediately after the parade. For a map of the parade route, click here.

Football parking

Football game parking lot closure

University Police reminds the campus community that the following lots are reserved for all home football games from 6 a.m. to midnight.

All remaining vehicles will be subject to ticketing and/or towing at the owner's expense.

View a map of parking lot locations on the Northwest campus »

Lot 62 has 17 reserved spots for RV tailgating. Those who have reserved a spot have access starting at 6:30 p.m. the day before home games until noon of the following day (special hours occur during Homecoming). All parking lots that allow tailgating open five hours prior to game time and immediately after the Homecoming parade.  

Visit for additional tailgating information.