A-Z Index

October 2023 | HR Monthly Bulletin

Annual open enrollment

The annual open enrollment period will begin Wednesday, Nov. 1, and end Friday, Nov. 17. Complete details about open enrollment will be emailed to all employees on Nov. 1.

Welcome our new Bearcats!


David Cuenca
Technology Specialist
Office of Information Technology

Jacob Dudley
Assistant Library Director -
Access Services
B.D. Owens Library


Ryan Griesinger
Graphic Designer
Office of University Marketing
& Communication



Jaran Richman
Assistant Men's Basketball Coach
Department of Athletics

Suzanne Von Behren
Wellness Educator
Wellness Services



Employee Anniversaries

Congratulations to these employees for their milestone years of service
in October 2023!


John Ogle Recycling Center Technician Facility Services


Mary Cline Custodian Facility Services
Tye Parsons Grants Coordinator College of Arts & Sciences


Robert Lager Plant Operator Facility Services

Upcoming Events

Diversity and Inclusion Events

November is Native American Heritage Month. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion is sponsoring the following events:

C.A.L.M. in Crisis training

While counseling services are key to helping support students with mental health needs, our campus community plays a critical role in overall student wellness. Because of the increasing prevalence of mental health struggles, student success is being increasingly affected. The purpose of C.A.L.M. in Crisis is to build skills across our campus community for students and employees. The training focuses on improving awareness of the risk factors and warning signs for suicide, how to recognize and respond when they occur, when and how to refer to available resources, ways in which to offer hope and the importance of managing personal wellness throughout the process. Participation in the training will help align our various roles on campus to bring evidence-based interventions to our ongoing support of student well-being.

The training includes an approximate one-hour Canvas-based Training Camp as well as a 2.5-hour, in-person training. Access to Training Camp will be provided two weeks before the in-person training.

To register, click here.

Mandatory Training

Upcoming Mandatory Training Deadlines

Northwest is using Vector/Safe Colleges to offer training courses online for your convenience. Below are upcoming mandatory trainings and deadlines:

Personal and Professional Development Opportunities

Upcoming Career Pathing Sessions

Click here to register for an upcoming Career Pathing session. All sessions are 60 minutes in the Student Union Boardroom.

The Role of Self-Care in Professional Productivity and Success

Dr. Melissa Van Buren, Employee Wellness Coordinator
Northwest Missouri State University
Physician, Nutritionist, Northwest Naturopathy, LLC

Thursday, Nov. 2, at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. or 4 p.m.

Hippocrates said, “Physician heal thyself.” This well-known quote is a powerful statement all of us need to embrace to live healthy, happy, balanced and productive lives. In this presentation and breakout session, Dr. Van Buren will teach on the application of self-care topics, including nutrition, sleep hygiene, immune support, stress management, adrenal support, relationship health and setting work, school or home boundaries to create a balanced, sustainably healthy life.

During this career pathing session, both staff and students will:

Build a Momentum Mindset®: How To Be More Adaptable, Resilient and Ready For What’s Next in a Rapidly-Changing World That Never Slows Down

Kim Becking, Professional Speaker
Momentum Motivation, LLC

Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. or 4 p.m.

Change, uncertainty and disruption are guaranteed – especially now. But growth and progress are not. How you deal with this ever-changing uncertain world is completely up to you. You have a choice. You can stay stuck or develop a Momentum Mindset® so that you can be more adaptable, resilient and ready for what’s next. 

Kim shares her stories of resilience in life and business with healthy doses of vulnerability, humor and motivation and will share how to use resilience to not only navigate and cope during change and uncertainty but build a Momentum Mindset where you develop the resilience needed to push past limited thinking and use challenges, change and uncertainty as the fuel needed to propel you forward – stronger and better than ever – turning fear into fuel, obstacles into opportunity and resistance into buy-in.   

Leave this program equipped with the tools you need to transform your mindset to think differently, become more adaptable, rock change and challenges and create the everyday resilience required in this rapidly changing world to reduce stress and ignite Unstoppable Momentum no matter what.

Leave this program knowing how to:

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.

Association of Black Employees Logo

Contact Giselle Greenidge 


Contact Elyssa Ford 

ALLY Affinity Group Logo




Employee resource groups

These employee-led groups aim to foster a diverse, inclusive workplace. Contact each group individually. 

Diversity Groups

Campus Parking

Football game parking lot closures

The purpose of closing parking lots during football games is to provide accessible parking and augment institutional costs associated with the program. Lot 59 (adjacent to Bearcat Stadium) and Lot 2 (adjacent to the Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building) are closed at 6 a.m. on game days. Lot 25 (the lower lot adjacent to the Administration Building) is periodically reserved for visitor tailgating on game days. Unauthorized vehicles will be towed from all lots at 6 a.m. 

Lot 62 has 17 reserved spots for RV tailgating. Individuals who have reserved parking spaces have access, starting at 6:30 p.m. the day before home games until noon on the day after home games. All parking lots that allow tailgating are open five hours prior to game time.

Click here for additional tailgating information.

Staff Council

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

Staff Council encourages everyone to complete the Employee Engagement Survey to have their voice heard.

Employee Engagement Action Tracker

Employee Engagement Survey 

Northwest’s Employee Engagement Survey is now open through Monday, Oct. 30. The survey is administered through a third-party vendor, Workforce Science Associates. Please watch for an email from Workforce Science Associates ( 

If you cannot locate the email or delete it, type into the search box on the upper right side of your message window and click “All Outlook Items” in the dropdown menu, or use the search box at the top of your Outlook window depending on the version you are running.

For assistance with locating the email, contact the Northwest Help Desk at or 660.562.1634.

Well-being and perks:

Health care:


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.

Family Guidance partnership to assist employees

The University has established a partnership with Family Guidance Center to provide a crisis counselor on site. Holly McMillen, a certified licensed professional counselor, is available Monday through Friday to respond to any crisis or resource needs.

This service is confidential. Contact Holly directly to schedule an appointment at or 660.853.8196.

For more information, contact the Office of Human Resources at 660.562.1127.

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 health care 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.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

All Northwest employees are eligible to use Ability Assist Counseling Services sponsored by The Hartford. Click here to read about the benefits this program offers.

TAO-Therapy Assistance Online

This is a private online library of behavioral health resources. It is a free and confidential resource available to Northwest employees and 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 questions, email

Benefits & Wellness Information

Employee Wellness

Flu shots available through Wellness Services

Employees can still receive a flu shot at Wellness Services. Call Wellness Services at 660.562.1348 to schedule.

3-Part Mental Health Support Series

Northwest continues its three-part series on Mental Health Support on the new Employee Wellness website. The series includes information and resources on the topics of sleep, relationship health and financial wellness. This series will remain available on the Employee Wellness Website through the end of the calendar 2023 year.

Immune support

A new learning module titled, “Immune Support,” will be added to the Employee Wellness website this week. The information is meant to support you with palliative care home remedy ideas as we head into cold/flu season.

Upcoming holiday wellness challenge

Based on employee feedback, we will be trying a new type of holiday wellness challenge this year. While we have previously organized a challenge based on maintaining or losing weight during the holidays, this year's challenge will measure overall body composition (muscle mass versus fat mass, with the competition based on body fat percentage). Stay tuned for more information. This challenge will run from the Thanksgiving week break through early January.

Upcoming holiday fitness challenge (via MoveSpring)

A new 6-week fitness challenge, titled “Island Oasis” and using the MoveSpring App, will begin the week of Thanksgiving break and run through the holidays. While encouraging movement (steps and any other converted physical activity), this challenge will emphasize mindfulness and meditation as we move through the bustling holiday season together. Stay tuned for more information. 

Blue KC Online member guide 

Now you can access your member guide online. Click here and scan the QR code to get instant access to your member guide all year long.

Benefits Resource Center

USI's Benefits Resource Center is a free resource service for employees and encourages you to reach out for any information, questions or help with insurance or benefits.

Click this link to download a flyer with more details and contact information

BlueKC SmartShopper

BlueKC is partnering with Sapphire Digital to offer SmartShopper, an incentive platform that can save members money on health care expenses every time they select a reward-eligible, lower-cost care for qualifying procedures such as MRIs, colonoscopies or blood work. 

SmartShopper is embedded within the provider finder and cost estimator tools in your portal. Click here to watch a short video about SmartShopper.

MOSERS educational programs

MOSERS offers educational programs to help members learn information about their benefits as they progress through their career and experience different life events along the way. 

Newer Employees and MOSERS Webinars: Start learning about the state benefits administered by MOSERS.

Mid-Career Webinar: Learn how different career and life events may affect your pension benefit.

Ready to Retire Sessions: Learn about the retirement process and how different decisions may impact your pension benefit.

Stay up to date and visit frequently for more information, including schedules and how to register. 

MOSERS termination and reemployment rules

For employees in a MOSERS eligible position and nearing retirement, keep in mind the termination and reemployment rules. Those rules state that before receiving a benefit payment from MOSERS, IRS rules require a “bona fide termination” of a member’s employment. For purposes of MOSERS Board Rules, a "bona fide termination" occurs when:

For more information, please see MOSERS' FAQs on termination and reemployment rules and its termination and reemployment rules flyer.

Please note, if an employee does not have a bona fide separation of service, their retirement will be null and void, meaning they will not receive their pension payments.

MO Deferred Comp Retirement Plan

The MO Deferred Comp plan is a supplemental retirement savings option available to employees. Visit to learn more about the plan, register for upcoming education sessions or find financial planning options.

MyBlueKC mobile app includes virtual care

Blue KC offers members digital tools to allow quick access to health insurance plan information to support them along their health journey.

Today, many members enjoy the convenience of Blue KC Virtual Care from their mobile device or laptop computer. Virtual care offers a fast, simple way to see a doctor 24/7 for sick care or to make an appointment with a behavioral health provider.

The Blue KC Virtual Care has moved from its own, standalone app to the MyBlueKC mobile app. This change means virtual care is now a feature in an app that members frequently use. With just a few taps, members can have a video visit with a doctor as well as get benefit information, view claims, download digital ID cards, and connect to health and wellness programs – all in one place. Make sure you have updated to the latest version of the MyBlueKC mobile app through your device settings for the virtual care functionality.

Click here for instructions on how to get the MyBlueKC app.

Beware of financial planning emails

Some employees have received emails from financial planning companies implying they are partnered with MOSERS. The content of the emails suggests that members must pay for a meeting with a retirement counselor and that they can learn how to increase their retirement savings. This is inaccurate. MOSERS has not authorized any outside financial planners to advise our members on their MOSERS benefits. 

As a reminder, the services offered through MOSERS and MO Deferred Comp are provided to MOSERS members at no cost. In regard to increasing their retirement savings, MOSERS members have the ability to meet with MO Deferred Comp financial education professionals to help make savings decisions as they prepare for retirement.

Northwest advises all MOSERS members to stay vigilant and double-check the addresses of email senders before clicking any links. 

A Healthier You (AHY)

The A Healthier You program gives you convenient online and mobile access to wellness tools that you can use to live your healthiest life. Plus, you’ll earn points that can be redeemed for chances to win gift cards to some popular retailers. For more information about the program, click here.

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 and Wellness menu. For more information about the program, click here.

Campus recreation offerings 

The Foster Fitness Center, Student Recreation Center and 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. Take a tour of the Foster Fitness Center, find hours and amenities on the website

The Hughes Fieldhouse walking track is available for employee use, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Employees should enter through the south doors, and parking is available in the south lots. Kids are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult at all times while on the track. Click here to view a listing of when the walking track is not available.

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.

Employee Discounts

Discounted Bearcat football tickets

Northwest employees are eligible for discounted single-game football tickets during the 2023 season. This discount is applicable to any Northwest employee and immediate family members for up to six tickets per home game when purchased prior to game day.

The discounted ticket rate is available for seating in two sections at Bearcat Stadium:

Discounted employee tickets must be purchased online no later than 11:59 p.m. on the day prior to home games. Discounted employee tickets will not be sold on game days. 

How to purchase discounted tickets

Click here to purchase game tickets and select the game you want to attend.

To apply the employee discount, scroll down on the web page and click “Have a passcode?” Enter your 919 number to unlock the employee ticket discount and purchase up to six tickets per game.

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 already are a customer, you can verify with on the payment page of your account to begin receiving 10 percent off all future orders.


Northwest cards

The Office of Human Resources has generic Northwest cards for everyone to use as needed to show recognition and appreciation for other employees. These can also be used during the holiday season. Visit the Office of Human Resources on the first floor of the Administration Building to pick up some cards.

Paperless billing

All Northwest employees now receive an e-bill to their University email, rather than a mailed paper bill. To opt out of an e-bill, complete the Paperless Billing Opt-Out form in MyNorthwest under Employee Resources -> Finance & Administration -> Billing.

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 Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.; Thursday, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. to noon.

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.

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 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?

Visit 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

Purchasing 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, Employee Resources - Finance

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.