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HR Bulletin | November 2020

Daylight Savings Time

Don’t forget to fall back! Daylight savings time ends at 2 a.m. on November 1, 2020.

Tips from the Training Corner

Our development team is excited to introduce a new staple in your monthly HR Bulletin read:

Tips from the Training Corner!

This ‘corner’ will be dedicated to highlighting training opportunities available to you outside of our course calendar. We plan to showcase training available through campus partners and at your fingertips, like LinkedIn Learning! In the Training Corner’s first iteration, we invite you to learn about more ways to cope with the challenging year we’re enduring.

At Risk Training

At Risk is an online, self-paced training for faculty, staff, and students that will help you recognize signs of distress and ways to approach students to offer support and resources.

Coping with Uncertainty: Utilizing Mindfulness and Self-Care During a Pandemic (Wed., Nov. 4)

This webinar focuses on how the pandemic is a collective trauma/crisis, and how it is important to recognize the impact on our mental health. Topics will include a discussion of what can and cannot be controlled, an overview of mindfulness with guided practice, self-care, and resilience.

Supporting Your Well-Being During Times of Change and Uncertainty

In this LinkedIn learning path, you can gain immediately applicable skills to support your well-being during times of change and uncertainty. Course topics include practicing mindfulness and meditation; managing anxiety, depression, and stress; calming your mind; and restoring your body. A few courses in the learning path we’d like to point out:

Equality U!

Equality University: Texas State Student Diversity and Inclusion Conference | Saturday, November 14, 2020 | 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Zoom

We’re excited to help cross-promote a virtual learning and development opportunity brought to you by the department of Institutional Inclusive Excellence – Student Initiatives: Equality University (Equality U).

Equality U is a student educational co-curricular conference that provides the opportunity to learn new skills and explore ideas on how to create and engage in positive and constructive dialogue on various topics like race, sexual orientation, gender, disability, social class, among others. Featuring national speakers, like keynote speaker Dr. Bettina Love, this conference will help participants discover ways to create better connections in our diverse communities.


While this conference is a student educational co-curricular program, staff and faculty and other community members are welcome to register and attend. (There is no cost associated to attend. Attendance will not count as work time).


Please note that all conference participants must register to attend. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration closes November 11, 2020 at 5 p.m..

For more information

Visit the official Equality U website for more details about this conference! For questions, please contact the Office of Institutional Inclusive Excellence.

Flu Shot Reminders

Don’t delay! It takes about 2 weeks for a flu vaccine to start protecting you. The CDC recommends that people older than 6 months get a yearly flu shot. Flu shots are covered at no cost to you for in-network providers with your insurance through TXST! Review HealthSelect Flu Season Flyer for some helpful tips to review this flu season.

For help finding a location:

HealthSelect of Texas (Blue Cross Blue Shield)

800.252.8039 | Monday–Friday | 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.Saturday | 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. CT.

Community First Health Plans participants:

877.698.7032 | Monday–Friday | 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Scott and White Care Plans participants:

800.321.7947 | Monday–Friday | 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. CT.

HealthSelect participants can also use their HealthSelect RX benefits to receive a flu shot at a participating in-network pharmacy. Call 855.828.9834 for more information on your prescription benefits.

For questions about your benefits coverage, email the HR benefits team.

TRS Annual Statements Coming Soon!

TRS has begun preparing annual retirement statements for all active TRS members. These will be mailed out in batches throughout October and November. All statements should be mailed by December 1, 2020. Please review your statement carefully when you receive it to ensure it is correct. As a reminder, your salary is being reported from your September 1 paycheck through your August 1 paycheck each year, so it won’t match up to your W-2.

If you have moved recently, you can complete the Change of Address Notification and submit to TRS directly. You can view other helpful information regarding your TRS benefits by logging in to your myTRS account.

New HR Video Resources Library!

OD & Communications is excited to launch a new HR video resources library! This new website houses categorized and easily digestible videos that cover HR news and announcements.


COVID-19 HR UPDATES | Watch subject matter experts discuss the pandemic’s impact on HR processes including your benefits, development opportunities, and wellness resources.

TUTORIALS | Learn tips and tricks that will help you succeed as an employee, such as how to transition to virtual instruction!

EMPLOYEE EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT VIDEOS NEW! | Explore how you can further your education through our multiple employee educational support programs!


Our new video resources web library will be updated regularly as we continue to create and implement videos within our digital communications world. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact the ODC team at 5.7899

Reducing Stress & Anxiety

By: Katelin Bailey, Meagan Gardner, and Emily Lowry WellCats Group Exercise Instructors and Doctor of Physical Therapy Students

There is a lot going on in the world over which we do not have control. However, there are things that we can do to help combat the effect that it has on us. There are many ways to do this, both large and small alterations to add to your routine to help reduce stress and anxiety.


Deep breathing: can help to slow your heart rate and create a relaxation response.

Reduce your caffeine intake: caffeine is a stimulant and may increase anxiety. Consider reducing your caffeine intake if you feel it is making you “ jittery” or “anxious”.

Sleep: getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night can help to reduce anxiety and stress. It can also help to improve energy levels and productivity throughout your day.

Listen to soothing music: a quick way to help lower blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormone production is to listen to soothing music. Try listening to slow instrumentals or nature sounds for a calming effect.


Exercise: can help to reduce stress hormone production, improve sleep quality, and improve self-confidence. Additionally, finding an exercise routine that you enjoy can help further improve your overall mood.

Spending time with friends and family: social support can be very important throughout stressful times. Making time to chat with loved ones can help remind you of your self-worth and sense of belonging throughout hard times.

Journaling: acknowledging your stressors and writing them down can help to eliminate the negative impact they are having on your life. Journaling requires some self-reflection and can be used to bring a positive mindset to your life.

Proper nutrition: getting the proper amounts of vitamins and nutrients from your food can have a positive impact on your daily mood. Try adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet.

Join us in welcoming our new employee Bobcats!

Employees hired between September 1 - September 30

ABDALHADI MOHAMMED, Senior Lab Services Technician, Department of Physics

AMANDA GUAJARDO, Administrative Assistant III, Department of Communication Studies

ANDREW RICHARDS, User Services Consultant II, Managed Services

CHERYL NICKELL, Counseling Specialist, Counseling Center

DEIDRA JOHNSON, Assistant Coach Women’s Basketball

DYLAN JOHNSON, Assistant Coach, Men’s Basketball

EDGAR GOMEZ, Grant Specialist, LBJ Institute for STEM Education & Research

GEORGE CONTRERAS, CustodianHousing and Residential Life

JACOB GERMANN, New Student Orientation Coordinator, Office of Undergraduate Admissions

LAUREN MECKEL, Staff Specialist, Department of Anthropology

SANDRA MARTINEZ, ManagerID, Services

SUNSHINE CITKO, Grant Specialist, Texas School Safety Center

TAMERIKA BROWN, New Student Orientation Coordinator, Office of Undergraduate Admissions

VICTORIA VALDES, Residence Hall Director, Housing and Residential Life

WALTER HORTON, Program Staff, South Texas Doctoral Bridge Program

We remind all new staff employees hired during the past month that N.E.W. is designed to provide useful information to new staff regarding the resources, benefits, and opportunities associated with employment at Texas State University. For more info and to connect with other new bobcats access the official new employee website.

Friday, November 13, 2020

In accordance with CDC guidelines of social distancing, monthly N.E.W. II sessions will be held virtually via Zoom from 8:30 – 11:00 a.m. Visit our updated N.E.W. II website for more information.

Contact the Office of Human Resources with questions at or call 5.7899.

Bobcats On The Move

Congratulations to the following employees who were promoted or reclassified. Employees promoted or reclassified between September 1 - September 30

AMA AMEYAW, Promoted to Accountant III, Accounting Office

ANDREW FLYNN, Promoted to Corporal, University Police

KAROL HOLMAN, Promoted to Assistant Director, Student Health Center

ENRIQUE LLANES, Promoted to Controls Technician, Utilitiy Operations

VINCENT MORTON, Promoted to Associate VP of Student Affairs, Dean of Students

FELISHA NAUERT, Promoted to Training Specialist, Texas School Safety Center

NEIL BASCOS, Promoted to Head Operator, Utility Operations

JANET BELTRAN, Promoted to Parking Garage Manager, Transportation Services

ANGELA BUESS, Promoted to Police Officer, University Police

NINA CAMACHO, Promoted to Administrative Assistant III, McCoy College of Business

DAVID FLORES, Promoted to Head Operator, Utility Operations

TRAVIS TALBOT, Promoted to Corporal, University Police

HILARIO VILLARREAL, Promoted to Head Operator, Utility Operations

ALICIA BARTHEL, Reclassified to Talent Acqusition & Inclusion Manager

CAROL ALVAREZ, Reclassified to Administrative Assistant III

LEAH BROWN, Reclassified to Talent Acquisition & Inclusion Recruiter

ANNALISA TURNER, Reclassified to Affirmative Actions & EEO Specialist

DEANA TOWNSEND, Reclassified to Senior Talent Acquisition & Inclusion Recruiter

LYNANN BREWER, Reclassified to Director of Diversity Equity and Inclusion Acquisition & Inclusion Recruiter

TRACY RYAN, Promoted to Assistant Director, Office of Budget, Financial Planning and Analysis

GEORGE TURNER, Promoted to Assistant VP Office of Institutional Research

YVONNE YBARRA, Promoted to Cashier Transportation Services

Texas State Employee Discount Program

The Texas State University Employee Discount Program is the exclusive discount marketplace for you and your fellow employees. Thank you so much for all your hard work and continued support!

  • Acer | 15% off statewide on Acer laptops, desktops, monitors, & accessories.
  • Udemy | Up to 75% off Udemy courses, where you can learn just about anything.
  • Nike | Save up to 40% on shoes, apparel, and more.
  • iRobot | Keep your home spotless without lifting a finger with 15% off select models.

November Courses

Employee of the Month | October 2020

Jason O’Neill, Assignments Coordinator, Department of Housing & Residential Life

Jason O’Neill, Coordinator for Contracts and Assignments, Housing & Residential Life was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for October 2020.

Jason has taken on the duties of the Assistant Director which include additional departmental meetings, running occupancy and billing reports, ADA assignments, supervising more staff in addition to his own, having meetings with staff members, and being a core part of COVID-19 housing efforts.

Jason was key in being the individual to identify isolation and quarantine locations in the residence halls and set up the system in a way that was easy to classify for staff. While Jason has many things to do, he never hesitates to help out any other staff member with patience and kindness. Even during all the COVID-19 related stress in the housing department, he consistently stays after hours to make sure everything is complete that everyone’s questions have been answered whether it be from other staff, parents, and students. During this time, he has been challenged with:

  • Assigning and reassigning students to rooms across all 23 resident halls and apartment complexes.
  • Working with the ODS office to make sure students with ADA accommodations are taken care of in a welcoming and courteous manner.
  • Working closely with Resident Directors, students, and their families to help make the student’s stay at Texas State comfortable.
  • Running multiple reports throughout the day to solve problems and identify available spaces to move students.
  • Identifying spaces to be set aside for quarantine and isolation.
  • Reassigning students to make additional rooms available for these additional quarantine and isolation spaces.
  • Taking phone calls from upset parents and students about relocating and changes to our policies, as well as helping to ease these individuals minds and address their concerns.
  • Diligently making changes and adapting to the needs of the department and university during this pandemic.

Jason has always been passionate about Texas State and helping all students. Whenever he speaks with anyone, current or prospective, he always speaks highly of the experiences they will gain at Texas State and shares what he has learned from his own experience. Additionally, when students from Lamar had to evacuate due to the hurricane, Jason with no hesitation, ran a report and identified all vacant rooms to assist these students and made sure to notify everyone involved in the process. He even stayed 3 hours longer to make sure that all of the Lamar students were properly checked into their spaces.