Relaxing in the Workplace

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I recently received a massage this past November on our campus by Star Wolfe, licensed massage therapist. What a difference just 15 minutes makes sitting in her chair. Ms. Wolfe has spent many years mastering the art of massage therapy. Each session she spends time talking about the importance of breathing, reducing stress, getting 8 hours or more of sleep, and any other special tips to live a healthy lifestyle. This past session she talked about Yerba Mate. Yerba Mate is made from the naturally caffeinated and nourishing leaves of the South American rainforest holly tree. Yerba Mate has been used as a base for herbal medicines in South America for centuries. You can buy it in a form of a drink or supplements. I never know what the next topic of discussion will be but I do walk away with her knowledge and passion for taking care of your body.

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As you sit in the massage chair with the lights dimmed, lavender oil in the air, and the soft music playing draws you into the moment. The pains of age and over-stressed muscles all cry out for the therapeutic hands to start their work. Once the session gets underway, the problems of the world fade into a 15-30 minutes of relief and all you can comprehend is not wanting it to end.

What if the 15-30 minutes of massage did more than just take away the pressures of the day? Massage is a healing tool that has been around for thousands of years in many cultures. Having a massage relaxes your body and mind. Massage not only feels good, but it can cure what ails you.

The physical changes massage brings to your body can have a positive effect in many areas of your life. Besides increasing relaxation and decreasing anxiety, massage lowers your blood pressure, increases circulation, improves recovery from injury, helps you to sleep better and can increase your concentration. It reduces fatigue and gives you more energy to handle stressful situations (Body Sense, Fall 2001).

The benefits to receiving regular massage treatments include:

  • Increases circulation, allowing the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and organs
  • Relaxes overused muscles
  • Reduces spasms and cramping
  • Increases joint flexibility
  • Reduces recovery time, helps prepare for strenuous workouts, and eliminates subsequent pains of the athlete at any level
  • Improves range-of-motion and decreases discomfort for patients with low back pain
  • Relieves pain for migraine sufferers and decreases the need for medication
  • Assists with shorter labor for expectant mothers

For more information about on campus massage therapy appointments you may contact our MVC liaison, Dianne Cole at diannecole@dcccd.edu. For more information about off campus massage therapy appointments you may contact Star Wolfe at starwolfe.massage@yahoo.com or call (972) 689-0253.

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If you can’t take the 15-30 minutes out of your day for a massage then there are other resources you can take advantage of to de-stress on MVC’s campus: nature preserve hiking trail, outdoor walking track, free gym membership (with employee ID), and visiting with Dollie, MVC’s therapy dog, who visits our campus quite frequently. Whatever method you choose to relax in the workplace, you will appreciate the many benefits such opportunities provide.

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Readily Available Data, via DCCCD’s Data Depot

This series is part of an effort to showcase teaching and learning efforts at MVC.

Posted on behalf of Iva Bergeron, Dean of PRIE and SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison.

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Can you tell us about a service your department is responsible for at Mountain View College (MVC)?

The Office of Planning Research and Institutional Effectiveness has a variety of responsibilities.  The planning arm of our office works with the PBA Committee to develop and institutionalize planning.  This includes strategic planning, department planning, and unit planning.  Research in our department is data research.  We assist the college by gathering and aggregating data to inform decision making.  We are also responsible for institutional effectiveness.  While institutional effectiveness includes both planning and research, it is reviewing what we are doing, assessing what we are doing, and making improvements.  This is something that we should all strive for, but is also required by our accreditation agency, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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How does this service support the college mission?

Mountain View College has as part of its mission statement to ‘provide exemplary education through higher education programs, workforce development, educational support services, continuing education opportunities and community partnerships.’ Our office serves as the anchor in insuring that these things not only happen, but that they are planned, reviewed, and improved.  Our office helps the college adhere to the comprehensive requirements and standards of our accreditation agency, which are designed to insure that we maintain practices that are acceptable to the Department of Education.

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What are some of the most frequent questions you receive related to this service?

Our office receives many questions, all the time!  We must indeed be a family, because people do not mind sending us questions at all hours of the day and night J.  Unfortunately, most questions are unrelated.  However, we have received questions such as:

  • What high schools serve as our feeder schools?
  • How many dual credit students do we have?
  • What’s our student success percentage in developmental courses?
  • How many employees do we have?
  • How diverse are our employees and/or students?

The questions are very varied.

I would like to mention, that it is always beneficial for us if the person making the request will let us know what problem they are trying to solve.  Oftentimes we get requests and fulfill the requests only to find out that it doesn’t answer the requestor’s question. Additionally, there is a lot of data available on the District’s Data Depot.

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What is the data depot?

The Data Depot is an online resource designed to assist all DCCCD locations with access to readily available data. The District IR Department (Systemic Reporting and Analytics) created this resource, which is available via MyPortal, to provide immediate data to those in need.  The Data Depot includes several dashboards and key performance indicators for each college.  Data available includes: enrollment, contact hour, transfer information and much more.  This data should be reviewed prior to contacting PRIE, as it may serve to answer many questions.

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If interested in learning more, where would you point folks towards?

To access the Data Depot, an employee would simply go to MyPortal, and review the Popular Links on the right.  Data Depot is the third link listed.  Once in Data Depot, employees would click on their area of interest.  If anyone is having problems accessing this data, they can contact my office at 214-860-8735.  We will be happy to assist.

 

Software Security Tip: Importance of Anti-Virus

Posted on behalf of Rodney Jackson, Information Technology Department.

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A Common Problem

Most users underestimate the fact that no computing environment is immune to network attacks. Additionally, most users do do not have a proactive anti-virus software installed on their computer systems. These two issues combined present a common problem and the potential for personal information to be hacked, such as having one’s personal finance information compromised. Although a fix or at least a deterrent is relatively easy to obtain, the real challenge is convincing a computer user that free anti-virus software is not necessarily the best defense in protecting one’s personal information.

Real-Life Scenario

Recently, I assisted a friend that fell victim to a drive-by download attack. Basically, she did not click on anything to initiate a download or installation of malware. She was simply searching for a website and was re-directed to a site which compromised and infected her computer.

Easy Steps to Address

Below are steps I would recommend to any computer user.

  1. Install a proactive anti-virus.
  2. Make sure your anti-virus is up to date before surfing the web.
  3. Use common sense and the good practices. Remember nothing is free.

Useful Links

If you’re interested in finding out more about this topic I suggest reviewing some of the following resources:

Halloween as a Learning Moment

As we enter the month of October on a college campus, conversations in the hallway and chat amongst departments may (okay, will) turn towards the topic of Halloween. While Halloween is an opportunity to engage with students, staff, faculty, and administration in the form of classroom events, campus parties, departmental decorations, and of course free candy, we also need to consider the topic of cultural appropriation. Since this article is written by Office of Professional Development, we’d like to make this Halloween a learning moment for all.

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“We’re a Culture, Not a Costume” campaign created by Ohio University

What is Cultural Appropriation?

Essentially cultural appropriation is the adoption of elements of one culture by members of another culture, while distorting the original meaning or significance in the process. Such examples of appropriation would be dressing as a geisha, Pocahontas, Pancho Villa, or other representation of a culture not your own.

Recent college campaigns now seek to bring awareness to this issue. “We’re a Culture, Not a Costume,” was created by Ohio University in 2013 and the University of Michigan has a page dedicated to raising awareness.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. What culture does this style reference and what is my relation to that culture?
  2. Why am I choosing to wear this costume?
  3. How accurate and/or respectful is my costume to that culture?

Interested in Learning More?

September 2016 – Upcoming Workshops

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September 2016 Workshops

The Office of Professional Development has helped coordinate and promote various workshops throughout the month. There’s even a conference opportunity in October (register ASAP if interested). Below, you can view, download, and print the entire schedule of upcoming workshops.

eConnect Registration Information

  1. Log on to eConnect as an employee and choose “Register for Staff Enrichment” from Employee menu.
  2. Select the current term, choose Mountain View College as the location, and click Submit.
  3. Select course(s) by checking the selection box(es) to the left and click “Submit.”
  4. Questions? Call the Software Training Support Hotline at 972‐669‐6452 (between the hours of 8AM – 5PM, Monday – Friday).

Hosting Your Own Workshop?

Interested in hosting your own workshop to share your knowledge, expertise, or passion for teaching and learning? Simply contact the Office of Professional Development (email mvcprofdev@dcccd.edu) and we’ll help coordinate logistics and raise awareness for your event. Our goal is to connect faculty, staff, and administrators across the institution in discipline specific, teaching pedagogy, and leadership opportunities. As a reminder, all requests must be submitted by the 15th of the month prior to the workshop scheduled.

Hello MVC! Hello World!

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The Office of eLearning and Professional Development at Mountain View College…aka, “The Best College on Earth…” is proud to present our very first blog post! This space will be utilized in the future to collect, share, and showcase the very best of what we do.

The reality of course, is that the best of what we do is not a service we provide or a process we complete. It is the people we are surrounded by, those we share this experience with, and those who have paved the way before us. Our employees, their combined expertise and passion, and ultimately the students we support are all reasons to be proud to call MVC family.

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The Office of eLearning and Professional Development simply hopes to use this space to:

  • Build connections across the institution
  • Share knowledge in our respective areas of expertise
  • Celebrate our people
  • Provide opportunities for professional development
  • Showcase support services
  • Support teaching and learning efforts
  • Showcase tools and technologies readily available
  • Empower people and transform communities!

Thank you for taking the time to visit this blog. We’re just getting started.

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