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Feature

Highlighting P

Annual CAPA celebration will be April 20

By Pamela Stenhjem

Brief, March 28, 2007

"DISCOVERED: P&A EXCELLENCE"
April 20, 2007

Noon-2 p.m.
Ted Mann Concert Hall

The Council of Academic Professionals and Administrators (CAPA) hosts its annual event in honor of P&A staff. Join your P&A colleagues for fun and good food as your contributions to the University are celebrated.

Please RSVP to georg038@umn.edu by April 11 to accommodate food arrangements--but you may attend if you do not RSVP.

As one of the most diverse employee groups at the University of Minnesota, academic professional and administrative (P&A) employees serve the U in a wide variety of ways. Their responsibilities range from implementing research to teaching and advising, from writing grants to providing administrative support and guidance, from writing publications for peer-reviewed journals to publishing newsletters, reports, and briefs. As a group of more than 4,000 individuals statewide, P&A employees provide an essential and eclectic role. Here's a look at just a few Twin Cities campus staff members to highlight the variety of P&A employees and the roles in they play at the U.

Karla Block has worked at the Bio-Medical Library since 1990 and is the coordinator of outreach, communications, and development. "For communications, it's very important for us to increase awareness of our services and resources--for our primary clientele in the Academic Health Center, more broadly on campus, and to outside audiences as well," she says. Currently, Block is managing an outreach project that is part of the National Library of Medicine's MedlinePlus Go Local project. "The aim is to take MedlinePlus to the next level, by linking people to local health services in their communities," she says. The goal is nationwide coverage, says Karla. The project is a collaboration of the U of M Health Sciences Libraries, Mayo Clinic Libraries, and MINITEX Library Information Network.

Marijo McBride has worked at the Institute on Community Integration in the College of Education and Human Development for 15 years. The institute is a research and training center on disability that employs about 200 and hosts upwards of 85 state and federal research projects. McBride is a research specialist who provides training, outreach, and technical assistance focused on improving support and services for individuals with developmental disabilities. An example of her daily routine includes training for the pediatric rotation at the Medical School and coordinatng the Certificate in Disability Policy and Services. McBride also teaches courses and supervises graduate students.

Kimberly Simon has worked as an equal opportunity consultant at the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action for three years. She provides direct consultation to the U community--which includes faculty, staff, students, vendors, and other--to create and maintain environments that are free of unlawful discrimination or harassment. She also conducts and advises on informal resolutions through mediation of discrimination and harassment complaints with the goal of addressing and resolving complaints at the earliest stage possible. When appropriate, she investigates discrimination complaints that result in written findings.

Jennifer Engler is a licensed psychologist and associate director of Student and Professional Services in the College of Education and Human Development. Previously, she worked at University Counseling & Consulting Services (UCCS) for seven years, including her predoctoral internship in 1997-98. There she provided direct service in her role as staff psychologist while also serving as program director for Outreach and Consultation and Career Development.

Jill "JT" Trites is a senior teaching specialist in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, formerly General College. She has worked at the U for 16 years and teaches first- and second-year college students in public speaking, small-group communications, multicultural communications, and reading classes. Nearly half of her teaching load is devoted to instructing immigrant students in the Commanding English program, a two-semester sequence of courses offered to freshmen for whom English is not the first language. In 2000, Trites received the Distinguished Teaching Award from the College of Continuing Education. Her specific areas of expertise include teaching oral, group, intercultural, and multicultural communications; evaluating and assessing spoken English; trivia; cultural orientation to the United States; and teaching English as a Second Language courses.

Janet Beyer has been with University of Minnesota Extension for 32 years. With Extension's reorganization in 2002, she was reassigned to work in community youth development for southeastern Minnesota out of the Rochester regional extension center. Beyer recently received an Extension Service Dean and Director's Award for distinguished field faculty, which was especially meaningful because recipients are nominated and selected by peers and the dean. Beyer led a team of coworkers to develop an educational CD, "Making the Case for Out-of-School Time," which has been distributed nationwide over the past three years. With the team's focus on this issue, Beyer also served as staff to President Bruininks's Commission for Out-of-School Time in 2003. The commission is a collaborative group of 27 people throughout the state looking at youth development and out-of-school programming, creating a blueprint for future goals.


Pam Stenhjem is the professional development and recognition chair on the Council of Academic Professionals and Administrators. She is an education specialist in the Institute on Community Integration.