HR Newsletter - February 2024

Welcome to the February Edition of the HR Newsletter.

February is a great time for forward momentum. As we navigate through this month, let's embrace the spirit of equity and belonging that defines our culture. Together, let’s continue to cultivate a vibrant and supportive environment where every member of our community can thrive.

Here’s to a February filled with meaningful connections and endless possibilities.

Direct questions about anything in this newsletter to

  • Welcome to the Wildcat Family!


    • Alexander Anthony – Custodial Services
    • Selena Castro – College of Education & Professional Studies
    • Craig Chapo – College of Arts & Humanities
    • Nicole Ciraulo – Douglas Honors College
    • Brittany Cinderella – High School Partnerships
    • Amy Martin – University Advancement
    • William Sakelaris – Student Union Operations
    • Julian Sanchez – Student Engagement & Success
    • Jonathan Salazar – High School Partnerships
  • Congratulations on Your Retirement!


    • Ellen Avitts – Department of Art & Design – 10+ Years of Service
    • Teri Lewis – Facilities Management Department – 5+ Years of Service
    • Bill Lovell – Facilities Management Department – 35+ Years of Service
    • Kendra Sterkel – Aerospace – 35+ Years of Service
  • Wildcat Way - Nominate Someone Today


    Recognize an Employee for Exemplary Service

    Consider nominating an employee for a Wildcat Way Spotlight Recognition. This is a way of thanking an employee for a job well done and sharing their story with the CWU community. All Spotlight nominees will be recognized at the end of the academic year for their Spotlight Recognition nomination.



  • Exclusive Webinar: How to shift your money mindset


    Exclusive Webinar: How to shift your money mindset

    Thursday, February 15, 2024, 11 AM – Noon PST

    This Black History Month, Fidelity is offering a webinar that dives into what it takes to build wealth now and in the future. Tiffany "The Budgetnista" Aliche joins Fidelity representatives to talk about how to shift your money mindset, become intentional about saving, practice mindful spending, and manage debt. Find additional information and register HERE.


  • Presidents' Day


    Presidents' Day was originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington. The holiday became popularly known as Presidents' Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers. While several states still have individual holidays honoring the birthdays of Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and others, Presidents' Day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents, past and present.

    CWU will be closed in observance of Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 19, 2024.

  • Meet with a Retirement Plan Representative

    Our Fidelity representative will be on the Ellensburg campus February 20 & 21.

    Sign up online for an appointment: Meet with Us > Schedule a meeting > Enter employer name: Central Washington University.

    An in-person consultation with a Fidelity Workplace Planning and Guidance Consultant provides you:

    • Guidance to help you maximize retirement savings and achieve other goals
    • Face-to-face planning from a seasoned investment professional - at no cost
    • A convenient time and location to meet - right at work

    Fidelity is the plan administrator for the CWU Retirement Plan (CWURP) and the Voluntary Investment Plan (VIP). The CWURP is the mandatory faculty and exempt retirement plan and the VIP is an optional retirement savings plan available to all non-student employees.



  • First Friday Leadership Talk

    March 1, 2024 | 11 AM | Shaw 115
    The Cultivation of the Leader Identity through Virtual Interactions

    Join Dr. Gary Myers as he explores the connection between excellence in leadership and fostering social connections among group members. Through the combination of social psychological theory and research on team dynamics, Dr. Myers shares how these aspects can both redefine leadership and facilitate greater team achievement.

    Dr. Gary Myers, Assistant Professor of Social Psychology (CWU Sociology)

    Dr. Myers has long been a student of leadership and team development practices. He knows the value of a strong team in reaching goals and believes that anyone, regardless of personality or experience, can become an effective leader. His leadership training focuses on emphasizing the special talents and skills of each team member so that the team functions as a group of members that support and complement each other in reaching their goal. He holds a master’s in sociology and a master’s in digital sciences, and a doctorate in social psychology. His doctoral dissertation at Kent State University demonstrated the effectiveness and benefits of leadership training delivered in a virtual environment. He continues this research through his Sociology of Leadership course at CWU, which teaches students leadership skills in a virtual environment and gives students quantitative and qualitative feedback on their leadership effectiveness. He plans to offer the program university-wide in 2024.

    For Leaders at all levels: staff, faculty, and students
    Register: MyCWU > Learning > ‘Search for Learning’ enter “First Friday”

    Direct questions to

  • First Choice Health


    Access Employee Assistance Program resources with username ‘CWU’ to login. Available to CWU faculty, staff, and their family members. Or call 800-777-4114 for immediate assistance.

  • Employee of the Month Nominations

    Nominate Someone Today for Employee of the Month

    Our colleagues are doing important work every day for the betterment of our students and institution. We want to celebrate individuals for their positive interactions, projects, and work that live into our core values of Student Success, Engagement, Belonging, and Stewardship.

    Nominees must: 

    • Be a current classified or exempt employee
    • Have been employed at CWU for at least one year
    • Be in good employment standing

  • SmartHealth


    Wellness Incentive

    SmartHealth is a voluntary wellness program that supports your journey toward living well.

    You can earn $125 off next year’s medical deductible or a $125 contribution to your Health Savings Account if enrolled in a CDHP. 

    For additional information, watch the SmartHealth experience presentation or SmartHealth overview.

    The 2023 wellness incentive was to be applied at the end of January 2024. See the SmartHealth webpage for details.
  • Did You Know?

    The odds of being born on February 29th are about 1 in 1,461, and those born on a leap day can be called a “leaper” or a “leapling?”

  • askHR

    Q:  Where can I change my withholdings on my W-4?

    A:  You may update your W-4 in MyCWU: Employee > Payroll > W-4 Tax Information

  • CLA Online – February Learning Focus is “National Mentoring Month”


    “Lost Time is Never Found Again.” – Ben Franklin

    We can all benefit from enhancing our time management skills. CLA Online contains useful resources to assist. To manage your time effectively and accomplish your goals:

    • Categorize and prioritize tasks
    • Create a schedule and stick to it
    • Set aside time to take breaks
    • Avoid distractions
    • Ask for help when needed

    To learn more, select one of the following recommended features:

    WATCH:       Make the Time You Need: Get Organized

    READ:           The Time Trap: That Classic Book on Time Management

    LEARN:         The Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics for Working Smarter Not Longer

    Questions? Contact Central Learning Academy at

  • You may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program


    As you may know, working at Central Washington University means you can join a federal program that could forgive your federal student loans. The U.S. Department of Education can forgive your student loan debt after 10 years of making 120 qualifying payments while working for a state agency or a qualifying public sector employer. To qualify, you must have Federal Direct loans. If you have Perkins or FFEL loans, you must consolidate into a Direct Consolidation. If you have Direct Parent PLUS loans, you may also need to consolidate. If you consolidate between now and April 30, 2024, you will not lose PSLF qualifying payment credit due to the IDR Account Adjustment.

    Time-sensitive tip: Certain periods you spent in forbearance, deferment or non- qualifying repayment plans may count towards PSLF due to the IDR Account Adjustment. Action MAY be needed before April 30, 2024, for you to benefit. Visit the payment adjustment page to learn more.

     Get Started: Use the PSLF Help Tool to complete a PSLF form and submit an employment certification request. Your form will be submitted to the PSLF servicer (MOHELA) for processing, which may take up to 90 business days. Create a MOHELA account to check on qualifying payment count. If MOHELA is not your current servicer, submitting a PSLF form will initiate a loan transfer from your current servicer to MOHELA, which can take an additional 90 business days.

    If you haven’t signed up for PSLF yet, you still can. One important step is working with our agency’s PSLF contact each year to submit a PSLF form. Although the path to loan forgiveness can seem complicated, you could save thousands on your student loans.

    CWU Employer Identification Number (EIN): 91-6000618
    PSLF contact email:

    Upcoming Webinar:

    PSLF Webinar: New Regulations and Time-Limited Opportunities

    Have you heard about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, but are not sure if you qualify? Do you want to know whether the new PSLF regulations could benefit you? In this webinar, you will get an overview of the PSLF program, including:

    • Whether you may benefit from consolidating your loans before April 30, 2024, for the IDR Payment Adjustment.
    • The new PSLF regulations that went into effect on July 1, 2023.
    • IDR Payment Adjustment and how it may help you get PSLF credit for certain periods of forbearance, deferment, ineligible loans, or ineligible repayment plans.
    • Steps to apply and stay eligible for PSLF.

    Webinar dates and times:

    If you’re unable to attend, we will post a video recording, presentation slides, and transcript on the Student Loan Advocate webpage following the webinar.

    Direct questions on the Washington State Student Loan Advocate’s website.

  • Chili Cheese Dip Recipe



    • 8 oz softened cream cheese
    • 10.5 oz can chili
    • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
    • Tortilla chips


    • Spread cream cheese in 10” round pan.
    • Spread chili over cream cheese.
    • Sprinkle cheeses over chili.
    • Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until bubbly and cheese in melted.
    • Serve hot with tortilla chips.
  • Valentine Strawberry Snickers Stick Recipe



    • 16 small strawberries
    • 6 fun-size Snickers bars
    • Caramel sauce
    • Course sea salt
    • Bamboo skewers


    • Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
    • Cut Snickers bars in half.
    • Thread strawberries and Snickers pieces onto skewers.
    • Freeze until firm – at least 4 hours.
    • When ready to serve, transfer to a serving plate, drizzle with caramel sauce, and sprinkle with sea salt.

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