HR Newsletter - January 2024

Happy New Year!

Welcome to the January edition of the HR Newsletter. As we step into the new days of 2024, we hope this newsletter finds you in good health and high spirits.

The beginning of a new year marks a fresh chapter not only filled with opportunities for growth, collaboration, and success, but also a new quarter filled with possibilities and opportunities. We look forward to a fulfilling year ahead. May 2024 be a year of triumphs and memorable milestones for each faculty and staff member of the CWU family. Together we continue to work toward creating a model learning community of equity and belonging.

Direct questions about anything in this newsletter to

  • Welcome to the Wildcat Family!


    • Jessica Lara Acevedo – Custodial Services
    • Koki Barstad – Aviation
    • Matthew Brown – Housing Facilities  
    • Hayden Davis – Aviation
    • Palmer Dinehart – Aviation
    • Nicholas Galvin – Aviation
    • Alyssa Gregor – SLICE (Student Leadership, Involvement, & Community Engagement)
    • Andrea Guillen – President’s Office
    • Nick Jijina – Custodial Services
    • Akiko Kaneshige – Finance & Administration  
    • Savannah McCanse – Dining Services
    • Evan Miller-Reid – College of Business (COB)
    • John Orndorff – Auxiliary Computing Services
    • Claire Stanford – Wellness Center
    • Stephen Stengel – Custodial Services
    • Izael Valadez Sosa – Dining Services
    • David Vargas – College of Education & Professional Studies (CEPS)
  • Congratulations on Your Retirement!


    • Marion Andrin – Auxiliary Computing Services: 20 Years of Service
    • Chris Buchanan – Psychology: 30 Years of Service
    • Natalie Lefkowitz – World Languages: 29 Years of Service
    • Tina Morefield – Registrar: 40+ Years of Service
    • James Thompson – Accounting Department: 13 Years of Service
  • Tax Time!


    Payroll staff are preparing 2023 W-2* forms to be distributed by January 31, 2024.

    The W-2 will be available in MyCWU (if elected) OR mailed to you.

    If not done previously, please complete one of the following actions:

    1. Select Electronic W-2 in MyCWU: Employee > Payroll > W-2/W-2c Consent

    2. Verify your Mailing Address in MyCWU: Employee > Personal > Personal Details > Addresses > Mailing Address

    Please Note:
    If you've had a change in dependent status, the IRS requires an adjustment to your W-4, Employee's Withholding Certificate. Update your W-4 in MyCWU: Employee > Payroll > W-4 Tax Information

    For more tax information, visit the IRS website: Tax Withholding for Individuals or Nonresident Withholding Information.

    Questions? Email or call (509) 963-1202.

    *The W-2 form is the wage and tax statement used when filing federal taxes.

  • First Friday Leadership Talk

    February 2, 2024 | 11 AM | Shaw 115
    From Rhetoric to Reality: Aligning Language and Action to Promote Inclusion

    Come and explore the powerful impact of language on social outcomes. Together we will examine research on the positive impact of (re)framing disparities, the use of empowering micro-messaging, and inclusive and humanizing language. We will also discuss the importance of aligning our words with meaningful action within our work teams, classroom settings,  and the broader culture.

    Dr. Tonya Buchanan, Social Cognition Researcher and Associate Professor (CWU Psychology)

    Professor Buchanan is a social cognition researcher and associate professor of psychology at CWU. Her research team explores the role of identity, emotion, and heuristics in social judgments and decision-making, with a focus on issues of bias and equity.

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

    Direct questions to

  • Meet with a Retirement Plan Representative

    Our Fidelity representative will be on the Ellensburg campus January 23 & 24 and 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.



  • Performance Management Reminder for Supervisors


    A recent report highlighted lower-than-expected completion rates for 2022-23. Upon closer inspection, many unfinished ePerformance evaluations were stuck at the “Pending Acknowledgement” or “Submit for Approval” steps within MyCWU. The report will be run again in late January. To ensure compliance, please complete all steps by January 19, 2024.

    Check your evaluations in MyCWU > Manager > ePerformance > Current Documents:

    • Competencies Tab: complete manager ratings and comments > Save > Share with Employee > Confirm
    • Pending Acknowledgement: once shared with employee > employee acknowledges, or supervisor may override > Submit for Approval > Confirm
    • Pending Approval: If stuck at this step, ask supervisor to complete and approve

    Still have questions? Email or find Performance Management Resources on our webpage.

  • 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.

  • 24 Healthy Snacks for 2024


    1. Apple with Peanut Butter
    2. Avocado
    3. Banana
    4. Beef Stick
    5. Celery Sticks with Cream Cheese
    6. Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzarella
    7. Chia Pudding
    8. Cottage Cheese and Fruit
    9. Dark Chocolate and Almonds
    10. Dried Fruit
    11. Edamame
    12. Greek Yogurt
    13. Hard-Boiled Egg
    14. Kale Chips
    15. Mixed Nuts
    16. Oatmeal
    17. Orange
    18. Peanut Butter Toast w/ Fruit
    19. Pistachios
    20. Popcorn
    21. Red Bell Pepper Sticks
    22. Trail Mix
    23. Tuna on Crackers
    24. Veggie Sticks and Hummus
  • 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

  • Safe Winter Walking


    Staff are working hard to ensure sidewalks are safe.

    However, please be cautious during winter weather conditions.

    Remember to take it slow and walk like a penguin:

    • Extend arms for balance.
    • Point feet out slightly.
    • Take small steps.
  • SmartHealth


    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.

    SmartHealth is now administered by WebMD. There will be new resources and a more personalized experience. Create a SecureAccess Washington (SAW) account now if you don’t already have one.

    You are encouraged to use SmartHealth to support your well-being. SmartHealth allows you to set goals and work on daily habits, participate in new challenges, interact with others through community posts, access podcasts, articles, videos, and more!

    SmartHealth Overview

    Join WebMD for a demonstration of the SmartHealth platform and get oriented to the new features and tools, January 25, 2024, at Noon. Register to participate.

    If you qualified for the wellness incentive during in 2023, it will be applied by the end of January 2024. Depending on your medical plan, you will receive a $125 reduction in your deductible OR a $125 deposit into your health savings account (HSA). See the SmartHealth webpage for more details.
  • Did You Know?

    All 2023 FSA and DCAP expenses must be submitted for reimbursement by March 31, 2024.

    Unused DCAP balances will be forfeited and unused FSA balances above $610 will be forfeited. To receive FSA carryover, you must be enrolled in the FSA for 2024 or have at least $120 left in your account.

    Login to your Navia account for more information and to submit claims.

    Direct questions to Navia’s customer service at 800-669-3539 or

  • askHR

    Q:  Where can I find information about campus closure due to inclement weather?

    A:  Updates will be posted on the Emergency Notifications page. Each center will follow their host site’s protocol.

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


    In January, we come together as a community to ignite passions and turn dreams into reality by celebrating the power of supportive and meaningful mentor relationships. A mentor is someone who can offer constructive feedback and encouragement and keep you moving forward on your journey toward success. CLA Online contains useful resources to assist. To learn more, select one of the following recommended features:

    WATCH:       Cultivating Mentor Relationships

    READ:           Bridging Differences for Better Mentoring: Lean Forward, Learn Leverage

    LEARN:         Mentoring Channel

     Questions? Contact Central Learning Academy at

  • Applesauce Cake Recipe



    • ½ cup applesauce
    • ½ cup water
    • 3 Tablespoons oil
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 Tablespoon white or cider vinegar
    • 1 ½ cups flour
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • ¾ teaspoon salt
    • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
    • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
    • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon allspice
    • ½ cup raisins
    • ½ cup chopped nuts


    • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
    • Whisk liquid ingredients.
    • Stir in remaining ingredients.
    • Smooth into 8 x 8-inch pan.
    • Bake for 18 minutes – cake is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
    • Let cool and frost if desired.

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