HR Newsletter - November 2023

Welcome to the November edition of the HR Newsletter, your monthly source of updates, news, and inspiration for our incredible faculty and staff. November is the perfect time to reflect on the many reasons we have to be thankful.

As we navigate the challenges and opportunities of the academic year, we remain grateful for the dedication and resilience you bring to our university. Your contributions are the cornerstone of our institution's excellence, and we are fortunate to have you as part of our community.

We hope this month’s edition warms your heart and inspires you to reflect on the many reasons to be grateful this month. We want to thank you for your hard work, passion, and commitment to CWU.

Together, we work toward creating a model learning community of equity and belonging.

Direct questions about anything in this newsletter to

  • Open Enrollment for Faculty and Staff is November 1 - 30, 2023


    This is your once-a-year opportunity to change medical and dental plans, add or remove dependents, and enroll/re-enroll in the Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA) and/or Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP). All changes made during open enrollment are effective January 1, 2024.

    Important 2024 Changes That Might Affect You

    • Change in Medical insurance premium rates
    • CDHP deductibles increase: $1600 individual / $3200 family

    Actions to Take

    1. Review Information:
    1. Make changes online through PEBB My Account
    2. Enroll/re-enroll in the FSA and DCAP online through the Navia website

    PLEASE NOTE: If you’re happy with your medical and dental plan and don’t wish to enroll in the FSA or DCAP – no action is necessary.


  • Welcome to the Wildcat Family!


    • Uriel Barerra – Grounds Maintenance
    • Debra Bogart – Financial Aid
    • Debra Capuli – University Centers
    • Jose Garcia – College of Education and Professional Studies
    • Marina Huato – College of Business
    • Taylor Johnson – College of Education and Professional Studies
    • Krishna Kairamkonda – Information Services
    • Karson Keaton – Grounds Maintenance
    • Guadalupe Lloyd – Education, Development, Teaching, & Learning
    • Chéri Long – Parking Services
    • Austin Lyman – Environmental Health & Safety
    • Laura Mead – Admissions
    • Betsaida Ortiz – Financial Aid
    • Venkat Ravipati – Information Services
    • Madelynn Shortt – Learning Commons
    • Morgan Sandoval – College of Business
    • Jessica Thomas – Career Services
    • Melissa Wolford – Contracts & Procurement
  • Congratulations on Your Retirement!


    Bob Ferguson – Facilities Management Department


  • Attend a VEBA Retirement Readiness Webinar



    Thinking about retirement? Want to learn more about VEBA? Have a question?

    Attend a VEBA Retirement Readiness Webinar

    Learn how your VEBA medical account can help cover premiums and out-of-pocket medical expenses during retirement.

    You must register in advance for access link.

    To learn more now, read the VEBA MEP brochure or visit the VEBA video library.

  • Veterans Day


    Veterans Day began as a day to reflect upon the heroism of those who died in our country's service and was originally called Armistice Day. It fell on November 11, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. However, in 1954, the holiday was changed to "Veterans Day" to honor American veterans who have served in all wars. We celebrate and honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. We thank our Wildcat veterans for their service.

    CWU will be closed in observance of Veteran’s Day, Friday, November 10, 2023.

  • 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.

  • Mental Health - Wellbeing Resources

    5 Minute Mental Health Check

    • Am I getting enough sleep?
    • Am I eating a well-balanced diet?
    • Am I getting enough exercise?
    • Have I connected with someone I love?
    • How am I doing?

    Wellbeing Resources


    Student Counseling Services | Monday-Friday 8-5 | 509-963-139
    Medical and Counseling appointments available and Crisis Response

    Wildcat Care telehealth app (TimelyCare) | 24/7 |
    Medical and Counseling appointments available and TalkNow access

    CWU Case Management | Monday-Friday, 8-5 |
    Assessment and Support


    Employee Assistance Program (EAP) | 24/7 | 800-777-4114
    Counseling for employees and family members

    Behavioral Health Services available through your PEBB medical insurance
    Uniform Medical Plan (UMP) or Kaiser


    Local Helpline | 24/7 | Master's-Level Counselors | 509-925-4168 

    National Hotline | 24/7 | Dial 988 or Text ‘Home’ to 741741
    online chat feature:

    Trevor Project | 24/7 |
    Counselors who understand challenges LGBTQ young people face

    211 Assistance Line | 877-211-9274 | Dial 211 or

    Myriad of resources including food and housing assistance
    Interpretation in over 200 languages

  • Earn your 2024 $125 Wellness Incentive by November 30

    Earn your 2024 $125 Wellness Incentive by November 30.

    Login to SmartHealth and track your activities today.

    Direct questions to 855-750-8866


    If hired October 1, 2023, or later, you have until December 31 to earn your incentive.
  • Employee of the Month Nominations

    Nominate Someone Today for Employee of the Month

    Our colleagues are doing important things 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. These awards are month specific, but you may nominate an individual for multiple months.

    Recipients receive a monetary award and become eligible for Employee of the Year.  

    Nominees must: 

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

  • Did You Know?

    More than 1 in 3 Americans have prediabetes.

    If you’re enrolled in a PEBB medical plan, you may be eligible to participate in a free diabetes prevention program which includes a professional health coach, wireless smart scale, supportive peer group, and more.

    Complete the 1-minute screening test to determine eligibility.

    Learn more in the Welcome to Omada video.
  • askHR

    Q:  Where can I find a list of required training?

    A:  Required training is listed on the HR website under Central Learning Academy.
    Direct questions to

  • Roth Deferred Comp Option Now Available


    The Deferred Compensation Program (DCP), a 457 supplemental retirement savings plan administered by the Department of Retirement Systems (DRS), is now offering a Roth contribution option. Individuals may contribute to either or both options.

    What is a pretax contribution? Pretax contributions are made before taxes are paid on your earnings. Withdrawals, including earnings, are taxed as ordinary income when withdrawn.

    What is a Roth contribution? Roth contributions are deferred from your already taxed income. Withdrawals, including earnings, are not taxed if at least 5 years have passed from first contribution and you are at least 59 1/2 years old. 

    Existing DCP participants may add Roth in their online DCP account.

    New participants may enroll in DCP by completing this form (PDF).

    Direct questions to VOYA at 888-327-5596.



  • Pumpkin Dip Recipe



    • 1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz)
    • 8 oz cream cheese – softened
    • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
    • ½ cup powdered sugar
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
    • ¼ teaspoon allspice
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves


    • Blend all ingredients until smooth.
    • Serve in a small, cleaned-out pumpkin along with apple slices, graham crackers, and ginger cookies.

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