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Updates

CNS Connect 2020 Web


CNS Connect creates opportunities to maintain and amplify the social aspects of our community through a new program to bridge our distance with regularly scheduled community events and support for teams. 


Beginning in May, the College of Natural Sciences is hosting a series of virtual activities and events for CNS staff and faculty on an ongoing basis. These events are meant to acknowledge and thank our amazing staff and faculty for their perseverance and dedication during this most unique time and hopefully, not only maintain, but build community among the people of Texas Science.  

"Like people everywhere, our Natural Sciences community is contending with significant changes in our work routines. I have spoken with many of you who, like me, miss the impromptu discussions after meetings, morning coffee rituals with coworkers and meaningful interactions afforded by a shared workspace. With the shift to a virtual and remote workspace for many of us and all the challenges that entails, there are ways in which we need each other now more than ever. " 

– Dean Paul Goldbart 

 

HOW CNS CONNECT WORKS 

  • Look for details about the following week’s activities in the weekly In CNS email to all staff and faculty.

  • This page will be updated with activity details, links to register and instructions on how to participate, with new postings the week preceding each activity.

  • If you miss a webinar or are unable to participate, recordings, links to albums and other content will also be posted on this page.

 

WE WANT YOUR FEEDBACK

  • Have an idea for a community activity or new ways the college can foster connection?

  • Are you an independent worker and not part of an evident team?

  • Do you have tips & best practices for what is working really well with your group?

  • Would you like to participate in a lateral community group?

SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK HERE 

 

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS & ACTIVITIES 


CNS FAMILIES 

 May 25 - June 5

 

CNS Pets Community Photo Album 

May 25 - June 5

We can’t forget the special members of our families, our pets. We’d love to see photos or videos of your loveable pets. Post photos to Instagram with #CNSpets and check this page for streaming content.

 

Pets Social

  

Maintaining Household Relationships & Overcoming Conflict in Quarantine Webinar

Marci Gleason, Associate Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Sciences

Lisa Neff, Associate Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Sciences

Hannah Williamson, Assistant Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Sciences 

Tuesday, June 2, 3:00 p.m.

CNS Faculty will discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on family relationships and relationships in transition during this one-hour webinar.

REGISTER FOR THE MAINTAINING HOUSEHOLD RELATIONSHIPS WEBINAR HERE 

 

Multigenerational Ties during COVID-19 Webinar

Karen Fingerman, Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Sciences and Department of Psychology

Thursday, June 4, 3:00 p.m.

In this one-hour webinar UT Professor Karen Fingerman will discuss the impacts of cohabitating among parents, young adults, and isolation among older adults.

REGISTER FOR THE MULTIGENERATIONAL TIES WEBINAR HERE →

  


CNS READS BOOK CLUB DISCUSSIONS

July 6 - 10

Choose from three book options and join others in the CNS community for group discussions the week of July 6. The first 60 participants to sign up for each book will receive a free copy.  Already have the book or missed out on a free copy, you can still sign up to participate.  Books will begin mailing in mid-May. You will receive an email with more details the week preceding discussions.

SIGN-UP HERE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE BOOK CLUB 

THE YEARS THAT MATTER MOST – PAUL TOUGH

New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice Book 

The best-selling author of How Children Succeed returns with a powerful, mind-changing inquiry into higher education in the United States. The Years That Matter Most tells the stories of students trying to find their way, with hope, joy, and frustration, through the application process and into college. Drawing on new research, much of it here at UT Austin, the book reveals how the landscape of higher education has shifted in recent decades and exposes the hidden truths of how the system works and whom it works for. With insight, humor, and passion, Paul Tough takes readers on a journey from Ivy League seminar rooms to community college welding shops, from giant public flagship universities to tiny experimental storefront colleges. The Years That Matter Most will change the way you think—not just about higher education, but about the nation itself. 

Author Paul Tough will be joining us for a discussion on his book The Years That Matter Most, Wednesday, July 8, at 3pm. 

book years that matter most
THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS - REBECCA SKLOOT
A New York Times Bestseller

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew. It’s a story inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we’re made of.  

Book2

THE HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY -  DOUGLAS ADAMS 

A New York Times Bestseller, Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read 

Seconds before Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together, this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by a galaxyful of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox—the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian (formerly Tricia McMillan), Zaphod’s girlfriend, whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; and Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he’s bought over the years. 

Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? For all the answers, stick your thumb to the stars!

Book3

 

HOW TO STAY CONNECTED TO YOUR COMMUNITY

  • Join the Facebook Group for CNS employees

  • Stay on top of COVID-19 updates, which include connection resources and ideas. See All Campus Communications, Messages from the Dean, and the CNS employees wiki for more.

  • Follow college and department news, including in the Point of Discovery podcast and The Texas Scientist magazine.

  • Make room for acknowledging and empathizing with colleagues' feelings right now. Don’t ignore your and others’ mood(s). If a virtual partner is feeling down and you’re giddy and goofy, that’s not helpful. Empathy matters. It builds trust and keeps the relationship going, even though the emotional cues are harder to pick up. The shared experience — the synchronization — is what matters. Use face-based virtual interaction when you can. Show support and you’ll get support.

  • UT Shoutouts: Nominate a coworker or team member who has been working on UT campus to keep the university property clean, safe and functioning properly for one of Texas Connect’s daily UT Shoutouts.

  • Keep in touch with coworkers while working remotely.
    • Utilize communication apps and software such as Slack & Zoom.
    • Don’t forget to celebrate personal milestones with your co-workers. These moments would normally be shared in the classroom, office or lab setting and shouldn’t be forgotten in a remote work environment.
    • Host a short birthday celebration or a virtual retirement party.
    • Create an “Office Humor” channel on Slack where you can post those laugh-out-loud moments you come across. Laughter truly is some of the best medicine. (Pro tip: Slack has a great Giphy integration - start a message with /giphy followed by your search term and you can insert the smile-inducing GIF.)
    • Schedule virtual lunch dates or time for “coffee talk” with your colleagues.
    • Implement regularly scheduled but optional Team Watercooler Chat on Zoom: Team members can drop in to take a break and talk about how everyone’s day is going, relevant news, fun facts, or ask a question everyone can answer.
    • Consider a Teams or Zoom Scavenger Hunt: With the goal of helping people become more familiar with the functionality of the system, some managers are creating a game out of finding settings, searching for channels, and posting content. This is a great way to help others learn tools in a low-risk way.  
    • Open or close Zoom meetings with time for team members to touch base with personal updates. All of us need non-task interactions alongside getting work done. If Zoom meetings end early, allow kids to join and add some youthful energy and exuberance.

 

PAST EVENTS & ACTIVITIES 


Self-Compassion in the Midst of Covid-19 Webinar

Kristin Neff, Associate Professor, Department of Educational Psychology

UT Associate Professor Kristin Neff is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on self-compassion, being the first one to operationally define and measure the construct over a decade ago. In this one hour webinar, Kristin will explain what self-compassion really means and share skills to practice self-compassion in daily life.

 

ALL ABOUT FOOD WEEK

May 11 - 15

Nutrition & The Immune System Webinar 

Molly Bray, Department Chair, Nutritional Sciences

Chris Jolly, Associate Professor - NTR Graduate Chair, Department of Nutritional Sciences  

Wendnesday, May 13, 3:00 p.m.

WEBINAR RECORDING HERE →  

Quarantine Cooking Recipe Share  

As we all shop less and stay at home more, many of us are rethinking our meals and dietary habits. Canned and frozen items are staples now more than ever, and creative substitutions (sometimes with tragic results) are often required.  Some of us may not have dared to step into a kitchen a few short weeks ago and are just beginning our culinary adventures.  Some of us are veteran home chefs who can make magic out of anything on hand.  And some of us are parents facing the demands of many hats and just trying to figure out how to get dinner on the table.  So share your Quarantine Cooking recipes for the enjoyment and nourishment of our CNS Community.

 VIEW RECIPE SHARE HERE → 

What We're Cooking Tonight Community Photo Album 

Was dinner tonight a success or perhaps an epic fail? We’d love to see photos of your meals, you and your family in the kitchen, or even the victory garden your tending. Post photos to Instagram with #CNScooks and check this page for streaming content during All About Food Week.  

 

  

CNS FAMILIES 

 May 25 - June 5

UT Lab School Resources for Parents Webinar 

Lara L Pauley, Assistant Professor of Practice, Department of Human Development and Family Sciences 

Wednesday, May 27, 3:00 p.m.

Parents and caregivers are now balancing work from home, teaching and online learning. In this one-hour webinar UT Assistant Professor Lara Pauley will share helpful resources from the Priscilla Pond Flawn Child & Family Lab regarding family, learning at home, and life with children.

 WEBINAR RECORDING HERE → 

 

 

 

 

 

As we all shop less and stay at home more, many of us are rethinking our meals and dietary habits. Canned and frozen items are staples now more than ever, and creative substitutions (sometimes with tragic results) are often required.  Some of us may not have dared to step into a kitchen a few short weeks ago and are just beginning our culinary adventures.  Some of us are veteran home chefs who can make magic out of anything on hand.  And some of us are parents facing the demands of many hats and just trying to figure out how to get dinner on the table.  So share your Quarantine Cooking recipes for the enjoyment and nourishment of our CNS Community.