Spring 2015 Workshops and Programs

The Office of Work/Life invites you to our Spring Semester events and workshops.  Please click on the corresponding links to register for these sessions.  While we recommend that you register, we welcome walk-ins when space permits.  For lunch-time sessions, please feel free to bring a brown-bag lunch.  

All workshops are offered at no charge, with the exception of Weight Watchers at Work and Mindfulness Training for Stress Reduction.  

We have provided a brief description for each event, but feel free to contact Office of Work/Life at worklife@columbia.edu or at 212-854-8019 for more information or with questions and suggestions for additional topics.

A PDF flier of our Spring 2015 events and workshops is also available.    

 

 

AGING/ELDERCARE

Establishing and Retaining Legal Control Over Important Life Decisions

PARENTING AND EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE

Child Care Choices with a Focus on Nanny Necessities  

Center Based Early Childhood Education and Care for Children Ages 2-5

Center Based Early Childhood Education and Care for Children Under 2 Years

Breastfeeding Matters

A Baby Shower for New and Expectant Parents: 2014-2015 and 2015-2016

HOUSING

The Process of Purchasing a Property

How Do I Obtain a Mortgage...And Can I Afford It?  

Cut the Clutter and Get Organized - RESCHEDULED - new date in April

Small Spaces - How to Live in One! 

SCHOOLING

How Financial Aid Works at Colleges

Getting a Jump on the Independent School Kindergarten Admissions Process (for Kindergarten 2016)

Public and Private High School Admissions Process: An Overview with Q&A Session

College Planning Information Session (for parents of high school students)

Approaches to Affording a Private School Education (Kindergarten through High School): Financial Aid, Primary Tuition Scholarship, Discounted and Sliding Scale Tuitions and Schools of Value

WELLNESS

Weight Watchers at Work

The Mindfulness Experience 

Mindfulness Training for Stress Reduction

Mindful Meditation Group: Cultivating Your Practice

Bicycling Street Skills

Walk to Wellness

Ergonomic Workstation Set-Up

ADDITIONAL WORKSHOP

Let's Go . . . Exploring the Tools to Travel the World (Saving You Planning Time and Money)

 

 

AGING/ELDER CARE:
Establishing and Retaining Legal Control Over Important Life Decisions 

Do you wonder if you should have a living will?  Have you thought about creating a trust for your children? If one of your older loved ones were ill, would you know his or her treatment preferences? Does your family know your wishes if you were ever unable to advocate for yourself legally or medically?

These important questions are can have significant impact on the lives of you and your family. The best ways to make sure that your wishes (and your loved ones’ wishes) are followed are through heart-to-heart conversations and having the appropriate legal documents in order.

Following this seminar, participants will be better able to:

• Understand the legal tools available
• Discuss these legal matters with their loved ones
• Access information on relevant local and state laws

Date:  Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Time:  12:00-1:00 p.m.
Location: Low Library, Burden Room 206
Presenter: Consultant from Humana/HRI (Columbia University’s Employee Assistance Program)
Register

PARENTING, EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE 

Child Care Choices with a Focus on Nanny Necessities
Hear an overview of the nuances of in-home child care in order to help determine if this option best meets your family’s child care needs.  The discussion will include information on hiring and interviewing, creating work agreements, and more. 

Date: Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Time:  12:00-1:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St. – between Amsterdam and Broadway (Between “Lionsgate” apartments and Christian Science Reading Room)
Presenter: Carolyn Singer, Associate Director, School and Child Care Search Service
Register
Please feel free to bring your infants and young children if you do not have alternative child care available.

Center Based Early Childhood Education and Care for Children Ages 2-5 
Hear an overview of the different types of center-based early education and child care options available in the NYC area in order to help determine which option best meets your family’s needs.  Discussion will follow on the timeline and process for completing applications.  

Date:  Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Time:  12:00-1:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St. – between Amsterdam and Broadway
(Between “Lionsgate” apartments and Christian Science Reading Room)
Presenter: Carolyn Singer, Associate Director, School and Child Care Search Service
Register
Please feel free to bring your infants and young children if you do not have alternative child care available.

Center Based Early Childhood Education and Care for Children Under 2 Years
Hear an overview of the different types of center-based early education and child care options available in the NYC area to help determine which option best meets your family’s  needs. 

Date:  Thursday, March 26, 2015
Time:  12:00-1:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St. – between Amsterdam and Broadway
(Between “Lionsgate” apartments and Christian Science Reading Room)
Presenter: Carolyn Singer, Associate Director, School and Child Care Search Service
Register
Please feel free to bring your infants and young children if you do not have alternative child care available.

Breastfeeding Matters
This is an educational workshop for expectant and new mothers who want to breastfeed their babies when they return to work or school.  Participants will learn breastfeeding basics, including common difficulties and how to manage them, and return-to-work/school strategies and resources.  Feel free to bring your spouse or partner, and your infant if you have already given birth. Beverages and light snacks will be provided.

Date:  Monday, March 30, 2015

Time:  3:00-5:00 p.m.
Location: Low Library, Trustees Room 212
Presenter: Beverly Solow, Certified Lactation Consultant
Register

A Baby Shower for New (2014-2015) and Expectant (2015-2016) Parents 
Join other expectant and new parents to learn about the variety of ways that Columbia can support you and your family as you embark on this exciting life transition of welcoming a baby into your home!  

In addition to time for parents to meet each other, representatives from the Office of Work/Life, HR Benefits, and Columbia Health will guide attendees through programs, services, benefits and policies available to Columbia families.  

Spouses/Partners and babies are welcome to attend. Refreshments will be served. Win a door prize!

Date: Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Time: 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Location: 516 W.112th St
Presenters: Representatives from Columbia University’s Office of Work/Life, HR Benefits, and Columbia Health
Register

HOUSING 

The Process of Purchasing a Property
Real estate experts will provide a step-by-step guide to home ownership, while answering all the questions about purchasing various types of properties (co-ops, condos, and houses).  What type of property is right for you?  How and where do you begin looking?  What are the costs associated with home/apartment ownership?  What happens at closing? 

Date: Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Time: 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St., between Amsterdam and Broadway
(Between “Lionsgate” apartments and Christian Science Reading Room)
Presenters: Two Real Estate Brokers
Register

How Do I Obtain a Mortgage… And Can I Afford It?
The mortgage process may seem overwhelming, but two lenders will break down what you need to do, explain credit reports, and most importantly – teach you how to determine if a property is affordable for you.

Date: Thursday, February 26, 2015
Time:  5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Location:  Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St., between Amsterdam and Broadway
(Between “Lionsgate” Apartments and Christian Science Reading Room)
Presenters: Two of Columbia’s Affinity Mortgage Lenders
Register

Cut the Clutter and Get Organized
Need some tips on how to better organize your home or office and spend less time looking for your things? Three professional organizers will provide you with valuable techniques for de-cluttering and suggest tools to help you stay organized.  Come with your questions in order to receive specific guidance.

Date: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 RESCHEDULED for Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Time:  12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Location:  Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St., between Amsterdam and Broadway 
(Between “Lionsgate” apartments and Christian Science Reading Room)
Presenters: Wendy Samuel, Clutter Therapy, LLC; Gail Furgal, Outtasight Organizing, LLC; and Donna Goldberg, The Organized Student, LLC
Register

Small Spaces - How to Live in One!
Whether you are downsizing into a smaller apartment or are new to New York and learning how to live with less space, the helpful tips provided in this workshop will make living in a small apartment much easier.

Date: Thursday, April 23, 2015
Time:  12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Location:  Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St., between Amsterdam and Broadway 
(Between “Lionsgate” apartments and Christian Science Reading Room)
Presenter: Alice Lesman, Director, Housing Information and Referral Service 
Register

SCHOOLING 
How Financial Aid Works at Colleges
In this workshop a financial aid officer will discuss how you can afford college for your child and will provide guidance on how to create a financial aid to-do list. Key financial aid terms will be defined. 

Date: Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Time:  5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Location:  Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St. between Amsterdam and Broadway (Between “Lionsgate” apartments and the Christian Science Reading Room)
Presenter: James Leonard Bogner, Assistant Director of Financial Aid, Columbia University
Register

Getting a Jump on the Independent School Kindergarten Admissions Process (for Kindergarten 2016)
The spring can be a great time for you to  learn more about independent schools in New York City without having to send in applications first.  We’ll talk about the independent school timeline, how to find out about spring tours and open houses, and the admissions and financial aid processes.

Date:  Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Time:  12:00-1:00 p.m.
Location:  Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St. between Amsterdam and Broadway (Between “Lionsgate” apartments and the Christian Science Reading Room)
Presenter:  Deborah Ashe, Director, School & Child Care Search Service
Register

Public and Private High School Admissions Process: An Overview with Q&A Session
This workshop will cover timelines, eligibility, requirements, testing and test preparation, and practical tips for applying to high school.  Experts will discuss admission to NYC public and private high schools, as well as boarding schools.  The workshop is geared toward students who will be entering high school in Fall 2016.  Families with students who will begin high school in Fall 2017 or Fall 2018 are also welcome.  

Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Time: 5:30 -7:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St.- between Amsterdam and Broadway
(Between “Lionsgate” Apartments and Christian Science Reading Room)
Presenters: 
•    Deborah Ashe, Director, School & Child Care Search Service 
•    Jill Buttenwieser, Crossman Consulting
•    Donald Viscardi, Inspirica
•    Maurice Frumkin, President of NYC Admissions Solutions
Register

College Planning Information Session (for parents of high school students)
In this workshop, you will be provided with information about choosing and applying to colleges. The presenters are admissions officers who will offer a perspective on what college admissions officers consider when reading applications and will address questions about early decision/early action and standardized testing. This session is intended for parents of 9, 10, and 11 graders; students are welcome to attend. There will be time for questions and answers.

Date:   Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Time:  5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St. between Amsterdam and Broadway (Between “Lionsgate” apartments and the Christian Science Reading Room)
Presenters:  Peter Johnson, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Columbia College and SEAS, Columbia University and Carolyn Middleton, Director of Admissions, Barnard College.
Register

Approaches to Affording a Private School Education (Kindergarten through High School):  Financial Aid, Primary Tuition Scholarship, Discounted and Sliding Scale Tuitions and Schools of Value
This workshop is for parents who are seeking alternatives to public school education (Kindergarten through High School for Fall 2015 and Fall 2016) but are concerned about affordability.  We will discuss how financial aid works, which schools offer discounted tuition to Columbia employees, and which private elementary and middle schools in the metropolitan New York area have tuitions under $25,000 (“Schools of Value”).  Some of these schools might still have openings for Fall 2015.

Date: Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Time: 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. 
Location: Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St.- between Amsterdam and Broadway
(Between “Lionsgate” Apartments and Christian Science Reading Room)
Presenter:  Deborah Ashe, Director, School & Child Care Search Service 
Register
WELLNESS 

Weight Watchers at Work
Join the Weight Watchers at Work program and learn how to manage your weight with group support and private weigh-ins.  Visit this website for more information about the program. Details about the Morningside series are below. This program is limited to Columbia faculty and staff.

Morningside Campus
Attend this Open House meeting to learn about and possibly join the Weight Watchers at Work series! Membership for WW at Work series includes “At Work” meetings and access to eTools online.  Payment is required at the intro session if you plan to enroll in the program (payment plans are an option). 

Free Open House Session:
Date: Monday, May 4, 2015
Time 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Location:  TBD
Presenter: Weight Watchers Meeting Leader
Register

The Mindfulness Experience
Mindfulness is the ability to pay attention, on purpose, in the present moment, with an open curiosity, letting go of judgment.  It can be practiced during daily activities including walking, eating, and listening. With a “beginner’s mind” participants will start to explore mindfulness-based, stress reduction techniques during this one-hour, interactive, lunch-time experiential workshop.

This workshop is for people who have little to no experience with mindfulness practices, including those who are considering taking the Mindfulness Based Training for Stress Reduction program (see description below). Please bring a brown-bag lunch. This program is limited to Columbia faculty and staff with a maximum enrollment of 30 people.

•    Date:  Monday, February 23, 2015
•    Time:  1:00 p.m. -2:00 p.m.
•    Location:  Studebaker Building, 615 W. 131st St., room 469  Manhattanville Campus

Instructor: Dr. Polly Wheat, retired Executive Director of the Student Health Service, Columbia University Medical Center.  Dr. Wheat trained with Jon Kabat-Zinn and has been teaching mindfulness meditation since 1994.
Register

Mindfulness Training for Stress Reduction
Mindfulness meditation is a technique of focus, calm and insight, and a skill that can be learned. Through this seven-week mindfulness training course, adapted to the university setting from the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, participants will observe how stress unfolds in their lives, their responses to it, and how mindfulness practice can ameliorate it. Participants will learn and practice a variety of stress reduction techniques, including mindful movement incorporating gentle yoga postures, and will also receive guided meditation audio files. Alongside the meditation practice, the classes incorporate group discussions centering on the experiences working with mindfulness meditation practices.

Participants can learn more about the program and register for the course at the free introductory workshop. There is a $75 enrollment fee for the seven-week course, payable by check to Columbia University.  There is a minimum enrollment of 10 and a maximum enrollment of 20 people.  Participants will need to bring a mat or towel for the training program (not necessary for the introductory session). This program is limited to Columbia faculty and staff.

Introduction to MTSR
•    Date:  Tuesday, February 24, 2015
•    Time:  5:30 p.m. -7:00 p.m.
•    Location:  Hammer Health Sciences Building, 701 W. 168th St., Room LL207  Medical Center Campus

Seven-Week MTSR Training
•    Dates:  Tuesdays:  March 3, 2015 – April 21, 2015 (no class on March 17-week of spring break).
•    Time:  5:30 p.m. -7:00 p.m.
•    Location:  Hammer Health Sciences Building, 701 W. 168th St., Room LL207 Medical Center Campus

Instructor: Dr. Polly Wheat, retired Executive Director of the Student Health Service, Columbia University Medical Center.  Dr. Wheat trained with Jon Kabat-Zinn and has been teaching mindfulness meditation since 1994.
Register

 

Mindful Meditation Group: Cultivating Your Practice

This alumni group is intended to provide ongoing tools and support for Mindfulness Training for Stress Reduction graduates.  The first session of this three-session series was held March 9.  Those who could not attend the March session are welcome to join for the April 6 and May 4 classes. 

The sessions will include guided meditations (30-45 minutes) as well as open discussion and questions.

Completion of Mindfulness Training for Stress Reduction or Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program (or similar training) is required. There is a $20 enrollment fee for the April and May sessions of this refresher course, payable by check to Columbia University.  There is also a minimum enrollment of 10 and a maximum enrollment of 20 people. This program is limited to Columbia faculty and staff.


•    Mondays, April 6, May 4, 2015
•    Time:  5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
•    Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St.- between Amsterdam and Broadway
(Between “Lionsgate” Apartments and Christian Science Reading Room) Morningside Campus

Instructor: Dr. Polly Wheat, retired Executive Director of the Student Health Service, Columbia University Medical Center.  Dr. Wheat trained with Jon Kabat-Zinn and has been teaching mindfulness meditation since 1994.
Register

 

Bicycling Street Skills
Bicycling is a great way to get to and from work. It’s fun, great for your health, and is frequently the fastest way to commute. Bicycling Street Skills is an off-bike, interactive presentation offered by Bike New York, covering the essentials of urban street cycling for all riders, including those relatively new to city cycling, those returning to cycling from a long hiatus, and those who want to be more confident cycling on busy streets. This 90-minute class will provide concrete examples of city cycling scenarios and will discuss how best to handle them to enjoy stress-free rides.

Class content includes:
•    Rights and responsibilities as a New York City cyclist
•    Traffic principles
•    Where to ride on the road, including lane and intersection positioning and changing lanes
•    How to use bike lanes, bike boxes, and more
•    How to avoid basic road hazards

•    Date:  Thursday, April 16, 2015
•    Time:  5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
•    Location:  Hammer Health Sciences Building, 701 W. 168th St., Room 316 Medical Center Campus
•    Presenter:  Certified League Instructor
Register


Walk to Wellness
Walk to Wellness is a free, fitness program on the Morningside, Manhattanville, and Medical Center campuses to help you be more active and fit.  The spring season runs from May through June and kicks off with a fitness assessment (resting heart rate, blood pressure, body weight and body fat) from the staff at Dodge Fitness Center and PlusOne. Participants will receive a resistance band and instruction for various exercise routines that can be done anywhere, anytime, to energize and improve strength and flexibility.  This program is limited to Columbia faculty and staff.

Please visit the website for more information about the program.

Manhattanville Campus
Kick-off Fitness Assessment
•    Date: Monday, May 4, 2015
•    Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
•    Location: Studebaker, Room 469 Manhattanville Campus
Instructor-Led Lunchtime Walks (8 Weeks):
•    Date: Mondays and Thursdays/First Walk on Thursday, May 7, 2015
•    Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
•    Meet-Up Location:
Wrap-Up Fitness Assessment
•    Date: Thursday, June 25, 2015
•    Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
•    Location: Studebaker, room 469 Manhattanville Campus
Register

Medical Center Campus
Kick-off Fitness Assessment
•    Date: Monday, May 4, 2015
•    Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
•    Location: Plus One/NYPH Fitness Center
Instructor-Led Lunchtime Walks ( 8 Weeks):
•    Date: Mondays and Thursdays/First Walk on Thursday, May 7, 2015
•    Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
•    Meet-Up Location:
Wrap-Up Fitness Assessment
•    Date: Thursday, June 25, 2015
•    Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
•    Location: Plus One/NYPH Fitness Center
Register

Morningside Campus
Kick-off Fitness Assessment
•    Date: Monday, May 4, 2015
•    Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
•    Location: Dodge Fitness Center Lobby
Instructor-Led Lunchtime Walks (8 Weeks):
•    Date: Mondays and Thursdays/First Walk on Thursday, May 7, 2015
•    Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
•    Meet-Up Location:
Wrap-Up Fitness Assessment
•    Date: Thursday, June 25, 2015
•    Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
•    Location: Dodge Fitness Center Lobby
Register

Ergonomics Workstation Set-Up
Ergonomics is the science of fitting the workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of the working population.  The goal of ergonomics is to make work more comfortable and to improve both health and productivity. In this workshop, you will learn tips and techniques about setting up your computer workstation so that you can perform your job functions in a manner that will avoid ergonomic risk factors. Monthly workshops are sponsored by the department of Environmental Health and Safety. To see the complete schedule and register, please visit the EH&S website.

•    Dates: Monthly
•    Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
•    Location: 615 W. 131st St, Studebaker Building
•    Presenter: Environmental Health and Safety professional, Columbia University

ADDITIONAL WORKSHOP
Let's Go...Exploring the Tools to Travel the World (Saving You Planning Time and Money)
Planning a getaway for spring break?  Trying to figure out when to visit family this summer? Learn a number of tips, tools, and strategies for maximizing your travel opportunities.  Time will be spent on how to find deals, earn and spend frequent traveler points/miles, and how to reduce/remove barriers to seeing the world in an affordable manner. 

Speaker: Dr. Michael McNeil, Columbia Health, visitor to all 50 states and more than 40 countries on all 7 continents, combines his past experience of working at the world's busiest airport and a large hotel with his up to date knowledge of the travel industry.

Date: Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Time: 12:00-1:00pm
Location: Burden Room
Presenter: Dr. Michael McNeil, Columbia Health, visitor to all 50 states and more than 40 countries on all 7 continents, combines his past experience of working at the world's busiest airport and a large hotel with his up to date knowledge of the travel industry
Register