Spring 2016 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.  

Workshops are offered at no charge, unless otherwise noted.

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 2016 events and workshops is also available.    

 

 

 

 

AGING/ELDERCARE

Senior Care Overview

Establishing and Retaining Legal Control Over Important Life Decisions  

EARLY EDUCATION, CHILD CARE & PARENTING

Nanny Necessities  

Breastfeeding Basics: For Home & Work/School 

Group Child Care Options for Children Under 5

Steps to a Successful Adoption - NEW DATE & LOCATION

A Baby Shower for New and Expectant Parents: Babies Born in 2015-16 and 2016-17 

HOUSING

The Process of Purchasing a Property 

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

Small Spaces - How to Live in One 

Cut the Clutter and Get Organized

SCHOOLING

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

Approaches to Affording a Private School Education (Kindergarten through High School)  

College Planning Information Session (for Parents of High School Students)   

WELLNESS

Weight Watchers at Work

Mindfulness Meditation Alumni Group  

Mindfulness Training for Stress Reduction 

Tips for a Good Night's Sleep 

Mindfulness Experience 

Bicycling Street Skills

Walk to Wellness 

Ergonomic Workstation Set-Up

ADDITIONAL WORKSHOPS

Flexible Work Arrangements 

AGING/ELDER CARE:

Senior Care Overview
Attend this workshop to learn about the various senior care options available. The workshop is designed to help you understand senior care, assess your loved one’s needs, communicate with loved ones about changing care needs, and identify care options and resources.

Date: Wednesday, February 24, 2016 
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University Morningside Campus, Low Library, Trustees Room 212
Presenter: Consultant from LifeCare, Inc.

Register

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 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:  Monday, March 21, 2016
Time:  12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, Manhattanville Campus, Studebaker Building, Room 469
Presenter: Consultant from Humana/HRI (Columbia University's Employee Assistance Program)

Register

EARLY EDUCATION, CHILD CARE, AND PARENTING 

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 interviewing, hiring, creating work agreements, and more. 

Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2016
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: Carolyn Singer, Associate Director, School and Child Care Search Service

Please feel free to bring your infants and young children if you do not have alternative child care available.

Register

Breastfeeding Basics: For Home and Work/School

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 21, 2016
Time:  3:00-5:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Low Library, Burden Room 206
Presenter: Beverly Solow, Certified Lactation Consultant

Please feel free to bring your infants and young children if you do not have alternative child care available.

Register

Group Child Care Options for Children Under 5 
Hear an overview of the different types of center-based and family day care options available in the NYC area so that you can determine which option best meets your family’s child care needs.  Discussion will focus on the timeline and process for completing applications.   

Date:  Tuesday, April 19, 2016
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

Please feel free to bring your infants and young children if you do not have alternative child care available.

Register

Steps to a Successful Adoption 
The adoption process can seem overwhelming and confusing. To support a positive adoption experience, this seminar lays out the different adoption options available and walks prospective adoptive parents through the steps of the adoption process. 

New Date: Thursday, May 19, 2016   
Time:  12:00-1:00 p.m.
New Location: Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St. – between Amsterdam and Broadway
(Between “Lionsgate” apartments and Christian Science Reading Room)
Presenter: Consultant from Humana/HRI (Columbia University's Employee Assistance Program)

Register

A Baby Shower for New and Expectant Parents: Babies Born 2015-16 and 2016-17
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 infants are welcome to attend. Refreshments will be served.  Take home a Work/Life goodie bag and enter to win one of our door prizes!

Date:  Thursday, May 5, 2016
Time:  4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St. – between Amsterdam and Broadway
(Between “Lionsgate” apartments and Christian Science Reading Room)
Presenter: 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: Thursday, February 4, 2016
Time: 5:30p.m.-7:00p.m.
Location: Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St.- between Amsterdam and Broadway
(Between “Lion’s Gate” apartments and the Christian Science Reading Room)
Presenters: Two Real Estate Brokers

Register

AND 

Date: Friday, March 11, 2016
Time: 12:00p.m.-1:00p.m.(condensed version)
Location: Columbia University, Manhattanville Campus, Studebaker Building, Room 469
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 25, 2016
Time: 5:30p.m.-7:00p.m.
Location: Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St.- between Amsterdam and Broadway
(Between “Lion’s Gate” apartments and the Christian Science Reading Room)
Presenters: Two of Columbia’s Affinity Mortgage Lenders

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 alleviate some visual clutter and make living in a small apartment much easier.
Consider attending this workshop along with “Cut the Clutter and Get Organized” for a total de-cluttering overhaul.

Date: Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Time: 12:00p.m.-1:00p.m.
Location: Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St.- between Amsterdam and Broadway
(Between “Lion’s Gate” apartments and the Christian Science Reading Room)
Presenters: Alice Lesman, Director, Housing Information and Referral Service

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, April 13, 2016
Time:  12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.
Location:  Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St.- between Amsterdam and Broadway
(Between “Lion’s Gate” Apartments and the Christian Science Reading Room)
Presenters: Wendy Samuel, Clutter Therapy, LLC; Gail Furgal, Outtasight Organizing, LLC; and Donna Goldberg, The Organized Student, LLC

Register

SCHOOLING 

Public and Private High School Admissions Process: An Overview with Q&A Session
This workshop will cover timelines, eligibility, requirements, testing, 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 families of students entering high school in Fall 2017.  Families with students who will begin high school in Fall 2018 or Fall 2019 are also welcome.   

Date:  Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Time: 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Location:  Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St. between Amsterdam and Broadway (Between “Lion’s Gate” apartments and Christian Science Reading Room)
Presenters: Jill Buttenwieser, Crossman Consulting; Terri Decker, Smart City Kids; Maurice Frumkin, President of NYC Admissions Solutions

Register

Approaches to Affording a Private School Education (Kindergarten through High School)
This workshop is for parents who are seeking alternatives to public school education (Kindergarten through High School for Fall 2017 and Fall 2018) but are concerned about affordability.  We will discuss how financial aid works and focus on what parents need to know, including what is considered in a financial aid application and how to properly complete one.  Additional materials available will include information regarding the Primary Tuition Scholarship, discounted and sliding scale tuitions, and Schools of Value (independent schools in the New York metropolitan area with tuitions under $25,000).

Date:  Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Time:  5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Location:  Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St. between Amsterdam and Broadway (Between “Lion’s Gate” apartments and Christian Science Reading Room)
Presenter: Justine Marosi, TADS  

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.  Questions about early decision/early action and standardized testing will be addressed. 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, May 3, 2016 
Time:  5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Location:  Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St. between Amsterdam and Broadway (Between “Lion’s Gate” apartments and 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

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 and Medical Center Campus series are below.

Attend these Free Open House meetings to learn about, and possibly join, the Weight Watchers at Work series!  Membership for WW at Work series includes “At Work” meetings as well as access to community meetings and 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:

Morningside Campus
Date: Monday, January 25, 2016
Time 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Location:  Columbia University Morningside Campus, Low Library, Trustees Room 212 
Presenter: Weight Watchers Meeting Leader
Register 

Medical Center Campus
Date:  Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Time: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University Medical Center, Reemtsma Conference Room, Milstein 7-213
Presenter: Weight Watchers Meeting Leader
Register

Mindfulness Meditation Alumni Group
Intended to provide ongoing tools and support for Mindfulness Training for Stress Reduction program graduates, this alumni group will meet five times during the spring semester. 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. This refresher course has an enrollment fee of $10 per class or $40 for all five classes, payable by check to Columbia University. This program is limited to Columbia faculty and staff.

Dates: Mondays: January 25, February 29, March 28, April 25, May 23, 2016
Time:  5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. 
Location: Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St.- between Amsterdam and Broadway 
(Between “Lionsgate” Apartments and Christian Science Reading Room) Morningside Campus
Presenter: 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. 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, March 1, 2016
Time:  5:30 p.m. -7:00 p.m.
Location:  Columbia University Medical Center, Hammer Health Sciences Building, LL207

Seven-Week MTSR Training
Dates:  Tuesday, March 8 – April 19 2016
Time:  5:30 p.m. -7:00 p.m.
Location:  Columbia University Medical Center, Hammer Health Sciences Building, LL207
Presenter: 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

Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep  
If you have trouble sleeping you may feel like there’s little you can do. However, by following certain recommendations, known as “sleep hygiene,” you may be able to get the rest you need. After completing this seminar, you will be better able to understand the root causes of sleep problems and identify ways to improve your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Date: Thursday, March 3, 2016 - CANCELLED
Time:  12:00 – 1:00 p.m.  
Location:  Columbia University Medical Center, Hammer Health Sciences Building, Room 303
Presenters:  Consultant from Humana/HRI (Columbia University’s Employee Assistance Program)

Register

AND 

Date:  Tuesday, March 8, 2016  during National Sleep Awareness Week™ , National Sleep Foundation 
Time:  12:00 – 1:00 p.m.  
Location:  Columbia University Morningside Campus, Low Library, Trustees Room 212
Presenters:  Consultant from Humana/HRI (Columbia University’s Employee Assistance Program)

Register

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, March 28, 2016
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)
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 in New York City. 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 7, 2016
Time:  5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. 
Location:  Columbia University Morningside Campus, Low Library, Trustees Room 212
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 April 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. This program is limited to Columbia faculty and staff.

Please visit the website for more information about the program. 

Morningside Campus
Kick-off Fitness Assessment
Date: Monday, April 18, 2016
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: Dodge Fitness Center Lobby

Instructor-Led Lunchtime Walks (8 Weeks - Mondays & Wednesdays)
Date: First Walk on Wednesday April 20, 2016
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Wrap-Up Fitness Assessment
Date: Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: Dodge Fitness Center Lobby 

Register to participate in the Walk to Wellness kick-off/wrap up events and the instructor-led walks

Manhattanville Campus
Kick-off Fitness Assessment
Date: Tuesday, April 19, 2016 
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, Manhattanville Campus, Studebaker Building, Room 367

Instructor-Led Lunchtime Walks (8 Weeks - Tuesdays & Thursdays)
Date: First Walk on Thursday, April 21, 2016
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Wrap-Up Fitness Assessment
Date: Thursday, June 9, 2016
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, Manhattanville Campus, Studebaker Building, Room 367

Register to participate in the Walk to Wellness kick-off/wrap up events and the instructor-led walks

Medical Center Campus
Kick-off Fitness Assessment
Date: Monday, April 18, 2016
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: Plus One 

Instructor-Led Lunchtime Walks (8 Weeks - Mondays & Wednesdays)
Date: First Walk on Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Wrap-Up Fitness Assessment
Date: Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: Plus One

Register to participate in the Walk to Wellness kick-off/wrap up events and the instructor-led walks

Ergonomic 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: Columbia University, Manhattanville Campus, Studebaker Building, Room 367  
Presenter: Environmental Health and Safety professional, Columbia University

Register

ADDITIONAL WORKSHOPS

Flexible Work Arrangements
Flexible work arrangements (FWA) are a critical resource for meeting the demands of the office, home, and personal and family needs. Columbia University has a FWA policy for Officers of Administration, the Libraries and non-union support staff which includes the use of flextime, part-time, telecommuting, and 9-, 10-, and 11-month employment programs.  

In this workshop, employees/supervisors will:
•  Learn more about workplace flexibility as a strategy to better meet the demands of both work and life, including caring for others and participating in health and wellness activities,
•  Become familiar with the Columbia University FWA policy, and
•  Know what to consider in the development of  or response to a FWA proposal.

Date:  Monday, April 18, 2016
Time:  12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
NEW LOCATION:  Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St. – between Amsterdam and Broadway
(Between “Lionsgate” apartments and Christian Science Reading Room)
Presenters:  Carol Hoffman, Associate Provost and Director, Work/Life and Lisa Seales, Client Manager, Human Resources 

Register