Spring 2017 Workshops and Programs

The Office of Work/Life invites you to our spring semester events and workshops.  Please click on the "register" links to sign up for these sessions.  We also welcome walk-ins when space permits.  For lunch-time sessions, feel free to bring a brown-bag lunch. Workshops are offered at no charge, unless otherwise noted. A PDF flier of our spring 2017 events and workshops is also available.

For questions or additional information, email worklife@columbia.edu or call 212-854-8019.

Please explore the Office of Work/Life website to learn about breastfeeding support/lactation rooms, back-up care (pending eligibility), wellness activities, the events calendar, and to subscribe to the PreK and Kindergarten NYC newsletter and wellness listserv.

You can also request individual consultations to help you find child care, K-12 schooling, and housing. Additional services to support faculty recruitment are also available. 

AGING & ADULT/ELDER CARE

Establishing and Retaining Legal Control Over Important Life Decisions

EARLY EDUCATION, CHILD CARE & PARENTING

Group Early Education and Child Care Options for Children Under 5 Years

Breastfeeding Basics: For Home and Work/School  

In-Home Child Care: A Focus on Nanny Necessities 

A Baby Shower for New and Expectant Parents: Babies Born in 2016-17 and 2017-18

HOUSING

The Process of Purchasing a Property *2/9/17 workshop CANCELLED*

How to 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   

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

WELLNESS

Weight Watchers at Work

Mindfulness Meditation Alumni Group    

Mindfulness Training for Stress Reduction

Time for Lunch, the EAT 5 Way

Weighing Your Options: A Weight Management Panel Discussion  

Tips for a Good Night's Sleep

Family Cycling 101

Walk to Wellness 

Mindfulness Experience 

Ergonomic Workstation Set-Up

ADDITIONAL WORKSHOP

Flexible Work Arrangements  

AGING & ADULT/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 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, April 25, 2017
Time:  12:00-1:30 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Low Library, Trustees Room 212 
Presenter: Facilitator from Humana/HRI (Columbia University’s Employee Assistance Program)
Register

EARLY EDUCATION, CHILD CARE & PARENTING   

Group Early Education and Child Care Options for Children Under 5  
Hear an overview of the different types of early education and child care options available in the NYC area, including family day care and center-based care.  This workshop will help you determine which option best meets your family’s needs.  Information on the application process and timeline will be included, with Q&A to follow.      

Date:  Wednesday, February 8, 2017
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 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 6, 2017
Time:  3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Low Library, Trustees Room 212 
Presenter: Beverly Solow, Certified Lactation Consultant
Register

In-Home Child Care: 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 interviewing, hiring, creating work agreements, and more. 

Date:  Tuesday, March 7, 2017
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. 

A Baby Shower for New and Expectant Parents:  Babies Born in 2016-17 and 2017-18
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 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 4, 2017
Time: 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St. – between Amsterdam and Broadway
(Between “Lionsgate” apartments and Christian Science Reading Room)
Presenters: Representatives from Columbia University’s Office of Work/Life, HR Benefits, and Columbia Health
Register 

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

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 9, 2017  *CANCELLED*
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

AND

Date: Friday, March 10, 2017
Time: 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. (Condensed Version)
Location: 615 W. 131st St., Studebaker Building, 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 23, 2017
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 

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 5, 2017
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

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 19, 2017
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

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 information regarding the standardized tests required for admissions.  The workshop is geared toward families of students entering high school in fall 2018.  Families with students who will begin high school in fall 2019 or fall 2020 are also welcome.   

Date: Tuesday, April 4, 2017
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:  Terri Decker, Smart City Kids; Maurice Frumkin, NYC Admissions Solutions; Mary Miele, Evolved Education Company
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 2, 2017
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, Enrollment Group Special Project and Special Assistant to Dean of Undergraduate Admissions & Financial Aid, Columbia College and SEAS, Columbia University and Christina Lopez, Director of Admissions, Barnard College
Register

WELLNESS

Weight Watchers at Work
Join Weight Watchers at Work and learn how to manage your weight with group support and private weigh-ins. 

Attend these Free Open House meetings to learn about, and possibly join, the Weight Watchers at Work series!  Membership for Weight Watchers at Work series includes “At Work” meetings at the Morningside or Medical Center campus as well as access to community meetings and eTools online.  Payment to Weight Watchers is required at the open house session if you plan to enroll in the program. (Payment plans are available.) 

Please note: Because we have not met the minimum requirement of 15 participants, we are unable to offer Weight Watchers at Work on the Morningside campus this spring.

Free Open House Sessions:
Morningside Campus
Date: Monday, January 23, 2017
Time 12:15 – 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, January 25, 2017
Time: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University Medical Center
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 group will meet monthly 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 similar training) is required. This refresher course has an enrollment fee of $10 per class or $32 for all four classes. This program is limited to Columbia faculty and employees.

Dates: Mondays, January 23, February 27, March 20, April 24, 2017
Time:  5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St.- between Amsterdam and Broadway
(Between “Lionsgate” Apartments and Christian Science Reading Room)
Instructor: Polly Wheat, M.D., retired Executive Director, CUMC Student Health Service, has taught mindfulness meditation for more than 20 years.
Register for January 23 ($10)
Register for February 27 ($10)
Register for March 20 ($10)
Register for April 24 ($10)
Register for Series (all four classes - $32)

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 receive registration and payment information for the seven-week course at the free introductory workshop. There is a $75 enrollment fee for the full course.  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 employees.

Introduction to MTSR
Date:  Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Time:  5:30 -7:00 p.m.
Location:  Columbia University, Manhattanville Campus, 615 W. 131st St., Studebaker Building, 469
Instructor: Polly Wheat, M.D., retired Executive Director, CUMC Student Health Service, has taught mindfulness meditation for more than 20 years.
Register

Seven-Week MTSR Training
Dates: Tuesdays, February 14, 21, 28, March 7, 21, 28, and April 4, 2017 (No Class on March 14, Columbia Spring Break)
Time:  5:30 -7:00 p.m.
Location:  Columbia University, Manhattanville Campus, 615 W. 131st St., Studebaker Building, 469
Instructor: Polly Wheat, M.D., retired Executive Director, CUMC Student Health Service, has taught mindfulness meditation for more than 20 years.

Time for Lunch, the EAT 5 Way
Join us as we explore tasty and nutritious lunch ideas whether you brown bag, pick up, or dine out. The EAT 5 initiative is designed to help you integrate more fruits and vegetables into your diet and get you closer to reaching the goal of eating five cups per day. This interactive nutrition workshop offers a food demonstration with samples, giveaways, take home recipes - and more. This program is limited to Columbia faculty and employees. 

Date:  Wednesday, February 15, 2017 
Time:  12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Location:  Columbia University, Medical Center Campus, 701 W. 168th St., Hammer Building, LL209A
Instructor:  Daniela Neman, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Wellness Specialist, United Healthcare/Optum
Register

AND

Date:  Thursday, February 16, 2017
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)
Instructor:  Daniela Neman, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Wellness Specialist, United Healthcare/Optum
Register

Weighing Your Options: A Weight Management Panel Discussion
Thinking about how to manage your weight? Join us as Columbia faculty experts and representatives from a variety of weight management solutions discuss evidence-based lifestyle practices and programs available on campus and through Columbia’s medical plan. Learn about the benefits of each program, find strategies for success, and identify a solution that is right for you. This program is limited to Columbia faculty and employees.

Date:  Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Time:  12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Location:  Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Low Library, Trustees Room 212 
Presenters: Faculty and representatives from the Institute of Human Nutrition, CUMC Weight Control Center, Weight Watchers, and UHC/Optum.
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. This program is limited to Columbia faculty and employees.

Date:  Thursday, March 9, 2017
Time:  12:00 – 1:00 p.m. 
Location:  Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Low Library, Trustees Room 212
Presenter:  Facilitator from Humana/HRI (Columbia University’s Employee Assistance Program)
Register

Family Cycling 101
Bicycling is fun, great for your health, and is frequently the fastest way to commute. Family Cycling 101 is an inspiring presentation and discussion for parents and guardians who want to learn how to ride with children. While no riding is involved, the class provides information on appropriate equipment and gear, bike safety, carriers and trailers, kid-friendly bike routes, what to pack, and more.

Date: Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Time:  12:00 – 1:00 p.m. 
Location:  Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Low Library, Trustees Room 212
Presenter:  Certified Bicycling Instructor, Bike New York
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 employees.

Please visit the website for more information about the program.

Morningside Campus
Kick-off Fitness Assessment
Date: Monday, April 24, 2017
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: Dodge Fitness Center Lobby
Instructor-Led Lunchtime Walks (8 Weeks)
Date: Mondays and Wednesdays
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Register to participate in the Walk to Wellness kick-off and the instructor-led walks (Morningside)

Medical Center Campus
Kick-off Fitness Assessment
Date: Monday, April 24, 2017
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: Plus One
Instructor-Led Lunchtime Walks (8 Weeks)
Date: Mondays and Wednesdays
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Register to participate in the Walk to Wellness kick-off and the instructor-led walks (CUMC)

Manhattanville Campus
Kick-off Fitness Assessment
Date: Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: 615 W. 131st St., Studebaker 367
Instructor-Led Lunchtime Walks (8 Weeks)
Date: Tuesdays and Thursdays
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Register to participate in the Walk to Wellness kick-off and the instructor-led walks (Manhattanville)

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 above). To meet the goals of the workshop, please bring a brown-bag lunch or snack. This program is limited to Columbia faculty and employees.

Date:  Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Time:  12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, Medical Center Campus, 701 W. 168th St., Hammer Building 305
Instructor: Polly Wheat, M.D., retired Executive Director, CUMC Student Health Service, has taught mindfulness meditation for more than 20 years.
Register

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: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Location: Offered at Morningside, CUMC, and Manhattanville campuses on a rotating basis.  Check EH&S website for more details.
Presenter: Environmental Health and Safety professional, Columbia University

ADDITIONAL WORKSHOP

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: Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Time: 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Location:  Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Low Library, Trustees Room 212
Presenters: Work/Life team member and Lisa Seales, Client Manager, Human Resources
Register