Work/Life Spring 2013 Workshops & 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 at no charge for participants, with the exception of Weight Watchers at Work and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).

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.

 

Spring 2013 Workshops & Programs Flier (PDF)




 

AGING/ELDER CARE

Retaining Legal Control Over Important Life Decisions 

Introduction to Medicare

CHILD CARE & PARENTING:

Child Care Choices with a Focus on Nanny Necessities
Breastfeeding Matters 

HOUSING

Making Your Home Green & Healthy
The Process of Purchasing a Property
How Do I Obtain a Mortgage… And Can I Afford It?
Cut the Clutter and Get Organized

SCHOOLING

Getting a Jump on the Independent School Kindergarten Admissions Process (for Kindergarten 2014)
Financing Your Child's College Education
College Planning Information Session (for parents of high school students)
A Fair Introducing “Schools of Value”: More Affordable Private K- 8 School Options

WELLNESS

Weight Watchers at Work
Eat Better: Stay Healthier
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
Walk to Wellness
Ergonomic Computer Worksation Setup 

ADDITIONAL WORK/LIFE PROGRAMS

Money Matters
Positive Psychology: Enhancing Your Happiness
The Best of Brooklyn: Child Care, Housing, Schooling & Wellness Resource Fair
Flexible Work Arrangements 
AGING/ELDER CARE:

Retaining Legal Control Over Important Life Decisions
If one of your older loved ones was ill, would you know his or her treatment preferences? Do you know if any of your relatives believe in organ donation? Does your family know your wishes if you were ever unable to advocate for yourself legally or medically? These important questions are literally about life and death. 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: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, Medical Center Campus, Hammer Health Science Building LL 107
Presenter: Consultant from Harris Rothenberg, International, HRI (Columbia University’s Employee Assistance Program)
Register 

 

Introduction to Medicare
This workshop focuses on Medicare and provides information on basic terms, documentation, eligibility criteria, enrollment procedures, deductibles, coinsurance and copayments, private contracts, administrative appeals, and more. This program is meant to provide you with the information you need for the care of loved ones and is not geared to you as a Columbia officer or employee with Columbia health insurance (though this session will have helpful information for anyone interested in Medicare).

Following this seminar, participants will be better able to:

  • Understand the major components of Medicare
  • Assess which program(s) are appropriate for them or older loved ones
  • Apply to the appropriate program(s)
  • Get the most out of the program(s) they utilize
Date: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, Medical Center Campus, Hammer Health Science Building LL 107
Presenter: Consultant from Harris Rothenberg, International, HRI (Columbia University’s Employee Assistance Program)
Register

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CHILD CARE & PARENTING: 
Child Care Choices with a Focus on Nanny Necessities
Hear an overview of how to examine 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, dispelling myths and providing knowledge about household employment guidelines, and more. 

Date:  Wednesday, March 13, 2013
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 Seventh Church of Christ, Scientist)
Presenter: Carolyn Singer, Child Care Resource Specialist, 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
“Breastfeeding Matters” 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: Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Low Library Trustees Room 212
Presenter: Beverly Solow, Breastfeeding support group leader, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)
Register

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HOUSING: 

Making Your Home Green & Healthy
This workshop offers a holistic approach to reducing harmful environmental exposures to protect the health of you and your family.  Several themes will be covered in this workshop which emphasizes tips that can easily be incorporated into your life to decrease multiple harms in your environment.

  • Green Cleaning focuses upon how to keep your home clean and pest-free with non-toxic or low-toxicity options.
  • Fresh Air introduces strategies for decreasing sources of indoor air pollution in your home.
  • Eat Fresh reviews sources of unwanted chemical exposure in your diet and how to choose healthy, chemical-free foods.
  • Toxic-Free Shopping identifies sources of unwanted chemicals in products you regularly use and provides information for choosing safer alternatives.
  • Create Change provides resources for staying informed about environmental health
Additionally, resources will be provided for green construction practices and buildings in the New York area.

Date: Thursday, February 21st
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 Seventh Church of Christ, Scientist)
Presenter: Alyssa Creighton, MPH , Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health, CUMC
Register

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, March 5, 2013
Time: 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St.- between Amsterdam and Broadway
(Between “Lion’s Gate” apartments and Seventh Church of Christ, Scientist)
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, March 14, 2013
Time:  5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Location:  Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St.- between Amsterdam and Broadway
(Between “Lion’s Gate” apartments and Seventh Church of Christ, Scientist)
Presenters: Columbia’s Affinity Lenders - Bank of America Home Loans and ICC Mortgage Services
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 things? Three professional organizers will provide you with valuable techniques for de-cluttering and suggest tools to help you stay organized.  Come with all of your questions and they will give you specific guidance.

Date: Wednesday, May 1, 2013
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 Seventh Church of Christ, Scientist)
Presenters: Wendy Samuel, Clutter Therapy, LLC, Gail Furgal, Outtasight Organizing, LLC, and Donna Goldberg of The Organized Student
Register

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SCHOOLING:

Getting a Jump on the Independent School Kindergarten Admissions Process (for Kindergarten 2014)
The spring can be a great time for you to get to know more about independent schools in New York City without having to send in applications first.  We’ll talk about the independent school timeline, spring tours and open houses, and an overview of the admissions and financial aid process.

Date: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
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 Seventh Church of Christ, Scientist)
Presenters: Columbia University School and Child Care Search Service Professionals
Register

Financing Your Child's College Education
In this workshop you will be provided with definitions of key financial aid terms, learn about how you can afford college for your child, and receive guidance on how to create a financial aid to-do list.

Date: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Time: 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Location:  Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St.- between Amsterdam and Broadway
(Between “Lion’s Gate” apartments and Seventh Church of Christ, Scientist)
Presenters: James L. Bogner, Assistant Director, Financial Aid Office, Columbia University and Nanette DiLaura, Director, Financial Aid Office, Barnard College
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.  Columbia and Barnard admissions officers 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: Thursday, May 9, 2013
Time: 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St.- between Amsterdam and Broadway
(Between “Lion’s Gate” apartments and Seventh Church of Christ, Scientist)
Presenter:  Peter Johnson, Director of Admissions, Columbia University and Carolyn Middleton, Director of Admissions, Barnard College
Register

A Fair Introducing “Schools of Value”:  More Affordable Private K- 8 School Options
Parents often want to explore their options beyond their public school, but most independent school education is notoriously expensive in New York City.  Come to our Spring School Fair and talk to educators from a range of private New York City metropolitan area schools serving Kindergarten through 8th Grade or Middle School students.  Some schools have a religious affiliation (parochial), others are secular; some charge a  flat fee tuition (most of them under $6,000 per child) and others use a sliding scale tuition based on income.  We have invited schools located in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, New Jersey, Westchester and Rockland County, as well as in Manhattan.  (Please note that there will be no representatives from public schools.)

Some schools will have openings for the 2013/2014 school year, while others will be accepting applications in the fall for the 2014/2015 school year.

Come and find out more about these Schools of Value!

Date: Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Time: 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Warren Hall (Corner of 115th St. and Amsterdam Ave.)


No Registration Necessary

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WELLNESS

Weight Watchers at Work
Join the Weight Watchers at Work program and learn how to conquer hunger and manage your weight with group support and private weigh-ins. At these free Open House sessions you will receive information about the program and have the opportunity to hear from current members about their experience with Weight Watchers. There will also be raffle drawings for door prizes.

You may join at any time through the Columbia Weight Watchers Portal.  The cost to join is $39.95 per month.  This monthly pass will automatically renew until you decide to cancel. The membership includes access to both "At Work" and community meetings.

Free Open House at Morningside Campus:
Date: Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Time: 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Low Library Trustees Room 212
Presenter: Weight Watchers Meeting Leader
Register

Free Open House at Columbia University Medical Center:
Date: Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Choice of Meeting Times:
Option #1: 4:30pm – 5:00pm
Option #2: 5:15pm – 5:45pm
Location: Hammer Health Sciences Building, 701 West 168th St., Rm. #410
Presenter: Weight Watchers Meeting Leader
Register

Eat Better: Stay Healthier
Skipping breakfast?  Grabbing a fast-food lunch on the run? Since many health problems are caused or made worse by poor eating habits, a proper diet is critical in maintaining health and well-being.  This seminar focuses on choosing healthy food; reading food labels; determining reasonable portions; eating well even when time is tight; and recognizing the benefits of eating a healthy a balanced diet.

Following this seminar, participants will be better able to:

  • Make smart food choices every day
  • Get the most nutrition out of their calories
  • Understand why diets often do not work
  • Improve overall health and well-being
Date: Thursday, February 7, 2013
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Low Library Trustees Room 212
Presenters: Consultant from Harris Rothenberg, International, HRI (Columbia University’s Employee Assistance Program)
Register

 

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

Mindfulness meditation is a technique of focus, calm and insight, in which the resources and wisdom of the body and mind are used to learn how to cope effectively with stress and to be more fully present in each moment of our lives. It is also a skill that can be learned. Through this seven-week MBSR course, participants will observe how stress unfolds in their lives, their responses to it, and how mindfulness practice ameliorates 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.

A free introductory workshop will be offered so that participants can learn more about MBSR and register for the course. Although the intro workshop is free, there is a $50 enrollment fee for the seven-week course. Please bring a check made out to Columbia University for $50 to the intro session if you want to join.  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 intro session).

Free Introduction to MBSR at Morningside Campus
Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Time: 5:30 p.m. -7:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St.- between Amsterdam and Broadway
(Between “Lion’s Gate” apartments and Seventh Church of Christ, Scientist)

Seven-Week MBSR Training at Morningside Campus
Dates: Tuesdays, March 12th – April 30th, 2013 (no class March 26, 2013)
Time: 5:30 p.m. -7:00 p.m.
Location:  Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St.- between Amsterdam and Broadway
(Between “Lion’s Gate” apartments and Seventh Church of Christ, Scientist)
Register

Free Introduction to MBSR at Columbia University Medical Center
Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Time: 5:30 p.m. -7:00 p.m.
Location: Russ Berrie Medical Science Pavilion Room 1, 1150 St. Nicholas Ave at 168th Street (across from the hospital)

Seven-Week MBSR Training at Columbia University Medical Center
Dates: Wednesdays, March 13th – May 1st, 2013 (no class March 27, 2013)
Time: 5:30 p.m. -7:00 p.m.
Location: Russ Berrie Medical Science Pavilion Room 1, 1150 St. Nicholas Ave at 168th Street (across from the hospital)
Register

Presenter for both trainings: Polly Wheat, M.D., Former Executive Director of the Student Health Service, CUMC

Walk to Wellness
The Walk to Wellness Program is a free, comprehensive fitness program to help you meet your personal health and wellness goals.  The program's spring season starts in April and runs through June. Please visit the website for more information about the program and the different ways you can participate.

Kick-off and Wrap Up Events at Morningside Campus:
Attend these events to receive a free fitness assessment (resting heart rate, blood pressure, body weight and body fat) from the staff at Dodge Fitness Center.

Kick-off:
Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Low Library Burden Room 206

Wrap Up:
Date: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Burden Room 206

Instructor-Led Lunchtime Walks (10 Weeks):
Date: Tuesdays and Thursdays/First Walk on Thursday, April 4, 2013
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Outside Low Library

Kick-off and Wrap Up Events at Columbia University Medical Center:
Attend these events to receive a free fitness assessment (resting heart rate, blood pressure, body weight and body fat) from the staff at Plus One/NYPH Fitness Center.

Kick-off:
Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: NYPH Fitness Center

Wrap Up:
Date: Thursday,June 13, 2013
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: NYPH Fitness Center

Instructor-Led Lunchtime Walks (10 Weeks):
Date: Tuesdays and Thursdays/First Walk on Thursday, April 4, 2013
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: NYPH Fitness Center

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

Ergonomic Computer 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 workstation so that you can perform your job functions in a manner that will avoid ergonomic risk factors.  For information on additional monthly workshops sponsored by the department of Environmental Health and Safety, please visit the EH&S website.

Date: Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Location:615 W. 131st St, Studebaker Building, Room 367
Presenter: Muhammad Akram, Director of Occupational Safety, Columbia University Environmental Health and Safety
Register

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ADDITIONAL WORK/LIFE PROGRAMS:

Money Matters
One of the first steps to financial security is planning and following through on a personal budget. This
seminar presents the basics of preparing and sticking to a budget.

Following this seminar, participants will be better able to:

  • Understand the concept and benefits of budgeting
  • Assess where their money goes
  • Set up a personal budget
  • Begin retirement planning
Date: Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Low Library Trustees Room 212
Presenter: Consultant from Harris Rothenberg, International, HRI (Columbia University’s Employee Assistance Program)
Register

Positive Psychology: Enhancing Your Happiness
Happiness is a surprising concept. Money doesn’t buy it. Making it a goal can chase it away. Yet if you adopt certain behaviors and attitudes, happiness can come to you. This seminar describes those behaviors and attitudes.

Following this seminar, participants will be better able to:

  • Understand what makes them happy
  • Make a game plan to enhance their happiness
  • Put their game plan into action
Date:  Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Time:  12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Low Library Trustees Room 212
Presenters: Consultant from Harris Rothenberg, International, HRI (Columbia University’s Employee Assistance Program)
Register


The Best of Brooklyn: Child Care, Elder Care, Housing, Schooling, & Wellness Resource Fair
Living in Brooklyn or considering it? Come and learn about early child care and education, K- 12 schools, day camps, wellness, housing options, cultural institutions and a variety of other resources available in western Brooklyn.

Date: Thursday, April 18, 2013
Time: 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, 516 W. 112th St.- between Amsterdam and Broadway
(Between “Lion’s Gate” apartments and Seventh Church of Christ, Scientist)
Register

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 will:

  • Learn more about workplace flexibility as a strategy to better meet the demands of work and life, including caring for others, participating in health and wellness activities, etc.
  • Receive an overview of the Columbia University FWA policy
  • Know what to consider in the development or review of a FWA proposal
Date: Thursday, May 2, 2013
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Location: Columbia Universtiy, Morningside Campus, Low Library, Trustees Room 212
Presenters: Columbia University Human Resources Representative; Deborah Hughes Ndao, Director of Wellness, Office of Work/Life
Register

 

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