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 Tuesday, June 16, 2009 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter

IN THE SPOTLIGHT


Faculty Staff Assistance Program relocates, innovates
by Allison Sylvest

With a new director and a new location, the Faculty Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) is looking to provide expanded services and progressive practices to CU-Boulder community members. “It’s an exciting time for the program,” said Director Olga Vera-NeSmith. “Our goal is to offer innovative resources and programs focused on the needs of faculty and staff.”

Vera-NeSmith assumed directorship of the FSAP on May 1 of this year. She is a licensed clinical psychologist with 20 years of experience in the field of mental health, and for the past five years has worked on campus as a psychologist at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), as interim director of the Office of Victim Assistance, and as an instructor. In that time she has provided assistance to many campus offices and departments.

Her collaborative approach is steering the FSAP as it grows its programs and offerings. Throughout the summer FSAP staff will meet with department representatives from across campus to assess their needs, and will offer an electronic survey to get feedback and suggestions from faculty and staff. Her team plans to hold an internal retreat to discuss their mission and vision, and host an open house at their new location in the Department of Human Resources (HR) on east campus, ARC third floor.

“We have a small department with highly competent, dedicated staff,” said Vera-NeSmith. “It’s a well-respected program that works with integrity and ethics for the betterment of university employees.” She is pleased with the move to Human Resources, as it gives FSAP the opportunity to work closely with other HR departments to provide a “holistic approach that caters to different needs.”

“We’re also looking at what’s out there in terms of employee assistance programs at other universities, to find the most innovative and creative programs and practices,” she said. “Our goal is to become a model university EAP.”

FSAP already offers a wide variety services and workshops covering everything from personal and professional counseling to tips and methods for combating stress, resolving conflicts and maintaining a balanced work/life approach. In the future, Vera-NeSmith hopes to broaden the scope of workshops and include Spanish and other language options, and to build an expanded website with online tools such as articles, personal screenings and perhaps an interactive element. As always, FSAP staff are happy to meet with employees in their departments to provide workshops, consultations and other services such as retreat planning assistance.

“We want to fulfill the needs of this diverse community,” she said. “We want to engage staff in fun and creative ways and provide services to meet their specific requirements.”

Information about the online survey and open house will be made available later in the summer. Faculty and staff participation is requested to help the FSAP assess employee needs and structure their own service goals.

 

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