Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Staff Council

Staff News February 2014


  • Feeling stressed???

    From All-One Health Resources

    From All-One Health Resources

    Do you have someone at your place of work that is constantly rushing around the office and is seemingly busy 24/7? According to the Wall Street Journal, this type of behavior can lead to "secondhand stress" and "[r]ushing blocks thoughtful communication and creates worries..." In today's hectic environment, it can seem like we need to be constantly rushing and multi-tasking just to keep up; however, this may have a negative effect on openness and effective communication in a workplace. When you see someone going full speed around the office, it may make you question yourself and your work habits. A vicious cycle then occurs where the main reason for a person's stress is just that: stress.

    Cally Ritter, LICSW an education and development consultant with AllOne Health Resources, who frequently presents on stress, spoke about her experience

    "...I always ask my audience 'what is causing them stress?' and a common response is 'other people's stress!' 'I'm not stressed, it's the others around me who are oozing stress out of every pore.'". Our tendency to do this is an inherent human trait, "We are born to emulate other people's behaviors and to also take on their emotional states, it's called social mimicry," Ritter said

    "Social mimicry also allows us to be empathic, caring and communal by taking on the emotional state of the others around us.  This is great if we are surrounded by happy, energized, motivated colleagues.  However, social mimicry has a down side: we take on other's people's stress. Unfortunately, other's people's stress is contagious..."

    Prioritizing your time is the key to managing stress. A clear schedule that outlines exactly when and where you have to be and when you are available to meet goes a long way in keeping a work environment organized and stress free. The Wall Street Journal notes, "A calm, unruffled work style is still a mark of competency, management experts say." It is important to remember that being harried does not always mean work is being performed in an efficient manner. The Wall Street Journal mentioned a manager whose advice was to "understand the big picture and not get caught up too much in day-to-day details". Whenever a day can feel too hectic, it can be helpful to step back and think about what really needs to be done at that moment to ensure long-term goals are achieved.

    The next time you see someone hurrying around the office or you feel stressed, try to get to the source of the stress. Speaking about stress is something that is rarely done but being open about responsibilities and tasks will make your workplace a more team oriented environment.

    Read the full Wall Street Journal article, How Busy Colleagues Spread Secondhand Stress, in the December 10, 2013, edition.

  • Congratulations!

    Congratulations to Mike Yelle and Chris Robbins on successfully completing the Locksmith Course at the Peterson School of Engineering in Canton, MA. Both Mike and Chris made the Dean's Honor List for Outstanding Achievement, having earned overall averages of over 97% over the 11-week course.

    Great job, Mike and Chris!!

  • Admission Building has a long, interesting history

    Admission Building Gymnasium

    Admission Building Gymnasium

    by Alice Santos

    The Admission Building was completed in 1903. It was designed as a gymnasium. I find it hard to envision a gym ever being there. If you walk into it today you see lots of offices and people busy at their desks.

    I spoke to Wheaton Archivist Zeph Stickney about the building, and she showed me some fascinating pictures. The main room had 42 by 80 feet of space and the walls were lined with exercise equipment. It did not have a second floor at that time, but it did have a running track above the gym. Try to picture a track built around the perimeter of what would have been a second floor. Admissions also had a stage. It was located on the Chapel side of the building about where room 112 is now.  The original design had also included a “modesty roof” with railings for privacy for students who wanted to get a little sun and to smoke. During World War Two, the Mansfield Airport was being used by the armed forces, and the pilots buzzed over the roof of the gym on sunny days so many times that President J. Edgar Park felt it necessary to contact their commander and ask them to stop.

    In 1913, a swimming tank was installed. It measured 36 by 12 feet with a depth of 7 feet to 4 feet. To install it, the basement of Admissions, which is now part of Balfour-Hood, was dug out. The bottom of the tank sat where Events and Conferences is now. The swimming tank was installed after the Titanic sunk so that students could learn to swim in case the need would ever arise. All students were required to pass swimming and diving tests before graduating. One of the problems with the tank was that it did not have a filtration system. Faculty often complained that the water was not changed from one semester to the next.

    A swimming pool wing was designed and it was installed in 1936 with a filtration system. The new pool was 25 by 60 feet. Wheaton’s synchronized swim team, the Tritons, was formed.  After the Haas Athletic Center opened in 1991, a floor was installed over the pool to create the Pappas Fitness Center.

    After the construction of the Clark Recreation Center, the gym was converted to the Admissions Building in 1966. The new second floor had Psychology offices and laboratories. In 1989-1990, the Filene Center for Work and Learning moved into the building until 2006, when they move to the Kollett Center.

    Just about every building you look at on the Wheaton campus has had another purpose.  Without the Archives and the fascinating pictures it holds, we would never be able to peek into the past.

  • Staff Council has new co-chair

    Effective as of the January meeting, Jenny Heller has resigned as Co-Chair of Staff Council, for personal reasons.  Her hard work and upbeat attitude will be greatly missed.  Thank you, Jenny.

    Gary Ahrendts will continue as chair along with his new co-chair Chris Larrivey, who was appointed to fill Jenny's vacant seat and agreed to take over the co-chairmanship as well.


  • Upcoming workshops and events

    Upcoming Workshops

    The third and final session of "Celebrating 65," entitled "Retirement and Health Care" will be held on February 27th from 10:00-11:00am in the Woolley Room, Mary Lyon.

    Human Resources also invites you to:

    Health & Benefit Fair on March 14, 2014, Balfour-Hood Dance Studio

    Service Awards on March 31 – 2:00-3:30pm, Balfour-Hood Atrium

    More information will follow in the March newsletter.

    Job Postings

    The following link is where you can find open positions at Wheaton College https://jobs.wheatoncollege.edu/

  • Liz Walker, news anchor, minister and humanitarian, to speak at Wheaton

    Former WBZ news anchor Liz Walker will speak Thursday, February 20 at 7 p.m. in Hindle Auditorium. Her talk is open to all campus and community members.   Award-winning veteran television news anchor, ordained minister and humanitarian currently focused on the Sudan, Liz Walker is an inspirational speaker who discusses courageous leadership, personal development, and the global difference that one person can make.  Her visit to Wheaton is sponsored by the Marshall Center for Intercultural Learning.

  • Hear about the wilds of Cape Cod

    Don Wilding, co-founder of the Henry Beston Society, will give a free lecture on Henry Beston's Cape Cod:  Inspiration for a National Seashore on Tuesday, March 11, at 1:30 p.m. in Hindle Auditorium.  The lecture, presented by the Norton Institute for Continuing Education, will focus on how Beston came to write his classic book, "The Outermost House."  Wilding will tell Beston's story, of how the Quincy native became the author of fairy tales and, ultimately, found peace on Cape Cod's farthest beaches.  In doing so, he found himself as a writer -- and his book became an appeal for establishing the Cape Cod National Seashore.  It was quoted in the earliest National Park Service field reports about the Cape, ,and the Park Service used the book as evidence of the need to preserve the seashore's beauty and ecology, sealing its reputation as a national treasure.  Wilding's book about Beston will be available for purchase after his talk.

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