Thursday, January 11, 2007

Yolanda King to speak todayThe 17th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration will feature King's eldest daughter, Yolanda King, at a special event beginning at 11 a.m. in the Delaware Hall Gymnasium.   The event is free and open to the public.   Read more about Yolanda King in this past Update issue.

Staff member of the month Nault "gets the job done"
HR Specialist Susan Nault is the go-to girl in the department, and she always has the answers, according to her nominator for Staff Employee of the Month, Jennifer Inscho. "She's always willing to help, she's positive and she enjoys her work," says Inscho. "She applies herself diligently and gets the job done!"

Nault has worked for Columbus State for three years as a specialist in the Human Resources Department, supporting the pre-employment process at the college. She books flights for out-of-state candidates, checks references, and schedules interviews.   She served as note taker for the collective bargaining process.   She made all the arrangements for the supervisor training program in February, March and April of last year at Cherry Valley Lodge.

"I enjoy doing new projects, meeting new people, and being part of the HR team," says Nault. "I like feeling helpful and valuable in my office."

Nault moved back to Columbus in 2004 from Jacksonville, Ill., to help her aging parents. She grew up in Columbus and graduated from Brookhaven High School.  

Gail Hogan Sunday TV program will include Columbus State faculty"Showcase Columbus," a new talk show hosted by Gail Hogan, will include a segment featuring Columbus State faculty member Gene Strickland. He will offer tips for using digital cameras and talk about photography classes at Columbus State.   The show will air at noon Sunday, January 14, on channel 4 (NBC) and will be repeated January 21 and February 4 and 11. For information on the program, see www.showcasecolumbus.com.

Visiting Author Workshop to feature Michael Wilson Author Michael Wilson will present a workshop entitled "15-Minute Writer: How to Achieve Your Writing Dreams in 15 Minutes a Day," on Saturday, January 13, at 2 p.m. in Nestor Hall Seminar Room D. The workshop is free and open to the public.

Wilson has been teaching creative writing classes and facilitating writers' groups for almost a decade. An award-winning contributing editor for The Writer's Block at Suite101.com, Wilson has been a featured guest speaker at the Thurber House, the Maumee Valley Writer's Conference and the Columbus Writer's Conference. His first book, "Flash Writing: How to Write, Revise and Publish Stories Less than 1000 Words Long" was published in October 2004.

The program is funded by a grant from the Columbus State Development Foundation.

Important Notice from USI about Your Health Savings AccountIn December President Bush signed legislation that will boost the appeal of health savings accounts.   All employees who have a Health Savings Account (HSA) please read the following:

  • Increase in annual HSA contribution.   Previously, the maximum HSA contribution was the lesser of the deductible of the individual's HSA-eligible plan or a statutory maximum.   The new rules make the limit the statutory maximum contribution, regardless of the individual's deductible. For 2007, the maximum contribution for an eligible individual with self-only coverage is $2,850, and the maximum contribution for an eligible individual with family coverage is $5,650.  
  • Full HSA contribution regardless of month individual becomes eligible. Normally, the HSA contribution is prorated based on the number of months that an individual was eligible for during the year.   The new provisions provide an exception to this rule that will allow individuals who become covered under an HSA-eligible plan in a month other than January to make the maximum HSA contribution for the year based on their coverage in the last month of the year. This eliminates a common barrier to switching to HSA-eligible coverage.   If an individual does not stay in the HSA-eligible plan 12 months following the last month of the year of the first year of eligibility, the amount that could not have been contributed except for this provision will be included in income and subject to a 10 percent additional tax.
  • IRS Forms: Individuals must report HSA contributions by filing Form 8889 if any of the following applies: An individual (or employer) made contributions for 2006 to an HSA; the individual received HSA distributions in 2006; the individual acquired interest in an HSA due to the death of the account beneficiary.

IRS Form 8889 is available here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8889.pdf

Instructions are available here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i8889.pdf

Please note: For employees currently enrolled in an HSA, open enrollment will coincide with the usual open enrollment sign-up period for health care during May 2007.

MidState Educators Credit Union extends hoursMidState Credit Union's North Branch, located at 8400 N. High Street, has extended the Friday drive-through hours, and is now open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Also, Health Savings Accounts have recently been made available at MidState Educators Credit Union. (A listing of all financial institutions offering Health Savings Accounts is available in the HR department). Please see www.educu.org for more information about MidState Educators Credit Union.