SPAC Update

Vol. 7, No. 2 | March, 2012 

Note from the Chair | Service Professional Brown Bags | Service Professional Leadership Award | Adopt-an-Avenue Service Project |Service Professional Spotlight

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Note from the Chair

NAU Sign

Howdy Service Professionals!

The spring semester is in full swing and the campus is alive with activity.  My current post is on the academic side of the NAU house and I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the students.  They are the reason I do what I do.  The energy and enthusiasm the student body generates here at NAU is a big part of what brings me to work smiling every day.  Although I don’t have a lot of direct interaction with them, I know they are the reason my job exists.  I truly believe it is part of everyone’s job to serve and support our students.  Over the years I have seen a variety of ways that service professionals do that.  It ranges from advising for career opportunities, helping navigate the campus to find classrooms, supporting them with scholarship dollars or just lending an ear over a cup o’ joe.  Whatever way you choose to support the students, please know that it matters.  We really are ‘the difference that matters.’

It’s been a while since our last update and I want to acknowledge and thank everyone who helped to make the Adopt-a-Family event another HUGE success this past holiday season.  Along with the more than $400 worth of gift cards, the specific requests from our families were nearly all met and one service professional even donated a brand new Wii game system.  What a generous group we are – another reason that makes me thrilled to come to work each day!

Be sure to check out our newsletter for details on upcoming events like the SPAC Leadership award, the Brown Bag Lunch Series and our next Adopt-An-Avenue clean-up day. In addition, I’d like to share some information about the NAU Leadership Program that was launched this year.  The application process will be announced soon looking for participants for next year. This year, I have had the privilege of being part of the first cohort and it has been an incredible experience. The program brings together administrators, faculty and staff once a month to discuss pressing issues in higher education. More than that, though, it’s an ongoing and in-depth analysis of how NAU fits into the local, state and national levels of higher ed.  The access to university leadership has been one my favorite parts. The program also has invited speakers that have ranged from a community college president, various NAU vice presidents and even a regent. The whole program is fascinating and helped me to narrow my own focus in my job to further align it with the university goals and mission. If this sounds interesting to you, I would highly recommend you throw your hat into the ring for consideration. Be sure to look for the coming invitation to apply. If you have further questions, I’d be happy to share my experience with anyone.

Have a terrific spring and I hope to see you at our annual meeting in April – if not before!


Jessica Fitchett, Chair
Service Professional Advisory Council

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Service Professional Brown Bag Discussions

All employees are welcome to attend SPAC Brown Bag discussions.  Bring your lunch, connect with colleagues and learn something new!

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Facilitating Effective Meetings

Date: Wednesday, April 18, 2012, Noon to 1:00pm
Presented by: Dina Barnese, ePlanning
Location: ARD, Large Pod

Meetings are an integral part of our organizational culture, and that is not going to change. Efficiency and effectiveness are key: nobody has time to waste. This session will provide you with some handy tips for facilitating effective meetings. We’ll discuss facilitator self-assessment, keeping things moving, getting through the agenda, staying on topic, and handling disruptions.  

*If you cannot attend in person but would like to attend via Elluminate Live! web-conferencing software, please go to:

Select the option to log in as Guest, and enter your NAU Email Address (e.g., and your Display Name (e.g., Dan Stoffel), then click Log In.

Please have speakers or headphones activated on your computer so that you may hear the proceedings. This meeting will be moderated; if you wish to ask a question or make a comment, please inform the moderator within Elluminate who will either pass your question/comment along to those in attendance, or will activate your microphone if you have one enabled.  We recommend that you test your system for use with Elluminate Live! well ahead of time (you can do this right now) here: . We also recommend that you join the session at least 10 minutes early (11:50am).

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Service Professional Leadership Award

NAU is a community with a wealth of amazing employees and it is time to recognize those leaders on our campus. Every year SPAC recognizes one Service Professional who exemplifies outstanding leadership qualities. We are looking for someone who contributes in two or more of the following areas:

  • Creativity in leadership

  • Going above and beyond the usual assignments

  • Outstanding efforts on behalf of the University

  • Significant outcomes from leadership in projects, events, committees, or other areas

  • Excels as a role model and mentor for others

  • Demonstrates involvement with students and programs

  • Demonstrates outstanding service to the University or community

If you know of someone who fits these criteria, we encourage you to nominate him or her for this award. It’s a great way to recognize someone who is making a difference in the campus community. Nominations for the SPAC Leadership Award are being accepted through April 4, 2012. 

To nominate a colleague, please complete this nomination form and send it as an attachment to

The award recipient will be recognized at the SPAC Annual Meeting on April 19, 2012.


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Adopt-an-Avenue Service Project

For the past several years, Service Professionals have been cleaning up their adopted avenue, Windsor Place, three times a year. Due to construction in the Sawmill area, our avenue is off-limits for the time being. They grow up so fast, don't they?

Stay tuned to this space and we'll let you know when we're able to hit the streets again!


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Service Professional Spotlight: Suzie Martinez

Suzie Martinez

Suzie Martinez (formerly Larson) may be the newest member of the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) team, but she is no stranger to NAU. 

In February, Suzie returned to campus as the Grant/Contract Administrator for CHHS.  Her position is newly created to help advance and promote the college’s research enterprise.  Suzie will be helping to match faculty areas of expertise with external funding opportunities while providing budget and administrative support for principal investigators.  It’s a tall order, but Suzie has extensive experience and is up to the challenge.


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