Category Archives: Campus Announcements Archive

Staffing changes in Drake Wellness

Earlier this year, several open positions in Drake Athletics and Recreational Services, including the assistant director, wellness, prompted an evaluation of interrelated functions and duties, including wellness programming and support. The result was a realignment of staffing to reflect both duties of the position and constituencies served with one position focused on student wellness and one on employee wellness and engagement.

This summer, Ellen Lowe was hired as assistant director of recreational services, wellness. Ellen is responsible for supporting student wellness programming and services, managing group exercise, and supporting Recreational Services in related programming. Ellen reports to Lisa Murphy, director of recreational services.

The other wellness position vacated by Jana Peterson will be part of the Human Resources team. This alignment reflects the close working relationship between wellness staff and human resources since the inception of the wellness program and also provides the opportunity for cross-collaboration on issues of work/life balance and employee engagement.

Both positions will continue to work collaboratively on programs that can be offered to both students and employees. A variety of wellness related programming is available to faculty and staff this fall, including:

  • Group Exercise Classes—A list and schedule can be found at
  • Workshops and Learning—Various programs will be offered throughout the year. The first session, “Unplugged,” is scheduled for Sept. 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Olmsted Room 312-313.
  • Flu Shots and Blood Pressure Checks—Watch for information about upcoming flu shots and blood pressure checks for faculty and staff.
  • Life Coaching—Drake contracts with EFR to offer confidential life coaching to help you set goals in wellness, communication, time management, job performance, work-life balance, and other areas in which you wish to make progress. For more information, contact EFR at 800-327-4692.

If you have an employee wellness related question, please reach out to Cindy Adams, associate director, Human Resources, at 271-3676.

—Submitted by Venessa Macro, Chief Administration Officer

Pending University policy open for 15-day comment period

The Food Services Exclusivity Policy is now available for your review and response. Please send your questions and/or comments to Your comments about the content of the policy help inform our decisions concerning approval and implementation of the policy. Comments will be shared with the owner of the policy for consideration.

The Food Services Exclusivity Policy states that Drake University is under contract with Sodexo to provide exclusive catering on campus paid with University funds. This exclusive contract was entered into on the basis that it is in the best interest of Drake. Sodexo is the sole provider for Drake catering, which includes not only large formal events, but also day-to-day items like staff meetings and box lunches. They provide different pricing and service levels from economical pick-up service to formal dinners. Sodexo catering remains competitive in the marketplace by providing a variety of options including new Simply to Go and A la Carte menus.

Recently, we worked with Sodexo to allow the use of alternate vendors for purchases under $25. Since Sodexo has the first right of refusal for food service on campus by contract, you must receive approval from them to use an alternate vendor for any food purchase over $25. The policy includes a form for this purpose.

The accounts payable guidelines will be altered to delete section 15, “Meeting/Event Where Food/Snacks Allowed.” The decision to serve food or snacks will be determined by each area in accordance with prudent stewardship of University funds.

—Submitted by Andrea McDonough, Senior Administrative Services Specialist

New at Cowles Library: Oxford’s Very Short Introductions

Oxford’s Very Short Introductions are authoritative short books on a wide range of subject areas written by scholars. Each book is around 100 pages long, with a brief bibliography for further reading. There is full-text access online to every book included in the database via Cowles Library. The titles are ideal for students and others to gain a quick but comprehensive overview of a contemporary topic, such as American Immigration, Modern China, Globalization, and even The Meaning of Life.

Find out more on the Cowles Library blog.

—Submitted by Marc Davis, Coordinator, Program Staff Services, Planning & Projects, Cowles Library

New allergens policy affecting campus

As classes get underway, it is important that the Drake community be aware of a new campus-wide policy: In order to accommodate the needs of individuals with severe allergies that rise to the level of a disability, Drake may at times implement restrictions on allergens, including latex, milk, peanuts, and wheat (a full list of allergens can be found in the policy linked below). Such restrictions could include prohibition of certain food and drink in classrooms, residence halls, or other campus spaces.

At this juncture, no widespread restrictions are in place, so students, faculty, and staff may proceed as usual, unless otherwise notified. In the case that you are asked to abide by certain restrictions, we ask that you do so immediately and respectfully. Creating and maintaining a campus community inclusive of all is vital to ensuring every student, faculty member, and staff member feels welcome and safe at Drake.

You may review the policy in its entirety here. For additional questions or concerns, please contact Michelle Laughlin, Coordinator of Student Disabilities Services, at or 271-1835.

—Submitted by Michelle Laughlin

Sentwali Bakari says bon voyage—for now

Dean of Students Sentwali Bakari has been granted a leave of absence for the 2015 fall semester to serve as the Dean of Student Life for Semester at Sea—one of the world’s unique and leading study abroad programs. Sentwali will return to Drake as dean of students for the 2016 spring semester.

In Sentwali’s absence, Jerry Parker, associate dean of student life, will serve as the acting dean. Jerry will assume leadership and management for the Division of Student Life and direct supervisory responsibilities for the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership, Counseling and Health centers, Residence Life, Office for Sexual Violence Prevention and Healthy Relationship Promotion, as well as oversight of student conduct.

Sentwali will lead the Semester at Sea student life team and work collaboratively with faculty, lifelong learners, world leaders, and students from around the world to promote an exceptional comparative global learning experience. This is a tremendous honor for Sentwali and for Drake. We wish Sentwali the very best and look forward to his return to help advance Drake’s mission of preparing our students for responsible global citizenship.

—Submitted by Provost Joe Lenz

Campus researchers: Information you need to know

The Institutional Research Board (IRB) and Institutional Animal Care and use Committee (IACUC) will no longer utilize Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative materials for training. If you need to update your research training—both IRB and IACUC require researchers update every three years in order to have continued approval—or wish to send someone to train, please visit:

Please contact Christine Marchand (x1865 or with any questions or concerns.

—Submitted by Christine Marchand, Institutional Research and Academic Compliance Coordinator

New online room request system available

This system, the Virtual Events Management System or VEMS, allows you to browse for space, look up room capacities, view pictures of certain spaces, plus many more easy-to-use functions—all online 24/7. It also streamlines the room-scheduling process for those who manage Drake’s spaces.

To access this system and for more information, click the “Room Scheduler (EMS)” link on the Faculty & Staff home page or go to

—Submitted by:
Matt Miller, University Office of Events
Kevin Moenkhaus, Office of Student Records and Academic Information

Register today for global service-learning webinar

What: Service Through Learning: Ethics, Partnerships, and Best Practices webinar
When: Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2–3:30 p.m.
Where: Meredith 207

What is an ethical partnership? How can we create ethical partnerships that support communities and the students who serve or train in them? How can students and institutions, through their work and learning paradigms, empower these communities?

Share in discussion about the answers to these questions and learn best practices during this webinar, which will feature the editor of Developing Global Health Programming: A Guidebook for Medical and Professional Schools.

Throughout the conversation, presenters and participants will:

  • Explore questions about ethics related to service-learning and how to develop ethical partnerships
  • Examine how service-learning programs can provide global learning experiences and empower communities
  • Share experiences and best practices with global service-learning in the fields of health care and applicable disciplines

Please RSVP to Maria Rohach, global learning program coordinator, at

—Submitted by Maria Rohach

Applications open for faculty and staff travel seminar

The Office of Community Engagement and Service Learning is pleased to offer a new professional development opportunity for the first time in 2015–2016, “Best Practices in Global Service-Learning: A learning community and travel seminar for faculty and staff.” The cohort will consist of faculty and staff from a variety of disciplines and departments.

Who should apply:

  • Faculty or staff who have developed a global service-learning course (on campus, as a travel seminar, or at a partner institution)
  • Faculty or staff interested in developing a global service-learning course
  • Faculty or staff involved with experiential learning at Drake

Find more information on learning goals, program components, what’s included, and the application here. 

Questions? Contact Maria Rohach, global learning program coordinator at

—Submitted by Maria Rohach, Global Learning Program Coordinator

New, mandatory sexual and interpersonal and violence prevention course for students

Drake University takes acts of sexual and interpersonal misconduct seriously and is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment. In keeping with this goal, Drake is requiring all students to complete an online educational program on sexual and interpersonal violence prevention. This effort also complies with the Violence Against Women Act and the Office for Civil Rights federal guidelines.

Student advisers and other faculty or staff who assist students with registering for classes should be aware that a hold will be placed on each student’s account until he or she has completed the online program—called Haven—which will prevent course registration for the subsequent semester. The mandatory portion, Part 1, must be completed by Oct. 15.

Using an online format to educate is the most efficient way to disseminate important regulatory information to college students. A Drake committee reviewed several online programs to make a final decision on utilizing Haven. Haven has also been the product of choice in many Iowa institutions of higher education—delivering positive student user feedback—which will position us for uniformity across the state.

Haven promotes student health and safety by educating students about the elements of healthy relationships, the importance of sexual consent, and the role of bystanders in creating safe, healthy communities. This science-based prevention program offers a confidential, personalized experience for each student, educating them on the issues associated with sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking while also taking into account their unique perspectives and experiences. It will also cover campus-specific policies, procedures, and resources.

—Submitted by Alysa Mozak, Coordinator for Sexual Violence Response and Healthy Relationship Promotion