College of Humanities and Social Sciences
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

#37 November 7, 2013

Are we in for a harsh winter?

Ok, the Farmer’s Almanac prediction for a cold winter is out, but what are the real experts saying? How many of these “signs” have you observed?

Thicker than normal corn husks
Woodpeckers are sharing a tree
Early arrival of the Snowy owl
Early departure of geese and ducks
Early migration of the Monarch butterfly
Thick hair on the nape of the cow’s neck
Heavy and numerous fogs during August
Raccoons with thick tails and bright bands
Mice eating ravenously into the home
Early arrival of crickets on the hearth
Spider spinning larger than usual webs and entering the house in great numbers
Pigs gathering sticks
Insects marching a bee line rather than meandering
Early seclusion of bees within the hive
Unusual abundance of acorns
Muskrats burrowing holes high on the river bank
Narrow orange banding in the middle of the Woollybear caterpillar warns of heavy snow
Fat and fuzzy caterpillars presage bitter cold
The squirrel gathers nuts early to fortify against a hard winter
Frequent halos or rings around sun or moon forecast numerous snow falls.

Now for the serious stuff

CHSS Welcome to Nicole Narkiewicz

Please join us in welcoming Nicole Narkiewicz as our new Budget Analyst.  Nicole is a recent graduate from the University of Central Florida, where she majored in Accounting.  Nicole has work experience as a tax department intern, front office coordinator and administrative assistant and has varied volunteer and leadership experiences.  Her phone number is 3-8733 and her email is  If you have not already met Nicole, please stop by and introduce yourself if you have a moment.

Conduct a quick review of the Spring teaching load in BTS

Teaching assignment changes happen.  Please take a moment to review the spring teaching load in BTS to make sure that known leaves, course buy-outs, and administrative reductions are accounted for.  If you see any discrepancies, please contact Irene Mills to correct them.  Your timely review will have a direct impact on the spring adjunct budget.

BTS Contracts and Pagination Issues

BTS contracts pagination issues came up during the Fall Info Session.  After consulting with our Web Developer, he clarified that the formatting problems that sometimes presented with signatures on additional pages are a consequence of a variety of different systems (different versions of Word, Mac, etc.) being used to process the contracts.  This could only be fixed if we were all to use the same hardware and software.  The user is required to manually re-format the document if necessary.  However, if you do experience this problem with the Spring contracts, we can still pass it along to the Web developer.  Please save the electronic file  and forward it to Irene Mills.

We have combed through the contracts and any misspellings, if found, were corrected.  If you do find a misspelling, we ask that you forward the file to Nicole Narkiewicz.

Reminders & Proposals:

GTA/GRA/GL and Adjunct EPAF’s will not be approved until we receive a completed contract. In order for a contract to be deemed complete, it must include all necessary initials and signatureson every page. Additionally, if any part of a contract needs to be revised, a signed and updated version of the contract must be sent to the Dean’s office.

If possible, when submitting a receipt for an expense for CHSS's Start up Org - 103404 please include the corresponding Faculty member on the actual receipt.

Spring Semester Upload Deadlines:

BTS Opens - 11/4
1st Wave of Tuition Waivers Due - 12/2
GTA/GRA/GL assignments and contracts due by noon - 1/3
Adjunct assignments and contracts due by noon - 1/6
Fellowships acceptance letters due - 1/3

EZ-EPAF Reminder

If you have a hire that is new to Mason (i.e. not a student, no prior work history), please take the time to set them up with a SPAIDEN record in Banner.  In addition, enter an EZ-EPAF in BTS for an affiliate placeholder.   These steps must be completed by 12pm on Thursday, January 3rd.  If you are new to Mason or CHSS and need assistance with EZ-EPAF in BTS, please contact Shirley Steppe.

Save the Date

Our Winter Info Session will be held on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 10:30 am in Mason Hall, D3. Please mark your calendars and look for an invitation in the near future. 

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