October 2004
  • Quote of the Month
    • "Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is."
      --Mary Anne Roadacher-Hershey

New University Rule Established: 34.01.99.L1 Sexual Harassment

No member of the University community should be subjected to sexual harassment. Texas A&M International University is firmly committed to maintaining an educational and work environment that is free from all forms of sexual discrimination and harassment. Additionally, it is the responsibility of supervisors to ensure such a work environment is maintained.

Please be informed that University Rule 34.01.99.L1 Sexual Harassment is available to you. If you have any questions, please contact the HR Office at ext. 2365.


HR Forms Available Online

The HR Office reminds you of the availability of the following HR forms on the Internet! These automated forms can be accessed and completed from the HR website by selecting the FORMS button. The program Adobe Acrobat 4.0 will be needed in order to access the forms, and the program can be downloaded from our website. If you have questions or encounter problems using the automated HR forms, please call Gracy Buentello at ext. 2365 for assistance.

• Formal Complaint Form

• Application for Employment
• Referral for Interview
• Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ)
• Personnel Requisition
• Personnel/Budget Action Form
• Budget/Fund Transfer Form
• External Employment and Consulting Application and Approval Form

• Classified Staff Evaluation Form
• Professional/Administrative Employee Evaluation Form

• First Report of Injury or Illness

• Direct Deposit Authorization
• Employee Time Cards

• Exit Processing Form


New and Revised System Regulations

The following System Regulations have been recently revised or are new. As a reminder, the entire System Policy Manual is available from the HR webpage under the category of SYSTEM POLICIES & UNIVERSITY RULES. If you have any questions about the System Policies/Regulations and University Rules, please contact the HR Office at ext. 2365.

21.01.03 Disbursement of Funds

25.99.01 Chartering of Commercial Aircraft

31.02.03 System Employment Benefits Advisory Committee

31.03.03 Leave of Absence With Pay

31.03.04 Leave of Absence Without Pay

31.04.01 System Holidays

33.99.01 Employment Practices

33.06.01 Flexible Work Arrangements


Construction Update
The recent wet weather has not slowed down campus construction. All projects are on schedule! Construction of the Residential Learning Center is completed. The contractor is now working to resolve any final issues and details.

A meeting was held with F & S Partners (Dallas) to discuss the Kinesiology building expansion. F & S has begun to prepare detailed design plans. Also discussed at the meeting was the number and type of alternates that would be designed. TAMIU is working with the architects to see which items will be designed as alternates for bidding.

The master plan update is progressing well. The architects are in the writing stage, and on September 30th, a meeting will be held with them in San Antonio to review their work.

The Science Building is entering its 16th month of construction. The tower roofing is complete. Also, the perimeter structural steel and overhang are almost done, and the painting of these feature is in progress. All interior wall framing is nearing completion. The second siding of sheetrock on the third floor (north) will be finished shortly, while this installation is starting on the first floor (south).

Brickwork and roofing on the Central Plant building are complete. The glass with stainless steel overlay is currently being put up, and the air conditioning chiller will be installed soon.

TAMIU construction keeps moving forward…look for information about it in the HR News & Views!

Highlights from 9/29/04 SEBAC Meeting

The System Employees Benefits Advisory Council (SEBAC) met in College Station on Wednesday, 9/29/04. Representing TAMIU at the meeting were Sandra V. Pena (Director of Human Resources) and Jessica Palacios (Associate Director).

The following are brief highlights from the meeting. However, more detailed information about the meeting will be available shortly from the System Human Resources Office website at http://sago.tamu.edu/shro by clicking on the heading "SEBAC information."

  • Elections for the SEBAC chair and vice-chair were held. It was voted to keep the current chair and vice-chair for another year. Elizabeth N. Martinez (TAMIU) and Dr. Charles Berry (TAMUS Health Science Center) will remain as chair and vice-chair, respectively.
  • Subcommittees were formed for some current plans which are up for review (HMO, Long-Term Disability, Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Long-Term Care, Vision, and Spending Accounts).
  • The basics of a consumer-directed health plan were discussed. A committee was formed to further review such a plan.
  • The potential move to ERS (Employee Retirement System) was discussed. SEBAC voted unanimously for a resolution against such a move. The resolution will be shared with the approving authority (the System Executive Committee).
  • The possibility of providing obstetric coverage for covered dependent children on the A&M Care plans was discussed. SEBAC decided to gather more data and review the matter further at a later meeting.
As a reminder, all employees and retirees wishing to share comments and concerns about employee benefits can contacting the TAMIU HR Office at (956) 326-2365.


Revised "TRS Benefit Handbook" is Online

The TRS Benefits Handbook has been revised for September 2004. The handbook is available online at www.trs.state.tx.us/Publications/benefitshandbook.pdf. TRS has mailed out a printed copy to all TRS participants.

If you have questions or need assistance with retirement issues, please contact Jessica Palacios, Associate Director, at ext. 2362.

New A&M Care Participants Can Use Temporary ID Cards Until Permanent Cards are Received

Temporary ID cards for new A&M Care health plan participants are available online at sago.tamu.edu/shro/bcbstx_tempcard.pdf. New participants can use these cards until they receive their permanent cards from BlueCross/BlueShield of Texas.

If you have any questions regarding health plans, please contact Jessica Palacios, Associate Director, at ext. 2362.

A&M Dental PPO ID Cards Can Now Be Printed from the Web

Replacement ID cards for the A&M Dental PPO plan are available online at sago.tamu.edu/shro/dentalPPO_id.pdf. If you need a replacement card, simply go to the link provided and print out a card.

If you have questions regarding your dental plan, please contact Jessica Palacios, Associate Director, at ext. 2362.

Health Care Spending Account Debit Cards Have Been Issued

Tax Saver Plan has issued debit cards to all Health Care Spending Account participants. If the employee has family health coverage, he/she should have received 2 debit cards. Each card has a different card number, but both cards are linked to the same account. Shortly, Tax Saver Plan will send plan information packets to all Spending Account participants. Each packet will include a new plan description booklet and a copy of the Health Care Spending Account debit card Q&A (also available online at sago.tamu.edu/shro/Ae/debit_card.pdf). Participants who have questions about the card should contact Tax Saver Plan at 1-800-328-4337 (select option 2).

For assistance with your Tax Saver Spending Account, you can also contact Jessica Palacios, Associate Director, at ext. 2362.

Blue Access Offers a Wealth of Online Tools

Thanks to the Internet, A&M Care health plan participants can take an active role in managing many aspects of their health care without picking up a telephone.

If you are enrolled in an A&M Care plan, you can visit www.bcbstx.com and log on to Blue Access to search for network providers, create a temporary ID card, and read the “Healthy Living” newsletter. In addition, you’ll find:

  • A hospital comparison tool that allows you to review several quality measures for network hospitals for various medical conditions.
  • Online health resources provided through the Mayo Clinic. Here, you can take a personal health risk assessment and search the site's health decision guide, which provides information about treatment options for common conditions. You can also submit questions about health conditions and treatments to "Ask a Specialist." A health specialist with the Mayo Clinic will respond to your question.
  • Your explanation of benefits (EOB). An EOB is a personal record of claims payments. If you wish, you can choose to not receive EOB’s in the mail. This eliminates the paper and postage necessary to mail the EOB, which helps reduce the administrative cost of health insurance and slow the rising cost of health care.
  • Your claims history. You can even request that BCBSTX send you an e-mail notification each time a claim is completed.
  • A list of your covered dependents.

To log on to Blue Access, you must create a user ID and password, then call 1-888-706-0583 and immediately receive a confirmation code. If you do not call, the code will be mailed to you. You will need this code to access the site the first time. Blue Access is available from 6:00 am to 3:00 am on weekdays and 6:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturdays (not available on Sundays).

If any questions regarding your health plans, please contact Jessica Palacios, Associate Director, at ext. 2362.


Welcome, New Employees!!
  Brande K. McBurnette, Staff Assistant
Canseco School of Nursing
CH 312 ext. 3110
  Michael Soto, New Student Information Specialist
SC 126A ext. 2770
  Rita R. Hernandez, Outreach & Retention Specialist
SC 126 ext. 2770
  Edinir E.S. De Oliveira, Staff Assistant
KL 315 ext. 2718
  Jesus S. Carmona, Graduate Assistant-Teaching
Office of the Ph.D. Program
WHTC 223B ext. 2555
  Claudia G. Munoz, New Student Information Specialist
SC 126A ext. 2270
  Efrain D. Sanchez, Project Director
Office of Special Programs (CAMP)
PH 313K ext. 2708
  Bernice Y. Sanchez, Instructor
Department of Special Populations (Project RIO)
SC 232 ext. 2436

Rebecca Juarez KL 158 ext. 2228
FROM: Student Employee,
             Financial Aid
TO: Half-Time Staff Assistant,
       Financial Aid
Isabel Solis CH 301 ext. 2441
FROM: Staff Assistant,
             Department of Fine & Performing Arts
TO: Staff Assistant,
       Department of Biology & Chemistry
Norma A. Cortez KL 205 ext. 2723
FROM: User Service Specialist,
TO: Office Coordinator,
        PASE (CASA)
Elsa R. Puente KL 168A ext. 2144

FROM: Temporary Accounting Assistant (Cashier),
             Business Office

TO: Accounting Assistant (Cashier),
       Business Office
Roberto P. Hernandez PH 312 ext. 2706
FROM: Staff Assistant,
             University Registrar
TO: Staff Assistant,
       Office of Special Programs (CAMP)
Maria L. Carrizal SC 114H ext. 2960
FROM: Half-Time Staff Assistant,
             Career Services
TO: Staff Assistant,
       Career Services
Martha E. Guajardo SC 226 ext. 2280
FROM: Staff Assistant,
             Student Activities
TO: Half-Time Staff Assistant,
       Student Activities
Norma R. Unruh KL 168 ext. 2247
FROM: Staff Assistant,
             University Registrar
TO: Degree Audit Assistant,
       University Registrar
Patricia N. Deliganis KL 260 ext. 2167
FROM: Grant Resources Support Assistant,

TO: Grant Resources Support Assistant,
       Office of the Graduate School

Martha S. Trevino PH 312 ext. 2707
FROM: New Student Information Specialist,
TO: Outreach & Retention Specialist,
       Office of Special Programs (CAMP)
Diana E. Rodriguez KL 321A ext. 2687
FROM: ACP Coordinator,
             Department of Special Populations (ACP)
TO: Director of ACP & Certification,
       COED (ACP & Certification)
Cristina Hernandez KL 260B ext. 2170
FROM: Director of Grant Resources,
TO: Director of Grant Resources,
       Office of the Graduate School
Maria D. Orellano-Perez PH 302E ext. 2721
FROM: Director of the ILI,
             International Programs (ILI)
TO: Half-Time Director of the ILI,
       International Programs (ILI)
Deborah L. Blackwell KL 435G ext. 2628
FROM: Assistant Professor,
             Department of Social Sciences
TO: Associate Professor,
       Department of Social Sciences
Sean M. Chadwell KL 418C ext. 2471
FROM: Assistant Professor,
             Department of Language & Literature
TO: Associate Professor,
       Department of Language & Literature
Carlos E. Cuellar KL 421C ext. 2626
FROM: Assistant Professor,
             Department of Social Sciences
TO: Associate Professor,
       Department of Social Sciences
Hoonandara R. Goonatilake CH 313D ext. 2588
FROM: Assistant Professor,
             Department of Mathematical & Physical Sciences
TO: Associate Professor,
       Department of Mathematical & Physical Sciences
Sweety Law KL 419H ext. 2642
FROM: Assistant Professor,
             Department of Language & Literature
TO: Associate Professor,
       Department of Language & Literature
Qingwen Ni CH 302F ext. 2409
FROM: Assistant Professor,
             Department of Mathematical & Physical Sciences
TO: Associate Professor,
       Department of Mathematical & Physical Sciences
Antonio J. Rodriguez WHTC 203H ext. 2517
FROM: Associate Professor/Chair/Associate Dean,
             Department of Accounting, Economics & Finance
TO: Professor/Chair/Associate Dean,
       Department of Accounting, Economics & Finance
Jacques Verville PH 304A ext. 2532
FROM: Assistant Professor,
             Department of MIS & Decision Science
TO: Associate Professor,
       Department of MIS & Decision Science
Claudio Salinas KL 326D ext. 2682
FROM: Assistant Professor,
             Department of Professional Programs
TO: Associate Professor,
       Department of Professional Programs
Gary Miller WHTC 218C ext. 2513
FROM: Professor,
             Department of Accounting, Economics & Finance
TO: Distinguished Professor,
       Department of Accounting, Economics & Finance
Cordelia Nava KL 333 ext. 2694
FROM: Visiting Instructor,
             Department of Curriculum & Instruction
TO: Instructor,
       Department of Curriculum & Instruction
Michael J. Stone CFPA 233B ext. 2640
FROM: Visiting Assistant Professor,
             Department of Fine & Performing Arts
TO: Assistant Professor,
       Department of Fine & Performing Arts
Alma R. Haertlein CFPA 208A ext. 3041
FROM: Visiting Assistant Professor,
             Department of Fine & Performing Arts
TO: Assistant Professor,
       Department of Fine & Performing Arts
Archibald Laud-Hammond PH 216D ext. 2652
FROM: Instructor,
             Department of Social Sciences
TO: Assistant Professor,
       Department of Social Sciences

  Cesar A. Rodriguez, Police Dispatcher
University Police Department
  Anna M. Shaffer, Research Unit Assistant
WHT Information Center
  Sandra S. Gray, Director of the CASA

TAMIU Employment

The HR Employment Office website contains a listing of TAMIU's vacant positions, including full text versions of each vacancy announcement. All vacant positions are listed by their classification: faculty, administrative, or staff. In addition, vacancy announcements are posted at 2 bulletin board locations on campus: in the west wing (first floor) of the Killam Library Building and outside the Employment Office (PH 314). You can also call Joya Vidaurri in the Employment Office at ext. 2360 to inquire about vacant positions. The Employment Office is open between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.



Check Out the HR Website!


The TAMIU HR website (www.tamiu.edu/adminis/ohr) has information regarding System benefits, System policies, and human resources programs available to you. Our site also includes information about planned staff development programs; the latest news on health plans; retirement issues and legislation affecting your benefits; the University's holiday schedule; as well as employment opportunities at TAMIU plus links to employment opportunities at other System parts. Also accessible from our website are the University Rules and System Policies/Regulations. Come check us out!


Unraveling the Mysteries of Overtime

The deadline for an important project is approaching, so you work a bit late one night. Does that mean you get compensated with extra time off (compensatory time)? It depends. Whether you are compensated depends on your job and how you are compensated is determined by state and federal law.

Under federal law, each job must be designated as "exempt" or "non-exempt" from federal overtime. Only those jobs designated as "non-exempt" are eligible for the 2 types of compensatory time, Overtime Compensatory Time (OCT) and Straight Compensatory Time (SCT). Your supervisor, the HR Office, or the latest Pay Plan can tell you if your position is "exempt" or "non-exempt."

OVERTIME COMPENSATORY TIME (OCT): Only jobs classified as "non-exempt" are eligible for OCT. OCT is release time (time off) that is earned from hours that are physically worked over 40 in a workweek. (For TAMIU, a workweek is Thursday through the following Wednesday.) As required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), those excess hours physically worked over 40 must be calculated at time and a half (multiplied by 1.5). EXAMPLE: If you physically work 44 hours in a workweek, 4 hours are the excess over 40 and are calculated at time and a half (4 X 1.5 = 6). So, you accrue 6 hours of OCT.

In some cases, however, if you work more than 8 hours in one day, your supervisor may require you to work fewer hours another day in the same workweek in order to avoid the accumulation of OCT.

Employees may accumulate up to 240 hours of OCT, however, those in a public safety, emergency response, or seasonal job may accumulate up to 480 hours.

You keep your rights to your accumulated OCT until you use the time or are paid for it. When you leave employment, you will be paid for any remaining OCT, or, with your supervisor's approval, you may remain on the payroll to use it up.

STRAIGHT COMPENSATORY TIME (SCT): In some cases, "non-exempt" employees may be eligible for SCT. If the number of hours physically worked in a workweek are 40 or less, but the combined worked time and time off (i.e., vacation, sick leave, holiday, etc.) in the workweek total more than 40, you will receive SCT for the hours that exceeded 40 in that workweek. Furthermore, those SCT hours are not calculated at time and a half (in other words, for each hour of time in excess of 40, you will receive exactly one hour of SCT). EXAMPLE: If you physically work only 36 hours and are off for 8 hours of sick leave in a workweek, so that the combined worked time and time off total 44, then the excess over 40 are 4 hours. These 4 hours are accrued as SCT.

State law prohibits payment for SCT upon end of employment. However, under A&M System policy, you may remain on the payroll to use up your SCT.

USING OCT AND SCT: A "non-exempt" employee must always have permission from his/her supervisor before working overtime. And as is the case with all other requests for time off, an employee must have the supervisor's permission before using any accrued OCT and/or SCT.

If you should have any questions or need more information about OCT and/or SCT, please contact Xochitl Kladis by e-mail or at ext. 2364.


The Importance of Reporting a Leave of Absence

There are various leave benefits available to employees, and the HR Office wants to ensure these benefits are afforded to employees in the event of need.

To facilitate these leave benefits, an employee must report their leave of absence (sick leave, vacation, etc.) to their supervisor and the HR Office immediately. Furthermore, it is especially crucial to immediately report a leave of absence that is to be extensive.

Leave of absence issues may be complex, and all cases differ. The HR Office will assist in verifying the employee's leave balances, determining if additional documentation is necessary to support the leave of absence request, and determining if the employee is eligible for any other type of available leave (i.e., Family/Medical Leave, Parental Leave, Emergency Leave, Sick Leave Pool).

If you have any questions about or need assistance with leave of absence issues, please contact Xochitl Kladis at ext. 2364.


SCT (State Compensatory Time):

System Regulation 31.01.09 Overtime states that SCT must be taken within the 12-month period following the workweek in which it was earned and that it may not be carried forward past the end of the 12-month period.

LeaveTraq, our automated leave system, monitors the expiration of SCT and "clears out" any SCT not used by the expiration date. Therefore, to avoid losing SCT, employees are reminded to take their SCT within 12 months from which it was earned. It is recommended that employees regularly log onto LeaveTraq to check the expiration status of their SCT.

OCT (Overtime Compensatory Time):

System Regulation 31.01.09 Overtime states that, when practical, OCT should be taken within the 12-month period following the workweek in which it was earned. Supervisors may require employees to take OCT and may require employees to use OCT before using vacation leave.

Should you have any questions about your SCT and/or OCT balances, please contact Xochitl Kladis via email or at ext. 2364.


What is Expected of You When You Are Expecting

The coming of a baby calls for many preparations...even at work. If you or your spouse are expecting a baby, below is a checklist of matters (leave, benefits, and other) which must be promptly addressed in the HR Office. (For leave assistance, contact Xochitl Kladis at ext. 2364, and for benefits assistance, contact Jessica Palacios at ext. 2362.)


  • At least 30 days prior to your leave, notify HR and visit with them to discuss your leave options (Family/Medical Leave, Parental Leave) and to review your available leave balances (sick leave, vacation, OCT, SCT.)
  • A written request for Family/Medical Leave or Parental Leave must be submitted. Also, HR will provide you with the required "Medical Certification Form" which must be completed by your doctor and submitted to HR within 15 days of the request for leave. Re-certification may be required.
  • During your leave, all appropriate leave requests must be submitted via LeaveTraq and timecards must be submitted to HR (if applicable).
  • A newborn must be enrolled for insurance coverage within 60 days of the child’s birth. An employee who already has "employee/family" or "employee/child(ren)" coverage may add a newborn after the 60-day limit because the premium does not change; however, the newborn should be added as soon as possible to ensure accurate records.
  • If you are on paid leave (Family/Medical Leave, Parental Leave), your share of the premiums will continue to be deducted from your pay.
  • If you exhaust your available leave while on Family/Medical Leave, you will need to pay any monthly premiums that are normally deducted from your pay. You will be billed each month while on leave without pay, and the premiums must be paid within 30 days of the due date shown on the bill or coverage will end.
  • If you are on Parental Leave without pay, you are not eligible to receive the state contribution for basic life and medical benefits, but you may continue coverage by paying the full monthly premium. You will be billed each month, and the premiums must be paid within 30 days of the due date shown on the bill or coverage will end.
  • You are expected to check-in with your supervisor every 2 weeks during your leave to inform him/her of your status and expected date of return to work.
  • A written doctor’s release is required upon your return to work.

Advertising and Hiring Procedures
for Non-Faculty Vacancies

Below is a simple step-by-step outline of the advertising and hiring procedures for non-faculty vacancies. If you need assistance at any time during this process, please call the Employment Office at ext. 2360.

Step 1--


Hiring department submits to HR a completed and signed Personnel Requisition and, if the job description for the vacant position has changed, an updated Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ).

  Step 2--

HR prepares a Job Vacancy Notice (JVN) and posts it: at two bulletin board locations on campus; on the TAMIU HR website and HigherEdJobs.com; with the Texas Workforce Commission; with The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (if administrative); in the local newspaper; and with various agencies.

NOTE: To advertise your JVN as a full ad in the local newspaper, in another newspaper, or in a pertinent journal/publication, please work with the Purchasing Department to get pricing, gnerate a requisition, and have the ad placed. Please work with HR to develop the actual ad. HR will then provide the ad to the Purchasing Department.

NOTE: To post a vacancy on a pertinent, free Internet advertising site, please ensure you use the exact wording from the JVN developed by the HR Office. We recommend simply using a direct link to the actual JVN accessible from the HR "Employment" website at http://www.tamiu.edu/adminins/ohr/emplopp.shtml.

  Step 3--

HR receives and reviews applications, then sends the hiring department copies of applications of those who meet the minimum qualifications advertised.

  Step 4--

After reviewing applications, the hiring department contacts HR to identify the applicant(s) selected for interview.

  Step 5--

Hiring department schedules and conducts interview(s) with applicant(s).

NOTE: Resource materials containing guidelines for conducting interviews and conducting reference checks are available online from the HR "Employment" website at www.tamiu.edu/adminis/ohr/emplopp.shtml.

  Step 6--

Hiring department completes Referral for Interview form for each interviewed applicant.

  Step 7--

When a selection is made, the hiring department submits to HR all completed and signed Referral for Interview forms and a Personnel/Budget Action Form for the selected applicant.

  Step 8--

HR makes the offer of employment to the individual selected, schedules the start date, and notifies the hiring department when the new hire can be expected to report for work.

  • All HR forms mentioned above must be typed.
  • All HR forms mentioned above are available online from the HR website.
  • Hiring departments must ensure all forms are routed through appropriate approval channels before submitting to HR.
  • The System online training course called "Conducting Effective Interviews" is available to you from HRConnect. Simply log in to HRConnect, click on the TRAINING tab, and follow the instructions given.

2004-2005 Pay Plan is Online

The TAMIU Pay Plan is available online! It can be accessed from the HR website.

The Pay Plan is the basic reference document for wages/salaries, titles, title codes, and FLSA exemption status of all classified staff, as well as for titles, title codes, and FLSA exemption of all non-classified staff. The website offers listings by job title (alphabetical order) and by title code (numerical order). Also available from this website is the University Pay Scale which lists the wage/salary ranges (min-mid-max) of each pay grade.

Should you have questions regarding compensation, please contact Sandra V. Pena via email or at ext. 2361.


Inform HR Early if Immigration Services Are Needed

The HR Office provides immigration services and must be informed at least 6 months prior to the start of employment of any incoming faculty member who is a foreign national in need of the proper employment visa. Employment is contingent upon receipt of the appropriate visa, and the process to obtain certain visas can be lengthy. Please let us know if you have anyone needing assistance.

Also be reminded that ALL immigration requests, forms, petitions, documents, etc. must be routed through the HR Office, and that the President, Dr. Ray M Keck III, is the University's authorized endorser of immigration forms.

Should you need assistance or have questions regarding immigration issues, please contact Sandra V. Pena (ext. 2361).


University Rules and System Policies/Regulations on the Web!

The Texas A&M International University Rules and the Texas A&M University System Policies and Regulations are available on the world wide web for your reference. You can access them from the TAMIU HR website by clicking on "System Policies & University Rules." The TAMUS Policies and Regulations site even offers a search feature to help you quickly find the item you need.

If you have questions concerning the University Rules and/or the System Policies and Regulations, please contact the HR Office at ext. 2365.


Getting to Know U!

Maria Carroll


Maria Carroll is the Executive Secretary to VP in the Office of Institutional Advancement. Originally from Ohio, she moved to Laredo in 1989. She enjoys crafts and teaches Sunday Bible class to children ages 4-9. She enjoys actively volunteering in fundraisers for non-profit organizations. She is proud of her large family which includes her 92-year old grandmother, mother, 4 sisters, 1 brother, 8 nieces, 1 nephew, 3 great-nieces, 1 great-nephew, and her poodle named Blanca. She worked at Laredo Community College for 8 years and received the Professional Image Award there in 1999. She has worked with TAMIU since July 2000 and she was awarded the Outstanding Employee Service Award in 2003.

TAMIU, we want to get to know you! Tell us an interesting fact about yourself, and we will feature it along with a photo in this section of the newsletter. Submit your information to Xochitl Kladis via email or at ext. 2364.

Mug O' The Month
Laura Cortez is the Event and Conference Services Manager in the Office of the Student Center. She joined TAMIU in March 2004.

She received a prize for being the first to identify the TAMIU employee in the "Who is This?" section of the previous issue of the HR News & Views.

Laura Cortez

Who is This?  
Who Is This?

The first person to email the HR Office and correctly identify this TAMIU employee by name and title will win a prize!

The identity of the employee who appeared in the last issue of HR News & Views can be found in "The Answer Corner" section of this newsletter!

The Answer Corner
The following are frequently-asked questions received in the Office of Human Resources. To ask us questions, use the "Ask HR" button on this newsletter.


Who was the baby in the "Who is This?" section of the last issue of "HR News & Views"?


That was Gerardo Alva, Associate Director in the Office of Enrollment Management & School Relations. TAMIU employees who wish to submit their picture for the "Who is This?" section may contact the HR Office via email or at ext. 2365.

I was enrolled in a Spending Account during the 2003-2004 plan year, and I have some claims I haven’t submitted yet for reimbursement. Is it too late for me to submit them?

No, it isn’t. Tax Saver Plan will allow you to submit claims up to November 30th, provided the expenses were incurred on or between 9/1/03 and 8/31/04. Remember, the date the ser­vice was received (not the date the bill was issued or paid) determines whether that service was incurred during the plan year. Any money left in your account(s) after November 30th will be used by the A&M System to offset plan expenses and keep the monthly administrative fee low. If you have any questions, please contact Jessica Palacios, Associate Director, at ext. 2362.

I am an international employee and my visa status is going to change. Is there anything I need to do with the HR Office?

If your visa status changes or is to change, you need to notify the HR Office immediately to update your personnel file and to review your tax withholding, as a change in visa status may affect your tax withholding rate. If you have any questions related to international employees, you may contact Sandra V. Pena at ext. 2361.

That Extra (S)Mile!
This section describes the deeds of TAMIU employees who have been observed going the "extra mile" for our University.
The Writing Center had three very young students drop by recently. Jessica Serna, Staff Assistant, asked, "May I help you?" and the boy, the eldest of the three and whom we later found out is in sixth grade, told her he was going to study while his sisters used the computers. So, Jessica sent the children to use the computers at the Testing Center lab. I assumed the children’s parents were around, but I still followed the children and proceeded to help the boy use the Internet to find information on a scientist for his homework. A few minutes later, I returned to the Writing Center, and Jessica told me she had talked to the children and realized they were alone because their mother was in class at the Student Center. Jessica decided to bring the children back to the Writing Center where she and Daniela Rodriguez, Part-Time Tutor, not only supervised but also entertained the children by reading to them. Although taking care of small children is not their responsibility, Jessica and Daniela made a smart decision to professionally manage the circumstance at hand and even offer our young visitors an educational experience. We are fortunate to have such employees who go the extra mile for TAMIU!
If you know of any employee performing in such a way that deserves mention in this column, send their name and details of their deeds to the HR Office via email.

Phone: 956.326.2365
Fax: 956.326.2359
Location: Killam Library 320