Thursday, October 26, 2017

Get Grounded: Learn more about UVA and UVAFinance colleagues

UVAFinance enjoyed its first "Get Grounded" event this October.
The first field trip was to the McCormick Observatory.

On October 5, 19 members of the UVAFinance team headed across Grounds to visit the McCormick observatory.  This “finance field trip” was conceived by UVAFinance’s Employee Engagement Committee as a way to build connections between colleagues and give them the opportunity to experience the places and activities at UVA they may only have seen on paper while doing their daily work.

Called “Get Grounded,” these field trip sessions are set to become a regular offering for UVAFinance staff.

For the past year, UVAFinance employees have taken advantage of Lunch and Learn sessions coordinated by the Employee Engagement Committee and Finance Outreach and Compliance.  With topics ranging from using dealing with change to using, Lunch and Learns are optional, informational sessions for UVAFinance employees.  According to Patty Marbury, Chair of the Employee Engagement Committee, the “Get Grounded” series is a way to take the Lunch and Learn concept on the road.

“In Finance, we are involved with so many areas at UVA.  We know a little bit about everything that’s going on, but we don’t necessarily get to see things in action,” Marbury said.

Danielle Hancock, a member of the Steering Committee, used her connections with the Astronomy department to arrange for the inaugural trip. Prior to joining UVAFinance, Danielle was a fiscal administrator in Astronomy. “The Observatory is a cool place to go on Grounds that’s out of the way and not everyone knows about,” she said.

The group got a full tour of the Observatory, learned about the weather station, viewed a 26-inch telescope used by students to learn research with astronomy, and even had the chance to view glass slides of the stars. 

Isaiah Behnke of Student Financial Services said the Observatory visit was a great experience and something he’d wanted to do for a while. For Behnke, getting a behind-the-scenes tour with his UVAFinance colleagues made it even better.

Gareth Evans of Sponsored Programs, a new employee in UVAFinance as of October 4, attended Get Grounded as a way to learn more about his new workplace. 

“The trip was fascinating,” he commented.

“The professor who led the tour was clearly very excited about his work.  Fieldtrips like these help staff to relate how our daily work supports research programs across Grounds, so I’m keen to see other areas and labs in the future,” he added.

Have an idea for a Get Grounded event?  Contact Patty Marbury or comment below!

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