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Vol. LVII, No. 15
July 29, 2005
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Check Benefits Reminders via Email

Health benefits, life insurance and the Thrift Savings Program. These are some of the benefits you may participate in as a federal employee. Each month, the Benefits and Payroll Liaison Branch of the Workforce Relations Division in the Office of Human Resources circulates, via the NIH Listserv, an email to the NIH staff. This email — titled "NIH Benefits Information - Did You Know?" — addresses issues that may affect your benefits. This email is the most efficient way to alert the NIH workforce about changes or events regarding the various benefit programs. So keep a look out for it. More information can be found at http://hr.od.nih.gov/Benefits/default.htm.

OD Awards Ceremony Set, Aug. 18

The 2005 OD Merit Honor Awards Ceremony will be held on Thursday, Aug. 18 at 1:30 p.m. in Natcher Auditorium. All are welcome to attend.

Free Outdoor Film Festival, Aug. 12-21

The 9th annual Comcast Outdoor Film Festival, a slew of free movies shown under the stars, is scheduled for 10 consecutive nights, Aug. 12-21. The R&W-sponsored event benefits the NIH children's charities, including Special Love/ Camp Fantastic, the Children's Inn and Friends of the Clinical Center. The festival includes food, movies and fun on the grounds of Strathmore Hall (by the Grosvenor Metro station). The following movies will be playing:

Friday, Aug. 12, Shrek 2
Saturday, Aug. 13, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Sunday, Aug.14, West Side Story
Monday, Aug. 15, Million Dollar Baby
Tuesday, Aug. 16, Grease
Wednesday, Aug. 17, The Birds
Thursday, Aug. 18, Raiders of the Lost Ark
Friday, Aug. 19, Ray
Saturday, Aug. 20, Spiderman 2
Sunday, Aug. 21, Shark Tale

For more information call R&W at (301) 496-6061.

Yoga Meditation Held Weekly

Sahaja yoga meditation class is held every Thursday at 7 p.m. on the third floor of the CRC, Rm. 3-1608. Sahaja yoga seeks to awaken inner energy called kundalini, and is offered for free and without obligation. The class is sponsored by the recreation therapy section of the rehabilitation medicine department. For more information contact Jasmin Salloum, (301) 402-5630.

Fund for Susan Torres' Family

If anyone is interested in contributing to Susan Torres and her child's medical expenses, a fund has been established. Visit http://www.susantorresfund.org/ to learn about her plight and to get updates on her family's situation. Torres is an NIAID vaccine researcher who collapsed on May 7 and has been declared brain-dead, yet is bearing a child who is still developing in the womb.

NIEHS Campus Merges Wildlife, Industry

NIEHS is the first workplace in surrounding Research Triangle Park, N.C., to achieve certification as a Wildlife and Industry Together, or WAIT, site. The WAIT program, managed by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, is designed to recognize North Carolina workplaces that are practicing and promoting wildlife stewardship. It encourages the establishment of large portions of property for wildlife, but also addresses the need for environmental education for employees and the local community. Some of the NIEHS amenities highlighted during the certification process include a man-made lake (below) that is home to several fish species including largemouth and striped bass, bluegills, channel catfish and triploid carp, and a self-guided Nature Trail (bottom) that opened in February, serving both NIEHS and EPA employees. The campus also has a bluebird house program that's been in place for nearly 30 years. It provides about 50 houses, which are cleaned several times a year. Data is collected and compiled on the numbers and types of birds found in them. The wooded 82-acre campus features pines and hardwoods, along with beaver, rabbits, deer, herons, egrets and ducks.

FAES Announces Fall Courses

The FAES Graduate School at NIH announces the schedule of courses for the fall semester. The evening classes sponsored by the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences will be given on the NIH campus.

Courses are offered in biochemistry, biology, biotechnology (daytime courses), chemistry, immunology, languages, medicine, microbiology, pharmacology, statistics, toxicology, alternative medicine and courses of general interest. It is often possible to transfer credits earned to other institutions for degree work, and many courses are approved for category 1 credit toward the AMA Physician's Recognition Award.

Classes will begin Sept. 12; mail registration ends Aug. 12 and walk-in registration will be held Aug. 29-Sept. 2. Tuition is $115 per credit hour, and courses may be taken for credit or audit. Courses that qualify for institute support as training should be cleared with supervisors and administrative officers as soon as possible. Both the vendor's copy of the training form and the FAES registration form must be submitted at the time of registration. Note that FAES cannot access forms from the NIHTS system; a signed hard copy (vendors' copy of SF 182 form) is needed in order to process registrations for classes. Asking your institute to pay your tuition does not constitute registration with the FAES Graduate School.

Catalogs are available in the graduate school office in Bldg. 60, Suite 230; the foundation bookstore in Bldg. 10, Rm. B1L101; and the business office in Bldg. 10, Rm. B1C18. To have a catalog sent, call (301) 496-7976 or visit http://www.faes.org.

Diversity Grand Rounds Lecture Set

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management will present the next lecture in the Diversity Grand Rounds Series, "Cultural Competencies in a Research Environment," on Thursday, Aug. 4 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., Lipsett Amphitheater, Bldg. 10. The speaker will be Dr. Harry R. Gibbs, associate professor of medicine and cardiovascular disease and vice president for institutional diversity at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston. All are welcome.


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