Last year, Pat Mann set a goal to eat more locally grown, sustainably harvested food. He raised his own pigs, grew vegetables and canned sauerkraut. And every other Thursday, he stopped at Sarah P. Duke Gardens to pick up a pound of speckled trout, clams or other North Carolina seafood from a community-supported fishery that is part of the Duke Mobile Market.
"My goal for 2013 is to continue to support local people and the local economy," said Mann, nursing program manager in the Department of Urology.
The Mobile Market, sponsored by Duke's employee wellness program, is one of many benefits and resources employees can use to enrich their work and personal lives in 2013.
"Duke offers a lot of places and programs that provide structure to help turn resolutions into real changes," said Andy Silberman, director of Duke's Personal Assistance Service. "Getting support for any change in your life increases the chances that you'll follow through."
Here are 10 ways Duke benefits and resources can help you in 2013.
Sharpen professional skills. Broaden your learning with free online classes through Coursera or take a work skills class in project management with Learning & Organization Development. If you prefer to learn at your own pace, explore the 80,000 how-to videos available at no charge to Duke employees through LyndaCampus, Duke's subscription to the Lynda.com library tutorials on topics ranging from building budgets to creating websites. Adelle Smith, operations coordinator for admissions at Duke's Fuqua School of Business, recently completed a five-hour Lynda.com course "Excel 2010: Advanced Formulas and Functions." She watched the 20-minute segments during breaks over two months. "Now I know how to really use the formulas and functions rather than relying on trial and error," she said.
Get fit. Sign up for the Get Moving Challenge, sponsored by LIVE FOR LIFE, Duke's employee wellness program. The 10-week program begins Jan. 14 and runs to March 24. Compete individually or form teams with Duke colleagues to see who walks the most steps, exercises the most minutes or loses the most weight. For personalized exercise options, consider LIVE FOR LIFE's self-paced programs, such as Take the Stairs or individual fitness consultations.
Eat fresh. Buy local fruits, vegetables, meat and fish all year at the Duke Mobile Market. Pre-purchase a share from a local farmer and pick up your fresh produce at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens parking lot on your way home once a week. Duke employees can also shop for fresh produce at the Duke Farmers Market, which runs April through September on campus.
Check your vitals. Duke employees can have their weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol monitored during a free health check event, which are held all year across campus. LIVE FOR LIFE nurses help participants set simple health goals for the year. "Your health is one of your most valuable assets," said Julie Joyner, manager for LIVE FOR LIFE. "Investing in it pays big dividends."
Plan for retirement. Review how much you are saving in a 403(b) through the Faculty and Staff Retirement Plan or the Duke Savings for Retirement Plan at Duke's Retirement Manager site and use the tools provided to consider whether you need to save more. For personalized advice, attend a free consultation with a Duke retirement vendor representative.
Expose yourself to art. Regular exhibits at the Nasher Museum of Art are free for Duke faculty and staff. Special exhibits such as the current "Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters: The Cone Sisters of Baltimore" cost $5 for Duke employees. The exhibit continues through Feb. 10, 2013. In addition to the art displays, the museum also hosts free family days and regular Thursday evening programs involving music, movies and lectures. "Thursday is the day that they normally say 'come on over for dinner at the cafe and participate in whatever else is going on'," said Janet Bassett, a financial analyst III for Duke's Patient Revenue Management Organization, who is a member of the museum. "It's always good."
Lower your carbon footprint. Have a bit of fun by participating in Duke's Green Devil Smackdown, a team-based competition that runs until April 2013 to see who's most successful at forcing emissions into submission at Duke.
Visit Duke libraries. With nearly 7 million printed books, 875,488 e-books and 95,732 videos and films, the collections are bound to offer something to expand your mind. Borrow an e-reader, for example. It comes loaded with approximately 375 titles.
Pay it forward. Surprise colleagues by giving them a shout-out on the "Making a Difference" blog. Marion Brown, an adjudications officer for Duke Parking and Transportation, was grateful when she received an email informing her that she had been recognized on the blog. "I just did what needed to be done," Brown said. "But it is really nice to be thanked in this way."
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