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June 7 - 11, 2021 Staff Appreciation Week

A week to celebrate AU staff and their contributions to the university

Enjoy events throughout the week! June 7 - June 11

Join the fun as we celebrate our wonderful staff and come together for our favorite events virtually. This week is about you - our staff, and we're focusing on self-care because it's been a challenging year! 

Participate in any of our activities to be entered into a raffle for a chance to win a delicious fruit basket courtesy of Kaiser Permanente. We'll be raffling one fruit basket per event*.

*Cupcake challenge and NBA 2k21 E-Sports Tournament participants are eligible to win larger prizes and will not have a fruit basket raffle.


Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
President Burwell's Kick-off Announcement StaffCon 2021 StaffCon 2021 Bring AU's Arboretum Tips Home Enjoy the day off! President's Burwell Announcement

Bright Horizons Caregiver Support

Affinity Group Coffee Chat

PwC Basics of Investing

Italian Cooking Demo with Christianne Ricchi  

PwC Home Buying

Rescheduled: Mindful Meditation Virtual Dance Party CareFirst: Family Wellbeing  
Cupcake Showcase Showdown Staff Award Winners Announcement Years of Service Announcement Origami Demo: Money Folding  
Kaiser Permanente: Family Wellbeing   Fidelity Virtual Office Hours TIAA Virtual Office Hours  

Yoga with AU RecFit



Virtual 5k & Fun Run
(all week)
Virtual 5k & Fun Run
(all week)
Virtual 5k & Fun Run
(all week)
Virtual 5k & Fun Run
(all week)
Virtual 5k & Fun Run
(all week)

A Special Message from President Burwell


President Burwell kicks off Staff Appreciation Week with a special message.

Don't forget! President Burwell announced a day off for staff on Friday, June 11. Bi-weekly full-time and part-time staff should mark their Friday hours as "Administrative Leave" on your time sheet.

2021 Staff Award Winners


It's time! We're excited to announce the 2021 Staff Award winners during Staff Appreciation Week. Stay tuned for a special recognition program you can use all year.

Years of Service Message from the President's Cabinet


From five years to forty years, American University's Cabinet members send a special “Thank You” message to staff reaching Years of Service milestones in 2021!

Learn Something New

Take time during the week to attend a virtual workshop and learn something new.

Monday, June 7

11:00am - 12:00pm

Register for PwC Home Buying Webinar

Homeownership is a goal shared by many, but buying a home can be a daunting process if you're not prepared.

Geared towards the first-time homeowners, during this session a PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) financial coach will walk you through the ins and outs of the home buying process so you'll have a roadmap to follow as you consider the purchase of your new home.

Tuesday, June 8 and Wednesday, June 9

9:00am - 12:00pm

Register for StaffCon 2021 Events

AU Staff Council is pleased to announce our second virtual convening in honor of the 6th Annual StaffCon, a forum for AU Staff to digitally connect, engage and reenergize with their colleagues. This year, StaffCon 2021 is paying special homage to the parts of the ourselves and campus community that we must rediscover and reconnect with as we begin to envision seeing each other in-person. Enjoy events across two days! For more information, visit the Staff Council website.

Questions? Email Chelsey Anderson.

Cancelled: Tuesday, June 8

4:15pm - 5:00pm

This event will be rescheduled. Details coming soon.

Self-reflection allows us to focus on the things that are most important to us and express gratitude for them. This practice also allows us to appreciate our progress, experiences, and accomplishments.

Questions? Email

Wednesday, June 9

10:00am - 11:00am

Register for PwC Basics of Investing Webinar

Regardless of your age or your income, reaching retirement goals requires the same things: spend less, save more. It's really that simple. Join a PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) financial coach to learn the definitions and the differences in investment vehicles, and how to help choose the right ones for your financial goals and risk tolerance.

Thursday, June 10

10:00am - 11:00am

Register for Arboretum Event

With more time at home, many of us are enjoying working in our home gardens or looking to start one! Join Michael Mastrota, Arboretum Manager, as he demonstrates how you can start your plants from seeds or clippings, and tips to use when designing and planting a container planter.

To follow along, you'll need a plant container, gravel, filter fabric, potting soil and assorted plants.

Questions? Email Shelly D'Amico.

Thursday, June 10

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Register for Cooking Demo

Let's get cooking! Join Christianne Ricchi, owner and executive chef of Ristorante i Ricchi in Dupont Circle, to learn how to make a summery Italian dish to share with friends and family. Courtesy of AhealthyU.

Questions? Email AhealthyU.

Participate in Our Fun and Games

Take a break and join in one of the week's fun events.

Monday, June 7

Register for the Cupcake Showcase by Friday, June 4

View Cupcake Showcase Rules

Flex your baking skills, dust off your baking equipment and get in the zone. Participate in our virtual 2021 Cupcake Showcase Showdown, back for a 2nd year! Bakers must pre-register and submit a cupcake photo baked and staged from home. Bake as many or as little as you want or make it a family affair, the possibilities are endless.

Cupcake Showdown winner will receive a Fujifilm Mini 9 Camera!

Not a baker but want to vote for your favorite? Voting is open on Monday, June 7 from 12pm - 4pm. Votes will ONLY be accepted via HR’s Twitter by using the "like" button on your favorite cupcake submission. The top 3 most popular cupcakes will receive prizes*.

Questions? Email Ashley Wallace.

*Prizes are subject to tax.

Monday, June 7

2:00pm - 3:00pm

Register for Yoga by Monday, June 7 at 12pm

Join AU RecFit for an hour of gentle yoga right at your desk! Center your mind and body while flowing through various postures that promote increased strength, focus and flexibility. This session is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up! All you need is a yoga mat or blanket.

Questions? Email Olivia Greer.

Monday, June 7 - Friday, June 11

Register by Friday, June 11

Lace up those running shoes and join the AU Community as we come together for another Virtual 5K and 1-mile Fun Run. Family members are welcome and encouraged to join.

Registeration link coming soon.

To participate, you simply need to complete the distance and submit your results. Submitting your time is optional but encouraged (if you like to be competitive)!

The competition does not end with the fastest time! We also want to see your best race photos. Take a picture of yourself OR something on your race route and e-mail to Sofia at

We will share the collage of the race pictures and award prizes* to:

  • Best costume
  • Most AU Spirit
  • Best views

For more information, visit the AU RecFit Virtual Programs page.

*Prizes are subject to tax.

Wednesday, June 9

3:00pm - 3:30pm

Register for Virtual Dance Party

Boost your mood and energy with our 30-minute virtual dance party! Get ready to dance it out to your favorite music played by a live DJ. Fun costumes, dance partners, and song requests are all welcome and encouraged!

Courtesy of Kaiser Permanente. Questions? Email AhealthyU.

Thursday, June 10

3:00pm - 3:45pm

Register for Origami Demo

Learn to fold a ninja star as a fun way to gift money! Follow along with Shelly D’Amico from the Office of Human Resources as she answers questions in real-time with this easy tutorial.

You’ll need two crisp one dollar bills (or any denomination of your choice), and a flat surface. That’s it!

Questions? Email Shelly D'Amico.


Explore Wellbeing Resources

Join webinars highlighting additional support available to you as AU staff.

Monday, June 7

10:00am - 11:00am

Register for Bright Horizons Webinar

Join Megan Culver from Bright Horizons to explore important carevinging resources for you and members of your family. Review options for emergency back up care, summer camps, and tutoring resources.

Questions? Email AhealthyU.

Monday, June 7

1:00pm - 2:00pm

Register for Kaiser Wellbeing Webinar

Join the Kaiser Wellness Team in a brief overview of health and wellness resources and tools available to AU Kaiser participants and their families. 

Questions? Email AhealthyU.

Tuesday, June 8

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Register for Affinity Group Webinar

Please join the Faculty & Staff Affinity Group for our Virtual Coffee Chat during StaffCon. As we continue to navigate these uncertain times, it's important to maintain connections and offer support to others in our community. American University’s Affinity Group program continues to serve as a platform for faculty and staff to connect with and empower each other collectively.

Explore opportunities for collaboration and growth! Whether you are a current member, want to know more, or are interested in forming a new group, join a virtual Coffee Chat with leaders from AU Affinity Groups. Learn about the program history and hear updates from group leaders of the Black Faculty & Staff Affinity Group, Latino & Hispanic Faculty & Staff Affinity Group, AU Global, People of Color, LGBTQ+ Faculty & Staff Affinity Group, and Disability+ Faculty & Staff Affinity Group.

Event is scheduled as part of StaffCon 2021.

Thursday, June 10

2:00pm - 3:00pm

Register for CareFirst Webinar

Join the CareFirst Wellness Team in a brief overview of the Sharecare health and wellness resources and tools available to AU CareFirst participants and their families.

Questions? Email AhealthyU.

Tuesday, June 8

Join anytime between 3:00pm - 5:00pm

Connect with knowledgeable Fidelity Financial Consultant, Ron Seegers, for virtual group office hours! Learn about the tools and resources available to you through Fidelity Investments, and ask any questions you may have.

Pre-registration is not required. Simply join the event at your convenience!

If prompted, enter the following information: Meeting ID: 962 8146 3732, Passcode: 443494

Join Fidelity Virtual Office Hours

Wednesday, June 9

Join anytime between 3:00pm - 5:00pm

Speak with knowledgeable TIAA Financial Consultant, Jahleel Gordon, during virtual group office hours! Get your questions answered and learn about the tools and resources available from TIAA.

Pre-registration is not required. Simply join the event at your convenience. If prompted, enter the following information:

Meeting ID: 955 4019 3563, Passcode: 689671

Join TIAA Virtual Office Hours

Thank a Colleague

Take a second to recognize and appreciate staff. Tag us on Twitter and use #AUappreciates to promote AU's culture of appreciation.

Staff Appreciation Week AU Campus Zoom Background

Use Our Staff Appreciation Week Zoom background

Simply downland the image and right click "Save as" to save photo to your computer. To upload image in Zoom, click the "^" arrow next to "Stop Video" and click “Choose Virtual Background”. Click the “+” next to Choose Virtual Background to upload your image and set your background.

Download Zoom Background

Accessibility & Accommodations

If you have questions concerning accessibility or need to request disability-related accommodations (i.e., sign language interpreters, materials in alternate format, etc.), please contact Employee Relations in the Office of Human Resources at x2607 or