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Summertime means community time for 11th floor of Franklin

Life was a beach on the 11th floor of the Franklin building at the end of the work day on Thursday, Aug. 4. It was also a county fair, a BBQ and the summer Olympics.

To build community and help staff get to know each other, Susan Carlson, vice provost of Academic Personnel and Programs,  suggested a social event for the entire 11th floor and all hands pitched in to make it a great success, as the photos above show. “The (event) did exactly what it was supposed to do: create community and generate fun with our colleagues,” Carlson said.

“The party was a whole lot of fun,” agreed Academic Policy and Compensation Data Analyst Gregory Sykes while ILTI Operations Coordinator Laura Levy was full of team (or floor) spirit: “It really was a great event. Thank you all for your wonderful imagination and dynamic spirit! The 11th floor RULES!”

“The committee did an awesome job planning a really fun party!!!” summed up Policy and Compensation Analyst Susan Fauroat.

Riffing off the idea of “summertime,” each of the floor’s departments picked a related theme, then decorated their area and designed an activity that matched it:

  • Academic Personnel and Programs (APP): County Fair (ring toss, miniature golf, ball toss)
  • Institutional Research and Academic Planning (IRAP): Backyard BBQ (bean bag toss)
  • Innovative Learning Technology Initiative (ILTI): Life’s a Beach (ditto)
  • Office of Research and Graduate Studies (ORGS): Summer Olympics (balance beam)
  • Diversity and Engagement (D&E): Lemonade (dancing)

To encourage the staff to break out of their cubicle zones and mingle with other departments, everyone who completed a department’s activity earned a stamp on a form. Those who completed the activities in all five departments were entered into a drawing for one of six gift card prizes. The festive food, beverages and decorations were paid for by the staff, with department leaders chipping in for the prizes.

While the departments worked together on the overall event plan, a little healthy competition was invited to the party: Departmental leaders were designated to judge which unit created the best activity and announced the awards as follows:

  • APP: Best overall realistic effect
  • IRAP: Most spirited and friendly
  • ILTI: Best drinks and fruit vibe
  • ORGS: Best manifestation of the theme (food and games all matched theme)
  • D&E: Best music integration

Sound like a fun way to get to know your co-workers? Why not steal this idea and organize a similar event? You can use a holiday like Labor Day or Halloween as a theme, or make up your own. And be sure to take pictures so we can feature your event in Link!

If you’d like to know more about how the event was organized, you can contact






Comments ( 3 )

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  1. Nicola August 9, 2016 Reply


  2. Maura August 9, 2016 Reply

    Sounds like great fun!

  3. Lora August 16, 2016 Reply

    I think I am going to suggest this for our departments. This looks like fun.

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