Staff Day Activities

Staff Day "Luther Luau"

June 9, 2015 

This year's Staff Day, "A Luther Luau," will be held Tuesday, June 9, 2015. The day is designed to provide some relaxed time together after a busy academic year and to grow in appreciation for the knowledge and gifts of members of the community.

The program begins with registration at noon, followed by lunch in Peace Dining at 12:15 p.m. Two breakout sessions follow and at 3:15 p.m. we will regroup for a closing program and the announcement of the 2015 Staff Excellence Award winners. All staff are free to go home at 4:00 p.m. Staff participating in Staff Day may wear shorts, t-shirts, and sneakers for the day, or may change at noon, depending on their business attire requirements during the morning. Check with your supervisor. Hawaiian shirts are especially encouraged!

Below are this year's breakout sessions. Please keep in mind that not all sessions are offered twice, and some are longer and therefore take up both time slots.

  • Beading - Making Bracelets (Ann Highum and Sue Halverson)
    Accessorize! Learn how to make a beaded bracelet for yourself or as a gift for someone special. Bring $5 for materials.
  • Community Sing (Ellen Rockne and Elizabeth Finanger)
    Luther College is all about music, but when was the last time you raised your voice in song? Whether the answer is ten minutes ago, ten years ago, or even never—you are invited to step into this timeless circle of connection, where every voice is welcome, and be renewed. Come learn about the social singing movement that is rising all over the world and spend a little time making a joyful sound.
  • Cooking for Your Own Hawaiian Luau (Johanna Bergen)
    What better way to spend the afternoon than whipping up delicious dishes with Hawaiian flair? This class will include the chance to get hands-on with ingredients, making several recipes to sample, share, and repeat at home. From Hula Pork (perfect for a summer dinner) and Hawaiian inspired salads to Coconut truffles, we'll find something to tantalize your taste buds.
  • Folk Dancing (Andrew Ellingsen)
    Learn fun folk dances from around the world, including a canoe dance from Polynesia, with Andrew Ellingsen, music educator at John Cline Elementary in Decorah and frequent clinician around the country. Wear comfortable clothes in which you can move!
  • Hawaii 5.0 - Excel (Andrew Bailey)
    Does Excel have you exploding like a volcano some days? Learn five key tips that will make you see rainbows instead! Session 1 is designed for beginners and Session 2 for intermediate users.
  • How to Navigate Social Occasions (Ann Sponberg Peterson and Wayne Tudor)
    Whether attending a luau or upscale reception, knowing proper etiquette for drinks and appetizers, and knowing how to introduce yourself, mingle and start a conversation will make a strong impression. Come and discover your inner Emily Post.
  • Kayaking and Canoeing (Amy Webber and Doug Nelson)
    The earliest settlements in the Hawaiian Islands are generally believed to have been made by Polynesians who reached Hawaii using large double-hulled canoes. This is your chance to experience kayaking and canoeing on the Surf of the Upper Iowa River. This trip is an adventure for novice paddlers and we only have room for 16 people so be sure to sign up early.
  • Meditation/Mindfulness (Lee Zook)
    This session will explore mindfulness, meaning paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. The presentation will report on the benefits of mindfulness in daily life. Several mindful practices will be taught which can be applied to everyday personal and work settings.
  • Natural Area Hiking (Molly McNicoll & Emily Neal)
    Come for a leisurely hike on the trail system through Luther's native habitats, including oak woodlands and tallgrass prairies. We will talk about land stewardship conducted to improve the quality of our natural areas, including tree plantings, prairie and woodland management, and ongoing projects, including non-native invasive species control. A great hike for those who want to enjoy the early summer weather and native habitats in Iowa's driftless region. Wear footwear appropriate for light hiking.
  • Shark Attack (Rachel Narum and Pam DePuew)
    Navigate the murky waters of your health insurance Explanation of Benefits (EOB). Rachel Narum and Pam DePuew from Midwest Group Benefits will sail you through an explanation of PPO discounts, procedure codes, co-pays, and other EOB terms.
  • Surfing Safety (Carsten Earl)
    Want to learn how to get the most out of surfing the internet? Then this is the session for you! Almost everyone uses Google to find information, but are you using the full capabilities of this powerful information tool? How do you know if the information is legitimate? Scams and fraud attempts are also becoming more prevalent. Carsten Earl will provide tips on how to maneuver those choppy waves safely.
  • The Story of Pearl Harbor (Ed Tebbenhoff)
    Few episodes in modern American history are as famous as the surprise Japanese attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. It was a humiliation without precedent in American history and a Japanese strategic triumph of major proportions. But the story of Pearl Harbor is complex and contradictory, full of twists and turns that is much more interesting and important than the story many of us are familiar with. The attack itself, Japan’s strategic purposes in initiating war with the United States, the reasons for the American intelligence failure and the aftermath for both sides in the Pacific war are the subjects of this talk by history professor Edward Tebbenhoff.
  • Wood Carving (Harley Refsal)
    Decorate a wooden utensil with a traditional Scandinavian carved decorative technique called 'kolrosing' (COAL-rosing). Utensils, carving knife and finishing materials will be provided by instructor, Harley Refsal. Show off your utensil at your next luau, barbecue, or rommegrot cookout. No prior woodcarving experience required.
  • Yard Games - Bocce Ball and Kubb (Greg Lonning)
    Learn how to play two yard games and be the hit of your family gatherings this summer! Bocce ball combines the best of skee-ball, bowling, and shuffleboard. Kubb is a combination of bowling and horseshoes. Come join the fun! No previous experience required.