Monthly Archives: January 2018

ITS food drive a success

A huge round of applause to the ITS Division for their successful holiday food drive. Employees and students donated mountains of food that went to LCC’s Center for Student Support, the First Presbyterian Church in Lansing and the Letts Community Center in Lansing. Thank you for your generosity to our students and the greater community!

How to tell if you are a victim of tax fraud

For tax scammers, tax season equals ill-gotten gains. Tax refund fraud victims usually first learn of the crime after having their returns rejected because scammers beat them to it.

Here is how you can tell if you are a victim of tax return fraud:

  • Keep your eyes wide open! Be alert when you see information that doesn’t make sense, such as a rejection notification from the IRS stating that you have already filed a return.
  • Regularly request a free copy of your credit report. Be aware of your bank, investment and credit accounts. Identity thieves will open new accounts under your name, have the bills sent to them, and spend the money without your consent. By law, consumers are entitled to a free copy of their report from each of the major bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) once a year. Put it on your calendar to request a copy of your file every three to four months, each time from a different credit bureau. Dispute any unauthorized or suspicious activity.
  • The IRS will never call or email you! Be on the lookout for phishing phone calls or email from the “IRS.” The email may even have a realistic-looking sender address, but it’s not from the IRS and probably contains embedded links to malware. If you have any doubt whether a contact from the IRS is authentic, you can call the IRS customer service toll-free number at 800-829-1040 to confirm it.
  • Contact the IRS. If you receive a notice from the IRS that leads you to believe someone may have used your Social Security number fraudulently, please notify the IRS immediately.

Already a victim of tax return fraud?

  • File Form 14039 and request an IP PIN from the government. You may file Form 14039 (Identity Theft Affidavit) to formally report fraud. The IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit is available at 1-800-908-4490 and may be able to assist you, as well. For more information, please review IRS Pub 4535, Identity Theft Prevention and Victim Assistance. The IRS Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) is a unique, six-digit number assigned annually to victims of identity theft for use when filing their federal tax return that shows a particular taxpayer is the rightful filer of the return.
  • Form 4506. If you become of the victim of tax fraud and want to know who defrauded you, you can file Form 4506 (plus a $50 fee) to get a copy of the return. The information can then be shared with your local police, who may be able to use it to help track down the people who stole your tax refund.
  • Monitor, then freeze. Take advantage of any free credit monitoring available to you, and then freeze your credit file with the major bureaus. First, put a free credit report fraud alert with one of the credit reporting services (they notify the others) as soon as you find out about the fraud. The initial fraud alert is good for 90 days, after which you have to obtain a police report to extend it to seven years. Second, a credit freeze lets you restrict access to your credit report, which in turn makes it more difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. Fees vary based on where you live, but commonly range from $5 to $10.

If you have any questions or need further info, please contact the LCC ITS division, Director of Information Security Paul H. Schwartz at schwarp1@lcc.edu.

Awards Showcase nominations due March 12

These exciting new awards are designed to honor the hard work, innovation and dedication of you and your peers. One person will be honored in each of 11 categories.

Know someone who deserves to be recognized? Nominations are open until March 12! The awards ceremony and luncheon will take place April 20 to thank the winning faculty and staff. Supervisors, Executive Leadership Team members and those who nominated will also be invited and encouraged to attend.

The awards are organized by the Experience #Starpower team, dedicated to creating an enjoyable and rewarding work atmosphere for all LCC employees.

For more information and to nominate a candidate, visit lcc.edu/experience/showcase.

Foundation looking for volunteers to review scholarship applications

The 2018-19 LCC Foundation scholarship application closes Jan. 31, and we are looking for application reviewers to assist in the next step of our awarding process.

Reviewers are generally tasked with 20-25 student applications that are typically no longer than a page in length. Reviewers will gain access to AcademicWorks Feb. 1 and have until March 17 to submit their recommendations.

If you are interested, please email Foundation support Stephanie Peña at penas4@star.lcc.edu. Feel free to pass this message along to your co-workers and friends who may be interested in getting involved with the process. Reviewers do not need to be employed at LCC.

Faculty Conner and Rife have chapter on Gateways to Completion and Guided Pathways published

Professors Martine Rife and Christine Conner recently had their chapter, “Intentionally Linking Gateway-Course Transformation Efforts with Guided Pathways,” published in New Directions for Higher Education.

The chapter is available to download via the LCC Library’s new electronic reserve capability, shared with the assistance of librarian Suzanne Bernsten.

The collection was edited by Betsy Barefoot and Jillian L. Kinzie. Rife and Conner, who have been working both separately and together for about six years on these projects, wrote the chapter upon invitation from the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, Drew Koch.

Conner and Rife want to acknowledge that both Gateways to Completion and Guided Pathways are team projects involving large numbers of LCC employees, too many to list here. But special thanks go to faculty leaders Kevin Brown, Megan Lin, Lisa Nienkark, Kari Richards, Jean Ramirez, Maria Johnson, Leslie Mohnke, Robin McGuire, Melissa Lucken, Randy Paape, Jim McAvoy, Sarah Garcia-Linz, Pamela Smith, Joe Esquibel, Eva Menefee, Candy Giovanni, Lisa Alexander, Mark Kelland, Eric Bennett, Sam Bultman and Mark Chapman.

Celebration of Life honoring Kim Farley to be held Feb. 2

The Library will be hosting a Celebration of Life gathering in honor of Kim Farley, our dear colleague and friend, on Feb. 2. Kim spent her 40-year career at LCC, where she made many friends. Kim was passionate about helping students succeed and touched the lives of thousands. Kim desired donations in her memory be used to assist LCC students with financial need. Donations can be made to the Kimberly Farley Memorial Scholarship.

When: 2-4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2
Where: Third floor, Library, TLC Building

The Library will be unveiling a customized piece of art created in remembrance of Kim.

Light refreshments will be served.

LCC faculty hosting OER Faculty Conversations

Michigan Colleges Online (MCO) is sponsoring a series of Faculty Conversations about open educational resources this semester. These conversations feature faculty currently using an open textbook or other OER in their courses. The conversations are open to all community college faculty who want to learn more about the experience from their peers.

Our very own psychology professors, Dr. Sharon Hughes and Dr. Marita De Leon, will be leading the conversation Jan. 31. All events start at noon and will not be recorded.

Jan. 31: MCO OER Faculty Conversations – Psychology
Featuring Dr. Sharon Hughes and Dr. Marita De Leon from Lansing Community College. Register online.

Feb. 1: MCO OER Faculty Conversations – Composition
Featuring Dr. Sarah Wangler from Northwestern Michigan College. Register online.

Feb. 2: MCO OER Faculty Conversations – Math              
Featuring Dr. Wade James from West Shore Community College. Register online.

If you have any questions or if you want to lead a faculty conversation in the future, please contact OER project manager Regina Gong at gongr1@lcc.edu or x1663.

In the news

Press clips from the week include: