E-news for 2018

Barry McNeill

The ASURA E-news is published after each Board Meeting and sometimes extra issues are published. The listing of future events, the last section of most E-news issues, has been deleted. Note: the links are likely broken.

Editor is Barry McNeill

Date News
13 Nov 2018 Gobble Gobble Gobble, Thanksgiving comes early this year. We are actually experiencing a noticeable autumn and I hope you are enjoying this fine weather. The desert is green and there are flowers blooming! In the E-News you will find material about:

  • The November Board Meeting
  • Research Volunteers Needed
  • New Board Member Nominations
  • The Calendar of Upcoming Events

November Board Meeting

  • Luncheon and Special Events Committee – Jean Duncan reported that the Fall Luncheon was a tremendous success – good facilities, good food, good members, and an excellent speaker. Jean also told the Board she now has a committee of six and that they were going to meet at the end of November to brainstorm ideas for future events. If you have any suggestions for this committee contact Jean at href="mailto:chester.duncan@asu.edu">chester.duncan@asu.edu. Note: for those of you who did not get a chance to attend the luncheon there is a nice story in ASURA's Past Events page and pictures taken by Gary Kleemann and Don Nilsen in the ASURA Photo Gallery.
  • Membership – The monthly membership report showed, for the first time in several years, that membership renewals were up over the previous year. To help ensure that our records are current could you quickly review the following contact information and if any part is not correct or you want to change either email ASURA at asura@asu.edu or phone the ASURA Office at 480-965-7668.

Contact Data in ASURA Database

  • Name - Billy the Kid
  • Address - 5678 West Blvd 
                     NM 87-09876
  • Phone - xxx-yyy-yyy
  • Cell Phone - bbb-bbb-rrr
  • Email -billy.the.kid@billy.kid

Research Volunteers Needed for Max Cycle Testing Study

Ian Villanueva, a graduate student at ASU, needs volunteers for his research study. The volunteers are needed for an exercise study looking at measuring maximal cycling ability and maximal oxygen uptake. The volunteers should be:

  • Between 60 and 80 years of age
  • In good physical health
  • Without any restriction to exercise
  • Nonsmokers

Study participation requires two visits to the ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus. Each visit last about ninety minutes and there is a $30 compensation for completing both visits. If you are interested contact Ian at Ian.Villanueva@asu.edu or by phone at

New Board Members Nominations

Now is the time to get your name on next year’s Board Member ballot. Historically there has not been an overwhelming interest in Board membership. But being on the Board is not onerous, there is only one meeting a month during the academic year and it is fun, a chance to meet and interact with some of the most interesting people in the world. The early bird gets the worm so if you are interested in joining the ASURA Board let Jeri Meeks (jeri.meeks@asu.edu), chair of the Board Nominating Committee, know of your interest.  Note:  While expressing an interest is probably enough to get on the ballot, if you want to guarantee being on the ballot you can submit a nominating petition – see Board Nominating Procedures for the details

15 Oct 2018 (Supplement) Bev Buddee prepared a writeup of the ASURA 2018 Open Enrollment Health Care Seminar held earlier this month. Since the article contains time sensitive information that all our members might find helpful in selecting their 2019 health insurance options, Bev suggested we share the article with all our members via Enews and not just with those who attended the seminar.

Note:  the article is also available from the ASURA 2018 Past Events page.

Barry McNeill
Enews Editor

2018 ASURA Open Enrollment Health Care Seminar Article

The ASURA 2018 Open Enrollment Health Care Seminar held Thursday, October 4, at the Tempe History Museum was well attended.

Julie Lockwood, Program Administrator, Member Services Division, at Arizona State Retirement System informed the group that open enrollment will run from Thursday, November 1 through Friday, November 30, 2018 with coverage beginning January 1, 2019. This is a passive enrollment again which means no action is required unless coverage changes are desired. Click here for the schedule of open enrollment meetings, specific to Medicare eligible and non-Medicare eligible retirees, which are planned for various sites around the state. Representatives of the different insurers will be in attendance to answer specific plan questions. ASRS members are encouraged to review their current coverage, make changes to personal information, etc. by logging into their respective MyASRS account.

Matthew DeLeon, a team member in the Benefits Services Division of the Arizona Department of Administration, informed the group that this is a passive enrollment which means no action is required unless coverage changes are desired. Open enrollment dates run from 8:00 a.m. on October 22 through 5:00 p.m. on November 9, 2018. Plan changes may be made online via yes.az.gov or using the paper forms included with the enrollment guides mailing. Benefit Expos are planned from mid-October through Nov. 9, with an expo specifically targeted for retirees scheduled on October 19. Click here for the schedule of meetings.

  • Changes in 2019 benefits include:
  • a premium increase,
  • the EPO plan now has a $100/$200 deductible,
  • Delta Dental remains the PPO dental provider at the same rates,
  • medical carriers and coverage plans are staying the same,
  • coverage for the vision and hearing aids benefits remains the same,
  • no impact to the health insurance subsidy from the Arizona State Retirement System, and
  • the only change to pharmacy coverage is a name change from Medicare Generation Rx to Vibrant Rx. Plan participants will receive a new card from Vibrant Rx. Rates remain the same; no change in the co-pay.

Rob Foster, Community Volunteer with the Community Educators Program at AARP Arizona, spoke about the ABCDs of Medicare. He clearly explained the differences between Original/Traditional Medicare (Parts A and B) and Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Medicare drug coverage (Part D). He explained the need for medigap and drug coverage insurance with Original/Traditional Medicare. Rob also touched on eligibility, enrollment periods (initial, general, special and open) and assistance available through Medicare Savings Programs and/or low income subsidy. Resources include:

A time for questions and answers followed each presentation.

Submitted by Bev Buddee

9 Oct 2018 Hopefully October showers will bring spring flowers. October is an incredibly demanding month:  ADOA Open Enrollment occurs, flu shots need to be taken; loins must be girded for the upcoming general election, and finally, most important of all, Halloween preparations are required. If you can get through October, you can just cruise through the rest of the year. You will find material about:

  • The October Board Meeting,
  • The Flu Season,
  • The November Election,
  • An ASU Speech and Hearing Clinic Event, and
  • The Calendar of Upcoming Events

October Board Meeting

  • Bill Stasi and Barry Bruns joined the ASURA Board after the resignation of two Board members, Kathleen Renshaw and Bill Moor. Barry has also taken on the Treasurer position.
  • The open enrollment seminar was very well attended with over 110 registrants. A wrinkle in this year’s open enrollment is that the ADOA and ASRS open enrollment windows are different.
    • ADOA (October 22 through November 9)
    • ASRS (November 1 through November 30)

Flu Season

The flu season is about to commence. October is the month to get your flu shot. Many pharmacies around town offer the shots. This is a busy time and if possible, you should schedule an appointment for your shot. Free flu shots are available at various ADOA Benefit Expos.

November Election

The election this fall is clearly a pivotal election. Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, Green, Libertarian, Independent, or any of the other half dozen parties, you need to vote in this year’s general election. If you are on the Permanent Early Voting List your ballot will be mailed to you starting October 10th. Don’t just put it aside and forget it; fill it in and mail it! If you like to go to the polls be sure to make time on November 6th to visit your polling site.

If you feel the deluge of information you have received in the mail is less than helpful consider using the Vote Smart website (https://votesmart.org) which has lots of objective information on just about every elected official in the nation - local to national. On the site you can find the following information on your candidate of interest:

  • Biography,
  • Votes - find out how your candidate voted on a wide range of issues, e.g., education, guns, local control, women’s rights, business support,
  • Positions,
  • Ratings by major interest groups like the Chamber of Commerce, the Sierra Club, Planned Parent, American Federation for Children, etc.,
  • Speeches and
  • Funding.

In addition to selecting leaders, you are also going to have the opportunity to vote on a variety of ballot measures. Ballotpedia is an excellent source of information to help you understand the ballot measures.

Note: The English version of the 2018 Publicity Pamphlet is available online.

ASU Speech and Hearing Clinic Event

The ASU College of Health Solutions’ Speech and Hearing Clinic is having a special event, Open Up to a World of Better Hearing, from Monday October 22 thru Friday October 26.

If you have been curious about hearing aids, how to improve your hearing or need some help with your existing hearing aids, this event is perfect for you. The clinic is offering a free Communication Needs Assessment which includes a hearing screening ($140.00 value) to discuss the best hearing solution for you. Demonstrations available with the newest advancements in hearing aid technology. All attendees will receive a discounted voucher for a comprehensive audiologic evaluation, if needed.

The event is by appointment only to ensure you receive the personal attention you deserve. The clinic is in Coor Hall 2nd floor and is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. If you are interested call the clinic at 480-965-2373.

17 Sept 2018 (Supplement)

Speech and Hearing Clinic Event

ASU's College of Health Solutions Speech and Hearing Clinic is having a special event, Open Up to a World of Better Hearing, from Monday September 24 thru Friday September 28.

If you have been curious about hearing aids, how to improve your hearing or need some help with your existing hearing aids, this event is perfect for you. The clinic is offering a free Communication Needs Assessment which includes a hearing screening ($140.00 value) to discuss the best hearing solution for you. Demonstrations available with the newest advancements in hearing aid technology. All attendees will receive a discounted voucher for a comprehensive audiologic evaluation, if needed.

The event is by appointment only to ensure you receive the personal attention you deserve. The clinic is in Coor Hall 2nd floor on the Tempe Campus and is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. If you are interested call the clinic at 480-965-2373 for details and/or to reserve your spot.

If you cannot make this event it will be repeated in late October, the 22nd thru the 26th.

10 Sept 2018 Welcome back from your summer respite to our cool autumnal weather. ASURA got off to a great start last Friday with its first Board meeting, the ever-popular Meet and Greet Pizza Party, and pre-party seminar/panel. This edition of Enews contains:

  • Notes from the September Board Meeting,
  • Two Classified Ads,
  • A Note about the Arizona Voluntary Travel ID, and
  • The Calendar of Upcoming Events

Notes from the September Board Meeting


Joy Shearman reported on receiving a Certificate of Appreciation plaque from last year’s scholarship recipient, Stephani Watson. Stephani prepared the certificate to “honor and recognize the confidence, devotion, guidance and assistance freely given in helping me obtain this [ Stephani’s graduation] important milestone in my life. When you visit the ASURA Office be sure to take a moment to view the plaque.

Information on changes to next year’s health insurance was presented by Judy Cato (ADOA) and Dick Jacob (ASRS).


  • Open enrollment will be between October 22 and November 9. The dates and times of the Benefit Expos have been fixed.
  • As outlined in the June email to those on ADOA benefits the rates for the Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) and Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) will be increasing by three percent in January. In addition, there will be a new EPO deductible of $100 for individuals and $200 for families. All other health plan coverage and carriers will remain the same for 2019.


  • Open enrollment will span November.
  • Most participants will experience significantly lower premiums beginning in January 1, 2019.
  • The current Senior Supplement (SS) plan will be replaced, seamlessly, by a new Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug (PPO (MAPD PPO) plan.

Classified Ads

There are two volunteer opportunities this month.

  • ASU’s School of Nutrition and Health Promotion is looking for older adults, 60 or older, for a muscle strength research project. The study will provide you and the research team with updated information about your body composition (percent fat) and muscle health in both your arms and legs. Participants need only one visit to the ASU Downtown Campus. Participants will receive $25 gift card for the two-hour visit. Click here to apply or if the link does not work email Thomas Demirjian.
  • Lisa Herman from the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation (ACNC) called ASU and indicated there were several volunteer opportunities available and thought ASURA members might be interested. The ACNC appears to be a Phoenix Zoo program. If you are interested in more information, contact Lisa Herman at 480-209-6946.

Arizona Voluntary Travel ID

Starting October 2020 your standard AZ Driver’s License will no longer suffice as valid ID for TSA security checkpoints or for entry into Federal facilities. If you want to continue using your driver’s license for ID you will need to obtain an Arizona Voluntary Travel ID. Information about Arizona Voluntary Travel IDs can be found at AZ Voluntary Travel ID

21 May 2018 (Supplement) I was not planning on sending out another Enews this May but the ASU Staff Council will be helping with the PBS Summer Pledge Drive in early June and they have invited any interested ASURA member to join them. ASURA has helped with this pledge drive in the past and I believe all who participated enjoyed the evening. The item below was sent to Staff Council members; if you would like to volunteer click on the blue “VOLUNTEER” in the notice.

I hope you all have a relaxing, stimulating, enjoyable summer and I’ll see you at the first fall event, the Meet and Greet Pizza Party and Seminar in September.

Barry McNeill
Enews Editor

ASU Staff Council Activity

SUMMER PBS Pledge Drive – Saturday, June 2nd – 5:00pm-10:00pm

ASU Staff Council members, family and friends will be helping with the PBS Summer Pledge Drive by answering phones and taking pledges from viewers. This is a LIVE NIGHT – so you just may be on TV!


Free parking will be provided in the UCENT Garage, close to the Channel 8 Studio in the Cronkite Building (555 N. Central Ave, Phoenix AZ 85004 – 6th floor) or you can ride the light rail to Civic Space Park (Cronkite Building is right across the street). Dinner and snacks will be provided. Training will be at beginning of shift, and volunteers must be present for training and stay for entire shift. (Family and friends 16 or older may participate too, but you must complete a volunteer slot for them with their contact information!) Please make sure you can commit!

Wear your ASU Staff Council Shirt or an ASU polo type shirt. If you have further questions, or would like to carpool, please contact Trudy Perez

5 May 2018 Believe it or not we are almost ready to log another academic year in the books. We had a smooth transition to the new officers at the Annual Meeting and Tara Roesler, the new ASURA President, will be starting the association’s twenty-eighth year with her first Board meeting on May 15. This edition of Enews addresses the following three topics:

  • Annual Meeting
  • Membership Renewal
  • Calendar of Upcoming Events

Annual Meeting

A very successful Annual Meeting was held on Tuesday, April 24. It was held in Singer Hall, Phoenix Art Museum. This was ASURA’s first non-Saturday, non-ASU Campus Annual Meeting. Sixty-four members registered and enjoyed some nice light lunch including the traditional carrot birthday cake.

Jeri Meeks, ASURA President, welcomed the audience and spent time talking about the importance of being happy; she thought being the CHO, Chief Happiness Officer, would be a great job. \She then turned the podium over to a panel panel who discussed three interesting volunteer opportunities:

  • the Phoenix Art Museum,
  • Arizona Site Steward Program, and
  • the Desert Botanical Gardens.

The members heard from this year’s ASURA Scholarship recipient, Stephani Watson. The meeting ended with Geri Meeks handing over leadership to incoming President Tara Roesler.

Supplemental Annual Meeting Information

  • Pictures taken at the meeting by Don Nilsen, Dave Scheatzle, and Barry McNeill are available in the ASURA Photo Gallery
  • If you would like to read more about Stephani Watson check out the ASU News Bureau story about her.
  • If you missed the meeting you missed your opportunity to get the 2017-2018 Annual Report. Not to worry, the report is available online from the ASURA website.

Membership Renewal

With a July 1 membership renewal date approaching the annual membership renewal drive is about to begin. You can expect to receive an email invitation to renew in mid-May. When you renew, you’ll receive an acknowledgment email that will include a listing of your data. It is important for the association to have your correct data so please take a moment to review the data to make sure we have your correct address, phone, health insurance thru, etc. This is also an opportunity to indicate an interest in helping with one of the committees.

20 April 2018 Well it is April and 90 degrees; so what else is new? A couple of things:

  • Two Factor Authentication
  • Calendar of Upcoming Events 

ASU’s Two-Factor Authentication

You may have heard about ASU’s move to two-factor authentication to improve security. Two-factor authentication involves using both a password (something you know) and something you own such as a smartphone, a special hardware device, or a conventional telephone. ASU has been using this type of authentication for some services such as Blackboard and PeopleSoft for a year but is in process of rolling it out for e-mail as well.

HOWEVER, at least for now, all retirees and emeritus faculty are exempt from the requirement to use two-factor authentication. Your use of ASU e-mail or myASU will not be impacted. Pat Schneider, one of our ASURA Board members, recently confirmed this exemption by talking with the person in the University Technology Office who is leading the project.

Stay Tuned!

15 March 2018 Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all and I hope you are all enjoying and taking advantage of this marvelous Arizona spring weather. After all it is the spring weather that justifies our summer dry heat.

This month’s E-news has items on:

  • March Board Meeting
  • New Board Member Election
  • ASURA Scholarship Information
  • Calendar of Upcoming Events

March Board Meeting

It was a relatively short meeting; a number of the program chairs and liaisons were absent. Stephanie Salazar, ASURA’s University Liaison, reported that the three Arizona Universities continue to push for 50% state funding of in-state students. Current funding is less than 40%. At the moment there do not appear to be any active bills that are raising concerns with ASU.

New Board Member Election

The Executive Committee met on March 1 to ratify the election to the Board of:

  • Jeff Chapman
  • Jean Duncan
  • Jo Faldtz
  • Jo Madonna
  • Jan Thompson

You will want to thank them for their willingness to serve on the Board when you attend this year’s Annual Meeting in April.

ASURA Scholarship Information

As most of you know, for a number of years ASURA has sponsored a scholarship for a returning ASU student. You will hear from this year’s recipient at the Annual Meeting and I think you will be impressed with the quality of student the Association is supporting. If you would like to learn more about the scholarship and its history visit the ASURA Sponsored Scholarship webpage and while you’re there you might like to review some of the other ASURA projects.

13 Feb 2018 There is still time to get your Valentine a nice box of dark chocolates, a very healthful gift. After all, according to Google, a very reliable source, “chocolate is lauded for its tremendous antioxidant potential. The higher the cocoa content the more health benefits there are and the less sugar content, which is better for overall health.”.

  • This month’s Enews has items on
  • Notes from the February Board Meeting
  • Spring 2018 Prime Times
  • Board Member Election
  • Annual Meeting – a tease
  • Obituary Notices
  • Calendar of Upcoming Events

February Board Meeting

Stephanie Salazar, ASURA’s University Liaison, reported that ASU is actively working to defeat House Bill 2280 Universities; Lease-back Financing, which, starting this summer, would limit how the Board of Regents and thus ASU utilizes land it acquires. Historically, the Board of Regents / ASU has been permitted to execute transactions where a deed to a property improvement is transferred to the Board or that university and subsequently leased back to the private lessor for commercial use. ASU has utilized this process to generate a revenue stream to help offset the Legislative budget cuts. HB 2280 would limit this type of action to those where the primary use would be for academic or student housing. President Crow will be meeting with the legislators and members of the business community to explain why this revenue source is important for the University.

Spring 2018 Prime Times

The latest edition of Prime Times is in the mail and if you have not received it by now it will be arriving shortly. As usual Jeannette Robson has put together a wonderful news letter. There are a number of interesting stories, I found the story on page 5 by Tara Roesler on the Sun Devil Advocates – 2018 Legislative Breakfast to be especially enlightening. You can view a color version at the ASURA website.

Board Member Election

The Board Member election is going on as you read this E-News. If you have voted ASURA thanks you; if you have not voted now is the time. You have until February 28 to submit your ballot. The directions for submitting the ballot are on the ballot; it may be mailed, faxed, but better yet, you can simply email ASURA with your choices.

2018 ASURA Annual Meeting

Registration for this year’s Annual Meeting will not open until later in March but you will want to mark the date, Tuesday, April 24, on your calendars. There are several new twists this year. First, the meeting is on a Tuesday so you won’t have to give up your Saturdays. Second, the meeting is being held at the Phoenix Art Museum and yes there is plenty of free parking and light rail access. Stay tuned for more details on the speakers and other activities.

Obituary Notices

ASURA sends obituary notices to those members who want to receive them. If you are not receiving these notices and would like to receive them contact the ASURA Office by email (asura@asu.edu) or by phone at 480 965-7668 to let them know you would like to receive these notices and they will update your record accordingly. Alternatively, you can update your preference online. Note: that obituaries are posted on our website after being sent out by email.

9 Jan 2018 I hope you have all had an enjoyable holiday season and are getting energized for the upcoming year. ASURA has a number of seminars, luncheons, and travel events planned for this spring. The Emeritus College and the Friends of ASU continue with monthly luncheons and colloquia (see the Affiliated Events webpage). New Frontiers continues to offer a number of lifelong learning activities.

This month’s Enews has items on

  • ·         Notes from the January Board Meeting
  • ·         Request for Volunteers (Redux)
  • ·         ASURA Book Drive
  • ·         Calendar of upcoming events

January Board Meeting

ASURA President Jeri Meeks and Vice President Tara Roesler returned from the ASU Legislative Breakfast and reported that ASU will continue to push to get the legislature to fund 50% of the cost of instructing an instate student. ASU would also like to get permission to operate more as an enterprise which would allow ASU, rather than the state or Board of Regents, to make some financial decisions.

Joan Leard reported on the two Adopt-a-Families being supported by ASURA this year. As usual, one family is from the Tempe School District and is recommended by a Tempe schools social worker; the second family is a returning ASU student and is recommended by the ASU Adopt-a-Family program. Joan told the Board how she spent her money using information supplied by the families. JC Penney welcomes Joan and she receives a 15% discount on anything in the store. Thank you JC Penny.

Rotator Cuff Research (Redux)

The following request was sent out in October and the researchers got some volunteers, but they would like to get more.

Researchers at ASU conducting a study of upper limb motion in older adults are looking for volunteers. To be eligible for the study participants must:

  • ·         be at least 55 years old
  • ·         have either
    •  no known current shoulder injury on their dominant side


    •  have been diagnosed with a rotator cuff tear on their dominant side by their doctor
  • ·         have no history of other major shoulder injuries.

Participants will:

  • ·         Complete a questionnaire to ensure they quality for the study,
  • ·         Have ultrasound images taken of their shoulder,
  • ·         Have their shoulder strength and range of motion measured, and
  • ·         Perform functional tasks in a motion capture laboratory.

If you are interested in participating in this study contact the research team at asuUPEXFunction@gmail.com or by calling 602-827-2294.

Free parking on campus and an $80 compensation will be provided for participants.

ASURA Book Drive

Do you or do you know of someone who has books you/they would like to get rid of? If so ASURA will take your books and in partnership with the Friends of the Phoenix Public Library sell the books. The profits from the sale go to support the Scholarship and the Video History Project. It was reported at today’s Board Meeting that the last set of books brought in over $400 to ASURA. For more information about the book drive and how to donate visit Used Book Drive on the ASURA website.