I’m the Production Stage Manager for the Department of Theatre Arts and I’ve been with CLAS and the University of Iowa since August of last year. I’m a new employee, but I earned my MFA in the Department of Theatre Arts almost six years ago so I’m not completely new to the University. I realize it may not be common for a new employee to join a staff council, but I think it would be a valuable perspective to include. One of the main issues I see facing staff, and perhaps particularly new staff, is integrating into the larger CLAS and University community. Although I’m receiving incredible support within my department as I navigate my first year, I (and some other new employees I’ve chatted with) have felt a disconnect with the larger CLAS and University community. I’m interested in exploring ways to bridge that gap and allow for more person-to-person connections.