June 2021


Sunset at the beach

Congratulations and THANK YOU for helping us all make it through this school year together. It took a lot of effort, from every corner, to get to the point where we can welcome students back on-site in the fall.

That said, for many people the idea of returning to campus in the autumn—safely—may be met with understandable trepidation, balanced by the anticipation of seeing colleagues in person and finding a new rhythm at work.

But before we dive into the next academic cycle, let’s take some time this summer to recharge our bodies, refresh our minds, and renew our focus. You may have accumulated some vacation time during the pandemic, and there are important reasons for you and your team to take a break.

Here are some ideas for affordable local outings, whether you’re looking to treat yourself to some much-needed R&R, or have fun with family and friends:

  • Schedule a massage, acupuncture session, or attend a workshop at the Center for Wellness. Prices are competitive and anyone with a Harvard health plan can book up to 20 acupuncture visits per year for just the cost of the copayment.
  • Browse Outings & Innings (HarvardKey required) for discount tickets for the Provincetown Fast Ferry, Codzilla, Boston Duck Tours, Canobie Lake Park, Zoo New England, and other local attractions.
  • Hike, mountain bike, or walk your dog through the miles of trails in the 4,000 acre Harvard Forest (free).
  • Take a walk through the botanical splendor of the Arnold Arboretum, using self-guided tours or their mobile app.
  • Admire the monuments and enjoy the views at historic Mount Auburn Cemetery, America’s first garden cemetery, less than two miles from Harvard Square.

If you are planning on traveling farther afield, Harvard experts give airports high marks on COVID safety, but be sure to check the university’s latest travel guidance.

Looking ahead to the fall, the best way to quell your worries and ease your mind is to get well informed and prepared for what to expect. To that end, you can:

Enjoy your summer! The newsletter will be on hiatus until September, but you can always find up-to-date information on Harvard’s benefits and perks, as well as ideas on how to make your life simpler, more fulfilling, and culturally richer, at HARVie. Thanks for reading!


Man walking with older man with his arm on his shoulder

Take the time you need to take care of your loved ones without worrying about your job or finances. Starting in July, eligible employees can use up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a family member with a serious medical condition. This is in accordance with the second phase of the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (MA PFML) that went into effect on January 1, 2021.

Virtually all Harvard employees are eligible for this benefit, with slight variations depending on your type of employment (details can be found in the plan overview for your employee group). Under MA PFML, family members include your spouse, domestic partner, child, parent or the parent of your spouse or domestic partner, a person who legally acted as a parent when you were a child, your grandchild, grandparent, or sibling.

You are limited to 12 weeks for any combination of paid family leave in a 52-week period (military care leave entitles you to up to 26 weeks). For example, if you used six weeks of leave to bond with a new child starting January 1, you would have six weeks of leave remaining in the year to use to care for a family member.

Learn more about MA PFML and how it applies to you by doing any of the following:

Mind & Body

We depend on one another to keep our community safe; thank you for checking in, planning ahead, and taking care of yourselves.

  • In order to monitor our community’s progress toward full vaccination, please send a clear copy of your completed vaccination card to HUHS at mrecords@huhs.harvard.edu, where it will be kept secure and confidential (HUHS already has records for people vaccinated in their clinics). Thank you for getting vaccinated!
  • Find fresh, locally grown food at the Farmers’ Market every Tuesday in Science Center Plaza starting June 15. Sign up for their weekly newsletter for the most up-to-date news.
  • Get the latest safety protocols for returning to campus work — and on the best ergonomic practices for remote offices — from Harvard Environmental Health & Safety.

Learning & Growing

A common trait among university employees is a desire to continually learn more. Satisfy your curiosity with some of these offerings.

Living & Working

The Office of Work/Life offers programs to support your wellbeing all summer long!

  • Register your kids in Camp Kinda—it’s “kinda” like summer camp—with on- and offline activities for kids ages 3–13 developed by the education professionals of EdNavigator. Free for Harvard families. See this flyer for the link and code to register (HarvardKey required).
  • Explore strategies to help seniors remain active and engaged, avoid common age-related risk factors, and maximize their quality of life at Care@Work’s Aging Well webinar on June 9.
  • Challenge yourself to maintain your mindful meditation practice through the summer—join your peers on the Ten Percent Happier app.

Finances & Security

Getting informed and making a plan for your finances now will make future decision-making much easier and less stressful.