Division News

Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC)

  • CMHC is collaborating with the UT School of Pharmacy to act as a one-month clinical placement site for a pharmacy graduate who is in his or her second year of post-graduate training in the Psychiatric Pharmacy Residency program. Daniel Dispensa worked with the CMHC Psychiatry team in June to enhance patient-centered medication treatment for patients.
Green Team

Mona Ghosheh, Matthew Olson (Green Team Chair), Dian Ruud & Kate Czar

  • CMHC’s Green Team member Dian Ruud won the Longhorn Lights Out energy conservation drawing. The CMHC Green Team is a select group of CMHC employees who work hard to promote “green” efforts on the 5th floor of the Student Services Building. Recent efforts included banning the purchase of Styrofoam products, starting a glass recycling collection and promoting campus-wide initiatives like the Longhorns Lights Out program.

Housing and Food Service (DHFS)


  • All Division staff members are invited to sign up as volunteers during Mooov-In Weekend Aug. 22–23. During Mooov-In, staff, faculty and students welcome thousands of students moving into their new residence hall rooms. Volunteers direct traffic, answer questions and help the new Longhorns during their first days on campus. Interested in volunteering? Please email LT Robinson.
  • Three capital renovation projects are underway and on track to be completed for fall opening.  Jester West floors 9–11 are being renovated. Floors 12–14 were completed last summer. Four more phases are still needed to finish renovating all floors in Jester West. In Moore Hill, Phase I is underway. Phase I includes renovations to the HVAC system with new fan coils in each student room, as well as the removal of built-in furniture, with each student room getting new flooring and furniture. Phase II begins in summer 2015. In Blanton, the community bathrooms are being renovated.
  • The DHFS Honors Quad and Littlefield Residence Hall were featured in two key scenes for the film “My All American” being shot on campus this summer.

Food Service

  • Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 11.21.21 AMRecent rains followed by sunny days have paved the way for promising crops of okra, cucumbers, watermelon, eggplant, peppers and much more in the DHFS Campus Gardens. Austin’s “Natural Gardener” John Dromgoole’s visit to DHFS Campus Gardens prompted several new techniques and a few upgrades to increase production, as well as expanded educational elements. UT Green Corps is excited about the harvest that is soon to come as well as the exciting things on the horizon for fall. Keep your eyes open for some of this wonderful produce to be served at DHFS dining locations.

New Student Services (NSS)

  • Freshman Summer Orientation is well underway with the first four sessions occurring throughout June. Housing students together by academic college has been well received, providing more contact between students from the same areas of study.
  • Quality transition programming was provided for the first Transfer Summer Orientation Session from June 26–­27.
  • New Student Services has built a robust and healthy social media community comprised of over 12,800 unique user accounts across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • New Student Services has utilized the tool Storify to create “Stories” about each session. Find out what students are talking about. Students have provided ample positive feedback about orientation on social media.
  • In an effort to curb the “party culture” during Freshman Summer Orientation, New Student Services is working in conjunction with the Office of the Dean of Students, Sorority and Fraternity Life, Student Activities and UT Police Department. In addition to a required program and facilitation on campus issues, including bystander intervention, New Student Services offers late night social programming to encourage student connections.
  • Thanks to support from Director of Assessment Dr. Gale Stuart, assessment of the Summer Orientation program has begun. For the first time, New Student Services will be gathering feedback online rather than a scantron survey.

Office of the Dean of Students (DoS)

  • No news submitted

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA)

  • The new True Colors® Tips feature that launched in May’s staff newsletter was the most clicked on story last month. Discover new ways to integrate the Division True Colors® training into your workspace in this month’s feature by Adrienne MacKenzie from Texas Parents. Have some True Colors® Tips of your own? Contact Joshua Cook about submitting your story to the Division staff newsletter.
  • Drafting the Division Impact Report

    Drafting the Division Impact Report

    Work on the Division Impact Report is moving swiftly thanks to valuable contributions from each department’s communications team.

  • The communications team is collaborating with University Communications on the redesign of the Campus Life and Students web pages to better communicate Division resources to prospective and current students. A similar process is underway for the design of the proposed Student Portal.
  • Marian Trattner with the Counseling and Mental Health Center led the first of two summer workshops tailored toward Division social media account managers on June 19. It was entitled “Suicide & Social Media: Recognizing the Warning Signs” and better prepared our staff to support students. The workshop was one of two social media training opportunities organized by Joshua Cook. The second workshop is scheduled for July 24 and will focus on hazing education in partnership with the Office of the Dean of Students.
  • The reach of social media accounts throughout the Division has skyrocketed over the last year, rising from 43,113 followers last summer to over 78,000 this summer.

Recreational Sports (RecSports)

  • RSC Weight RoomWhitaker Fields served as one of the settings for the film “My All American,” based on the life of Longhorn football great Freddie Steinmark and the 1969 national championship team. Facility staff worked closely with the filmmakers to make accommodations throughout the shoot.
  • RecSports hosted a Wellness Network Brown Bag Series session in June. A RecSports personal trainer presented on “Adding Steps to Your Day” and led a 30-minute workout that could be incorporated into the workplace.
  • Building BellmontFacility Operations staff is busy overseeing two major renovation projects. The Recreational Sports Center weight room will be closed July 15–Aug. 22 for renovation. The Bellmont Hall renovation project, which has been dubbed “We’re Building a Better Bellmont,” began with the men’s and women’s locker rooms. The project involves construction on several floors and renovation and relocation of the weight room. The Bellmont renovation timeline is posted online.
  • All current and retired faculty/staff are invited to RecSports’ annual Health and Lifestyle Expo set for July 17, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. in the Gregory Gym Arena. The event will feature annual enrollment information, giveaways, samples of healthy food and more.

Texas Parents

  • Texas Parents memberships are now available for the 2014–15 year.
  • There is only one more Family Orientation session left on July 7. Sessions are conducted for parents and family members of incoming freshmen and are held on the first day of each student orientation session. There will be a Family Orientation in August to accompany the late student orientation.
  • The Next Steps e-Newsletter will be sent to the parents/families of incoming freshman in mid-July and August. This newsletter provides helpful information leading up to their students’ arrival to campus in August.
  • The  Family Weekend website is now live. Family Weekend will take place Friday–Sunday, October 24–26.
  • Texas Parents is preparing for Mooov-In to assist housing staff with efforts to have parents send postcards for their freshman to receive at their on-campus residence hall room.

The Center for Students in Recovery (CSR)

  • CSR has launched a new Fireside Chat program as part of the summer session programming. It fosters open sharing between “old timers” with long-term recovery and students. The individuals who are invited are hand-picked for their record of exemplary character and demonstration of emotional and spiritual sobriety. The Fireside Chat exposes students to an advanced model of recovery and allows them to engage in reciprocal dialogue.
  • Another summer session initiative is the new Dialogue Program, an exciting and innovative approach to supporting recovery. Once a month, a group is invited to meet with CSR students to engage in structured reciprocal dialogue around recovery themes. The CSR program coordinator meets beforehand with staff then with participants in order to support them with their respective concerns. During the second hour, CSR students meet the visiting group and take turns asking and answering questions.
  • In an effort to support students in recovery on all UT System campuses, Chris Brownson, Cary Tucker and Sierra Castedo will be visiting UT Brownsville and UT Pan American. Both campuses are in the early stages of opening a Center for Students in Recovery. The team from UT Austin will offer guidance and support to get these programs off the ground.

 University Health Services (UHS)

  • Robert Reed & Susan Hochman

    Robert Reed & Susan Hochman

    While UHS clinical space on the Student Services Building second floor undergoes renovations this summer, staff members have become very adept at working in cramped quarters. Nurses are sharing work stations, medical providers are sharing office space and everyone is creatively ensuring the privacy and comfort of our patients and the security of their data. While togetherness is great, staff is glad to report that construction is on schedule for an August unveiling.

  • Happy first birthday to the (newly restored) UHS Physical Therapy Clinic. UT Austin students, faculty and staff can all enjoy the convenience of expert physical therapy on campus at UHS. Since UHS is in network with the UT employee medical insurance plan as well as the student health insurance plan, staff has been working non-stop to help students and employees recover from surgeries, heal from injuries, and restore strength and motion.

University Unions

  • The second floor fireplace lounge in the Student Activity Center has been transformed into the Legacy Lounge, a space that displays university traditions and spirit. It showcases the impact students have had on the creation of those traditions and recognizes the legacy of registered student organizations that have given back to their university through the Legacy Lounge Project. An official kick-off event for registered student organizations is scheduled for August 29. Emails will be sent to registered student organizations and advisors at the end of the summer.
  • The Texas Union Underground was highlighted in both “365 things to do in Austin” and the Daily Texan as a hotspot to visit this summer.
  • This past month, the film “My All American” was filmed on and around campus. The Texas Union and staff provided critical space and catering for the actors, extras and film crew in the Shirley Bird Perry Ballroom.