Division News

Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC)

  • CMHC’s Erin Burrows and Chris Brownson along with Marilyn Russell, Office of the Dean of Students, hosted a UT System-wide Bystander Intervention Conference in January. They trained fellow UT System colleagues how to integrate this content at their campuses.
  • CMHC peer educators are ready to deliver a new workshop to fellow students titled, “Bouncing Back: How to Cope with Failure and Rejection”. CMHC peer educators are students who have received a semester of training in promoting college student mental health.

Housing and Food Service (DHFS)


  • On Christmas Eve 1992, University of Texas Police Officer George Glaeser started the Orange Santa program after responding to an auto theft call at Brackenridge Apartments. Twenty-two years later, retired officer Glaeser continues his tradition. Even though there were only 70 children originally on “Santa’s list,” this year, with the help of 24 volunteers, George delivered gifts to 115 children from all three apartment complexes.
  • The administrative services team spent two hours on Jan. 13 at the Union Underground bowling, playing pool and air hockey. The information technology team almost broke the bowling equipment with a speed of over 25mph! It was a great event that allowed the team to have fun and engage in friendly competition.

Food Service

Adrian Reynoso

Adrian Reynoso wins second place in the bake-off

  • Food Service celebrated the end of the fall 2014 semester with a staff luncheon. Attendees enjoyed a feast, bake-off and trivia games with their fellow staff members. J2 took home the top three awards in the bake-off with third place going to Chef Lauren Pelchat, second place going to Adrian Reynoso and first place going to Sarah Webb.

New Student Services (NSS)

  • Leslie Kavanaugh and Kyle Clark

    Leslie Kavanaugh & Kyle Clark at Spring Orientation

    New Student Services (NSS) hosted Spring Orientation on Jan. 12 for 452 new students (393 transfers and 59 freshmen). View the Storify story for a recap.

  • NSS had a great response to Spring Transition Week, a new program held Jan. 13–16 to assist new Longhorns entering the university. Special thanks to the Office of the Dean of Students, the Leadership and Ethics Institute, Recreational Sports, the University Unions and the other campus partners who helped make the week a success.
  • NSS held a two-day leadership training Jan. 15–16 for returning orientation advisors.
  • The semester-long peer leadership course for orientation advisors began on Jan. 20.
  • Phone interviews have been conducted for the NSS director candidates.
  • The date for the opening of Summer Orientation registration has been pushed back to Wednesday, March 4.

Office of the Dean of Students (DoS)

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA)

LaToya Hill, Marla Craig, Emily Doyle & Melissa Eshelman at the Division-wide meeting

LaToya Hill, Marla Craig, Emily Doyle & Melissa Eshelman at the Division-wide meeting

  • The spring Division-wide meeting was a success with presentations from NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) President Kevin Kruger and UT Austin Vice Provost for Higher Education Policy and Research Harrison Keller. Dr. Paine also announced the recipients of the 2014-2015 Annual Texas Parents Staff Merit Awards. See the photos from the meeting and award ceremony.
  • Registration is now open for the February 19 True Colors® Communication Workshop. For details, check out this month’s True Colors® Tips column.
  • Green Fee proposals are being accepted through March 2 for projects that provide an environmental service to campus. Topics range from waste reduction to water consumption and conservation. See this month’s event listings for information workshop dates.
  • Gage Paine & Eric Stoller

    Gage Paine & Eric Stoller

    The Division brought Inside Higher Ed Student Affairs and Technology Blogger Eric Stoller to campus for a full day of workshops and presentations on social media and professional development. If you missed it, the two afternoon workshops are now available for review on the Staff Resources Wiki. See the photos.

  • Director of Assessment Gale Stuart, with the UT Austin Assessment Coordinator’s Network, will host an Assessment Dialogue on Feb. 11. The event will focus on assessment of co-curricular activities and include Chris Brownso, Counseling and Mental Health Center, and Susan Hochman, University Health Services, as panelists. RSVP by Feb. 9.
  • The Division is offering a Photography and Multimedia Workshop on Feb. 25. Registration is open to professional and student staff tasked with these multimedia roles. Space is limited so RSVP online by Friday, Feb. 20.

Recreational Sports (RecSports)

  • Recreational Sports has released its 2013–14 annual report.
  • Assistant Director Chrystina Wyatt attended the Tex-Fit Conference at Texas State University in San Marcos. The conference provided an opportunity for fitness directors, instructors and personal trainers to share ideas and enhance their fitness services.
  • Longhorn RunValentine’s Day will be extra special for a group of homeless and abandoned youth from The Settlement Home for Children. They will be treated to rock climbing at the Gregory Gym Climbing Wall as part of Recreational Sports’ community outreach initiative.
  • Registration has opened for Longhorn Run 2015. The event will feature new 5K and 10K courses and is open to anyone interested in participating in this popular campus-wide event. All proceeds will benefit the Excellence Funds of Student Government and Recreational Sports.

Texas Parents

  • The spring 2015 Texas Parents Student Services Endowment Brick Paver campaign encourages parents to make a gift while honoring their students with a brick paver laid at the Student Services Building (SSB) entry. The deadline to order is Tuesday, Feb. 17.
  • Gage Paine with Staff Merit Award Winners Joanna Pope, Mark Zentner, Sherry Bell & Chris Burnett

    Gage Paine with Staff Merit Award Winners Joanna Pope, Mark Zentner, Sherry Bell & Chris Burnett

    The 15th Annual Texas Parents Staff Merit Awards were presented to Sherry Bell, Chris Burnett, Joanna Pope and Mark Zentner at the Division-wide Staff Meeting on Jan. 28. The award criteria are based on how nominees embody the Division excellence model, captured by these four words: Participate, Partner, Progress and Purpose.

  • Applications for the Family Orientation Student Leader (FOSL) and Membership Recruitment Student Leader (MRSL) positions will open soon. These students are part of the Texas Parents team who welcome new Longhorn families to the UT Austin community at Family Orientation and educate them about the Texas Parents Association.
  • Nominations for the 2014–15 Outstanding Student Award will be accepted through Monday, Feb. 16. This award is given to one male and one female senior student who demonstrate exceptional leadership, scholarship, character and service.
  • Texas Parents hosts the annual Big XII Parents Programs Conference Feb. 26–27. Staff from Texas State, The University of Texas at San Antonio, University of North Texas, Southern Methodist University and more will attend.

The Center for Students in Recovery (CSR)

  • CSR’s new program schedule is now up on the website. Group meditation times have been expanded to Monday, Wednesday and Friday right in the middle of lunch: 12:15–12:45 p.m. Staff members are welcome to come join the meditation.
  • Save the date for CSR’s annual luncheon on March 28 in the Shirley Bird Perry Ballroom from noon–2 p.m.

University Health Services (UHS)

  • Twenty-five UHS supervisors and key staff members invested a day in Effective Edge for Professionals training Jan. 9, which combines principles of Getting Things Done with the functionality of Microsoft Outlook.
  • Mona Ghosheh, staff psychologist and Asian American services specialist for CMHC, presented an informative introduction to Arab and Muslim cultures for staff at UHS’ January Organizational Day. Discussion included respectful ways to meet the needs of students while demonstrating cultural sensitivity and openness. The afternoon included sessions on interactive safety training, infection and injury prevention, safety and security, building evacuation and more.
  • The UHS Health Promotion Office recently received two grants, including $25,000 from the National Social Norms Institute to continue the Know Your Line campaign, which aims to reduce the risk of negative consequences associated with drinking among students. The Great Plays Grant Program granted $30,000 to continue Brief Alcohol Screening & Intervention for College Students (BASICS), a program designed to assist students in examining their own drinking behavior in a judgment-free environment.

    International Student Welcome Kits

    International Student Welcome Kits

  • UHS staff assembled and distributed a welcome kit to each new international student throughout January. These kits inform students of available services and will help them navigate healthcare in the United States.

University Unions

  • The University Unions is accepting nominations and applications for two campus wide student awards: the J.J. “Jake” Pickle Citizenship Award and the Pal—Make a Difference Award. All staff is encouraged to nominate deserving students for these awards by the end of February. More information can be found online.

    University Unions single stream recycling

    University Unions single stream recycling bins

  • The Texas Union is now utilizing single stream recycling. Bins were updated and placed around the building over the winter break to help educate guests on recycling efforts.
  • Over the winter break, work was done on the Registered Student Organization (RSO) Workroom in the Student Activity Center. The space was refreshed with new paint and flooring. The collaborative space is open to any RSO when the building is open and has a variety of event supplies for students to use.
  • The Student Activity Center will turn four-years old on Saturday, Feb. 7.
  • The Student Activity Center is now hosting a LEGO model of Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium. Check out Fox 7 and The Daily Texan for coverage.