Division News

Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC)


CMHC staff at the 75th anniversary party.

  • CMHC is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Staff marked the occasion with a formal event.
  • October was Relationship Violence Prevention Month. CMHC staff held several events, which included a theatrical performance and a survivor speak-out event called “Breaking the Silence: Survivors of Dating and Relationship Violence Speak Out.” See the photos.

Housing and Food Service (DHFS)


Student Affairs Interest Panel

Student Affairs Interest Panel: Dr. Gage Paine, Reed Rallojay, Dr. Beth Bukoski, Jennifer Zamora, and Dr. Mylon Kirksy

  • The Residence Life Development Committee sponsored the Student Affairs Interest Panel on Oct. 14, one of many events celebrating Careers in Student Affairs Month. The five panelists included Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Gage Paine, Residence Life Director Dr. Mylon Kirksy, University Unions Director for Student Programs Jennifer Zamora, Dean of Students Interim Director of Leadership and Ethics Institute Reed Rallojay and Clinical Assistant Professor Beth Bukoski from the College of Education. Reflecting on their career experiences through a lively conversation, the panel shared advice with an audience of several students and staff members.
  • Six DHFS staff members are enrolled in the General Educational Development (GED) Program. Participants completed the Test of Adult Basic Education on Sept. 25.
  • Occupancy Management spoke to over 400 prospective students and parents about the importance of living on campus at Longhorn Monday on Oct. 12.
  • The Request for Proposal for the replacement of housing software has been forwarded to university purchasing. This step is important in the software acquisition and implementation process.

Food Service

  • Hunter Magnum and Lindsey Hutchinson assisted the UT Green Corps in several events as part of Campus Sustainability Week. They hosted a DHFS Garden Open House where students could pick their own vegetables. As part of Campus Sustainability Day, they helped the community understand how they can get involved. Unfortunately, to avoid a soggy celebration, Campus Food Day, was canceled. Instead, they enjoyed the much-needed rain from indoors and made plans for the next Clean Plate Club, an awareness campaign to help combat food waste on campus.
J2 Staff at the Whole Grains Dinner

J2 Dining staff at the Whole Grains Dinner

  • DHFS celebrated a whole month of whole grains throughout October to help students locate and identify healthier options in the UT dining venues. See some delicious dishes here. The Fun with Whole Grains Dinner served 823 at Kinsolving and 957 at J2. The street food themed menu included offerings like Falafel Pita Pockets, Pulled Pork Arepas, Fish Tacos, Korean BBQ Hotdogs and a Popcorn Bar. The Nutrition Team was at the event with trivia and other carnival games for a chance to win free whole grain snacks.
  • DHFS introduced a new line of whole grain salad shakers in October. Selections included a Caprese di Farro Salad and a Buffalo Chicken and Barley Salad.

New Student Services (NSS)

  • Registration for Spring Orientation opens Nov. 4. Spring Orientation will be Jan. 11. It’s followed by Spring Transition Week, a series of workshops to help students transition to UT Austin and meet other new students.
  • The Orientation Advisor Recruitment process is well underway. All students who applied will be invited to interview at Selection Day on Nov. 15.
  • NSS has been meeting with representatives from each college to collect feedback that will influence the schedules for Freshman and Transfer Orientation next summer.
  • NSS hosted focus groups with freshman students to assess Bevo is Not a Cow, the university’s publication for new students. The staff gathered feedback on the usefulness and format of the book for potential changes in future editions.
  • Desiree Alva joined the NSS team as Associate Director for Transition Initiatives. She will focus on coordination of Student Affairs’ Division-wide 360 Connections and orientation initiatives for transfer students and other special student populations.

Office of the Dean of Students (DoS)

  • Student Emergency Services is excited to announce the Student Emergency Fund was awarded $4,000 as a recipient of the Texas Parents Student Organization Grant for 2015. All of the awarded funds will directly support students with financial hardships and immediate needs, such as shelter, clothing, food, water and medicine.

Jeremiah Gunderson showcases posters for the “I’m a veteran” campaign.

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA)

  • Students met with representatives from all nine departments at the Division of Student Affairs Student Job & Volunteer Fair to learn about opportunities within the Division.
  • The fall 2015 #PickUsGP social media campaign was a hit with student organizations. Groups submitted selfies for a chance at lunch with Gage Paine. She received so many great submissions that instead of picking one winner she chose six. See photos from the first lunch.
  • Mark your calendar for the Division-wide Staff Holiday Party on Dec. 10, 9-11 a.m. Come enjoy great food, libations and holiday cheer – along with the ever popular photo booth – once again in the Quadrangle Room at the Texas Union.
True Colors VPSA (1)

Amy Ballentine, Charlene Peeler and Leigh Yaklin, Housing and Food Service, learned how to enhance their communication skills.

  • The Division hosted its first True Colors® Communication Workshop on Oct. 29. Check out the photos. Registration is now open for a second workshop on Dec. 3 at UT Direct, Course VS102 (True Colors® Communication). Space is limited to 40 full-time, benefits-eligible Division employees for each workshop. Participation is voluntary. The pre-requisite class is VS101 Keys to Personal Success.

Recreational Sports (RecSports)

RecSports Tailgate

Longhorn fans enjoy the RecSports’ “indoor” tailgate.

  • RecSports’ Tailgate by the Pool ducked the heavy rains by moving into the Gregory Gym Games Room and attracted nearly 150 Longhorn fans. The annual Friends of RecSports Golf Tournament was postponed due to bad weather. It was rescheduled for Friday, Nov. 13.
  • Faculty and staff at the Pickle Research Campus had the opportunity to attend RecSports’ Health & Lifestyle Expo in their own building on Oct. 16, similar to the one held in Gregory Gym during the summer.
  • The Division of Student Affairs Student Job & Volunteer Fair brought in nearly 108 visitors to the RecSports table and 26 applications for part-time jobs in the spring.

Kathy Phan, Housing and Food Service, Haley Broussard and Morgane LeMarchand, Texas Parents, were ranked among the Top 15 most active faculty and staff this semester.

Texas Parents

  • Texas Parents awarded $38,000 in Student Organizations Grants to 41 projects. Student organizations and departments will use the money to host activities and events that enrich campus life or serve community.
  • The Texas Parents Advisory Board met on Oct. 16 to welcome new board members, discuss the state of the association and brainstorm strategies for improvement. Gage Paine gave a university and Division update. Recipients of the 2015 Students Organizations Grants were celebrated, including the 2015 recipient of the Mike Wacker Award Imani Boyette.

Dr. Gage Paine meets with Texas Parents Association Advisory Board members.

  • Family Weekend events were held October 16-18 with an estimated 1,300 families participating in nearly 100 events campus-wide. President Fenves visited with families at the barbecue. See photos from the barbecue and rest of the weekend.
  • RecSports extended an invitation to Texas Parents members to attend the Tailgate by the Pool before the Kansas State game on Oct. 24. Members enjoyed a brunch buffet, live music and great company by the prettiest pool in Texas.
  • Nominations for the 2015-16 Staff Merit Awards are being accepted through Dec. 10. Texas Parents established the awards in 1998 to recognize Division of Student Affairs employees who contribute to a culture of excellence, support student success, strengthen services and inspire fellow staff to seek excellence. Winners will receive a plaque and $1,500 at January’s Division-wide meeting. Click here for the nomination form. Check out a list of past recipients.

The Center for Students in Recovery (CSR)

  • CSR is helping organize a sober tent presence at this year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest. The tents will be a safe haven for people in recovery from addiction during this event where many triggers may abound. Support group meetings will be held several times throughout each day of the festival during breaks in the music.
  • CSR will be co-hosting one last Sober Tailgate on Nov. 7 from 3 – 6 p.m. in front of the University Christian Church. Please bring a dish or soft drink to share. Live DJ sets for the entire tailgate!

University Health Services (UHS)

UHS graphic

  • UHS providers performed skin cancer checks at a campus event for the Texas 4,000.
  • In our next step toward boosting sustainability in healthcare, UHS has begun composting in our clinics, which will divert approximately 400 pounds of solid waste per month from landfills.
  • Health promotion professionals Jessica Hughes Wagner and Susan Kirtz led a talk on Oct. 13 for the Center for Health Communication student interest group about and career paths for those interested in health.
  • Kathy Mosteller and Kerry Aguillon attended the first symposium on quality improvement in college health in New York City. Chris Brownson and Melissa Eshelman from CMHC participated.
  • The leadership teams from UHS and the Dell Medical School met in October to discuss future collaboration.
  • UHS transitioned to ICD-10 on deadline and with no major problems.
  • Starting this month, UHS will provide billing services and will credential health providers for the School of Nursing’s Family Wellness Center and Children’s Wellness Center. UHS will be able to provide these services to the nursing school at a lower cost than a community partner would.

University Unions

  • The University Unions unveiled the #UTLegoTower in the Texas Union on Oct. 19 following a social media campaign. Student Hamilton Leiser created the rendition and generously offered to share it with the campus community. Stop by the main Hospitality Desk on the ground level of the Texas Union to see this masterpiece. Check out the photos.
  • Reservations for University Unions spaces for spring and summer semesters opens this month. The system will open for registered student organizations at 10 a.m. on Nov. 3 and then open for departments on Nov. 10.
  • This year marks the 35th annual Madrigal Dinner, a beloved campus tradition. The dinner will be held on Nov. 19-21 with tickets on sale through Nov. 17. The event is open to students, staff, faculty and the public.
  • The Through Our Eyes Spring 2016 Photography Contest is currently accepting submissions through Nov. 30. The theme for this period is Campus Talent and the top 15 entries are displayed in the Student Activity Center during the spring semester.
  • The University Unions was proud to host the 2015 Texas Tribune Festival. This year the festival expanded to host the event in both the Student Activity Center and Hogg Memorial Auditorium.