Division News

Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC)

Kelsey MHPW

Kelsey Lammy shares information with a student during Mental Health Promotion Week.

  • Voices Against Violence (VAV) staff hosted “Take Back the Night” on April 6. This annual event on the Main Mall attracted hundreds of students to support survivors of sexual violence. VAV is a program in CMHC. Take a look at the event photos.
  • CMHC staff launched its inaugural  Mental Health Promotion Week, April 11-15. The week-long series of events gained media attention and student support. Events such as glow yoga, a coffee chat and other workshops were well attended by students and staff. Visit In the News to see media coverage.
  • The university led a statewide task force to create a suicide prevention video that will be shown to incoming students. The impetus for the video was a new state law requiring that suicide prevention and mental health information be shared with all entering college students. The university will show the video to incoming freshman and transfer students at UT Orientation this summer. CMHC Director Chris Brownson worked with the Texas University Counseling Center Director’s Association (TUCCDA) to lead the efforts. See the video and press release.

Housing and Food Service (DHFS)


elpaso_admissions_event copy

Celena Mondie-Milner (New Student Services) and Alison Kothe (center) with Admissions staff in El Paso

  • Alison Kothe partnered with Admissions staff to share information at Admitted Longhorns Celebrations in Dallas, Houston, Laredo, El Paso and Harlingen. Kothe also promoted the Division’s programs, facilities and services to over 1,000 admitted students at Best of Texas, an Admissions event held on the UT Austin campus April 2. She also partnered with the College of Natural Sciences to answer questions 300 parents’ questions about housing.

Gage Paine (Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs) and Stacey Bennett in the San Jacinto Residence Hall

  • Residence Life staff honored colleagues and students at the annual Res Life Student Leadership Banquet on April 18 in the San Jacinto Multi-Purpose Room. Learn who received awards in our Standouts section.

Food Service

UT Farm Stand

Lindsey Hutchison, Kati Luedecke, Neil Kaufman and Rene Rodriguez at the UT Farm Stand on April 13

  • The UT Farm Stand continues to be a big hit with the UT Austin community. Sustainability staff hosted the fourth event on April 27 where students, faculty, staff and campus visitors can purchase locally-grown produce, baked goods and “swag.” Mark your calendar for the next UT Farm Stand by reading the Events section.     
Neil Kaufman

Neil Kaufman directing the UT Green Corps team at a Jester Garden open house.

  • Staff hosted two open houses at the Jester and Kinsolving Gardens in partnership with the UT Green Corps. They taught the UT Austin community about the Division’s innovative programs and sustainability efforts.
Joselyn Salazar and Kathy Phan strike a pose in the Hawaiin photo booth.

Joselyn Salazar and Kathy Phan strike a pose in the Hawaiin-themed photo booth.

  • The marketing team used their creativity to set the scene for the Hawaiin Luau on April 27. Staff decorated J2 Dining and Kinsolving with hand-made palm trees. See the photos.

New Student Services (NSS)


Kyle Clark presenting at the Academic Counselors Association (ACA) meeting on April 6.

  • NSS staff shared expertise at the Academic Counselors Association (ACA) meeting on April 6. Presenters covered topics related to orientation, including changes for 2016, schedules, course registration and staff roles.
  • Staff are gearing up for Summer School Orientation on May 31. This one-day program prepares students for their summer courses.
  • Director Celena Mondie-Milner traveled to El Paso to welcome incoming students at the Admitted Longhorns Celebration on April 19. She shared information and expanded visibility for NSS’ orientation program.
  • Staff sent pre-orientation videos to incoming students; freshmen are required to watch six videos and transfer students are required to watch three. These videos contain information to help students transition to the university.
  • Staff is getting ready to welcome 6,000+ students who have already registered for Freshman Orientation.
  • To help orientation advisors prepare for that group, staff will train them during a two-week workshop before Freshman and Transfer Orientation sessions begin.

Office of the Dean of Students (DoS)

Alex and Reed

Alex Kappus and Reed Rallojay speak to students during CHANGE Institute.

  • The Leadership and Ethics Institute (LEI) hosted The CHANGE Institute on April 15. Reed Rallojay, Katie O’Malley, Sara Miller, Justin Samuel (Dean of Students) and Patrick Ross (Housing and Food Service) and Alex Kappus (New Student Services) partnered to create a program that emphasized skill development and discussed social justice. The five-hour program inspired collaboration and flexibility in an effort to meet the needs of student mentors and participants.
  • Division staff are asked to spread the word about Student Emergency Services first-ever HornRaiser campaign. This campaign supports the fund which provides students relief during financial emergencies. It ends May 7.
  • Student Judicial Services (SJS) is updating materials and web content to reflect a name change. The department will transition to Student Conduct and Academic Integrity by the next academic year.
  • Staff hosted the 10th annual Evening of the Stars on April 19. The event honors exceptional students and student organizations. Click here for a list of award recipients.

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA)


E.J. Patterson (Recreational Sports), Dylan Smith (University Unions), Travis Hilterbran (Recreational Sports), Adrienne MacKenzie (Texas Parents) and Pete Schaack (Recreational Sports) enjoy the Reunion.

  • Staff celebrated community with alumni, friends and colleagues at the annual Vice President for Student Affairs Reunion. This year’s program honored the work and contribution of resident assistants. Gage Paine welcomed the group to the San Jacinto Residence Hall Multi-Purpose Room and introduced Executive Director of Housing and Food Service Hemlata Jhaveri. See the event and photo booth photos.

James Buckley, Nick Parras, Dan Brisley (University Unions) and Rita Thornton (Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs) enjoy the Student Employee of the Year Award Luncheon in the Student Activity Center Ballroom.

  • Partnering with Human Resources and the Office of the President, VPSA staff hosted the Student Employee of the Year Award Luncheon on April 11 at the Student Activity Center (SAC). See the photos and watch a video about the winner.
  • Development and communications staff worked together to tell the story of a former Student Government president who made his first gift to the university during this year’s 40 Hours for the Forty Acres on April 27-28. Read the donor’s story.
  • Members of the UT Austin are invited to the Farewell Celebration for Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Gage Paine on May 17. Dr. Paine dedicated 16 years to the university working in Services for Students with Disabilities, Office of the Dean of Students and Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. Campus and Division colleagues as well as students are encouraged to say goodbye to her at this event.

Recreational Sports (RecSports)

Chris Burnett

Chris Burnett prepares to devour 10 pancakes for the pancake-eating contest.

  • Staff enjoyed supporting a good cause while helping themselves to breakfast. The annual Pancakes for Parkinson’s fundraiser, held on the Gregory Gym plaza, raised $9,500 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. See the photos.
  • This year’s Longhorn Run was the largest one yet with a total of 4,597 participants. Check out the photos.


  • Staff are encouraged to join their Division colleagues in celebrating National Employee Health and Fitness Day on May 11. Registration is underway for the RecSports Poker Walk.
  • Dominique Alcala organized and oversaw the annual Recreational Sports Scholarship Awards Ceremony held April 22 at Gregory Gym. RecSports alumni endowed thirteen scholarships ranging from $1,500 to $4,000 for the benefit of student staff. See the photos.
  • Staff will treat student employees to a casino-style event on May 6 in appreciation of their hard work. RecSports offices and facilities will close early to allow students to enjoy the event.
Tom Dison SEOTY

Tom Dison (Recreational Sports) hands out the Student Employee of the Year Award.

  • Director Tom Dison made remarks and presented awards during the Student Employee of the Year Award Luncheon. He spoke about the importance of student employees at RecSports facilities.

Texas Parents

  • Staff are getting ready to introduce Longhorn families to the Forty Acres during Family Orientation. Staff mailed invitations to the parents of 15,000 admitted freshmen.
  • The annual brick paver campaign added 196 new pavers to the Student Services Building plaza. Parents purchased 180 bricks and 16 others were laid in honor of students lost in 2015-16.
  • Staff will mail the New Parent Guide to 8,500 freshman families. This magazine is designed to be a resource to introduce families to university resources and policies.
Texas Parents Webinar

Screenshot from the webinar

  • In April, Texas Parents partnered with CMHC to offer two webinars to association members. The first introduced parents to the Thrive at UT iPhone application and discussed ways that parents can support students during times of stress. Watch the webinar. The second webinar was created in response to the recent tragedy on campus and tackled how parents can support their students through grief and loss. View the webinar.

The Center for Students in Recovery (CSR)

Sierra Castedo, Cary Tucker and Chris Brownson (Counseling of Mental Health Center), and John Harris at the annual spring brunch

  • Staff welcomed 120 friends, family and colleagues to The Center for Students in Recovery Spring Brunch. This event was an opportunity for staff to celebrate graduating seniors from similar programs at other schools in the UT System. The group also learned more about CSR’s innovative programs that support students. Take a look at the photos.
  • Staff and students presented the first annual David Ivey Award to David Ivey, an employee in the Office of Special Projects. This award will be given annually to a member of the CSR community for their service and dedication. Ivey brings wisdom to weekly CSR meetings and treats the students to lunch every year at The University of Texas Club.

University Health Services (UHS)

  • UHS medical providers Stephen Blair, Monique Cortez, Karen Hickey, Mirella Mays and Elisa Spradlin offered their expertise by performing screenings at the Texas 4,000 Spot It to Stop It free skin cancer screening event on April 5.

Susan Kirtz speaks to campus partners and Divison staff at the Wellness Network meeting.

  • Wellness Network members from the Division and across campus came together on April 21 for the spring meeting. They discussed new efforts and learned about CMHC’s Thrive at UT app. Interns for the Model Healthy Campus initiative, a partnership between Dell Medical School and Wellness Network, presented videos on the progress of the spring 2016 pilot program in preparation for the campus-wide launch this fall. Additionally, the Active Minds Healthy Campus Award was on display for members to view. See the photos.
  • Women’s health nurse practitioner Joyce Fleming teamed up with Healthyhorns Peer Educators to represent UHS at Voices Against Violence’s Take Back the Night on April 6.
Ask a Dietician Event

Annie Mahon provides information about Healthyhorns resources to students in Gregory Gym.

Charlotte Katzin shares information about vaccinations in a video.

  • As part of the #GuardYourGoods campaign led by students, Charlotte Katzin, UHS Allergy/Immunization Clinic Nurse Manager, spoke about Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations in a video series.

University Unions

Unions Mentorship event

Mulu Ferede with former Longhorns Rad Eanes, Jane Rhodes and Larry Wells in the Texas Union

  • The University Unions Mentorship Program held a networking and professional communication workshop for students and alumni on March 31. Staff partnered with Moody School of Communications professor Dr. John Daly and with College of Natural Sciences professor Dr. Karrol Kitt.

Megan MicMillin, Kathy Saeidi, Jennifer Zamora and Robert Lawrence at the Advisory Council luncheon

Former university President Bill Powers speaks in the Texas Union.

Former university President Bill Powers speaks in the Texas Union.

  • Also on April 29, the University Unions held a ceremony in the Texas Union Presidential Lobby to unveil the presidential medallion for former UT Austin President William Powers. Partnering with the University Co-op, this tradition was attended by alumni, staff and friends of the university. View the photos.
Dean Lilly at Unions lunch

Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Soncia Reagins-Lilly speaks at the Unions’ employee appreciation luncheon.

  • Staff celebrated National Student Employment Week by giving student employees a gift and thank-you card and hosting a luncheon for all student staff and their supervisors.
  • Campus Events+Entertainment staff are pleased with the turnout for this year’s Forty Acres Fest. A total of; 4,600 people came out to the event on April 2 bringing the total number of students attending Unions programming to more than 41,000 for the academic year.