Standouts

Esmer Bedia, New Student Services, served on a panel for the first annual Teen Conference on April 23. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and the School of Social Work host this conference for foster care youth who are interested in attending UT Austin.

Barb Blizzard, University Health Services, shared information about contraceptives at a UT Austin women’s reproductive health class.

John Harris (second from left) and Sierra Castedo (right) (The Center for Students in Recovery) with colleagues from University of Texas at San Antonio and Rio Grande Valley in Atlanta

Sierra Castedo and John Harris, The Center for Students in Recovery, shared their expertise at the Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE) 7th National Collegiate Recovery Conference in Atlanta, April 6-8. In recognition of innovative programs and services, Castedo discussed collaborations between collegiate recovery programs and recovery high schools and Harris led a hands-on experiential artistic workshop.

Hemlata Jhaveri, Housing and Food Service, Brooke Bulow, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, and LaToya Hill, University Compliance Services, shared tips and advice with the University Leadership Network sophomore class regarding reputation management when using social media.

Susan Kirtz and Jessica Hughes Wagner, University Health Services, co-presented “HealthyhornsTXT: A Text Messaging Program to Promote UT Student Health and Academic Success” at the 2016 McCombs School of Business Healthcare Symposium on April 7.

Dr. Melinda McMichael, University Health Services, shared expertise on headache treatments during a UT Austin health psychology class.

Sara Miller, Office of the Dean of Students, published a book review of “Gender and Sexual Diversity in US Higher Education: Contexts and Opportunities for LGBTQ College Students: New Directions for Student Services” in the April edition of TACUSPATimes, the Texas Association of College & University Student Personnel Administrators monthly newsletter.

William Mupo, University Health Services, led an educational conference call for the UT System institutions that are implementing the Brief Alcohol Screening & Intervention for College Students (BASICS).

William Mupo (University Health Services) speaks at Austin City Hall during the council meeting on April 21.

William Mupo, University Health Services, helped a group of Longhorns showcase their healthy behaviors at Austin City Hall. Mupo spoke during the April 21 council meeting about the Healthy Student Organization Program. Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo recognized 17 student organizations for inspiring healthy behaviors on the Forty Acres. Read more about this recognition.

Nicole Olmeda, Chrystina Wyatt and Jennifer Speer (Recreational Sports) expand visibility for the Division during the NIRSA conference in Kissimee, Florida.

Nicole Olmeda, Jennifer Speer and Chrystina Wyatt, Recreational Sports, represented the Division at the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) annual conference. Olmeda received a NIRSA Annual Service Award for her work as a faculty member of the NIRSA School of Collegiate Recreation. She also presented “The NIRSA Institutional Data Set: Exploring the Value and Capabilities of the New Benchmarking Platform.” Olmeda and Speer presented “Recreational Sports Fundraising: Lessons Learned and Strategies for Success.” Separately, Speer presented “Leader Bar: The Quest to Become the Fittest Campus.” And, all three RecSports employees presented “SMART Fitness and Wellness Data Collection: Using Technology to Track Group Exercise Participation.”

Cheryl Pyle

Cheryl Pyle (Office of the Dean of Students) received her Hall of Fame recognition in Houston.

Cheryl Pyle, Office of the Dean of Students, was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the Great Gulf Coast Region 10 of Sweet Adelines International on March 19. The region includes chapters in portions of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Each year, the region selects one member for its Hall of Fame whose contributions have helped further its mission. Pyle is being honored for providing opportunities to women for education, performance, leadership and personal growth to advance four-part a cappella singing. She has served as an administrative leader for more than three decades.

Justin Samuel

Justin Samuel (Housing and Food Service) receives the Hall Coordinator of the Year Award.

Kati Luedecke and Justin Samuel, Housing and Food Service, were recognized at the annual Residence Life Student Leadership Banquet. Luedecke received the Spotlight of the Year and Samuel was named Hall Coordinator of the Year. Residence Life staff vote to honor their colleagues.

Jennifer Zamora, University Unions, has been appointed as the finance chair on the Association for College Unions International (ACUI) Board of Directors.

 “A Tip of the Hat to…”

Dr. Monique Cortez, University Health Services, who received this feedback from a patient: “I will be graduating this semester, so today is likely my last visit. I want to leave feedback and a huge thank you specifically to Dr. Cortez, for her tremendous help and healthcare providing. Truly one of the best doctors I have ever seen. She is intelligent, thoughtful, diligent, friendly and effective. Thanks to Dr. Cortez! Best doctor on staff!” 

Natacha Franks, Housing and Food Service, who received this note for her work at the Littlefield Patio Café: “As a student of the university, and past resident of the Honors Quad, I have almost two years’ experience as a customer. Of all the employees I have encountered, Natacha stands out as the most dedicated, pleasant and exceptional. Though I can sense the commitment of all the DHFS staff, Natacha’s consistency and drive surprises and inspires me. I wanted to share with her superiors how fantastic of an experience she provides each customer. I most frequently encounter Natacha in the sandwich line, where without fail, I am greeted in earnest and provided with the most carefully prepared sandwiches and wraps I can find anywhere in Austin. … I just wanted to let everyone know that I am always excited to see Natacha and I hope her co-workers and bosses recognize what a special and hardworking employee they have.”

…to Ericka Holmes, University Health Services, who received this note: “I saw Ms. Holmes for my vaccines today and for someone who HATES needles, I can honestly say I had a blast and no pain whatsoever. Ms. Holmes radiates happiness and positivity and it’s absolutely clear she loves her job. She put me so at ease and her smile is so infectious. Thank you Ms. Holmes & UHS.”  

…to Tonya Richardson, University Health Services, who received this feedback: “On several occasions, I have had to visit the cashier’s office to pay a medical debt. I am always greeted by Tonya Richardson’s welcoming smile. She always asks me how my semester is going even if she is not assisting me. Mrs. Richardson has a warm demeanor and I truly enjoy visiting the office during her shift.” 

…to Abigail Wolaver, University Health Services, who received this feedback from a patient: “I had an appointment with Abigail Wolaver in Women’s Health. I just wanted to say that she was very friendly, informative, and made me feel WAY better/less scared about my medical situation. I wish I could have her as my doctor even after I graduate.”