Division News

Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC)

  • Kelsey Lammy, CMHC, and Shannon Hanby, University Health Services, teamed up to deliver a workshop during UT Orientation titled “Thriving on the Forty Acres: Well-Being Tips and Sleep Tools.” New students can attend the optional “Discover UT” session at orientation.
Katy and Jessica from Conference

Jessica Hughes Wagner (University Health Services) and Katy Redd holding their certificates outside the Student Services Building.

  • Katy Redd, CMHC, and Jessica Hughes Wagner, University Health Services, attended The Health Communication Leadership Institute hosted by the Center for Health Communication at UT Austin. The three-day advanced workshop is for communication leaders to learn strategies and best practices for leadership, management and innovation.

Housing and Food Service (DHFS)


Alison and Lindsay 2

Lindsay Wilson and Alison Kothe at the Longhorn Neighborhood at Family Orientation

  • Staffers Alison Kothe and Lindsay Wilson shared information about how the Division supports student success at the Longhorn Neighborhood at Family Orientation. Kothe also gave a presentation to parents about living on campus.
  • Staff are managing 9,500 guests in the residence halls this summer who are visiting campus for conferences.
  • DHFS hosted more than 1,000 guests in Kinsolving, June 12–17, for Texas Boys State. The program uses experiential learning to teach high school seniors about the political process.
  • President Gregory Fenves sent an email to students, faculty and staff asking them to volunteer during Mooov-In on Aug.19 and 20. DHFS is looking for 400 volunteers to move in more than 7,400 new students to the 14 on-campus residence halls. Sign up here by noon on Aug. 12.

Food Service

pesto photo

Chef Dympna Roman collects basil in the Kinsolving Garden.

  • Making the most of a recent harvest, Chef Dympna Roman and her team made traditional basil pesto and a spicy Thai basil pesto using herbs from the Kinsolving Garden. They also make pickles using campus-grown cucumbers that are served at Jester City Limits’ salad bar.
DHFS_Rene Presentation

Rene Rodriguez addresses Food Service staff in the Jester Auditorium.

  • Staff celebrated their coworkers at Team Day. Presentations included information about business service, gender inclusivity and customer service.
  • The Littlefield Patio Café is closed until Aug.15 for maintenance and remodeling. Staff can enjoy a la carte dining in Kinsolving Dining.

New Student Services (NSS)

NSS Staff

New Student Services staff members during orientation

  • UT Orientation is in full swing with four Freshman Orientation sessions and two Transfer Orientation sessions completed. A big thanks to the Dean’s Squad volunteers who help staff give a very warm, spirited welcome to new students as they check in.
Celena Orientation

Celena Mondie-Milner hangs out with Hook ‘Em in the Longhorn Lounge.

  • Back by popular demand, the Longhorn Lounge space offers students a place to relax, grab a snack, hang with Hook ‘Em, pick up literature about campus resources and chat with orientation advisors (OAs). Check out the In the News section to see media coverage.
  • For staff to better serve students during orientation, online surveys have been sent to freshmen and transfers after their sessions to assist with the assessment process.
  • Staff and OAs are actively engaging with new students on Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram. Check out this Storify to see highlights.
  • Staff created a Q&A video for incoming freshman students called “Inside UT Austin: Life on the Forty Acres,” featuring current OAs.
  • The 2016 Longhorn Welcome Signature Events have been finalized. NSS reached out to departments asking them to submit programs and events they are hosting by Aug.1. Longhorn Welcome takes place Aug. 19–Sept. 4.
  • NSS is holding interviews for a new coordinator and hopes to fill the position soon.

Office of the Dean of Students (DoS)

Jeff Moe, Ivan Vasquez and Jeremiah Gunderson during Veteran Orientation

Jeff Moe, Ivan Vasquez and Jeremiah Gunderson during Veteran Orientation

  • Student Veteran Services staff welcomed 21 new student veterans to campus on June 23 and June 30. Veteran Orientation includes a review of state and federal resources, military education benefits and the opportunity to chat with current students. Staff will host additional sessions July 14 and August 16 in conjunction with Transfer Orientation.
  • Staff should encourage new students to sign up for Leadership Education and Progress (LEAP). The Leadership and Ethics Institute hosts this free eight-week leadership development program to help first-year and transfer students build an ethical and socially responsible foundation of leadership. The deadline to apply is Aug. 24.
  • Student Veteran Services will award a new scholarship called the Military Family Scholarship. It will provide financial assistance to a student who is a child or spouse of a veteran who died in the line of duty or was disabled due to a military service-related condition. Applications close July 8; the recipient will be announced July 18. Please click here for more information and encourage eligible students to apply.

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA)

Soncia at Family Orientation

Soncia Reagins-Lilly welcomes the crowd at Family Orientation.

  • Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Soncia Reagins-Lilly is welcoming families and new students to the Forty Acres. She spoke at Family Orientation and UT Orientation, showcasing how both groups can increase involvement on campus through the Division’s programs, facilities and services. See the photos.
Home page of the new VPSA website

Home page of the new VPSA website

  • The Division of Student Affairs launched its new website on June 16. VPSA is the first vice president’s office to upgrade the site as part of the web central retirement plan.
  • Director of Assessment Rita Thornton attended the 2016 NASPA Assessment and Persistence Conference. The conference provides a forum for assessment professionals to advance their skills by learning techniques from colleagues and policy-makers. Thornton hopes to incorporate knowledge from “Creating and Using Dynamic Dashboards in Higher Education” and “Increasing Assessment Engagement Through Division Consultants” into the Student Affairs Assessment Plan Group.

Recreational Sports (RecSports)

  • RecSports welcomed incoming freshmen, transfer students and their families during Family Orientation and UT Orientation. Staff participated in the Longhorn Neighborhood and Discover UT sessions. The Discover UT sessions consisted of a scavenger hunt at Gregory Gym that served as a fun and engaging way to learn about the facility and the programs and activities offered by RecSports.

Cecilia Lopez Cardenas shows students how to sign up for the Campus Leaderboards.

  • In collaboration with Nike and New Student Services, RecSports is offering a complimentary morning workout during orientation. Students enjoy a 45-minute Nike Training Club™ workout at Caven Lacrosse and Sports Center at Clark Field. They are able to try out footwear and link their UT EID to the Campus Leaderboards.

Health & lifestyle expo graphic

  • All current and retired faculty and staff are invited to RecSports’ annual Health and Lifestyle Expo on July 21. The event will feature annual enrollment information, giveaways, samples of healthy food and more.

Map of the Gregory Gym temporary entrance

  • If you are entering Gregory Gym from the south, you can use a newly added entrance, since those coming from this direction cannot use the main entrance due to construction on the Speedway Mall project. Those approaching from the north can use the main entrance.

Texas Parents

Texas Parents_Next Steps Newsletter Masthead

Last year’s Next Steps eNewsletter

  • Staff are developing the Next Steps eNewsletter to provide incoming freshman and transfer families with helpful information leading up to their students’ arrival to campus in August. Distribution dates will be July 16, 30 and 13.
  • Staff are collaborating with campus partners to host hour-long Lunch & Learn Facebook Chats on the Texas Parents Facebook group to educate parents about timely topics. Partners include University Health Services, Housing and Food Service, Office of Financial Aid and Office of Accounting.
Adrienne MacKenzie speaks with a parent in Gregory Gymnasium.

Adrienne MacKenzie speaks with a parent in Gregory Gymnasium.

  • Texas Parents memberships for the 2016–17 are available. Staff are busy welcoming many new UT Austin families to the association and are educating them about their membership benefits. More than 1,100 families signed up during June’s Family Orientation sessions.
  • The Family Weekend 2016 website is now live. Any departments interested in hosting a Family Weekend event or participating in the Great Texas Showcase (a department fair), please contact Morgane Le Marchand.

The Center for Students in Recovery (CSR)

CSR Recovery Conference

Lori Holleran Steiker (School of Social Work), Sierra Castedo and John Harris at the 2016 Association of Recovery Schools (ARS) Conference.

  • The Center for Students in Recovery (CSR) and University High School (UHS) co-hosted the 2016 Association of Recovery Schools (ARS) Conference. Researchers, recovery high school staff, collegiate recovery program staff and students from across the country attended the conference at the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center and CSR offices. See which staff members presented in the Standouts section. And check out the photos.

University Health Services (UHS)


A BASICS promotional card at UHS’ Health Promotion Resource Center.

Kathy Mosteller (second from right) gives parents a tour of UHS facilities.

Kathy Mosteller (second from right) gives parents a tour of UHS facilities.

  • New Longhorn parents are touring UHS during UT Orientation. Senior staff are showing them around the facilities and sharing how UHS programs and services support academic achievement and personal development.
UHS Physical Therapy

Physical Therapist Chris Ramirez works with a student in the UHS’ physical therapy gym.

  • Summer is a great time for faculty and staff to make an appointment with a UHS Physical Therapist. Therapists will also be available to check posture at the Health and Lifestyle Expo.
  • Since UHS’ sexually transmitted infections (STI) screening clinic launched last November, nearly 700 students have been tested for sexually transmitted infections. The clinic has reduced wait time to see a provider since it has freed up more than 250 medical appointments. Screening is also done during annual exams and other appointments. Students with symptoms are treated by medical professionals.

University Unions


The Provisions on Demand location in the Texas Union

  • Staff launched Provisions on Demand (P.O.D.) in the Texas Union. This new food option offers quick and healthy food options to students, faculty, staff and visitors. With the addition of the P.O.D., the Campus Store has closed.
  • Giving back to the community and Longhorn neighbors, volunteers with the University Unions Mentorship Program lent a helping hand at The University of Texas Child Development Center on June 11. The alumni, students and staff refurbished the playground as part of the second annual Public Service Saturday. Visit the In the News section to read more about this volunteer effort.
UT Orientation_Session 1_Phones

Soncia Reagins-Lilly addresses new Longhorns in Hogg Memorial Auditorium.

  • Unions staff helped welcome thousands of new students and their families during UT Orientation. The new students and families got in the Longhorn State of Mind in Hogg Memorial Auditorium, Student Activity Center and Texas Union. Students checked out the Union Underground for late-night bowling and games. Staff also showed students ways they can get involved at the Student Organization and Resource Fair.