Division News

Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC)

  • Staff are preparing for Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 26-30. This annual event focuses on raising awareness about mental health resources and providing education about suicide prevention. Visit the Events section to see scheduled events.
CMHC Public Information Team (PIT) members (l-r) Marian Trattner, Kelsey Lammy, Katy Redd, Elana Bizer, Leeann Terwilliger, Abby Simpson, and Blake Grugett at CMHC Organizational Day

CMHC Public Information Team (PIT) members (l-r) Marian Trattner, Kelsey Lammy, Katy Redd, Elana Bizer, Leeann Terwilliger, Abby Simpson, and Blake Grugett at CMHC Organizational Day

  • Staff came together to kick off the semester during the all-staff meeting on Aug. 17. They discussed strategic goals, diversity-related initiatives and received clinical updates.
  • The Counselors in Academic Residence (CARE) program is expanding. CMHC has brought on two new counselors (see New Hires & Promotions). Campus partners include the Colleges of Communications, Education, Fine Arts, Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences; Dell Medical School; Housing and Food Service; and Schools of Architecture, Engineering, Nursing, Social Work and Undergraduate Studies.
CMHC Years of Service

Marla Craig, Alicia Garces and Chris Brownson are honored for their years of service.

  • Staff honored Chris Brownson, Marla Craig, Alicia Garces and Lee Warren for their dedication to serving students. President Fenves recognized these colleagues during the President’s Staff Awards. Visit the June 2016 Standouts section to read about their years of service.

Housing and Food Service (DHFS)


President Fenves helps Division staff welcome new Longhorns.

President Fenves helps Division staff welcome new Longhorns.

  • President Gregory Fenves joined staff, students and faculty to mark 23 years of Mooov-In which kicked off Longhorn Welcome. More than 300 volunteers helped more than 7,400 students settle into their new home on the Forty Acres. Read why the 14 on-campus residence halls were buzzing with excitement. Check out the photos and news coverage.
Justin Jaskowiak speaks to resident assistants in San Jacinto Residence Hall.

Justin Jaskowiak speaks to resident assistants in San Jacinto Residence Hall.

  • Staff prepared resident assistants (RAs) for the semester during RA Training. Residence Life staff and DHFS leadership spoke to the group during a Harry Potter™ luncheon. See the photos.
Root Beer Social 1

Brandon Willett, Elaine Cosme-Petersen, Samantha Martinez, Allison Childs and Joe Leonor at the summer social

  • Staff celebrated their teams and a successful summer with root beer floats and other treats. Housing and Food Service Executive Director Hemlata Jhaveri gave department updates.

Food Service

  • Lindsay Wilson and Kathy Phan teamed up with Texas Parents to host a Lunch & Learn chat on the Texas Parents Facebook group. This hour-long discussion allowed parents to ask about dining and nutrition.
Chef Symposium Group

DHFS chefs at the UTexas Chefs Symposium

  • The culinary team served up mouth-wateringly delicious food at the annual UTexas Chefs Symposium. They received food management training and collaborated on improving more than two dozen recipes.
  • DHFS staff partnered with Recreational Sports and University Health Services to host the GoTX Health and Fitness Fair. Students learned about nutrition and participated in group fitness classes.

New Student Services (NSS)

NSS Staff

Celena Mondie-Milner, Desiree Alva, Gretchen Pierce and Shannon Price during August Orientation

  • Staff hosted their final orientation program during August Orientation. More than 900 freshmen and transfer students attended.
  • NSS is coordinating Longhorn Welcome, a campus-wide initiative to welcome incoming students, starting with Mooov-In and wrapping up with the Notre Dame game on Sept. 4. In addition to the Aug. 21 signature event, AustiNights, staff hosted receptions for transfer and out-of-state students. Staff and orientation advisors (OAs) also assisted at Horns Up Night and Gone to Texas, two other signature events.
  • NSS published and distributed an updated version of Bevo is Not a Cow, our resource guide for new students. Students living on campus received a copy, as well as students in some of the off-campus facilities. A new feature this year is a pull-out map section.
  • Staff launched a new program for transfer students called Transfer Tuesdays. This program kicks off on Sept. 6 in the Transfer Experience Center. Transfer Tuesdays will continue all semester long with presentations from various offices.

Office of the Dean of Students (DoS)

Office of the Dean of Students staff with Shaka Smart (front, right) at the annual retreat

Office of the Dean of Students staff with Shaka Smart (front, right) at the annual retreat

  • Staff gathered for its annual retreat at the Scottish Rite Dormitory on Aug. 8. Men’s Basketball Coach Shaka Smart stopped by for a presentation. The group also enjoyed dialogue on campus climate, self-care, class of 2020 demographics, assessment and stress management. See the photos.
  • Join faculty and staff from across campus for training on how to be a student organization advisor. Student Activities staff will host the workshop on Sept. 9. They will share best practices to help prepare advisors for the fall semester. Read more in the Events section.
  • Student Conduct and Academic Integrity changed their name and updated their web address on Aug. 1. Please update links on your sites that navigate to this web page.

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA)

Mooov-In 2016

Myron Kirksy (Housing and Food Service) and Soncia Reagins-Lilly greet students at Duren Residence Hall.

  • Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Soncia Reagins-Lilly welcomed new students and families during Mooov-In.
  • Division staff will come together on Sept. 14 for the Division-wide Staff Meeting. Executive Vice President and Provost Maurie McInnis will speak on “The Collaborative Relationship between Academics and Student Affairs.” Learn more about the event.
Andel Phils-Aime and Krista Anderson (Office of the Dean of Students), Edna Dominquez (Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs), and Adriana Alicea-Rodriguez (Office of the Dean of Students)

Andel Phils-Aime and Krista Anderson (Office of the Dean of Students), Edna Dominquez (Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs), and Adriana Alicea-Rodriguez (Office of the Dean of Students)

  • Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Edna Dominguez organized a a trip to the Jeanne Clery Act Training Seminar at the Clery Center for Security on Campus at Occidental College. Krista Anderson, Adriana Alicea-Rodriguez and Andel Phils-Aime, Office of the Dean of Students, attended the training which provided updates on Clery Act information and reporting.
  • Staff are looking forward to the fall True Colors® season which includes Keys to Personal Success, Communication and Teambuilding. New employees will be able to register for a Keys to Personal Success workshop later this month. Supervisors can request a Teambuilding workshop by contacting Jan Austin-Scott.

Recreational Sports (RecSports)

Shake Smart

Satisfy your hunger with healthy options at Shake Smart in Gregory Gym.

  • RecSports’ newest vendor, Shake Smart, opened in Gregory Gym on Aug. 10. The menu includes freshly-blended protein shakes, cold-brew coffee and healthy on-the-go food.

Chris Burnett, Ross Rodriguez and Erin Erford stand ready to greet RecSports Warm Up participants.

  • Staff hosted RecSports Warm Up, a signature event during Longhorn Welcome on Aug. 22 in Gregory Gym. Students enjoyed free indoor climbing, TeXercise classes, poolside activities, intramural sports sessions and sport club demos. See the photos
  • Party on the Plaza, another signature event of Longhorn Welcome, took place on the Gregory Gym Plaza. Division staff, student organizations and campus partners came out to greet new students. Take a look at the fun photos.

Jennifer Speer and Tom Dison officiated the Amazon@UTexas grand opening.

  • Amazon@UTexas, the pickup location in Gregory Gym for Amazon orders, held its grand opening on Aug. 22. Guests enjoyed touring the facility and attended a short reception.


  • RecSports is celebrating its anniversary this year with a series of special events and activities, including the Centennial Celebration. During the Aug. 31 event, staff unveiled a newly-created historical exhibit in Gregory Gym.


  • The annual Friends of RecSports Golf Tournament will be held Oct. 14 at Falconhead Golf Club. This event is open to the entire campus community and registration is now open.

Texas Parents

  • Staff closed out a successful orientation season and is now gearing up for Family Weekend, Sept. 23-25. Families can register Sept. 6-20. Texas Parents members can register early.

Reed Rallojay greets parents in the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center.

  • Staff partnered with Texas Exes to host a mixer for parents in the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center. Parents were able to mix and mingle after moving their children into 14 on-campus residence halls.
  • Providing parents with more information about the state’s new campus carry law, Texas Parents staff hosted “Understanding Campus Carry at The University of Texas at Austin: A Webinar for Parents and Families.” Associate Vice President for Campus Safety and Security Bob Harkins, University of Texas Police Assistant Chief Peter Sheets and Texas Parents Director Susie Smith led the webinar.
  • Departments and student organizations are invited to take part in Family Weekend’s Great Texas Showcase. This tabling opportunity will take place on Sept. 24. Complete this form by Sept. 14 to participate. Read more in the Events section.
  • Division staff should let registered student organization members know about Texas Parents’ Student Organization Grants. Groups will be awarded funding based on two categories: community service and student experience. The deadline to apply is Sept. 30.

The Center for Students in Recovery (CSR)

  • Staff will host an open house on Sept. 1 to welcome new and returning students to campus. The event gives staff an opportunity to share information with students about how to find a supportive community. The event also celebrated National Recovery Month.
  • CSR is kicking off Longhorn football season with its first Sober Tailgate of the year on Sept. 10. This alcohol-free and family-friendly event, held at the University Christian Church, will include games, food and activities for the campus and local community.
  • Staff is launching a new programming series with the Seminar on Addiction and Recovery (SOAR). Drawing from experts in the academic, research and professional community, these topical lectures explore current and developing themes on addiction and recovery, with an opportunity for discussion.

Sierra Castedo (back row, fourth from the right) joins Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration board members in Washington D.C.

  • Director Sierra Castedo was invited to participate in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Summit on Recovery Support in Collegiate Environments in Washington, DC, July 19-20. The conference brought together innovators in collegiate recovery and mental health to discuss how to extend support to students.

University Health Services (UHS)

UHS Org Day

Karen Moran speaks to staff during UHS Organizational Day on Aug. 20.

  • Staff gathered for Organizational Day on Aug. 22. This team-building event informed staff of updates. Director of Special Initiatives in Enrollment and Graduation Management Cassandre Alvarado discussed how to support student development. See the photos.
  • In order to prepare hundreds of international students for class, staff welcomed and facilitated their medical clearance in late August.
  • Shannon Hanby and Kathy Mosteller trained a new class of students in the Healthyhorns Peer Educator Program and the Clinic Volunteer Program. Both programs give students a hands-on component to their academic training.
  • During the first week of class, UHS conducted staff development activities for clinical and non-clinical staff. Topics included alcohol abuse screening, emergency response and travel health.
  • UHS Ambassadors staffed numerous events leading up to the first day of class. These specially-trained staff partnered with Texas Parents, Housing and Food Service, New Student Orientation and the School of Law. They also presented to more than 25 graduate student groups.
  • Encourage students interested in health promotion to apply for the Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC). They are accepting applications until Sept. 30.

University Unions

  • Panda Express in the Texas Union is now open. Join staff for the grand opening after the Division-wide Staff Meeting on Sept. 14. There will be giveaways, music and performances.
Lisa De La Cruz and Tracy Goodman at Back to School Bash outside the Student Activity Center

Lisa De La Cruz and Tracy Goodman at Back to School Bash outside the Student Activity Center