Division News

Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC)

Take Back the Night

  • Voices Against Violence staff will be hosting a series of events this month for Sexual Violence Prevention Month to raise awareness for CMHC’s resources and prevention efforts. Check out the Events section for details.
  • CMHC will be holding the second annual Mental Health Promotion Week April 10–14. Events educate students about mental health and help them enhance their well-being. Some techniques to support them are practicing gratitude, making time for social connectedness and self-compassion. Encourage students to download Thrive at UT, a free iPhone app that helps students with these items.
  • During Mental Health Promotion Week, CMHC staff will launch the inaugural Texas Mental Health Monologues where students will share their experiences with mental illness. CMHC staff have been working with these students to develop their stories for the production.

Housing and Food Service (DHFS)


Res Life and Texas Parents

Vero Salazar, Denice Vazquez, Melissa Smithey, Nije Lane, Reed Rallojay (Texas Parents), Laurie Alvarado (Texas Parents), Ashley Lawrence (Texas Parents), Susie Smith (Texas Parents), Melissa DuCharme and Chelsie McFarland in Kinsolving

  • Residence Life staff hosted “Lunch with the Res Life Bunch” last month where Texas Parents staff shared best practices for engaging parents.
  • Staff have made it easier for incoming students to select their building, floor and room assignment through StarRez, a new occupancy management software system.
  • More than 3,500 housing contracts have been offered to freshmen.
  • The Residence Life team hosted a Cultural Appropriation vs. Appreciation discussion with Kinsolving residents last month. Resident assistants led the conversation on historical and contemporary understandings of the issue and diversity on campus.
Residence Life staff

Cindy Crawford and Hemlata Jhaveri with former Jester Center Area Manager Coree Newman Coronado (front, Washington State University)

  • Colleagues from Washington State University visited campus and met with Residence Life staff last month to learn about new initiatives and changes in programming.
  • During the DHFS Leadership Institute, guest speaker Kimberly Sullivan with Human Resources shared how to reduce workplace disruptions and promote team harmony.

Food Service

FAST Dinner

Kinsolving staff at the FAST Dinner: (back row) Audrey Dedrick, Triena Jackson, Dina Bricker, Denise Johnson, Jessica Yu, Alma Navarro and Libby DeSantiago; (front row) Lindsay Palmer and Linda Thompson

  • Kinsolving and J2 Dining hosted a Fresh and Simple Tastes (FAST) Dinner on March 22. Following the FAST philosophy, staff served dishes free of the top eight allergens.
  • Cypress Bend, Jester City Market and Littlefield Patio Cafe are now accepting Dine-In Dollars deposits at cash registers. Kin’s Market, J2 Dining and Jester City Java already accept Dine-In Dollars deposits.

New Student Services (NSS)

  • Summer orientation registration opened on March 8. Staff have registered nearly 4,000 freshman and transfer students.
  • Orientation advisors are preparing up for the summer orientation season. They attended their second retreat on March 31.
  • Staff extend the invitation to Division and campus partners to participate in Discover UT. This optional program session during Freshman and Transfer Orientation gives students information about campus resources. Departments can also contribute materials for a literature display during orientation. Email Shannon Price for more information.

Derek Murakami (University of Southern California), Dana Trimboli (John Jay College) and Shiloh Modisett prepare to meet Anderson Cooper.

  • While several Division staff participated at 2017 Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) Annual Conference, only one got to meet the opening speaker, CNN News Anchor Anderson Cooper. Shiloh Modisett entered a Twitter contest and was one of 50 attendees to have the opportunity to meet Cooper. “It was really exciting. It felt like a VIP experience. I wish I could’ve brought everyone from NSS!” she said.
  • Recipients of the Maralyn Heimlich Scholarship will be honored at Evening of the Stars on April 18. This scholarship is given in memory of former staffer Maralyn Heimlich, who served the students at The University of Texas at Austin for more than 20 years.

Office of the Dean of Students (DoS)

  • Leadership and Ethics Institute staff are accepting applications for Student Leadership Teams through April 12. Staff coach these student leaders to enhance their development and create individuals that are ready for the workforce. Encourage students to apply on Hornslink.
  • Student Activities partnered with Texas Student Media to host UT Marketplace on March 22. Dozens of vendors participated in this semester’s event on the Main Mall. Check out the photos.

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA)


Rita Thornton, Susan Buckenmeyer (Office of the Dean of Students) and Cecilia Lopez-Cardenas (Recreational Sports) welcomed guests to the Texas Tradition Reception.

  • The Division co-hosted the Texas Tradition Friends & Alumni Reception with the College of Education’s Program in Higher Education Leadership during the 2017 Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) Annual Conference. View the photos.
  • Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Soncia Reagins-Lilly helped the university roll out the new Hate and Bias Incident Policy on March 8. Take a look at In the News for media interviews.
True Colors

Lysette Ibarra (Counseling and Mental Health Center), Andres Arrendondo and Suzanne Ledet (Housing and Food Service) and Julie Young (University Unions) during the March 23 True Colors® workshop

  • VPSA hosted two True Colors®: Keys to Personal Success sessions for new Division staff, graduate and graduate research assistants, and interns. See the photos from the March 21 and March 23 session.
Let Us Know committee

Let Us Know Committee members Corey Benson (Office of the Dean of Students), Celena Mondie-Milner (New Student Services), Rita Thornton, Eric Stoutner (Recreational Sports), Sierra Castedo (The Center for Students in Recovery), Ruben Mercado (University Unions), Virginia Luehrsen and Audrey Sorrells (Office of the Dean of Students) in Gregory Gym

  • The Let Us Know committee met on March 10 to kick off the initiative’s next phase. The department ambassadors will be meeting with staff and stakeholders.
  • VPSA staff is partnering with the Office of the President and Human Resources to honor the Student Employee of the Year and 10 finalists at the April 10 luncheon. The Counseling and Mental Health Center, Housing and Food Service and Recreational Sports employ four of the finalists.
  • Arkansas Tech students met with Virginia Luehrsen, VPSA, Krista Anderson and Denny Bubrig, Office of the Dean of Students, on March 20. They discussed how to support students with food insecurities and took a campus tour.
  • Save the date for 40 Hours for the Forty Acres, a university-wide giving campaign to inspire Longhorns to give to departments.

Recreational Sports (RecSports)

RecSports staff

Dixon Hankins, Phoebe Wainwright, Darci Doll, Chad Zimmerman, Ross Rodriguez and Ryan Becerra enjoy opening day at Wright Whitaker Sports Complex.

RecSports staff

Rhonda Cox and E. J. Patterson at Texas THON’s Day of Celebration in Gregory Gym

  • RecSports hosted Texas THON’s Day of Celebration on March 5. The student organization raised more than $282,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network at Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. Rhonda Cox and E. J. Patterson advised the student committee that led the fundraiser. Check out the photos.
  • Staff hosted tours of Gregory Gym, and offered free climbing, volleyball and basketball to campus visitors during Explore UT on March 4. See the photos.
  • There’s still time to register for Longhorn Run on April 8. Registration closes at 6 p.m. on April 7.
  • All staff are invited to register for the RecSports Poker Walk taking place on May 10. This annual event celebrates National Employee Health and Fitness Day.

Texas Parents

  • Texas Parents is hiring students for two summer positions, the Family Orientation Student Leader and the Membership Recruitment Student Leader. Encourage students to apply by April 7.
  • Staff is gearing up for Family Orientation, a one-day program introducing parents and families to the university. This program offers resources and tools to help families support their students’ successful transition to UT Austin. Staff host nine Family Orientations to families of freshman and transfer students.
  • Outstanding Student and Mike Wacker Award winners will be announced at the 2017 Spring Ambassadors Council meeting on April 7. Retiring board members will be recognized as well as board members’ students who are spring graduates. President Gregory L. Fenves will give a university update, and Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Soncia Reagins-Lilly will share a Division update.

The Center for Students in Recovery (CSR)

  • CSR’s John Harris organized events for students and friends during the spring break week. Events included bowling at the Texas Union Underground and an outing to Barton Springs Pool.
  • Staff partnered with CMHC’s Marian Trattner to host a workshop on March 21 to help students understand how mental health relates to recovery.
  • CSR’s Sierra Castedo participated in the spring retreat for the Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE) in Houston, Texas, from March 22–24.

University Health Services (UHS)

UHS staff

Susan Kirtz passes a basketball to students during Take a Shot against HPV.

  • Office of Health Promotion staff partnered with the Tejas Club to host Take a Shot against HPV (Human papillomavirus) on March 23. This event is part of UHS’ Guard your Goods campaign that encourages men to get an HPV vaccination. Recreational Sports shared a basketball hoop so students could compete for a prize. Take a look at the photos.
  • UHS’s Registered Dietitian Jennifer Barnoud answered questions about nutrition during Ask a Dietitian on March 23, hosted by the Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC).
UHS Physicians

Drs. David Vander Straten and Stephen Blair partnered with Texas 4000.

  • Drs. David Vander Straten, Stephen Blair and Elisa Spradlin performed free skin cancer screenings in partnership with Texas 4,000 on March 29. Read more about the event. 
UHS staff

Julie Newton, Shannon Hanby, William Mupo, Susan Kirtz, Zach Ford and Jessica Hughes Wagner distributed kits before spring break.

  • The Office of Health Promotion handed out 3,000 Safe Spring Break Kits to students in early March. The kits included sunscreen, sunglasses and information on topics like safe sex and drinking habits. See the photos.

University Unions

Paul Begala

Paul Begala at Student Endowed Centennial Lecturship

  • Campus Events + Entertainment hosted Paul Begala for the Student Endowed Centennial Lectureship onMarch 28. Begala is a best-selling author and former advisor to President Bill Clinton. During his time at UT Austin, he served as Student Government president and founded SURE Walk in 1982. Take a look at the photos.
University Unions Food Trucks

Gary Stackhouse, Megan McMillin, Karen Pfieffer, Mulu Ferede, Leslie Hay and James Buckley check out the food truck location on Speedway.

  • Staff worked to bring food trucks to campus on March 28. Four Brothers, Melted, Kona Ice and Casey’s New Orleans Snowballs are some of the vendors in rotation on the corner of Speedway and 21st Street, outside Gregory Gym.
Unions staff

Sara Kaner, Claudette Campbell, Tracy Goodman, Jennifer Zamora, Lisa Dela Cruz, Nick Parras, Mulu Ferede and Sabrina Owens at the Association of College Unions International conference

  • Claudette Campbell, Lisa Dela Cruz, Mulu Ferede, Tracy Goodman, Sara Kaner, Sabrina Owens, Nick Parras and Jennifer Zamora expanded visibility for the Unions’ programs, facilities and services at the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) annual conference in Philadelphia.
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