If you passed through the school in the last 13 years, you probably know this office and its denizen. Since 2006, in his position as director of student and community affairs, Ramón Gómez (MSSW ‘01) has shared his passion for social work and UT Austin with countless students, and has inspired colleagues with his upbeat attitude and Texas spirit. Many of these students and colleagues have made a mark on Ramón — and on his office décor, as you can read below.
1 . “One of my main roles is to meet with prospective students to tell them about social work and UT Austin, and answer any questions they may have. If they can visit, I meet them here in my office, which I usually share with a graduate assistant.
Martha Santillan (MSSW ’18) was one of those assistants, and she noticed that prospective students came from all over the United States. She thought it would be neat to keep records of all the places students come from, and she gave me this map before graduating. Now, every time I meet with prospective students, once we finish with all their questions, I tell them, ‘Now, go ahead a put a pin where your hometown is.’”
2. “When working as a graduate assistant in my office, Jeanette Cordero (MSSW ‘12) got to know me and learned that Cesar Chavez is one my heroes.
She made this painting for me as a parting gift. She used burnt orange of course, because she knew it’s my favorite color.”
3. “One of our Hogg Foundation Bilingual Mental Health Scholars, Denise Baxindine (MSSW ’11), got a teaching job after graduating — I think it was in the Rio Grande Valley.
One day she asked children to draw pictures of the world, and one of them drew this globe with a big state of Texas smack in the middle. She immediately thought of me and thought I would appreciate the drawing.”
4. “One of the many times my brother was incarcerated, he had someone in prison make this for me and my wife Sally.
I have always kept it close, it keeps me grounded and does not allow me to forget where I come from.”
5. “This was a gift from professor Jane Kretzschmar, who probably saw it and thought ‘Hey, Ramón may not have something like this.’ And I wouldn’t, because I am scared of anything with feathers, whether it is a little bird or a big turkey or a condor.
I am okay with seeing them from afar but I prefer that they don’t get too close to me because I get a little nervous. And I would definitely not touch them!”
6. “Professor Roberta Green gave the neon Bevo to me when she retired and emptied her office here in the building. She thought that if anyone would appreciate this, it would be me. And she was right. It is cheerful on cloudy days.”