Division News

It’s a new semester and a new year with lots of new opportunities across the Division. Take a look at how our team closed out 2012 and what they have in store for 2013:

Counseling and Mental Health Center (CHMC)

  • Offering a new group called “Making Connections: Conversations About Fitting In” for students who describe their college experience as being different from that of the “typical” college student. Provides a supportive environment for students who feel as though others cannot relate to their life experiences.
  • Get Sexy Get Consent-logo.jpgCelebrating the selection of “Get Sexy. Get Consent,” an interactive presentation led by Lynn Hoare and part of CMHC’s Voices Against Violence program, to be part of the prestigious Brown Symposium XXXV week at Southwestern University (SU). Looking forward to the student performance of “Sex Talk: A Symposium with Benefits” on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 8 p.m. in SU’s McCombs Ballroom.

Housing and Food Service (DHFS)


  • DHFS & officers from the Fort Sam Houston Army Medical command

    DHFS & officers from the Fort Sam Houston Army Medical Command

    Welcomed eight senior officers from Fort Sam Houston Army Medical command to spend time with DHFS to share new and successful practices of housing and feeding students.

  • Achieved an outstanding score of 100 at Jesta Pizza and Freshens/Smoothie on their most recent health inspection. Celebrating high scores for all of our units but a “perfect 100” is very rare.
  • Announcing that the residence hall events calendar has gone mobile!
  • Started a needs assessment on the possibility of a new residence hall(s) with Barnes Gromatzky Kosarek Architects and Brailsford & Dunlavey Marketing Group. Expecting assessment to be completed late this semester.

Food Service

  • Launched Dine with a Healthyhorn Program fall 2012 as a collaborative effort between the DHFS and University Health Services (UHS). Gives students the capability to meet in the DHFS dining halls with a UHS nutrition peer educator and/or DHFS nutrition student assistant. Helps students navigate the dining halls and determine how to build a well-rounded, healthy plate. Received more than five student groups in the pilot semester of the program.

Office of the Dean of Students (DoS)

  • Christa Lopez & Ty Wilson.

    Christa Lopez & Ty Wilson

    Helped spread some cheer by providing hot chocolate for the 2012 Songs of the Season holiday sing-along. Gave out coffee and cookies on the West Mall, via the Dean’s Squad, to help prep brain cells for finals. See the photos.

  • Coordinated a presentation by Dr. Steven Mintz, executive director of The University of Texas System’s Institute for Transformational Learning, to DoS, University Unions and Center for Teaching and Learning Staff about the future of higher education and the increasing role of online learning.
  • Preparing for the Jan. 17-18 Texas Deans of Students Council meeting in Kemah, Texas, where senior student affairs professionals and judicial officers from institutions across the state will join Chair-Elect Dr. Soncia Reagins-Lilly.
  • Conducting a Division-wide technology workgroup organized by DoS Senior Systems Analyst Steve Preiss to share information and best practices, identify challenges and opportunities, and look for ways to share resources.
  • Announcing the 2013 Legends of China trip, the first of six on-campus information sessions will be held on Monday, Jan 28. Inviting all UT Austin students, faculty and staff to explore the four trip options.
  • Hosting the second annual Texas Leadership Summit on Feb. 9, a free, campus-wide opportunity for students to learn about leadership-related topics and network with other student leaders. Holding registration mid-January and featuring this year’s keynote speaker, Sam Davidson.

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA)

vpsa holiday photo

  • Enjoyed hosting our incredible Student Affairs team for a Division-wide Staff Holiday Celebration on Dec. 13. Take a look at the celebration photographs and our festive hat photo booth pictures.
  • Edna Dominguez

    Edna Dominguez

    Hired Edna Dominguez as new Assistant Vice President for Strategic Initiatives. Will oversee assessment, communications and development effective Jan. 14.

  • Participated in the annual Songs of the Season event with Gage Paine as emcee, singing from the Butler School of Music and hot chocolate from the Office of the Dean of Students. Check out the photos.
  • Coordinated several writers group meetings of the Student Affairs Leadership Team (SALT) to draft new language for the Division’s Mission and Vision. Take a look at the photos from the most recent SALT meeting.
  • Drafted and received approval for design of the new Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs website. Moving forward with plans to migrate the website into the university’s core pages.
  • Held the final What’s On Your Mind? social media event of the fall semester at Gregory Gym in partnership with RecSports. Appreciated the eight students who came out to chat with Vice President Gage Paine. Take a look at the photos.

Recreational Sports (RecSports)

  • RecSports staff holiday social.

    RecSports staff holiday social

    Produced a series of 15 profile pages with statistical and narrative data summarizing the Division’s achievements for the 2011-12 academic year.

  • Designed and distributed the Spring 2013 RecSports Schedule, a 16-page booklet describing the programs, activities and facilities available to students and members in the new semester.
  • What's on Your Mind_GagePaine_250pxHosted a What’s On Your Mind @Gage Paine meeting on Dec. 6 in Gregory Gym, attracting eight students who engaged in a 30 minute session with our VP.
  • Offered free coffee to students who opted to study for exams at the Victory @ Gregory Gym, Dec. 12–14.
  • Scheduled to re-open the Recreational Sports Center on Jan. 14, following the completion of some crucial infrastructure projects.
  • Continuing to oversee the major renovation and expansion of the Gregory Gym Climbing Wall, set to re-open in early spring.
  • Held a series of informal “water cooler” talks led by the staff Diversity Committee to engage full-time staff members in topics relating to diversity.
  • Hosted the annual holiday social for full-time staff.
  • Organized a Feed the Homeless endeavor on Dec. 6, overseen by students, distributing 250 tacos, clothing items, toiletries and water at the Salvation Army.

Texas Parents

The Center for Students in Recovery (CSR)

  • Supported students involved with the Center to join forces with The University of Texas Police Department on Dec. 10 to assemble bicycles purchased as a result of our volunteer stadium clean-ups following home football games. Distributed bicycles to children of families in need for the holiday.

University Health Services (UHS)

  • Developed and launched the Healthyhorns Nap Map, a tool that helps students identify the best napping spots on campus. Utilizes research that shows sleep can be a major barrier to students being able to perform well academically. Publicizing that while not a substitute for a good night’s sleep, taking 20-30 minute naps can help increase students’ alertness, energy levels, motor performance and mood.
  • Charlotte Katzin.

    Charlotte Katzin

    Conducted a webinar for McCombs School of Business students about important travel health issues to consider when studying abroad. Anticipating five more webinars presented by Charlotte Katzin, a registered nurse and travel health specialist, for McCombs’ students who will be traveling abroad through the Global Connections program in March.

  • Conducted a national webinar on prescription drug abuse for the Children’s Safety Network. Highlighted the University’s efforts to prevent the misuse and abuse of prescription stimulants (e.g., Adderall and Ritalin) through an evidence-based, health communications campaign in presentation by Jessica Hughes Wagner, MPH, MCHES.
  • Presented research on the effectiveness of UHS’ peer-led contraceptive program, the Methods of Contraception Class, at a national conference. Facilitated the poster discussion at the National Sex Education Conference in Summerset, N.J., thanks to Guli Fager, MPH.
  • Participated in staff development day on Dec. 19 where UHS staff spent the day in skill and competency trainings sessions.
  • Collaborated with Student Government, UT Libraries and Wellness Network to generate a series of “pro-tips” for being healthy and safe when studying late into the night at the libraries.

University Unions

  • Visited by Santa Claus! Welcomed Santa to the Texas Union and Student Activity Center on Dec. 4, providing students and families from our UT community with an opportunity to take photos by the holiday tree in the respective buildings. Served approximately 400 individuals. Check out the photos.

Hogg Auditorium (HMA)

  • Concluded inaugural semester in the University Unions as a student-centric performance space with a total of 21 single events. Also served as the location for various final exams.

Student Activity Center (SAC)

Student Activity Center Staff with Santa.

Student Activity Center Staff with Santa

  • Hosted Study Cram in preparation for the final exams period on Dec. 10 and 11, providing students with open meeting rooms for studying, free granola bars, apples and a midnight pancake breakfast on the day before finals, feeding approximately 600 students. See the photos.
  • Preparing to host a New Student Staff Retreat, a two-day leadership development program led in part by returning student employees for 11 new students who will be employed in the SAC this spring semester.
  • Working to provide iPhone 5 chargers available for check out at the Hospitality Desk. Continuing to provide chargers for most phones and Mac laptops, available for check out with a valid UT ID.

Texas Union (TXUN)

  • Renovated the Texas Union Underground, Showroom and Quizno’s seating area with all new dining room furniture.
  • Installed A/V equipment, including a screen and projector, in the Ballroom.