Division News

Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC)

Sundaes on Wednesdae

Melissa Eshelman, Jane Bost, Chris Brownson, Cary Tucker and Marla Craig

  • CMHC administrators Melissa Eshelman, Jane Bost, Chris Brownson, Cary Tucker and Marla Craig recently served “Sundaes on Wednesdae” to CMHC staff.
  • Katy Redd kicked off the first of five “Mobile Mind Body Labs” where students can use biofeedback to reduce stress at a variety of campus locations.
  • CMHC and Division staff members participated in an Unplugging Campaign on April 10.

    Edna Dominguez, Toby LeBlanc, Abby Simpson & Chris Brownson

    Edna Dominguez, Toby LeBlanc, Abby Simpson & Chris Brownson unplug

  • CMHC Wellness Team members organized a staff hike along the Greenbelt on April 5.
  • CMHC staff organized a Student Appreciation Luncheon on April 11. Prevention and Outreach staff was thrilled to honor all of the hard work of students affiliated with CMHC and also managed to squeeze a few minutes in for a photo booth shot.

    Lynn Hoare, Erin Burrows, Marian Trattner, Katy Redd and Jane Bost at the student appreciation luncheon

  • As the new CMHC Alcohol and Other Drugs Program Coordinator, Matthew Olson is providing counseling services to students and collaborating with multiple UT departments. This new role is designed to increase access to these services. Matthew will also conduct individual alcohol and other drug counseling appointments with student athletes.
  • Erin Burrows, prevention and outreach specialist for Voices Against Violence, coordinated this year’s Take Back the Night on April 9, with over 400 participants on the Main Mall. It was one of 11 public events held during Sexual Assault Prevention Month.

Housing and Food Service (DHFS)


  • Over 700 admitted students and their families were on campus for UT VIP in late March. Occupancy Management & Communications presented two information sessions about living on campus and worked with the Office of Admissions to coordinate residence hall tours.
  • Housing presentations and Q&A sessions with Admissions were held in Houston, Dallas, Central Texas (Austin), El Paso, Laredo and Valley regions during April. These sessions are a great way for housing to connect with admitted students and families.
  • On April 12, DHFS hosted a get-together for former Resident Assistants (RAs). Floyd Hoelting shared DHFS highlights and new projects while former RAs shared stories from their time of employment.
  • Littlefield Residence Hall hosted its annual alumni reunion, known as Lemon Day, on April 12. Lemon Day is an event where former residents, from as recently as last year to as far back as the 1950s, return to Littlefield to reminisce and reconnect. Margaret Berry (Class of 1937) and David Gracy II, historian and great-great nephew of George Littlefield, were guest speakers at the event where just over 40 “Littlefield Ladies” returned to the place they once called home. Check out the photos and Time Warner Cable News story.

Food Service

  • Food Service celebrated National Nutrition Month by focusing on the importance of incorporating fruit into the daily diet throughout March.  Corresponding dining specials included substituting a piece of fruit as a side, the Festival of Fruit, Mediterranean Dinner, Strawberry Festival and Healthy Living Info Fair.

    Lindsay Wilson & Kathy Phan at Refresh-a-Recipe

    Lindsay Wilson & Kathy Phan at Refresh-a-Recipe

  • The Refresh-a-Recipe cooking challenge was a way to teach students to prepare quick, easy and healthy food items in their residence hall room. While DHFS limited competitors to residence hall approved appliances, students found exciting and inventive ways to bring their dishes to life. The judging panel included Chrystina Wyatt from Recreational Sports, Amy Culp from UT Athletics, members of the University Residence Hall Association and others. They were treated to dishes including flan, vegan lentil curry and a microwaved spiced mug cake. Students enjoyed a cooking demonstration from Chobani Chef Tim Reardon and a fruit-themed photo booth.

    Maria Medina & Nelly Estrada at the Hill Country Dinner

    Maria Medina & Nelly Estrada at the Hill Country Dinner

  • DHFS celebrated the Hill Country Dinner with a Texas-centric meal and a jam session consisting of UT students and staff, including Sam Siner and Aaron Voyles.

 New Student Services (NSS)

  • The Texas Wrangles hosted the Annual Horns Helping Horns Golf Classic on April 12. This year’s event was in honor and memory of Cristi Biggs, who invested so much into helping build the Horns Helping Horns program.
  • Longhorn State of Mind graphicThe theme for orientation is Longhorn State of Mind, which embodies our university’s core values of Individual Opportunity, Responsibility, Learning, Discovery, Freedom and Leadership. NSS encourages units to bring the core values to life through promotion of the Longhorn State of Mind theme and building the Class of 2018 identity.
  • There are several changes for this summer’s orientation sessions. Student Activities is now coordinating the student organization fair during Summer Orientation. This event occurs concurrently with the orientation barbecue.
  • Texas Parents is now organizing the campus departmental resource fair during summer orientation. Known as Longhorn Neighborhood, it occurs on the morning of each Family Orientation session.
  • University Events will now lead the opening session program during freshman orientation under the leadership of Director Rod Caspers.
  • The pre-orientation modules for new students are being developed by the Office of the Provost and will be released in mid-May.
  • The job description has been posted and a search committee is being formed to hire a director for NSS.

Office of the Dean of Students (DoS)

  • Student Veteran Services was one of just five university veteran groups that participated in the George W. Bush Institute trail maintenance project on March 29 in support of the Warrior 100K.
  • The application process is now open to apply for Student Judicial Services’ Student Conduct Board. This prestigious opportunity is a presidential appointment. Please encourage students to apply by Sept. 2.
  • The Office of the Dean of Students was actively involved in support of the LBJ Presidential Library Civil Rights Summit in April. Thanks to Senior Associate Dean of Students Doug Garrard, Senior Software Developer/Analyst Steve Preiss, Student Activities Assistant Directors Elisa Ramos and Susan Buckenmeyer, and Associate Dean of Students for Research Audrey Sorrells for their fantastic work.
  • Leadership and Ethics Institute (LEI) Assistant Director Reed Rallojay conducted 56 student interviews with his LEI teammates in just one week to fill student positions as LEAP (Leadership Education and Progress) Mentors, Peer Leadership Educators and Burnt Orange Student Staff.

    Reed Rallojay, Jared Hopper, Lewis Hall, Elisa Ramos and Kyle St. Nicholas at Spikes 4 Soles

    Reed Rallojay, Jared Hopper, Lewis Hall, Elisa Ramos and Kyle St. Nicholas

  • DoS staff Reed Rallojay, Jared Hopper, Lewis Hall, Elisa Ramos and Kyle St. Nicholas participated in Spikes4Souls, a volleyball fundraiser for Soles4Souls at The University of Texas at Austin on  March 30 and finished in a very respectable third place.

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA)

True Colors®

True Colors® Spanish session

  • Thanks to all Division staff for the successful implementation of the True Colors® workshops. From February 11 to April 3, 756 staff participated in workshops facilitated by teams of trained facilitators to learn their color spectrum. Facilitators presented four sessions in Spanish and two sessions in the late evening hours. The True Colors® steering committee will review the assessment of learning and feedback. Look for opportunities to explore related True Colors® topics for the next academic year. Curious about the Division’s colors distribution? Approximately 38-percent Gold, 24-percent Blue, 23-percent Green and 15-percent Orange.

    Mitzi Henry & EJ Patterson at the Student Job & Volunteer Fair

    Mitzi Henry & EJ Patterson

  • The Division’s spring Student Job and Volunteer Fair was a big success with more than 430 students participating. This event was also a great opportunity for students to learn about our departments’ innovative programs, facilities and services. The Division was especially proud to collaborate with the University Leadership Network. Take a look at the photos.

    Vice President for Student Affairs Reunion

    Vice President for Student Affairs Reunion

  • Fun times were had by all at this year’s Vice President for Student Affairs Reunion on April 12. In addition to reconnecting with old friends, colleagues and student leaders, the reunion featured the University Unions and introduced new Executive Director Mulugeta Ferede to the Longhorn community. Enjoy the photos from the event and the photo booth.

Recreational Sports (RecSports)

  • The Longhorn Run, co-sponsored with Student Government, was a great success with a record-breaking 2,789 registrants. See the photos.
  • Student Affairs and Friends softball is underway. Five teams are vying for the James Vick Championship Trophy: Housing and Food Service, University Health Service/Counseling and Mental Health Center, Office of the Registrar, the International Office and Financial Services. Teams will play four regular season games with the top two finishers competing for the championship.
  • RecSports helped organize another successful defense of the Lone Star Showdown Trophy. Our men’s intramural team beat the Aggies 65–54, while the coed team won 68–47.  Sadly, our women’s team lost 57–23.
  • Several RecSports staff traveled to Nashville, Tenn., for NIRSA 2014, a national conference focused on advancing campus recreation programs and activities.
  • Division staff is encouraged to participate in the Poker Walk 2014 on May 8, 11:30 a.m. in front of Parlin Hall. Come celebrate National Employee Health & Fitness Day on this one-mile walk. Free online registration.
  • RecSports is celebrating its student staff with a poolside picnic on May 2 at the Gregory Gym Aquatic Complex, featuring burgers, games and a special program for graduating seniors. All RecSports facilities will close early on this day.

Texas Parents

  • Texas Parents is continuing to plan Family Orientation 2014, a parent-focused day of programming taking place on the first day of each student orientation session.
  • Texas Parents Association memberships are now available for sale online during the Family Orientation sessions.
  • Texas Parents is participating in the Dean of Students’ Countdown to Graduation initiative. Seniors can fill out a postcard to thank their family for their love and support and Texas Parents will mail it free of charge.
  • Texas Parents is planning the Next Steps e-Newsletter, which is sent to freshman parents in July and August to provide them with helpful information to prepare for their student’s first semester.
  • In mid-May, the New Parent Guide will be mailed to incoming freshman families.
  • Texas Parents laid 118 brick pavers on the Student Services Building Plaza. Parents purchased 104 bricks and 14 bricks were laid in honor of students lost in 2013–14.

Texas Student Media (TSM)

  • Texas Student Media has opened a search for a new director.
  • Texas Student Media partnered with the School of Human Ecology to support Fashion Alley, its annual UT Austin fashion show at the Frank Erwin Center.

The Center for Students in Recovery (CSR)

  • CSR thanked director Ivana Grahovac for all her contributions to collegiate recovery here at UT Austin and across the UT System at a farewell celebration on April 22.
  • The Recovery Inter-Group Dialogue program is gaining traction. CSR held a dialogue between students and young people from Teen & Family in March and hosted 20 young men from The Last Resort for a riveting inter-group dialogue in April.
  • CSR launched Firm Roots Yoga, a collaboration between CSR, the UT Micro Farm, the local yoga community and the KIND Bar corporation. Each Wednesday evening, a local yoga instructor comes to teach in the CSR meeting space, the UT Micro Farm distributes free organic veggies and the KIND bar folks donate their snack bars.

University Health Services (UHS)

  • On April 14–15, professionals from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) performed a re-accreditation survey and inspection. In preliminary comments, surveyors praised UHS’ quality improvement and risk management practices, patient privacy and health promotion.
  • UHS celebrated Administrative Professionals Week and National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week with a kickin’ lunchtime karaoke dance party on April 23.
  • Karen Keeler, PT, and Julie Clouse, PTA, trained in the Graston Technique®, a method of using stainless steel instruments to break down scar tissue and soft tissue adhesions and speed recovery. UHS lead physical therapist Gina Wagner is Graston certified.
  • UHS recently signed on to assist counterparts at UT San Antonio with the extensive preparations required to accept health insurance and will also perform their health insurance billing on a pilot basis as a UT System Shared Services initiative.
  • This month, UHS will begin extensive renovation of the UHS general medicine and immunization clinics, medical lab and IT department on the Student Services Building second floor. While significant disruption is anticipated this summer, when it’s done patients and staff will experience more efficient clinical operations. Students will also be able to navigate through the facility more effectively and enjoy updated waiting area

University Unions

  • University Unions celebrated student staff during National Student Employee Appreciation Week with a luncheon, bowling and professional head shots.
  • Five Unions staff attended the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) 100th anniversary conference in April. Sam Perry, the husband of Shirley Bird Perry, was also in attendance as Shirley Bird was honored for her service as a Union director and former president of ACUI.
  • Reservations open on May 6 for registered student organization and university department space requests for summer and fall.

 Hogg Auditorium (HMA)

  • Hogg Auditorium staff is preparing for the School of Architecture and Plan II Honors Commencement Convocations this month.

 Student Activity Center (SAC)

  • On April 22, the SAC celebrated Earth Day with a “My Building is LEED Certified” t-shirt giveaway.
  • The SAC is hosting the Finals Finals Finals Fest on May 5 and 6 with rooms available for studying and a midnight breakfast the evening of May 6.

 Campus Events and Entertainment (E+E)

  • On April 17, The Texas Union held a grand reopening of the new Campus Events + Entertainment space. Check out the photos.

 Texas Union (TXUN)

  • The Cactus Café and E+E Headliners committee presented the Kerrville Singer/Songwriters contest for students on April 23. The winner of the contest is offered a chance to perform at the Kerrville Folk Festival this summer.