Division News

Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC)

  • CMHC hosted Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 26–30, to raise awareness of suicide prevention efforts on campus. This was the eighth year of the event.
  • The prevention and outreach team held its bi-annual retreat to discuss priorities for the upcoming year and engage in team-building activities. Staff members made wall hangings to represent the team’s values: community, self-care, levity, innovation, creativity and the freedom to fail.
  • Voices Against Violence (VAV) staff will raise awareness with a list of events during Relationship Violence Prevention Month.
  • Staff are pleased to announce that the VAV Survivor’s Emergency Fund is now sustained by an endowment. This ensures survivors will have access to these funds.
  • CMHC staff participated in the Great Texas Showcase during Family Weekend. Staff spoke with families about their programs, facilities and services.

Housing and Food Service (DHFS)

Housing

  • DHFS partnered with Apogee to upgrade the cable TV package. Residents in 14 on-campus residence halls now have access to high-definition channels and premium channels including HBO and Cinemax. In the fall, residents will be able to watch movies and shows on their personal devices.
  • Staff hosted Bingo Night in Kinsolving during Family Weekend. Families had fun playing bingo and trivia and enjoyed refreshments. Staff also participated in The Great Texas Showcase.

Food Service

UT Farm Stand

Sean Morrogh (University Unions) shops for locally-grown corn at UT Farm Stand.

  • Sustainability staff members Neil Kaufman and Laura Bliss helped students launch another semester of UT Farm Stand. Students, faculty and staff lined up to purchase locally-grown produce at the kick-off event on Sept. 15. The event brought in over $1,300. See the Events section for upcoming dates.
  • Neil Kaufman and Matt Rogers have been working with UT Green Corps students to harvest food from the Jester and Kinsolving gardens. The culinary team uses the gardens’ okra, peppers, sweet potatoes and basil in dishes served at DHFS dining locations.

New Student Services (NSS)

Celena Mondie-Milner, Gretchen Pierce, Desiree Alva, Jennifer Carter and Shannon Price toured the Blanton Museum as part of their Orientation Debriefing retreat on Sept. 15.

Celena Mondie-Milner, Gretchen Pierce, Desiree Alva, Jennifer Carter and Shannon Price toured the Blanton Museum as part of their Orientation Debriefing retreat on Sept. 15.

  • NSS has begun recruiting orientation advisors (OAs) to help plan the 2017 UT Orientation program. Students must attend an Information Session this month to receive an application. Dates are listed in the Events Applications are due Oct. 28.
  • Division staff can nominate students for the OA position. Submit your nomination by Oct. 12 online.
  • Staff hosted an OA Homecoming event on Sept. 6 so that this year’s advisors could reunite and learn about recruitment efforts.
  • NSS has begun meeting with colleges, schools and key stakeholders across campus to evaluate the 2016 orientation program. This group is also discussing next year’s program.
  • Staff are also gearing up to welcome new students next semester during Spring Orientation on Jan. 9.
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Amy Jorgensen and Shannon Price tell families and students about orientation advisor (OA) recruitment during Family Weekend.

  • NSS staff promoted orientation advisor (OA) recruitment during Family Weekend. Staff also participated in the Great Texas Showcase.

Office of the Dean of Students (DoS)

The Student Conduct and Academic Integrity Team at the Office of the Dean of Students Retreat in the Union Undergroud: (left to right) Emily LaPlaca, Saralyn McKinnon-Crowley, Brittany Williamson, Melissa Wommack, Adalyn Burger, Cynthia Aranda, Derek Bell, Kia Hill, Robert Leary, Vanessa Serrano and Adel Fils-Aime.

The Student Conduct and Academic Integrity Team at the Office of the Dean of Students Retreat in the Union Undergroud: (left to right) Emily LaPlaca, Saralyn McKinnon-Crowley, Brittany Williamson, Melissa Wommack, Adalyn Burger, Cynthia Aranda, Derek Bell, Kia Hill, Robert Leary, Vanessa Serrano and Adel Fils-Aime.

  • Leadership and Ethics Institute (LEI) and Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) staff partnered to get the university recognized through NASPA’s Lead Initiative. These 74 universities are committed to programs that inspire civic learning and engagement.
  • Leadership and Ethics Institute (LEI) is currently seeking facilitators to lead sessions during The CHANGE Institute, beginning Nov. 11. These sessions will be on topics regarding social and personal identity and social justice. If this opportunity interests you, contact Becca Burt.
  • Staff hosted a Dessert Reception with DoS during Family Weekend. Parents got the chance to indulge in desserts poolside while learning about DoS programs and services. 

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA)

2015-2016 Impact Report

  • Today, the Division launched the 2015-2016 Impact Report. The third annual report highlights how staff support the student experience by supporting The University of Texas at Austin’s core values.
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Thomas Lopez, Ana Perez de Hernandez, José Cazares, José Leyva, Soncia Reagins-Lilly, Saray Lago, Valeria Guillen and Gloria Munoz de Ramirez at the Division-wide Staff Meeting

  • Staff came together on Sept. 14 to kick off the semester at the Division-wide Staff Meeting. Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Soncia Reagins-Lilly welcomed the group. Executive Vice President and Provost Maurie McInnis inspired a conversation about “The Collaborative Relationship between Academics and Student Affairs.” See the photos.
  • New staff members can register for a True Colors® Keys to Personal Success workshop. Check out the Events section for dates. Supervisors can request information about a Teambuilding workshop by contacting Jan Austin-Scott.
  • Soncia Reagins-Lilly attended the Association of American Universities (AAU) conference for Vice Presidents for Student Affairs in Cleveland, Ohio. 

Recreational Sports (RecSports)

RecSports golf_tournament

RecSports tailgate

  • Enjoy live music, food and beverages at the Friends of RecSports Tailgate at the Gregory Gym Aquatic Complex on Oct. 15. Wristbands are now on sale and must be purchased by Oct. 7.
  • With assistance from RecSports staff, students who participated in intramural basketball on Sept. 25-27 were offered the opportunity to try the new Nike Zoom KD 9, Longhorn Kevin Durant’s latest signature footwear.

    RecSports_Cecilia Lopez Cardenas

    Cecilia Lopez Cardenas (Recreational Sports) shows off the new Nike Zoom KD 9 shoe.

  • Chris Burnett is partnering again with the School of Social Work to offer Experiential Leadership. Last fall was the first time this course was offered. The class includes experiential exercises and civic engagement service learning projects.
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Families tour Gregory Gym during Family Weekend.

  • Staff hosted a Gregory Gym Open House during Family Weekend. Parents were also able to check out the facilities including the Amazon@UTexas pickup location.

Texas Parents

  • Staff partnered with the Office of the President, Division departments and campus partners to host Family Weekend, Sept. 23-25. More than 1,000 families attended more than 100 events on and off campus. The event was supported by 100 volunteer hours from parents and 56 from students.
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President Fenves visits with families at the Family Weekend Barbecue.

  • Texas Parents launched a newly-redesigned website. The site includes a map showing the locations of Texas Parents members, a photo gallery of members in their Texas Parents t-shirts and a password-protected section detailing member benefits. Staff will launch an additional website in November designed for all UT Austin families.
  • Staff hosted the Texas Parents Ambassadors Council meeting on Sept. 23. They welcomed new council members, discussed the state of the association and brainstormed strategies for improvement.

The Center for Students in Recovery (CSR)

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Soncia Reagins-Lilly (Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs) and Sierra Castedo at the annual open house

  • Staff kicked off the semester by welcoming students, faculty and staff at the annual open house on Sept. 1.
  • CSR hosted the first seminar of a new lecture series called Seminar on Addiction and Recovery (SOAR). This series will take place on the second Thursday of every month through April. See the Events section to see this month’s speaker.
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Sierra Castedo and John Harris at Sober Tailgate

  • In celebration of National Recovery Month, staff hosted the first sober tailgate of the football season on Sept. 10. More than 100 fans enjoyed food, games and live music before the home game against The University of Texas at El Paso. See the photos.
(clockwise from left) Sierra Castedo (The Center for Students in Recovery), Julie McElrath, Lori Holleran Steiker and Jon Mackenzie (University High School), John Harris (The Center for Students in Recovery) and Katie Medlin (University High School) at the Recovery in the Park festival

(clockwise from left) Sierra Castedo (The Center for Students in Recovery), Julie McElrath, Lori Holleran Steiker and Jon Mackenzie (University High School), John Harris (The Center for Students in Recovery) and Katie Medlin (University High School) at the Recovery in the Park festival

University Health Services (UHS)

Sherry Bell shows the influenza vaccine stored in the University Health Services’ facility.

Sherry Bell shows the influenza vaccine stored in the University Health Services’ facility.

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William Mupo and Susan Kirtz at Healthyhorns Fest

  • Staff, students and volunteers celebrated Healthyhorns Fest, an annual event to showcase UHS’ resources and programs. Partnering with dozens of campus partners, students took advantage of interactive activities, like backpack adjustments. They also met with doctors, nurses and staff. See the photos.
  • UHS was recently awarded three HealthPoint Wellness Program mini-grants. Staff used the grant money to build two stress buster stations: a massage chair and an exercise machine to reduce stress and boost energy. UHS also acquired seven workstation platforms that allow staff to sit or stand at their desk.
  • Staff gave families the opportunity to tour UHS during Family Weekend. This gives parents a look at the clinics and departments serving students. Staff also participated in the Great Texas Showcase.

University Unions

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Mulu Ferede officially welcomes patrons to Panda Express in the Texas Union.

  • Staff held a grand opening celebration for Panda Express in the Texas Union on Sept. 14. The event featured prizes, giveaways, free samples and even a dancing lion. Check out the photos.
Wellness

Gary Stackhouse demos the fitness equipment during the open house.

  • Tracy Goodman organized a University Unions Wellness Open House to showcase new fitness equipment purchased through the HealthPoint Wellness Program mini-grant. The event educated staff about wellness opportunities around campus.
  • Campus Events + Entertainment staff are engaging the campus as students kick off the new semester. During the first two weeks of classes, they hosted seven events attended by almost 7,000 students.
  • Student Activity Center staff have displayed the winners of the Through Our Eyes Photography contest in the building. The spring semester’s theme was “How do YOU do Austin?”.
  • During Family Weekend, families took advantage of Movie Night, Family Bowling and Tower Tours. Staff took this opportunity to show parents how the Unions provide centers for student life on campus.