Division News

Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC)

Natalia Peddycoart (Counseling and Mental Health Center), Alyssa Ray (Office of the Dean of Students), Marian Trattner (Counseling and Mental Health Center), Marilyn Russell (Office of the Dean of Students) and Becky Kester (College of Natural Sciences) at the BeVocal Retreat

  • CMHC staff partnered with Division and campus staff to host the BeVocal Retreat. BeVocal is a university-wide initiative to educate Longhorns on how to prevent high-risk behavior and harm. Partners included College of Natural Sciences, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Moody College of Communication, International Office, Office of the President and Office of the Student Ombuds.
  • Staff attended an all-day mindfulness training at CMHC. They learned how to incorporate more mindfulness practices into their work with students.

Housing and Food Service (DHFS)


Ashley Montgomery and Cynthia Lew at Longhorn Neighborhood during Family Orientation

  • Staff members are supporting Texas Parents by educating families at Longhorn Neighborhood during Family Orientation’s check-in at Gregory Gym. They are sharing information about nutrition services, dining options, Bevo Bucks and the new Commuter Meal Plan.
  • Staff can support the DHFS team by volunteering during Mooov-In on Aug. 25. Sign up before Aug. 7.
  • DHFS staff hosted colleagues from Tecnológico de Monterrey. They spent time discussing operations and student life. The visit provided an opportunity for staff to engage on contemporary issues facing students with our colleagues at an international university.

LT Robinson, Mylon Kirksy, Justin Samuel, Nicole Burke, Shauna Sobers, Justin Jaskowiak, Stephanie Halley, Aaron Voyles and Gloria Allen at their retreat

  • The Residence Life Leadership Team held its summer retreat, reviewing plans and programs for the upcoming academic year.

Joselyn Salazar, Ashley Montgomery and Cynthia Lew at the Business Services retreat

  • Business Services staff held an annual retreat where staff participated in team-building activities, learned about DHFS’ core values and connected with their 30-member team.

Joselyn Salazar, Dylan Santurri, Ashley Mongomery, Cynthia Lew, Christian Cabazos and Juan Paiz at their retreat

  • The marketing team held its first retreat, inviting representatives from across the department to learn how to better serve each area.

Food Service

Nije Lane, Melissa Smithey, Neil Kaufman and Julie Lekstutis at UT Farm Stand

New Student Services (NSS)

Shiloh Modisett, Shannon Price, Ashley Davis, Kyle St. Nicholas, Desiree Alva and Celena Mondie-Milner at the Flawn Academic Center during Freshman Orientation

  • Staff have hosted four Freshman Orientation and one Transfer Orientation. Students will attend five more sessions before summer ends. New students received a warm welcome thanks to orientation advisors and Dean’s Squad volunteers.
  • NSS is offering a virtual campus tour at the Longhorn Lounge. Check out a sneak peek of the experience on Facebook.
  • Online surveys have already been sent to freshman and transfer students so that staff can assess their experience after each session.
  • Check out the UT Orientation Storify to see highlights from Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat posts.
  • Planning is underway for Longhorn Welcome, which begins with Mooov-In on Aug. 25. The signature events have been finalized and will be updated on the website in August.

Office of the Dean of Students (DoS)

  • Staff are hosting three Discover UT orientation sessions: “Add a Chapter to Your Life: Discover Sororities and Fraternities at UT Austin!”, “Develop Your Leadership Skills on The Forty Acres” and “Find Your Fit: Connect with Campus Clubs.”
  • Student Activities staff coordinate two student organization fairs and nights of evening programming during Freshman Orientation. Take a tour of the resource fair.
  • Encourage students to sign up for the Leadership and Ethics Institute’s Leadership Education and Progress (LEAP). This six-week workshop series helps first-year and transfer students establish a professional network, receive coaching from upperclassmen and learn leadership practices from staff and community leaders.
  • Stacy Neumann attended NASPA’s Closing the Achievement Gap: Student Success in Higher Education in Washington, DC June 15-17.
  • Susan Buckenmeyer attended the Texas Student Activities Directors annual meeting at Baylor University.

Doug Garrard addresses the crowd at Evening of the Stars.

  • Check out the photos from Evening of the Stars. Staff host this annual event to honor student organizations and student leaders for their accomplishments.

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA)

Soncia Reagins-Lilly behind the scenes of Title IX’s video shoot

  • Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Soncia Reagins-Lilly partnered with Title IX to create a video about the office’s services. President Fenves, Associate VP for Student Affairs and CMHC Director Chris Brownson and Sorority and Fraternity Life Director Marilyn Russell also appear in the video.

Let Us Know committee members Eric Stoutner (Recreational Sports), Araceli Nieto (Office of the Dean of Students), Celena Mondie-Milner (New Student Services) and Virginia Luehrsen (Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs)

  • The Let Us Know committee has completed the focus group meetings and gathering data. They plan to release a report at the end of the summer.
  • Rita Thornton is leading efforts to write a preliminary report as chair of the College to Career Task Force’s data subcommittee. VPSA staff partnered with the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost on this effort out of their office. They will release the full report next month.
  • Thanks to the Division Assessment Plan Group for submitting 18 assessment reports to the Office of Institutional Accreditation and Effectiveness (IAE) to meet the June 1 deadline. A special note of appreciation goes to all the department and unit assessment liaisons for making this deadline a priority.
  • The Student Affairs Leadership Team will not be meeting in July. Staff will reconvene Aug. 9 in the Texas Union Quadrangle Room.

Recreational Sports (RecSports)

RecSports Staff

Darci Doll, Adrienne MacKenzie, Cecilia Lopez Cardenas and Chad Zimmerman in Gregory Gym

  • RecSports welcomed new incoming freshmen and transfer students during Discover UT sessions. They also offered new weekly late-night programming on day two of Freshman Orientation from 10 p.m.–midnight. Get Hooked on RecSports featured access to the climbing wall, Zumba, yoga and Sport Club recruitment fair. Students also took advantage of demos, free samples from Shake Smart, and games and giveaways at Amazon@UTexas.
  • Staff also welcomed family members to Gregory Gym during Texas Parents’ Family Orientation. They participated in the Longhorn Neighborhood in the gym concourse during check-in and hosted informational sessions for families in the afternoon.

Health and Lifestyle Expo

  • All current and retired faculty and staff are invited to RecSports’ annual Health and Lifestyle Expo July 25, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. in the Gregory Gym Annex. Human Resources partners to host the event that features annual enrollment information, giveaways, healthy food samples and wellness information.

Texas Parents

Susie Smith addresses families during Family Orientation.

  • Staff have hosted five orientation sessions for freshman and transfer families. Families will attend four more sessions before the summer ends.
  • Staff will distribute the Next Steps eNewsletter to families on July 15, 29 and Aug. 12. This resource provides incoming freshman and transfer families with campus information before their student arrives in August.
  • Texas Parents memberships for the 2017-2018 year are available in both the supporting and the new complimentary U-Touch categories. Staff are busy welcoming new UT Austin families to the association.
  • Save the date for this year’s Family Weekend Oct. 27-29. Departments and units interested in hosting a Family Weekend event or participating in the Great Texas Showcase should email Shannon Cantlay.

The Center for Students in Recovery (CSR)

  • Staff are busy getting ready for the upcoming academic year. They are planning events such as their annual Open House, Sober Tailgate and Seminar on Addiction and Recovery (SOAR).
  • Recovery meetings in the CSR space are ongoing throughout the summer. Check out the schedule.

University Health Services (UHS)

  • UHS began conducting special clinics for students who are not native English speakers. This workshop includes information about university-required medical clearance, tuberculosis testing and vaccinations. Staff proudly welcome students with diverse backgrounds to campus. International students often make their first stop on campus the UHS facility.
  • Jamie Shutter, Gabe Garcia and Dr. David Vander Straten gave 50 Dell Medical School students a tour of the facility last month. This tour is part of the students’ orientation. This is the school’s second group of incoming students.

University Unions

  • Staff hosted the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) “Drive-In Facility Tour and Roundtable Discussion.” They offered facility tours to 30 professionals from eight campuses across the state. DoS staff joined the group for lunch to discuss current higher education issues.
  • Staff opened a new food concept in the Texas Union. Revolución Taco will service Mexican favorites, brought to you by the owners of Zen.
  • While renovations are underway this summer at the Texas Union food court, University Unions Catering is offering a daily lunch buffet in the former convenient store space. Staff, faculty and students can enjoy lunch for $6.95.
  • The food trucks on Speedway Mall will be open until 7 p.m. during the week over the summer. Check out which trucks will be here each week.
  • Jennifer Zamora attended the Texas Student Activities Directors annual meeting at Baylor University.