Division News

Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC)

  • CMHC is partnering with the College of Liberal Arts’ Department of Psychology to help students share their feelings of gratitude. They are creating a large-scale journal for students to write about things for which they are grateful. The project, launching this fall, will help faculty and staff evaluate the impact of gratitude on a student’s well-being and academic success.
  • Staff are busy planning the 9th annual Suicide Prevention Week Sept. 9–15 hosted by CMHC’s Be That One. Suicide Prevention Program. Students work alongside staff to plan educational and promotional events.
  • Voices Against Violence staff will offer a new workshop to students in the fall that explores the intersections of interpersonal violence and LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) relationships.
  • The MasculinUT: Healthy Masculinities Project, a project by CMHC’s Voices Against Violence, will be launching a poster campaign this fall to help students expand restrictive ideas of masculinity and promote healthy relationships. MasculinUT is a collaboration between UT Austin departments and student organizations with the goal of increasing acceptance of gender diversity and preventing interpersonal violence.

Housing and Food Service (DHFS)


2017 Mooov In

  • Staff can support the DHFS team by volunteering during Mooov-In on Aug. 25-26, the annual kick-off event for Longhorn Welcome. Volunteer responsibilities range from moving student belongings and giving directions to guiding students and families with information and resources for Mooov-In. Sign up by Aug. 7.

Living Learning Communities

  • Staff are excited to open five Living Learning Communities this fall. These highly anticipated residential communities integrate academic and social learning through faculty and staff involvement, and holistic education. Read recent stories about the Healthy Lifestyles community.
  • Housing has reached capacity with permanent bed spaces. Staff have begun issuing supplemental contracts — spaces in the residence halls, such as common areas, that are converted to living space.

Food Service

Food Forward

Dustin Hamby at Food Forward

  • The culinary staff participated in Forward Food training, a two-day hands-on culinary experience. Creating and presenting plant-based food options, 23 staffers will bring the adapted recipes to the residential dining halls this fall. 
  • Food Service staff provided 10,797 box lunches to students participating in the summer orientations through Forty Acres Catering. They offered an expanded menu for students with dietary restrictions, including gluten-free, vegan and lactose-free lunches.

New Student Services (NSS)

  • Take a look at the signature events during Longhorn Welcome and help promote them to students. NSS will host “Lost in Austin” on Aug. 27. Housing and Food Service, Recreational Sports and University Unions are also hosting events.
  • Staff hosted nearly 7,900 freshmen during six Freshman Orientation sessions and nearly 1,700 transfer students during three Transfer Orientation sessions so far this summer.
  • Staff will host August Orientation later this month for 700 students who were unable to attend a June or July session.
NSS Staff

Front row: Ashley Davis, Desiree Alva, Jennifer Carter, Celena Mondie-Milner; back row: Kyle St. Nicholas, Shannon Price and Shiloh Modisett at the Orientation Advisor Banquet

  • New Student Services celebrated their team of more than 80 orientation advisors at the annual Orientation Advisor Banquet.

Office of the Dean of Students (DoS)

  • Staff can support Student Activities by reminding student organizations that they can only table on the east side of Speedway. The west side of the path must be clear for pedestrians and emergency access.
  • Please encourage students to apply for the Leadership and Ethics Institute’s Leadership Education and Progress (LEAP). This six-week workshop series builds students leadership skills and prepares them for life after the Forty Acres. Through the program, students will establish a professional network of peers, receive coaching from upperclassmen, and learn leadership practices from UT Austin staff and community leaders.

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA)

Donna Bellinghausen Retirement

VPSA staff at Donna Bellinghausen’s retirement party

  • Division staff and campus partners celebrated Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Donna Bellinghausen’s four-decade career at a retirement party last month. Read about her years of service.

  • Save the date for the Vice President for Student Affairs Kickoff at the Division-wide Staff Meeting on Sept. 13 in the Texas Union Ballroom. Doors open at 8 a.m. Light breakfast will be served. Please coordinate with your supervisor to participate.
  • The Student Affairs Leadership Team (SALT) will reconvene on Aug. 9 in the Texas Union Quadrangle Room.
Kevin Durant Visit

Virginia Luehrsen (right) with Daron Roberts (Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation) and President Gregory Fenves at the Kevin Durant Basketball ProCamp

  • VPSA partnered with the Center for Sports Leadership & Innovation to co-sponsor the Kevin Durant Basketball ProCamp. The National Basketball Association (NBA) player and UT Austin alum led the two-day camp in Gregory Gym.
Teryl Mcferrin Parent Conference

Teryl McFerrin (right) with Tori Kapenik (Texas A&M University) at the 2017 Parent Fundraising Conference

Recreational Sports (RecSports)

RecSports staff

Rhonda Cox, Joe Wise, Phoebe Wainwright and Norma Serrato at the Health & Lifestyle Expo

  • RecSports partnered with UT Austin’s Human Resources to host the annual Health & Lifestyle Expo. Current and retired faculty and staff learned ways to live a healthy lifestyle from more than 100 exhibitors.
  • Staff are getting ready to kick off the academic year when classes begin. There will be an influx of registrants for activities, group exercise, instructional classes, adventure trips and the Climbing Wall.

Party on the Plaza

  • RecSports is teaming up with NSS to sponsor two signature events for Longhorn Welcome. The annual RecSports Warm Up and Party on the Plaza provide food, fun, prizes and information about RecSports to new and returning students.
  • Full-time staff will welcome new student employees on Aug. 25 at Fall Kickoff, an orientation and training session. RecSports facilities will delay opening until noon.

Texas Parents

Reed Rallojay at Family Orientation

Reed Rallojay at Family Orientation

  • Staff hosted more than 7,800 family members at six Family Orientation sessions and more than 1,200 attendees at three Transfer Family Welcome Sessions so far this summer. 
Laurie Alvarado Texas Parents

Laurie Alvarado (right) at Transfer Family Orientation

Mooov In Postcard

Parents write postcards to their Longhorn at Mooov-In 2016.

  • Texas Parents will support DHFS at Mooov-in by providing resources and information to parents. They will also provide postcards for parents to write notes to their students that staff deliver to their residence hall mailboxes.
  • All UT Austin parents are invited to connect with other families at the second annual Texas Parents Mooov-In Parent Mixer. RSVP is required.
  • Staff distributed two issues of the Next Steps Newsletter to incoming freshman and transfer families in July. The final issue will go out this month.
  • Staff are gearing up for Family Weekend. More details about how departments can participate will be available at the beginning of the fall semester.

The Center for Students in Recovery (CSR)

  • Save the date for the CSR Open House on Sept. 6. Staff will share information about programs and services available to students. Division staff, campus partners and students are welcome. Refreshments will be served.
  • Staff are busy planning the Seminar on Addiction and Recovery (SOAR). This series invites UT Austin and community partners to visit the CSR space to speak to students. Look for more details soon.

University Health Services (UHS)

  • Staff came together during Organizational Day and Staff Development Day to prepare for the upcoming academic year. They discussed new initiatives and programs that will help provide service to students.
  • UHS provided service to international students through an immunization and tuberculosis screening clinic. These clinics are critical to provide the required medical clearance for international students to register for classes.

University Unions

  • As part of Longhorn Welcome’s signature events, staff will host Beat the Heat on Aug. 26. View details in the Events section.
  • Staff can now place their orders for the 2017–18 University Unions calendars.
  • The Texas Union food court renovations will be completed this month just in time for the fall semester. Revolución Taco is a new option for students, faculty and staff. Chick-Fil-A and Field of Greens will return with a new look this fall.
  • Hogg Memorial Auditorium and Student Activity Center staff partnered with NSS and Texas Parents staff to provide service to students and families during summer orientation programs. Unions staff extended the food truck hours so students could enjoy more food options.