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Center for Students in Recovery

  • Sign up for virtual Recovery Ally Training on Feb. 12, 10-11 a.m. This training is designed to reduce stigma toward people with addiction or who are in recovery, and to increase awareness about the millions of individuals living in healthy recovery across the country.
  • On Feb. 2, March 2 and April 6, we’ll invite speakers to our weekly recovery support group: Campus Open Recovery. These speakers will share their experience, strength and hope to benefit our students in recovery.
  • Follow our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for our new Recovery Tips series. These posts provide practical tips to support the recovery of our students.

Counseling and Mental Health Center

  • We are now able to offer mental health services to students outside of Texas and the U.S. through My Student Support Program (My SSP). Students can visit our telehealth webpage to get started.
  • Our Longhorn Wellness Center team is partnering with the Sanger Learning Center to host the Leading and Learning Student Educator Forum on Feb. 20. Student educators, peer mentors and advisors will develop leadership skills during this free virtual forum. Encourage students to register by Feb. 19.
  • Our clinical staff participated in an all-day training on Jan. 14 with a Diversity Awareness and Education Committee presentation, as well as one about the assessment and treatment of eating disorders.
  • Our entire team gathered on Jan. 13 for Virtual Organizational Day. They heard about our new programs and initiatives, including My SSP, as well as updates from the Longhorn Wellness Center.

New Student Services

Welcome Bash

Sarah Remelius (Vice President for Student Affairs) and Callie Smith at the Welcome Bash

  • We welcomed 569 students to the Forty Acres during virtual Spring Orientation Jan. 11-12. Then, students attended virtual and in-person events for Spring Welcome, Jan. 12-Feb. 1. We partnered with University Housing and Dining and Vice President for Student Affairs to host the Welcome Bash on Feb. 1.
  • We partnered with the First Year on Forty Task Force for the Texas ’24 Longhorn Window Serenade. Faculty, staff and departments participated by decorating their windows and posting a photo to social media in support of first-year students.
  • Our sixth-annual RISE Summit set a new attendance record, helping over 130 students strengthen their leadership skills and develop strategies to succeed.

Office of the Dean of Students

  • Students can apply to Summer 2021 Division of Student Affairs Internship Program by Feb. 14. There are over 30 positions posted to HireUTexas.
  • Filing for Campus-wide Elections is open until Feb. 11.
  • Encourage students to apply for the Glenn Maloney Scholarship by Feb. 9.
  • As part of Spring Welcome, we are hosting a virtual Student Organization Fair Feb. 1-4, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., via Hornslink.
  • Outdoor space reservations are now open for Spring 2021. Encourage student organizations to submit their reservations early so the Student Activities team can set up their event consultations.
  • Students tuned in to our Instagram channel for the Leadership and Ethics Institute’s Longhorn Leadership Chat on Jan. 25.
  • Student Emergency Services developed a new virtual workshop series: Resiliency 101. They held Building Personal Resilience on Jan. 21.

Zeta Tau Alpha MLK Service Presentation

Zeta Tau Alpha members attended a virtual presentation from Margaret Randle, retired educator and community activist, during the Virtual MLK Day of Service. 

  • Our Sorority and Fraternity Life team partnered with the Center for Community Engagement on the Virtual MLK Day of Service on Jan. 18.
  • Last semester, the Sorority and Fraternity Life team launched the Achieved Excellence program to recognize chapters’ Commitment to Cultural Consciousness: Leadership Development, Risk Management and Safety, and Service, Philanthropy and Community Impact.
  • Please view the updated Demonstration Guideline Webpage and PDF with COVID-19 information, alternative demonstration formats and expressions at UT Austin.

Recreational Sports

  • All RecSports facilities are now open with spring semester hours.
  • The F45 Training Studio in the Recreational Sports Center has reopened for in-person classes as part of TeXercise on Campus.
  • Register now to receive early bird pricing for our virtual Longhorn Run 2021 on April 17.
  • We invited students and RecSports members to enjoy free access to our TeXercise on Demand classes during Try Before You Buy, Jan. 19–31.
  • Our team welcomed new Longhorns to the Forty Acres during Spring Welcome with a Get Hooked on RecSports event featuring a series of complimentary virtual and in-person group exercise classes.
  • We participated in UT First Generation Week by offering a virtual TeXercise class and a virtual panel conversation, First-Gen in Sports, both led by first-generation RecSports student staff members.
  • We released A Look Back on 2020 with RecSports blog, and invite all fellow Division staff to read it for a concise summary of the events and activities that shaped our year.

Texas Parents

Samantha Martinez de Alonso (University Housing and Dining), Kyle St. Nicholas (New Student Services) and David Vander Straten (University Health Services)

Samantha Martinez de Alonso (University Housing and Dining), Kyle St. Nicholas (New Student Services) and David Vander Straten (University Health Services)

  • Samantha Martinez de Alonso, Kyle St. Nicholas and David Vander Straten are this year’s Texas Parents Staff Merit Award recipients. Division staff recognized these team members at the Team Appreciation and Celebration on Jan. 27. 
  • Texas Parents welcomed 176 families of incoming freshman and transfer students at Spring Online Family Orientation Jan. 11-13.

University Health Services

  • We have added new off-campus locations for Proactive Community Testing to serve students living west of campus. Students, faculty and staff can schedule an appointment to get a COVID-19 test Mondays-Thursdays.
  • We are collaborating with UT Health Austin and Dell Medical School, College of Pharmacy, School of Nursing, Steve Hicks School of Social Work, and Office of Campus Safety to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • We are partnering with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health on TexasCARES. The study provides up to three free COVID-19 antibody tests to people ages five–80, to better understand the human antibody response to COVID-19.
  • Our team gathered for Virtual Organizational Day on Jan. 14, which began with Dell Medical School’s 2021 Ken Shine Prize Lecture with Dr. Anthony S. Fauci. Staff also participated in Title IX and interactive safety trainings.

University Housing and Dining

Student Activity Center Coffee Shop

Stanley Sutton at the William C. Powers, Jr. Student Activity Center Coffee Shop

  • As part of a new Division initiative, University Housing and Dining and University Unions have opened a new coffee shop in the William C. Powers, Jr. Student Activity Center with expanded grab-and-go food options. More dining venues will be available later in the semester. 
  • View dining locations, menus and hours of operation.
  • Students, faculty and staff can now use GET™️ online and mobile platform to order ahead at selected venues.
  • Living in the university’s 14 on-campus residence halls for the spring semester is conditional on residents getting a COVID-19 test.

Chili Cookout

Matthew Foster and Leticia Perez at the Chili Cookout 

  • The dining team hosted a chili cookout on Jan. 28 at J2 and Kins Dining. 
  • We hosted Recharge, a student leadership summit, on Jan. 24.
  • Resident Assistant Training took place Jan. 11-15.

Give Thanks Tree at J2 Dining

Give Thanks Tree at J2 Dining

  • We encouraged students to give back with our Give Thanks program Nov. 12-24. Students wrote 692 thankful messages that appeared on Give Thanks Trees, and our department donated a meal to a Longhorn through the UT Outpost for each message. 
  • Check out the LI.V.E. (Leadership Innovation Ventures and Entrepreneurship) Podcast with Dr. Brandon Jones.

University Unions

  • As part of a new Division initiative, University Housing and Dining and University Unions have opened a new coffee shop in the William C. Powers, Jr. Student Activity Center with expanded grab-and-go food options. More dining venues will be available later in the semester.
  • The Texas Union is currently closed for maintenance. Please keep an eye on our social media for reopening updates.
  • We have begun the Hogg Memorial Auditorium renovation project, with construction starting Fall 2021. The building will be offline for reservations until Spring 2023.

Holiday Thank You

Mulu Ferede, Jeff Sladcik, Claudette Campbell, Debbie Dillingham, Sophia Spera, Wesley Barnett, David Anthony, Sean Morrogh and Nick Parras at Holiday Thank You

  • We celebrated our staff at a drive-through Holiday Thank You event on Dec. 18 at Winship Circle.

Vice President for Student Affairs

  • Mark your calendar for the 2021 NASPA Virtual Conference, March 17-26. Vicki Wooten is serving on the Kansas City Experience Subcommittee focusing on infusing Indigenous culture into the conference.
  • Save the date for Our Texas, the university’s annual fundraising campaign, March 1-5, including 40 Hours for the Forty Acres and Thanks Day.
  • Check out the Division Events Calendar for a lineup of student-facing events to help Longhorns connect with the university.
  • Our office will host Texas Talks Feb. 17, March 10 and April 21, 6 p.m. This speaker series is a partnership with the Multicultural Engagement Center. Stay tuned on our social media channels for speaker announcements.

Division of Student Affairs Team Appreciation Celebration

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Soncia Reagins-Lilly hosts the Team Appreciation and Celebration.

Student Affairs Leadership Team meeting

January Student Affairs Leadership Team meeting

  • The Student Affairs Leadership Team kicked off the new year at the monthly meeting on Jan. 13. 
  • Take a look at our Semester in Review video celebrating the Division of Student Affairs teamwork during the fall semester.

Best Sweater Contest participants

Best Sweater Contest participants

  • Division staff had some fun participating in December’s Best Sweater Contest.

Burnt Orange Wonderland

Dr. Lilly, Robert Valdez, Rachel Cohen-Ford, Allison Johnson and Jordan Moncivaiz at Burnt Orange Wonderland

Standouts

Texas Parents Staff Merit Award Recipients

Samantha Martinez de Alonso (University Housing and Dining), Kyle St. Nicholas (New Student Services) and David Vander Straten (University Health Services) 

Samantha Martinez de Alonso, University Housing and Dining, Kyle St. Nicholas, New Student Services, and David Vander Straten, University Health Services, are this year’s Texas Parents Staff Merit Award recipients. Division staff recognized these team members at the Team Appreciation and Celebration on Jan. 27.

Chomrudee Chaluyrat (University Housing and Dining) Kyle St. Nicholas (New Student Services)

Chomrudee Chaluyrat (University Housing and Dining) and Kyle St. Nicholas (New Student Services)

Chomrudee Chaluyrat, University Housing and Dining, and Kyle St. Nicholas, New Student Services, won the Division’s Best Sweater Contest during Vice President for Student Affairs Office Hours on Dec. 7. 

Marla Craig, Counseling and Mental Health Center, interviewed with Hearth & Soul on an Instagram Live (@hearthsoulatx) for their charitable partner spotlight. The local clothing store is donating some proceeds to the center this month.

Justin Galicz and Q’Anteria Roberson, Recreational Sports, were named Social Media Finalists in the University Excellence in Communications Awards for their RecSports Class of 2020 Stories.

Susan Hochman, Counseling and Mental Health Center and University Health Services, and Melissa Loe, Financial and Administrative Services, gave several presentations on the university COVID-19 vaccine distribution communications plan to groups across campus.

Brandon Jones, University Housing and Dining, was a speaker for the Power Center Academy High National Honors Society Virtual Speaker Series in November.

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Soncia Reagins-Lilly welcomed new Longhorn families via video message during Family Orientation Jan. 8-11.

Ashley Richardson, New Student Services, provided Autism and Neurodiversity Awareness Training to Student Success Initiatives staff and student mentors.

Autism and Neurodiversity Awareness Training

 Ashley Richardson (top row, second from left) with Student Success Initiatives staff and student mentors at the Autism and Neurodiversity Awareness Training

Joe Wise at Camping World Stadium

Joe Wise at Camping World Stadium

Joe Wise, Recreational Sports, was selected to officiate a championship game for The Spring League, an elite professional football development league. Fox Sports 1 televised the game held in Orlando, Fla.

Staff Shoutouts

These shoutouts are submitted by department communicators. Three per department per month. Please coordinate with your department communicator if you would like to submit a staff member to be featured. 

Allison Johnson, Joe Lloyd and Gerard Smithwrick, known as the University Housing and Dining COVID Response Team, have supported staff and students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ve been the Residence Life point of contact on the department’s policies, protocols and procedures. As complex coordinators, they work with University Health Services and Student Emergency Services to support residents in the university’s 14 on-campus residence halls who test positive for COVID-19 and need to self-isolate off campus. 

Holiday Thank You

Kathy Saeidi and Mulu Ferede at the Holiday Thank You

Katayoun “Kathy” Saeidi, University Unions, is retiring from the Business Services team after 25 years of service. 

“A Tip of the Hat to…”

This section includes thank-you messages sent to our Division staff by a third party (student organization, campus partner, parent, donor, etc. not from another Division staff member). Please coordinate with your department communicator if you receive a thank-you message you would like to submit for this section.

…the New Student Services team, who received this thank-you note from a Lewisville, Texas, teacher…

"Thank you to New Student Services and the broader UT community for the generous donation of t-shirts to our Durham Middle School AVID students. I so appreciate that you all value first-generation students, and our first-generation AVID students will show their Longhorn spirit with pride!" (photo)

…the University Health Services team, who received a series of thank-notes from members of Delta Epsilon Mu, a co-ed fraternity for students pursuing health care careers…

"We wanted to undertake this project to express our gratitude for all of your time and effort towards the COVID-19 relief effort, and echo a sentiment many longhorns across campus share but do not get the chance to express. Also as pre-health students, we are striving to one day emulate the health care you all have tirelessly provided for us this semester. We felt the best way to express our gratitude was through handwritten letters from each of our members. As we circumvent these unprecedented times, the services provided by the University Health Services staff have helped keep our campus safer and healthier. If it weren’t for the services provided by you all, this semester may have not even been possible. So once again, thank you all for your sacrifices during this pandemic!"


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