Page tree
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Division News

Counseling and Mental Health Center

  • Staff are invited to attend the Mindfulness Meditation Group on Tuesdays, 12:15-12:50 p.m. (or any portion of that time) on the fifth floor of the Student Services Building (SSB).
  • Supporting student safety, mental health and wellness initiatives at 14 University of Texas System institutions, the Board of Regents voted to allocate almost $7.4 million to fund 10 different campus-based programs. Read how this impacts UT Austin’s Counseling and Mental Health Center and other programs across the Division.

New Student Services

  • Staff partnered with Admissions to speak to newly-admitted students and families about orientation during events in Fort Worth, Dallas and San Antonio

Shannon Price at the Orientation Advisor Retreat

  • The department hosted a retreat for orientation advisors (OA) on Feb. 3. The 84 OAs will assist NSS staff with orientation programming this summer. See the photos.
  • The department held a staff retreat on Feb. 16 at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to plan for the summer orientation season.

Ashley Davis at Social Media Week Austin

  • Melissa Porch and Ashley Davis attended Social Media Week Austin Feb. 26–28.
  • Desiree Alva partnered with Teryl McFerrin, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, to honor Horns Helping Horns students at a luncheon on Feb. 9. The students met with UT Austin parent Jim Coronado who was an emancipated student during his time on the Forty Acres. He shared his experience on campus and provided advice to the students.

Office of the Dean of Students


Student Conduct and Academic Integrity is now accepting applications for Student Conduct Board hearing officers (faculty and staff) and members (students). The board hears evidence and renders disciplinary decisions for students who have allegedly violated the University’s Institutional Rules.

  • Student Activities staff partnered with Texas Student Media to hold UT Marketplace on Feb. 28. Vendors offered free food, prizes and other giveaways. The event brought local and national companies to campus to promote products and services to the campus community.

Stacy Neumann (right) in an exercise for Demonstration Response Training.

  • Departments and units can request Demonstration Response Training for their teams. This training helps staff address demonstrations on campus. Email Susan Buckenmeyer to learn more. Groups must have at least four members.
  • The Leadership and Ethics Institute hosted the seventh annual Texas Leadership Summit on Feb. 10. The Summit is the only free leadership development conference open to all UT Austin students. It provides a unique space for students to develop and refine leadership competencies through experiential workshops, breakout sessions and networking.

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

  • The office partnered with Student Government to host the second annual Improve UT Challenge, a university-wide competition for students to submit ideas that address issues on campus. Judges included President Gregory L. Fenves; Carol Longoria and Virginia Luehrsen; Sara Kennedy, Office of the Dean of Students; and Mulu Ferede, University Unions.
  • On Feb. 21 staff hosted two performances of The Defamation Experience for students, staff and faculty.

Sara Kennedy (Office of the Dean of Students), Christian Cabazos (University Housing and Dining) and Beth Waldman (Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost) at the Gallup session

  • Dr. Lilly and Provost Maurie McInnis co-signed an email to campus about the Gallup UT Austin Alumni Survey. Division staff attended sessions with Gallup representatives to discuss the survey.
  • Division staff are invited to attend the Friends & Alumni Reception on March 6 during the 2018 NASPA Annual Conference. View details.
  • As part of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDIâ) initiative, approximately 33 Office of the Dean of Students and 60 Counseling and Mental Health Center staff members, and 55 Sorority and Fraternity Life chapter presidents have taken the inventory, administered a group profile and received individual feedback sessions. 


Jennifer Speer (Recreational Sports) and Marla Craig (Counseling and Mental Health Center)

  • Staff have begun planning for the 2018–2021 Division Strategic Plan. Marla Craig, Counseling and Mental Health Center, and Jennifer Speer, Recreational Sports, will lead the committee. 

Recreational Sports

  • Two free training events are scheduled this month ahead of the Longhorn Run on April 14. Attendees will receive a $5 discount on race registration when registering at a training event.
  • Staff are preparing for the Recreational Sports Job Fair, March 28–29, where they will discuss employment opportunities with student applicants and conduct pre-screenings.

Chris Stewart, Adrienne MacKenzie, Cecilia Lopez Cardenas, X Xue and Briana Peterson try out the new F45 Training

Randall Ford, Van Nguyen, X Xue and Chad Zimmerman at NIRSA Day. 

Texas Parents

  • Family Orientation registration will open on March 7. Texas Parents memberships for the 2018–2019 year also open on March 7.

The Center for Students in Recovery

    • The center hosted Micky Martinelli (Colleges of Natural Sciences and Pharmacy, and Dell Medical School) during the Seminar on Addiction and Recovery (SOAR) on Feb. 28. She spoke about the neurobiological influencers of drug addiction.
    • Staff partnered with the department’s registered student organization, Students for Recovery, to host Sober Spin V-Day Hip Hop Dance Party on Feb. 10. The student group received a Texas Parents Student Organization Grant to host the party.

University Health Services

  • Staff helped fight the flu on campus, diagnosing 351 influenza cases and 294 influenza-like illness cases in January.
  • The Management Team and other staff, as well as Katy Redd, Counseling and Mental Health Center, underwent Productivity Beyond the Information Age training by Effective Edge. This training helps staff increase the efficiency of their communication and keep up with their email inbox each day.
  • The Management Team created a book club and is reading a book about effective management. A different team member is leading the group discussion each month.
  • Some senior staff participated in a doctoral candidate’s communication study investigating the impact of unplanned conversations on productivity at work.

University Housing and Dining

UHD staff showing how they stick to civility.

  • Residence Life staff hosted the inaugural Stick2Civility Week. Activities and social media campaign encouraged residents and staff to create a caring community in service to one another.
  • The department will add four new Living Learning Communities in the on-campus residence halls in fall 2018. Learn more about the new communities: Jefferson Scholars, Joynes Readers & Writers, Terry Scholar and Transfer Student. 

Louis Episcopo, Michael Colom and Adrian Reynoso at the Lunar New Year Dinner

  • Dining staff partnered with the Vietnamese Student Association to host the Lunar New Year Dinner in J2 Dining and Kinsolving on Feb. 7 for 2,300 people. Students enjoyed traditional Vietnamese food and activities about Vietnamese culture.

Lindsay Wilson and Sotear Kuy at the Foodie Pop-up

  • Dining dietitians are hosting a series of Foodie Pop-ups during the spring semester to introduce students to new food experiences. Last month, they featured snacks from around the world, including Asia, Mexico and Italy.
  • The Super Bowl brought residents together in the University Apartments and San Jacinto Residence Hall. They enjoyed food, football and camaraderie.
  • Dining retail locations celebrated Valentine’s Day by offering the sale of heart-shaped sugar cookies and chocolate-covered strawberries.
  • Dining staff will offer special meal pricing for campus visitors during Explore UT on March 3. They expect to serve more than 6,000 people in J2 and Kinsolving Dining.

University Unions


Rendering of the Student Activity Center outdoor patio

  • Unions staff are upgrading the Student Activity Center (SAC) outdoor area to provide more gathering and dining space for students, student organizations and campus visitors. The project will increase the number of seats on the south side of the building from 60 to more than 240. The new area will have power outlets, WiFi, a water fill station and other amenities. Construction completion is scheduled for fall 2018. 
  • Building hours for the Texas Union, Student Services Building and SAC will be shortened during spring break. Check the website for details.
  • Campus Events + Entertainment hosted several successful events last month. They gave out 3,398 Crushgrams on Valentine’s Day, hosted Lunar New Year and performer Todrick Hall.
  • Encourage students to take advantage of Dine with a Prof. The program gives students the ability to apply for a voucher to take a professor or faculty member to lunch or coffee in a Unions dining location.
  • Staff will offer free bowling at the Union Underground and free Tower Tours (limited spaces available) during Explore UT on March 3.


Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Dr. Soncia Reagins-Lilly gave the welcome address at Admissions’ Longhorn Pride: An LGBTQA+ Visit Day. 

Sierra Castedo, The Center for Students in Recovery, participated in a panel, “Stories of Hope,” at Texans Standing Tall Statewide Summit on Feb. 22. 

Dr. Doug Garrard (Office of the Dean of Students, right) receives the University Partner of the Year award.

Dr. Doug Garrard, Office of the Dean of Students, was awarded the University Partner of the Year at the Sigma Phi Epsilon Southwest Region Carlson Leadership Academy.

John Harris, The Center for Students in Recovery, received a Clock Award by Services for Students with Disabilities for excellent care provided to a student with a disability.

Marcus Mayes, Office of the Dean of Students, participated in a panel about advising students during campus-wide elections at the Conference on Student Government Associations.

Teryl McFerrin (Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs) at the Texas Law Leadership Certificate Workshop

Teryl McFerrin, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, presented “Alumni Engagement and Philanthropy” at Texas Law Leadership Certificate Workshop.

Breall Baccus (Title IX Office), Kouang Chan (Office of the Students Ombuds), Scott Hudson (School of Nursing), Black McMillian (Counseling and Mental Health Center), Adam McDonald (UT Health San Antonio) and Bryson Duhon (College of Pharmacy) at the Masculinity at Work: A Panel Discussion

Blake McMillian, Counseling and Mental Health Center, participated in “Masculinity at Work: A Panel Discussion.” Lauren White organized the event through Voices Against Violence’s MasculinUT program.

Rita Miller, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, was selected to serve on the College to Career Governing Committee. This committee will oversee a new initiative developed from the findings of the College to Career Task Force.

Katy Redd, Counseling and Mental Health Center, presented “Self-care and Leadership: 8 Practices to Sustain You for the Long Haul” at the Leadership and Ethics Institute’s Texas Leadership Summit. 

Dr. Shauna Sobers (University Housing and Dining) at TedxAustin

Dr. Shauna Sobers, University Housing and Dining, presented at the TedxAustin event on Feb. 10. Her presentation was about how the principles of Latin partnered dance can be translated into leadership within organizations. 

Kyle St. Nicholas, New Student Services, received a Dean of Students Staff Spotlight Award. This award recognizes work ethic and initiative.

Staff who presented at the 2018 Professional Development Day Conference:

Rebecca Marcus, Kendall Greer and Amy Hendrickson (New Student Services) at Professional Development Day

Kendall Greer, Amy Hendrickson and Rebecca Marcus, New Student Services: “Financially Independent Students and Former Foster Youth in Higher Education” 

Sara Kennedy (Office of the Dean of Students) at Professional Development Day

“A Tip of the Hat to…”

Dan Brisley, Nick Parras and Cooper Roe, University Unions, who received this thank-you note from The Institute for Cellular & Molecular Biology.

“Dan and Cooper were AMAZING to work with. They made a really stressful event SUPER easy, and I wanted to drop you a line to tell you they did wonderful work. Many thanks to you and your team!”

…Marcus Mayes, Office of the Dean of Students, for these kudos from the Campus Environmental Center:

“From all of us at the Campus Environmental Center at UT Austin, thank you for your support this semester! Thank you for helping us integrate our programs into the Pillars of the Forty Acres points system and for working with us to gain points and recognition ourselves. We look forward to working our way through the ranks in the coming semesters! Thanks again, here’s to a great 2018!”

Office of the Dean of Students staff who received this thank-you note from University Events for their Orange Santa contribution.

“We wanted to thank you and your colleagues so much for your contributions to Orange Santa this year. The addition of so many bicycles made the raffle an impressive part of the event. With your assistance, 29 families received bicycles in the raffle! That generosity will continue to be felt for years, as many children learn to ride those bikes. Thank you for imparting such long-lasting joy! We know that buying and building the bicycles is not an instant process, and thank you for all the time and creativity you gave this project. We appreciate your warm and generous holiday spirits!”

  • No labels