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Division News

Counseling and Mental Health Center

  • Our prevention and outreach unit, the POWER House, has officially merged with University Health Services’ Office of Health Promotion. The combined team will be renamed Longhorn Wellness Center.

New Student Services

  • Our office hosted an Orientation Advisor Retreat so the student team could get to know each other. Staff also shared more information about the upcoming summer orientation sessions.

New Student Services staff retreat

New Student Services staff at their retreat

  • Our staff also took a retreat to strategize for the upcoming orientation season and to plan for future initiatives.
  • Some of our team members attended the university’s Professional Development Day Conference. See which Division staff presented in Standouts below.

Office of the Dean of Students

  • Our Student Activities team partnered with Texas Student Media to host UT Marketplace. The event brings local and national companies to campus to promote products and services to the campus community.
  • Campus-wide Elections will take place March 4–5, with election results announced on March 8. The elections are administered by the Election Supervisory Board and include more than 50 elected student leader positions in Graduate Student Assembly, Student Government, Texas Student Media, University Co-op and University Unions. The filing deadline was Feb. 15; campaigning began Feb. 18 and will continue through March 5.
  • Encourage students to apply by March 22 to serve on the 2019–20 Student Conduct Board. The board works with our Student Conduct and Academic Integrity team to hear evidence, and renders disciplinary decisions for students who have allegedly violated the University’s Institutional Rules.
  • Our Leadership and Ethics Institute team is recruiting a new cohort of students for the Burnt Orange Leadership Development fellowship. This initiative helps students develop marketable skills based on six leadership competency areas. Applications are due April 1. Email for more information.   
  • Their team is also hosting free leadership development workshops that are open to all students.

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

2019 NASPA Annual Conference

  • We invite Division staff to attend the Friends & Alumni Reception on March 11 during the 2019 NASPA Annual Conference
  • Our team is launching the Division of Student Affairs Internship Program this month. This program will give students the opportunity to develop professional skills to support a successful transition from college to career. Division units or departments will provide interns experiences that promote professional and personal development. Applications for summer internships will be available on March 11.
  • Our office held a bowling social for the Student Consultants. This group of students provides feedback to the vice president for student affairs on current campus-related events, programs and policies.
  • Student Government created the Soncia Reagins-Lilly Award for Administrative Excellence to recognize a faculty or staff member who has aided the accomplishment of Student Government initiatives. The award will be presented at a luncheon on April 14. 
  • We partnered with Student Government to host the third annual Improve UT Challenge, a university-wide competition for students to submit ideas that address issues on campus.
  • We are recruiting students and faculty members to participate in a two-part video series, “What I Wish My Students/Professors Knew.” Students and faculty can apply by March 15.
  • Our development team, Heather Guerrero and Alma Garcia, attended the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District III Conference.

Recreational Sports

Longhorn Run

  • Register today for Longhorn Run. Can’t join us on April 13? Register as a virtual runner! You’ll support the effort and receive a race day shirt. 

National Recreational Sports and Fitness Day

  • Our department commemorated National Recreational Sports and Fitness Day on Feb. 22 by offering an array of free activities. This event promoted the health benefits of participating in recreational sports.
  • Several team members attended the NIRSA Annual Conference + Campus Rec & Wellness Expo. Read about the national honor we received in Standouts section below.
  • Our team hosted an open house at Gregory Gym for Explore UT visitors. They will welcome more than 1,000 Austin Independent School District fifth graders to the Recreational Sports Center for Volleyball Play Day.
  • UT Austin faculty/staff can register by March 6 for a day-long Hike & Glass Bottom Boat Tour on March 10. Transportation and lunch will be provided with the registration fee.

Texas Parents

  • We will begin hiring Family Orientation Student Leaders on March 12. These student assistants help our team welcome incoming parents and families to the university during summer orientation sessions.
  • Family Orientation registration and Texas Parents memberships for the 2019–20 year open on March 6.
  • We have wrapped up our annual Brick Paver campaign with 176 brick pavers purchased. We will lay these outside the Student Services Building ahead of Commencement. In honor of students who were lost this year, our office will lay four bricks ahead of UT Remembers in early May.

The Center for Students in Recovery

  • We launched Recovery Ally Training on Feb. 15. The next training will be offered March 29, 1–3 p.m. Sign up or request a training for your group.
  • RSVP to our 15th anniversary celebration by March 15. We are excited to celebrate this milestone at our annual luncheon April 6, noon–2 p.m., AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center’s Tejas Room.

University Health Services

Tulane University colleagues tour the Longhorn Wellness Center

Tulane University colleagues tour the Longhorn Wellness Center

  • We hosted members of Tulane University’s health services team and showed them around our facilities. Our staff gave tours and shared information about our high-risk drinking prevention programs. Our visitors also met with staff from the Counseling and Mental Health Center about the Alcohol and Other Drugs Counseling Program. 
  • Thanks to new radiology equipment, our radiology team can now take higher-resolution digital images.
  • Supporting the university’s green goals, we installed an energy-efficient sterilizer and washer.

University Housing and Dining

Bliss opening

Dr. Marilyn Tyus and Terrell Murrell at the Bliss opening

  • Our dining team opened Bliss, a new Boba tea restaurant on the first floor of Jester West. As part of the grand opening, our social media followers were invited to meet Assistant Vice President Dr. Marilyn Tyus and receive a free drink coupon. Bliss serves Boba tea, fresh-squeezed fruit and vegetable juices and grab-and-go items like sushi and noodle bowls.
  • Our dining teams at J2 and Kins Dining hosted a Mardi Gras Dinner on Feb. 20. Our chefs created a Creole-inspired menu including gumbo, muffuletta sandwiches, king cake and Bananas Foster.

University Unions

  • President Fenves and Dr. Lilly helped our Campus Events+Entertainment team celebrate Valentine’s Day by handing out Crushgrams. Check out the photos.
  • The food truck program is now offering breakfast service.

40 Year Anniversary of Cactus Cafe

  • The Cactus Cafe is celebrating 40 years! We are partnering with KUT to host anniversary shows in Hogg Memorial Auditorium, Texas Union Theatre and Cactus Cafe.
  • Our team hosted free glow bowling and Tower Tours for Explore UT visitors.

Jennifer Zamora at the UT Men’s Basketball game

  • Jennifer Zamora starred as “Slice,” the pizza mascot, at the UT Men’s Basketball game vs. Baylor. She awarded a year’s supply of free pizza to a lucky Longhorn fan. 


New Student Services was awarded a Platinum-level green office certification from Green Offices. This is the second semester in a row the office has received this recognition.

NIRSA 2019

E. J. Patterson and Pete Schaack at NIRSA 2019

Recreational Sports was awarded a NIRSA Outstanding Sports Facilities Award for the renovation of the Charles Alan Wright Fields at the Berry M. Whitaker Sports Complex. 

Several Division staff members presented at the university’s Professional Development Day Conference.

  • Alisha Cahue and Alyssa Ray, Office of the Dean of Students: “Shenanigans 101: How to Create a Positive Office Culture Through Play”; “What the heck is Facilitation?”
  • Marcus Mayes, Office of the Dean of Students, and Chad Zimmerman, Recreational Sports: “Into the Advisor-Verse: A Student Organization Advisor Toolkit for Success”
  • Gerard Smithwrick, University Housing and Dining: “X-Men + Intersectionality + You Culture Room”
  • Dr. Shauna T. Sobers, University Housing and Dining: “Resilience Tree: Growing Pathways for Black Women in Senior Leadership Positions”

Zachary Carter and Gareth White, Counseling and Mental Health Center, presented “Structural Integrity: Therapeutic Relationships with Fat People” at the Texas University and College Counseling Center Conference.

Alyssa Ray (Office of the Dean of Students), Dr. Brandon Jones, Scott Cooke, Dr. Shauna T. Sobers (University Housing and Dining) and seminar instructors Lea Hammer and (front) Nehrwr Abdul-Wahid

Alyssa Ray (Office of the Dean of Students), Dr. Brandon Jones, Scott Cooke, Dr. Shauna T. Sobers (University Housing and Dining) and seminar instructors Lea Hammer and (front) Nehrwr Abdul-Wahid

Scott Cooke, and Drs. Brandon Jones and Shauna Sobers, University Housing and Dining, became Qualified Administrators of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI®) and the Intercultural Conflict Inventory (ICS®). This training gives them the ability to understand and adapt behavior towards others of different or similar cultural backgrounds. 

Drs. Doug Garrard and Ashley Jones, and Jenny Mason, Office of the Dean of Students, participated in a panel discussion during Sorority and Fraternity Life’s IMPACT Retreat.

Clare Jinzhao Zhao and Mark Zentner, Counseling and Mental Health Center, presented “Fishbowl Discussion: Introducing a Training Approach to Increase Cultural Humility” at the Texas University and College Counseling Center Conference.

Haily Mangrum (Virginia Tech) and Darius Jones (Office of the Dean of Students) at the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values conference

Haily Mangrum (Virginia Tech) and Darius Jones (Office of the Dean of Students) at the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values conference

Darius Jones, Office of the Dean of Students, co-presented “It’s A Different World for Culturally Based Greeks Navigating a Predominantly White Institution” at the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values conference with Hailey Mangrum, Virginia Tech. 

Jennifer Speer and Nicole Olmeda, Recreational Sports, presented “Know Your Value, Not Your Price: Effective Corporate Development Strategies for a Collegiate Recreation Program” at the NIRSA National Conference.

Jennifer Zamora, University Unions, was the lead facilitator for Beta Theta Pi Keystone Leadership Conference.

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