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Division News

Counseling and Mental Health Center

  • Longhorn Wellness Center staff hosted the fourth annual Mental Health Promotion Week, April 8–12. This campus-wide week of events focused on promoting positive emotional well-being, emphasizing the benefits of exploring mindfulness, community, diversity and inclusion, and self-care.
  • Our Voices Against Violence team hosted seven events during Sexual Violence Prevention Month, including Take Back the Night. This annual event supports survivors of sexual violence and illuminates the movement to end sexual violence. Theatre for Dialogue also hosted a Get Sexy. Get Consent. workshop.
  • BeVocal celebrated their fifth birthday on April 26.

the annual Sundaes

Terri Bohuslav, Susan Hochman and Chris Brownson serve up sundaes to Blake Grugett and Sherry Bell at the annual Sundaes on Thursday.

  • Our department leadership served up smiles and sundaes during our annual event for staff, sundaes March 28. This event allows staff time to come together, as well as an opportunity for leadership to thank the team.

New Student Services

  • Our team hosted the Academic Counselors Association meeting on April 3. Staff presented orientation information and answered questions about the summer sessions.
  • We held a second Orientation Advisor Retreat on April 13 to prepare our student leaders for orientation this summer.
  • We are inviting UT Austin faculty and staff to wear our “Ask Me!” buttons this summer. This campaign helps new students and their families navigate the Forty Acres while on campus for orientation programs. Fill out this Qualtrics survey if you are interested in wearing a button.
  • Our office will host seven Freshman Orientation sessions and three Transfer Orientation sessions for incoming students during June and July. We will host an additional session for freshman and transfer students August 20-22 for students unable to attend the June or July sessions.
  • Our office is offering a new leadership opportunity to students who want to help welcome new students to the university. These volunteers will support the 12 signature events during Longhorn Welcome, a series of events Aug. 23-Sept. 7 to introduce new students to UT Austin.
  • Melissa Porch attended the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Social Media and Community Conference.

Office of the Dean of Students

  • Sorority and Fraternity Life thank staff across the Division who supported Horns Against Hazing: The Invisible Side. This hazing prevention event brought together 471 students for the keynote address and eight student organizations participated in a special workshop for spirit and service organizations.
  • On May 7 student organizations can begin reserving outdoor spaces, general purpose classrooms and marketing spaces in the Student Activity Center, Texas Union, Student Services Building and 2609 University Ave. The process opens for staff and faculty organizations on May 14. Staff and faculty can reserve outdoor space 364 days prior to the event date. Student Activities manages these requests in partnership with the University Unions. 
  • The Leadership and Ethics Institute is holding a final leadership development workshop of the semester that is open to and free for all students. Students are required to RSVP for Success Through Resilience, May 7, 5-6 p.m., Student Activity Center (SAC) 3.102C.

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

Evening of the Stars

Dr. Lilly at Evening of the Stars

  • On April 12, we partnered with the Office of the Dean of Students to celebrate student leaders with alumni and friends at the 13th Annual Evening of the Stars. The banquet celebrated the recipients of 36 awards and scholarships, recognizing the outstanding achievements of the university’s 1,100 student organizations. 

True Colors

True Colors® facilitators: Dylan Smith (University Unions), Edna Dominguez (Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs), Jennifer Zamora (University Unions), Nicole Olmeda (Recreational Sports), Katy Redd (Counseling and Mental Health Center/University Health Services), Brooke Bulow (Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs) and Marilyn Russell (Office of the Dean of Students) (Esmer Bedia, KJ Harris and Adrienne MacKenzie not pictured)

  • Our team will also host four sessions of True Colors®: Keys to Personal Success May 1, 9–11 a.m., 1:30–3:30 p.m., and May 2, 10 a.m.–noon, 1:30–3:30 p.m., Texas Union Quadrangle Room. Staff new to the Division since April 2018 can register on UT Learn.
  • Our team is hosting chief student affairs officers from Big XII schools May 6–8. The group will discuss current issues in higher education as well as explore the Forty Acres and Austin.

Graduation Playlist to the Class of 2019

  • Our office will present the Graduation Playlist to the Class of 2019 on May 20. 

The Division of Student Affairs Internship Program

Recreational Sports

Longhorn Run

Longhorn Run 2019

  • We thank the 4,444 participants who registered for the Longhorn Run, the 500+ volunteers, the student committee and everyone involved in producing the race. Unfortunately, the 10K race was cut short, and the 5K and post-race festivities were canceled due to lightning. See photos.
  • Our staff partnered with Texas Round Table for the annual Pancakes for Parkinson’s, raising $3,028 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation nearly triple from last year. See photos.

 RecSports Poker Walk

  • We invite all Division staff to register for the RecSports Poker Walk celebrating National Employee Health and Fitness Day on May 15. 
  • Our staff presented 17 student employees with endowed scholarships totaling $35,500 for their outstanding contributions to the organization.
  • Our team honored the third annual class of Hall of Honor inductees at an April reception. The individuals and groups were chosen for having made invaluable contributions to the formation and success of today’s Recreational Sports. See photos.  
  • Randall Ford attended the NIRSA National Basketball Championships. He serves as a tournament staff member and as a chair of the NIRSA Championship Series.

Texas Parents

  • We honored the recipients and finalists of the Outstanding Student Award at the Texas Parents Ambassadors Council meeting on April 5.
  • Texas Parents Association memberships for the 2019–20 academic year are open! All parents and families of enrolled undergraduate students are complimentary U-Touch members of the Texas Parents Association (the university’s official association of parents and families), but they must sign up to start receiving benefits. Supporting members make a tax-deductible gift to the university that supports our department. Supporting members receive the same communication as U-Touch members as well as additional benefits including access to the Texas Parents closed Facebook group, discounts with local and national vendors, and special opportunities with Texas Athletics.
  • Our team is busy preparing to introduce new parents and families to the university during Family Orientation. To promote the program, an informational postcard was mailed to the families of 17,000 admitted freshmen.
  • This month we will mail the New Parent Guide to 9,000 freshman families. This magazine is designed to be a resource to introduce them to university resources and policies.

The Center for Students in Recovery

the luncheon

Carrie Tucker (Counseling and Mental Health Center) speaks at the luncheon.

  • We celebrated our 15th anniversary with a luncheon bringing together students, alumni, donors, faculty, staff and other community supporters. Take a look at the photos.

UT System-wide collegiate recovery expansion

(Back row) Corey Benson (UT Permian Basin), Raymond Salas (UT Rio Grande Valley), John Harris, Heather Guerrero (Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs), Sierra Castedo and Jeremy Eicke (UT Dallas) (Front row) Kristen McElroy (UT San Antonio), Maya Bauman (UT Dallas), Valerie Barela (UT El Paso), Brittany Boyer (University Health Services/Counseling and Mental Health Center) and Bruce Bettinger (UT Tyler)

  • Our team hosted a workshop for the UT System-wide collegiate recovery expansion. The full-day program brought together staff from various campuses for program evaluation and development.
  • We held our first Recovery Ally Training of Trainers. This program prepares trainers to lead Recovery Ally Training programs across campus. 

University Health Services

  • SAFE Alliance presented to our Urgent Care nursing staff about setting up Sexual Assault Forensic Exams and how to best serve our students who experience sexual assault.
  • Our providers performed a large number of study abroad clearance exams in April to assist students who will be traveling in May and over the summer.
  • The search committee for our new director/chief medical officer convened to begin the national search for our new leader.
  • City of Austin Mayor Pro Tem and Councilwoman Kathie Tovo recognized the student organizations who participated in the Longhorn Wellness Center’s Healthy Student Organization Program. They were honored for their dedication to the well-being of their members. View the photos.

University Housing and Dining

  • University Apartments staff hosted their annual Texas Breakfast for the community. Residents and their families enjoyed food, activities and community building.
  • Our Safety Committee attended the 2019 Risk and Safety Conference. The American Society of Safety Professionals, Risk and Insurance Management Society and University of Texas System hosted the conference.

Say Aloha Dinner

Say Aloha Dinner

  • Our dining team hosted a Hawaiian dinner at J2 and Kins Dining on April 17. Chefs prepared an island-inspired menu featuring roasted pig, poke bowls and coconut rice. 

World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play

Dr. Shauna Sobers and Jorge Calderon at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play

  • Jorge Calderon, Justin Jaskowiak and Dr. Shauna Sobers volunteered at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club. 

University Unions

Forty Acres Fest

Forty Acres Fest

  • Campus Events + Entertainment hosted 40 Acres Fest, the largest festival on campus, with musical headliner Waka Flocka Flame. Check out the photos.

Student Employee Appreciation Week

Sean Morrogh, Dan Brisley, Erick Conde, Nick Parras and Jose Leyva at Student Employee Appreciation Week

  • As a thank-you to our student employees, we celebrated National Student Employee Appreciation Week by giving our student staff lunch, cupcakes and gifts. 
  • We hosted our Advisory Council spring biannual meeting and recognized the winners of the J.J. “Jake” Pickle Citizenship and Pal – Make a Difference awards. 
  • Campus Events + Entertainment hosted this year’s Student Endowed Centennial Lectureship: An Evening with Aly Raisman, featuring the Olympic gold medalist and Arthur Ashe Courage Award Winner. They partnered with the Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation.


Rob Richardson (Human Resources), Dr. Lilly, Alma Garcia and Heather Guerrero (Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs) at the luncheon

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Soncia Reagins-Lilly gave the welcome remarks at the President’s Student Employee of the Year Luncheon. The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs partnered with the Office of the President and Human Resources to recognize the winner and 10 finalists.

40 Hours for the Forty Acres

Aurora Muñoz, Bitia Buenrostro, Heather Guerrero and Alma Garcia at 40 Hours for the Forty Acres

The Division of Student Affairs raised $84,658 from 2,381 donors from 42 states and nine countries during 40 Hours for the Forty Acres

Dr. Melissa Eshelman, Counseling and Mental Health Center, became the president of the Texas Society of Psychiatric Physicians.

Student Government Inauguration

Dr. Lilly and Mulu Ferede at the Student Government Inauguration

Mulu Ferede, University Unions, received the inaugural Soncia Reagins-Lilly Award for Administrative Excellence from Student Government. The award honors an administrator who was instrumental in supporting Student Government initiatives. Dr. Lilly gave the keynote address at the Student Government Inauguration. 

Neil Kaufman, University Housing and Dining, presented at Sustainability on Tap about the department’s Zero Waste Hero program.

Justin SamuelUniversity Housing and Dining, facilitated a session on career planning, networking with campus professionals and pursuing a doctorate to residence life professionals at Rutgers University. 

Dr. Shauna SobersUniversity Housing and Dining, served as the keynote speaker for the Spring 2019 Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Induction.

Dr. Sobers also presented “Social Responsibility: An Introduction to Identity and Privilege” to 80 orientation advisors. The workshop helps these student leaders prepare for the summer orientation season.

Lindsay WilsonUniversity Housing and Dining, partnered with the Student Engineering Council to provide a healthy eating and meal preparation workshop during Cockrell School Cares, a two-week series of events to promote mental health and self-care.

The President's Staff Awards

President Gregory L. Fenves hosted the 58th Annual President’s Staff Awards on April 25 to honor outstanding achievements of university staff. Read about the four Division staff who received prestigious recognitions. 

Outstanding Supervisor Award

Outstanding Staff Awards

Staff Service Awards

President Fenves also honored 66 Division staff members for their combined 1,250 years of service to The University of Texas at Austin. Congratulate your Division colleagues below! 

Counseling and Mental Health Center

Elana Bizer, 10 years
Melissa Eshelman, 10 years
Marian Trattner, 10 years
Althea Woodruff, 10 years

Office of the Dean of Students

Wanda Brune, 20 years
Susan Buckenmeyer, 10 years
Veronica Cantu, 15 years
Marilyn Russell 10 years
Miles Sapp, 15 years
Audrey McCray Sorrells, 10 years 

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

Denise Fitch, 10 years

Recreational Sports

Bridget Lawrence, 10 years
Nicole Olmeda, 20 years
Sylvia Ramirez, 20 years
Jennifer Speer, 20 years

University Health Services

Pauline Bell-Smith, 45 years
Charlotte Katzin, 15 years
Yolanda Keeling, 30 years
Lucy Lemeilleur, 20 years
Kathy Mosteller, 15 years
Antonio Ramirez Jr., 20 years
Nancy Robinson, 20 years
James Tai, 35 years
Lisa Windel, 20 years

University Housing and Dining

Maria Alvarado Suarez, 20 years
Dolores Armonta, 30 years
Claudia Ashlock, 30 years
Donald Ates, 10 years
Christina Bomar, 25 years
Norma Bustos, 15 years
Ana Cadena, 10 years
Irma Del-Rio, 15 years
Paula Diaz, 15 years
James Dorman, 30 years
Jennifer Duiker-Walker, 15 years
David Duran, 10 years
William Duval Jr., 20 years
Maria Estrada, 15 years
Melanie Garreffa, 10 years
Aklilu Gebrewold, 25 years
Maria Gomez, 10 years
Scarleth Gomez-Aguilar, 10 years
Larry Jackson, 15 years
Denise Johnson, 15 years
Patricia Johnson, 15 years
Shirley King, 20 years
Estell Maxwell, 20 years
Sara Mendieta 15 years
Teeyia Mercer, 20 years
Washington Mina, 15 years
Jessica Morales, 10 years
Dora Moreno, 30 years
Emily Nelson, 20 years
Olmer Orellana, 10 years
Ana Ramirez, 15 years
Richard Rink, 40 years
Tomasa Rios, 20 years
Reyna Rivera, 10 years
Nydia Rodriguez, 15 years
Adriana Rojas, 20 years
Idelia Sauceda-Aguilar, 20 years
Evelia Sepulveda, 10 years
Karla Thompson, 20 years
Francisca Vasquez, 10 years
Jose Velazquez, 10 years
Mark Weiss, 15 years

University Unions

Elvira Gonzalez, 20 years
Lesli Hay, 15 years
Lucio Hernandez, 20 years
Jose Jimenez Leyva, 10 years
Vincent Lightbourn, 20 years
Monica Patino, 10 years
Alfonsa Venancio, 10 years

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