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Division News

Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC)

    • Voices Against Violence hosted events to support survivors of dating violence and educate students, staff and faculty on healthy relationships during Relationship Violence Prevention Month. Events explored consent, communication, care, consideration, compassion, conflict resolution and collaboration. Survivors spoke at the signature event Breaking the Silence. 

Kouang Chan (Office of the Student Ombuds) and Thea Woodruff discuss the Well-being in Learning Environments initiative.

  • CMHC launched a new initiative to embed well-being and mental health promotion into classrooms through Well-being in Learning Environments. Staff is partnering with the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Pharmacy, Cockrell School of Engineering, Office of the Student Ombuds, Project 2021 and Faculty Innovation Center.
  • November is one of the busiest months for CMHC. If staff know a student who needs support, they can direct them to more than 40 groups offered this semester. Group counseling is free and unlimited at CMHC

CMHC staff

  • The department came together for an all-staff photo in October.

Housing and Food Service


Jaime Chinchilla, James Prilop and Archie Phinny at National Night Out

  • University Apartments staff partnered with The University of Texas at Austin Police Department and Fire Prevention Services to host National Night Out. Gateway Apartment residents learned about safety and received hands-on fire safety training. See photos.
  • In addition to the five Living Learning Communities (LLC) unveiled in fall 2017, Housing and Food Service will open three more residential communities in fall 2018. The communities will support Terry Scholars, Jefferson Scholars, and Joynes Readers and Writers. Read about the Global LLC profiled in October.
  • Housing and Food Service directors attended the Big 12 Directors and Housing Operation Conference. The group toured the Kansas State dining facilities to provide insight into upcoming projects on the Forty Acres.

Cecilia Lopez Cardenas and Christian Cabazos at the Smart Social Summit

  • Christian Cabazos attended the Smart Social Summit with Cecilia Lopez-Cardenas, Recreational Sports. 

  • The Occupancy Management team celebrated Halloween by wearing costumes to work. 

Food Service

Rene Rodriguez with actor Matt Thomas who appeared as Thor at Longhorn Con

  • Kinsolving and J2 Dining invited residents to dress as their favorite super hero for Longhorn Con. Staff led activities about comic books and superheroes. Check out photos.
  • Kins Market, Jester City Market and Cypress Bend celebrated National Chocolate Cupcake Day by selling a triple chocolate cupcake that sold out within hours. 

Sotear Kuy at the Foodie Pop Up

  • Registered Dietitian Sotear Kuy sampled boba tea during a Foodie Pop Up at J2 Dining. These bi-monthly events introduces students to new global food experiences.

New Student Services (NSS)

  • Staff accompanied Horns Helping Horns students to the Austin Diaper Bank to help sort and pack diapers for families in Florida, Puerto Rico and Texas affected by recent hurricanes. This month, they will participate in the Austin Empty Bowl Project, a fundraiser for Meals on Wheels Central Texas and Central Texas Food Bank’s child-centered efforts. 

Shannon Price speaks to students at an orientation advisor information session.

  • NSS staff recruited their new group of orientation advisors to assist with the 2018 orientation program. Staff hosted six information sessions during October and will conduct interviews this month. Students will be selected and notified before Thanksgiving break.
  • NSS continues to support the university’s green office efforts by participating in the Green Offices’ Fall Photo Challenge. Jennifer Carter won challenge during the first week. NSS is currently at gold level green office status, and is the only office on the Forty Acres that has been certified as a green office four times. 

Office of the Dean of Students

  • Encourage students to apply for the Non-Voting Student Representative to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), Non-Voting Student Representatives to the THECB Advisory Committees, and University of Texas System Student Regent. These leadership opportunities allow students to influence higher education policy beyond the Forty Acres. Applications for all positions are due to the Office of the Dean of Students in the Student Services Building (SSB 4.104) by 5 p.m. on Nov. 9.
  • Staff are also collecting applications for student leaders to serve on the Election Supervisory Board. The board conducts and oversees student elections held during the spring semester. The application deadline is 5 p.m. on Nov. 6. Please encourage student leaders to apply.   
  • Registration opens on Nov. 13 for Leadership Education and Progress (LEAP). Hosted by the Leadership and Ethics Institute, this six-week workshop helps build students leadership skills and prepare 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)

  • Dr. Soncia Reagins-Lilly hosted two Deans’ Breakfast in October to share information about Division programs, facilities and services.
  • VPSA will host New Staff Orientation on Nov. 14 and Dec. 12. New benefits-eligible staff are strongly encouraged to attend one of these sessions. Dr. Lilly and Division leadership will showcase the nine departments and how they contribute to the cutting-edge student experience we provide through programs, services and facilities. The departments will also have resource tables with information.
  • New staff who have joined the Division since March 2017 can register for the True Colors® introductory session. VPSA will host five workshops on Nov. 1, 2, 9 and 15.

Chris Burnett, Dr. Lilly and Payton Anderson at the workshop

Maureen Brown and Dr. Lilly at the OU game

  • Dr. Lilly and Director of Development Maureen Brown met with friends of the Division in Dallas before the Texas-OU football game. 

Recreational Sports (RecSports)

  • Registration closes Nov. 3 for the Friends of RecSports Golf Tournament on Nov. 10 at Falconhead Golf Club.
  • Please RSVP by Nov. 3 for the RecSports Tailgate on Nov. 11, 2–5 p.m., Gregory Gym Aquatic Complex. The tailgate will celebrate the careers of two long-time RecSports staff members: Bob Childress and Eric Stoutner. Childress directed the Intramural Program for many years and most recently served as associate director of constituent relations. He was instrumental in establishing the Friends of RecSports program. Stoutner, director of programs, will retire at the end of December. He previously served as associate director for Facility Operations. Stoutner played a major role in the construction and renovation of several RecSports facilities, most recently the Charles Alan Wright Fields at the Berry M. Whitaker Sports Complex

Chris Stewart discusses employment opportunities with prospective applicants.

Randall Ford and Chad Zimmerman at the soccer championships

Texas Parents


Susie Smith welcomes families to the Family Weekend BBQ.

  • Texas Parents hosted more than 2,000 families and more than 100 events on and off campus during Family Weekend. Housing and Food Service, New Student Services, Office of the Dean of Students, Recreational Sports, The Center for Students in Recovery, University Health Services and University Unions shared information with Longhorn families. See the photos.


Dr. Lilly and President Gregory Fenves at the Texas Parents Ambassadors Council meeting

  • President Gregory Fenves, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Dr. Soncia Reagins-Lilly and UT Austin Police Chief David Carter spoke to members of the Texas Parents Ambassadors Council.
  • Thanks to the generous gifts from UT Austin parents, Texas Parents awarded $47,000 to 35 student organizations and the Student Emergency Fund.
  • Since 1998, Texas Parents has been honoring exceptional staff members within the Division of Student Affairs with the Staff Merit Award. Nominations open mid-November. For more details, click here.

The Center for Students in Recovery (CSR)

  • CSR celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month and personal recovery with a series of events in October. The UT Austin community attended the Ofrenda de Muertos, Sugar Skull Workshop and Dia de los Muertos.
  • Staff will welcome Dr. Mike Mackert, Moody College of Communication, to the Seminar on Addiction and Recovery (SOAR) on Nov. 29. He will lead a conversation about the role of stigma in addiction. 

  • CSR is partnering with BeVocal, College of Pharmacy, Operation Naloxone and Wellness Network to host Drug Takeback Day on Nov. 29, 10:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m., South Mall near Littlefield Fountain. Students, faculty and staff can safely dispose of unwanted prescription medications at this event.

University Health Services (UHS)

Charlotte Katzin gives President Fenves a flu shot.

  • More than 11,000 students, staff and faculty received flu shots during the annual UHS Flu Shot Campaign.
  • Dr. Jim Tai attended Fenway Health’s Advancing Excellence in Transgender Health to receive training from experts on providing gender-affirmative health care.
  • UHS held Take A Shot Against HPV! to educate students on the HPV vaccine. Students were able to win prizes by making three free throws in 10 seconds.
  • General Medicine staff accommodated students studying abroad by hosting three special Saturday clinics to provide time-sensitive health clearance exams.
  • Jamie Shutter and Kathy Mosteller were selected to attend the American College Health Association (ACHA) Leadership Institute in Washington, DC, this month.
  • UHS partnered with UT Austin’s HealthPoint to send a nurse to the Marine Science Institute to administer flu shots to faculty and staff. This initiative filled gaps in services caused by Hurricane Harvey.
  • Senior staff held a series of lunches with Student Government, Senate of College Councils and Graduate Student Assembly executive members. They discussed ways UHS can collaborate with the Legislative Student Organizations on health initiatives.

University Unions

    • Staff are announcing a second food truck location on Speedway Mall at the Perry–Castañeda Library (PCL) Plaza. The Gregory Gym location will continue to offer breakfast, lunch and limited late night service. The PCL location will have lunch service. Check out the full schedule.

Robert Booth, BA ’00, BBA ’00, JD ‘03, Jane Rhodes, BA ‘57, and Mulu Ferede at the University Unions Advisory Council meeting

  • The University Unions Advisory Council met for their fall semester meeting. Dr. Lilly took questions from the group about a wide range of topics. They also heard a presentation from Dr. Rich Reddick, College of Education. Take a look at the photos

Student Activity Center staff at the tailgate

  • The council hosted alumni, students, staff and guests at a tailgate before the football game against Oklahoma State University. Guests mingled, grabbed a bite to eat and learned how to get involved with the Unions.
  • Buy tickets to the 37th annual Madrigal Dinner hosted by Campus Events + Entertainment on Nov. 16, 17 and 18. This campus tradition features a Renaissance-themed comedic dinner show that brings together 50 students from various majors who act, write, direct, produce and manage the technical aspects.


Dr. Soncia Reagins-Lilly gave a presentation about campus climate to Deans Council and Faculty Council. 

Dr. Lilly also participated in the Governor's Executive Development Program in September and October. Governor Greg Abbott selected her for this three-week program that enables leaders to extend, expand and better utilize their skills to effectively serve the people of Texas.

LaToya Smith, Hemlata Jhaveri and Brooke Bulow at the Foundations Scholars meeting

Brooke Bulow, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Hemlata Jhaveri, Housing and Food Service, and LaToya Smith, Intercollegiate Athletics, presented “Purposeful Communication: Managing Your Reputation in Cyber Space” to mentors of the College of Liberal Arts Foundation Scholars Program

Shannon Cantlay presents at University Communications.

Shannon Cantlay, Texas Parents, shared information about Family Weekend with campus-wide communicators during the University Communications meeting.

Sierra Castedo, The Center for Students in Recovery, co-authored a chapter in Emerging Adults and Substance Use Disorder Treatment: Developmental Considerations and Innovative Approaches with Lori Holleran Steiker. Steiker is a faculty member in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work and School of Undergraduate Studies.

Sierra Castedo (The Center for Students in Recovery) at Red McCombs’ birthday celebration

Sierra Castedo, The Center for Students in Recovery, spoke at Red McCombs’ 90th birthday celebration about his instrumental contributions to the center. The Red McCombs School of Business hosted the celebration.

JD Castro, Housing and Food Service, wrote an article for the NASPA Latinx/a/o Knowledge Community about supporting students and staff members in diversity and advocacy programs. 

Tracy Goodman and Lisa Dela Cruz (University Unions) at the Student Employee Excellence Program meeting

Lisa Dela Cruz and Tracy Goodman, University Unions, presented “Did That Just Happen? Bringing BeVocal into the Workplace” for the Student Employee Excellence Program (SEED). 

Rich Reddick (College of Education), Hemlata Jhaveri (Housing and Food Service) and Tom Dison (Recreational Sports) at the Careers in Student Affairs Panel

Tom Dison, Recreational Sports, Hemlata Jhaveri, Housing and Food Service, and Rich Reddick, College of Education, participated in the Careers in Student Affairs Panel. Students interested in the field asked them questions about their experience and work.

John Harris, The Center for Students in Recovery, spoke about educational recovery to members of Alpha Kappa Delta Phi at their Southwest Regional Retreat.

Hemlata Jhaveri, Housing and Food Service, authored a blog post which was featured in the Higher Education Administration Student Professional Association (HEASPA) newsletter. 

Neil Kaufman (second from left, Housing and Food Service) at Austin City Hall

Neil Kaufman, Housing and Food Service, accepted recognition on behalf of the Office of Sustainability for participation in Austin’s Good Food Purchasing Program. Housing and Food Service partners with the office on this initiative. Austin Mayor Steve Adler recognized the sustainability efforts at UT Austin.

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