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Division News

Counseling and Mental Health Center
• Our team will host Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 24–28, to raise awareness and provide education about suicide prevention. The weeklong series of events teaches students the BeVocal bystander intervention model of recognizing potential harm, choosing to respond and taking action.

New Student Services

Kyle St. Nicholas and Desiree Alva at Freshman Orientation

• Our staff and orientation advisors partnered with departments across campus to host 11 orientation sessions this summer. We welcomed more than 10,000 new freshmen and transfer students to campus.


• We are continuing to welcome students by helping coordinate and promote Longhorn Welcome, a series of free events to introduce new students to UT Austin’s culture and spirit. Our office hosted Find Your Way to showcase various student organizations, and provide games and live music. See the lineup of events. 

(back row) Kyle St. Nicholas, Shannon Price, Rebecca Marcus, Payton Anderson and Celena Mondie-Milner; (front row) Desiree Alva, Jennifer Carter and Melissa Porch at the Orientation Advisor Banquet

Our team thanked more than 80 orientation advisors at a banquet on July 20. Students received awards and were recognized for their hard work.

• During orientation sessions our team collected non-perishable food items to donate to the UT Outpost, an on-campus food pantry managed by the Office of the Dean of Students.

• We also partnered with Resource Recovery and the Office of Sustainability to redistribute leftover lunch items such as bags of chips and cookies, oranges and condiment packets.

Office of the Dean of Students
• Our Leadership and Ethics Institute team is accepting applications for Leadership Education and Progress (LEAP). This free, six-week leadership development program focuses on building an ethical and socially-responsible foundation of leadership. Encourage students to learn more and register.
• They are also accepting applications for ProjectLEAD. This yearlong project management and leadership development program helps students use newly-acquired skills to manage projects in the community. Encourage students to review the position description.

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Dr. Soncia Reagins-Lilly, President Gregory L. Fenves, April Tobias and Wanda Brune (Office of the Dean of Students) at Mooov-In

• Our team shared information with students and families during Mooov-In. More information below in University Housing and Dining’s section.

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

• Our team released the 2017-2018 Impact Report today. Read Dr. Lilly’s column to learn some of the unique ways we are shaping the student experience. 

• Our office will host the 2018–2019 Kickoff, Sept. 19, 8:30–10:30 a.m., Shirley Bird Perry Ballroom, Texas Union. This Division-wide Meeting will unveil our Strategic Directions for 2018-2021. Doors open at 8 a.m. Light breakfast will be served.
• Jim Adkins joined the Division team as the finance and human resources director for the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Division of Student Affairs portfolio. He will direct and coordinate fiscal, capital, human resource and administrative functions. He will also be a member of the Division’s Senior Team, Student Affairs Leadership Team and Student Affairs Budget and Human Resources.
• Virginia Luehrsen hosted Terry Scholars Orientation for all 250 UT Austin students in the program. During summer orientation sessions, she invited 46 incoming scholars to luncheons in our office. View the luncheon and orientation photos.

Jess Cybulski (Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs), Miles Sapp, Cherie Amour Pittman and Sara Kennedy (Office of the Dean of Students), Christian Cabazos (University Housing and Dining), Zach Cohen-Ford (University Health Services) and Melissa Porch (New Student Services) at the University Writing Workshop

• Division communicators from our office, Office of the Dean of Students, New Student Services, University Health Services and University Housing and Dining attended the University Writing Workshop. This professional development opportunity was hosted by University Communications.
• Edna Dominguez attended a “Managing Capital Campaigns” course for professional development conference.
• Dr. Lilly distributed emails to incoming students about getting involved and to faculty about resources for students.
• Payton Anderson and Chris Burnett will host six Graduate Assistant and Graduate Research Assistant Workshops this year beginning Sept. 6. They will take the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and receive a one-on-one feedback to understand the results. Division GAs and GRAs should complete the survey by Sept. 1. 

Recreational Sports
• We offered weekly late-night programming to new students during orientation as an introduction to our programs and services. See the photos.
• We are partnering with Shake Smart to invite on-campus residents to fuel their fitness on Sept. 7 with free access to TeXercise classes, the Climbing Wall and a free shake.

Lisa Sova and Lanay Kibodeaux welcomed participants to the Health and Lifestyle Expo

• Our team partnered with Human Resources to present the annual Health and Lifestyle Expo for faculty and staff. Check out the photos.

Adrienne MacKenzie, Cecilia Lopez-Cardenas, Chris Stewart, Dixon Hankins and Hannah Covington at the Fall Kickoff

• We held an orientation session and job training for student staff at our annual Fall Kickoff on Aug. 24. Dr. Lilly provided the welcome. 

Mark Munguia and Ross Rodriguez at RecSports Warm Up

• Our staff engaged with new and returning students at RecSports Warm Up, a signature event of Longhorn Welcome. Participants enjoyed free TeXercise classes, intramural sports sessions, indoor rock climbing, sport club exhibitions and more. Check out the photos.

• We will host Party on the Plaza, another signature event of Longhorn Welcome, Sept. 5, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Gregory Gym Plaza. The event, presented by Uber, will feature a student organization fair, Scholarship Shootout, games and prizes.

Texas Parents
• We are accepting applications for Student Organization Grants until Sept. 28. Encourage student organizations who participate in community service and enrich the campus experience to learn more.
• We are also accepting applications for the Mike Wacker Award until Sept. 28. Encourage students who have conquered adversity to learn more.
• Our team welcomed more than 5,500 freshman and transfer student families during 12 Family Orientation sessions this summer. See the photos.

Shannon Cantlay and Lindsey Lundberg at Mooov-In

• We volunteered at Mooov-In, helping parents and families write over 2,000 postcards for their freshman students. University Housing and Dining staff will deliver the postcards to their residence hall rooms.
• Our staff is gearing up for Family Weekend, Oct. 26–28. On Sept. 24 we will begin accepting submissions for departments to participate in the Great Texas Showcase.

The Center for Students in Recovery
• We invite members of the campus community to join us at our annual Open House, Sept. 19, 11 a.m.–2 p.m., Bellmont Hall. This event is a good way to get to know our staff and programs.
• Our team will be hosting a Sober Tailgate on Sept. 22 and Oct. 13, 2007 University Ave (across from the Littlefield Fountain), offering food, games and music.

University Health Services
• Our team honored Jamie Shutter at a retirement reception on Aug. 28. She dedicated 28 years to our department, most recently as executive director. Dr. Melinda McMichael will serve as the executive director and chief medical officer during the 2018–2019 academic year while a search is underway.

• We partnered with Recreational Sports to place sunscreen dispensers at outdoor recreational facilities. Read more
• Brittany O’Malley partnered with Matthew Olson, Counseling and Mental Health Center, to train representatives from the 14 UT System schools on the Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) program. This two-day workshop was a great networking opportunity for staff. Also, Dr. Mary Velasquez, Steve Hicks School of Social Work, presented “Motivational Interviewing.”

Sherry Bell at Family Orientation

• Our team shared information about our services with incoming families during 11 Family Orientations this summer. 

University Housing and Dining

Dr. Aaron Voyles, Rene Rodriguez, Rick Early, Dr. Marilyn Tyus, Melanie Grice, Adriana Rojas and Randy Porter at Carnival

• Our new leader, Dr. Marilyn Tyus, joined the team on July 30. She met with staff and celebrated the start of a new academic year at Carnival. This team-building event featured games and snacks. View the photos.

University Housing and Dining team with staff from the offices of the President and Vice President for Student Affairs at Mooov-In

• Our team welcomed 7,400 new students to our 14 on-campus residence halls during Mooov-In. Now in its 25th year, Mooov-In marks the beginning of Longhorn Welcome.

(Front row) Ann Derrick (Escoffier School of Culinary Arts), Adriana Thompson (Austin Community College), and Tashara Mitchell (Del Valle High School); (back row) Ernest Owney (University Housing and Dining), Robert Mayberry (University Housing and Dining), Kirk Gautreau (University Housing and Dining), Lorena Legarreta (Art Institute of Austin), Brandon Willett (University Housing and Dining), Stephanie Herrington (Austin Community College), Alicia Fischweicher (Del Valle High School) and Rene Rodriguez (University Housing and Dining) at the Culinary Open House.

• Robert Mayberry enhanced the department’s recruiting efforts by hosting representatives from local culinary education programs. Guests toured the kitchen and enjoyed a special lunch.

Appolonia Chukwu (College of Liberal Arts), Brandelyn Franks Flunder (Division of Diversity and Community Engagement), Keynote Speaker Keith Edwardsand Dr. Brandon Jones (University Housing and Dining) at the Strategies That Educate and Engage Residents Plenary Session

• Our Residence Life team kicked off the new Strategies That Educate and Engage Residents (STEER), a staff program to develop a residential curriculum. Campus partners include Multicultural Engagement Center, International Office and the Honors Program.

University Unions
• We invite staff to check out the outdoor deck at the Student Activity Center. The patio has a variety of seating options, water features, enhanced landscaping, outdoor fireplace, a NIDO hammock nest and a water-filling station.
• Our staff engaged with new and returning students at Beat the Heat, a signature event of Longhorn Welcome. Participants enjoyed free activities, food and games throughout the Texas Union. See the photos.
• Our student programming organization, Campus Events+Entertainment, partnered with Student Activity Center staff to offer late night games, roller skating, food arcades and karaoke to students participating in orientation this summer.
Order your 2018–2019 University Unions Calendar.
• Our staff in Hogg Memorial Auditorium hosted several of New Student Services’ orientation programs, including the opening session.


Dr. Lilly at the New Faculty Symposium 

Dr. Lilly presented “Helping ALL Students Reach Their Fullest Potential” at the New Faculty Symposium. 

Dr. Lilly at New Black Student Weekend 

Dr. Lilly also gave the opening remarks New Black Student Weekend. 

Dr. Lilly was selected to be a member of the National Vice Presidents Group.

New Student Services received honors as a Zero Waste Champion by the Office of Sustainability for efforts in composting, recycling, shredding and low levels of office waste.

Jennifer Barnoud, University Health Services, received her Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian credentials.

Sierra Castedo (The Center for Students in Recovery) at the 9th National Collegiate Recovery Conference

Sierra Castedo, The Center for Students in Recovery, was appointed president of the Association of Recovery in Higher Education. During the 9th National Collegiate Recovery Conference, she received the Vernon Johnson Award for Young Adult Recovery Advocate from America Honors Recovery.

Scott Cooke, University Housing and Dining, was recognized for his mentoring efforts during the National Association of College and University Residence Halls (NACURH) Annual Conference.

Alexandra Garcia Contreras, University Unions, attended the 2018 NASPA Region III/Southern Association for College Student Affairs (SACSA) Mid-Manager’s Institute. 

Dr. Shauna Harris and Dr. Helen-Grace Ryan (NAPSA Region III), and Dr. Mylon Kirksy (University Housing and Dining) at NASPA Region III Summer Symposium

Dr. Mylon Kirksy, University Housing and Dining, served as co-chair of the NASPA Region III Summer Symposium. More than 200 NASPA members attended the conference. 

Dr. Shauna Sobers and Tiana Lindberg (University Housing and Dining) at the NASPA Region III Summer Symposium

Tiana Lindberg and Dr. Shauna T. Sobers, University Housing and Dining, presented “Communicating & Interacting Cross-Culturally: Improving Students’ Intercultural Competency” at the NASPA Region III Summer Symposium. Dr. Sobers also presented “Resilience Tree: Growing Pathways to Senior Leadership for Women of Color.” 

Arianne McArdle, Office of the Dean of Students, served as a facilitator for Alpha Delta Pi Sorority’s Leadership Seminar.

Faith Miller, University Housing and Dining, received the Texas Association of College & University Student Personnel Administrators (TACUSPA) Thomas Moorman Fellowship. The fellowship is given to four new student affairs professionals in Texas.

Dr. Celena Mondie-Milner, New Student Services, was inducted into the University of Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame for her award-winning career as a collegiate sprinter. This honor recognizes student athletes, coaches and administrators.

Matt Rogers (University Housing and Dining) at Freshman Orientation

Matt Rogers, University Housing and Dining, presented “Opportunities in Sustainability” during seven freshman orientation sessions this summer. Students learned about the department’s sustainability initiatives, including campus gardens and zero waste program in the dining halls. 

Marilyn Russell, Office of the Dean of Students, has been appointed as a National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) Area Advisor. She will provide mentorship to college Panhellenic councils at Texas A&M Universities in Kingsville, Corpus Christi and Commerce. 

Jennifer Speer, Recreational Sports, has been appointed to serve an additional three-year term as a NIRSA Services Corporation board member. (NIRSA was formerly known as the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association.)

"A Tip of the Hat to..."

…Jennifer Carter, New Student Services, who received a complimentary email from a parent thanking her for going out of her way to mail a UT Austin shirt to the student who did not receive it at orientation.

“Thank you for taking the time to mail [my son] his shirt. I wish you could have seen his happy Longhorn smile when he opened his package that arrived today. The shirt was put on straight away and he proudly showed off the UT 22 on his arm. I hope someone returns your kindness we are proud to be part of the UT community!” 

Texas Parents who received this email from a parent who attended Family Orientation this summer: 

“I have been very impressed with the warm and welcoming attitude that you and your colleagues have shown our family. UT has done an excellent job at allowing there to be a personal experience at a very large state university. This is our 3rd kid off to college and UT is by far the largest school and the most personable as well.”


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