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Division News

Counseling and Mental Health Center

  • Join us for the grand opening of the Longhorn Wellness Center Sept. 5, Noon–2 p.m., in the newly-renovated Student Services Building (SSB) 1.106. This center houses a joint unit of staff from the Counseling and Mental Health Center and in University Health Services.
  • We are hosting Suicide Prevention Week Sept. 10-20. This campus-wide series of events focuses on raising awareness and providing education around suicide prevention. 
  • Our team prepared for the new academic year with an Organizational Day on Aug. 21 with University Health Services staff. It included new staff introductions, trainings, updates and team building. In addition, our clinical staff also gathered with their team on Aug. 19.
  • We welcomed eight new social work and psychology interns to our clinical team to help us visit with students.
  • Beginning this fall, our free Thrive at UT app is expanding to the Android platform. Thrive at UT is an interactive app that helps busy students make small changes in their routines that can have an impact on their daily lives and wellbeing.

  • We have expanded our Counselors in Academic Residence (CARE) Program to include the School of Law and College of Pharmacy. These counselors are now embedded within 16 colleges, schools and departments.

New Student Services

Paige Muehlenkamp at the aUsTinite 7 Minute Service

  • Longhorn Welcome, a series of free events to introduce new students to UT Austin’s culture and spirit, continues through Sept. 8. In addition to coordinating the entire two-week program, our office hosted two Signature Events, Find Your Way and the Multicultural Mixer, which features aUsTinite 7 Minute Service hosted by our off-campus coordinator. This year, we added Longhorn Welcome Leaders to assist students with getting to each event.

First-Generation Student Welcome

Kayleigh Damphousse at the First-Generation Student Welcome

  • Our staff and orientation advisors partnered with departments across campus to host 11 orientation sessions this summer. We welcomed 8,081 freshmen and 1,303 transfer students to campus.
  • 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.

New Student Services staff at the Orientation Advisor Banquet

  • Our team thanked 88 orientation advisors at a banquet on July 19. Students received awards and were recognized for their hard work. 

Office of the Dean of Students

  • Our Student Activities staff are partnering with Texas Student Media to host UT Marketplace Sept. 11, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Gregory Gym and Speedway plazas.
  • Our Leadership and Ethics Institute staff are holding free leadership development workshops. These workshops are open and free to all students. Full workshop descriptions and the required RSVP link are available on our website.
  • Our Sorority and Fraternity Life team thanks all Division partners for help with University Panhellenic Council Primary Recruitment Aug. 19–26 for 1,050 students. The team will also hold New Member Orientation Sept. 16 in Hogg Auditorium. Staff is invited to attend and hear from featured speaker Mike Dilbeck, who will discuss bystander intervention and dignity. Session 1 is at 5:30 p.m. (doors open at 5 p.m.) and Session 2 is at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m.).

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

Division-wide Meeting

  • Join us for the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs Kickoff Sept. 11, 8:30–10:30 a.m., Shirley Bird Perry Ballroom, Texas Union. Dr. Raj Raghunathan, McCombs School of Business, will present “If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy?” Light breakfast served at 8 a.m.
  • Our office invites new members of the Division team to attend the New Staff Welcome in early October. Dr. Lilly and Division leadership will share information about our nine departments and how we help students live the Longhorn life through cutting-edge programs, services and facilities. Further details will be emailed to staff. 
  • Go inside our sixth annual Impact Report to see how we are transforming students. 

University Communications Writing Workshop

University Communications Writing Workshop

  • Division communicators representing our office, Counseling and Mental Health Center, Office of the Dean of Students, Recreational Sports, University Health Services and University Housing and Dining participated in University Communications Writing Workshop Aug. 22. They learned successful media pitch techniques from consultant Michael Smart. 

New Longhorn Parent Welcome Luncheons

New Longhorn Parent Welcome Luncheon

  • Our Development team engaged parents who attended Family Orientation at three New Longhorn Parent Welcome Luncheons. The parents were able to meet with Dr. Lilly and learn more about the Division. See the photos. 
  • Our office hosted “How to Write a Standout Proposal for a National Conference” to help Division staff write proposals with the reviewer in mind. Our Division experts presented best practices ahead of the 2020 NASPA Annual Conference in Austin, March 28–April 1.
  • This summer we launched the Division of Student Affairs Internship Program with 18 interns across the Division. They worked June 3–Aug. 12.

Recreational Sports

  • The campus community is invited to our other signature event during Longhorn Welcome: Party on the Plaza Sept. 4, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. on Gregory Gym Plaza. The event, presented by Uber and benefiting the UT Student Emergency Fund, will feature a student organization fair, Scholarship Shootout contest, games and prizes. 
  • We welcomed new students to campus during orientation sessions, hosting Get Hooked on RecSports during Freshman Orientation. See photos.
  • RecSports and Human Resources presented the annual Health and Lifestyle Expo for faculty and staff. See photos.
  • Our team held an orientation session and conducted job training for student staff at our annual Fall Kickoff on Aug. 23.

RecSports Warm Up

  • 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. See the photos.

Texas Parents

  • Encourage registered student organizations to apply for Student Organization Grants. Funds for the 2019-20 academic year are awarded in two categories: Community Service and Student Experience. Applications will close Sept. 27.
  • We’re also taking applications for the Mike Wacker Award. Applications close Sept. 27.
  • We’re hosting Family Weekend Oct. 25–28. Events will be published Sept. 20. Departments and campus organizations interested in hosting a table at the Great Texas Showcase can sign up starting Oct. 2.
  • During the summer, we organized 11 Family Orientation sessions, welcoming 5,139 families (9,459 attendees) to campus.

The Center for Students in Recovery

  • Mark your calendar for our first Sober Tailgate of the year on Sept. 7, 4:30–6:30 p.m. There will be the free food, live music, a variety of free cold drinks, games and an animal petting zoo.
  • Our fall Open House will take place Sept. 17, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Stop by our space in Bellmont Hall to learn more about our programs.
  • The Recovery Ally Training will be held on Sept. 25. Registration will be available on the website.

University Health Services

  • Join us for the grand opening of the Longhorn Wellness Center, a joint University Health Services and Counseling and Mental Health Center team. We’ll host an Open House on Sept. 5, Noon–2 p.m., in the newly-renovated Student Services Building (SSB) 1.106.
  • Our annual flu shot outreach clinics will begin late September. Keep an eye on social media or our website for details
  • On Aug. 14, 15, 19 and 20 we provided special clinics for International Students to receive their required immunizations. These clinics are vital for incoming students to register for courses and transition to studying in the United States. Our team prepared for the new academic year with an Organizational Day on Aug. 21 with Counseling and Mental Health Center staff. It included new staff introductions, trainings, updates and team building.

University Housing and Dining

Christina Bomar and Adriana Rojas at the Staff Fair

  • We hosted the University Housing and Dining Staff Fair on July 31 and Aug. 1 to kick off the new school year. Staff heard updates from University Housing and Dining Assistant Vice President Dr. Marilyn Tyus, enjoyed food and played games that informed them about the five units within the department. 

Residence life staff

Residence life staff at Resident Assistant Training

  • In preparation for Mooov-In, our residence life team trained 158 resident assistants Aug. 8-16 on building community, managing situations, navigating professional behavior, and operating procedures and policies. 
  • Our team welcomed 7,400 residents to our 14 on-campus residence halls during the 26th annual Mooov-In Aug. 23–24. This is the signature event that kicks off Longhorn Welcome. Staff issued students their keys at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. They helped coordinate their move with the help of 400 volunteers.

University Unions

  • Campus Events + Entertainment hosted 40 Acres Fest, the largest festival on campus, with musical headliner Waka Flocka Flame. 
  • The Student Activity Center will be renamed the William C. Powers, Jr. Student Activity Center, after the late 28th president of UT Austin. The renaming was unanimously approved by the UT System Board of Regents.
  • Steak ‘n Shake will be opening late fall in the Texas Union.
  • An Italian street food concept is opening early fall in the Texas Union.
  • We partnered with New Student Services to host Beat the Heat, a Longhorn Welcome Signature Event, in which new students enjoyed free activities, food and games throughout the Texas Union.

James Buckley, Alexandra Garcia Contreras, Mulu Ferede and Karen Pfeiffer at the University Unions Kindness Cart

  • We launched the Kindness Cart by giving away free cold bottles of water on Aug. 8. This ongoing initiative will continue and include random acts of kindness for the campus community.
  • The University Unions Calendar is available for sale online.
  • During summer orientation programs, our teams coordinated with New Student Services in Hogg Memorial Auditorium and the Student Activity Center. Our student programming organization Campus Events + Entertainment hosted the late-night orientation programs.


Dr. Lilly gives welcome remarks at University Panhellenic Council Bid Day.

Dr. Lilly welcomed new students at Gone to Texas and University Panhellenic Council Bid Day. In May, she gave welcome remarks at Black Graduation and First-generation Recognition Ceremony, and presented the Senior Class Gift during Commencement. She also spoke to orientation advisors ahead of the summer orientation season. 

True Colors national conference

Edna Dominguez at the True Colors® national conference

Edna Dominguez, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, gave the keynote presentation at the inaugural True Colors® national conference May 6. 

Alma Garcia, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, was appointed the conference engagement coordinator for the NASPA Student Affairs Fundraising and External Relations Knowledge Community.

Jeremiah Gunderson (third from right, Office of the Dean of Students) participates in panel discussion with Senator John Cornyn (center) and President Gregory L. Fenves (center right).

Jeremiah GundersonOffice of the Dean of Students, participated in a panel discussion hosted by Senator John Cornyn's office to discuss the recently enacted Veteran STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Scholarship Improvement Act and the importance of veterans being able to use their Government Issue (GI) Benefits. 

How to Write a Standout Proposal for a National Conference

Ashley Jones, Kelly Soucy, Shauna Sobers and Justin Jaskowiak at How to Write a Standout Proposal for a National Conference 

Justin Jaskowiak, Shauna Sobers and Aaron Voyles, University Housing and Dining, Ashley Jones, Audrey Sorrells and Kelly Soucy, Office of the Dean of Students, and Nicole Olmeda, Recreational Sports, presented best practices at “How to Write a Standout Proposal for a National Conference” July 31 and Aug. 1. 

Carol Longoria (Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs, second from right on stage) participates in panel at the New Faculty Symposium.

Carol Longoria, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, gave the welcome remarks at the New Faculty Symposium Aug. 20. 

Jessica Mendiola and Cassidy Sansone, University Unions, served as group facilitators for the Association for College Unions-International's (ACUI) 2019 Institute for Leadership Education and Development (I-LEAD®).

Rita Miller speaks to students at Camp Texas.

Rita Miller, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, presented about student affairs to incoming students attending Camp Texas. 

Sierra Castedo de Martell and Brittany O’Malley at The Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery National Meeting 

Brittany O’Malley, Counseling and Mental Health Center and University Health Services, gave the keynote address at The Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery National Meeting. She presented “Expanding the Alcohol and Other Drug Continuum across a University System” with former Division staffer Sierra Castedo de Martell.

Drs. Rich Reddick, Victor Saenz, Beth Bukoski, Ed Sharpe, Justin Samuel, Lauren Schudde, Liliana Garces and Ericka Roland at the College of Education’s doctoral celebration

Dr. Justin Samuel, University Housing and Dining, received the Dr. Bill Lasher Doctoral Student Excellence Award.

 National Association of College and University Food Services

Bryan Varin (National Association of College and University Food Services) with Sotear Kuy and Rene Rodriguez

University Housing and Dining’s nutrition team took home the silver award for the Most Innovative Wellness Program at the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS). The award was given for the Cook Wise program that equipped students with the skills to be self-sufficient in the kitchen and empowered them to take charge of their own health through cooking. 

Thea Woodruff, Counseling and Mental Health Center and University Health Services, presented “Texas Wellbeing” during a Jed Foundation webinar.

President's Exemplary Service Awards

Since 2010, the university has recognized and rewarded employees who demonstrate outstanding service or performance. Please check out the Division staff who received this university honor. Recipients have been employed by the university for at least a year and receive up to 32 hours of time off from work.

Office of the Dean of Students
Katherine Rallojay, Title IX Investigator

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Jan Austin-Scott, Senior Administrative Associate

Recreational Sports
Caroline Coblar, Assistant Director for Alumni Engagement and Events
Clifton Murphy, Grounds Maintenance Supervisor
Briana Peterson, Human Resource Coordinator
Joe Wise, Assistant Director of Intramural Sports

University Housing and Dining
Alejandra Aquino, Building Attendant II
Jose Bernardo Orozoco, Multi-craft/Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning
Juana Castro Garcia, Food Prep
Allison Childs, Human Resources Representative
Stephanie Hailey, Manager, Night Operations
Randy Hurley, Multi-craft Mechanic
Christie Jenner, Unit Manager
Sotear Kuy, Registered Dietitian
Sarah Webb, Assistant Manager

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