- Back by popular demand, we’ll host a recovery-supportive yoga workshop on Nov. 5, 4 p.m., Bellmont 222. This workshop teaches participants how to use yoga and meditation to enhance their recovery. We hosted a similar event during National Recovery Month in September.
Mental Health Conversations student training program
- We launched Mental Health Conversations, a new online training program to help students, faculty and staff have important life-saving conversations about mental health, on Nov. 1. Read more about this new program.
- For Relationship Violence Prevention Month, the Voices Against Violence team hosted Breaking the Silence: Survivors of Dating and Relationship Violence Speak-Out on Oct. 26.
- UT Austin students are now able to access counseling services 24/7 through a partnership with My Student Support Program (MySSP). Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Soncia Reagins-Lilly announced this service expansion in an email to students on Oct. 6.
- Encourage students to apply to become a Longhorn SHARE (Support, Healing, Active Listening, Reciprocity, Empathy) Support Specialist. This new mental health peer support program allows students to earn course credit while learning how to create inclusive, non-clinical spaces to facilitate shared connections.
- The SHIFT team hosted a popsicle stand to have conversations with students about shifting the campus culture of substance use. They also shared information about their Student Advisory Board. Don’t miss the Hot Chocolate Stand on Nov. 8, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Gregory Gym Plaza.
- We’re hosting a hybrid Spring Orientation program from Jan. 10-11. Small group meetings, academic advising and class registration will take place virtually; students have the option to attend an in-person social event each day. Registration opens on Nov. 17.
- Join us for First-Generation College Celebration Week Nov. 7-13. Our team led the planning for the campus-wide celebration on Nov. 8, 5-7 p.m., East Mall, working together with Student Success Initiatives and Longhorn Center for Academic Equity.
- We’re hoping to hire 80 orientation advisors by the end of the semester, with offer letters going out by Nov. 19.
Class of 2025 Photo
- We continued the tradition of the annual class photo on Oct. 20 at the stadium’s Campbell-Williams Field in partnership with Athletics for the Classes of 2025 and 2024 (the Class of 2024’s in-person photo was canceled due to the pandemic). Both classes also had a chance to submit photos for the Class Mosaic Photo if they preferred to participate virtually.
- Registered and sponsored student organizations can compete to win a dinner cruise on Lady Bird Lake by testing each week with Proactive Community Testing.
- Student organizations can also require the Protect Texas Together app Activity Pass for attendees at their on-campus events. The Activity Pass provides a green check for seven days after a negative test result through Proactive Community Testing.
- Outdoor space reservations for Spring and Summer 2021 open today for student organizations and staff/faculty hosting departmental events. There are also two new banner locations available for reservation on Speedway Plaza.
Sara Kennedy, Christtina Guerrero, Rachel Cohen-Ford (back row), Doug Garrard and Kelly Martin
- To celebrate Halloween, we dressed in our favorite costumes for the October Dean of Students Social on Oct. 29.
- Our Sorority and Fraternity Life staff presented Safety Education Officer Workshops to primary contacts representing more than 900 student organizations. Completing this Safety Education Program workshop is mandatory for student organizations.
- Our Houston Outreach Program staff member from Sorority and Fraternity Life provided this video for the Texas PTA virtual resource library.
- Student Activities staff processed more than 1,800 student organization travel requests for the Texas/OU football game weekend Oct. 8-10.
- A reminder that staff can request a 30-day complimentary trial if you’d like to try out the benefits of RecSports before purchasing a membership.
- We hosted the second Friday at the Fields of the semester on Oct. 22 at Wright-Whitaker Sports Complex to introduce students to the facility. The event featured free mini-tournaments, Yoga for Athletes and sport club demos.
- We featured an outdoor Glow Yoga session at the Honors Quad on Oct. 20 as part of RecSports Recess, our monthly pop-up recreation experience.
- Our team brought together RecSports alumni and friends at the annual Friends of RecSports Bob Childress Classic on Oct. 15. Proceeds benefit the RecSports Excellence Fund.
- We hosted the 2020 RecSports Hall of Honor Awards Cocktail on Oct. 14 to celebrate distinguished groups and individuals who have made a significant contribution to the success of our department. Due to the pandemic, we postponed this in-person celebration for the 2020 recipients.
- Our staff is engaging in professional development opportunities by attending various conferences and workshops including the NIRSA All Regions Virtual Conference, Athletic Business Conference, the AORE Inclusive Outdoor Recreation Summit and the 2021 NIRSA/ACUI Virtual Collegiate Marketing Institute.
- Staff Merit Award applications will open later this month or in December. Be thinking of Division colleagues to nominate!
- We’ll host a virtual (100% online) Spring Family Orientation from Jan. 10-11.
- The Texas Parents Ambassador Council will reconvene in person on Nov. 5. Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Soncia Reagins-Lilly will provide university and Division updates to the group. This is the first time the group is meeting in person since Fall 2019. We will welcome new members to the council and reacclimate existing members to their role as ambassadors.
- Stay tuned for more information on Family Weekend by early January. This year’s Family Weekend will take place in the spring on the same weekend as the Orange and White Game. Athletics has not yet finalized the date of that game.
- View the Proactive Community Testing schedule to get an asymptomatic COVID-19 test on campus. Students, faculty and staff can test at multiple locations across campus. Many campus pop-up locations take walk-ups. Appointments are also available at some locations.
- We are offering COVID-19 vaccines to students. Faculty and staff can visit the Health Discovery Building or Family Wellness Center near campus to receive a vaccine.
- UT Health Austin is offering third doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to eligible immunocompromised patients (per CDC guidelines) and booster doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to eligible patients (per CDC guidelines) by appointment only. Walk-ins for third doses and booster doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will not be accepted.
- Students, faculty and staff can still receive a flu shot with us on Mondays and Wednesdays by scheduling an appointment online. Our annual campus-wide flu shot clinics concluded on Oct. 21.
Some Vaccine Incentive Program prizes
- Through the Vaccine Incentive Program, the university gave out $100,000 in cash prizes, tickets to football games, laptops, coolers, gift cards and other awesome prizes to 255 students, and 114 faculty and staff. The program wrapped up on Oct. 8.
- We are actively recruiting full and part-time staff as well as student employees to join our dining team.
- Our staff and their families enjoyed carnival games and trick-or-treating at the 13th annual Kinsolving Halloween Carnival on Oct. 27.
Angelia Barrera-Medina, Misha Lostritto, and Andrew Bradley at Dobie Twenty21
- The university announced the purchase of Dobie Twenty21, a 27-story apartment building on the southwest corner of the main campus, on Oct. 12. Our housing team held a meet-and-greet event with residents on Oct. 18. Residents made their own door tags, picked up swag and enjoyed Tiff’s Treats.
- The university is also building new graduate student housing in the East Campus area.
Etinosa Ogbevoen, Angelia Barrera-Medina, and Eric Hale at the University Apartments
- Like our “The Horns Are Home” t-shirt campaign for on-campus residents, our University Apartments residents also received “Many Nations, One Community” shirts designed by apartment residents.
- Indoor space reservations for Spring and Summer 2021 open today for student organizations and staff/faculty hosting departmental events.
- We hosted Halloween at the Cactus Café on Oct. 29 with live music, drink specials, treats, a photo booth and a costume contest. Winners of the costume contest received tickets to the upcoming Madrigal Dinner.
- Our Kindness Cart is back in action! The staff rolled around campus and handed out friendship bracelets on Oct. 19 to celebrate National New Friends Day.
- We ran a medieval-themed booth at Longhorn Halloween on Oct. 24 to promote the 40th Annual Madrigal Dinner Nov. 18-20. Purchase your tickets.
Staff and students enjoying Longhorn Fiesta.
- Hear how music, dancing, food and friends capped off the university’s National Hispanic Heritage Celebration at Longhorn Fiesta in the latest episode of our Living the Longhorn Life Podcast.
University Housing and Dining staff at New Staff Welcome
- Our team hosted New Staff Welcome on Oct. 27 to welcome new team members to the Division. The redesigned program included an optional campus tour, history of the Division, team-building activities and Clifton Strengths Workshop. There will be another session on Nov. 3.
- Enjoy fun, food and friends at the Division-wide Holiday Gathering on Dec. 8, 9-11 a.m., San Jacinto Residence Hall Multipurpose Room and outdoor amphitheater.
- Mark your calendar for the last VPSA office hours session of the semester on Dec. 13.
Kouang Chan (University Ombuds Offices) and Alma Garcia (Vice President for Student Affairs) speak to students at Dinner with 16 Longhorns.
- Our Development team hosted Dinner with 16 Longhorns on Oct. 26 at the home of the Longhorn Family Leadership Council chairs.
Kyle St. Nicholas, Katie Sullivan and Ashley Richardson-Minnitt (New Student Services), Lindsey Lundberg (Texas Parents) and Desiree Alva (New Student Services) at the Student Affairs Leadership Team Meeting
- The Student Affairs Leadership Team kicked off the academic year on Oct. 13 with their first in-person meeting since February 2020.
Soncia Reagins-Lilly and Smita Ruzicka (Middlebury College) at the NASPA Institute for New Vice Presidents for Student Affairs
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Soncia Reagins-Lilly served as a faculty member at the NASPA Institute for New Vice Presidents for Student Affairs Oct. 10-13.
Katharine Sucher (top row, far left) and Ashley Richardson-Minnitt (top row, middle) at NASPA's College Autism Summit 2021
Ashley Richardson-Minnitt, and Katharine Sucher, New Student Services, presented “Hook Talent EDU: Neurodiversity Recruiting Best Practices” at a Texas Career Engagement virtual workshop with employers on Oct. 27. They also presented “Creating Intersectional Spaces: Supporting Neurodivergent Students with Diverse Identities” virtually at NASPA’s College Autism Summit 2021 on Oct. 29.
Two CoachUT coaches, Kelley Russell-DuVarney and Lisa Walker, are listed as the Top 20 Coaches in Austin. CoachUT, an Office of the Dean of Students program, provides free, one-on-one professional leadership coaching to students.
Sherry Bell, Counseling and Mental Health Center and University Health Services, will retire from the university on Dec. 31. Bell has 38 years of dedicated service. She was a pioneer in the field of college health prevention (health education) launching many innovative outreach strategies, led the campus-wide flu shot campaign, performed effective media relations, and improved customer service, processes and procedures.
Kathy Mosteller, University Health Services, will retire from the university on Dec. 31. Mosteller has 18 years of dedicated service. She’s been a fierce advocate for students as she’s led the nursing staff and clinical operations, directing quality management, overseeing accreditation activities, and organizing student volunteers and interns.