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A message from UTSA Vice President for Student Affairs - Dr. Gage E. Paine

Dr. Gage E Paine

It's Mid-Semester! Okay, your students are talking about this Spring Break thing – this week-long pause in March – but what I encourage family members to understand is that it's really the half-way point. The funny thing is that the second half of the Spring semester is somehow shorter than the first half. The first half is kind of dark and gloomy even here in San Antonio. The nights are long, the weather often a mess and unpredictable and even freshmen are a little blasé. After all, it's just another semester. Spring Break shows up as the days are visibly lengthening. This year, thanks to a bit of rain at the right time, wildflowers are blooming and the temperatures are pleasantly mild. Some students travel during Spring Break, some to exotic places – a student I met yesterday is off on a cruise. Some are involved in Alternative Spring Break programs either through UTSA or perhaps as a mission trip (UTSA students will be working on Habitat for Humanity homes or animal welfare projects in San Antonio and Oklahoma City, for example). Some students – probably most students – will be home spending what seems an impossible number of hours sleeping this week.

Then they return to campus and the part of the academic year I call "the sprint to the finish" begins. Now it's all real. Between March 19th and mid-May, everything has to be completed – papers, projects, organizational programs. Banquets and year-end celebrations have to be planned and enjoyed. For some, graduation looms on the horizon, which means they have to factor in time for trips to Career Services. It's exciting, fast-paced and, yes, it can be fun, but it's also challenging.

So, let them sleep some or enjoy the trip. But also encourage them to take care of themselves during Spring Break and after. Remind them to find a way to maintain healthy habits. (It's a skill that will benefit them the rest of their lives.) And remember, like the marathon runner headed into the last mile, they need you standing along the way, cheering as they zip by – because May will be over before they know it.

Happy Spring Break!

Gage Paine

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Families Celebrate Roadrunner Spirit at Spring Family Day

Family Weekend Students, their families, and their friends packed the Main Campus’ Paseo this past Saturday as UTSA celebrated families and all that they do for their students during Spring Family Day.  Roadrunner families showed their pride with blue and orange apparel, Rowdy tattoos, “Proud Parent” buttons, and Rowdy hair, courtesy of blue and orange hairspray. 

Family Weekend

Activities at the Rowdy Family Tailgate included a performance by the UTSA Pep Band, a balloon artist who specialized in Roadrunners for the day, and a basketball, soccer, and football sports challenge for students, younger siblings, and more than a few parents.  Two families walked away from the tailgate with UTSA weekend getaways, each including a hotel stay certificate from the Doubletree Downtown and gift cards to EZ’s Brick Oven & Grill, and were already planning their next trips to San Antonio.  The day’s events ended with two hard-fought basketball games against UT Arlington.  The women’s team came up just a bit short, but the men’s team pulled off the upset, handing the Mavericks their first conference loss on the last day of the regular season.

Thank you to everyone who made it out to campus this weekend to celebrate Roadrunner families.  You can find pictures of the Spring Family Day on the UTSA Family facebook page.


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Spring Break Advice for Students

Spring break for some students means spending a week at a beach with friends and plenty of sunshine. However, according to a US News & World Report article, students have many options to make the most of their week away from the classroom. Whether it is community service, like UTSA's Alternative Spring Break, or much needed rest and relaxation, your student can take advantage of spring break this year. Click here to learn more about your student's spring break options.

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UTSA Senior Helps Launch Louis Vuitton Store in Rome

Diana Cantu studied in Florence in summer 2011 in Italy, never imagining that her study abroad would lead to a resume-boosting career experience with a top-line designer. Cantu's Italian improved so much during her time in Florence that the Louis Vuitton store she works for in the U.S. nominated her to help with a store opening in Rome.

"This past summer, I studied Intercultural Communications in Florence, Italy," Cantu explains. "It was the best experience of my life. I had visited Italy once before for a week and a half. However, a vacation that short only gave me a taste of the Italian culture and a huge urge to go back."

Cantu is convinced that her study abroad experience in Italy resulted in her selection as the only North American representative at the Louis Vuitton Maison - Rome store opening. Cantu flew out of San Antonio in late January and was at a red carpet ceremony on January 27, mingling with international stars and celebrities. She also was able to meet with other Louis Vuitton representatives from countries around the world, including Austria, Hungary, and Brazil.

"The Louis Vuitton Maison - Rome grand opening began with two extravagant red carpet ceremonies," Cantu said. "Louis Vuitton held an exclusive, red carpet cocktail party at the newly built store for 50 of the world's top clients and International stars from around the world, including Cate Blanchett."

Her Italian experience is part of her career path; Cantu plans to obtain a communications internship in Louis Vuitton's North American corporate offices. Her goal is a full-time position in communications with the company.

"I absolutely feel that this opportunity will give me a leg up in the company. Not only does the company value a well-rounded resume, but Louis Vuitton also embraces the cultivation of appreciation for the company," she explained. "Through this experience, I have learned so much about the company and have truly become more passionate about the history and growth of Louis Vuitton. I know that this opportunity will set me apart from others who may be applying for the same positions within Louis Vuitton."

Click here to read Sherrie Voss Matthews' story on Diana's experience in its entirety.

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Free Vaccines for Students Available on Campus

UTSA Student Health Services has a limited supply of free flu and Tdap vaccine for students. The Tdap vaccine protects against tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, and lockjaw. This is a great opportunity for UTSA students to take advantage of the vaccines that can protect them from serious illnesses.

"We are now seeing an increase in positive flu cases in the clinic," said Beth Wichman, M.D., director of UTSA Student Health Services. "This year's flu season is delayed. Typically, the season starts in December or January. Therefore, getting inoculated will reduce the risk of becoming ill with the influenza virus."

The Tdap vaccine is important for adults because the inoculation protects from diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), and pertussis (whooping cough), which are serious diseases caused by bacteria.

- Tetanus (lockjaw) enters the body through cuts or wounds and causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. It can lead to locking of the jaw so the victim cannot open his or her mouth or swallow. Tetanus leads to death in up to two out of 10 cases.

- Diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) are spread from person to person. Diphtheria causes a thick covering in the back of the throat and can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and even death.

- Pertussis causes coughing spells so bad that it is hard for the person to eat, drink or breathe. These spells can last for weeks and can lead to pneumonia, seizures (jerking and staring spells), brain damage, and death.

For faster service, call to make an appointment between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday-Friday:

- Main Campus: Recreation and Wellness Center Suite 1.500, 210-458-4142

- Downtown Campus: Buena Vista Street Building Room 1.308, 210-458-2930

Article provided by Barbara Reyes, Assistant Director of Health Promotion and Marketing, via UTSA Today.

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Dr. Gage Paine, VP of Student Affairs, Recognized Nationally by Peers

Gage E. Paine, UTSA vice president for student affairs, will be recognized in March by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) with the Scott Goodnight Award for Outstanding Service as a Dean. This is the second NASPA award Paine will receive, following receipt of NASPA's John Jones Award in 2011 for Outstanding Performance as a Senior Officer. NASPA gives the award to an institution's lead student affairs officer who has demonstrated sustained professional service in student affairs work and is the organization's top award for outstanding service.

"I am honored to receive this award, which reflects the success of the entire Division of Student Affairs," said Paine. "I'm equally flattered that people from the UTSA community would take time out of their busy schedules to nominate me."

Paine has worked extensively in university student affairs, serving as vice president for student affairs at Trinity University, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of student life at Southern Methodist University, and associate dean of students at the University of Texas at Austin.

Most recently, Paine was part of the Leadership UTSA implementation team, a collaborative partnership between academic and administrative staff to cultivate leadership skills, institutional vision, and organizational change among UTSA faculty and staff. She routinely presents workshops at numerous statewide and national conferences on student affairs topics and served as the director of the New Professionals Institute for NASPA, Region III, in 2008 and 2009. Paine also delivers leadership and strategic planning consultations to a variety of academic and nonprofit audiences.

"Dr. Gage Paine is an outstanding professional, strongly rooted in the theory and practice of excellence in student affairs," said UTSA President Ricardo Romo. "She inspires by being both progressive and selflessly giving of her time and energy. Gage is compassionately transforming students, staff, campus and the community as a whole, which makes her the model for outstanding performance as a senior student affairs officer."

Story courtesy of Omar Hernandez and UTSA Today.

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Family Association Updates

new family association site

I was fortunate this past Saturday to watch students and families get into the Roadrunner spirit, meet fellow UTSA families, and just have a great time on campus. In between the food, music, balloon art, and games, families made great connections and enjoyed the chance to just spend time with their students. For those of you who made it to Spring Family Day, thank you so much for showing your pride in UTSA and making the first Spring Family Day a success.

new family association site Although Spring Family Day is less than a week behind us, we are already looking ahead to Fall Family Weekend. With UTSA Football fans setting TWO NATIONAL ATTENDANCE RECORDS in our first season, Roadrunner Nation is raring to go for the 2013 season. Details will follow soon on dates, activities, and ticket packages for Fall Family Weekend!

Thank you for reading The Family Connection and go Runners!


Jeff Mayo
Associate Director
Orientation and Family Programs

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Upcoming Events & Volunteer Opportunities

Spring Break – March 12-17

Liberal and Fine Arts Career Fair – March 26
Current Roadrunners should stop by the UC Ballrooms in the UC South and network with potential employers wanting to meet UTSA COLFA graduates!  Professional dress is required.

Pecos Rock Climbing Trip – March 30
Does your student enjoy the outdoors?  Encourage him or her to join the Outdoor Pursuits crew as they lead a group of students to Comstock, TX to rock climb at Continental Ranch.

13th Annual NI-UTSA All Jazzed Up Festival – April 14
Join us at the Downtown Campus as a great lineup of jazz performers put on a great show!

Fiesta UTSA – April 20
One of UTSA’s oldest traditions, Fiesta UTSA helps kickoff San Antonio’s world famous Fiesta celebration!  Support UTSA student organizations while you enjoy live music, countless styles of food, and UTSA spirit under the Sombrilla.  Be sure to keep an eye out for Fiesta Royalty!

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Thank you for reading the Family Connection