Staff News


August 9, 2007

In This Issue

  • Message from the Vice President for Student Affairs

  • "Visiting With.......

  • "Student Activities
  • Announcements

  • Welcome New Staff to Student Affairs

  • "Getting To Know You"... Stacy Peña

  • Departmental News


Message from the Vice President for Student Affairs

Tips for Success continued


When I talk with the incoming students, I tell them that SHOWING UP, while very important, isn't really enough.  That's where tip #2 comes into play.  To them I say, 'Be brave and answer a question.  Be braver and ask one.'  It's probably something half the class would like to know.  Be bravest and introduce yourself to the professor.  Be active in the classroom; fully engage in the experience. ‘Go For It.’

‘Go For It’ also includes getting involved.  Find an organization to join.  Knock on the door down the hall and meet your neighbor.  Go to a play, attend an athletic event.  Move out of what you did before you came to college and see what happens.

For orientation, it means play all the cheesy get-acquainted games.  Ask the orientation leaders about their experience.  Get the most out of orientation that you can.  Don't be too cool for school.

It's become a bit of a cliché but it's no less true that we're more likely to regret what we didn't do than what we did.  Several years ago on a trip to the British Isles I had a chance to attend a traditional Scottish dance.  It was really a neighborhood event and we would have been the only outsiders.  For all sorts of "good" reasons, we didn't go.  Twenty years later amid all the good memories of that trip I still wish I had gone to the dance.

We all have such stories to one degree or another.  Some are about big, important decisions; some are small and silly.  But most people have at some time stopped themselves from reaching out to try something new, and therefore a little bit scary, so we've missed an opportunity to learn, grow or to enjoy it.

‘Go For It’ applies to our work life as well.  We can do just enough to keep our jobs which usually mean we're bored.  Or we can find ways to really engage in our work experience and our work community.  We can volunteer to serve on a committee.  We can take a class and learn new software or an advanced skill.  We can be brave enough to try a new way of doing things or say yes to an opportunity - which is how I ended up sharing the stage with Barbara Jordan one evening.  Or we can stay in our safe little routine.

I think all of us know that students who really ‘Go For It’ - engage in academics, get involved on campus, find ways to connect to others - do better in college. They earn better grades, have a happier experience, and are more likely to stay until graduation and come back afterward. 

Why shouldn't we heed our own advice and really ‘Go For It’ in all the parts of our lives?  If we do, all sorts of interesting things might happen and that's part of a successful life too.

Next Time:  TIP #3

Best Wishes,




Visiting With......Student Activities

Seated (l to r) CJ Lee, Michelle Montanio, Misty Kelley, and Keith Pilger

Standing (l to r) Chris Hargraves, Kristal Statler, Charlin Jones, Lyndsey Battles, John Montoya, Barry McKinney, Kelsey Bratcher, Glenda Landeen


Here are a few things we would like you to know about us -    

Our mission:  Student Activities provides co-curricular opportunities that foster and recognize leadership, learning and development while promoting a purposeful connection to the UTSA community.

Who we serve:  All student leaders and any student seeking to become involved on campus through a variety of activities and developmental opportunities.

Our innovations or successes: 

*      Developing LEAD UTSA.  Its purpose is to provide members of the UTSA community opportunities to develop their leadership skills through experiential learning, peer mentoring, formal classroom study, off-campus and on-campus leadership conferences, and a distinguished lecture series.

*      Creating Honors Alliance.  Its purpose is to assemble member organizations and departments to promote mutual interests, foster the ideal of academic integrity for the university and community and promote learning through scholarly and leadership programming, volunteer service, and recognition.

Longest serving staff member:  Carol “CJ", Administrative Assistant  Student Activities Downtown (started August 1988).

Newest staff member:  Kelsey Bratcher, Assistant Director of Risk Education, Alcohol and Drug Program (started June 2007).

You may not know that:  We have an electronic newsletter, called In the Loop, that goes out every two weeks.  It is an opportunity to communicate to students the variety of events that are being hosted by our office, student organizations and other departments on campus.

Student Activities staff meet in the University Center Buckeye Room

Student Activities provides three majors components of co-curricular activities.  These components are student organizations, leadership, and programming for students. 

*       Student Organizations are a wonderful outlet for students who are looking to get involved, make a difference in their community, and to get the most out of their college experience by meeting people who share the same interests.  Individuals who are involved on campus make better grades and are more likely to graduate.  There are currently over 200 student organizations, if none of these meet your needs or interests, you may start a new student organization.  For a list of our student organizations and additional information about getting involved on campus, visit our website.   

*       Leadership provides opportunities for development.  We currently provide a number of ways for you to build your leadership skills including a Leader Summit, our Leadership Library, and a Speakers’ Bureau.  There are also many opportunities for you to attend leadership conferences off campus.   

*       Programming provides an atmosphere of student life on campus.  Student Activities sponsors and co-sponsors a large variety of events to enhance the spirit and traditions of the University of Texas at San Antonio.  Some of these events include: Homecoming, Fiesta UTSA, Rowdy Days, Greek Week, and Debates. 

How you can reach us: ext.  4160

web site –




Mural Design Competition for a future "Van Gogh"

The Inclusion and Community Engagement Center is looking for talented artists who are interested in designing a wall mural for the Center. This mural will be the centerpiece of the main reception area of the Center and is intended to express our mission and vision artistically. The Process Mural entries must be full color and can either be submitted electronically or on paper. If submitted on paper the entry must be no larger than 11x17.


Review of entries will begin on October 1, 2007; the competition will

remain open until a winner is selected. Electronic entries must be emailed

to marlon.anderson@ Paper entries must be delivered to the

Office of Student Activities (UC 1.02.08) by 5:00pm on September 28, 2007.


Complete entry instructions....


 New Staff to Student Affairs


Please welcome Brenda J. Pence, Psy.D. to Student Affairs, Counseling Services.  Brenda is a graduate of the Clinical Psychology doctoral program at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.  She joins us after working in a group private practice and acting as a consultant at Laurel Ridge Treatment Center.  Her areas of interest include relationship issues, depression, women’s issues, GLBT concerns, trauma, and psychological assessment.  Brenda is married and has a ten-year-old stepdaughter and a four-month-old son. 



Richard Blask, Ph.D., is a new psychologist in the Counseling Service.  He received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Houston in 1997 and has been working at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Delhi in upstate New York since that time.  He is very happy to be back in his home state of Texas!





Monthly Birthday Celebration with Dr. Paine


Please come celebrate your birthday with co-workers and Dr. Paine. The next celebration is scheduled September 13, 2007 for all Student Affairs staff August birthdays.  The celebrations will be on the 2nd Thursday of each month from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.



Getting To Know Stacy Peña

A regular feature of the newsletter highlighting Student Affairs staff members


Name: Anastasia J Peña

(prefers to be called Stacy)


Title: Information Technology Associate II


Department: Student Information Systems


Job Description: Coordinate various websites


Background: Employed with the UTSA History Department for 5 years as an Administrative Associate, before working with SIS.  While there, I “stole” the webpage job from a professor and made it my pet project.


Experience: Practically self-taught, worked on web pages since 1999 beginning with a zany “about me and my interests” site.  Was a student at St. Mary’s University with a major in Computer Science before switching to Anthropology at UTSA.  I’ve been here ever since.


Describe your job: It’s a little too early to tell… but the people are great!  Seriously, though, I’ll be the contact for changes to the Student Affairs and Registrar’s Office web sites.  I’m sure “other duties as assigned” will be passed to me (the newbie) as well.


What job skills to you use most often?  My computer [troubleshooting] skills: I was the unofficial PC Tech in the History Dept, fixing all sorts of computer and user malfunctions.  I have even put that knowledge to use in the first 2 days with SIS!


How do you unwind?  I unwind by watching Japanese Anime and playing video games (on both the computer and various consoles).  Oh, and by eating chocolate…


What are you most excited about in your new position as the web master for Student Affairs? Simply put: I am most excited about finally having the opportunity to do what I love - web pages - as a career.  The bonus is that working for Student Affairs gives me an even greater opportunity to streamline the information flow so that students, faculty, and staff can get accurate information as quickly as possible.  I am honored to help better the university to which I have given the past 5 years of my working life.  The people in Student Affairs are very warm and accepting, and this team environment will make my job all the more successful.  I sincerely look forward to working more closely with all of you!



Departmental News - Update


"What's New in Student Affairs for the 2007-2008 Academic Year" was presented by faculty and staff at the Student Affairs Directors' Council today, August 9, 2007, in the Campus Recreation Studio Blue room.  Updates on Roadrunner Days, new happenings in Admissions, Laurel Village, Career Fairs and a new fall on-line orientation reservation system (see below) as well as numerous new programs from Campus Recreation were covered.  Congratulations and pats on the back to Student Affairs staff for such an exciting Fall 2007!


Below are some updates on services, programs, and events.  Department Council report minutes will contain more detailed information.  Also, information will be featured in future staff newsletters. 

  • Admissions  is moving - Admissions will move from JPL to the MS the last week in August; Visitor's Center will stay in the same location.

  • Career Services is having several Job Fairs - Part-Time Job Fairs in August, Career Fairs in September

  • Housing - Update on Laurel Village Housing took reservations for 206 residents; needs volunteers for housing complexes and need volunteers to help students move (see article below).

  • Orientation and Transition Services - New On-Line Orientation Program (see article below)  See Roadrunner Days Update for more information.

  • Student Activities - New focus - risk education, working with student organizations for alcohol and drug program

  • Campus Recreation Construction Update - New Campus Rec Center ahead of schedule; opening September 14 and September 15, 2007.  See most recent maps, information  UTSAToday Article.

  • Expanded Campus Rec offers new services  

    With expanded facilities and new programs, the Recreation Center offers memberships to UTSA students, but also to faculty and staff members. Memberships now are available for employees' spouses or domestic partners. The fee for a spouse/domestic partner is the same as the employee's membership fee. 

    Other Campus Rec New Programming - Kayaks, Caving, Cooking and Vacation Resource Guide to name only a few!

The Office of Housing and Residence Life would like to request your help in assisting the newest Roadrunners with their arrival.  We are looking for volunteers to help the “On-Campus Roadrunners” move into their new home for the Fall 2007 semester.  We are asking you to donate your time and give a hand.  The official move-in date for all four housing complexes (Chaparral Village, Laurel Village, Chisholm Hall, and University Oaks) is August 17th and 18th

We will need volunteers from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on both days.   The volunteers will be asked to help the students and their families move personal items into their rooms.  Pepsi products will be provided for everyone.

If you would like to volunteer, please complete the linked form.  Include the number of volunteers from your area if you are volunteering as a group.  Please fax the completed form to us at 458-6201, or drop it off at the City Center at Chaparral Village near Chisholm Hall.

Road Runner Roundup - latest fall 2007 Orientation

Due to the overwhelming response to all Fall 2007 orientation sessions, students may have been unable to find an open seat for orientation at either the 1604 and/or Downtown campus.  Orientation and Transition Services will post the Last Fall 2007 Orientation Program on the Orientation Reservation System by Monday, August 13, 2007.  On this date, all new students accepted for admission to UTSA for Fall 2007 that have not attended a new student orientation program, Roadrunner Roundup, can make their reservation for an on-line orientation program.  The fee for the on-line orientation program will be $55 and will be added to your final tuition and fee bill for Fall 2007.

Go to Orientation and Transition Services web site for complete information.






Please send newsletter items to by August 19, 2007.