Staff News


October 4, 2007


In This Issue

  • Message from the Vice President for Student Affairs

  • Announcements

  • Welcome New Staff to Student Affairs

  • "Getting To Know You"...

  • Departmental News

  • Thank You Rowdy travels across Student Affairs

  • Kudos

Message from Gage E. Paine,

Vice President for Student Affairs


In the past two weeks, I've had the opportunity to visit five different universities.  It's one of my favorite things to do.  It's always fascinating to see how many different ways there are to provide what are basically the same programs and services and to find what is truly unique to each campus.  The same is true of the facilities.  Every university needs classrooms, labs, a library or two, places for people to eat, to gather in groups and to find solitude, and yet every campus has its own look and feel.  Some of that difference is due to architecture and landscaping of course - Spanish moss in Tallahassee and tall palm trees in Boca Raton make Florida State and Florida Atlantic universities look very different.  But no matter how gorgeous the view looks, that's never the full picture of a campus.  Even more, it's the people - the energy of students who hurry or meander across campus, the sounds in the hallways as classes change, the way people passing acknowledge or ignore each other - it all adds to the feel of a campus.


As I've said before, one of the factors that drew me to UTSA was to be part of this wonderful and rare opportunity to be part of shaping our campus' future.  We shape this campus every day in numerous ways, both large and small.  Strategic planning is one of the big ways.  The members of the Executive Council have met to start our divisional process and they will be working with departments to continue this work.


As you think about the future, it's important to pay attention to sometimes contradictory ideas.  What makes UTSA unique that we should keep?  What is unique to UTSA but makes no sense for our future and needs to be left behind?  What strengths do we capitalize on?  What do we do well, but  no longer meets the needs of our campus?  What are best practices we should emulate?  What is something no one else is doing that would be perfect or us in the future?  Big questions, big ideas to consider to help set the course for our university for years to come.  The Master Plan for campus, enrollment management, undergraduate experience - big pictures that we're all looking at in some way or another.


Just as important are the small things.  Margaret Wheatley in Leadership and the New Science * takes the science of fractals into organizational life.  Too complex to describe here fully, the short definition of a fractal is "any object or form created from repeating patterns evident at many levels of scale." (Emphasis added.)


Wheatley goes on to say, "I can't think of any organization that isn't deeply patterned with self-similar behaviors evident everywhere.  I am often struck by eerily similar behaviors exhibited by people in an organization... These recurring patterns are what many call the culture of organization."


So, everyday by our small actions and interactions repeated by us and replicated by others we create the 'shape' of UTSA.  Few of us get to decide the architecture of or landscaping of our campus.  Many of us as we think and talk and plan will help decide the big picture questions.  But all of us, as we move across campus greeting or ignoring others, as we work with others in a friendly or curt way, as we take time to connect to many or just favor a few, all of us determine the feel of UTSA.


So what is our campus today and what should it be tomorrow?  Important questions to keep asking ourselves because everyday our answers create the complete picture of UTSA.


Best Wishes,


Click on fractal icon to read more about Margaret Wheatley                     

The New Science of Leadership: An Interview with Margaret Wheatley

(interview adapted from the radio series

Insight & Outlook, hosted by Scott London)


*Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World, by Margaret J. Wheatley





Melissa Hernandez, LCSW, has accepted the position of Assistant Director of Counseling Services.  Melissa has a bachelor's and master's degree from the University of Texas at Austin and has been a licensed social worker for more than 7 years.  She began work at UTSA Counseling Services in  2003 as a Staff Clinician.  In 2005 she was appointed Interim Assistant Director.  Now as the permanent Assistant Director she will be assisting Executive Director, Elizabeth Stanczak, Ph.D. and Director, Tom Baez, Ph.D., in the clinic management and development of clinic procedure.  In addition, she will also be leading staff in the development of the Women's Resource Center programming and the C.U.R.E. Peer Education student group.




Creative Leadership: A Workshop for Leadership Exploration

On Tuesday. October 2, 25 staff members from across campus participated in Dr. Paine's class Creative Leadership: A Workshop for Leadership Exploration, part 1 of 2 sessions.

The course covers basic leadership concepts while exploring the use of imagination and other expressions of creativity through performing fun exercises.  Course objectives include that participants identify areas of strengths and develop new ways of thinking of leadership.

It's time again to nominate UTSA’s outstanding students for Who’s Who.  Please help in selecting 150 juniors, seniors and graduate students to be named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.  Up to 20 freshmen and 20 sophomores will be added to the list of upper classmen for a combined total of 190 students to Who’s Who at UTSA.


New Professionals Network


Thanks to everyone who met to begin the New Professionals Network! There was a great turnout of 25 new professionals who are interested in collaboration, career planning, balance/wellness and socializing to name a few! The meeting was facilitated by Dr. Gage Paine who helped us learn that we come to student affairs from many different backgrounds, but our common draw to the profession is the students. Special thanks to those that attended the first meeting.   Photo Gallery


Social Planners for New Professionals Network (L-R) Christina Selk, Jennifer Lilly, Charlin Jones


Please make sure you put the next meeting times on your calendars:

Wednesday, November 7,  11:30 a.m. - JPL Assembly Room

Wednesday, December 5,  11:30 a.m. - UC Willow Room


UTSA State Employee Charitable Campaign Kickoff


 Are you ready to be a V.I.G. (Very Important Giver)? The 2007 State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC) kicked off on October 1 and runs through October 19. This is your time to actually "give at the office" by joining the annual workplace giving campaign for State of Texas employees that benefits a diverse group of charities and nonprofit organizations. You can donate through a one-time gift or through payroll deduction.


Did you know that for only $2.00 month you can provide one day of food and shelter for homeless person? Or for $5.00 month,  you can pay for 10 trees to be planted in an inner city neighborhood! If you gave $10.00 month, you can provide a family in crisis with their monthly utility or grocery bills and for $20.00 month you can provide food for one guide dog in advance training. The list goes on and you can make a difference so be a part of a life changing experience and please give!**


Plus, remember that when you give, you will be issued a VIG pass to come and see the UTSA's Got Talent Program featuring our very own Dr. Gage Paine, the Financial Aid "Promissory Notes" Band, Career Services Dancers, and The Orientation's "Oh Oh It's Magic" routine!


**Resource: United Way 2007 Directory of Charities


Office of Admissions is having an all-day open house to celebrate their new location MS 2.02.24 on Wednesday, October 31, 2007.  It's a trick or treat open house and candy treats for those of you who visit the new offices.


Congratulations to Erika Cox, Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services, has been promoted from ESO II to Senior Training Specialist. 


Housing and Residence Life sends congratulations to Jose Martin who has accepted the position as Building Attendant II.


From Pat Graham, Special Events:

I am pleased to announce that Charlin Jones has been promoted to the position of Assistant Director of the Special Events Center.  In this new capacity, she will continue her work on comprehensive programs related to the recognition of academic pursuits, development of honor societies and organizations, and the Honors Alliance.  Charlin will work with the Executive Director on the planning and implementation of the commencement ceremonies and Fall Convocation as well as assisting with the planning and implementation of Roadrunner Days and Homecoming activities.  We look forward to Charlin's involvement with the university-wide programs sponsored by the Special Events Center.  Her knowledge of events management and her student development experiences are welcome additions for the Center's staff.


Please view the updated and latest edition of The Family Connection, an e-newsletter developed by Orientation and Transition Services.  Among the topics in the newsletter, you will find information about UTSA Family Day, scheduled for October 26th and 27th, 2007.


Rowdy Rec Run October 13th - 9 a.m. - 5 K Walk, Run

  • First 100 to sign up get a free t-shirt

  • Open to all UTSA students, faculty, staff and alumni

  • Co-Relay Teams of three

  • Winners receive a champion t-shirt

  • Sign up online or at the Outdoor Resource Center Desk

Campus Rec


New Staff in Student Affairs


Jessica Thompson – Administrative Associate I

Jessica Avalos – Admissions Assistant

Joshua Cuevas - Admissions Officer I



Robert Castillo, Academic Advisor II

Dee Kennedy, Learning Assistance Coordinator


Career Services

Susanna Driver has joined the staff as a generalist career planner.  She will also be helping out in the College of Engineering.  Susanna most recently worked for the University of Maryland as a college liaison in Afghanistan.  Prior to that, she worked in Germany, Egypt, and Kosovo.  Susanna has a master’s degree in counseling from Bowie State University and an undergraduate degree in psychology from UTSA.


Housing and Residence Life

The following new staff will be working on the maintenance areas of both Housing complexes:

James Diamond - Maintenance Worker III

Roland Garza - Mechanical Maintenance Technician        

Freddy Perez - Maintenance Worker I

Jorge Ortega - Maintenance Worker I


Housing and Residence Life also welcomes

Janie Ramos - Building Attendant I


Campus Rec

Valentina Fridman, Accounting Technician, Campus Recreation

Valentina came to Campus Recreation from Disbursements.


Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services

John Shaffer, Outreach Specialist



Monthly Birthday Celebration with Dr. Paine


Please come celebrate your birthday with co-workers and Dr. Paine. The next celebration is scheduled October 11, 2007 for all Student Affairs staff October birthdays.  The celebrations will be on the 2nd Thursday of each month from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.  Location for the celebration will be included in the birthday invitation.





"Getting To Know You"

A regular feature of the newsletter highlighting Student Affairs staff members


Name: Shirley Pipes


Title: Administrative Services Officer II


Department: Office of Administration and Student Services


Job Description

I am the assistant to Sam Gonzales, Associate Vice President for Administration and Student Services.  I am on the SART Committee, work with budgets, attend meetings, travel planning, purchasing, personnel, etc.  I also work with the five other departments in the Student Services area.



I am a native Texan and my husband and I celebrated our 46th anniversary this last spring (WOW that’s a long time).  I have two beautiful daughters that are the light of my life, and one terrific son-in-law.



Well, let’s see, I started out as a cashier in my father’s restaurant when I was in high school…….just kidding, I wouldn’t go that far back!!  I have been with UTSA for 20 years this past August.  I began as a secretary in Chisholm Hall (UTSA was very small) and was promoted along as my supervisor took on more responsibilities.  I worked in Student Life for approximately 15 years and in Student Services for the last 5 years.


Describe your job

I have a great job working with great people.  I am privileged to work with such departments as Campus Recreation, Career Services, Counseling Services, Disability Services and Student Health Services.  We work together on budgets, personnel, vacation/sick leave, etc.


What job skills do you use most often?

Computers, of course, but I feel like I do have good communication skills and customer service is extremely important to me. I love people.


How do you unwind?

I love being home and especially enjoy spending time with my family.  We have always sort of traveled in a pack.  I am blessed that we all live right here in San Antonio.


What advice would you give to other Student Affairs staff?

Have Fun! Take one day at a time.  I know there are days that are frustrating, but something good always comes along to make it better.



Departmental News



UTSA volleyball team is back in action on Friday night Oct. 5th, when it welcomes Prairie View A&M to the Convocation Center.  The match will be the Roadrunner' first home contest since September 8th.

Click on above Athletics site for complete schedule.  San Antonio area schedule:






Time (CT)

 Fri, Oct 5 -
 Sat, Oct 06


 UTSA Invitational

 San Antonio, Texas

 All Day

 Fri, Oct 5


 Prairie View A&M

 San Antonio, Texas

 6 p.m

 Sat, Oct 6


 Incarnate Word Invitational

 at San Antonio, Texas

 9 a.m.

 Sat, Oct 6


 Incarnate Word Invitational

 at San Antonio, Texas

 9 a.m.

 Sat, Oct 6


 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi *

 at Corpus Christi, Texas

 5 p.m.

 Thu, Oct 11


 Texas State *

 San Antonio, Texas

 7 p.m.

 Fri, Oct 12


 Stephen F. Austin *

 San Antonio, Texas

 7 p.m.

 Sat, Oct 13


 TLU Bulldog Invitational

 at Seguin, Texas

 9 a.m.

 Sat, Oct 13


 Texas-Arlington *

 San Antonio, Texas

 2 p.m.


MT - Men's tennis

VB - Volleyball

MCC - Men's Cross Country

WCC - Women's Cross Country

WS - Women's Softball


NCAA® Men’s Final Four®

Be a part of the MADNESS in 2008 as San Antonio hosts next year’s NCAA® Men’s Final Four®, April 5 and 7 in the Alamodome!  We need 2,000 volunteers to support the many NCAA® events during Final Four® week.  RESERVE YOUR SPOT TODAY


Career Services

The Fall Career Fair on September 20th was a big success!  Over 950 students participated and took advantage of the opportunity to talk with 357 employers representing 140 different companies and agencies.  Many students were interviewed on the spot and others were scheduled for future interviews.  The employers were hiring both interns and full-time employees.  Career Services would like to thank the Rec Center staff for all their assistance in accommodating the fair!


The Downtown Career Fair will be held on Wednesday, October 10, from 1-5 p.m. in the Buena Vista Building.  This fair expects record employer participation and all students are encouraged to attend.


More Career Services News


Counseling Center's Open House Big Success! - September 28, 2007

Photo Gallery


Student Activities


Student Activities Weekly Events

In The Loop


Thank You Rowdy continues his travels across Student Affairs


Thank You Rowdy has a special mission in Student Affairs - to travel across UTSA recognizing the good work of staff members.

Within the Division of Student Affairs, Thank You Rowdy is presented from one Student Affairs staff member to another in recognition and appreciation of work done well - taking extra assignments to provide support, offering unsolicited assistance or completing tasks in a unique way.

Whatever the situation, contributions like this are made every day and Thank You Rowdy helps us recognize them.

Thank you Rowdy reflects UTSA's spirit of community and reminds us to remember it takes everyone to make UTSA a great place to work and to learn.

Gage E. Paine



Kevin Price Receives Thank You Rowdy from Sam Gonzales


September 27, 2007


FROM:  Sam Gonzales

TO:  Kevin Price


I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your help in providing the legislation relating to use of fees.  But especially your thoughts, opinions and potential solutions. 


Much Appreciated,

Sam G.






Click on image for previous awarding of Thank You Rowdy; also, Rowdy's Road Rules.






From Anne Jimenez, Judicial Affairs:


Kudos to Jan McKinney, Coordinator of Student Judicial Affairs and Curtis Odle, Assistant Director of Residence Life, Campus Living Villages for identifying Civility as an issue needing to be addressed and taking the initiative to develop the UTSA Civility Project which resulted in last week’s inaugural Civility Week at UTSA.  Full Story....



From Orientation and Transition Services:


Orientation and Transition Services is proud to present the 2007 Jason Block Outstanding Orientation Leader Award to Maric “Pooty” Allen.  The Jason Block Outstanding Orientation Leader Award is presented annually to one Orientation Leader that demonstrates an outstanding commitment to the mission, goals and purpose of orientation.  In addition, the Outstanding Orientation Leader demonstrates an exceptional ability to lead, role-model, and motivate fellow staff members.  (Photo: L-R) Paul Ayala, Maric "Pooty" Allen, and Lisa Alonzo  Full Story.....


Student Affairs Staff News


Current and previous newsletters are located on the Student Affairs website, News and Events, Staff News.





Please send newsletter items to by October 15, 2007Submit items at least four days before an event including contact name, e-mail and phone. Items may be edited for clarity and format.