Staff News


September 20, 2007


In This Issue

  • Message from the Vice President for Student Affairs

  • "Visiting With"...

  • Announcements

  • Welcome New Staff to Student Affairs

  • "Getting To Know You"...

  • Departmental News

  • Thank You Rowdy begins his travels across Student Affairs

  • Kudos

Message from Gage E. Paine,

Vice President for Student Affairs


A few years ago as I was becoming what is known as ‘more senior’ in the field of Student Affairs, I noticed a syndrome that afflicted some of my newer colleagues.  Over time, I began to realize that anyone could experience this syndrome – the 'Failure to Be Curious Syndrome'.  Sometimes this syndrome is acute lasting for a short time during a period of intense overwork or a crisis situation.  But sometimes it is chronic.  It can be caused by style or a misunderstanding of the importance of things outside the task at hand. However, regardless of the cause, it is always something to avoid.  Failure to Be Curious can negatively impact your work, but it can also rob us of the enjoyment that can, and should, be a part of working on a university campus.  Obviously we need to do our jobs, but I believe we also need to become insatiably curious about our departments, our division, our university and higher education, not to mention the greater community. 


Early in my career, during my first semester at UT-Austin, the campus experienced many controversies including a student death related to hazing (which had the local media calling repeatedly) and protests against the Board of Regents’ investment policies.  These protests ranged from protests, to repeated burning of a mock-shanty on campus, to a short-lived takeover of the President’s office.  As a result, the first thing I did every day was to read the student newspaper.  It told me what the coming day had in store.  Even when things calmed down and my job moved off the media radar, I maintained the habit.  I still read the student newspaper first thing.  I also make sure to find time to at least skim The Chronicle of Higher Education every week or to read the news in UTSA today (every time I do I learn information about students I haven’t met yet or more about my colleagues and the amazing work they do in their areas of expertise.)  So, give yourself ten minutes to review The Paisano.  Don’t just cross your name off the routing slip and send things on; read as much as you can even if you have to schedule time to do it.  Learn to be curious about every aspect of our institution.


Now, I assume that you know the name of our university president and the vice president for Student Affairs, but do you know our academic fields of study and the schools from which we obtained our degrees?  'Why', you may ask 'should I take time to learn that?'  If you aspire to obtain a leadership position in a university, these two people and the rest of the leadership in any institution are people who have been successful in your chosen field of endeavor.  Having information about their career paths gives you models for analysis and emulation.  But regardless of your career interests, it gives you something to talk about at a university function or during a surprise elevator ride.  Knowing who’s who on campus is critical.  I’ve watched a staff member stuttering in embarrassment when, upon being introduced to the provost, he asked very nicely, ‘And what do you do here?’  Look through the UTSA website and be familiar with the leadership names on campus.


But don’t just learn about the people with big titles.  Get to know as many different people in as many different departments as possible.  There are amazing people all over campus doing great work, who also have fascinating interests and hobbies.  They are worth your time on many levels, but knowing people across campus can also help you be more effective in your job.


So besides people and the news, what do you need to be insatiably curious about?  Here is a list of questions to get you started.  Maybe they will trigger an idea some other questions to ask.


  1. Who is our current president?  What is the name of his Chief of Staff?

  2. Can you name any past presidents?  Knowing the current one and the first one is a good place to start.

  3. Do you know all of the vice presidents and the names of their departments?

  4. Just what is a Provost?

  5. Who is the Chair of the Faculty Senate?

  6. Who do you really need to talk to when you need to order equipment for an event?  Who do you really need to apologize to when a student event leaves a bigger mess than anticipated?

  7. What is our campus admissions philosophy in one sentence? 

  8. Can you find the campus non-discrimination policy?  Who does a student talk to if they believe they have been harassed?  Staff member?

  9. What was the headline in this week’s newspaper, The Paisano? (Where does that name come from?)  Who is the editor?  What is the paper’s legal relationship with the campus?

  10. Who won the volleyball game or the soccer game or the golf tournament this past weekend?  Who were we playing?  (You don’t have to keep track of all the sports, but you ought to know about the ones in which students you work with are involved.)

  11. What are the school’s official colors?  Do you know where to find that information?

  12. What were the Campus Activities Board’s big events this last month?

  13. What are the biggest, most important groups in the life of our campus?  Do you know something about their history?

  14. What is your campus mascot?  Its name?  Its history?

  15. What art shows and musical performances are on campus this month?  Have you gone to any?

  16. What outside agencies impact our campus?

  17. What is the role of the Board of Regents?  How do people get to be Regents?

  18. How is the university funded?  What is the budget process? 

  19. How do other departments on campus work? 

  20. What is really important to your boss?  What is really important to his/her boss?

The cure for the 'Failure to Be Curious' syndrome is to become insatiably curious, to seek out information.  There are many ways to gain answers to these and many other questions that you will face over time.  I’ve mentioned the importance of reading, but also know that asking your supervisor good questions is another way to find information.  However, s/he doesn’t have time to tell you everything you need to know.  Don’t forget about the informal communication methods.  When you go to a meeting, don’t just sit and wait for the meeting to start; talk to people.  Introduce yourself to the people you don’t know.  On your lunch break leave your desk and walk over to the University Center, have lunch in the Roadrunner Café or explore the library.  Invite a colleague from another department for lunch.  Find ways to do your job and to learn more about your university and the world of higher education.  Becoming insatiably curious is an important job skill. You will not only improve your job performance, you’ll have a much clearer picture of the way your job fits into the bigger scheme of things.  You’ll become a better resource to students and colleagues.  You will start enjoying some of the best benefits of working on a university campus – taking advantage of the arts, sports, and resources we have, not to mention getting to know all of the interesting and talented people who come here every day to work and to learn.  Don’t let the 'Failure to Be Curious' syndrome get you today – quick, go ask somebody a question and see what amazing thing you learn!

 Adapted from “How to Be Insatiably Curious” NASPA NetResults online journal, August 2005

Best Wishes,




Front Row L-R: Mesilla Hernandez, Brenda Pence, Carrie Parker, Mia Veve, Tom Baez; Second Row L-R: Veronica Santos, Sylvia Robinson, Richard Blask, Keith Franklin, Elizabeth Stanczak, Arnulfo Ojeda, Casey Coton, and Claudia Kypuros
"Visiting With"...
Counseling Services


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

The Mission of the Counseling Services is to provide the University of Texas at San Antonio community professional mental health services guided by ethical and best possible standards of practice to:

  • provide short-term treatment and/or referrals for psychological and emotional disturbances;

  • contribute to students' continued

     personal and interpersonal development;

  • maximize students' abilities to participate in the intellectual and social culture of the University;

  • assist in preparing students for successful life functioning beyond the University; and

  • to consult with and provide mental health and education for University staff, faculty, and administration when appropriate to best support the students.

Complete Interview


Counseling Services Open House Invitation - 9/28/07





There have been several organizational changes implemented to assist Student Affairs Administration more effectively support the division’s administrative needs.


Sam Gonzales has assumed responsibility for supervision of the office of budget and financial services, and for facilities construction and space.  Sam will continue to supervise the Student Services departments: Campus Recreation, Career Services, Counseling Services, Health Services and Disability Services.  Sam’s new title is Associate Vice President for Administration and Student Services.


Edna Dominguez has assumed responsibility in providing broader administrative support for VPSA tasks and will report directly to the VPSA. She will continue her liaison role with auditing and compliance reporting and to coordinate VPSA office communications.   Edna’s new title is Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs.


The Student Affairs Ombudsperson, Carol Gonzalez, and the Associate Director for Student Affairs Development, Jana Kennelly will report directly to the Vice President.





Have you ever pondered questions such as …"What are my career goals?" "How do I find friends in a new city?" "How can I collaborate with others in my division to enhance my programs?"


Join New Professionals Network in UTSA Student Affairs on October 3 at 11:30am for a Brown Bag Lunch with Dr. Gage Paine. Great conversation, drinks and dessert will be provided. Please see the attachment for more details.



Texas Conference for Women to be held in Austin in October


The Office of Student Activities will be sending a delegation of students this year to the Texas Conference for Women in Austin on October 4, 2007.  This annual conference hosted by Governor Rick Perry and First Lady Anita Perry is an excellent opportunity for our female students to listen and interact with some of the brightest female leaders in our state and the country.  The Office of Student Activities will pay the registration fee and transportation for up to 25 female students to attend this conference.  If you know a female student who you think might benefit from this opportunity, please have them contact the Office of Student Activities for registration information.  Space is limited and guaranteed for the first 25 female students who complete all of the registration and travel paperwork.  Link above for more information or contact John Montoya at 458-4936.




Student Government Association (SGA) Announces Election Results

(From UTSAToday)


Student Government Association (SGA) Run-Off Election Results





New Staff in Student Affairs

Counseling Services

Dr. Mia Veve - Staff Clinician


Disability Services

Travis Irby - Assistant Director, 1604 Campus

Travis comes to UTSA from UT-Austin, where he coordinated adaptive technology services for students with disabilities.


Registrar/Academic Publications

Bryan Dempsey - Editor


Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services

Jacquelyn Booker-Overstreet - Enrollment Services Officer



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.




"Getting To Know You"

A regular feature of the newsletter highlighting Student Affairs staff members


Name: Lisa Padron


Title: Administrative Associate II


Department: Athletics


Job Description

Assistant to Lynn Hickey, Director of Athletics.  I am also the first point of contact for the Athletics Department.



Born and raised in San Antonio.  I come from a large family, four brothers and six sisters.  I’ve been married for seven years to my husband, Sabino Padron.  I have two wonderful sons, Richard and Sabino.



Before I started here at UTSA, I was a working in a law firm handling the front office, secretarial, and any other time left over I took care of his billing.  I have, give or take, over 15 years of customer service and 8 years of bookkeeping.


Describe your job

I have the best job in the entire department.  I have the opportunity to interact with a lot of different individuals in and out the UTSA community.  I answer the department’s main phone and assist visitors.  I assist the Athletic Director with her calendar, help out in making travel arrangements and prepare interoffice forms.


What job skills do you use most often?

My ability to multi-task and my people skills. 


How do you unwind?

Believe it or not, cleaning and cooking.  My husband is teaching me how to eat ice cream and watch TV to unwind.


What advice would you give to other Student Affairs staff?

Just as the saying goes for your life, your job is what you make it out to be.  We all have good and bad days but never let a bad day ruin how you feel about your job.



Departmental News



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 & 7 in the Alamodome!  We need 2,000 volunteers to support the many NCAA® events during Final Four® week.  RESERVE YOUR SPOT TODAY


UTSA hosts soccer shindig before Friday game (From UTSAToday)



Career Services


The 1604 Fall Career Fair was held today from 9:30-3:30 at the Recreation Center.  All students in all majors were invited to attend and meet with more than 200 employers.  The Downtown Fall Career Fair will be held on Wednesday, October 10th.


A new career event is being held this fall. On Tuesday, October 2, Career Services will host a Business Etiquette Dinner from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. in the Laurel Room.  Students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend the dinner and enjoy a great meal while learning all the do's and don'ts of fine dining.  Tickets are $10.00 each and may be purchased through Career Services.


A new Mentor Program is now available on-line at  Students can go on-line and connect with alumni and employers who have volunteered to serve as on-line mentors.  These mentors have provided their own career path profiles and will provide career advice and answers to career-related questions.  If you are interested in becoming a mentor, log on and sign up or contact Shirley Rowe at ext. 4596.


Photo Gallery for Career Fair held September 20, 2007


Student Activities

Student Activities Events beginning September 17th

Student Activities Events beginning September 24th

In The Loop


Thank You Rowdy begins his travels across Student Affairs

“Hello, I’m Thank You Rowdy!”

Thank You Rowdy wants to help Student Affairs staff members show their gratitude to a fellow staff member for doing something special—taking on extra assignments to assist others; helping someone out unexpectedly; or completing a task in a unique way.  These opportunities are endless.

Please help Thank you Rowdy travel all over campus as he visits his Student Affairs friends.  Rowdy will stay and visit with his friend for one week before he moves on to visit a new friend in a Student Affairs area.  He would also like to have his picture taken with his new friends along his travels.  Rowdy’s friends’ photographs and thank you notes will appear in every newsletter.

 Help Rowdy spread his ‘Thank You’ spirit!  Pass him on!

A special Thank You Rowdy hug to Joyce Fox of Student Financial Aid for making Thank You Rowdy’s custom-sized UTSA t-shirt and special back pack to hold his Thank You Travel Log.  Joyce’s creativity and team spirit shine once again.



The first Student Affairs staff member to receive a visit from Thank You Rowdy was Sam Gonzales (below left, receiving Thank You Rowdy from Bob Miller, below right).




Thank you for all your hard work, enthusiasm and encouragement while you served as our Interim Director this year.  We appreciate your commitment to Campus Recreation as well as your fun energy while working with us.  We have really enjoyed working with you in this special role.  You will always be a part of our team!


Thank you,


Your friends in Campus Recreation




Congratulations to all these outstanding students!


Career Services is thrilled to announce that a UTSA student, Pablo Ramirez, was named Enterprise Rent A Car 2007 Intern of the Year at the 10th Intern Appreciation & Awards Banquet on August 8. 


Other UTSA students that received awards were Nancy Ojeda, Top Project Presentation; Fabian Plascencia, Scholarship Winner; and Josh Bailey, 4th Runner-up Project Presentation.  Over 780 students in central/south Texas applied for 27 summer intern positions and 12 of the selected interns were from UTSA! 






Please send newsletter items to by October 4, 2007.