April 3, 2008

Staff News


In This Issue: 

Message from Gage E. Paine, Vice President for Student Affairs

Do not speak unless you can improve upon the silence. - Quaker saying

I’ve been thinking about the importance of listening and the power of being heard.  Yesterday, several of us attended the Friends of Youth Luncheon which is a fund-raiser for the San Antonio Youth Center (SAYC).  As part of the program, a graduate of the SAYC Youth Build program spoke to us about his experiences.  He told us of dropping out of school, of life on the streets, of drugs and crime, of poverty.  Then he read us a poem he had written for his graduation from Youth Build.  Believe me when I say that a room of more than 150 people listened and his voice was heard.

Earlier this semester, I invited people to join in a new initiative called First Tuesday Conversations and about 30 people responded only to find that our first conversation was about listening.  We’ve come together three times and as a group we are learning both to listen to each other and to become comfortable with silence.  Silence allows us to listen deeply to others and to ourselves.  In our busy days we often do not take time to truly listen.

In our culture we learn the art and the rules of conversation, don’t we?  We learn that it is a give and take process – I say something and then you get your turn.  We learn rules about eye contact and good questions, some of it from the examples around us, but also more formally in classes or workshops on communications.  In my classes and workshops when I include a section on communication, I do an exercise on listening.  I ask people to pair up and to think of something they really care about and are willing to share.  Then person A is to talk for 3-5 minutes and person B is not to say a word – just listen.  After the nervous giggles and sometimes vehement protests subside, we begin.  Some participants can’t get past the awkward artificiality, but usually one or two pairs do.  Those participants talk about how powerful it was to talk about something important and not be interrupted - just be listened to.  They talk about realizing how much of the time when they are listening they are really trying to figure out what to say, and this exercise freed them from that.  We talk about how even the most pertinent question inserts the listeners agenda and ideas which can take the speaker away from the topic he/she really wanted to share. 

But it’s hard to do.  True listening requires us to set aside our needs whether they are selfish (wanting to share our own similar, but even worse story) or helpful (let’s fix this problem for you).  Deep listening requires us to stop and hear another’s true voice even, or perhaps especially, when it is painful.  Parker Palmer describes it this way “Instead of fixing up, or letting down, people who have a problem, we stand with simple attentiveness at the borders of their solitude – trusting that they have within themselves whatever resources they need and that our attentiveness can help bring those resources into play.”*

Yesterday, no matter how much some of us might have wanted to find a way to make our speaker’s life better, we can not.  And he wasn’t asking us to do so; he was asking us for the courtesy of listening to him, of letting his voice be heard.  Think of the power of that for someone with his life story up to this point.  Perhaps today when a student or staff member comes to talk, maybe we should think about that Quaker saying and not speak so quickly, not rush to fix their problem and move on to the next task.  Maybe, just maybe all the person needs from us is that we take a moment of that precious commodity we call time and listen to what they have to tell us.  Something to think about.

 *A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life- Welcoming the Soul and Weaving Community in a Wounded World,  Parker Palmer, 2004, Jossey-Bass: San Francisco.

Best Wishes,






Call for Commencement Staffing


Dear University Staff,


As you all know, spring commencement is just around the corner.  This is a time of great celebration for the entire campus community and a chance to acknowledge the students who have dedicated so much to UTSA!


In order to make this joyous event run like clockwork, we need you to sign up to provide staffing at one or more of the five ceremonies held on May 8, 9, or 10.  The dates/times are listed below.  Faculty members and college staff members have already been requested to provide staffing for their college’s ceremony. Please help us make the upcoming commencement ceremonies the best.


Please choose one or more of the times below and e-mail John Kaulfus by Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at john.kaulfus@utsa.edu to schedule your time(s).  Your final assignment(s) will be e-mailed to you on Monday, May 5, by 5 p.m.   Please keep in mind that appropriate compensatory time should be awarded by supervisors as applicable.


Commencement Staffing Needs


Thursday, May 8 – Ceremony #1 (COEHD & BAAS)

            5:00-9:00 p.m.                          


Friday, May 9 – Ceremony #2 (COLFA I & COPP)

            5:00-9:00 p.m.              


Saturday, May 10 – Ceremony #3 (COB I & COLFA II)

            7:30-11:30 a.m.            


Saturday, May 10 – Ceremony #4 (COA & COB II)

            11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.                 


Saturday, May 10 – Ceremony #5 (COE & COS)

            3:30-7:30 p.m.


Thank you all so much for your time and your dedication to UTSA.



Dr. Gage E. Paine

Vice President for Student Affairs



Monthly Birthday Celebration with Dr. Paine:

Please come celebrate your birthday with co-workers and Dr. Paine. The next celebration is scheduled for April 9, 2008 for all Student Affairs staff April birthdays. Location for the celebration is included in the birthday invitation.


ASB 2008 Reflections Reception - Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Alternative Spring Break

Participants, staff and advisors gathered to see pictures and learn about the impact students made in Piedras Negras and the Big Bend.


Business Procedures Notes:

Employees should safeguard passwords and not share passwords with others, even when anticipating being out of the office.  In the event a supervisor needs to access an employee's computer or files (in an emergency, etc.), the supervisor should work with the Help Desk to gain access to the employee's computer. 



More Business Procedures Notes


All eyes of the sports world will be on San Antonio this week as the city hosts the Final Four to determine the NCAA men's basketball champion. "The Big Dance" is a FREE, four-day music and entertainment extravaganza in the heart of downtown San Antonio on South Alamo between Market and Durango streets.


Bus Schedule and Special Events

UTSAToday Article Wear Your Orange and Blue To Final Four Events

The Millennials Go to College

Family Orientation helps ease the transition for parents who might not be quite ready to let go.

UTSA's Family Orientation helps parents make the transition when their children head to college.  Gage Paine, Julio Joey Ramos and Kevin Price add their thoughts to the article written by Rebecca Luther.

Athletics - Women's Soccer Team News: In only its second season, the women's soccer team is making a name for itself in the Southland Conference.

Sombrilla, Winter 2008- Click on "Features" at top of page to select these articles.

Athletics staff attendees

Dr. Gage E. Paine

VPSA Spring 2008 All-Staff Meetings

The Spring 2008 All-Staff Meetings were held March 6 and 7. Dr. Paine presented information on UTSA and Student Affairs strategic and program initiatives. Participants discussed Issues on a broad range of topics.

UTSA Homecoming 2008

More Homecoming Photos!

Alumni Meetings, Tailgate Activities, Homecoming Basketball Game

Photo Gallery

Girls Night Out (flyer)

To: UTSA Communities

From: SHADES at Student Health Services

Date: Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Re: Girls' Night Out: Queen for A Night

Who: Female faculty and staff

Where: 1604 Campus, University Center, Denman Room (2.01.28)

When: 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Information will be available on sexual health and substance abuse, along with live entertainment, food and music provided free to female students, faculty and staff. Additionally, there will be manicures, massages, make-up tips, a tote bag decorating competition and a fashion show. The event goals include raising awareness regarding HIV/AIDS and other STDs, Hepatitis and women's wellness.

More information: Howaida Werfelli, 458-6428


Guys Night In Invitation - (flyer)


To: UTSA Communities

From: SHADES at Student Health Services

Date: Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Re: Guys' Night In - Playing the Game

Who: UTSA male students, faculty, and staff

Where: 1604 Campus. Chisholm Hall in the Theatre/Activity Room

When: 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.


More information: Matthew Torrez, 458-6808



Staff Council News

Dear Staff Members,

Once again, Staff Council is gearing up to sell bottled water at all commencement ceremonies this May 8-10th to raise funds for our annual Staff Council Scholarship. If you are interested in volunteering for any, or all, of the 5 ceremonies, we would love for you to come on out and help raise those scholarship funds. Please contact Melissa Tenberg at 210-458-4527 or via e-mail at Melissa.tenberg@utsa.edu to sign up for a date and time. We are still in need of volunteers for all ceremonies. Volunteer times are listed below.

More information regarding the actual scholarship or donating to the scholarship may be found via the Staff Council website at http://utsa.edu/sc/.

Thanks for your consideration!

Staff Council Fundraising Committee

Water Sale Times and Dates

Thursday, May 8th at 5:00 pm

Friday, May 9th at 5:00 pm

Saturday, May 10th at 7:30 am

Saturday, May 10th at 11:30 am

Saturday, May 10th at 3:30 pm

What's new with Staff Council and The University of Texas System Employee Advisory Council? See websites and meeting minutes at http://utsa.edu/sc/ and http://www.utsystem.edu/eac/ for more information.


Welcome New Staff To Student Affairs

Campus Living Villages-University Oaks and Chisholm Hall

Michaelle Finch - Associate Director

Donna Mahan - Assistant Director of Operations


Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services

Maria (Tina) Nabers - Office Assistant II



Departmental News





The UTSA women's basketball team won the Southland Conference championship for the first time in UTSA's history on March 15.  The Roadrunners progressed to the NCAA Tournament First Round held March 22 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where they faced the second-seed team, Texas A&M.  The Aggies ended our Roadrunners' quest to continue in the tournament, but we're proud of our women's basketball team and their accomplishments!  Go Runners! 


For more information see - UTSAToday



UTSA photos from the NCAA Tournament First Round held in Baton Rouge




Second Annual UTSA Strongest Man Competition

Courtesy UTSA Athletics, 3/12/08

Date: Saturday, April 26, 2008
Location: In front of the Convocation Center and in the athlete’s gym
Events: 225 lb. bench press, iron cross, yoke squat, truck pull, tire flip, farmer’s walk and keg relay
Entry fee: $20 (Includes a T-Shirt)
Awards: Trophies for the top three finishers and "Pound-for-Pound" Champion
Other prizes: shakers, coupons, supplements and equipment

To sign up and for more information, email UTSAStrength@utsa.edu or derrick.jenkins@utsa.edu

Click the events below for videos from last year's competition.
Tire toss
Keg relay
Farmer's walk


Athletic Events Schedule



Child Development Center


UTSA Child Development Center Celebrates

"Week of the Young Child 2008"


April 14 - 18, 2008

Highlight: April 18th Activity: the Child Development Center will celebrate the Week of the Young Child with our parents and families during a festival that will focus on children’s books.  Each room will be responsible for developing three activities related to a story or a children’s book. 


Print out posters for complete activities and information (pdf)



Counseling Services


The Women's Resource Center Open House on March 24th.


Photo Gallery





Student Activities


UTSA Today Spotlight: Michelle Montanio (r) says campus community members go above and beyond to help others


Michelle Montanio, Assistant Director of Student Activities, oversees the daily operations of the Office of Student Activities and Student Activities Center at the Downtown Campus. She has worked at the campus since it opened 10 years ago.

Her job is to help provide involvement opportunities for students that enhance their overall experience at UTSA.


UTSAToday Article Interview


Student Government Association Announces new SGA President,  Christina Gomez

 UTSAToday Article

Results from the Spring 2008 SGA Elections



Learn how to prevent violence and protect yourself with tips from Erin Weed.


Erin Weed's websites:  Girls Fight Back http://www.girlsfightback.org and


Erin Weed http://www.erinweed.com.





32nd Annual University Life Awards Invitation



In The Loop Student Activities Newsletter




Inclusion and Community Engagement Center  News



Orientation and Transition Services

Orientation Leader Association (OLA) Event

The Orientation Leaders invite you and your family to Rebate Night at CiCi's Pizza off I-10 and DeZavala to benefit OLA. The Orientation Leaders serve the university by serving as the primary student leaders during new student orientation programs at the 1604 and Downtown campuses. Proceeds from this fundraiser will be used toward leadership development programming.

Date: Thursday, April 10, Time: 5:00 to 9:00 pm

Benefit: 15% of the sales receipts collected that evening in the OLA bucket will be donated to the Orientation Leader Association

Questions: Contact Re'Shanda Grace-Bridges, Associate Director, or Paul Ayala, Assistant Director,  Orientation and Transition Services at ext. 4724.

View the Orientation Kick-Off presentation slides:



"Visiting With..." Special Events Center


The Special Events Center is dedicated to providing activities for all students that will support their academic success and retention at the university, strengthen their leadership and interpersonal skills, prepare leaders for the global environment and produce loyal UTSA alumni.  These activities span a student’s entire career at the university, from the Fall Convocation experience as a new freshman, to numerous leadership and social development activities during the college career, to recognition of academic and co-curricular success, to a rewarding commencement experience.  (Photo L-R: Charlin Jones, Sally Crouser, Pat Graham)


The charge to the Special Events Center is to organize semi-annual commencement ceremonies that are meaningful experiences to the graduates, their families, and the university community; to support The UTSA Ambassadors Program and Honors Alliance that are made up of a diverse group of student leaders who provide outstanding service to the University community and to the greater San Antonio community; to plan and implement the annual Who’s Who ceremony and other recognition events; and to collaboratively plan and implement the annual Fall Convocation to connect UTSA students, faculty and staff with the goal of student retention and success.

Special Events Center Mission:  The Special Events Center serves the university and our students by providing well-organized university-wide events to celebrate significant mileposts in the life of the university and students, faculty and staff.  Through its work with student leadership organizations, i.e., UTSA Ambassadors and Honors Alliance, the Special Events Center encourages an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

The Special Events Center serves the university and our students by providing well-organized university-wide events to celebrate significant mileposts in the life of the university and students, faculty and staff.  Through its work with student leadership organizations, i.e., UTSA Ambassadors and Honors Alliance, the Special Events Center encourages an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.


Longest serving staff member: Patricia A. Graham, Executive Director - 1974


Newest staff member:  Charlin Jones, Assistant Director – 2007


You may not know that many of the events planned and implemented by the Special Events Center are made possible by the hard work of numbers of students, faculty, staff and administrators.  As an example, over 800 UTSA faculty, staff, administrators, and undergraduate students were involved in planning, organizing and implementing the December 2008 commencement ceremonies.


How you can reach us:


UC 1.00.46


website under construction





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 un- solicited 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.


TO:  Cindy Dermody

Associate Director of Admissions

Admissions Office                                                 

I wanted to let you know how much we in the Financial Aid Loan Department appreciate your help.  You always provided assistance when we needed a student's social security number checked and/or corrected and when we had questions about the receipt of the final high school transcript.  This helped us ensure a student's loan funds were released  in a timely manner.  Again, we want to say "Thank You" for your help! 

Rex Algate

Assistant Director/Loans

Office of Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services


Previous 'Thank You Rowdy' Visits




From George Norton:

Kudos to Admissions processing and data staff members Cindy Dermody, Jamie Safstrom, Jesus Salais, and to OIT Systems Analyst Patty Clark for their work in establishing UTSA as the one and only institution in the state designated by the Texas Records Exchange System (TREX) as "ready to receive" electronic high school transcripts.  Others are on their way, but UTSA got there first.

UTSA's ability to receive electronic high school transcripts, and for the data elements on those transcripts to automatically load to the appropriate fields in Banner, creates opportunities to find greater efficiency in applicant processing and, in the process, to provide improved service to our applicants.  Further, as admission criteria become more sophisticated in the future, this capability will enable the application processing area to more quickly adapt and continue to provide great service to applicants.

From Michelle Montanio:

Kudos to Keith Pilger, Downtown Campus Student Activities Program Coordinator, for Teach Me Tuesdays.  The program is an initiative created by Keith to promote collaboration with other Downtown Campus departments as an effort to reach out to students where they are and educate them about a variety of services and topics.

The next deadline for Staff News Submissions is Tuesday, April 15th at 5:00 p.m.  

Please submit your articles to Vivis.Lemmons@utsa.edu.