April 17, 2008
Staff News

In This Issue: 


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

Last week President Romo hosted two groups of students as part of Project Innovation.  He asked each student to share one or two ideas they have for UTSA and I thought you might like to ‘hear’ what some students are thinking about.  So, in no particular order, here are some of the items we discussed (and my interpretation). 

  • Landscaping needs improvement.  This ranged from more green space to more bluebonnets, from Downtown is a beautiful campus to we need a more impressive entrance at the 1604 campus, and from the HSS is tired to we need more statues and art on the grounds.  But regardless of the details, the message was clear:  we care about the appearance of our campus.

  • Mission – students commented on diversity, access, the push to being research-intensive, and the idea that we encourage attendance by people who thought they couldn’t go to college.  The sophistication of the language varied, but students clearly understood our identity and supported the direction of the institution.

  • Pride – comments ranged from wanting marketing across town to seeing more people wearing UTSA shirts on and off campus.   There were nods of agreement no matter how it was expressed.  Students are proud of attending UTSA and they want others to know who and what we are.  They want others to know that our professors have high academic expectations and that this is a place to get a first-rate education.  Comments included that we should have a statue of our mascot on campus and a wall of our history.

  • Big Events – pool parties, more events, bigger and better events.  All of these comments seemed to reflect a need for spirit, tradition, and community.  There was a sense of wanting to be part of a high-energy experience-- something truly memorable.

  • This led to a discussion about ways to obtain information that students want to know about:

Ø       Facebook was 1st choice, nearly unanimous in the first group, less so in the second.

Ø       Flat screen TV’s were mentioned in the second group.  The first group thought they were not updated often enough and contained old information.

Ø       Where are the signs with information about Athletic events?  Don’t see those anymore.

Ø       Old signs and clutter make it hard to know what’s currently happening.

Ø       Need to get more information to the Oaks and to non-University housing across the street.

Ø       Signs on walls and glass look messy and are against policy (ok, that’s really mine J )

  • The Library should be a place I want to study not one I want to avoid.

  • Students need to be involved in research earlier, as freshmen or sophomores, so they can see what it’s like.  We need better pre-professional degree advising, better advising.  We need more diversity in degrees like sub-levels of biology, not only biology.

  • Students like the idea of being a research-intensive university, but don’t want to lose the focus on undergraduates.  We should be a well-rounded university, with high-quality athletics and academics.

  • The provisional program got high marks as did the Tomás Rivera Center.   One student spoke eloquently of the help he had received rather than encountering just a closed door.  You never know who you are turning away, and what potential they really had.

  • Great people, great assistance, very positive place, friendly, big -- but you don’t feel like a number.

  • Include more student involvement in planning Homecoming and Roadrunner Days.

  • Provide more housing, and make it be mandatory for freshmen.

  • There are so many organizations and it’s easy to create one to meet your needs.

  • How about ‘HOV’ parking?  If you share a parking space you get a closer one.

Provost John Frederick attended both meetings.  His comment was that this was one of his first opportunities to interact with UTSA students and how favorably impressed he was.  What impressed me was not the pride or the wish for more big events, or even the acuity of their observations.  What impressed me was how clear they are on our identity.  They understand that we are about access and excellence -- perhaps even better than we do.  They see us as being in a place of great change, they are glad to be part of it, and they can articulate what we are doing. 

Many of these students are student leaders and very engaged on campus, but some are freshman and just beginning to figure things out.  The student participants weren’t part of a scientific sample; they were selected based upon recommendations from Student Affairs staff.   So, we have to be a little careful not to pat ourselves on the back too much. However, even in the midst of all the change and construction, the students see a place they want to be, a community they are part of,  where they feel welcomed, supported and challenged.  Sounds like students appreciate our efforts and that we are moving forward together to create an even greater university experience.  Thank you for your role in this.

Best Wishes,








For those of you who have already responded, we thank you.  Your commitment to our students is very much appreciated.  As you can see from the numbers below, we are still in need for staff for three ceremonies.


Staffing Needs


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

          7:30-11:30 a.m. - 6 staff members needed         


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

          11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. - 3 staff members needed            


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

          3:30-7:30 p.m. - 7 staff members needed


Staff should e-mail John Kaulfus by Wednesday, April 23, with the time(s) they can work.  Final assignments and instructions will be e-mailed to staff by Monday, May 5.




Gage Paine




Staff Needed for the Late Night Breakfast  

Please share with your staff.  (pdf flyer)



 Monday, May 5th 

10:00 p.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Roadrunner Café

Business Procedures Notes

Non-student Requests for Travel Authorization (RTAs) should only be done as VE5 documents in DEFINE.  Paper documents should only be used for Student Requests for Travel Authorization.  All faculty and staff travel should be done as a VE5.  Instructions can be found on: 



More Business Procedures Notes

UTSA Calendar of Events

Join the Fiesta UTSA celebration April 18! UTSA Today Article

The UTSA Campus Activities Board hosts the annual official Fiesta San Antonio event, Fiesta UTSA, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, April 18 at Sombrilla Plaza on the 1604 Campus. On opening day of Fiesta, Fiesta UTSA is more than a celebration for UTSA students -- the event is free and open to the public.


Emi Sei has been named Student Leader of the Month for March 2008

Sei is the recipient of a scholarship from the AT&T Foundation.

Sei was nominated by Jennifer Lilly, assistant director for volunteer services, and Sheri Amos, academic adviser in the Thomas Rivera Center. The award is sponsored by the UTSA Office of Student Activities. UTSA Today Article



Center for Independent Living (COIL)

View the Public Service Announcement featuring UTSA graduate student, Chad Dismukes, and his positive experience with UTSA's accessibilty.  Dr. Paine represents UTSA's committment to accessibiity for all students' needs.  Look for the announcement on the digital signage boards across campus.   You will need realPlayer.

For more information visit the COIL website.


Welcome New Staff to Student Affairs

Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services

Claudia Rodriguez-Lilly - ESO I (Call Center)


Office of the Registrar

After some recent restructuring of our downtown operations, the Registrar’s Office staffing is now complete.  In addition to Fred Hample, the two downtown support staff includes Juan Cantu, Administrative Associate II, who transferred from Athletics at the end of last October; and Erico Barrera, a part-time Veterans Benefits Assistant I who started in early January. 


The Registrar’s Office in the JPL is also pleased to have one of our former work study students working in our office again.  Virginia G. Gonzalez graduated from UTSA last fall and was hired in a permanent full-time Records Technician I position on February 25th. 






Departmental News

Office of the Registrar

Office of the Registrar’s Office Renovation Completed

They have moved from temporary locations during the last five months back to the new and improved permanent office in JPL 1.01.14.



Campus Rec

UTSA Intramural Basketball Team Wins Regional Title ‘Dynasty’

UTSA Dynasty concluded its dominating run through the tournament by defeating Guaranteed from the University of North Texas 54-34 to claim the 2008 NIRSA Texas Regional Intramural Basketball Championship on Sunday.  The tournament was hosted by The University of Texas at Arlington.  The victory secures a berth to the 2008 NIRSA National Intramural Basketball Championships to be held the weekend of April 18-20 at The Ohio State University in Columbus. Complete News (pdf file)










Child Development Center Continues "Week of the Young Child 2008"

Kick-Off Breakfast was Monday, April 14th with The reading of the Our Proclamation for the "Week of the Young Child" by Dr. Gage Paine (r) with children and staff from the center

Wednesday, April 16th Appreciation Luncheon for UTSA Support Staff Photo Gallery


Courtesy: UTSA Athletics - Release: 04/16/2008

The NCAA Division I Committee on Athletics Certification announced decisions Tuesday concerning the certification status of 37 Division I member institutions that have undergone the Association’s second cycle of athletics certification, and the University of Texas at San Antonio was one of 35 institutions nationwide to receive certification.

The purpose of athletics certification is to ensure integrity in the institution’s athletics program and to assist institutions in improving their athletics departments. NCAA legislation mandating athletics certification was adopted in 1993.

The certification process, which involves a self-study led by an institution’s president or chancellor, includes a review of these primary components: governance and commitment to rules compliance; academic integrity; equity; and student-athlete well-being.

A designation of certified means that an institution operates its athletics program in substantial conformity with operating principles adopted by the Division I membership. (more)

Athletics All-Sport Schedule





Student Activities

The University Life Awards recognizes excellence at UTSA. Sponsored by the Student Government Association, the University Life Awards is UTSA’s oldest tradition, where the most outstanding students, student organizations, faculty, and staff members are honored.  From sports to leadership and academic excellence to outstanding campus and community service programs, this is where the best of the best at UTSA are honored. Receiving a University Life Award is one of the most prestigious honors that can be achieved at UTSA. Below are staff award recipients and the Golden Feather Award which is awarded to students who have contributed to the university over their entire career.

Jane Findling Award  - Alicia Matus, Christina Gomez, Tudor Alexandrescu



 Professional Staff Award - Dr. Pat Graham





Diane Abdo Outstanding Advisor Award -  Chris Hargraves




Golden Feather Award - Henry Barrera, Dan Iza, Caitlyn Griffith, Candice Griffith,Tommy Thompson,Jessica Beemer, Mark Este. Presented by Dr. Gage Paine.





Support Staff Award (no photo available) - Lyndsey Battles


"Getting To Know You......."

Name: Ross Cobb        

Title:  Associate Athletics Director for Business

Department:  Athletics

Job Description: 

  • Oversee the day to day financial affairs for the athletics department 
  • Prepare and monitor athletics budget 
  • Supervise the sports of baseball and volleyball
  • Oversee athletics facilities


Background:  Bachelors degree in Finance and Master’s degree in Business Administration, both from Georgia Southern University.


Experience:  10 Years in college athletics at UTSA, Northwestern State (LA) University, and Georgia Southern University.  Also spent 5 years in the private golf club industry in Savannah, GA


Describe your job: On a daily basis I spend a lot of time approving expenditures for the department.  The combination of 16 sports, at least 6 auxiliary units, over 60 full time employees, and a budget of over $8 million creates a large number of daily transactions.  Probably the part of my job that I enjoy most is working with the baseball and volleyball teams.  Getting to know those student athletes, traveling with them occasionally, and watching them grow over the course of their college careers is very satisfying.


What is the most unusual job related case you have worked on?  

Working at the various NCAA Championship events that UTSA has hosted.  It’s unusual in that not many people in my position get that opportunity.  Over the past several years I have served as a team escort for the UCLA Bruins and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets men’s basketball teams at the 2008 and 2004 Final Four as well as Nebraska’s women’s volleyball at the 2005 NCAA Championship.  It is a real thrill to be on the floor during those events.


How do you unwind? 

Spending time with the family.  I have a 7 year old, 5 year old, and 4 year old.  I’m currently coaching my 5 year old son’s t-ball team which is always good for many laughs.  If you have never attended a t-ball game, I highly recommend it.  You will definitely leave with a smile on your face.


What advice would you give to other Student Affairs staff? 

Patience.  Most any issue can be resolved with enough time and a positive attitude.

How can we reach you?  Ext. 4056 or ross.cobb@utsa.edu


Thank You Rowdy 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.

Cindy Dermody (R) reads Thank You Rowdy letter to Melissa Martinez (L)


To:        Melissa Rodriguez


From:  Cindy Dermody




Just wanted to thank you for the countless times you’ve helped Admissions assist our students!  


You always seem to have a smile and exhibit tremendous patience in working through problems and issues.  I truly appreciate your willingness to help!

Previous 'Thank You Rowdy' Visits

















From: Inclusion & Community Engagement Center:

Kudos to all student, faculty, and staff volunteers! On Saturday April 12, 2008, approximately 250 UTSA students, faculty, staff, and friends volunteered with eleven agencies throughout the San Antonio region as a part of the UTSA United to Serve effort. At the San Antonio Food Bank, 30 volunteers cleared a field and distributed compost on what will soon become a community garden. At the San Antonio State School, volunteers painted picnic tables for their upcoming Fiesta celebration for residents. Volunteers also participated in the VistaCare Springfest, the Cibolo Creek Clean-Up, a Mini-Grafitti Wipeout, a project with the Alzheimer’s Association, painting the outdoor pavilion at the San Antonio State Hospital, helping with the Autism Awareness Walk, and more! This event was sponsored by The Office of the President, The Inclusion & Community Engagement Center, and VOICES (Volunteer Organization Involving Community Education and Service).

 Photo: UTSA Volunteers at the Cibolo Creek Clean-Up

Drinking? or Driving?/¿Tomas? o ¿Manejas? Campaign Press Conference—April 16, 2008

From:   James Benavides, UTSA Public Affairs Specialist: 

Great work, Barbara, Dr. Paine and Chief Hernandez! We had a spectacular event this morning.  Great partners, great police presence and visuals with cruisers and motorcycles on Bill Miller Plaza.

Congratulations and thank-you to Barbara Reyes and her team, Circles of San Antonio and our law enforcement community.


From:  Barbara Reyes


The weather was PERFECT for this event as well as the media and attendee turnout.  I thank you all for being there today!  

We had a diverse representation of UTSA departments:  Paul Ayala and Orientation Leaders from Orientation and Transition Services, Jan McKinney from Judicial Affairs, Barry McKinney and Kelsey Bratcher from Student Activities, Keith Pilger and Michelle Montanio from Student Activities DT, Charles Patnode, Matthew Stacy, Geoff Merritt, Stephanie Padula, Thomas Fluckiger from UTSA PD (that was an awesome display of patrol cars and motorcycles on campus grounds!  Uh, where did all the students go?), and Chris Leeth, Howaida Werfelli, Matt Torrez, Iris Jordan, and Jerry Mata from Student Health Services.  We are most appreciative of Dr. Gage Paine (Vice President of Student Affairs), John T. Steen Jr. (UTSA Development Board Member, Fiesta Commissio
n President, and TABC Chairman), and Chief Dave Hernandez (UTSA PD) to represent UTSA at the press conference.



Photo: Campaign Press Conference - Circles of San Antonio Team


Photo Compliments of Patrick Dunn


We asked James Benavides to give us a history of the Fiesta Medal and he replied:

I used to work for a member of the Texas Cavaliers, so I remember some of this:

For years, King Antonio has had a special coin, a calling card of sorts, and it was a great honor to receive a coin from King Antonio (my grandfather gave me one from 1948).  Supposedly, in the 1970s or '80s, one of the Kings Antonio (I can't remember his name or year) wanted to give a special gift to his court - the gentlemen that accompanied him as he made his way around San Antonio, spreading mirth and merriment during the Fiesta season.  So, he took a few King's coins and had them drilled, attached a few links and some red, white and blue ribbon and the Fiesta medal was born!  It gained an almost instant acceptance and was duplicated by other members of the Fiesta royalty, like El Rey Feo, and then official Fiesta events adopted medals as well.

James shared an article from San Antonio Express-News

April 8, 2005. (pdf)











Gage Paine receives Fiesta Medal from John T. Steen, Jr., President,

Fiesta Commission

Kudos to Student Affairs staff who received service awards from President Romo at the 2008 University Excellence Awards Ceremony on April 15, 2008.

5 Years

10 Years

15 Years

Lisa Allison

Domitila Arellano

Cynthia Dermody

Christine Blom

Miguel Badillo

Margaret Boullosa

Gail Carbajal


Joseph DeCristoforo

Mark Champion


Lubomyr Lichonczak

Nancy Duparc

20 Years

Cindy Lira Jennifer Ehlers Shirley Pipes

Rosalinda Luera

Priscilla Garcia


Amanda Marin

Carol Gonzalez


Diana Martinez

Maria Murphy

30 Years

Crystal McKee

Lisa Padron

Pat Berlet

Rosanna Mendiola

Melissa Rodriguez


Anastasia Pena

Shirley Rowe


Robert Miller Celso Santiago  

Julio Ramos

Fred Wilson


Lester Samson



Veronica Santos



Norma Scalf



Elizabeth Stanczak



Aida Trujillo



Hope Young    

Congratulations to Jana Kennelly and Barry McKinney as members of the 2007 SECC Presidential Advisory Committee who won The Team Spirit Award at the awards ceremony.

Thank You/Kudos from the Child Development Center:

On April 16, 2008, the Child Development Center held a "Thank You" luncheon for all the UTSA staff members that have helped support our program over the year. 

We could not have provided all the wonderful care and learning for our children without the dedication and professionalism of all the other departments that were here whenever we needed them. 

Kudos to those special UTSA staff members and "Thank You!" from us here at the Child Development Center.  A special thanks to student affairs staff members Gage Paine, Kevin Price, Sam Gonzales, John Kaulfus, Pat Graham, Jackie Hobson, Terri Vasquez, Beth Scholl, Norma Scalf, Anne Jimenez, Shirley Pipes, Jean Troncale, Lisa Blazer and Paul Remmert.

Kudos to UTSA Presidential Medal of Service Award honorees, Joyce Fox (r) and Grace Fouts (not present)


Keynote speaker was The Honorable Sonya E. Medina, Deputy Assistant to President Bush for Domestic Policy and Director of Projects for First Lady Laura Bush.

Kudos to Bob Miller who was inducted as an Honorary Canadian at the Canadian members social at the 59th National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Annual Conference last week in Austin.  Each year one or two US members of NIRSA are inducted as honorary Canadians.   Honorary Canadians must: 

1.  Always speak highly of Canada, 2.  Come visit Canada, and 3. Go home.  Inductees must lead the group in singing 'O Canada'.




NOTE:  Please send your news items to Vivis.Lemmons@utsa.edu by Tuesday, April 29, 2008.