July 24, 2008
Staff News

In This Issue: 

Message from the Vice President


Welcome To Student Affairs!

"Visiting With....."

Departmental News

"Getting To Know You"...

Thank You Rowdy Travels Across Student Affairs


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

About 10 years ago I participated in the NASPA Stevens Institute, a weeklong institute for senior staff in Student Affairs.  It was a great week of learning and getting to know colleagues from across the country.  That week helped me get involved in NASPA beyond merely attending conferences.  Ten years later, I still use stories and lessons learned from that week so I count it as one of the best professional development experiences on my career.

Recently I pulled out the institute notebook to look up something and took the time to flip through the notes and handouts.  The director of the institute, Larry Roper VPSA – Oregon State University – did a wonderful presentation on an initiative from his campus designed to help people across the campus work together more successfully.  If I recall correctly, several hundred people on campus had gone through the training and it was helping people talk more effectively about a wide range of issues and concerns.  I think these notes are worth sharing even if they are incomplete and my memory is a bit sketchy at this point.

The basic concept was:

People Who Care

     Talking About Things That Matter

Isn’t that a great idea?  When we bring together people who care about UTSA and talk about the things that matter, it seems to me this is a way to create energy for positive change.  We do this in a number of ways already.  Sometimes we call them committees; sometimes they are weekly meetings.  But if, when we set up the committee or call the meeting, we look for people who care about the topic and we choose topics that matter in the life of this community, we create an opportunity for a dynamic discussion rather than just another dreary meeting.

Other bullets from my notes:

  • People come first (but paperwork has to get done.)

  • Change is always happening, our awareness of it varies.

  • Lifelong training versus perpetual learning.  Lifelong learning has a set place and is synchronous. Perpetual learning happens any place, anytime and is asynchronous.

  • Even in a problematic interaction your responsibility is to take care of the other person.  That’s a tough one, isn’t it?  Obviously this works best if everyone in the room has this perspective, but even if I’m the only one who ascribes to this idea, it will still change the dynamic of the interaction for the better.

  • Take care of the organization, not the department. If my job is UTSA not __________ (fill in the blank with your department), that certainly changes the dynamic of turf wars and operating in silos.

  • People are sacred.  Structure is not.  That’s an important idea.

  • Relationships are a series of conversations.  We construct relationships one conversation at a time.   I think this is very interesting.  So the way to be in a relationship with someone is to actually converse with them.  This places a whole new face on our organizational disconnects.  We all know if we call someone we don’t know to try to solve a problem, it tends to take longer to get sorted out and the interaction is at the level of rules and routines.  But when we have a relationship with the person, the interaction is more likely to be on the level of “how can we get this accomplished.”

  • The last three conversations can tell you the nature of the relationship.  Who are you in relationship with?  Who are you in conflict with? Can these ideas help you reframe this is some way?

  • Team is where things happen in organizations.

This week as you go about your work think about these ideas.  Where do they help you identify a different way to interact with colleagues, friends and family?  I believe we are all people who care, but are we really talking about things that matter?  And, if we aren’t, shouldn’t we be?

Best wishes, Gage 





UTSA Roadrunner Days Web site has details of August back to school events

By: Barry S. McKinney

(July , 2008)--UTSA students, faculty, and staff will be pleased to learn that they can learn about the events centered toward back-to-school for the fall semester. 

The UTSA Roadrunner Days Web site is up and running with details about the special events set for Aug. 22-29.

Many Student Affairs professionals have been working behind the scenes for this annual tradition for several months. 

The events offer new students opportunities to preview UTSA campus life, learn about resources to ease the transition to college, experience the excitement of the growing campuses and meet other new students.  Returning students will enjoy many of the activities as well and are welcome to participate in these free events.  Faculty and staff are also invited to attend most of the events as well. 

The Website provides the UTSA Community with a listing of social and other activities during the orientation week.

UTSA Calendar of Events

Business Procedures Notes


On VE5/VE6 documents for electronic request for travel:

  • VE5s/VE6s must have final approval before submitting request for travel advances.

  • If a travel advance is being used, encumber only the funds to be reimbursed to the traveler upon return.

         m No pre-paid expenses should be encumbered.  These should be listed in the notes.

  • A $100 minimum threshold is recommended for travel advance requests.  Advances for amounts less than $100 create inefficiencies due to the amount of processing and approvals behind the scenes for all travel advances.


More Business Procedures Notes

UTSA Staff Council

Janet Parker, Associate Vice President, Financial Affairs, presented a PowerPoint presentation, Tuition and Fee Proposal and FY 2009 Budget, to UTSA Staff Council on June 26, 2008.

Learning continues through the Summer Months in Student Affairs


Creative Leadership class taught by Dr. Paine on July 9th and 16th


Welcome to Student Affairs!


Financial Aid and Enrollment Services


Claudia Shakoor, Administrative Associate II

Lauren Smith, ESO I

Bera Casiano, FAO I


Career Services


Morris Ellington, Program Manager

Katherine Farmer, Recruiting Coordinator


Judicial Affairs


Greg Fronimos, Coordinator


"Visiting With......." The Student Affairs Staff Development Team


Student Affairs Staff Development Team (Front Row L-R): John White, Cari Goodyear, Jana Kennelly and Re'Shanda Bridges; Back Row (L-R): Bob Miller, Joe DeCristoforo, John Kaulfus, Marlon Anderson and Eric Cooper; Not pictured:  Carol Gonzalez and Edna Dominguez

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

The Professional Development Team are dedicated to meeting the educational and social networking needs of Student Affairs staff members.  We believe that the great programs and customer service being provided by our colleagues should be celebrated and recognized.  The work being done by this team is guided by Student Affairs staff ideas gathered through feedback from surveys and other means.

Our mission:

The Student Affairs Professional Development Team supports employee development through continuing education and acknowledges their contributions and commitment with recognition and networking programs which serve to enhance employee satisfaction, retention, and advancement.

Who we serve: We serve all Student Affairs staff members.

Something we’d like you to know about us:

We not only have a great ambitions and plans for the Professional Development Team, but we also have the best time at our team meetings. This group is truly about celebrating the work we do and enjoying the great people we work with every day.

How you can reach us:  John Kaulfus (team chair) ext.  4740


Departmental News


Summer Volleyball Camp

Head Volleyball Coach Laura Groff and Coaches Howard Wallace and Carol Price lead volleyball camp participants on July16

 Photo Gallery

Child Development Center

First Preschool Graduation Ceremony Big Success!

The UTSA Child Development Center is honored to recognize some of our Littlest Roadrunners at our very first Preschool Graduation Ceremony.  The ceremony was held in the Retama Hall on July 18th, 2008.  Quite a few of these special children have been with us since the center opened and all of them have been a joy throughout their journey here with us.  We have enjoyed seeing them learn how to walk, talk, and develop new skills throughout the years.  It gives us a feeling of pride and happiness to see these children grow from successful preschoolers to Kindergarteners, who will continue to flourish in the world.  Congratulations to the Preschool Grads of 2008 and their families, and a great "Thank You" to the 70 people who attended and participated in our wonderful ceremony.

Photo Gallery

Campus Rec

Campus Rec has changed the payroll deduction form for members

Letter (pdf) and Payroll Deduction Authorization Form (pdf)  

Olympics Theme of Roadrunner Days at the Rec

As a part of Roadrunner Days 2008, Campus Recreation will be hosting the 5th Annual Late Night at the Rec event on August 23rd from 9pm-1am.  The theme this year is the Olympics; which will include, a torch relay around campus the week prior to the event, a variety of different activities within the Rec coinciding with participating countries, as well as a fun and entertaining night. See Roadrunner events (below) on UTSA Calendar of Events.

Campus Rec Staff Engage in Strategic Planning Retreat - July 16, 2008


Inclusion and Community Engagement Center

Over 200 students and staff enjoyed free hot dogs on Wednesday, July 23, with the ICE staff (L) serving at the Campus Rec Center.


Office of the Registrar

Remodeling brings more efficient student services

By Tim Brownlee
Assistant Director of Public Affairs

(July 17, 2008)--Last spring, a major remodel was completed in the Office of the Registrar and the Office of Financial Aid at the UTSA 1604 Campus. The expanded, redesigned offices are the culmination of a two-year process based on offering better student services.

More…UTSAToday Article


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

Name: Omar Hernandez 

Title: Public Affairs Specialist


Department: Public Affairs Office


Job Description:

  • Serve as primary contact for Office of VP for Student Affairs to write, produce and edit news releases, public service announcements, media advisories, calendar notices, and feature articles..  

  • Serve as back-up support for all public affairs specialist to include writing stories and assisting with special events and news conferences.



A son of Texas by way of the Panhandle, I grew up in Dalhart which is a small town just north of Amarillo. I didn’t care much for school and as my graduation neared I realized I was not ready to tackle college.  Therefore, I enlisted into the United States Army for a period of three years. I would say about two hours into that three year enlistment I realized I wanted to go to college.  Thinking back, it was probably the 6’4” drill sergeant poking his finger in my chest and screaming at the top of his lungs about what a horrible human being I was.  But who knows? 


Regardless, I did my time and worked my way through the ranks, ending my enlistment as a sergeant.  I continued my service as a member of the Texas National Guard but as I mentioned earlier I knew I wanted to go to college, so I enrolled at the University of Texas at El Paso. GO MINERS!  It was in college I realized I was actually a pretty good student.  I started in the Fall of 2001 and graduated in the Summer of 2006, included in that time span was an 18-month deployment to Iraq.  Not bad for a kid who didn’t care much for school.  I’m proud to say I’m a first generation graduate.  I’ve been in San Antonio for just over a year and I  love it so far.  I can’t wait to help make Student Affairs the best it can be.   



  • Lifeguard - Best tan I ever had

  • Soldier - Best life training Student - Best time ever

  • News Producer - I met the Best people P-20 - “It was the Best of times….”

  • Public Affairs - The Best is yet to come  

Describe your job: 

My job is a fun combination of software analysis and Student Affairs reporter.  


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

Nothing unusual yet.    


What job skills to you use most often?

Interpersonal Skills.


How do you unwind? 

Spend time with my girlfriend, workout and hang out with friends.


What other information would you like to share with Student Affairs staff?

I was raised on a ranch, I’ve lived in four countries outside of the United States and the most famous person I’ve ever met is Mr. T.


How can we reach you?  210.458.7555 (voice) 210.241.2682 (cell) omar.hernandez@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.

Gage Paine 

Priscilla (Below R) reads Thank You Rowdy message to Pat                

To: Pat Lynn Forsythe

From: Priscilla Garcia

Dear Pat,

It gives me great pleasure to pass “Thank You Rowdy” on to you.

In the short time I have worked within the Student Affairs area you have been one of many staff members who has made me feel very welcome!  You have always been a great help whenever I have had any questions or needed any assistance. 

I know you’re one of the “behind the scenes” staff members within the counseling area but you are a most definitely a key person within an area who provides great service to the UTSA community and I’m sure the staff greatly appreciates you and all the work you do.  I had the pleasure of working with you during the Conference hosted by the UTSA Counseling office and no matter how small or large the task you always had a great smile on your face and you had such a great willingness to help everyone.   

It’s great to be working with you,



Previous 'Thank You Rowdy' Visits



Congratulations to Eric Cooper, who has been promoted to Director of Enrollment Services.


Kudos to Marlon Anderson!

Marlon was recently elected Vice President for Marketing in TACUSPA (Texas Association of College and University Student Personnel Administrators).  Marlon will be sworn in to office at the TACUSPA Fall Conference on October 6.

 John Kaulfus


From: Thomas Moorman


To: Texas Association of College and University Student Personnel

Subject: TACUSPA Election Results


Dear TACUSPA Members,


Please Join me in Congratulating the newly elected members of the TACUSPA Board.


Amanda Chesser Drum, President Elect


Marlon Anderson, Vice President for Marketing


Amanda and Marlon will be inducted as members of the TACUSPA Board at the Business Luncheon during the Fall 2008 Conference in Galveston.


We look forward to seeing you all there in October.


Have a great day!


Thomas Moorman, Ed.D.

Past President, TACUSPA



Please send all entries for the newsletter to Vivis.Lemmons@utsa.edu by Tuesday, August 6, 2008.