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Message from the Vice President

Announcements/Departmental Events

Thank You Rowdy


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December 18, 2008


Staff News


Message from the Vice President

Thank you for all you have done this semester.

May you have a wonderful holiday season and share good times with your family and friends.

Best wishes,



Announcements/Departmental Events


University committed to excellence in both academics and athletics

 (San Antonio) … The University of Texas System Board of Regents today approved UTSA’s Athletic Initiative Business Plan granting the university permission to add a football program.  The plan calls for UTSA to develop an $84 million competitive athletic complex and add an NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS / formerly Division I-AA) football program with the intent to advance football and the athletics department’s existing 16 intercollegiate sports programs to an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS / formerly Division I-A) conference.

More press release...(pdf)  

My San Antonio...Release

Student Affairs Staff and Student Employees Celebrate with a Holiday Luncheon

Approximately 700 Student Affairs staff and student employees enjoyed fun, food and festivities on December 9th in the University Center Ballroom.  Entertained by Adam Bennett's musical talent, attendees also received a Rowdy memento (R) from Dr. Paine, in appreciation for their accomplishments last year.

Photos - Holiday Luncheon - December 9, 2008



UTSA Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs John Frederick Presents UTSA Strategic Implementation Plan - A Shared Vision to Student Affairs staff

Presented on December 11, 2008, the presentation highlighted the UTSA Strategic Plan Vision, Goals/Initiatives and Strategies. Complete Strategic Plan PowerPoint Presentation

(Click on "Implementation Plan" Column on right, then "Implement Plan Presentation"  to view PowerPoint Presentation.)

UTSA Housing and Residence Life Celebrates Open House

The Laurel Village Conference Room was alive and kicking as UTSA and Student Affairs members joined Housing and Residence Life staff, resident assistants and student workers for an open house celebration on December 11.   Refreshments and tours of Laurel Village and Chaparral Village were provided.

More Photos.....

Commencement Close-Up: George Norton

By Rebecca Luther, Multimedia Editor, Office of Publications

(Dec. 17, 2008)--Twenty-five years ago, George Norton went on his first big-time job interview. Fresh out of the University of Alabama with his bachelor's degree in communication and a "pitiful little portfolio" that included some of his college projects, as well as an advertisement for a stereo retailer owned by some family friends, Norton sat in the reception area of a large, bustling advertising firm in Atlanta, waiting to be called in for his interview and growing more nervous by the minute.

Complete UTSAToday Article......

Registrar's Office Holiday Decorating Contest Winners

Continuing with a new tradition in the Registrar’s Office, the second annual cubicle/office holiday decorating contest was held this week.  The friendly competition was scored on criteria by impartial judges and even resulted in a tie-breaker decision.  Thanks to all who participated in this spirited event.

1st place (the “golden sleigh award” - Nightmare Before Christmas (student workers Elvia Rodriguez, Mario Mercado, and Deb Zepeda)




2nd place (the “silver dove award” - Snow Day (Pat Hedelius and Bryan Dempsey)






3rd place (the "poinsettia award”

Eclectic Christmas (Linda Edmundson)




Photo Gallery, including winners and those from the other 5 entries as honorable mention

Business Procedures Tips

When routing specialty forms to VPSA, (such as Project Cost Estimates that are non-routine documents) please indicate whether you would like the signed documents returned to your department, picked up, or routed forward to Facilities Services.

Similarly, if there are any documents that you would prefer to have returned to your department, rather than have VPSA forward them after approval, please indicate this information.

If you have a business procedures tip, please email


Admissions Downtown Wishes you a very Merry Christmas!


Wellness Tips


Healthy Holiday Activities


December can be a challenging month for maintaining your health and fitness level!  Try these alternative activities to enjoy the season without sacrificing your well-being:


Go for a walk around the neighborhood and look at the lights and
decorated houses. Go for a walk around the neighborhood and look at the lights and decorated houses.


  • Put up decorations in your home.

  • Look for healthier substitutions when baking. 

  • Walk around the mall and window shop.

  • Laugh often with family and friends.  Happiness is healthiness!

  • has a cooking light section that can help you plan a menu that's easier on your waistline!


    Abbi Lane, MS, CSCS

    Assistant Director, Fitness/Wellness

    Campus Recreation

    Student Affairs Networking Team



    Understanding "True Colors" During the Holidays!

    This is from an article by Mary Miscisin, M.S.*


    "Not everyone shows their 'True Colors' during the Holidays.  Some individuals simply slip back into family dynamics and their roles as family members.  When this happens the behaviors you observe are more likely associated with the person's role in the family than their true personality."


    *How to Keep the "Happy" in Your Holidays

    Employee of the Semester Award

    Dr. Gage E. Paine presented the first Employee of the Semester Awards to Jessica Avalos and Eric Arellano on December 15, 2008 and Ginnifer "Cie" Gee on December 19, 2008. Each semester the award will be presented to members of three Student Affairs areas (VPSA Office, Student Life, Student Services, Athletics, Registrar, Financial Aid and Enrollment Services, Admissions and Family Programs) who have excelled in their contributions to UTSA.

    Jessica Avalos

    Nominated by Desiree Alva

    Dr. Paine and Recipient Jessica Avalos

    (L-R)Jennifer Ehlers, Jeff Mayo, Jessica Avalos and  Desiree Alva (nominated Jessica)

    “Jessica is a graduate of UTSA and started working within Admissions at the front desk. Within months her spirit, energy and devotion in assisting prospective students was recognized by all.  Jessica is a superstar because she doesn't stop at simply handing information out but she makes real connections with people. Her warm smile and enthusiasm is infectious and she represents UTSA to the fullest extent everywhere she goes.  When students visit her office it is clear to see that she is there for them and one awesome person! Jessica brings so much to our department by creating a welcoming environment and making everyone feel special with her genuine smile.”

    Eric Arellano

    Nominated by Audrey Magnuson 

    Dr. Paine presents to Eric Arellano

    (L-R) Eric Arrellano, Audrey Magnuson (nominated Eric) and Dr. Paine

    “Eric Arellano is an outstanding Career Counselor and student advocate. He is the Career Counselor assigned to the College of Education and Human Development and provides exemplary guidance and professional career development to the 300 plus student teachers that graduate each semester.  Recognizing that the needs of the Health and Kinesiology students are equally important, Eric collaborated with faculty and staff this fall to develop internships and a professional development structure to enhance their curriculum. This modification improves the employability and opportunities offered to these students. 

    Additionally, Eric stepped up as staff advisor to the GLBT student organization, a rather large student group in need of a UTSA staff member to volunteer their time in this role. His mentorship and leadership guidance to this demographic of UTSA students is invaluable in assisting this student organization to be fully active and participatory in campus events, and beneficial to its members to enhance the UTSA college experience.”

    Ginnifer "Cie" Gee

    Nominated by Audrey Magnuson

    Dr. Paine presents to Ginnifer Gee

    Dr. Paine and Ginnifer

    (L-R: Donna Edmondson, Dr. Paine, 'Cie' Gee, Sally Bench

    "Since Cie has been in the GC office, she has continually come up with ways to streamline commencement issues pertaining to their part of commencement, which is working with the students prior to moving into the convocation center.  Cie (along with her team) has continually looked for ways to streamline and make commencement easier for everyone involved.  For example, Cie developed a power point presentation to play during the time the students lined up.  This presentation is full of pertinent information that the graduate needs to know and always asks while standing in line... I know I can pick up the phone and get help from Cie and her team at any time.  Cie has the ability to take a potential problem, analize it and then act on it with a smile on her face"


    The Employee of the Semester Award is coordinated by the Awards and Recognition Committee of the Professional Development Team.  For more information and deadline for the next semester award, contact

    What to expect on Commencement Day


    From the Student Affairs' Registrar Webpage:

    The commencement ceremony is a wonderful celebration of your achievement for you, your family and friends. In order to have a ceremony that is an enjoyable event in a safe and secure atmosphere, please provide the following information to your guests.

    More Information/Schedule....

    NCAA unveils 2010 Women's Final Four logo

    UTSAToday Article…

    Career Services Invites You to Open House on January 7, 2009 University Center - 2.02.04

    PDF Poster to Print and Post

    UTSA employees help ‘Adopt-A-Family’ program

    By Jennifey Lilly and Misty Kelley
    Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs Networking Committee

    (Dec. 16, 2008)--Families are referred to San Antonio's Family Service Association (FSA) for a variety of reasons including poverty, job loss, death of a family member and other critical circumstances.

    To provide some support for the families, staff members from the UTSA Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs coordinated the adoption of 22 of these families this month through the FSA "Adopt-A-Family" program.

    UTSAToday Article…

    The University Oaks and Chisholm Hall staff enjoyed getting involved in the “Adopt A Family” program supported through Student Affairs.  We adopted several families, and made the event a staff bonding activity during one of our staff meetings.  We came together with our presents and participated in a “wrapping party” as we listened to holiday music, laughed, and enjoyed each others’ company.

    Theresa Yackeyonny

    Thank You Rowdy

    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 Paine


    (L-R) Cindy White, Norma Scalf, and Mary Smeltzer

    Thank You Rowdy poses with Norma, Cindy and Mary while congratulatory VPSA staff looks on

    To: Cindy White,

    Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

    From: Mary Smeltzer and Norma Scalf


    It is with great pleasure we pass along "Thank You Rowdy to you!

    You are always so bright and cheerful whenever we call and need help.  You are a true professional, handling with grace, students who have problems from the simple to the complex.

    It is always a joy to visit or call the VPSA's office with your warm welcome and smile.

    Thank you for all you do for our students, the VPSA's office and Student Affairs!

    We appreciate you!

    Mary Smeltzer and Norma Scalf

    Office of Judicial Affairs and Student Life



    Lisa Alonzo would like to add the following “Kudos to Paul Ayala”: 

    Good morning Lisa:

     Lisa, I'm writing to let you know that Paul has been a tremendous help to me in gathering information for one of my assigned SACS Compliance Audit Report sections, "UTSA Comprehensive Standards 3.9.1 The institution publishes a clear and appropriate statement of student rights and responsibilities and disseminates the statement to the campus community."  Paul provided hard copies of the 2008-2009 Family Calendar and Guidebook and the UTSA Roadrunner Planner 2008-2009. 

    Gail Carbajal
    Associate Director, Compliance & Training ;
    Student Financial Aid & Enrollment Services

    Kudos from Theresa Yackeyonny:

    The Residence Life staff of Campus Living Villages at the University of Texas at San Antonio (University Oaks and Chisholm Hall) recently received an honor from the CLV corporate office in Houston.  The UTSA CLV staff was awarded "Best Overall Residence Life Program" for all of Campus Living Villages in the United States.

    We are very proud of our team here at UTSA: Curtis Odle, Assistant Director of Residence Life; Jennifer Fuelein, Residence Life Coordinator for University Oaks; Christina Garcia, Residence Life Coordinator for Chisholm Hall; and Lennon Prothro-Jones, Residence Life Coordinator for University Oaks. Villages in the United States.

    Kudos to Vivis Lemmons who has produced the VPSA Staff News since January, 2007 without missing one deadline! 

    Vivis' aesthetic sense and commitment to showcase Student Affairs staff accomplishments have created a superb newsletter and web design.

    Congratulations on a job well done!  We bid Vivis a fond farewell on December 31, 2008 as she pursues other projects.

    From Vivis:

    My life with the VPSA Office and Student Affairs has been great!  I've enjoyed working with so many of you - what an amazing division you are!  And with the knowledge and support that I've gained from UTSA's extraordinary "techies", I now have the confidence to work full time on my art collection adventure.  Here's an Irish farewell toast for you:

    May your mornings bring joy
    and your evenings bring peace...
    May your troubles grow less
    as your blessings increase!

    The next newsletter will go out January 8, 2009.

    Please submit all newsletter entries to

    by Noon on Monday, January 5th.



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