Message from the Vice President

Dr. Gage Paine

Happy New Year and Happy Spring Semester!

I hope everyone found some time for rest, recreation and rejuvenation amid the craziness that is the end of the semester and the end of the calendar year. One of the benefits of working in higher education is the break between semesters when we can try to catch our breath.

This morning was the January meeting of the Student Affairs Council and we continued our work on the action items from the Student Affairs Strategic Plan. We have had some great discussions on the definitions and components of excellence in service and programming. And while there are many different points of view, there are clearly points of agreement and though the emphases may be different there is really no place of substantive disagreement. That’s a very good outcome.

Our next step will be to define the core elements of excellence in service and programming and to share these throughout the division and ask each of you to test these ideas against your ‘real’ work. Once we have finalized these definitions, it will be time to take these into our work world and put them to use. As I told the group today, this is challenging to do, but it will help us improve our work, meet our strategic goals and most importantly, provide high quality service and programs for UTSA students.

As members of the Student Affairs Council bring these discussions back to departmental meetings. I thank you for the input and suggestions that you all will contribute. Your contributions are the way that each individual is part of this discussion, and your thoughts and ideas add to the quality of the work overall. One of the challenges of work like this is being able to see past the daily details of our own job or program. We have to move past the external details and differing perspectives to see to the heart of the matter. We have to be able to put ourselves in the shoes of another and see to the essence of the person we are interacting with. We have to value diversity while finding common ground.

I’ll close with a story that is a wonderful example of doing just that – two friends who are vastly different and who come from completely different backgrounds. To look at them, no one would ever expect them to even interact let alone to have become nearly inseparable, but they are. Their actions exhibit empathy and care and trust for one another. Some of you may have seen this story on the CBS evening news, but in case you didn’t, I’d like for us all to know the story of Tarra and Bella.

All the best,


Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services

Carissa De La Cerda, Enrollment Services Officer I
Stephen Cheney, Enrollment Services Officer I

Announcements/Departmental Events

Alternative Spring Break: Advisors & Participants Wanted!

VOICES (Volunteer Organization Involving Community Education & Service) and The Inclusion & Community Engagement Center are hosting two trips this Spring Break:

VOICES group photograph Saturday March 7 – Thursday March 12: Piedras Negras, Mexico! This trip will involve working with the children and improving the grounds at the Casa de Nazareth orphanage. UTSA has taken trips to this site for the past two years, and the participants and advisors highly recommended returning this spring. Participants and advisors will stay at a hotel near the Casa de Nazareth. Spanish speakers are encouraged to apply!

Sunday March 8 – Thursday March 12: Corpus Christi, Texas! This trip is a part of the Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge. Our team will be constructing houses from early morning until 2:30pm Mon-Thurs, and then heading to the beach or relaxing for the day in town. VOICES has participated in Habitat spring break programs in the past and have reported great experiences. Be ready to work hard!

Advisors must be full time staff members willing to drive a suburban or minivan, be over 21 years of age, and attend two or three pre-trip meetings with Jennifer Lilly (scheduling is flexible). Advisors should also be willing to guide students through the reflection process during their experience. Each advisor will be provided with lodging and per diem compensation for meals. Both trips are still being finalized and are subject to cancellation.

Student applications will be available January 12, 2009 at - please encourage them to apply! Staff members interested in the trips should contact Jennifer Lilly as soon as possible. We are hoping to have advisors in place by February 1st.

Jennifer Lilly, phone: (210) 458-4770


Audrey Magnuson, Ken Kuwamura, Katharaine Farmer

Left to right:
Audrey Magnuson
, College of Engineering Career Counselor;
Ken Kuwamura, Field Recruiting Manager for Union Pacific Railroad;
Katharine Farmer, Recruiting Coordinator

Career Services Receives Donation from Union Pacific Railroad

On Friday, December 19th, 2008, Union Pacific Railroad presented Career Services with a generous donation check.

Union Pacific Railroad has a long history of recruiting UTSA's graduating seniors (primarily engineering and computer science majors) and ramped up their College Recruiting program even more this past semester. Career Services has formed a great working relationship with Union Pacific and their College Recruiter, Ken Kuwamura, offering great Operations Management Trainee and IT full-time positions to our students.

This past fall, they participated in our Fall Career Fair, held an on-campus Information Session and completed a full day of on-campus Interviews at Career Services. Career Services representatives also attended a Wellness Fair in October held at Union Pacific's train yard where they were able to meet a UTSA alumnus who has successfully started his career with the company.

Thank you Union Pacific Railroad and Career Services for your dedication to our students as they journey on to a successful career!



UT System regents approve UTSA football

Marianne McBride Lewis, Director of Public Affairs, 12/18/2008

The University of Texas System Board of Regents today approved UTSA's Athletic Initiative Business Plan granting the university permission to expand athletics and add a football program.

The plan calls for UTSA to develop an $84 million competitive athletic complex...

For the full article, visit:


Gibbs grabs another record in UTSA win

Pat Turner, Express-News, 12/31/2008

A year ago, Monica Gibbs became UTSA's career assist leader.

Tuesday, the senior guard reached another milestone by becoming UTSA's rebound leader in a 65-59 victory over High Point College in the final day of the New Year's Classic...

For the full article, visit:


Faculty, staff: 'Buy-one, one-free' basketball tickets

Kyle Stephens, Sports Information Director, UTSA Athletics, 01/06/2009

The UTSA men's basketball team carries a five-game winning streak into the Southland Conference opener against McNeese State at 4 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 10 at the Convocation Center on the 1604 Campus. In appreciation of their support, UTSA faculty and staff members are offered the opportunity to "buy one, get one free" for tickets to this Saturday's game.

Faculty and staff can purchase tickets and receive the...

For the full article, visit:


UTSA presents stalking awareness workshop

(Jan. 7, 2009)--As part of National Stalking Awareness Month, the UTSA Women's Resource Center will offer a workshop and discussion from 7 to 9 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 21 in the University Center Pecan Room (2.01.26) on the 1604 Campus. Free and open to the UTSA community, the event will promote awareness and public education regarding stalking and its consequences.

This year's theme, "Stalking: Know It, Name It, Stop It," challenges...

For the full article, visit:


Campus REC Open House- January 16th!


Career Services Open House

Career Services held their Open House on Wednesday. Click here to see some photos!


Inauguration Day Viewing Party!

Free Food!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009
University Center Denman Room
All Day Event
Oath of Office Ceremony @ 10:30am
ICE logo
For more information contact Inclusion and Community Engagement Center at 458-4770

PDF poster to print and post


Attention Administrative Professionals!

The Division of Student Affairs is offering a series of lunchtime discussions with Dr. Gage E. Paine for Administrative Professionals.

Bring your lunch to the Sombrilla on January 20, 2009, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m..

This is an opportunity to meet your fellow Administrative Professionals and enjoy good conversation.

Questions or concerns? Please contact Charlin Jones x6736, or Gary Handy x7369,

PDF poster to print and post


Attention New Professionals with up to 5 years of experience!

The Division of Student Affairs is offering the New Professional Network.

Our first meeting will be on January 21, 2009, in the Hidalgo room in UC III from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m..

Bring your lunch; beverages will be provided.

Please contact with questions: Charlin Jones x6736, or Gary Handy x7369,

PDF poster to print and post


Business Procedures Tips

briefcase As a reminder, Contracts, Services Agreements and all other contractual documents must route through the VPSA Office before being submitted to VPBA. If you have questions about processing contractual documents, please contact Bob Miller in the VPSA Office.

Have a Business Procedures Tip to share? Please send it to Bob Miller.

Urgent message from Disbursements/Travel Services

While conducting our monthly review of the JP Morgan CBA accounts, we have noticed that there are several areas which are not complying with the payment terms that we have with this vendor, and that many accounts are showing with a past due balance. An email was sent out October 22, 2008 outlining the payment process, and also stressing the importance of adhering to the payment deadlines for paying the JP Morgan CBA accounts.

Since these are University accounts, failure to pay jeopardizes card usage for the entire UTSA community.

If you are the staff member in your area whose responsibility it is to review your charges and process the payment vouchers, take a moment to review your account and see if your have any outstanding amounts. If you are not that person, please pass this information on to the correct staff member.

After reviewing your account, process any amounts that are due and forward the voucher(s), along with the appropriate back up to the Travel Office by 9:00 am Friday, January 9th.

During the first week of February another review will be conducted on the CBA accounts and all accounts that we find to be past due, will have their charge privileges suspended at that time.

Should you have further questions concerning this, please contact Antoinette Davis, X4831.

New Business Expense Form Hospitality Guide

Please view the following link to the Financial Affairs website and familiarize yourself with our new Official Occasions Business Related Hospitality & Entertainment Guidelines and Business Expense Form. This Business Expense Form is replacing the previous. As always, do remember to keep in mind the Procard Restriction List as it remains applicable to all procard purchases. We are in the process of updating our own procard web site.

The following information is brought to you from the UTSA Disbursements/Travel Service Office as well as the State of Texas Comptrollers Office:

New Mileage Reimbursement Rate

Effective January 1, 2009, the mileage reimbursement rate for state employees will decrease to 55 cents per mile. The state mileage reimbursement rate is set by the Legislature in the General Appropriations Act (GAA). Currently, the GAA states that the state mileage reimbursement rate equals the mileage rate issued by the IRS as announced by the Comptroller. The IRS has set the federal rate at 55 cents per mile so the Comptroller may not set a state rate higher than 55 cents per mile at this time. For more information on mileage, see State Mileage Reimbursement Rate. Please note that DEFINE has been updated to reflect the new rate with any travel taking place January 1st and after.

Important Notice Regarding Advantage Rent-A-Car

Advantage Rent-A-Car has recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Currently, Advantage has closed all of their Texas locations except for locations at Austin-Bergstrom and Houston Intercontinental Airports. State travelers should utilize the other contract rental car vendors, Avis and Enterprise, for reservations that can not be fulfilled by Advantage. We understand that Advantage may attempt to refer state travelers to Hertz, who is not a state contract vendor. In the event that a contract rental vendor is not available, state travelers may utilize a non-contract rental car agency and notate the exception reason on their travel documentation.

Should you have further questions concerning this or any other travel issues, please call X4833.


Wellness Tips

Resolution Success

Set two types of goals in order to see progress and keep yourself accountable. Goals can be categorized as outcome goals: achieving a certain weight, running a race, or getting a promotion, or as process goals: replace a candy bar with fruit, walk for 20 minutes today, read one research article by Thursday. Outcome goals require establishing an ultimate vision, and process goals are short term tasks that are do-able right now. They are the necessary yet completely realistic steps one must take in order to reach the ultimate outcome goal. Good luck!

Abbi Lane, MS, CSCS
Assistant Director, Fitness/Wellness
Campus Recreation
Student Affairs Networking Team

Accept the UT System Physical Activity Challenge

Courtesy UTSAToday

Accept the Challenge

(Jan. 6, 2009)--The University of Texas System is partnering with the Texas Round-Up Health and Fitness Initiative to sponsor the second annual UT System Physical Activity Challenge from Jan. 1 to April 18. The UT System institution with the greatest number of participants will be awarded the coveted Traveling Trophy.

UTSA employees and family members can accept the challenge by exercising 30 minutes per day, five days per week, for six weeks -- and logging their exercise time at the Living Well Web site.

The online program "GetFitTexas!" keeps a record of progress at the Living Well site. Simply follow the instructions on the screen to complete registration. At the site, select "Yes" at the question, "Are you a Texas state agency employee?" Then, select the institution you represent -- and start logging your activity.

For more information, contact Thomas Murph, UTSA occupational health and worker's compensation coordinator, at (210) 458-5304.


Kudos & Getting to Know... Odilia Rossi

Alumni Staff

Odilia Rossi

Congratulations to Odilia Rossi for fulfilling her dream of attaining a bachelor’s degree!

Odilia says her favorite thing about working at UTSA’s Child Development Center as an Early Childhood Specialist is that "it is a fulfilling family environment. I am able to service the community of UTSA which includes students, faculty, staff and of course, their children. Being part of the university and its staff is important to me because every day I know I am making change, seeing development."

Having grown up in the city of Colon in the Republic of Panama, Odilia has come a long way not only in distance, but also in achievement since her childhood. She was the second of seven children (four boys and three girls) in a very strict household with strong moral values. Her heroes are her mother and father for being such good providers and supporters of their family. She graduated from Jose Guardia Vega High School in Colon in 1978, and in 1984, she received a degree in Business Administration from the University of Santa Maria La Antigua in the Republic of Panama.

She began her working life as a secretary for Ben Betesh International in the republic of Panama from 1979, until 1985, when she came to the United States. Odilia has been married for twenty-two years to retired Air Force Master Sergeant Rick Rossi, Jr. They have one daughter, Dania Rossi, who received her Ph. D. in May, 2008, from the UTSAHSC. The family lived in Mesa, Arizona from 1985-1987, and then in Tucson, Arizona from 1987-1989. While in Arizona, she worked as a food attendant and as a nursing home laundry attendant.

From 1989 to 1993, she was an Early Childhood Assistant at Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan. She returned to the U.S. and worked as a Housekeeper Assistant Supervisor at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia for one year. In 1995, she became a Lead Teacher at the USAA CDC, where she stayed until coming to the UTSA CDC in 2003.

Odilia continued her studies to become a caring and knowledgeable early child care teacher. She first attended San Antonio College and received her Child Development Associate Certification in 1999, and later her Child Development Certificate in 2001. Not long after she received her Child Care Administrator Certificate in 2002, and her Associate in Applied Science in Child Development in 2003. To fulfill her dream of attaining a bachelor’s degree, she enrolled at the University of the Incarnate Word and received her Bachelor of Arts in Child Studies in December, 2008.


Thank You Rowdy

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

Thank You Rowdy is presently visiting with Sandy True

See past Thank You Rowdy Recipients

To:  Sandy True, Office of the Registrar
From:  Cindy White, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

Sandy receiving Rowdy from Cindy
Records Staff

(L-R)  Sandy True, Cindy White

Thank You Rowdy poses with Sandy and the Records Staff


I am passing Rowdy to you in appreciation for all you do for the University. Whenever I have students who need assistance with transcripts, records, or any other concerns, you are always willing and able to help them. Even when it is an emergency and the student has missed a deadline, you always find a way to expedite their request whenever possible. Sometimes I have to contact you when other areas in the Registrar’s office are busy and you immediately handle the situation. You truly care about our students. You are very pleasant, courteous, and professional and an asset to UTSA. It is always a pleasure to work with you.

Thank you,
Cindy White



Kudos from Theresa Yackeyonny

University Oaks and Chisholm Hall staff (Campus Living Villages) had an interesting gift exchange for Christmas 2008. Instead of purchasing items for each other or doing a white elephant gift as so many offices do, a decision was made to have a Holiday Service Project. Names were drawn as normal for gift giving. However, each person was instructed to purchase a toy that reminded them of the name drawn. At the staff party, each person got to open the gift given to them, hear the explanation of the resemblance, and then put the toy in a Santa bag. As a result of this service project, two big bags filled with toys were donated to Toys For Tots for the Christmas season.

Diana Almaraz opening her gift   Daniel Buchanan opening his gift   Curtis Odle opening his gift
Pictured left to right: Diana Almaraz, Office Manager of University Oaks; Daniel Buchanan, Bookkeeper of University Oaks; Curtis Odle, Assistant Director of Residence Life


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