Message from the Vice President

Dr. Gage Paine

Ann Patchett, author of five novels and many articles published in publications such as The Washington Post, Gourmet, and Vogue, is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College. She served as a commencement speaker for her alma mater and in 2008 published a book based on that address. It's a wonderful little book entitled What Now?* in which she talks about heading to college being "terribly, terribly lonely." This is an excerpt from her book.

"In the end I did the only thing I knew how to do, the thing they always taught us to do in Catholic school: I did unto others. If you want someone to be nice to you, you must be nice to someone else, and since I really only knew one person- my newly assigned advisor..., who had shown me great kindness in our first meeting – I decided I would bake him a batch of cookies. If that sounds hokey to you then you can rest assured that's because I was one seriously hokey kid."

She explains that she had to buy all the ingredients, and the bowls, cookie sheets and measuring cups making these "cookies… the most expensive in history." She mixed the batter, turned on the oven in the residence hall kitchen, and it never heated up. "I sat there for a moment feeling hopeless, but then decided that I couldn't (eat the cookie dough) since the cookies were meant to cure my hopelessness. I picked up the cookie sheets, fixed the bowl of extra dough beneath one arm, and went outside... across the street was a fine-looking house... I was a shy person, but at that moment I was on the edge. I needed a heating element. And so I marched ahead and, using one corner of a pan, knocked on the door."

The fine-looking house turned out to be the home of the new president of Sarah Lawrence College. The president invited this unknown freshman into her home, led her to the kitchen and "told me to make myself at home."

Patchett goes on to say, "Had I been the most cunning freshman in the history of higher education, I doubt I could have come up with a plan that would have gotten me the very thing I longed for, which was less an oven and more a family to take me in. I would never have had the words to ask for something as large as that. Sometimes the circumstances at hand force us to be braver than we actually are, and so we knock on doors and ask for assistance. Sometimes, not having any idea where we are going works out better than we can possibly imagine."

I love this story for many things, but I'll focus on three.

First, is the bravery it took and the desperation that drove it, for this lonely freshman to ask for help. We forget sometimes how very difficult that is for our students. It seems routine to us, but in many cases it's not routine at all for the person on the phone or standing in front of us.

Second, is the openness of the president to the need of this student—this is the need, I can help, let's do it. She didn't stop to calculate how many students would knock on her door if she made this choice; she helped the student. We can't always 'just' help the student, but many times we can if we will just open our 'metaphorical' doors.

Third, it's a great reminder that we need to knock on doors, too. Asking for help is an important life and work skill.

What doors have you knocked on recently? What doors have you opened? Where have you been brave or have responded kindly to someone else's bravery? We might each find out like Ann Patchett did that it "works out better than we can possibly imagine."

Best wishes,

* Patchett, Ann (2008). What Now? New York, NY: Harpercollins.


Announcements/Departmental Events

Conference Logo

2nd National Conference on Restorative Justice

University of Texas at San Antonio - Downtown Campus, May 13-15, 2009

Conference website:

Education Credits Available: CEU, CLE and TCLEOSE (Law Enforcement Training) credits for professional development.

Regular and Late Registration Rates (excludes Awards Banquet and River Cruise): Regular registration rate is $230 per person Late registration rate is $280 per person and will be effective on March 1, 2009 Individual and group registration available online by credit card at

For More Information: Contact Dr. Michael J. Gilbert by email at or 210-458-2683.

PDF poster to print and post


Brown Bag Lunch series for administrative support staff

Don’t forget our new Brown Bag Lunch series for administrative support staff is this Friday, February 20 at 12pm in the UC Bexar Room (UC 1.102).

Come and take some time to chat with Dr. Paine about topics that relate to your areas as support staff for the division. This will be an open discussion format lead by Dr. Paine and you! So bring your lunch, your friends, and your ideas for the Brown Bag on Friday.

Upcoming Brown Bag dates:
Tuesday, March 31—12pm, Room TBD
Tuesday, April 21—12pm, UC Hidalgo Room (UC 2.214)

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Charlin Jones x6736,

MuscleBound - February 26, 2009

Sponsored by Counseling Services, Health Services, Campus Rec, and Housing and Residence Life. Please encourage any students with whom you work to attend.

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"Money Gras" - Student Financial Aid & Enrollment Services Open House

mardi gras mask

Please join us for our open house: February 27, 2009, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. in JPL 1.01.04.

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"Sombrilla Island" - Health and Wellness Expo

Safe Spring Break and Health and Wellness Expo
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
At the 1604 campus
9 am to 2 pm

Exhibitors and Activities-SOMBRILLA
Presentation on Wellness -UC DENMAN

Aloha! Spring break is around the corner! March 4th is a great day to “Escape to Sombrilla Island” for the Safe Spring Break and Health and Wellness Expo from 9 am to 2 pm. We’ll feature 50 exhibitors...

To read more, please download this Word document.

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UTSA Students Encouraged to have Safe Spring Break

Every year thousands of college students participate in some type of spring break activity whether it is in a tropical climate, a ski trip, or a road trip. Due to the fact that some students engage in high-risk behaviors during this time period, it is crucial for students to obtain information that will help insure that their spring break will be a safe one.

Students at UTSA will have the opportunity to experience a variety of programs March 2-5 break with the hopes of learning a few safety tips prior to the week-long break.

"Spring break is a time for students to relax and enjoy time with friends and family," said Kelsey Bratcher, assistant director of Student Activities. "However, this is also a crucial time for students to realize the importance of taking care of themselves so they make it back to campus prepared to come back to class and successfully finish the semester."

Although the main focus may be on preventing impaired driving, students will find that our Safe Spring Break Campaign also includes information and encouragement on other health issues, such as healthy sexual decision-making, predatory drugs, and even safe sun protection.

Programs throughout the week are a collaboration of Student Activities, Student Health Services, Housing and Residence Life, Campus Recreation, UTSA Human Resources, and Environmental Health and Risk Management.

For more information on the Safe Spring Break Campaign, contact Kelsey Bratcher at 210-458-4160 or

Safe Spring Break Events: Event Schedule, March 2-5, 2009

Resources and Tips: Staying Healthy on Your Trip

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Student Activities weekly events

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Click above image to visit the Homecoming website

2009 Student Affairs Conference

Mark your calendars! Don't miss the Student Affairs Staff Conference – Investing in Your Future. Details coming soon.

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Newsletter Survey Results

Thanks to the 171 staff members that responded to the Staff News survey. We received many helpful suggestions. Look for some changes soon!

Thank you for your support. Remember to keep your photos and announcements coming in. This is your newsletter!

UTSA named to president's higher ed honor roll


The Corporation for National and Community Service recently honored The University of Texas at San Antonio with a place on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America's communities.

Launched in 2006, the community service honor roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve...

For the full article, visit:

Student Affairs programs and organizations contributed significantly to UTSA’s application:

UTSA's application detailed projects such as the 2008 Alternative Spring Break program, where students spent five days working with the Casa de Nazareth Orphanage in Piedras Negras, Mexico. Also highlighted was the Catholic Student Organization's clothing and school supplies drives for tornado relief in the border region of Eagle Pass and Piedras Negras.

All-Staff Meetings with Dr. Gage E. Paine

2009 Student Affairs All-Staff Meeting held February 16 & 17, 2009 photo gallery.

Ethics Bowl

The Ethics Bowl was held February 18, and sponsored by Honors Alliance and Student Judicial Affairs.

Photo Gallery

Campus Recreation

The family of Brandon Vaughn

NIRSA Regional Qualifier Basketball Tournament in memory of Brandon Vaughn

The University of Texas at San Antonio Department of Campus Recreation hosted the Regional Qualifier Basketball Tournament in memory of Brandon Vaughn on Friday, February 13 – Sunday, February 15. The tournament was held in honor of Brandon Vaughn; an Intramural Sports Official that recently passed away in a tragic car accident. The winning teams were HBIC in the women's division and Dynasty in the men's division. The Campus Recreation staff wanted to honor Brandon's memory by hosting a sporting event that meant the world to him. Twenty of Brandon's family members were also in attendance.

2009 Homecoming Golf Tournament

Campus Recreation is hosting the 2009 Homecoming Golf Tournament on Saturday, February 28th with a shotgun start at 8:00 a.m. The tournament will be held at Cedar Creek Golf Course located off of Vista Colina and is a part of the Alamo City Golf Trail. All UTSA students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Friends are welcome to participate in the tournament. Players will compete in a four-person scramble format. The cost of the tournament is $70. Cost covers; green fee, cart fee, access to the driving range, golf shirt and buffet lunch.

Prizes will be awarded to the winners in the following categories: overall, longest drive and closest to the pin. Door prizes will also be given away during the award ceremony. The registration form and additional information can be found online at and can be completed at the Rec Center Membership Services Desk. The registration form, along with payment must be completed and turned in to the Rec Center Membership Services Desk or received by mail no later than February 25th.

If you do not have a team of four, Campus Recreation will be happy to place you with a full team. For more information please contact Mark Munguia at 458-7373.

Emerging Recreational Sports Leaders Conference

Opportunity image

UTSA Campus Recreation will be hosting the Region IV Emerging Recreational Sports Leaders Conference, Friday, February 20 - Saturday, February 21, 2009 on the UTSA campus in San Antonio, Texas. The Emerging Recreational Sports Leaders Conference is designed to introduce the field of campus recreation and share information about professional opportunities. Participants from all backgrounds are invited to participate, especially those from underrepresented populations. In addition to large group sessions and networking opportunities, participants will engage in interactive workshop sessions facilitated by students and professional campus recreation members from across the country. This conference is in direct support of the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association’s effort to prepare a diverse talent population of future professionals to work in the field of Campus Recreation.



Williams tabbed Southland Conference Athlete of the Week

All Sport Schedule - Area Events

Fri, Feb 20  MT  Texas  at Austin, Texas  2 p.m.
Fri, Feb 20  BB  San Francisco
Wolff Stadium
 San Antonio, Texas  6 p.m.
Sat, Feb 21  WBB  Sam Houston State *  San Antonio, Texas  2 p.m.
Sat, Feb 21  BB  San Francisco
Wolff Stadium
 San Antonio, Texas  2 p.m.
Sat, Feb 21  BB  San Francisco
Wolff Stadium
 San Antonio, Texas  5:30 p.m.
Sat, Feb 21  MBB  Sam Houston State *  at Huntsville, Texas  7 p.m.
Sun, Feb 22  MT  Nicholls *  San Antonio, Texas  10 a.m.
Sun, Feb 22  BB  San Francisco
Wolff Stadium
 San Antonio, Texas  1 p.m.

Complete Schedule



Business Procedures Tips

briefcase When processing VP2s for institutional membership payments, please FYI copy both Bob Miller (XIRDM) and Jackie Hobson (XIJLH) in DEFINE so the information can be added to our log of departmental memberships in Student Affairs. FYI is an electronic command in DEFINE.

Many institutional memberships straddle fiscal years, and this is acceptable. The transaction just needs to be entered on two line items in the VP2 to properly document. (e.g. A $1,200 membership is from January December. One transaction line would be for $800 for Jan Aug, and the second line would be for $400 for Sept Dec. The voucher would be made for $1,200 total and the vendor would receive one check for $1,200.) In this case, the entire amount would come out of the current fiscal year because the remaining balance is less than $1,000. Had the remaining amount (for the next fiscal year) been at least $1,000, that amount would carry to the next fiscal year.

This Business Procedures Tip was recommended by Linda Edmundson in the Office of the Registrar. Have a Business Procedures Tip to share? Please send it to Bob Miller.

For previous Business Procedures Tips, please visit the archive.

Other Business Information

Good news when working with Entertainment Contracts! Because of the service coding with entertainment contracts, Business Expense Forms are no longer required with these types of contracts.


Wellness Tips

The process of "getting fit" can seem daunting.  If this chore seems overwhelming, break that bigger goal into a series of very small changes.

For example, instead of trying to exercise 4 days a week, stop drinking soda, and cut out desserts this week, set your sights on one thing at a time.  This week, drink 64 ounces of water each day.

Next week, continue with the water and add two, twenty-minute exercise sessions.  Continue progressing in this manner until you reach your objective!

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


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 the Graduation Coordination Office

See past Thank You Rowdy Recipients

To:  Ginnifer 'Cie' Gee and Monica Bowden, Office of Graduation Coordination
From:  Elli Mitchell, Office of Financial Aid and Enrollment Services

Graduation Coordination with Rowdy

It is with great pleasure that I pass Rowdy to Ginnifer 'Cie' Gee and Monica Bowden, our wonderful Graduation Coordination team. You both do a magnificent job that is very much appreciated by staff and students alike.

Your interpersonal and organizational skills pay tremendous dividends as you successfully coordinate graduation and commencement activities. My colleagues and I greatly appreciate your willingness to help whenever we seek your advice on behalf of a student. I admire your 'cool-headed' approach while still displaying an appropriate sense of urgency even during your times of highest levels of activity.

Your tireless efforts and abundant energy play a major role in the success of our students and UTSA.

Thank you both for your superb work.




To: Tammy Casas, Assistant Director of Student Information Systems
From: Donna Nanny, Senior Academic Admin Manager, Department of Computer Science
RE: WEBI Workshop

Thanks, Tammy. I have found the classes you teach to be the most helpful and beneficial of any I have taken. You are an excellent trainer.

Donna Nanny

To: Bob Miller, Business Manager
From: Kim Arrendell, Assistant Director of Disability Services

It has been such a joy working with you. Your humor and quick wit makes life fun!... not to mention you write very well too.

See you Thursday,

Defining Excellence in Service and Programming

Kudos and Thank You to the Writing Group that developed the Division’s guidelines for meeting our assessment goals. The group requests any feedback by February 28, 2009 be submitted to Lisa Blazer.

Click here for a PowerPoint presentation.

Lisa Blazer, chair
Kim Arrendell
Eric Cooper
Andrew Haring
Anne Jimenez
Jennifer Lilly
Bob Miller
Mark Munguia


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NOTE:  Please submit all newsletter entries by 5:00 pm, Tuesday, March 3, 2009, to