Not too long ago, a colleague asked me for some advice about politics, not Politics as in what happens in the legislature, but politics as in what happens in the university. The question was asked with a hint of dismay. Politics is a word that we often associate with being somewhat smarmy. And yet, we also admire people who understand how the system works and who can politic successfully. We don't want to be told 'no' because someone else has more clout. Our ideas should be judged on merit alone. But we sure want our boss to be able to understand the politics and use the process well enough to be effective in garnering resources to our benefit. Seems a bit contradictory, doesn't it?
My short answer to my colleague was that politics is simply relationships. Politics doesn't have to be a dirty word, because like anything else we do, we can choose to be ethical in our relationships (politics) or not. I hear people say they don’t want to 'play politics.' When they say that I think they mean they don't want to have to say or be something they are not, and I support that. I believe we can have it both ways: we can be good at politics and still be true to who we are. Because politics is simply relationships.
I told a group recently that I’ve heard people complain about the silos at the university, but if I never leave my office and get to know anyone else on campus, then I'm the one building the silo. Politics as relationships means learning more about the university than my little part of it. It means getting to know people from other departments and working to understand the university from their perspective. It means making sure I talk about the good work we're doing in my department so people have a better chance of understanding why this project is so important to me. And if you think this takes us back to our model of Excellence in Programming and Service, you'd be right. Communicating, Connecting, Collaborating and being Creative while doing all that, is practicing politics/relationships.
If you interact with people honestly then you build good relationships, and even if you are never going to be best buddies with someone, you can at least work effectively with them. You will be more effective at garnering resources because you are seen as someone who is good to work with, who can help get a project accomplished, who gives credit where it is due – and the list goes on.
Politics isn't really a dirty word. Politics is people. Some of us are easy to work with and some are difficult. Some are honest and ethical and some, not so much. But the more we learn how to work together effectively and honestly, then the more politics becomes a positive concept, not one we want to shy away from.
The Registrar’s Office welcomes Daniel Garcia as our new Athletic Certification Specialist. Daniel transferred from the Financial Aid/Enrollment Services Center on May 18th.
Student Health Services welcomes a new member to the team—Candice Valenta, health education coordinator! She is a 2005 UTSA graduate with a Bachelor degree of Science in Community Health. Her previous work experience in breast health education with the San Antonio Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® led her to expand her interest in education outreach in other health disparities and diseases, bringing her back home to UTSA. Her hobbies consist of Pilates, remodeling her house and spoiling her 4 dogs.
Assistant Director of Fitness: Heather Stark
Heather comes to us from the University of Georgia in Athens. She received a Masters of Exercise Science, and a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences. Heather has certifications with the following; National Strength and Conditioning Association, Les Mills: Body Pump and Body Combat, Aerobics and Fitness Association of America and CPR and First Aid.
Assistant Director of Aquatics: Jennifer Colvin
Jennifer comes to UTSA with a unique skill set for our aquatics program, having worked at the Great Wolf Lodge Water Park in Virginia for the past couple of years. She received a Master of Science in Human Resource Management as well as Leisure Studies, and has a Bachelor of Science in Recreation Management. Jennifer has obtained certifications with the following; American Heart Association, American Red Cross, Aquatic Exercise Association, Arthritis Association, Emergency Care and Safety Institute, National EMT Registry, National Recreation and Park Association, National Pool and Waterpark Lifeguard Training, National Swimming Pool Foundation and ServeSafe.
We look forward to the knowledge and experience each new staff member will bring to Campus Recreation.
Effective May 26, 2009, the University Center business, marketing, programs and operations staff will relocate to the former Tomás Rivera Center (UC 1.01.10)--behind the Ski Lodge--as renovation begins on UC administrative office space. Faculty, Staff, or students needing assistance from UC offices are welcome to visit or call (ext 4155) Events Management and Conference Services (EMCS) at its current location (UC 1.02.04) near the UC’s Fiesta Dancers entrance.
Office renovations are expected to be complete by the end of July, when all UC staff, including EMCS, will be located across from the bookstore (UC 1.02.04).
Orientation and Family Programs along with the 2009 Orientation Leader Class request the honor of your presence at the OL graduation Ceremony:
Date: Friday, May 29, 2009
Time: 1:15pm-3pm-graduation ceremony
Location: Retama Auditorium, University Center
Reception Immediately Following: The Ballroom, University Center III
Please join members of the university community, family and friends as we recognize each of these student leaders for their academic achievements and diligence in completing the Orientation Leader training course for 2009. We look forward to your attendance.
May Monthly Check-In
Friday, May 29, 2009
From 5 to 7 pm
PDF to print and post
VIP Access to Rowdy New U Participants ONLY
• Join us for Water Aerobics at 5:30 and at 6:00pm.
• Access to all water equipment and pools/lazy river
(access pool from the side gate)
• Locker rooms will be available for changing/showers
Please bring your own towel
If you collect 100 points, receive a pedometer
If you collect 200 points, receive a water bottle
For more information call:
Gina English at xt. 6751
Environmental Healthy Safety and Risk Management
The process to Request Special Events Coverage – Accident and Sickness Insurance has changed. Please see http://utsa.edu/students/travel/ for more information. If you have any questions, please contact Carol Gonzalez at ext. 4040. Thank you.
Upcoming student travel training sessions are as follows:
Tuesday, July 21st, 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. - UC 2.01.34 (Hawthorne Room)
Wednesday, July 22nd, 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. – BV 4.304A (Downtown)
These sessions are offered through TX Class (SD 320). We look forward to seeing you there!
Edna Dominguez (ext. 7818) and Carol Gonzalez (ext. 4040)
See photo gallery below.
Outstanding Student Staff Member Award
- Michael Martinez
Outstanding Support Staff Member Award
- Ruth Coates, Admin Serv Officer I, Assoc Dean of Students
New Professional Staff Member Award
- Ryan Jesberger, Residence Hall Coord, Housing and Res Life
Divisional Leadership Award
- Lowa Mwilambwe, Dir Univ Cntr, University Center
Transformational Leadership Award
- Jan McKinney, Asst Director, Student Judicial Affairs
Outstanding Student Affairs Team Award
- University Career Center
Employee of the Semester Award
- Stefanie Cisneros, Career Counselor II, Career Services
There are still Student Affairs coin pouches available! They were handed out at the awards ceremony. If you would like one, please contact Luisa Ramirez at x 7486 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In an effort to minimize the spread of germs that could cause disease and infections a new Campus Recreation T-Shirt Policy will go into effect on June 1, 2009. Patrons will be required to wear a full, un-altered t-shirt in all activity areas. The new policy is an effort to help prevent the spread of communicable diseases such as MIRSA, CA-MRSA, and H1N1 (swine flu).
This policy is in direct support of the Rec Center’s mission of providing a "fun, healthy and safe environment"”. Although the H1N1 virus (swine flu) is receiving national television coverage MIRSA and CA- MIRSA should not be discounted as less serious. One of the best way’s to help prevent the spread of MIRSA and H1N1 is to minimize skin to skin contact and encourage people to wash their hands frequently. Individuals are highly encouraged to cough or sneeze into their shirt sleeve verses their hands.
This summer the Visitor Centers at UTSA will welcome many prospective students and parents as they begin their college search.
The Main Campus Visitor Center is located in the Multidisciplinary Studies Building (MS 2.02.36).
Tours are offered at 10am and 2pm Monday- Friday. Office Hours are from 8am-5pm
The Downtown Visitor Center is located in the Frio Street Building (FS 1.528). Tours are offered at 2pm Monday-Friday.
Office hours are from 8am-5pm.
Please refer all students and parents to the Visitor Center to ensure that tours for the day they are interested in visiting UTSA are available.
For more information on campus tours please visit our website at www.utsa.edu/visitor/
If you have any questions please let us know by contacting us at: Main Campus 458-5145 Downtown Campus 458-2000
University Oaks is still offering a specialized service to Student Affairs! Many departments at UTSA hire summer interns. If your department needs short term housing (an apartment with a full kitchen) during the summer for an intern, please contact Erin Cook, Senior Marketing Coordinator at 210-877-4005. Erin can work with your departmental needs, budget, and help with the coordination of moving into the unit."
The Office's of Campus Living Villages, Housing & Residence Life and Student Judicial Affairs would like to thank the following staff and faculty who have served as E.P.I.C. Mentors during the past academic year. Your service to students who are completing their E.P.I.C. Journey's reinforces our commitment and dedication to their success and is nicely illustrated by the following quote:
A bend in the road is not the end of the road…unless you fail to make the turn.
Thank you for caring and being fully present as student’s make the turn necessary to continue their journey successfully. E.P.I.C. Mentors (E-Engagement, P-Personal Development, I-Interpersonal Development, C-Community Membership)
Joe De Cristoforo
All current mentors do not need to take any action. We appreciate your continued service. If there is a time that you feel you cannot continue to serve, please contact us and we will remove you from the list. While we have made every effort to ensure a complete listing, if you have served and are not on the list….please accept our apology and notify our office.
We are always on the lookout for NEW E.P.I.C. Mentors. Please consider reading the attached nomination form (.doc) and submitting fellow staff or faculty you feel our students would benefit from knowing!
The UTSA Campus Recreation Center hosted its two-millionth visitor at 4:50 p.m., April 29. UTSA history graduate student Jessica Carr walked through the south entrance of the facility on her way to a workout and was surprised by a balloon and confetti drop, crowd applause and the presentation of a Campus Recreation "goodie bag."
The Campus Recreation Center is a state-of-the-art facility that features an indoor jogging track...
For the full article, visit: http://utsa.edu/today/2009/05/twomillion.cfm
UTSA faculty and staff can take advantage of a $25 discount for the inaugural Larry Coker/UTSA Youth Football Camp to be held Thursday-Saturday, June 18-20, at the track and field complex infield on the UTSA Main Campus.
The youth camp is open to athletes entering grades nine and below and will operate 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on the first two days...
For the full article, visit: http://utsa.edu/today/2009/05/campdiscount.cfm
Can you believe that the academic year is over and we are nine months into our True Colors initiative? How is your department/work team doing in the establishment of a common direction, a common level of engagement & trust, a common language. Use the check-list below to assess your progress at your next staff meeting or gathering.
Learning Outcomes Revisited:
Staff will gain the tools to establish a common language in the work environment.
> How has your department utilized the tools given in the True Colors training?
Staff will be able to apply their learning to the strategic initiatives of the division.
> What steps have your department taken to apply True Colors to the strategic initiatives?
Staff will develop a sense of self and understanding of peers.
> Has your department discussed the True Color profiles of each staff member?
Staff will build relationships across offices and departments.
> Did the staff in your department meet new people as a result of the True Colors Training?
Staff will have knowledge in how to create a safe and trusting work environment.
> How has your department incorporated True Colors into the everyday work environment to improve communication and understanding?
It's only the beginning. To request a consultation or just want to talk to someone about more ideas send an email VPSA@utsa.edu. We are here to help.
~The Student Affairs Education Team
The Student Affairs Education Team would like to thank all of the departments, work groups, and teams that have welcomed a true colors follow up or consultation. Also, a big thank you goes out to staff who enhanced their "color language" skills by attending a Communication Styles session. We appreciate your engagement and your dedication to our learning outcomes!
The groups below join a list of outstanding color advocates. They have recently completed their groups customized consultation or scheduled one with a facilitator to be held soon.
Alpha Kappa Psi - Co-Ed Business Fraternity
Housing and Residence Life
Housing and Residence Life, Resident Assistants
Mid Managers Network
P-20 Initiatives Latina Leadership Conference
Sigma Kappa - Panhellenic Social Greek Sorority
Student Activities: Greek Life Rho Gammas
Student Life/Student Judicial Affairs
To schedule your group, just send an email to VPSA@utsa.edu.
Watch for ideas about how YOU can use True Colors in your daily work in the next newsletter!
The University Career Center hosted UTSA's first Work-Study Job Fair for departments looking to hire summer student employees. The event-free for both departments and students-had great participation with fourteen departments and fifty-three students. More work-study fairs are being planned for the rest of the year due to the positive reviews.
If anyone is interested in participating in one of the upcoming work-study fairs, or would like more information, you may contact Events Manager Tiana Terry at x4769 or email@example.com.
Photos of the event
Phillips named CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VI
Roadrunners open Southland Conference Tournament with walk-off win
All Sport Schedule - Area Events
Vendor hold status checks have been made a bit easier by posting a guide on our website for vendor checks through Point Plus. (See link below) If you continue to have problems or need assistance with Point Plus, please check with your reviewer or other appropriate individual in your department. If there is not someone in your department that can help you out, please call Anne Jackson, at ext. 4059.
Check to be sure the vendor is not on the State of Texas "Warrant Hold" list. State agencies are not allowed to do business with or make payments to entities that are on "warrant hold", with the State of Texas until the hold is lifted. Purchases over $500 or more from a vendor based in the State of Texas require checking the vendor's status prior to making the purchase. Vendor status link and a guide has been added to our website in two places, one under the Purchasing site under "Announcements" and the other on the ProCard site under "Forms".
Here is a direct link to the guide: www.utsa.edu/purchasing/forms/Vendor%20Search%20Using%20POINT%20Plus.pdf
Water exercise is beneficial for everyone! Water provides resistance due to increased density, which allows for inherent muscular toning.
Swimming or deep-water running and aerobics offer cardiovascular exercise without impact.
Shallow water aerobics and running provide the same cardiovascular benefits with minimal impact. This is ideal for those with joint discomfort who are interested in maintaining bone density.
Injury risk is almost completely diminished, as falling and joint injury are not concerns in the water. Try it for a new challenge that’s comfortable and yields results.
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 ...
See past Thank You Rowdy Recipients
Thank You Rowdy is taking a short vacation.
He'll be back to cheer on Student Affairs staff soon!
To: Abbi Lane
Farewell and congratulations to Abbi, whose last day at UTSA is May 29th. Abbi has been accepted into the Ph.D. program in Kinesiology at the University of Illinois/Champaign-Urbana. We wish her the best!
Abbi also qualified and ran in the 2009 Boston Marathon on April 21st with a time of 3:33.
Way to go!
To: Walter Gamboa
From: Campus Rec
Campus Recreation would like to congratulate Walter Gamboa on receiving a Graduate Assistantship in Outdoor Pursuits at the University of Stephen F. Austin, in Nacogdoches, TX. Walter is an integral part of the UTSA Outdoor team, and we look forward to watching him grow as a professional.
To: Michelle Montanio- Assistant Director of Student Leaders/Cultural Programs
From: Sylvia Mendoza
RE: La Despedida
Thank you so much for organizing and being a part of La Despedida ceremony. It was such a beautiful and important graduation ceremony that reflected the culture of UTSA and greater San Antonio as well as revealed the University's commitment to its community and families. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in a ceremony that allowed myself and other students to thank our friends and family members personally. I love that we had a space to share with our professors, who had the opportunity to express their own sentiments as well. This is such an important ceremony, well organized by yourself and Sarah Ramos, and I hope more and more students learn about this ceremony and participate in it.
Thank you very much,
The Office of Student Judicial Affairs would like to thank the following staff and faculty at UTSA who have served as hearing officers during the past academic year:
Department of the Writing Program
Student Health Services
Criminal Justice DT
COLFA Advising Center
Associate Professor and Department Chair
Counseling, Edu./Psy., Adult Education
Student Affairs Operations DT
Director for Inclusion and Community Engagement
Office of Student Life
Professor and Associate Dean
Office of Student Activities
Business Operations DT
Please submit all newsletter entries by 5:00 pm, Tuesday, June 9, 2009, to