Several years ago, there was a small independent pharmacy near our home. At the time I was taking a medicine I had to refill regularly and I went in on a Friday to find that the pharmacist was gone for several days (yes, the pharmacist). So I turned to leave and was stopped by the clerk who asked if I was there for a refill. I said yes but I hadn't called it in. He asked my name and pulled out a bag with my prescription. It turns out the pharmacist had filled the prescriptions of all his customers who would need refills while he was gone. I was blown away by that impressive level of service (and really depressed when he retired and closed up).
It seems to me the essential element here is that he thought about what his absence would mean, identified a problem, and took steps to minimize the impact. Easy to do you might say in a small organization, and you might be right.
However, Tuesday I had an interaction with a mega-organization whose service area is world-wide. The service I experienced was just as impressive as in the little pharmacy.
Tuesday while driving to work I hit a deer. I'm convinced it fell out of the sky, but no matter how we both got there, by the end of the interaction my car wasn't really drivable. I called my insurance company and by the time I got off the phone a little more than 20 minutes later, the tow truck was on the way, the rental car was reserved, and I had the phone number of the body shop. The tow truck showed up in 20 minutes as promised – another example of good service. At the rental car place I signed for the car and drove in to work. As my husband Peter said, it was like calling a conciergeimpressive, and wonderful not to have any additional stress added to the day.
In this case, it's not about one person identifying a problem and creating a unique solution, it's an example of an entire system set up to work truly seamlessly.
I do believe students need to learn to navigate bureaucracies, meet deadlines, and be responsible for their educational experiences. But these two examples remind me that we still need to pay attention to the situation of each individual student and to be creative in responding. Like the insurance company, we are a big organization so we also need to think about our systems. Do they work together well or not? How can we be creative to make our complex organization work smoothly and easily for students? (We get a benefit too when that happens. Our work is easier and everyone we work with is happier.)
So, what ideas do you have today for truly impressive service and responsiveness to the challenges our students face?
Welcome to Victoria Tesillo, who began work on Monday, November 2, as the University Career Center's new RowdyJobs Coordinator. She comes to us with over twelve years of experience in human resources management, having most recently worked for Accenture. On her third day of work, she showed up at 6:30 a.m. and worked a 12-hour day at the Educator Career Fair! We are thrilled to have her join our team in the University Career Center – welcome to UTSA, Victoria!
It's time again to nominate a deserving individual(s) for the Fall 2009 Student Affairs Employee of the Semester Award. The Employee of the Semester Award is presented to two to three members across the Student Affairs Division (VPSA Central Office, Student Life, Student Services, Athletics, Registrar, Financial Aid and Enrollment Services, Admissions and Orientation) each semester.
Nominees must be a full-time staff person in the division. Nominees may be nominated by a student or staff member in Student Affairs and the nomination form must be approved by the nominee's direct supervisor.
Award winners are judged based on the following criteria:
1. Provide outstanding service to students.
2. Work collegially/collaboratively within their unit or outside of their unit.
3. Promote enthusiasm about UTSA and its mission.
4. Implement a policy, procedure, idea, or development of a concept that has expanded or improved business function, service level or department morale.
5. Demonstrate initiative in getting involved outside the scope of their job duties.
To nominate a staff member for the Employee of the Semester Award, nominators must complete an online form that describes how the nominee meets the criteria listed above (not to exceed 500 words). Cite examples whenever possible and include success indicators if available.
The completed nomination forms must be submitted to the Awards and Recognition Committee by November 20, 2009.
The nomination form can be found online at https://www.utsa.edu/students/teams/pdt/forms/employeesemester.pdf
Winners will be announced on December 4, 2009. For more information on the Employee of the Semester Award, contact Marlon Anderson at ext. 4770 or Luisa Ramirez at ext. 7486.
Dear University Colleagues,
As you all know, Fall commencement is just around the corner. This is a time of great celebration for the entire campus community and a chance to acknowledge the students who have dedicated so much to graduate from UTSA! Please help us make the upcoming commencement ceremonies the best.
In order to make this joyous event run like clockwork, we ask that you sign up to provide staffing at one or more of the five ceremonies to be held on December 17, 18, and 19. The dates/times are listed below. Faculty members and college staff members have already been requested to participate in providing staffing.
We would appreciate it if you would choose one or more of the times below and e-mail John Kaulfus by Monday, December 7, 2009 at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your time(s). Your final assignment(s) will be e-mailed to you on Friday, December 11, by 5 p.m. Please note, employees who are authorized to work during one of the Fall commencement ceremonies and who work beyond their regular work schedules will be compensated as indicated below. Since working one of these ceremonies may result in accruing compensatory time, approval from your supervisor is required. Supervisors must ensure that any compensatory time earned by employees is recorded on the employee timesheet and DEFINE.
• Classified non-exempt employees are eligible for federal overtime and/or state comp time
• Classified exempt employees are eligible for state comp time
• Administrative & Professional are not eligible to earn compensatory time.
For questions to determine compensable time, please contact the Human Resources department at 458-5771 or 458-6647.
Thursday, December 17 – Ceremony #1 (COE & COS): 5:00-9:00 p.m.
Friday, December 18 – Ceremony #2 (COPP & COLFA I): 5:00-9:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 19 – Ceremony #3 (COA & COLFA II): 7:30-11:30 a.m.
Saturday, December 19 – Ceremony #4 (COB): 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 19 – Ceremony #5 (COEHD): 3:30-7:30 p.m.
Thank you all so much for your time and dedication to UTSA.
Gage E. Paine
Vice President for Student Affairs
The University Career Center is participating in the 19th Annual SACUCCA Job Fair on Thursday, November 12, in the Blossom Athletic Center, from 2-6 p.m. All UTSA students and alumni are invited to attend and meet with employers seeking to fill full-time and internship positions. More information, including a list of participating organizations, can be found at www.sacucca.org.
As a way of saying "thank you" to our employers, the University Career Center and the Athletics Department have collaborated to host an evening of food, fun, friends, and basketball! Employers that have visited UTSA for recruitment and career fair activities this fall have been invited to campus on the evening of November 18 for a social hour, complete with hors d'oeuvres, door prizes, and a welcome from Coach Coker. Following that, participants will attend the Roadrunner basketball game against East Central.
At the invitation of Medtronic, ten University Career Center staff members teamed up with staff members from Medtronic on Saturday, October 17, to participate in the Juvenile Diabetes Run/Walk. Medtronic is the world leader in medical technology and opened their Diabetes unit here in San Antonio in May. Their first training class of thirty new employees consisted of twenty UTSA graduates! We are proud to be partners Medtronic and look forward to working and volunteering with them in the future.
Join us for the VPSA Staff Networking-Book Club! We will meet the third Tuesday of every month, 12-1 pm, in the Montgomery Room (UC 2.214A.1). Bring your lunch and join us as we discuss the book of the month and select the book for the following month.
This month's book selection is Jane Austen's Emma.
For more information please email Yvonne Jones.
PDF to print and post
11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
come and go
Nov. 17th - Main Campus, UC Pecan Room
Nov. 18th - Downtown, DB 1.116
Nov. 19th - Main Campus, UC Pecan Room
PDF to print and post
~Staff Networking Team
Students, faculty, and staff are invited to a special all-campus event, "Celebrate UTSA! All Different. All Roadrunners." This year's celebration is 5-8 p.m., Wednesday, November 18 in the UC Paseo on the 1604 Campus. (The rain site is the UC III Ballroom.)
The event includes an onstage showcase with performances, readings and speeches, along with information tables and activities with valuable information about UTSA student organizations and departments. Special ethnic foods will be served, along with the opportunity to enjoy interactive programs, prizes, give-aways, t-shirts, and other fun and educational activities. Food give aways and T-shirts are free while they last.
We will also have a musical performance by David Bradley.
To sign up to have an information table, or participate in the showcase or for more information about the event, please contact Ann Margaret Trujillo in the Inclusion and Community Engagement Center, 210.458.4770.
Read more about Diversity Month at http://utsa.edu/ice.
University Oaks, Laurel Village, Chisholm Hall and Chaparral Village joined together to collaborate on the 3rd Annual Campus Crawl. As part of UTSA Alcohol Awareness Week, the event consisted of a 4 separate parties and a closing late-night breakfast. Based on a pub crawl, the night started with residents enjoying the University Oaks Rock 'N Rowdy Tailgate. The tailgate educated residents about the dangers of over consumption and negative tailgating behavior. Alcohol awareness questions were asked to residents to win a chance at pieing an RA. There was a dizzy lizzy basketball shoot to simulate being drunk. The event capped off with RA Jaimie Martinez "passing" out and collapsing. Local Fire Department and EMS arrived with lights blazing to simulate what they would do if this really happened. It was an eye opening experience for residents to see EMS in action and hear about the not-so-pleasant side of a trip to hospital for alcohol poisoning. There were well over 150+ residents in a short 45 minute span. The tailgate ended and the crawl continued to Laurel Village with around 60 Oaks residents walking over together.
The RA Conference 2009 was hosted by TCU with an I Love the 80's theme. Eight RAs from University Oaks and Chisholm Hall had a blast attending the annual conference. They turned on their Roadrunner spirit and brought their orange and blue to represented UTSA. The RA Conference offered RAs the opportunity to learn from other schools around the region. They picked up new programming idea, networked with other RAs, and were inspired by keynote speaker Paul Wesselmann from the Ripples Project. The RAs participated in the opening roll call to a remake of the Final Countdown and created a spirit banner. They came back pumped up and rejuvenated with new ideas of how they can better serve their residents.
On Thursday, October 29th, the Women's Resource Center and the Women's Studies Institute collaborated to present a poetry reading and Altar decorating for Dia de los Muertas at the Downtown Campus. Poetry was read by Sarah Montoya, Josie Mixon, and Jodie Ierien. The Women's Resource Center peer educators presented information on domestic abuse awareness to students at the downtown campus.
See how various departments in Student Affairs celebrated Halloween.
The Educator Career Fair was held on Wednesday, November 4, 2009, at the University Center Ballroom. There were a total of 54 school districts that participated in the career fair along with a total of 501 job seekers interested in careers in education.
On behalf of the University Career Center, we would like to thank all of you for your assistance in promoting this fair to future educators. And a special thank you to Aramark and Parking & Transportation for collaborating with us to make this a successful event for employers and students.
November 7, 2009 marked the fourth annual Up 'til Dawn event held at the Campus Recreation Center. Nearly 600 students participated in a letter writing campaign to increase awareness of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Participants were asked to bring 35 names and addresses of family, friends, former teachers or coaches, etc. They then sent provided letters to these individuals to inform them about the good works of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and ask for a donation to continue in their efforts.
Submitted by Gary Handy M.A.
Program Advisor for Greek Life
|Thu, Nov 12||VB||Texas State *||San Antonio, Texas||6:30 p.m.|
|Sat, Nov 14||VB||UT Arlington *||San Antonio, Texas||3:30 p.m.|
|Sun, Nov 15||WBB||Schreiner||San Antonio, Texas||2 p.m.|
|Wed, Nov 18||MBB||East Central||San Antonio, Texas||7 p.m.|
Please create a student clerk pool in HRMS so that when your work study students run out of funds, you can move them to the student clerk pool immediately. If you do not have a student clerk pool created, the department will need to create one, route it through VPSA to HR and then at that point, the students can be moved to the new pool.
Healthy Holiday Eating Tips
• Offer to bring your favorite diet-friendly dish to holiday parties or meals. Not only does that guarantee that there will be at least one diet-friendly item on offer, it will give other guests a chance to try a healthy dish that may become a favorite. (Bring the recipe!)
• Keep walking regularly. Shopping is a great way to get some movement, but don't use that as an excuse not to get in a brisk 30-minute daily walk as well.
• Have a small, healthful snack before leaving for a party or get-together to prevent over-indulging on the typical high-fat fare offered at holidays events.
Assistant Director of Fitness & Wellness
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 Christina Maldonado
See past Thank You Rowdy Recipients
To: Christina Maldonado, Office of Orientation and Family Programs
From: Zenia Trevino, Office of Admissions
In appreciation of all the hard work you do for Orientation, Student Affairs, and UTSA I am presenting you with Thank You Rowdy. Your strong work ethic and
great attitude are always evident in all that you do. Thank you.
Christina receives Rowdy from Zenia
Christina and Rowdy
To: Jared Jones- Assistant Director of Marketing and Communication
From: Nikole Vaughn
This note is a simple note of thanks at the close of a busy week. Thank you for the quick and thorough response regarding the Annual Report pictures.
...truly appreciate it.
To: Adriana Alicea-Rodriguez- Residence Hall Coordinator, Housing and Residence Life
Re' Shanda Bridges- Associate Director of Orientation and Transition Programs
and Misty Kelley- Associate Director of Student Activities
From: Rachel S. Ruiz- Assistant Vice President, Office of P-20 Initiatives
Dear Adriana, Re'Shanda and Misty,
On behalf of the Office of P-20 Initiatives, I want to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to each of you for a very informative and interactive training session, Working with Students that you conducted for us yesterday (10/19/09). The information and the many resources that you provided to our staff were well received. We look forward in adapting some of your forms to our specific needs. You are truly experts in your field, and it's good to know you as colleagues.
Rachel S. Ruiz, Ph.D.
To: Re' Shanda Bridges- Associate Director of Orientation and Transition Programs
and Misty Kelley- Associate Director of Student Activities
From: John Kaulfus- Associate Dean of Students
Re' Shanda and Misty,
I just wanted to take a minute and compliment both of you, and your fantastic team, for the great work being done with staff networking. It is exciting to see so many different opportunities for our Student Affairs colleagues to get together and learn from one another. It is also gratifying to see so many of your team members step up and take leadership roles. That is the mark of great leadership and you are both to be commended.
On a personal level, I have been able to meet so many different staff members while attending the various open houses, and then, I have been able to continue those new relationships at other on-campus events. Along with the nametags and True Colors, I think the open houses have really brought our Student Affairs team together.
The work being done by the Staff Networking Team is having a tremendous positive impact on Student Affairs and UTSA. Keep up the great work and please give my best to your hard-working team members.
Chair – Professional Development Team
Associate Dean of Students
To: The Residents and Residence Life Staff of Chisholm Hall and University Oaks
From: Curtis Odle
RE: 15th Annual Boysville Boo Bash
University Oaks and Chisholm Hall hosted over 40 kids and workers from Boysville of Texas for the 15th Annual Boysville Boo Bash. Boysville provides emergency shelter and long-term residential care for underprivileged children. The night started at Chisholm Hall with the building decked out from head to toe with Halloween decorations. Each wing covered their walls with trash bags and wall paper to transform the floor into a kid-friendly, spooky house. Cobwebs, streamers and other decorations rounded out the motif. The lights were covered with colored paper to cast an eerie glow on the hall. Nearly 200 Chisholm residents volunteered to join the RA staff to dress up and serve as safe trick or treating doors. The Boysville kids walked the halls being greeted by smiling (sometimes "dead") costumed residents and getting candy. The Chisholm RAs and students were so great. The kids had such a great time. A group of residents even put on a dance show for the kids.
After Trick o' Treating, the kids headed to University Oaks for a Rowdy Haunted House Carnival. RAs and residents staffed booths for the kids to decorate pumpkins, fish for prizes, make worm pudding, get face painting, play musically chairs, and make popcorn scary hands. Kids could also get glow-in-the-dark bracelets if they were willing to get through the spaghetti "brain". The kids played the whole time it was fun to see the RAs and residents playing with them. Even tossing a balloon in the air became a fun game. The night wrapped up with a costume parade. The favorites were two little twin boys dressed as a baby skunk and baby giraffe. More than one RA wanted to take them home.
The Boysville staff could not express enough how grateful they were to have this opportunity for the kids. It was truly a community service opportunity. These kids would not have had any other opportunity to enjoy Halloween if it wasn't for the efforts of our students. I could not stop smiling from ear to ear. I was so excited by the residents and staff putting so much into serving these kids.
I have included a few pictures of the event: Photo gallery
There will be no newsletter the week of Thanksgiving. The next deadline will be 5:00p.m. Tuesday, December 1st.