Snapshots Announcements Spotlight UTSA Athletics

July 2013, Issue 7

Message from VPSA

Sam Gonzales

The sights and sounds of summer are all around campus. The newest Roadrunners and their families participating in new student orientation, the unique pace of summer classes, and campus tours – lots of campus tours. In each direction you look, there is activity. Plans are underway for the fall semester and the meetings are future focused, making it a perfect time to think about our connections, improve communication and be active in our leadership.

I find that summer can be a good time to create and execute action steps – to act and think strategically. In reality, to be successful, we must actively pursue the best for our students – every day. One way to do that is to focus on what our students can expect to gain from engaging in our programs and services and how we make a plan to identify the right steps in that direction.

Our aim is clear. It is the best possible experience (inside and outside of the classroom) for each and every one of our students. It is the “life” component outside of the classroom that serves as our spotlight for this month. Associate Vice President and Dean of Students, Kevin Price, highlighted some of the most recent accomplishments of our Student Life departments reminding us that powerful learning and development occurs outside the classroom.

This aim is realized through large projects and small tasks. It is an active process. REACH provides consistency along this path. One of the dimensions in REACH is active leadership. An active leader is someone who is flexible, can incorporate divergent views, create options, and motivate others. It involves effectively communicating, connecting and collaborating with others to effect positive change. This definition perfectly aligns with our excellence model – reminding us to use the Four C’s to frame our work.

Our challenge is to continually find ways to promote and support students in their understanding of active leadership. When I think about how to best convey the idea of active leadership to students, I first look within. Leaders are often flexible; they coach and motivate others. They practice innovation while, at the same time, staying focused on the bottom line. It is up to each and every one of us as leaders to continue to grow and create new action steps for ourselves and with our teams. Decide what you want to do that is new and challenging. Then take just one step in that direction.

I have taken an action step in social media to share my leadership ideas on LinkedIn. Please take a moment to connect with me there. What are your summer action steps for leadership? I would like to hear them. Send me an email.

Best wishes,

We Are Student Affairs!