The 4 C's of Student Affairs: Communicate, Connect, Collaborate, Create
In another time and place, I worked with a colleague who had big ideas, wonderful ideas, complex ideas. She had the talent to take these ideas and turn them into programs that were also big, wonderful, and well run. She was also very good at seeing where other departments and people could benefit by being involved in what she was doing and she always invited people to join in. She saw herself as strong in collaboration. And yet she was often frustrated in her dealings with others and by what she saw as a lack of support by the university. Her colleagues were often highly frustrated in working with her even while they appreciated the quality of her ideas and the strength of her programs.
Over time, I began to see why. This colleague would pick up her big, wonderful, complex idea, carry it across campus to someone and say, in effect, 'here is your part in my big idea' or 'this task is where I see you fitting in to this program.' She rarely asked 'where do you see your department in this idea?' or even 'do you see a reason to be part of this?' The value, both to her program and to the other department, was completely self-evident to her so she never felt the need to take the time to sit down with others and work together to develop the idea and program. When her program needed additional funding to handle all of the very cool things she had added over time, she became very frustrated when the money didn't come. She never saw that she hadn't brought the university along with her as she grew the program, so the benefit wasn't as obvious to everyone else as it was to her.
In other words, she didn't really collaborate, she assigned tasks to others and she defined what was a benefit. Therefore, even if her ideas did further the aims of the other department or really did benefit the entire university, it always felt like it was all in aid of her ideas.
Collaborate, the third C for Student Affairs: like Communicate and Connect, Collaborate takes time. It means so much more than two departments working together. It means find time to do all of the actions in our definition (Click for definition of Student Affairs Collaborate). It also means being willing to listen to someone disagree with our big, wonderful, complex ideas and being able to be open to hearing and even understanding why they have that opinion. It means being willing to modify or even give up part of our big, wonderful, complex idea. Practicing Collaboration needs a willingness to listen and speak and act openly and honestly with colleagues. Valuing Collaboration means accepting and acting on the concept that two heads are better than one. Understanding Collaboration is acknowledging that it will take all of our gifts and the gifts of everyone else who cares about the work we are doing to move our departments, our division and our university to the big, wonderful, complex future we envision. To quote Johnetta Cole, president emerita of Spelman College, "Faced with what seems like an impossible task, a group of folks will do well to remember the African proverb: When spider webs unite they can tie up a lion."
So the next time you find yourself frustrated with working with someone on a project, stop for a moment and look at the list of what collaborate means to us in Student Affairs and see if there is something different you can do to change the interaction. And the next time you find yourself trying to tie up a lion all by yourself, stop and think who might also care about this task and invite them to join you – not to take the task you assign, but to think with you, to collaborate with you in trying to solve the dilemma. I can promise you it will be worth the time in the long run.
Dr. Shawanda Woods joined UTSA as a post doctoral counselor and will be continuing as full time staff member with the Counseling Services office. She studied at Louisiana College, and Louisiana Tech University prior to graduating with a Psy.D. from Argosy University/Dallas in 2008.
She offers counseling to individuals, groups, and couples in order to help them improve their personal and interpersonal relationships. Her specific areas of interest include, but are not limited to, men's issues, multiculturalism/diversity topics, and first generation student challenges.
Her therapeutic approach is eclectic and problem-solving oriented, while combining positive, cognitive behavioral, and rational emotive behavioral techniques. With each client she strives to identify where they are personally and help find solutions that fit best for them. Shawanda finds it both personally and professionally rewarding when students report that they have a better understanding of their issues and have found some relief from challenging and often disruptive symptoms.
Please visit the UTSA Student Health Services website for Swine Flu tips and information.
On Thursday, May 14, 2009, the Vice President for Student Affairs is hosting an award ceremony for all members the VPSA family. To have this program run seamlessly, we need volunteers! Your help with set up or after-ceremony clean up would be greatly appreciated. We also need a small group of ushers, tie not required! If you are interested in being a part of this great event, either before, after or during, contact Donna Edmondson at ext. 6560 or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org by May 8th.
PDF with more information
For those that might not know, the UC Program Council is a newly forming student organization dedicated late-night and weekend student programming. We bring comedians, movies, coffee house singers and more to our student community, free of charge. We are currently recruiting students who are interested in being a part of this new initiative and who want to make a difference to campus programming. If you are interested in joining the UC Program Council or want more information about any of the listed programs, please contact us.
Click here (PDF) for our upcoming events.
The University Center Program Council
Due to departmental needs, University Oaks would like to continue to offer 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. University Oaks accepts IDTs and Erin can work with your departmental needs, budget, and help with the coordination of moving into the unit.
UTSA head football coach Larry Coker announced Wednesday that Mike Menefee, Eric Roark and David Ross have been hired as assistant coaches and all three will begin their appointments immediately.
"I'm very excited about completing phase one of assembling our coaching staff," said Coker, who was introduced...
For the full article, visit: http://utsa.edu/today/2009/04/fbcoaches.cfm
Up ‘til Dawn is a Greek Life lead initiative. In November 2008, the Greek community came together to launch their second annual letter writing campaign. This campaign yielded $11,682 that went directly to St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital.
This workshop is a highly interactive session designed to acquaint participants with the personality assessment known as True Colors. It is through knowing and understanding our "true colors" that we are able to established a common language and set the standard for excellence within our division.
-The Education Team
Please send your requests to VPSA@utsa.edu
Disability Services held their Open House on April 17th.
The 2008-09 UTSA Athletics Awards Ceremony was held April 27th.
|Sat, May 2||BB||Texas State *||San Antonio, Texas||2 p.m.|
|Sun, May 3||BB||Texas State *||San Antonio, Texas||1 p.m.|
|Thu, May 14||BB||Central Arkansas *||San Antonio, Texas||6 p.m.|
|Fri, May 15||BB||Central Arkansas *||San Antonio, Texas||6 p.m.|
|Sat, May 16||BB||Central Arkansas *||San Antonio, Texas||2 p.m.|
Please refer to the documents in the Official Occasions / Entertainment Financial Management Operational Guidelines when planning/preparing for and processing payment for official entertainment.
4. What about holiday luncheons and other employee celebrations?
As with any hospitality expense, the business purpose must benefit UTSA's mission. Holiday luncheons and related celebrations may be allowable if the business purpose and documentation supports the benefit gained by the institution, for example, employee morale and team building; recognition of goal achievement; or employee appreciation.
Additionally, the funding must be representative of the expenditure: an official occasions' account (funds are sourced from interest earnings and judiciously allocated to each Vice President) versus operating budgets funded by designated tuition or fees.
Expenses should consider fair and consistent treatment among employees, and 'the front page test' – will it seem appropriate to stakeholders that UTSA pay for the event? Retirement parties or celebrations honoring employees who leave UTSA are allowed provided the employee has had a minimum of five years of service.
Specific points to note include:
The process of becoming or staying healthy can be intimidating! Here are some ideas to make your goals more attainable and less abstract:
Set daily, concrete goals along with big, "finish-line" goals. For example, aim to move for 30 minutes today and eat fruit and crackers instead of chips for a snack. This will get you to your ultimate (and abstract) goal of achieving a healthy lifestyle.
Schedule exercise or relaxation time. Put it in your calendar just like any other important obligation.
Find something you enjoy doing. Play a sport, dance, or go for a walk with a friend. Exercise you dread tends to be exercise you skip!
Forgive yourself when you mess up-because you will mess up! Get over it and move on.
Good luck and have fun!
Abbi Lane, MS, CSCS
Assistant Director, Fitness/Wellness
Student Affairs Networking Team
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 Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services (SFAES) Call Center
See past Thank You Rowdy Recipients
To: Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services (SFAES) Call Center:
Kaeli Brown, Joshua Cuevas, Andria Cox, Musoke Sendaula, Karen Pfeil, Amy Gomez, Danny Campos,
Jacob Martinez, Stephen Cheney, Claudia Rodriguez-Lily
From: April Gonzales, Office of Financial Aid
I would like to present a well deserved Thank You Rowdy to the Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services (SFAES) Call Center, as a token of my appreciation for all the dedication and hard work your team has committed to our department daily. As a fairly young team ranging from 4 months to 2 years this dynamic staff has manage to create and foster a team work environment. The joint effort and collaboration this group has established while continuing to average 4,000 calls a week during a non-peak period is a model for all our staff to aspire to. The resourcefulness this team demonstrates is truly admirable, as they research the caller’s needs and seek out accurate information and share the updated knowledge with each other in order to assist future customers. They are referred to as part of our front line and with their enduring support they continue to defer thousands of students from coming in and flooding our counters. Keep up the outstanding work Call Center!
Jeanette Francovich and Jessica Thompson receive Rowdy
Thank You Rowdy poses with his new friends
To: Late Night Breakfast Volunteers
Many thanks to the staff who served the Late Night Breakfast on Tuesday night at the Roadrunner Cafe. Over 1000 students were served.
Sponsored by: The Department of Housing and Residence Life, Business Auxilary Services, and Aramark
Residence Hall Coordinator
The Department of Campus Recreation would like to congratulate two student staff members, Carlos Garcia and Brian Franks, for obtaining Graduate Assistantships in the field of Campus Recreation. Carlos Garcia has accepted a Graduate Assistantship in Facilities and Aquatics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and will graduate with a degree in Kinesiology. Brian Franks has accepted a Graduate Assistantship in Fitness at Mississippi State, and will also be graduating with a degree in Kinesiology. Both students have been a tremendous asset to the Department and the University, and we wish them the best in future endeavors.
Please submit all newsletter entries by 5:00 pm, Tuesday, May 12, 2009, to