Office of Student AccessAbility
In July 2011, Kerry Tate was promoted from assistant director to director of the Office of Student AccessAbility (OSA). She has more than 20 years of experience working in the field and currently serves as the membership communications officer on the Texas AHEAD board of directors. In addition, Tiffanie Douglas was promoted from the position of testing coordinator to assistant director of the OSA. Tiffanie is also a staff co-advisor for the UT Dallas chapter of Golden Key International Honor Society. Melissa Wyder, a UT Dallas alumna, continues to serve the office as administrative assistant and contributes to the university at large as a Staff Council representative.
The fall athletic teams once again were among the best in the American Southwest Conference. The men's and women's soccer teams, as well as the Comets volleyball squad, all finished their regular seasons strong and took their familiar place as top challengers in the ASC post-season championship tournaments.
The UT Dallas women's soccer team led the way this fall by advancing to the tournament championship match and earning an at-large bid to the NCAA National Championship Tournament for the first time since 2002. The Comets, who lost to nationally-ranked Hardin-Simmons University in the ASC title game, still had one of their best seasons ever. They matched a school record for wins with 16, including 15 shutout wins, also tying a school record. Senior Leah Bowyer of Lubbock, finished the year as one of the school's all-time goal scorers, running her four-year total to 52 with a 19-goal season.
The men's soccer team also challenged for the top spot in the ASC throughout the season and qualified for the ASC tournament for the eighth time in the last nine seasons. The Comets finished the year at 13-4-2, recorded 10 shutouts, and surrendered just seven goals during the regular season. The 2011 season ended with a sixth straight ASC East Division title for the Comets, who earned the right to host the ASC Championship Tournament for the third time in the last five years. The Comets, who returned just two starters from the previous year, finished the regular season at 23-6 before a fourth place finish in the tournament.
An exciting new addition to the UT Dallas athletics website has been video streaming of all home events. Fans unable to attend events can now view all the action online.
Resumania! – Thirteen employer representatives from companies such as Ericsson, Raytheon, Chase Bank, Sherwin-Williams, BB&T, Alcatel-Lucent and Fidelity, gave students and alumni the opportunity to get some valuable feedback on their resumes. Over 100 participants met with professionals in the Clark Center to learn how to create an impressive and unique resume that will help them stand out from the crowd and better market themselves. This employer-driven event came at a great time – just one week before the Career Center's Fall Career Expo!
Summer 2012 Internship Program in Sydney, Australia – Getting a summer internship will take on a whole new meaning for students participating in the new international program in Sydney, Australia beginning in the summer of 2012. Graduate and undergraduate students in all majors are eligible to apply for this exciting and rewarding educational experience that will custom-match them with a relevant job environment. In partnership with CAPA International Education and the UT Dallas Office of International Education, the Career Center developed a six-week program that will enable students to earn academic credit while gaining hands-on international work experience, networking with professionals in their field of interest and being immersed in Australian workplace culture. When they are not on the job, students will learn what life is like 'down under' as they live with a host family in Sydney, go on special tours, attend lectures and enjoy other events in the area. One dedicated Career Center staff member will accompany students for the first few weeks to help them get settled, visit internship sites, and make sure everything is off to a smooth start. Prior to departure, students will participate in preparatory seminars, and they will also have regular group meetings while in Australia. Once back in Dallas, students will engage in guided reflections on the experience and do follow-up presentations. There is no limit to the number of students who may participate, and applications are due early in the spring semester.
Reverse Career Expo – In an effort to further connect employers with student leaders on campus, the Career Center and academic honor society Delta Epsilon Iota co-sponsored a new event: the Reverse Career Expo, in which student organizations set up booths to welcome visiting employers. This non-traditional format enabled the students to promote their organizations through dynamic displays which highlighted club initiatives, community service involvement, and group awards and accomplishments. Company representatives browsed the booths, met student leaders, and learned about their contributions to the campus and community. Students enjoyed the chance to network with employers in a setting designed to show off their strengths and leadership skills alongside their peers. Forty representatives from 25 different companies mingled with 128 students representing 32 student organizations. The event will likely become an annual program according to Michael Doty, director of the Career Center. It concluded with employers voting for the most impressive booth display, most professionally dressed and most engaging to employers. The winning student organizations were Cause and Action, Women of Wisdom, Excellence and Distinction, and the National Society of Black Engineers, respectively.
Student Counseling Center
Dr. Gabriel Yeamans, Staff Psychiatrist
Due to an increased demand for psychiatric services among students, the Student Counseling Center has expanded its services through the addition of a staff psychiatrist. Dr. Gabriel Yeamans is a UT Dallas alumnus who worked at the Student Counseling Center in 2007 as part of his residency program at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
His previous time here made a positive impression. "I found this to be one of my most valuable clinical experiences, as I enjoyed working with bright young students who are often motivated and engaged in the treatment process. I also found it rewarding to be back on the campus where I had started on my journey and to be able to help the school that had helped me find my career path."
Dr. Yeamans has a half-time assignment, which will enable students who are receiving counseling services at UT Dallas to get a psychiatric consultation on campus.
Dean of Students
Students will now be a part of the discipline process at UT Dallas as members of the newly created discipline committee. Proposed by a task force of faculty, staff and students, and approved by the Office of General Council, student participation in this process reflects a further commitment to the ongoing goal of enhancing a student-centered university environment. Working alongside faculty, student committee members will be a part of campus governance in its purest form. To be eligible for committee membership, students must be enrolled full time, have completed at least 15 hours at UT Dallas, have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00, and be in good standing with the university. Both undergraduate and graduate students may apply. In fall 2011, fourteen students representing a diverse cross-section of the university were selected after a rigorous application and interview process conducted by the dean of students' office. Before convening, students will participate in training on due process, discipline hearing procedures, the admissibility of evidence, FERPA, questioning techniques, effective sanctioning, and an understanding of the legal basis for the discipline hearing process.
Student Health Center
Students who have a stabilized chronic illness can now get help managing their medical condition through the Student Health Center (SHC). SHC staff, including full-time physician Dr. Saniya Naheed, will care for students with asthma, non-insulin dependent diabetes, hypertension, hypothyroidism, hypercholesterolemia and depression. Students must first provide the SHC with a recent copy of their medical records related to the illness, along with their current treatment regimen.
Student Health Insurance
The Student Health Insurance Office is now part of the Student Health Center. The office manages the UT Dallas Student Health Insurance Plan, provides assistance with plan enrollment, offers confidential claims advising services, and serves as a resource for information regarding local health care providers.
Last August, while students were settling into the two campus residence halls (one of which was brand new), construction was already beginning on a third hall. Living in the modern and inviting residence halls has become a big draw for incoming freshmen, not to mention having washing machines that text you when your laundry is done! The 400-bed facilities offer numerous amenities, including a community kitchen, recreation area with ping pong and pool tables, common TV lounges, study rooms with white boards and wireless internet access, and even music practice rooms. Students also enjoy private, lockable bedrooms as part of a three-person suite. Each suite has a furnished common living area with built-in counters and a place for a small refrigerator. Students share a three-sink vanity area and a private, in-suite shower and toilet.
Safety and community are two areas of focus for the residence halls. Each hall has a front desk that is staffed 24 hours a day. Each hallway and individual suite requires resident card access at all times, and the main building entry requires card access after midnight. The residence halls, which house only freshmen, have 16 individual suites for resident Peer Advisors (PA). The 1:24 PA-to-student ratio is low and allows for personal attention between staff and students, and contributes to a strong residential community. Peer Advisors meet with their residents regularly to plan activities, attend campus events and engage in community service.
Construction on the third residence hall, a carbon copy of the second residence hall is on schedule and will be ready to welcome new students in fall 2012. We are very excited and proud to offer more students the chance to experience the socially and academically engaging campus housing at UT Dallas.
International Student Services
UT Dallas welcomed 1,470 new international students this fall, with our total international enrollment growing to more than 3,500 students. With 117 countries represented, 19% of UT Dallas' student body hails from another country. Chinese students have joined UT Dallas in record numbers, with 1,160 students enrolled- a 74% increase from fall 2010. The majority of international students are graduate students (84%), and the largest percentage are pursuing degrees from the Jindal School of Management (46%) and Engineering and Computer Science (37%.). This significant growth in our international student population represents an opportunity for students to meet and learn with people from all over the world.
The International Student Services Office (ISSO) continues to provide substantial support for these students through a variety of services and special events to help make their transition to UT Dallas and the United States easy and enjoyable. In addition to orientation sessions specifically designed for international students, the ISSO collaborated with Student Government, the Indian Student Association, the Friendship Association of Chinese Students and Scholars, and other partners in the cities of Richardson and Plano to provide airport bus transportation for more than 300 new students. Once the students were settled in, several international transitional programs were offered, including workshops on driving in the U.S., understanding American health insurance and preparing an effective on-campus job search. Weekly English Conversation Hours give students a chance to practice English, and the iFriend Program matches international and U.S. students for cultural exchanges. Several bus trips to the Social Security Administration were provided, along with campus tours and a tour of the local area on the Comet Cruiser bus route. But it wasn't all business - the annual Welcome Week Texas Party, the Kick-Off Dance Party, and a cultural trip to the State Fair of Texas, provided lots of fun as well!
Recreational Sports/Activity Center
There is an exciting new feature in the Activity Center: a climbing wall! Making its debut during homecoming week, the 40x25 foot wall located in the Auxiliary Gym provides recreational opportunities for students and staff alike. In addition to the 6 – 8 lanes available for climbing, there is also an area to practice bouldering. The Activity Center conducts introductory classes for those new to rock climbing, and the wall offers an additional component to leadership training and team building exercises for interested groups. All necessary equipment is provided, except for shoes. The wall was designed by Eldorado Climbing Walls, the same company who installed walls at UNT, UTSA and Texas A&M Commerce.
Student Wellness Center
Suicide Prevention Training – The Student Wellness Center offers QPR training (Question, Persuade, Refer) to all interested students, faculty and staff in an ongoing effort to educate the UT Dallas campus community about procedures for dealing with potentially suicidal individuals. So far, nearly 500 participants have learned about misconceptions related to suicide, as well as what to do when faced with a friend, roommate, student or colleague who may be contemplating suicide. The QPR process involves the appropriate way to question a potentially suicidal person, techniques on how to persuade them to get help, and coaches the importance of referring them to the resources available on campus. Those interested in QPR training should contact the Student Wellness Center at 972-883-4275.
UTD Speak – The Student Wellness Center and Residential Life teamed up to engage students in UTD Speak – an event held during Suicide Prevention Week to draw attention to the importance of talking about difficult topics and getting help when needed. About 300 students anonymously shared thoughts and emotions on index cards reflecting personal experiences and opinions on a variety of issues, particularly those related to mental health. The cards were then displayed in the dining hall to enable students, faculty and staff to get a better understanding of who the students are and the issues they are dealing with. The goal for students was for them to see each other from a different perspective, feel more connected to the university, and be more likely to seek help from campus resources.
Body Doubles – Everybody benefits from a little extra motivation when trying to get in shape, and the Student Wellness Center and Recreational Sports have been doing their part to help. With the Body Doubles program, students are encouraged to sign up, get moving, eat well and win prizes! Last fall, 75 students participated, committing to a healthier lifestyle. Participants were provided with a means to track their physical activity across the semester, and depending on the amount of activity logged, each won a particular prize. To get participants off to a good start, everyone received $10 off the cost of either Boot Camp or a Group X Pass, which allows for attendance at any fitness class. Students who did not have a workout buddy when they signed up were encouraged to join a fitness class so they might meet someone to share the program experience with and help keep them on track with their goals. In addition to the focus on increased physical activity, the program promoted personal nutrition consultations offered throughout the year by the Student Wellness Center.
Return to Student Affairs Source - January 2012