Thursday, July 6, 2017

ACA General Meeting June 2017

A special thank you to Student Veterans Services for their sponsorship of the June 2017 ACA meeting and for providing helpful updates regarding  UT veterans and dependents of veterans.

Student Veteran Services
Jeremiah Gunderson, Director of Student Veteran Services; and Jeff Moe, VA Outreach Coordinator, Mental Health Clinician with Student Veteran Services

Jeremiah and Jeff, both veterans, provided updates regarding the support they offer veterans and the dependents of veterans (approximately a 3:1 ratio of dependents of veterans to veterans at UT Austin).  Approximately 80% of veterans nationwide are first generation college students so Student Veteran Services works to support students with each step of the academic process in mind. Student Veteran Services provides assistance regarding:

  • Benefits
    • The intake processing and regular certification of both federal and state education benefits can be tricky for students using veteran education benefits. Jeremiah reminded ACA to ask all students if they receive veterans benefits as that can significantly impact academic decisions such as dropping a class.
  • Academic Support
    • Student Veterans Services offers veterans free tutoring, academic counseling, peer coaching and mentoring both in their office and through campus partners such as the Sanger Learning Center and the Undergraduate Writing Center.
  • Career Support
    • Since the majority of veterans are admitted to UT Austin as transfer students, Student Veteran Services works with incoming students to set professional goals and build strategies to reach each professional goal while at UT and following graduation. Student Veteran Services connects students to networking, internship, and research opportunities on campus and within the VA.
  • Health Care and Counseling
    • Jeff Moe is Student Veteran Services' in-house VA Counselor. He is able to counsel students through issues such as PTSD, academic accommodations related to health issues, and VA health care enrollment. He also connects students through the VITAL initiative to services available to veteran students. Student Veteran Services promotes seeking help and hopes to connect students to services earlier rather than later.
    • VITAL (Veterans Integrated to Academic Leadership) is a collaboration between UT Austin, the Central Texas Veteran Health Care System, and other Central Texas Higher Education institutions designed to increase access to health care, mental health, and clinical services such as individual and group counseling regardless of discharge status. 
  • Community Outreach
    • Student Veteran Services leads a Veteran Advisory Council comprising of campus partners and veteran students to help write policy, educate campus partners on the unique skills set and concerns of the campus veteran population, and provide leadership opportunities for veteran students.
    • Student Veteran Services also hosts its own Orientation Program, Student Veteran Association, Women Veterans Group, and Mentor Programs designed to connect veteran students with each other and to important campus resources.
Jeremiah and Jeff had time to answer questions from the ACA membership:

Q: How many students are veterans on campus?
A: There are 500 total veteran students on campus with just under 300 undergraduates. A large concentration of veterans are in McCombs graduate programs.

Q: Is there any way to flag students in Advisor's Toolkit, for example? 
A: Not really at this time, but Student Veterans Services is trying to create a database for all veterans whether they use benefits or not.

Q: Clarification: If a dependent of a veteran is already taking a full course load of 12 credit hours that count toward specific degree requirements, can additional coursework above 12 credit hours be anything that student chooses to take?
A: Yes, anything past 12 credit hrs is fine; they just won’t get book money for it.

Texas Recruitment & Interview Services (TRIS)
Susanna Hill, Director

Susanna addressed the ACA membership to explain how TRIS services can help students connect to employers and career resources across campus. Visit and instruct students to follow the link "I am a job or internship seeker."
This website provides easy access to:
  • HireUTexas
  • Hire-A-Longhorn
  • Career Resources from across campus for all students to access regardless of major
  • a Career Fair and Events Calendar
Thank you for the reminder about this helpful and comprehensive resource, Susanna!

ACA Updates

The June meeting provided a lot of time for ACA love with ACA Executive Committee nomination speeches and ACA Committee Recognition.

ACA Executive Committee Nominations and Speeches

President-Elect Candidates (L-R): Jillian Kozlowski and Jay Guevara

Treasurer Candidates (L-R): Cassie Burton and Sara Corson

Historian Candidates (L, Top R, Bottom R): Josh Barham, Jordyn Harrison, Erica Matos-Lindsey

Secretary Candidates (L-R): Micah Jackman and Brianna Weiland

Communications Coordinator Candidates (L-R): Brittney Cox and Chris Montes
For a complete recap of the nomination speeches, please visit this page on The Argosy.

Congratulations to Eric Carter and Mary De Sopo, 2017-2018 ACA Vice-President and Program Co-Chairs already voted in as the pair ran uncontested!

Eric Carter and Mary De Sopo - Your 2017-2018 VPs

ACA Committee Recognition

The following individuals were recognized for their service to an ACA committee during the 2016-2017 academic year. There were too many active members to take photos of each committee member as they accepted their certificate of appreciation. Thank you all for your service to ACA!!

If your name was left off of one of the committee lists by mistake, please let me know and I will happily add you. Names are listed in random order by committee.

ACA Advisory Council
Chair: Ana Dison
  • Lovelys Powell
  • Jeff Hallock
  • Jazminne Bailey
  • Sarah Shields
  • Chris Montes
  • Courtney Sy
  • Megan Rovang
  • Patty Prado
  • Sara Corson
  • Sarah Talley
  • Sarah McKay
  • Melissa Taylor
  • Brad Humphries
  • Janice Williams
  • Tomi Yamamoto

ACA Holiday Party Committee
Chair: Briana Weiland
  • Alexis George
  • Jay Guevara
  • Lily DoƱes
  • Mei Lai
  • Daniel Zarazua
  • Allison Cawvey
  • Patty Prado
  • Jillian Kozlowski

ACA Pods | Co-Chairs and Pod Leaders
Co-Chairs: Amanda Golden & Rebecca Silverblatt
  • Ana Dison
  • Craig Gilden
  • Kristen Kessel
  • Jack Duffie
  • Yesenia Sanchez
  • Esmer Bedia
  • Kayla Ford
  • Jasmine Rose Schmitt
  • Eric Carter
  • Sarah McKay
  • Jinane Sounney-Slitine

Annual Advising Event Committee (Advising Expo)
Co-Chairs: Susan Somers & Rose Mastrangelo
  • Beth Labate
  • Jeff Mayo
  • Anne Pugh
  • Jordyn Harrison
  • Diane Larson
  • Bri Liu
  • Olga Koutseridi

Awards and Recognition Committee
Chair: Tepera Holman
  • Sarah McKay
  • Cindy Gladstone
  • Megan Conner
  • Lauren Marriott
  • Cassie Burton
  • Micah Jackman
  • Tomi Yamamoto
  • Josh Barham
  • Ryan Nelson
  • Brittany Rumble 
  • Jeff Handy
  • Kayla Ford

FUNdraising Committee
Chair: Megan McKay
  • Christina Tobar
  • Alexis George
  • Tisha Monsey
  • Lovelys Powell
  • Rose Mastrangelo
  • Carter Burks
  • Shannon Rose
  • Katie O'Donnell

Nominations and Elections Committee
Chair: Anne Pugh
  • Daniel Zarazua
  • Carter Burks
  • Jackson Miller
  • Cassie Burton

Professional Development Day (PDD) Committee
Co-Chairs: Michelle Hiatt & Alyson Bodner
  • Kelly Frazer
  • Jordyn Harrison
  • Brittany Rumble
  • Lauren Marriott
  • Ryan Nelson
  • Sarah Talley
  • Jeff Mayo
  • Tim Myers
  • Mary De Sopo
  • Sara Sanchez
  • Alexis George
  • Eric Carter
  • Kaytlen Powers
  • Patty Prado
  • Brittney Cox
  • Laura Jones
  • Saralyn MicKinnon-Crowley

R.O.A.D Committee
Chair: Josh Barham
  • Kristina Graves
  • Sara Sanchez
  • Megan Rovang
  • Daniel Zarazua 
  • Joana Tryon

Next Meeting: Wednesday, July 19th from 8:30am-10am in the Centennial Suite on the 9th floor of Belmont