University offers tips for year-end planning and Giving Tuesday | UTSA Today | UTSA

University offers tips for year-end planning and Giving Tuesday

Students sign a giant thank you card for Thanks Day in 2019.

DECEMBER 1, 2020 — Many UTSA faculty, staff, alumni and friends will make their final 2020 gifts to university programs, the UTSA Alumni Association and UTSA Athletics during the last few weeks of the year, including today: Giving Tuesday.

“Nationally, giving is traditionally highest during the months of November and December,” said Karl Miller-Lugo, vice president for development and alumni relations. “For some people it’s the deadline for tax purposes, but for most, they just feel a sense of being charitable during the holidays. We are certainly grateful for the support, especially this year, as we plan for a successful 2021.”

“We are certainly grateful for the support, especially this year, as we plan for a successful 2021.”

Here are some tips to ensure that your UTSA gift is eligible for a 2020 tax receipt: 

  • By credit card: Your online credit card gift must be made before 11:59 p.m. (Central time) on December 31, 2020. You are encouraged to make your gift on the UTSA Giving website so that it can be processed immediately as staff continues to work from home.
  • By check: If you wish to make a gift by check, it must be postmarked by December 31, 2020. Send your check to The University of Texas at San Antonio, Attn: Gift Services, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, Texas 78249.
  • By stock or securities: Transfers of stock and securities take a bit longer than traditional gifts. Requests for transfers should be submitted to UT System by the donor or broker before December 11, 2020. For more information, call Gift Services at 210-458-6818.


  • Gift planning: To learn about smarter giving opportunities, such as Donor Advised Funds, gifts of IRA assets, charitable annuities and trusts, or gifts in your will, call 210-458-7307. 

Winter hours: Gift Services will be open during the winter break from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on December 21 and 28–31. The Office of Development and Alumni Relations will be closed Tuesday, December 22 through Friday, December 25. UTSA is closed on Friday, January 1 and normal business hours will resume Monday, January 4, 2021.

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College basketball tips off, but COVID-19 cancels games, pauses programs

Nov. 25 (UPI) — More than 200 Division I men’s and women’s college basketball games are planned for Wednesday to tip off the 2020-2021 season, with thousands of athletes on courts around the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But not all games will go on.

The pandemic has impacted this year’s schedule, with games originally planned to start Nov. 10, but then delayed until Wednesday.

Dozens of men’s and women’s games and tournaments have been canceled or postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests for players and coaches at different programs.

Baylor, ranked No. 1 in the men’s basketball coaches poll, and No. 8 Duke are among the top teams that won’t take the floor Wednesday due to positive tests.

No. 3 Villanova, No. 4 Virginia, No. 6 Iowa, No. 7 Wisconsin, No. 9 Kentucky and No. 10 Illinois will start their seasons Wednesday. No. 2 Gonzaga will battle No. 5 Kansas on Thursday in their season opener.

Many college basketball programs will not allow fans to attend games this season as a coronavirus safety precaution, while other programs plan limited capacities.

Villanova, Gonzaga, Baylor and Iowa are among the favorites to win the 2021 men’s title on most sports betting websites. Kentucky, Virginia, Kansas, Duke, Illinois and Wisconsin also are among the programs expected to contend.

Wednesday’s games will air on ESPN platforms, FS1, FS2, CBSN, and a variety of conference-owned networks.

East Tennessee State will take on Abilene Christian in the first men’s matchup of the day, at 11 a.m. EST. The first broadcast matchup will features Florida College against South Florida and air at 11:30 a.m. EST on ESPN+.

UCLA will battle San Diego State in the final men’s game at 10:30 p.m. EST Wednesday on CBSSN.

Women’s matchups

The University of Connecticut — one of the most successful women’s basketball programs in history — paused its season Monday and postponed its first four games after a positive COVID-19 test emerged from within the team.

Despite UConn’s absence from a wealth of women’s season openers, plenty of other top programs fill Wednesday’s schedule.

No. 1 South Carolina will host Charleston in the first televised game of the women’s season. That game has a noon EST tip off and will air on the SEC Network. No. 2 Stanford will battle Cal Poly at 2 p.m. EST, but that game won’t be televised nationally.

No. 4 Baylor will take on Central Arkansas at 8 p.m. on ESPN+. No. 5 Louisville — which had their initial season opener canceled — will take on Southeast Missouri State in a late-scheduled game at 3 p.m. EST on ESPN+.

March Madness plans include single sites

Virginia and Baylor won the most recent men’s and women’s Division I basketball titles, respectively, but weren’t able to defend those titles because the 2020 tournament was canceled.

NCAA officials announced in mid-November that they are in “preliminary talks” with the state of Indiana and city of Indianapolis to host the annual 68-team men’s tournament in March and April.

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As college basketball tips amid a swirling pandemic, few believe it’s a good idea

During a recent conversation with an athletics director about the fragile state of the college football season, a fairly startling possibility was raised.

Baylor earns No. 1 spot in preseason men’s basketball poll



“We may play more football games than basketball games before it’s over,” said this athletics director, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the topic. 

It wasn’t a joke. 

From NFL plays to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day.

College basketball will begin Wednesday, but nobody in the sport could argue that it’s ready.

Just as college football decided, fractured as it was, to push through and play this fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the sport of college basketball has also decided to move ahead and accept whatever disruptions may occur. The reasons for that are clear. After canceling the NCAA tournament in 2020, there simply must be one in 2021 so that the NCAA can collect $850 million from its television contract and distribute most of that money to schools that are already struggling financially. 

a young man holding a basketball: Baylor returns guard Jared Butler (12) and guard Davion Mitchell (45) in this year's quest for a NCAA national title, shown during a game last season at West Virginia.

© Ben Queen, USA TODAY Sports
Baylor returns guard Jared Butler (12) and guard Davion Mitchell (45) in this year’s quest for a NCAA national title, shown during a game last season at West Virginia.

But while the NCAA announced last week that it will hold every round of tournament games in a single metropolitan area — likely Indianapolis — to cut down on travel and other variables, plans for the regular season have been particularly ill-conceived. In fact, every hour seems to reveal another failure as opening week games are being canceled across the country and teams are traveling to multi-team tournaments in places like South Dakota and Connecticut — some on commercial flights — and having either players or coaches test positive for COVID-19 upon arrival. 

It portends what another athletics director called “one choppy (expletive),” with teams likely to be constantly starting up and shutting down for several days at a time due to a positive test and the subsequent contact tracing. 

It will help if the CDC reduces quarantine guidelines from 14 days to seven or 10, as a CDC official suggested to the Wall Street Journal could occur. But because of the small rosters relative to football and the close contact inherent in practice, any positive tests are going to be a massive problem, potentially causing teams to miss four or five games. 

As Alabama coach Nate Oats told reporters Tuesday, “It’s going to be really hard to have a season if everyone in the country decides they’re going to shut down for two weeks with one positive.”

Given that college basketball conferences basically decided not to pursue costly plans to put teams in bubbles, nobody’s really sure what the right approach would be. One power conference coach told USA TODAY Sports it was probably the right thing to play, another said if

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10 Tips To Find Balance And Thrive In Your Career During The Holidays

As the prolonged pandemic continues to batter the American economy, it has produced a high level of stress and burnout. MindEdge Learning and the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) conducted a national survey of 757 HR Professionals between September 15 and October 2, 2020. Three quarters of the respondents (75%) reported an increase in their employees’ burnout due to stress from Covid-19, and 53% reported that their companies have introduced new benefits to help employees deal with stress or plan to do so in the near future.

In another study, Skynova surveyed over 1,150 employed Americans, including 400 managers and found that nearly 1 in 3 employees don’t feel encouraged to take work breaks while working from home with nearly 1 in 4 employees stating they can never take a break. Nearly 1 in 6 managers surveyed don’t encourage their team to take breaks while working from home. Overall, respondents who skip lunch are over two times more likely to say they’re stressed out and twice as likely to report feeling burned out

Balancing work and home life have become more complex due to Covid-19, especially where school-age children are involved. If pandemic life has made it necessary for you to stress yourself out to get everything done, you could be one of millions who considers this strategy to be an essential survival tool in a culture that expects you to do it all and do it well. On the one hand, there is pressure to do more at work, take on extra responsibilities or even adjust to unfamiliar roles due to company pivots or cutbacks. On the flip side, family pressures and responsibilities and your own self-care don’t automatically disappear. Balancing work and personal life can be tricky but certainly not impossible. Knowing where to start is key, and for all of us it begins with self-care.

What Is Self-Care?

If you’re in the habit of putting your needs at the bottom of the list to meet work or personal demands, you can’t be the best version of you. Self-care prepares you to give more to others. When you put yourself first, there’s more of you to go around. I sat down with environmental activist Erin Brockovich and asked her how she mitigates stress and burnout with all she continues to accomplish. As a single mom with no job in 1993, she used her pit-bull determination to help residents of Hinkley, California win a massive arbitration against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Her efforts were extolled in the biographical film, Erin Brockovich, in which actress Julia Roberts won an Oscar dramatizing Brockovich’s true story. The regimen Brockovich uses to recharge her own busy life is a great example of self-care:

“The busyness of life can take our spirit from us, but it can be renewed. When I’m quiet, I remember to breathe and be mindful. I

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3 Tips When Hiring A Virtual Assistant

Most business owners today look for a virtual assistant with a job description itemized something like this: 

a person sitting at a table using a laptop

© dragana991 | Getty Images

  • Pulling enrollment reports;

  • Engaging on social media posts to up my views;

  • Growing network;

  • Help with messaging new people with my guidance;

  • Emailing current customers about deals;

  • Creating round-up style posts from existing content;

  • Writing and scheduling social posts on various platforms;

  • Social media posts (short article writing, post research and creation);

  • Digital admin tasks;

  • WordPress theme updates;

  • Funnel builder; and

  • Email automation sequences.

Plus: A B.A. or B.S. in advertising, business, marketing or a related field, and five years of experience in marketing or advertising.


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This isn’t a made-up job description. Business owners are looking for an “all-around” virtual assistant that just does not exist — a unicorn. In case you find one, could you send him, her or them over to me? I’d love to study this elusive specimen.

This approach is wrong. Let me tell you why. One: You’re finding a needle in a haystack. You might want to save money by hiring a single person to do it all, but actually, you don’t. Two: You might not be aware that you are expecting mastery of five completely different skill sets: administrative, customer service, social media management, article writing and customer funneling. 

Instead, let me share with you three recruiting tips for hiring the optimal virtual assistant for your business.

Related: Assign These 7 Tasks to Your Virtual Assistant

1. Hire based on vertical skills

Let’s first define lateral and vertical skills, especially when thinking about work in the digital economy. In a Medium article, Gauti Sigthorsson explains that lateral skills cut across specialist categories, while vertical skills can be technical, procedural and discipline-specific. 

When thinking about work in the digital economy, lateral skills might be the ability to prioritize tasks and sort them into a manageable order, leading from idea to execution. They are skills that can be used in different industries. In contrast, there is a depth to vertical skill sets. Sigthorsson elaborates that “the potential for mastery of a body of knowledge and skills that differentiates the dabbler from the expert, the home cook from the professional chef.” Vertical is specialized skills in the same field.

With that said, how do you hire based on vertical skills? Let’s say you are looking for someone to do customer support. You should consider outsourcing a business-process professional to become a customer-service agent. Do you know why? One: Most customer-service agents work during U.S. hours to support U.S. clients. Two: It would be easy for you to teach someone who speaks great conversational English over the phone. All you have to do is teach that person the product knowledge. Then they would be able to use their customer-service knowledge to support a new product. 

I would bet that it would be harder to take a website technician and train them how to do customer support for a product than to teach a customer-support

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Ten Career Tips For Every Working Woman

By: Hira Ali

Even though some issues are endemic to women within certain cultures, the survey for my book showed sufficient evidence that many of the challenges working women face are global. Universally, women have been experiencing deep-rooted systemic challenges, as a result of which they have failed to achieve unfettered career success.

However, many times, some of these career blocks are self-imposed. It’s important to contextualize the impediments in our careers and identify whether it’s owing to our own selves or system-based. In order to tackle external challenges, it is often important to get our own house in order first. Here are ten tips to expedite career progression.

[Related: Seven Reasons Your Career Has Stalled]

Know that you deserve it.

How many times, when you were complimented, have you heard yourself saying:

Oh, it was nothing.

When you are recognized for a job well done, do you tend to deflect praise and chose to stay low key? Women have high propensity to question their abilities and downplay their achievements, especially in the presence of others. They often put themselves down before others can.

Acknowledge the role you played in your accomplishments and accept praise gracefully. Remind yourself that you achieved what you did because you did something different – something extra, something you believed in, something that others didn’t do or try.

Don’t let interruptions derail you.

Pay close attention to words and phrases that may diminish your importance or water down your authority. Most importantly, finish what you are saying.

There are number of ways to avoid interruptions; perhaps one of the simplest, yet most effective, was one we witnessed In the recent presidential debate, when Kamala Harris unapologetically and firmly asserted “I am speaking.”

Perfectionism can be exhausting.

To avoid detection and shield ourselves from judgement, we make extraordinary efforts to mask our impostor syndrome. We obsess over every minute detail, exhaustively, doing and redoing tasks ad nauseam, often with the goal of seeking approval, appreciation, and acknowledgement.

Instead of giving satisfaction, perfectionism hampers achievement and is correlated with depression, anxiety, addiction, life paralysis, and missed opportunities. Accept that not everything requires a perfect score and that in many cases, done is better than perfect.


Many participants in my survey confessed that they found it hard to delegate, as they believed others may not be completing tasks as meticulously as they would. Thus, they strive harder and put in extra hours to single-handedly shoulder the work of two or three people all at once.

Don’t waste your time doing things that somebody else can do; save your time for those things that you are uniquely qualified to do. In addition to lightening your workload and making you focus on what really matters, you empower those around you – often, people rise to the challenge when work is passed to them, which they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do if you continued owning their stuff.

Don’t fall for

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How to navigate job hunting amid COVID-19: 4 tips from a career expert at LinkedIn

For many recent graduates, the job hunt was put on hold when the pandemic hit.

This year, millions of people around the world have missed out on big milestones or have had to postpone important events like weddings due to COVID-19.

The same has happened to college seniors who missed out on their graduation ceremonies and were unable to kickstart their careers by finding their first jobs.

For Caitlyn Martyn, a recent graduate of Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, job prospects seemed attainable before the pandemic hit.

“I was having a lot of interviews, I was pursuing some really exciting opportunities that were, in my opinion, like dream job type situations,” said Martyn. “I was really like moving along in the interview process.”

But then, when the pandemic began, the job hunt was put on hold for Martyn.

“Everything kind of just went radio silent after the pandemic hit,” she said. “And even currently to this day, it kind of hasn’t really moved since March.”

Now nearly eight months since the pandemic began, the job hunt is still difficult for Martyn and many others seeking employment.

“I’m back in my childhood bedroom feeling like I’m living my 12, 13-year-old life, like nothing has ever really changed,” said Martyn. “Definitely anxious because loan payments are coming up soon.”

While the job market has improved since the pandemic began — with unemployment numbers down 7.9 % from its pandemic peak of 14.7% — layoffs still persist.

And in the U.S., there are only 6.5 million job openings for the 12.6 million who are unemployed — that’s about two job seekers for every job opening.

Currently, while Martyn works as a nanny, she spends her days applying, networking virtually and taking online courses to improve her skills and make herself more marketable.

All of this, LinkedIn career expert Catherine Fisher said, is key to job hunting amid the pandemic.

“Caitlyn’s doing a lot of things right,” Fisher told “Good Morning America.” “And there’s just a few things that she should be doing and thinking about to get her those interviews she desperately wants.”

Read on for more tips to help you find a job during the pandemic:

Set up alerts

Set up alerts for jobs so that you’re the first person to apply. “This is important because what we’re finding is that the first people who apply are more likely to get the call from the recruiter,” Fisher said. “So it’s not just about searching. It’s about having all those tools and alerts in place so that you can jump on those opportunities.”

Keep your industry search broad

During these uncertain times, Fisher said to apply for jobs in different fields that are hiring.

“Maybe she had her heart set on marketing for travel and leisure or hospitality,” Fisher said of Martyn. “Those jobs are really hard to come by, but you can still get the

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Tips from a DePaul University scientist

Environmental scientist and ecologist Bala Chaudhary is used to her published papers on microbes getting, maybe, 100 clicks.

But the DePaul University assistant professor’s latest paper, “Ten simple rules for building an antiracist lab,” (co-authored with Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, a University of California at Merced professor of soil biogeochemistry) has been viewed over 13,000 times and downloaded more than 7,000 times.

“Asmeret and I have been floored by the response,” Chaudhary said. “So many people have said that they used our paper to guide the first conversations that they organized in their lab surrounding anti-racism and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). I’m used to bringing up anti-racism in science spaces and getting silence and some cringes and some blank stares. And it really feels different this time, and I’m hopeful that the energy surrounding it will sustain.”

The paper came together after “living while Black” events in May, such as the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and a white woman calling 911 on Black birder Christian Cooper in New York’s Central Park. Hashtags like #BlackinNature and social media channels like @BlackInTheIvory, where Black academics share their stories about the racism they encounter, also inspired the co-authors.

Black scientists responded in June with a call for a global, one-day strike to protest institutional racism in the academic and science worlds. June 10 was the day of protest. Under hashtags #ShutDownSTEM, #ShutDownAcademia and #Strike4BlackLives, participants talked about systemic racism and how to address inequalities in the research and STEM community. Having led anti-racist efforts in their own academic communities, Berhe and Chaudhary met on #ScienceTwitter and decided to write a document to guide anti-racism discussions.

“The core of the paper is ‘how do we activate all of these scientists that are all of a sudden interested in anti-racist work?’” Chaudhary, a Skokie resident, said. “Asmeret and I have worked in efforts to improve the human diversity of science for many years. Then the May 2020 events of racist violence brought new attention to this need. Many scientists that we know were looking for direction … how to enact action in ways that they had the power to do. I was like: ‘Well, let me tell you.’”

Their 10 rules to help labs develop anti-racists policies and promote racial and ethnic diversity, equity and inclusion are:

Lead informed discussions about anti-racism in your lab regularly.

Address racism in your lab and field safety guidelines.

Publish papers and write grants with Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) colleagues.

Evaluate your lab’s mentoring practices.

Amplify voices of BIPOC scientists in your field.

Support BIPOC scientists in their efforts to organize.

Intentionally recruit BIPOC students and staff.

Adopt a dynamic research agenda.

Advocate for racially diverse leadership in science.

Hold the powerful accountable, and don’t expect gratitude.

The co-authors detail the difference between building a lab that is actively anti-racist and building a lab that simply avoids racism. And they talk about the need for professors leading research

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Among Us: Tips To Win As Imposter And Get Away With Murder

Ah yes, Among Us, the latest game that’s taking over our social feeds and seizing our memes. Back in 2018, it was a way to connect with my friends back home and realize they’re all still really bad liars, but have the most infectious giggles when they get caught and know I can’t whoop their asses–I miss them very much. So with all that experience in catching liars, I’m here to help all you bad liars become better imposters.

Admittedly, it’s a bit tough to guide folks through Among Us because success revolves around social interaction, not necessarily being good at a certain game mechanic or grasping deep gameplay systems. There are optimal ways to manipulate your environment or understand how certain tasks work, but when it comes down to identifying the imposter or defending yourself from being ejected from the crew, you have to be ready to speak up. This may not be ideal for some players, so take what you feel comfortable with from this guide.

Depending on the rules, Among Us pits a number of innocent crewmates against one or two secret imposters, but lumps them all into one group of up to 10 players. Crewmates need to complete a number of tasks across the map before imposters kill enough of them, and imposters need to be clever about how they blend in and commit murders. Everyone deliberates when a dead body is reported or when an emergency meeting is called, and can subsequently vote on who to eject from the group, in hopes of ridding the crew of its imposters.

Veteran players know how this all works, but regardless, be sure to check how the host has configured the rules of the game before playing. Pay particular attention to the imposters’ cooldown timer for kills, the parameters for tasks and types of tasks that have been set, player vision settings, and whether imposter confirmation upon ejection is enabled. Alright, that’s enough setup,: let me show you how to be a better imposter –and feel free to share your own tips in the comments, too!

Make sure you take note of the rules before starting the match.
Make sure you take note of the rules before starting the match.

Make Sure You Know Your (Fake) Tasks

When you’re designated imposter, you’ll be given fake tasks across the map. These are in spots where real tasks happen, and provide effective opportunities to blend in with crewmates and act normal among them. You don’t actually get to do anything for these “tasks,” though. However, understanding what these tasks are is a key piece of concealing your identity throughout a match

It isn’t much use if you don’t know what those tasks entail, since some take longer than others, and some are multi-step processes that make you go to different locations on the map. Knowing the task’s requirements gives you an idea of how long you should be at that location, especially when other players are keeping a watchful eye. During discussion phases, aggressive crewmates tend to question what others’ tasks are

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