Annual Report 2016

Academic Success is UHV

UHV’s three schools make up a main part of what the university is all about. Each year, new academic programs are started and improvement are made to better meet the needs of UHV’s students and the community. Here are some examples of 2016-2017 achievements in UHV’s three schools:

students in the biology lab
Person speaking at event

School of Arts & Sciences

Three students earned a Specialist in School Psychology degree, the first specialist degree offered in the university’s 44-year history and the highest degree now offered by UHV.

The U.S. Department of Defense awarded UHV a $179,297 grant to expand research into robot-human interaction in virtual reality settings. It was the university’s third grant from the Department of Defense.

Students participated in the university’s new honors track, which offers high-performing students an opportunity to work one-on-one with professors and delve further into course concepts through special projects and events. 

Numerous ranking organizations recognized UHV degrees for their affordability, convenience and innovation. This included, which ranked UHV No. 4 in its list of Best Buys for Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Degrees;, which placed the university fifth in its list of Affordable Online English Degrees; and, which rated UHV’s three graduate psychology degrees sixth in its list of the Top 50 Best Online Master’s in Psychology Degree Programs. Other degree programs that achieved rankings included the Bachelor of Science in criminal justice, Bachelor of Applied Arts & Sciences in marketing, Bachelor of Arts in creative writing, Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and Master of Science in computer information systems.

School of Business Administration

UHV and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service collaborated to bring the Texas Rural Leadership Program to DeWitt County. The new leadership development program was designed to help DeWitt County residents identify and make the most of the county’s assets.

Twenty-seven alumni participated in UHV’s Business Alumni Week, speaking to business classes in Victoria and Katy about how they have used their degrees to advance their careers. The speakers represented many business industries, including health care, financial services, marketing, accounting, entrepreneurial and information technology.

Eighteen students each received a $2,000 scholarship to help pay for a two-week trip to China where they compared leadership management principals in that country and the U.S. The scholarships were made possible through a $600,000 donation in 2013 from Chinese businessman Bingxin Wu and his wife, Shuqin Feng. ranked the Master of Business Administration eighth in the nation for its affordability and excellence as a degree program offered by a business school accredited by AACSB International  ̶  The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The degree also was ranked 17th on’s Top 50 Most Affordable Online MBA Programs list. The Bachelor of Business Administration was ranked 12th nationally by, while the BBA in finance, management and marketing all were singled out for excellence by various ranking organizations.      

School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development

UHV received a $300,601 two-year grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to create the Allies Building Allied Health Pathways to Success program. The program encourages Victoria College and other community college students to transfer to UHV after they graduate to pursue a bachelor’s degree in health studies or kinesiology and eventually a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. The university also continued into the second year of a five-year $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to fund tuition and other program expenses for students working toward a Master of Education in special education with an emphasis in autism.

Students began taking several exciting, new degree concentrations offered at the university. These included exercise and sports science, pre-allied health and sports management concentrations in the Bachelor of Science in kinesiology, and a concentration in English as a Second Language/Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages as part of the Master of Education in curriculum and instruction. The university also announced that it would begin offering a Dyslexia Education Certificate to students in spring 2018.

The university encouraged students to read by putting on two Building Literacy in the Community events in Victoria; starting a UHV Reading Center to help undergraduate students learn reading strategies; and creating a traveling bookmobile in Katy through a $4,000 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

National ranking organizations singled out the Master of Education in Special Education with a concentration in applied behavior analysis, and the MEd in clinical mental health counseling and school counseling for affordability and quality. The counseling master’s degrees were ranked fourth in the state by in its list of the 10 Top Value Counseling Master’s Degrees in Texas. The MEd in school counseling was ranked No. 9 nationally in the College Values Online 2017 Top 15 Accelerated Online Master’s in School Counseling Programs. College Values Online also rated the MEd in clinical mental health counseling 12th on its list of Online Master’s in Counseling: Top 30 Values 2016-2017. The applied behavior analysis master’s degree was recognized nationally on the 2017 Top 62 Applied Behavior Analysis Programs list by

Student Life is UHV

Students have plenty of academic obligations, but UHV also offers extracurricular activities and programming so that students can have a well-rounded college experience. That’s where UHV Athletics and Student Affairs come into play as UHV finds success as a comprehensive, regional university.

During 2016-2017, students took part in numerous activities on and off campus. Students learned leadership skills at the third annual ROAR Leadership Conference and found out about the new ROAR Certified Leadership program, which encourages students to think critically about their leadership skills and how those skills can impact their future careers. They also gave back by participating in the third annual Alternative Spring Break trip to New Orleans and Baton Rouge, La., and the Jags Join In – Day of Service. The Student Government Association completed its work on developing an official UHV class ring, and it was unveiled during homecoming events.

The year also was exciting for Athletics as it celebrated its 10th anniversary. Two UHV seniors were recognized as National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-Americans for their play on the field, while members of the UHV baseball team earned the Hank Burbridge NAIA Champions of Character Team Award for their actions off the field. Teams and individuals also were recognized for their academic achievements.

Softball player about to bat
Men's soccer team in action
Softball player about to bat
Men's soccer team in action


  • Ten members of the baseball team were recognized for their display of the NAIA’s five core values of the Champions of Character program after the student-athletes saved a family of four from drowning in the Guadalupe River in Victoria’s Riverside Park. They were awarded the Hank Burbridge NAIA Champions of Character Team Award at the 2017 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series.
  • After serving as an assistant coach for a year, Christi Cano was named the new men’s and women’s head golf coach.
  • Men’s and women’s soccer coach Adrian Rigby also added a new title to his name when he became UHV’s assistant athletics director.
  • Seniors Aubri Hockenbury and Andrew Gross were named the UHV Female and Male Athletes of the Year.
  • For the second straight year, the men’s soccer team reached the Red River Athletic Conference semifinals to end the year at 11-6-1.
  • Hockenbury was named to the NAIA All-American first team in softball, while Gross was named as an honorable mention All-American in baseball. Gross began the season as a NAIA Preseason All-American.
  • Senior Savannah Crittenden was selected as the Red River Athletic Conference’s first female recipient of the inaugural Betty Etier Character Athlete of the Year award.
  • The women’s soccer team reached the Red River Athletic Conference Championships for the second straight year. The team came up short in the quarterfinals and ended the season with a 12-5-1 record.
  • Soccer player Reece Hannigan was named the Red River Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight year, while teammates Espen Hansen and Taylor Gordon were named to the RRAC first team along with Hanningan. Gerardo Arriaga was named to the RRAC second team.
  • The women’s soccer team was recognized as a National Soccer Coaches Association of America academic team after compiling a 3.18 team GPA.
  • Soccer players Marcus Watt and Hanningan were named to the NSCAA Men’s Scholar All-South Region academic team.
  • Soccer players Valarie Hinojosa and Emily Lupton were named to the RRAC first team, while Cynthia Rodriguez was named to the all-conference second team.
  • Softball coach Lindsey Ferguson-Ortiz picked up her 100th career coaching victory in a 1-0 win over No. 20 Central Methodist College.
  • Softball players Hockenbury and Haley Beam earned first-team recognition on the RRAC all-conference team, while Gabby Davila, Torey Dumont and Michelle Revels were named to the second team.
  • Revels was named to the 2017 College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District 4 College Division team.
  • Hockenbury tied the Jaguars’ single-season home run record in softball with 15 home runs on the year.
  • Freshman Kelsey Tidrick and sophomore Torey Dumont tossed back-to-back no-hitters as the Jaguars swept a softball doubleheader from Texas College.
  • Gross tied the UHV career home run record in baseball as he finished his career with 38 home runs after hitting a team-leading 16 during the 2017 season.
  • Gross was named the NAIA Baseball Player of the Week for April 23 to 30 and then was named the RRAC Player of the Year in baseball.
  • The men’s golf team won its third PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Champion in four years. The Jaguars won the NAIA Division of the 31st annual national tournament. UHV’s Juan David Coy was the individual champion in the division. The team finished third overall in all divisions.
  • Four of the six athletic teams earned recognition as NAIA Scholar Teams after maintaining a GPA of 3.0 or better overall as a team during the academic year. Softball, both soccer teams and women’s golf earned the recognition.
Students enjoying Outdoor Adventures at UHV
Students present check from Food Fight donations to the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent

Student Affairs

  • Career Services assisted more than 565 students with job searches and career coaching through individual sessions. The office hosted 31 career-related programs, job fairs and workshops.
  • UHV hosted its second annual Family Weekend. Collaborating with Athletics and the City of Victoria, more than 120 students and their families enjoyed two days of activities that included a show with a comedian, tailgate, concert, UHV soccer game and Bootfest in downtown Victoria.
  • UHV hosted its second annual homecoming week. The week featured a tailgate, carnival, concerts, alumni banquet, treasure hunt, talent show and comedy show. The theme was Let the Good Times Roar.
  • Participation in intramural sports grew with the continuation of the Cross Campus Challenge: Battle for the Cup. More than 200 students from UHV and Victoria College competed on flag football, volleyball, basketball and soccer teams. UHV won the traveling trophy for the second year in a row.
  • Residence Life started the year at 95 percent occupancy in the university’s residence halls. This exceeded the previous year’s total by 3 percent.
  • The Residence Hall Association increased membership by 63 percent from the previous year, leading to more input from on-campus students and newly created leadership areas.
  • Eighty-four percent of UHV students living in housing indicated they were satisfied with their residential living experience on the 2016-2017 Quality of Residential Life Survey. This is well above the national average.
  • Student life activities continued to increase, from 170 events in 2015-2016 to more than 200 in 2016-2017. This included an increase in multicultural programming by more than 200 percent compared with the prior year.
  • The Student Government Association unveiled the official UHV class ring. Students also took part in several new traditions associated with the rings. These included the UHV Class Ring Ceremony and the Jaguar Dunk. Prior to the ceremony, the rings were placed in a box decorated by UHV students and put in jaX’s exhibit for 24 hours at the Texas Zoo. jaX is UHV’s live jaguar mascot.
  • Three student organizations were chartered at the annual Student Organization & Leadership Banquet. UHV now has 32 officially chartered student organizations with more forming as interest groups.
  • The university put on Project Vote to promote student involvement in the Presidential Election. Events included a mock election, debate-viewing parties, a voter registration drive, a Ride to Vote program the day of the election and a post-election panel.
  • The Counseling Center saw a 94 percent increase in student appointments from 2015-2016 to 2016-2017.
  • International students took part in the university’s first International Sash Ceremony where they received sashes representing their countries of citizenship. The students then wore the sashes to spring commencement ceremonies.
  • After receiving a three-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Counseling Center and Student Life & Services were able to use the funding to put on more than 40 related programs in 2016-2017. 
  • The third annual ROAR Leadership Conference was held to teach students leadership skills. About 60 students from UHV, Victoria College and local high schools listened to and took part in presentations led by UHV faculty and staff, and community leaders. At the event, UHV launched its new ROAR Certified Leadership program, which encourages students to think critically about their leadership skills and how those skills can impact their future careers.
  • Students took part in various civic engagement projects. One was an Alternative Spring Break trip, where 11 students volunteered in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, La. Fifty-four UHV students, faculty and staff also participated in Jags Join In – Day of Service in Victoria, volunteering at Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity, Food Bank of the Golden Crescent and Adopt-A-Pet. In addition, a group of 32 students and staff members traveled to Baton Rouge over Labor Day weekend and did service work to help community members devastated by flooding.

Community Partnerships are UHV

Community members and businesses have greatly impacted UHV by partnering with the university to be successful and create opportunities for students. The community support has been outstanding during Fiscal Year 2017.

UHV received $1.1 million in donations in 2016-2017, a 36 percent increase over the previous fiscal year. Gifts came from 931 individuals and organizations, an all-time donor record, and included alumni, friends, corporations, foundations, employees and students of the university. These donations supported 106 scholarship funds, departments, professorships, projects and other university efforts.

jaX the Jaguar at the Mathematics & Robotics Awareness Day at UHV

Community Partnerships

  • The M.G. and Lillie A. Johnson Foundation gave the university a $300,000 grant to fund student scholarships during a two-year period.
  • UHV received a $100,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to provide research and professional development of science teachers in secondary schools.
  • The Provost’s Lecture Series brought Jesús Nebot, a filmmaker and entrepreneur, to campus to present a free lecture about illegal immigration. Nebot also presented a screening of his film, “No Turning Back,” and a presentation about the 2016 presidential election. The series also invited Michael A. Olivas, the William B. Bates Distinguished Chair in Law at the UH Law Center, to give a presentation about the importance of the U.S. Supreme Court case Hernández v. Texas.
  • Don Kivowitz donated the abstract metal sculpture “Unending Cooperation,” created by George Tobolowzky, and it was placed in UHV University North on the first floor.
  • UHV students gave $4,148 to the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent. The students donated meals from their UHV dining plans, and the meals then were converted into dollars by the university. UHV also donated more than $4,000 worth of food to the food bank.
  • The UHV/American Book Review Reading Series brought authors, poets and writers to the Victoria community. The reading series is organized by the American Book Review literary journal and features nationally recognized writers who come to campus to read their work and answer questions.
  • UHV sponsored Free Ticket Night at the Victoria Generals, allowing community members to attend a baseball game at no cost. Fans also received giveaways and took part in contests between innings.
  • The University Press of Victoria, housed at UHV, published “Bluebonnet Youth Ranch: A History of Caring” by Claud Jacobs and Sonny Long. Jacobs and Long later held a public reading of the book. Proceeds from the book benefit Bluebonnet and UHV Athletics.
  • Billy and Carolyn Whitfield donated $11,000 to purchase a new golf cart for the UHV campus security team.
  • The UHV Small Business Development Center and School of Business Administration hosted a Victoria simulcast of Leadercast, a worldwide leadership conference.
  • The UHV STEM lecture series featured a presentation in the fall by Joe Levy, a geophysics research associate at the University of Texas at Austin, about the possibility of human missions to Mars. In the spring, the series featured a group of four speakers – Daniel White, a UHV assistant professor of biology; Dr. Tywaun Tillman, a cardiologist; Dr. Yusuke Yahagi, a cardiothoracic surgeon; and Christopher Broadbridge, sales and marketing manager for vascular products at Fukuda USA – who explored different aspects of cardiovascular health.
  • A $6,000 grant from Trull Foundation funded the UHV Aquatic Science Summer Camp, which taught seven middle and high school students about how fertilizer affects aquatic ecosystems.
  • The UHV International Programs Office hosted its second annual International Festival. The festival featured 22 cultural display booths, dances and activities from 15 countries and a flag procession with flags from 26 countries. The Victoria Northside Rotary Club donated $2,500 to help fund the festival.
  • As part of Black History Month, UHV invited Ed Byerly, a Victoria College history professor, to give a presentation as part of the A.D. Sheffield Symposium on African American History. Byerly spoke about the history of Victoria’s Carver Center.
  • The Community of Readers Series continued with events and faculty lectures about the book “The Martian.”
  • The UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development Fall Symposium featured a presentation by Richard Watts, a counselor education professor at Sam Houston State University, about the importance of encouragement in relationships. The spring symposium was presented by Stuart Carlton, a healthy coastal ecosystems and social science specialist with the Texas Sea Grant College program at Texas A&M University at Galveston. Carlton’s presentation focused on how a person’s values impact his acceptance or rejection of climate change.
  • The Student Government Association hosted the 14th annual Giving Tree, a holiday charity drive that provided donations to four organizations: Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, Dorothy H. O’Connor Pet Adoption Center, Mid-Coast Family Services and the Old Landmark Committee of Victoria.
  • The UHV Downtown Arts Series hosted numerous free events featuring poets, authors, artists and musicians. The series presents an array of groundbreaking arts practices to the Victoria community each year and stimulates dialogue about the arts as a presence in people’s lives.
  • UHV hosted the 30th annual Martín de León Symposium, focused on the theme “Mexican American Influence in Politics.”
  • The UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development hosted the Victoria Crossroads Council of Mathematics Educators Conference in the fall and spring. Education students, teachers and parents attended to learn about math and science teaching techniques and concepts.
  • UHV hosted the annual Winter Theory Institute meeting of the Society for Critical Exchange, a scholarly organization devoted to theory that is based at UHV.
  • The UHV Small Business Development Center relocated its Victoria offices to the fourth floor of Victoria Tower to better serve small business owners.
  • “Slipping” by John Toomey, a novel published by Dalkey Archive Press at UHV, received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews, a national book review magazine.
  • The VC/UHV Library held its annual Banned Books Week Read-Out to bring awareness about book censorship.
  • UHV hosted the Region III conference of the Texas Association of Future Educators, a statewide organization that offers students the opportunity to explore the teaching profession. The conference theme was “Teachers Go Beyond the Call of Duty!”
  • The UHV School of Business Administration Distinguished Speaker Series brought in three business professionals to speak about different aspects of business.
  • The three winners of the Black History Month Poster Contest for fifth-graders won UHV scholarships. The theme for the contest was Black Educators. All of the winners were honored at a poster contest reception, and participants’ posters were on display at UHV during February.
  • More than 210 high school students from eight schools took part in the 22nd annual Mathematics & Robotics Awareness Day at UHV, and the top scorers in math and computer science tests received a trophy and a Kindle Fire tablet. The event was made possible by a $20,000 Alcoa Foundation grant. The grant money also funded a UHV after-school robotics class for high school students, a Summer Robotics Camp and a Summer Math Camp.