Student Affairs & Athletics Student Affairs & Athletics Student Affairs & Athletics

Student Affairs & Athletics

Student Affairs

UHV offers plenty of activities, programs and learning experiences that challenge students to grow and have fun outside of the classroom.

In 2020-2021, more than 85 students learned leadership skills at the seventh annual ROAR Leadership Conference, which was held virtually. In addition, 15 students — the most since the program started in 2017 — earned certifications through the ROAR Certified Leader program, which encourages students to think critically about their leadership skills and how those skills could impact their future careers.

A new position in Student Affairs, the assistant director of diversity and inclusion, was created to implement new university diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, including the formation of a Multicultural Advisory Council, a student organization open to all UHV students. The assistant director also started a monthly virtual Brave Space Series, created a Diversity & Inclusion campus newsletter, and facilitated more than 40 programs, including the first RISE Diversity Conference and a First-Gen Panel.

Here are some more Student Affairs highlights from the year:

  • Students gave back to the community by donating blood through the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, helping in the UHV Community Garden and participating in several service projects during National Volunteer Week, including volunteering at the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent.
  • Career Services assisted more than 450 students with job searches and career coaching through individual sessions. The office also hosted job fairs and presented more than 20 workshops virtually to classes about topics related to resume writing, career planning and personal branding.
  • Residence Life opened its newest suite-style residence hall, Don & Mona Smith Hall. Named in honor of the university’s provost emeritus, Don Smith, and his wife, Mona, the three-story, 280-bed residence hall features 76 suites with two different floor plans. Smith Hall has a common kitchen area and a study room with a computer lab for students. The laundry area is located on the first floor along with a TV and gaming lounge that exits into an outdoor courtyard.
  • JP’s Market, a free food pantry and career closet open to UHV and Victoria College students, had another successful year thanks to support from the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent and donations from students, faculty, staff and the community. The initiative served 280 students and provided 11,900 pounds of food. In response to COVID-19, JP’s Market increased the days it was open while implementing social distancing protocols and creating an online ordering system. The market also recently moved to a larger location in Jaguar Hall.
  • UHV hosted its first virtual Homecoming Week with the theme “Jaguars Stay HOMEcoming.” The week included a virtual kickoff, yoga, a game night, a career panel, the sixth annual talent show and more.
  • Despite the pandemic, Student Life was able to provide more than 120 activities for students, including virtual events, social media challenges and in-person passive programs while enforcing social distancing. Some activities included virtual trivia and movie nights, Fitness Fridays and challenges, Involvement Fairs and Holiday Specials.
  • The Counseling Center hosted more than 50 educational programs related to mental, physical and sexual health, and reducing substance abuse. The center also expanded services for students with medical, mental health, economic, social and behavioral needs through interventions, referrals and follow-up services.
  • The eighth annual Student Organization and Leadership Awards were announced virtually for the second year in a row. During the event, several new student organizations were chartered.
  • Disability Services continued to see a rise in students receiving academic accommodations and support services. More than 165 students registered with the office, ensuring they received equal access to participate in and benefit from academic programs and activities.
  • Shuttle Services provided transportation to more than 10,000 individuals during the academic year and accommodated more than 20 special services trips outside of normal operations.
  • Testing Services served 525 unique visitors during the academic year in both Victoria and Katy. Services included coordinating exams with departments at UHV, education companies and government agencies.
  • Five summer ROAR Orientation sessions were offered virtually: three for first-year students, one for transfer students and one for UHV Katy students. A new initiative, the ROAR First-Year Festival, welcomed 100 first-year students and family members to campus. The festival included live music, panel discussions, a resource fair, campus walking tour, city shuttle tour, giveaways, food and opportunities for first-year students to complete last-minute to-do items.
  • After being held virtually the previous year, Jaguar Journey Welcome Weekend was attended by 120 first-year students Friday through Sunday before the fall 2021 semester started. Events included presentations about different departments, group time with orientation leaders, campus tours, a panel discussion about relationships and sexual misconduct, campus tag, big money bingo, evening entertainment, a rep your group competition and a closing ceremony.


UHV’s student-athletes and Athletics staff were Up to the Challenge to represent the university during a year that saw all six teams compete in the spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three of the Jaguars teams won conference tournaments and advanced to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics National Championships.

Men’s soccer won its second consecutive regular season Red River Athletic Conference Championship and earned the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. The Jags lost in the semi-finals. Men’s soccer has gone two straight conference seasons without a loss, a streak that stands at 15 games going into 2021. 

Victoria played host to the Association of Independent Institutions Conference Golf Tournaments. Home course advantage held true as the Jaguars men’s and women’s golf teams won their respective tournaments to advance to the NAIA National Championships. The men competed in the program’s first-ever national championship and finished 14th. The women’s team made its second appearance at nationals and finished 30th.

The softball team won the RRAC tournament to advance to the NAIA National Championship Opening Round, and for the first time in program history, the team won the opening round bracket to advance to the NAIA Softball World Series. The Jags dropped the opening game and won the next game, but the run ended with a 3-1 loss to Bethany College. The Jags finished the season ranked 19th in the NAIA.

Off the field, a record number of the university’s student-athletes were recognized for their excellence in the classroom with 80 Jaguars named RRAC Scholar Athletes.

Here are some more of the year’s highlights for the Jaguars:

  • Fifty-six student-athletes were named to the Fall 2020 UHV President’s and Deans’ lists, while 43 were recognized on the Spring 2021 lists. To qualify, students must have a minimum 3.5 GPA.
  • Defender Connagh Wilks and forward Karlo Lopez were recognized on the NAIA Men’s Soccer All-America honorable mention soccer team.
  • Wilks also was named RRAC Defensive Player of the Year while Lopez was voted the RRAC Newcomer of the Year, and both made First-Team All-Conference. Also named to the RRAC All-Conference First Team were soccer players Gian Marco Cordoba, Oliver Nugent and Brandon Watts, while Adrian Rodriguez, Sebastian Leal and Winner Assi were named to the second team.
  • Head coach Adrian Rigby was named the RRAC Men’s Soccer Coach of the Year for the second straight year and picked up his 100th career coaching victory in men’s soccer with a 2-1 win over Texas A&M-Texarkana.
  • The baseball team entered the RRAC Baseball Championship as the fifth seed, losing to eventual conference champion LSU-Shreveport in the semifinals.
  • The men’s golf team achieved its highest ever regular season ranking, No. 17, in the NAIA coaches’ poll.
  • Softball player Ashley Reyna was named the RRAC Co-Defensive Player of the Year and to First Team All-Conference, while Marisa Mendoza and Kaylle Acosta were named to the first team, and Cameron Cowan was named to the second team.
  • Reyna also was named to the NFCA All-Region first team, while Acosta was named to the second team.
  • Baseball coach Terry Puhl collected his 300th career coaching win — a 5-4 win over Loyola-New Orleans.
  • Sports information specialist Paul Ebner was named the RRAC Sports Information Director of the Year, and head trainer Thomas Pribyl was named the RRAC Athletic Trainer of the Year.
  • Athletic Director Ashley Walyuchow was selected as president of the NAIA Athletics Directors Association.
  • Michelle Kristoff and Will Paton were named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District NAIA first team in softball and golf, respectively.