UHV NewsWire
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UHV honors four students for commitment to university, community

Spirit of the Jaguar Award winners, Eliseo Olvera, left, Taylor Henderson, Alba Sanchez and Laura Caldwell, receive an award during the University of Houston-Victoria Convocation ceremony.


University of Houston-Victoria student Eliseo Olvera learned a lifelong lesson from volunteering weekly at Patti Welder Middle School last school year.

“It taught me the value of putting others before myself,” he said. “It was a wonderful experience and one I’m planning on doing again this year. It’s a good feeling helping out people.”

Olvera was one of four UHV sophomores who recently received the second annual Spirit of the Jaguar Award. The winners received a plaque and a $500 scholarship. They were honored during UHV’s Convocation.

The awards went to:

  • Laura Caldwell, New Braunfels, School of Education & Human Development
  • Taylor Henderson, San Antonio, School of Arts & Sciences
  • Eliseo Olvera, Houston, School of Education & Human Development
  • Alba Sanchez, Equatorial Guinea, School of Arts & Sciences

The Spirit of the Jaguar Award recognizes students for their integrity, respect and citizenship.

Lindsey Koch, director of UHV Student Life and Services, said it’s important for the university to recognize success and reward students who go above and beyond.

“In evaluating the students for this award, we wanted to see more than academic success,” Koch said. “We wanted to see that they had an impact in their community and how were they trying to grow as a person.”

Students with a 3.25 or higher grade-point average were eligible to apply for the award. Applicants were asked to write a letter about their level of commitment to the university, community and self improvement in learning as well as their appreciation of diversity. A panel of university officials sorted through the applicants and selected the winners.

The four winners understood what it meant to make the university better, Koch said.

“They made it clear they knew what it meant to be committed, and they told us some specifics on how they had grown,” she said.

Olvera said it meant a lot to him to be recognized.

“If you have the right mindset and are willing to help others, you can achieve so much,” he said. “Students should realize they have an opportunity to do good for UHV and Victoria. People pay attention when college students are making a difference.”

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region, offers courses leading to more than 65 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, Education & Human Development, and Nursing. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus as well as teaching sites in Fort Bend and Harris counties, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. Since its founding in 1973, UHV has provided students with a quality university education from excellent faculty at an affordable price.