Diane Prince is a modern-day innovator. At least, she is among her colleagues at the University of Houston-Victoria.
As the faculty member with the longest continuous stint at UHV – she started in 1974, the year after the university was founded – she’s been there from the ground up.
And she said her role in the School of Education & Human Development’s ongoing growth offers on-the-job satisfaction.
Prince, an education professor, created one of the university’s first-ever online courses. She also assigned the first UHV classes to be taught at UH Sugar Land, where UHV now offers a variety of degree programs.
A grant she wrote years ago paved the way for the school’s first technology center for teachers, building interest throughout university as a whole.
“I like being a part of the innovation that changes as the university moves forward,” Prince said. “UHV is a wonderful place, and every year is different. I think we’ve always been an active and forward-looking school.”
The East Texas native earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history with a political science minor from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches. After teaching at the middle school and community college levels, she returned to higher education and earned her doctorate at the University of Houston.
A couple of factors contributed to her decision to enter the education field. There weren’t as many options for women at the time, and she also came from a family of teachers. Luckily, it was the right profession for her.
“It’s rewarding and worthwhile to teach,” she said. “I think American education needs very dedicated and knowledgeable educators – teachers and leadership – and I hope I have contributed to that.”
Prince’s work in education extends beyond the classroom. Through the years, she has held a number of leadership positions at UHV – some more than once. Her roles range from former dean of the School of Education & Human Development to a recent stint as the school’s interim dean. She also has served on almost every committee at the university, as president of the UHV Faculty Senate and as head of a chancellor’s faculty committee for the UH System.
Research also joins the mix, as she and some colleagues are in the grips of a project that looks into teaching at the community college level. While still in its beginning stages – they’re putting the finishing touches on a survey that goes out in September – she looks forward to the project.
Away from work, Prince enjoys a number of hobbies, including cooking, gardening and any activity that is near saltwater. Travels to France – her next trip comes in just a few weeks – are another favorite pastime.
Prince manages to keep more than a little bit busy, but she enjoys what she does. Her work at UHV – especially with those up-and-coming Jaguars – is rewarding.
“I’ve had a lot of wonderful opportunities,” she said. “But, as many times as I’ve found myself in leadership positions, I always go back to teaching. I love working with students.” The Faculty Feature is an online feature highlighting faculty members from each of the University of Houston-Victoria’s four schools. To nominate a faculty member, contact Paula Cobler , UHV director of marketing and communications, or call 361-570-4350.