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UHV School of Nursing to recognize outstanding graduate

Diana Barton

One student’s performance at the University of Houston-Victoria was so healthy that the School of Nursing named her the outstanding graduate for spring.

Diana Barton of Sugar Land will be recognized at 9 a.m. Saturday during the spring commencement ceremony at UHV, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St, where she will receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. All nursing graduates also will be recognized at the school’s first pinning ceremony in Victoria from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Howard Johnson Plaza, 2705 E. Houston Highway.

Professors at each of the four UHV schools select at least one outstanding graduate each semester from both their bachelor’s and master’s programs to be honored during graduation. The School of Nursing will recognize a graduate-level student in the fall of 2009 when the first Master of Science in Nursing degrees will be awarded.

For Barton, graduation was the accomplishment of a longtime goal.

“It was always in the back of my mind that I wanted to complete my bachelor’s degree,” she said. “It’s just taken me 28 years to do it.”

But once she did go back, Barton completed her degree in one year while working full time as a school nurse at Pecan Grove Elementary School in Richmond.

“You have to put a lot of your heart into what you want,” she said. “You have to give 100 percent effort in everything you do.”

That extra effort captured the attention of her instructors and brought high praise.

“Diana displays all the characteristics of a leader,” said Vivian Nowazek, assistant professor of nursing. “She has successfully juggled full-time work, full-time school, a family and a personal life while keeping things in perspective. She is well respected by her peers, the faculty and staff, and is an excellent representative of her class and the School of Nursing.”

Nowazek noted that Barton participated in numerous extracurricular activities, including serving on, with only seconds of advanced notice, a swine flu phone bank established by KPRC, a public TV station in Houston.

“She epitomizes the values UHV holds dear,” Nowazek said.

Barton plans to take a little time off from school before she starts work on her Master of Science in Nursing.

“Someday, I’d like to help educate the next generation of nurses,” Barton said.

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.