UHV staff member takes leadership role in national organization
Recently, a University of Houston-Victoria staff member was nominated to take on a board member’s role in the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Region III.
For the second time in six years, Michael Wilkinson, UHV senior director of student services and judicial affairs, will serve a two-year term as the association’s professional programs co-chair. He first served in that role from 2018 to 2020.
“I am honored to once again be chosen to serve on the NASPA Region III board,” Wilkinson said. “This position allows me to work behind the scenes to ensure that the association’s members have a positive experience at professional development events so they can learn and bring techniques back to better serve their students. I believe individuals who serve in these types of volunteer roles are the bedrock of creating effective, student-centered learning communities.”
NASPA is an international organization made up of student affairs professionals. The association is dedicated to equipping and supporting professionals in higher education so that the students they serve can achieve success. Region III of the association includes the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
In his role as professional programs chair, Wilkinson will focus on selecting sites for conferences and other professional programs for members to receive professional development training, such as the New Professionals Institute and the Mid-Managers Institute. In addition, his responsibilities will include attending board meetings, serving as a liaison to the Southern Association for College Student Affairs on joint initiatives and programs, facilitate event site proposals and institute director applications, providing professional program reports to the board and more.
“I am excited Michael has been given this opportunity,” said Jay Lambert, UHV vice president for student affairs. “He is being trusted with a very important position and I am sure he will bring the same level of excellence to it that we see here at UHV.”
Wilkinson sees serving with the association as an opportunity to give back and invest in other student affairs professionals, just as others have encouraged and supported him throughout his career.
“I got into student affairs because people I knew and trusted told me I would be good at it,” he said. “Now, I take a lot of pride in the work I do every day in my position at UHV, and I am excited to have another chance to help others in my field. I want to give back to student affairs professionals and show them that this is a field where they can earn a living, have fun and make a difference in people’s lives all at the same time.”
As a first-generation college graduate, Wilkinson has first-hand knowledge of how important it is to make students aware of the resources they could access through student affairs offices and professionals. He came into college with less knowledge of how the system worked and what resources might be available to him.
“There are so many students in college today who are the first in their family to participate in higher education,” he said. “I remember how lost I felt, especially because I wasn’t aware of the resources that were accessible to me, much less where to look for them. Now that I work in student affairs, I want to make sure that students have the opportunity to utilize the resources that are available to them and get the support they need.”
The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.