Staff Council chair plans to promote collaboration, positivity
For Camilla Sutton, the decision to serve on the University of Houston-Victoria Staff Council stemmed from a lifelong passion to work in higher education, and to serve and lead others.
Sutton, assistant director of UHV Residence Life, is the UHV Staff Council chair for 2018-2019 after also serving in that position in 2017-2018. As chair, she represents the university’s staff on the UHV President’s Cabinet.
“I come from a long line of educators, teachers and social workers who demonstrate action and positive change within a community, so I’m really passionate about helping our staff, faculty administration and students come together in a similar manner,” Sutton said. “I’m grateful for the Staff Council Executive Board, which is totally committed to the UHV staff. We’re ready to support and work collaboratively with our new UHV president, Robert Glenn.”
In 2017-2018, the Staff Council focused on promoting an environment where staff members felt free to express concerns and ask questions, and that will remain a priority this year, Sutton said. This also means working collaboratively with administration and the university’s Faculty Senate. Another goal this year is to continue to increase communication and involvement between the Victoria campus and Katy teaching center, and promote a positive atmosphere for UHV staff and the university.
“I want to help make sure we come together,” Sutton said. “It will take time, patience and commitment, but we’ve got to bridge that gap between Victoria and Katy. We’ve got to work harder through activities and being active in both communities so everyone understands that we are working, and we care.”
The council wants to work with the University of Houston System Staff Executive Council to increase communication and opportunities within all UH System campuses. In addition, the university will host community service opportunities and events on campus all year, and the Staff Council hopes to get more staff members involved and playing a larger role in those projects.
“In addition to serving as an assistant director for 16 resident assistants and three graduate coordinators in UHV Residence Life, I am most proud of include being the advisor for the National Society of Leadership and Success, and the opportunity to serve as a mentor and role model while teaching a First Year Seminar leadership course,” Sutton said. “I’m also very proud of serving as UHV Staff Council chair for two consecutive terms.”
Sutton spent a brief period as Staff Council vice chair under Jeremy Shapiro, UHV’s previous communications manager, and transitioned into the role of Staff Council chair in fall 2017 after Shapiro moved out of state. Amy Hatmaker, UHV Career Services manager, was chair prior to Shapiro and will remain on the Executive Committee as past chair.
“I can’t say enough good things about Camilla,” Hatmaker said. “She is a tremendous asset to our staff and a hard worker who is dedicated to the UHV mission. She has a strong sense of service to the organization.”
Serving with Sutton and Hatmaker on the 2018-2019 Staff Council are:
- Vice Chair and University of Houston System Staff Executive Council Representative – Anette Phillips, Academic Advisor
- Secretary – Freddie Cantu, Coordinator, Student Life & Services
- At Large Victoria – Elena Torres, Counselor/Confidential Advisor, Counseling Center
- At Large Victoria – Sara Weinstein, Coordinator, Student Life & Services
- At Large Katy – Jennifer Reeder, Academic Advisor
- At Large Katy – Kristy Hennessey, Academic Advisor
Staff Council meetings typically are the second or third Thursday of each month and are held at university locations using Interactive TV for those who want to participate in Katy and Victoria. Rooms are specified in an email sent out a few days before each meeting. The next meeting will be Sept. 20.
The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations 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 a teaching center in Katy, 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.