UHV leadership society inducts 12 new members

Donald Jirkovsky, owner of Lighthouse Development Resources, holds a plaque presented by the National Society of Leadership and Success Executive Board at Friday’s new member induction ceremony. Pictured are Amber Machacek, left, Samantha Coulter, Hannah Hines, Jirkovsky, Megan Huerta, Margaret Rice, Camilla Sutton and Vicente Garza.

The National Society of Leadership and Success’ mission is to build leaders who make a better world.

A dozen University of Houston-Victoria students are ready to embrace the mission after being inducted into the society at a ceremony Friday in the UHV University Center Multi-Purpose Room.

“The National Society of Leadership and Success has a long history of leadership development, and it’s always exciting to introduce new members to the organization,” chapter advisor Margaret Rice said. “I think the 12 new members will benefit immensely from the opportunities available within this society, and, in turn the society will benefit from their involvement.”

The society is open to graduate and undergraduate students who have a 3.0 grade-point average and have completed required leadership training. Students attend leadership training, a society orientation and are involved in success networking teams, where students interact with each other to create and achieve personal goals. They also must watch speaker broadcasts from well-known leaders.

After being inactive for a couple of years, a former UHV staff member helped students re-activate the club in 2014. Friday’s induction was the third since the club was revived. Since the UHV chapter was founded, 311 members have been inducted.

The event began with a welcome by UHV chapter President Samantha Coulter and an explanation of the society’s symbols by Camilla Sutton, interim assistant director of UHV Residence Life. Donald Jirkovsky, a UHV alumnus and owner of Lighthouse Development Resources, a coaching and professional development company in Victoria, gave the keynote speech.

Jirkovsky also was awarded an honorary membership. This award is given to a person who embodies the mission of The National Society of Leadership and Success and demonstrates leadership qualities in a personal and professional capacity.

“Mr. Jirkovsky played an integral role in fostering opportunities for growth and development,” Coulter said. “He has made a huge impact on the UHV community and touched the lives of our students.”

The new inductees and their hometowns are:

  • Lauren Von Boeckmann, Deer Park
  • Vanessa Beck, Goliad
  • Harvey Pohl, Hallettsville
  • Sherrylynn Wagner, La Vernia
  • Vicente Garza, Lolita
  • Erica Perez, Port Lavaca
  • Sevanah Campos-Reyes, Victoria
  • Marie Elizondo-Jimenez, Victoria
  • Tamika Myers, Victoria
  • Pamela Silva, Victoria
  • Gisel Wyble, Victoria
  • Mercedes Dreitner, Yoakum

Boeckmann, Pohl, Campos-Reyes, Garza, Elizondo-Jimenez, Wyble and Dreitner were inducted at the Presidential Level, which is reserved for students who have a grade-point average of 3.3 or higher. Presidential Level inductees received a personalized letter of accomplishment from the president of the national society and a presidential seal on their leadership training certificate.

In addition, Garza was installed as the chapter president for the coming year. He replaces Coulter. Christopher McDonald will serve as community service chair.

“The society gave me a chance to pay it forward by serving my campus and community,” Coulter said. “It has given me more than I ever imagined. I was able to work with an amazing team that shared the same vision by wanting each member to succeed.”

To find out more about the society, visit or contact Rice at

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.

Jeremy Shapiro