UHV Academic Affairs awards faculty, staff, students

Ana Laura Pineda
Humberto Hernandez
Rachel Martinez
Mary Borden
Joann Olson
Heather Crow

University of Houston-Victoria faculty, staff and students were recently honored for their positive attitudes, excellence in teaching, research and mentorship, top grades and more.

The 2021-2022 Academic Affairs Awards were recently given to those who have gone above and beyond during the academic year. The university first started this awards program last year.

Chance Glenn

“We are extremely proud of all of our award recipients,” said Chance Glenn, UHV provost and vice president for academic affairs. “They represent UHV amongst their family, friends and peers. They set a standard of excellence for all to see, and we thank them for what they do for the university.” 

Candidates were nominated for awards, and nominees were voted on by UHV faculty, staff and students. Faculty and staff award winners will each receive $500 and a plaque. Students who were honored as Provost’s Scholars will each receive a $1,000 scholarship to use in the fall and a plaque.

The Outstanding Advisor Award recognizes the efforts of academic advisors, including success coaches, school advisors and certification analysts. This year, the award went to Ana Laura Pineda, an academic advisor in the UHV College of Natural & Applied Science. Pineda was nominated because she “exudes positivity and is always willing to go over and beyond to assist students, faculty and staff.”

The Outstanding Junior Faculty Member Award is for members of the UHV faculty who have been at the university for less than five years. The award was given to Humberto Hernandez, an assistant professor of biology in the UHV College of Natural & Applied Science. Hernandez serves on multiple committees and is the faculty sponsor for the Pre-Health Student Association and the Hispanic Student Association, and also serves as the institutional biosafety liaison. He received comments saying he “excels in teaching, research and service” and “actively applies for grants and runs a vibrant student-centered research program.”

The Faculty Mentor of the Year Award honors faculty members, chairs or other members of the Academic Affairs community who have been there for other faculty members by serving as mentors throughout the year. Rachel Martinez, the interim dean for the UHV College of Education & Health Professions, was awarded the honor this year for being “an excellent mentor; her knowledge, patience and support have been immeasurable.”

The Above and Beyond Award honors a faculty or staff member or student who has gone above and beyond to improve academics at UHV. The award went to Mary Borden, an instructional technology coordinator for the UHV College of Business. Her nomination said that “Mary works pretty much around the clock to help students and faculty with any Blackboard-related issues. She goes above and beyond to make sure that online learning runs smoothly.”

The Outstanding Administrative Leader Award recognizes chairs, deans, directors and other administrative leaders in Academic Affairs. Joann Olson, the associate provost for research and dean of graduate studies, received this award this year because she “has made great efforts and progress to ensure that our university is safe, that faculty research is conducted safely, and that faculty are able to pursue the research necessary to grow as an institution.”

The Outstanding Office Staff Member Award recognizes administrative staff members for their excellent work in Academic Affairs. This year, the award went to Heather Crow, the administrative assistant in the Center for Student Success and Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence. Her nomination said that “she has done a great job running the center and has kept it going even with the constant changes in the structure and personnel.”

The Provost’s Scholars awards are given to students who have exhibited excellence over the course of the academic year but who are not graduating this year. The students were nominated by faculty members.

This year’s Provost’s Scholars are:

  • Lacy McFall, a freshman from Port Lavaca who has continually been at the top of her class and maintained a 4.0 grade point average through her first semester. One of her nominations included a comment saying, “she is not afraid to help her classmates, and the classmates that get help from Lacy are better off for it.”
  • Lydia Abbott, a psychology graduate student from Humble who displays strong academic skills. She strives to produce exceptional work and wants to learn from errors, according to her nomination.
  • Thanh Le, a senior biology major from Victoria, has presented her research at local and state conferences and has spent many hours training other students in the laboratory. She is a great student and researcher, is a team player and is always available to help students, according to her nomination.

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.

Amber Aldaco