New Staff Council leader hopes to improve connections

As the University of Houston-Victoria welcomes students back for another academic year, the new UHV Staff Council chair is working to find ways to support the university’s staff and improve connections between the staff and others at the university.

Theresa Hawken, administrative assistant to the senior director of the UHV Library, is the 2022-2023 Staff Council chair. She previously served as the vice chair, and she will move to the position of past chair once her term as chair is up.

Theresa Hawken

“I am excited to have the opportunity to lead the UHV Staff Council this year,” Hawken said. “We have a great executive board, and I’m looking forward to finding new ways to encourage and serve UHV’s staff while also continuing the good work that has been done in previous years.”

During the coming year, Hawken is working with other members of the UHV Staff Council to update and expand duties for members of the council’s executive board as well as create new committees to encourage staff participation. The new committees include communications, community involvement and volunteering, elections, events, fundraising, and staff awards and recognitions.

In addition to the new committees, the Staff Council will begin sending out a regular newsletter to let the university know more about what the Staff Council and UHV staff members are working on. The council also will explore the possibility of offering events that focus on staff involvement. Some ideas have included volunteering opportunities as well as fun events such as a game night, karaoke, a picnic or holiday events.

“UHV is fortunate to have a wonderful staff, and Staff Council is here and ready to support them in any way we can,” Hawken said. “We appreciate all the support the administration has given to the staff’s efforts in recent years, and we look forward to working with them to accomplish even more in the years to come.”

Mary Field

Hawken will be taking over for Mary Field, an administrative assistant to the dean of the UHV College of Business, who served two terms as chair in the previous two years. Field will now move to the position of past chair.

“I was proud to serve as Staff Council chair alongside Theresa and the other excellent people who work at UHV,” Field said. “We accomplished so much in the past two years, including bringing the issues of staff salaries and morale to the attention of the university’s administration. I hope to see that good work continue.”

In addition to Hawken and Field, the 2022-2023 UHV Staff Council leadership is:

  • Vice Chair – Harry Bashaw, instructional technology coordinator, UHV College of Education & Health Professions
  • Secretary – Julie Buchhorn Wardi, manager of testing services, UHV Testing Services
  • Treasurer – Kendra Matthews, executive assistant to the provost
  • University of Houston System Staff Executive Council Member At-Large – Camilla Sutton, assistant director, UHV Career Services
  • At-Large Victoria – Philip Garza, manager of student recruitment and marketing, UHV College of Education & Health Professions; Donna Lutz LeLeux, administrative assistant, UHV Provost Office; Kendra Matthews, executive administrative assistant, UHV Provost Office; Linda Upham, senior secretary, UHV College of Business
  • At-Large Katy – Kiyanna Coleman, certification analyst, UHV College of Education & Health Professions; Kristy Hennessey, manager of student services and community outreach, UHV College of Business; Robert Hernandez, student recruitment coordinator, UHV Katy enrollment management and external affairs; Jennifer Reeder, senior academic advisor, UHV College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences.

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.