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UHV duo goes from goals on field to goals in careers

University of Houston-Victoria students Mareesa “Reese” Johnson, left, and Jaime Flores show off posters they have designed. Johnson and Flores are majoring in communication design and work for UHV Student Life & Services.

If you ask Mareesa “Reese” Johnson and Jaime Flores what brought them together, being teammates on the University of Houston-Victoria soccer team is not going to be their initial answer.

Instead, the two share a deeper bound – a love for graphic design.

Johnson and Flores came from two different parts of Texas and took different paths to UHV, but the duo developed a passion for designing graphics. Both are pursuing bachelor’s degrees in communication design and are employed by UHV Student Life & Services.

In November, Johnson and Flores won graphic design awards at the Association for Promotion of Campus Activities.

“I actually got the job because of Reese,” Flores said. “I had known her because of soccer, and she came in the year after me.”

Johnson transferred to UHV from Western Texas College. The Grand Prairie native decided to attend UHV because of its affordability and the chance to play soccer.

Flores grew up a little closer to Victoria, by way of the Houston suburbs. The Spring native came to UHV for the same reasons as Johnson, along with one other.

“UHV was one of maybe two schools in Texas that had communication design as a major,” Flores said. “It was either UHV or Texas State. This was the more affordable option. Everything led me here.”

As designers for Student Life, the two design posters to promote various student events and initiatives. Graphic design allows creativity to flow freely, they agreed. Each wants to attend graduate school and eventually work for a mid- to large-sized company in Houston or Austin. While Johnson would prefer to work for an advertising agency, Flores has her sights set on any job that would challenge her.

Both students are set to graduate in spring 2016. While neither remains on the soccer team, they are involved in several student organizations.

Flores helped start and is president of Artists Anonymous. The club is for anyone interested in creative arts. Johnson also is instrumental in the group’s success, Flores said.

The two also are involved in the Hispanic Student Association as well as the Jaguar Activities Board. Flores will be adding residence hall assistant to her list in the fall semester. Johnson also works for UHV Technology Services.

Heavy involvement is important to success, the two agreed.

“These are the things that are going to set you apart from other people when being hired for a job,” Johnson said about her involvement in multiple organizations. “Putting myself out there, it gets me more involved with campus life.”

This summer, Flores is working with her father in media relations at Sun Coast Resources Inc. She’s hoping the experience will increase her knowledge of the field.

“It’s something I can do for the rest of my life and not get bored with it,” Flores said.

I am a Jaguar is an online feature highlighting the exceptional students who attend the University of Houston-Victoria. To nominate a student, contact Jeremy Shapiro, UHV communications manager, or call 361-570-4296.

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.