UHV system analyst working toward doctorate in learning technologies

Kayla Sappington

Kayla Sappington has worn many hats throughout her nine years at the University of Houston-Victoria.

Right now, she’s a systems analyst in application services for UHV Academic & Student Technology Services doing behind-the-scenes work for the university. But, when she started working at the university, she was the voice of the Help Desk.

She has worked in several other departments, including the Center for Teaching Innovation under the Provost’s Office and the School of Business Administration. While she enjoyed her time in those departments, she eventually found her way back to Technology Services.

She currently teaches an introduction to computer science course, and her dual staff adjunct lecturer role led to the idea of renting out a 281-seat movie theater in December. A big fan of all things science fiction, Sappington wanted to get her IT co-workers, and other UHV staff, faculty and administrators in front of the same big screen to watch the new “Star Wars” movie.

“It was a fantastic opportunity to get together in a function outside of work,” she said. “I might even do it again for future ‘Star Wars’ films.”

In 2007, Sappington started working toward a graduate degree from UHV in counseling psychology. She wanted to be a counselor at the time.

With only her practicum coursework left, she enrolled in an online master’s program offered by the University of North Texas with a focus on computer education and cognitive systems. After completing the degree in 2010 she took some time off from school but re-enrolled in 2012 – this time in UNT’s online doctorate program in learning technologies. She’s on track to defend her dissertation in December, she said.

Once she earns her doctorate, she’s hoping to find a teaching and research or upper-level administration position at UHV.

Beyond work and taking courses, Sappington enjoys photography. She doesn’t actively promote it, but her photography skills have been passed along through word of mouth. In 2010, she won photography awards in both UHV’s and the city of Victoria’s On My Own Time Employee Art Shows.

For now, her photography, a creative outlet, has been put on the back burner with all of the other hats she has to wear, she said.

“I do gigs when I have time,” she said. “But I don’t have a lot of it between spending time with my family, taking classes, working 8 to 5 and teaching classes.”

Staff Feature is an online profile highlighting staff members at the University of Houston-Victoria. To nominate a staff member, 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 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.