UHV financial aid director wants to give students the opportunity she had
Years before she began her career with the University of Houston-Victoria, financial aid director Lashon Williams was a single mother without a college degree. Then, a friend from Gonzales told her to return to school.
“If it weren’t for her, I probably wouldn’t be in the position I am now,” she said.
Her friend had recently gone back to college and wanted Williams to do the same. Taking that advice, Williams enrolled at Victoria College, where she earned an associate degree in accounting. The following semester, she enrolled at UHV.
In high school in Cuero, where she was born, Williams’ classes didn’t interest her. It was hard to pay attention in history class, she said. But the opposite was true in college: Even classes that weren’t part of her major were interesting. But it wasn’t without some sacrifices, especially with her two growing sons.
“I missed a lot of my sons’ activities,” she said.
After she graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Business Administration, Williams interviewed for a couple of jobs in Austin. She ended up staying in Victoria after she was offered a job in UHV’s Office of Student Billing. It was a great fit, she said.
“When I finished school, I really loved accounting,” she said.
However, a new opportunity in the Office of Financial Aid presented itself a couple years later, and Williams couldn’t help but accept. She has worked in financial aid ever since and recently was promoted to director. She quickly learned financial aid was one of the best places to help students.
“You have to have a calling to be in financial aid,” she said. “Although it is really stressful at times, it’s something I enjoy doing. I enjoy helping students get their education.”
That desire to help potential students attend UHV started with Williams’ own experience with higher education.
“Because of my own struggles, I can relate,” she said. “I want everyone to have the same opportunity I had.”
Outside of work, Williams enjoys spending time at her church, St. Peter’s Baptist, where her husband is a deacon. In August, they’ll celebrate their second wedding anniversary.
Williams also is involved in the lives of her two grandsons and one granddaughter. A cheerleader in high school, Williams said she loves that her 4-year-old granddaughter enjoys dance.
In a few years, she’s going to enroll in dance and tumbling classes, things Williams didn’t have the chance to participate in growing up.
“I want her to have those opportunities,” Williams said.
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, 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 an instructional site 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.
Sky Chadde, special to UHV