UHV education school honors faculty, staff with annual awards

Linda Autry, left, Roselia Alaniz and Katherine Bacon display their outstanding faculty awards from the UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development. The school recognizes four faculty and staff members each spring for excellence in teaching, service or research. Not pictured is Reese Alexander, who was named the school’s Outstanding Staff Member.

Four faculty and staff members recently were honored by the University of Houston-Victoria School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development for their work in teaching, scholarship and service during the 2015-2016 school year.

The honorees and their titles are:

  • Outstanding Faculty Member in Teaching – Roselia Alaniz, assistant professor of educational leadership
  • Outstanding Faculty Member in Scholarship – Katherine Bacon, assistant professor of graduate counselor education
  • Outstanding Faculty Member in Service – Linda Autry, assistant professor of counselor education
  • Outstanding Staff Member – Reese Alexander, recruitment coordinator

Fred Litton, dean of the UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development, started the awards in 2013 to recognize the school’s faculty and staff for their excellence in teaching, service or research. A faculty and staff committee annually chooses the recipients.

Fred Litton

“These faculty and staff members set a clear example of the level of excellence expected at UHV,” Litton said. “Their constant efforts to improve learning, promote research and serve in areas of need are truly outstanding.”

Alaniz was recognized for her diligence in meeting the needs of her students. She is a member of the Educational Leadership, Administration & Supervision Department, and teaches at UH Sugar Land, where UHV offers many of the degree programs.

As part of her work preparing future instructional leaders, Alaniz includes real-world experiences and situations to give her students a clear idea of the kinds of situations they will face. She also has become a facilitator in Advancing Educational Leadership and the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System. As a facilitator, she teaches the material so students can complete the state’s training requirement that will allow them to evaluate teachers when they become school administrators, thus receiving appraiser certification. That qualification is offered by few universities.

“I’m just in awe of what my students had to say about my teaching,” Alaniz said. “This award validates all the hard work I’ve done, and I appreciate the recognition.”

Bacon was part of bringing a major grant and starting a counseling pilot program in partnership with a Veterans Affairs clinic in Houston.

In fall 2014, she helped bring in a $850,737 federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, which was used to provide $10,000 internship opportunities for students pursuing a Master of Education in clinical mental health counseling. The program helped increase the number of professional counselors trained in integrated behavioral health care.

Beginning in summer 2015, Bacon co-authored and helped coordinate a paid internship program for UHV graduate students to receive hands-on mental health counseling training at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston. UHV is one of seven universities in the nation taking part in the first-of-its-kind pilot program.

“This award is so humbling,” Bacon said. “I was not expecting it, and it’s overwhelming to be recognized by my colleagues who have so much work experience of their own.”

Autry’s involvement in a variety of boards and on-campus organizations made her the committee’s choice for the service award. She is a senator for the school on the UHV Faculty Senate, a faculty sponsor for the Chi Sigma Iota international counselor honor society, a member of the Scholarship Oversight Committee and the school’s Faculty Evaluation Committee, an instructor and member of the book selection committee for the university’s First-Year Experience and a board member for the Nave Museum.

In addition, she works with the UHV Counseling Center to set up assessments and screenings for students and reads during the Victoria College/UHV Library Banned Books Week event.

Reese Alexander

“I’ve always felt like if I’m going to be a member of the faculty, I need to have a presence on campus,” she said. “These are ways I can connect with students, and that’s what is most important. I like Victoria and working at UHV, and I want to make an impact here.”

When choosing the Outstanding Staff Member of the Year, the committee decided to honor Alexander for his diligence in reaching and helping counseling and educational leadership students.

Alexander contacts students in a variety of ways, including school district visits, higher education and career fairs, and social media. He also assists his supervisor in the development of marketing materials and manages requests for information. His work is especially important as the university prepares to transition from UH Sugar Land to a new location in Katy this fall.

“Growing enrollment while also working to move from UH Sugar Land requires a lot of focus,” he said. “I appreciate the recognition, but I see my contribution in terms of the larger effort by a talented and motivated team of UHV administrators, faculty and staff members.”

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.