UHV residence life director has long history of making students feel welcome
Brandon Lee, the University of Houston-Victoria’s director of residence life, started training for his career early.
As a sophomore at Prairie View A&M University, he began serving as a Resident Assistant with American Campus Communities, or ACC, a national student housing company based in Austin. He retained the role during his junior year, and by his senior year, he was promoted to senior resident assistant.
“I did anything to keep myself involved,” he said. “I always wanted to be a leader.”
Lee enjoyed making sure every new student felt welcome in a potentially daunting or terrifying environment, and he worked hard to ensure his residents felt connected, like they were part of a group.
“I had a chance to make an impact on people’s lives and be a role model,” he said.
As his college graduation approached, Lee was offered a job as an assistant manager at the residence hall where he’d worked and lived the previous few years. He took the job and attended graduate school.
After obtaining his master’s degree, Lee was promoted again and relocated to Baton Rouge, where he worked with students at Louisiana State University for about three years.
In April 2013, there was an opening within American Campus Communities for a general manager at UHV. At the time, ACC oversaw the university’s three residence halls.
Lee took the job, but toward the end of 2013, UHV had made the decision to take over the operations of the three residence halls, meaning ACC would be gone.
“I had a decision to make,” he said.
In January 2014, UHV officially took over managing the residence halls, and the new department of Residence Life was formed. Lee now was the head of residential housing and excited to put his 14 years of experience to good use. He decided to stay because the university seemed poised to grow and develop.
“UHV is a growing university,” he said. “We have a lot of potential.”
Lee had the opportunity to be on the ground floor of UHV’s residential housing.
“I could build something on my own,” he said. “We basically had to create everything.”
The first thing on his agenda was to create a simple housing application for students. Then Lee started drafting the department’s housing policies and procedures.
Each year, he and his staff move students out at the end of the school year and make sure the halls are ready for new students at the beginning of the next one. Throughout the year, the department works to provide a living and learning environment conducive to a student’s growth.
Lee said he enjoys his job because it allows him to engage with students, which is a passion of his. He even takes that passion outside of work: He coaches his son’s baseball and flag football teams. He, along with his wife, Britteni, also are active members at Faith Family Church.
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 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.
Sky Chadde, special to UHV