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New UHV Staff Council chair knows importance of involvement

Amy Hatmaker’s commitment to being involved at the University of Houston-Victoria started long before she became the university’s Staff Council chair.

Amy Hatmaker

“My previous supervisor always encouraged me and other staff members to be active in the university,” Hatmaker said. “I took that to heart, and I’ve had the opportunity to serve on Staff Council subcommittees. I talk to students all the time about how important it is to be involved, and I think we as staff members should model that.”

Hatmaker, UHV Career Services manager, is serving as the 2016-2017 Staff Council chair. In this position, she also represents the university’s staff on the UHV President’s Cabinet. She was Staff Council vice chair in 2015-2016.

The Staff Council is an important part of the University of Houston-Victoria community, she said. It allows the university’s staff to be heard by all levels of leadership and keeps lines of communication open.

Last year, the university was experiencing a few major changes, including the move from three sites in the Houston area to a new location in Katy. That meant the Staff Council was mostly focused on ensuring open communication and that information was being distributed, Hatmaker said. That emphasis on good communication is continuing into this school year.

“Good, proactive communication makes all the difference in the world,” she said. “Our staff members want to continue to be informed about the university’s efforts and progress. It’s better to clearly know what’s coming and how it’s expected to play out instead of learning about changes through hearsay.”

Now that the transition to the new Katy location has been completed, the council will be able to focus on other goals. One of Hatmaker’s objectives is to develop a stronger relationship with the Faculty Senate. She also intends to focus on maintaining a strong staff morale.

Magen Besancon

“I want staff members to know that the Staff Council is there to enable them to do their best job,” she said. “We want to encourage the efforts, recognize their achievements and communicate changes in a way that fits together to promote success.”

Hatmaker is taking over for Magen Besancon, student services manager in the UHV School of Arts & Sciences and the previous Staff Council chair. Besancon will remain on the Executive Committee as past chair.

“I think Amy will be an outstanding Staff Council chair,” Besancon said. “She has been with the university for many years, is familiar with the administration and will represent the staff well. She is a go getter and always has the best interests of our students and staff in mind.”

Serving with Hatmaker and Besancon on the 2016-2017 Staff Council are:

  • Vice Chair – Jeremy Shapiro, university communications manager
  • Secretary – Rose Brett, Student Life & Services administrative secretary
  • At-Large Representatives in Victoria – Camilla Sutton, Residence Life assistant director; and Samantha Perez, Student Recruitment recruitment assistant
  • At-Large Representatives in Katy – Vicki Causey, UHV School of Business Administration instructional technology specialist; and Jennifer Reeder, Student Recruitment student services coordinator
  • University of Houston System Staff Executive Council At-Large Member – Eric Camarillo, Student Success Center testing and tutoring manager

Staff Council meetings typically are the second Thursday of each month. Rooms are specified in an email sent out a few days before each meeting. The next meeting will be Oct. 13.

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.