UHV fall education symposium to address relationship building

KATY – Attendees of the University of Houston-Victoria education school’s first public event at the new Katy campus will come away with strategies to improve relationships at work.

Richard Watts

It Is All About Relationships: An Interdisciplinary Perspective will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 27 in the Multi-Purpose Room on the third floor of the UHV Katy campus, 2002 W. Grand Parkway N., Building 2. The event is free and open to the public.

Richard Watts, a counselor education professor at Sam Houston State University, will be the speaker for the UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development Fall Symposium.

“As counselor educators, we understand the value of relationships and their potential and power,” said Elsa Soto Leggett, a UHV associate professor of counseling education. “Dr. Watts will share that information in a way that allows people in other disciplines to build better relationships with students, colleagues and supervisors.”

Participants can earn 1.5 Continuing Education Units in State Board for Educator Certification or the Texas State Board of Examiners for Professional Counselors.

Elsa Soto Leggett

Watts will draw on perspectives in education, business and other disciplines to address the importance of being encouragement focused in relationships.

“Actually success is more about ‘how’ than ‘who,’” Watts stated in his speech abstract. “The ‘who’ may get your foot in the door, but ‘how’ we engage and relate to others is the most significant influence on our success personally and professionally.”

While the topic is a good fit for counselors and counseling education students, improving relationships is a goal that many people have no matter their line of work, Leggett said.

“Our students will benefit from the discussion, and I think a lot of professionals also could come away with some newfound knowledge about the power of relationships,” she said. “Attendees will be able use what is presented in meaningful ways.”

Watts is the Texas State University System Regents’ Professor and director of the Sam Houston counseling education program. He has taught at Sam Houston for 11 years. He previously was a faculty member at Baylor University, Kent State University and Texas A&M-Commerce.

His research interests include Adlerian, cognitive, constructivist, humanistic-existential, and systemic theories and applications to counseling with individuals, couples and groups. Watts has written six books and has had numerous articles published. He has made presentations at conferences around the globe, including the 2016 Counseling Association World Conference in Montreal.

Fred Litton

“He’s been involved in a number of significant research projects and received national research awards,” Leggett said. “He has a great perspective about relationships that has strengthened over the years through research.”

The UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development offers a symposium every spring and fall. The events are a free public service the school offers to help educate the community about topics of interest. The symposium will be in Katy for the first time.

“I hope a number of educators, counselors and business professionals from the Katy area will join us at the fall symposium,” said Fred Litton, dean of the UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development. “While this topic will be of interest to our students, I also think it will appeal to anyone in a work setting who is striving for ways to relate to their colleagues and students.”

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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.

Jeremy Shapiro