First two groups of nursing students to graduate from new program

University of Houston-Victoria graduates hold up their degrees in May after one of the spring 2017 commencement ceremonies. More than 490 students are scheduled to participate Friday in UHV’s fall 2017 commencement ceremonies at Faith Family Church.

Darlyn Sustaita is one of 10 University of Houston-Victoria nursing students who on Friday will graduate from the university’s new Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

Darlyn Sustaita

“Getting a degree from UHV has been a great experience,” Sustaita, director of clinical services at Gulf Bend Center. “It’s been exciting to be part of the pilot group for this program.”

The nursing students will be part of a group of more than 490 students scheduled to participate in two graduation ceremonies on Friday at Faith Family Church, 2002 E. Mockingbird Lane. A 5 p.m. ceremony will be for graduates of the School of Business Administration. A 7:30 p.m. ceremony will be for graduates of the schools of Arts & Sciences, and Education, Health Professions & Human Development.

The nursing graduates are part of the first two classes that were admitted to UHV’s new Registered Nurse to BSN program which started in August 2016. The students completed the online program, that allows them to be flexible with their work schedules. The former UHV School of Nursing moved to UH in August 2015.

Cindy Hudson

“All of our students are working professionals who already have positions as registered nurses,” said Cindy Hudson, founding director of UHV’s nursing program. “We made sure to build a program that allowed them to have a flexible schedule while also focusing on real-world issues they face in their day-to-day workplaces.”

Sustaita received a full scholarship from the M.G. & Lillie A. Johnson Foundation, and she plans to bring the skills she learned at UHV back to her work at the Gulf Bend Center.

“The program is demanding, but we always had lots of support from the faculty,” Sustaita said. “It helped me to improve my nursing skills and taught me how to be a better leader. This is an incredible program, and I look forward to seeing how it will improve health care in the Crossroads.”

The nursing program will host a pinning ceremony at 2 p.m. Friday in the UHV University North Multi-Purpose Room, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. A pin will be presented to the RN to BSN graduates signifying UHV’s program. All nursing programs have a unique pin.

Joseph Ben-Ur, UHV Faculty Senate president and a professor of marketing in the School of Business Administration, will serve as grand marshal of both commencement ceremonies. Neelesh Mutyala, a student regent, will offer greetings on behalf of the UH System Board of Regents for the first ceremony. Roger Welder, a UH System regent from Victoria, will do the same for the second.

Vic Morgan

UHV President Vic Morgan will confer the degrees, and the deans of each of the university’s three schools will certify that students have completed their degrees. David Cockrum, UHV interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, will recognize honor students, including the outstanding students for the fall semester from each school.

“Commencement is one of the most exciting events for UHV,” Morgan said. “This is the culmination of what our students, faculty and staff have been working toward. I am looking forward to celebrating this achievement with the graduating students, and I wish them the best as they take this step toward their future.”

For general information about UHV commencement, contact special events coordinator Nancy Gresham at 361-570-4351 or Students who have graduation questions should contact UHV Student Life & Services at 361-485-4411. A live-streaming broadcast of the ceremonies will be available at

UHV also will hold an International Student Sash Ceremony from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Friday in the University North Auditorium. The university will provide graduating international students with a sash from their country of citizenship. The students then will wear the sashes at commencement.

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.