School of Arts & Sciences to recognize outstanding students at fall graduation

Two University of Houston-Victoria students demonstrated mastery of the art and science of earning a degree and will be honored during fall graduation ceremonies Dec. 13.

Marcus Taylor

Marcus Taylor of Victoria and Siddiqua Hussain of Sugar Land were chosen by the faculty of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences as the outstanding undergraduate and graduate students, respectively, for the fall semester. Professors at each of the four UHV schools select at least one outstanding graduate each semester from both their graduate and undergraduate programs to be honored during commencement.

“I’m shocked,” said Marcus Taylor, who is earning his bachelor’s degree in communications and psychology. Taylor joked that he almost asked for a recount of the votes.

“Seriously, I’m grateful that my professors considered me to be an outstanding student,” he said. Taylor’s professors spoke highly of him.

“Marcus Taylor is an outstanding student for whom I see a shining future,” said Sandy Venneman, a UHV psychology associate professor. “He’s very bright, good natured, focused and helpful to his fellow students. I kept trying to get him to take more of my classes because he was such a joy to have in class.”

Taylor said students wanting to succeed at UHV should play it by the book.

“All the fun and games can come later,” he said. “Just take care of your business. That’s what you are there for, after all.”

Taylor plans to begin law school in next fall in Houston.

Siddiqua Hussain

Hussain reacted to the honor with joy.

“I’m really, really, really excited,” she said. “I was not expecting it.”

Hussain earned her master’s degree in computer information systems while working full time and managing a family.

“UHV just fit perfectly into my life,” she said, noting that the quality online classes made it possible for her to pursue her degree.

One of her professors praised her attention to detail and energetic nature in class.

“She is very enthusiastic and diligent in her learning,” said Lee Chao, a UHV math and computer science professor. “In her studies at UHV, she has received a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. No matter if it is a homework assignment or a simple writing task, she always prepared them almost perfectly.”

Hussain said discipline and love are the keys to academic success.

“If you are taking online classes, you have to discipline yourself,” she said. But at the same time, students also must enjoy the learning experience.

“Once you start enjoying it, you’ll know how to keep good communications with teachers and your fellow students,” she said. The other aspects of the class also will become far easier, she said.

Hussain will start a job with a major oil company as a business data analyst in the new year.

“I’m very proud of what these students have accomplished and what they’ll continue to accomplish in the future,” said Jeffrey DiLeo, dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences. “The best measure of any school is the quality of its graduates, and these students prove the School of Arts & Sciences is a great institution."

Graduation will be at 11 a.m. Dec. 13 at the Leonard E. Merrell Center in Katy. For more information about ceremonies, contact Nancy Gresham in UHV Special Events at 361-570-4351.

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.

Thomas Doyle 361-570-4342