UHV School of Nursing recognizes outstanding graduates

Two students in the University of Houston-Victoria School of Nursing showed great care in learning how to provide great care during their time at the university.


Patti Goehring of Victoria and William Johnson of Cypress will be recognized as outstanding graduates during spring graduation ceremonies Dec. 13 in Katy. Every semester, the four UHV schools each choose a graduate and undergraduate student to be honored. The School of Nursing selected two undergraduates since the school won’t see its first master’s graduates until at least 2009.


Both graduates said the award came as a surprise.



  Patti Goehring

“I had some really fine classmates. I was shocked,” Goehring said. “They are all very sharp. To be named an outstanding student is pretty remarkable.”


UHV’s unique programs made it possible for her to achieve a dream she’s had for at least the last 14 years while working at Devereux Texas Treatment Network as director of quality management.


“I’ve wanted my bachelor’s degree for a long time,” she said. “When I became aware of UHV’s program, I saw it was the perfect opportunity. The scheduling UHV does really fits the needs of a working professional.”


Goehring now plans to continue at UHV in pursuit of her master’s degree.


“I feel like there’s a lot more I can do with a master’s degree in terms of research in nursing and just contributing to my profession,” she said.


Goehring earned high praise from her professors.


Patti was a dedicated student who demonstrated leadership abilities within her peer group,” said Denise Neill, a UHV nursing professor. “She was willing to assist other students and was observed exhibiting the traits and qualities of a leader during class projects and course assignments.”


Neill noted Goehring served as student representative for nursing faculty meetings for one semester and as student representative on the Dean Search Committee. She also represents students and the mental health community on the UHV School of Nursing Advisory Committee for the Victoria campus.


Johnson admitted his award was most unexpected.



 William Johnson

I think everybody I went to school with was quite talented. I was honored to be chosen,” Johnson said.


For him, nursing is a third career.


“It’s always been an ambition of mine to pursue higher education and continue learning,” he said, noting he always dreamed of being a doctor.


Working with his special needs son, now 7, convinced him it was time to pursue his dream of working in healthcare.


He hopes to eventually earn his master’s degree and become a nurse practitioner.


Assistant professor Vivian Nowazek praised Johnson.


“William embodies the UHV qualities we hold dear: academic excellence, continuous improvement, expression of truth, ethics, integrity and accountability,” she said. “He is a well-rounded student who juggles work, school and life. In addition, he has contributed to improving UHV student academic life. He is an excellent ambassador for our nursing program and university and is a truly outstanding student.”


Founding Dean Kathryn Tart agreed.


“We are pleased to have such outstanding nurses in our UHV School of Nursing on both the Victoria and Sugar Land campuses. Their academic achievement is a testimony to the fine work that they accomplish every day in their communities by providing nursing care.”


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


The School of Nursing’s second pinning ceremony will follow at 1:30 p.m. For more information about the pinning ceremony, contact student recruitment coordinator Tammy Neeley Whatley at 361-570-5297 or


For more information about the School of Nursing, visit

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