UHV named NAIA Five-Star Institution

The University of Houston-Victoria was one of 171 NAIA institutions to be named a NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star Institution for the 2017-18 academic year on Thursday.

Institutions are measured on a demonstrated commitment to the NAIA Champions of Character program and earn points in character training, conduct in competitions and academic focus, along with character recognition and promotion. Institutions also earn points based on exceptional student-athlete grade point averages and obtaining zero ejections during competitions throughout the course of the year.

Institutions can be recognized as Champions of Character Five-Star Institutions at three different levels: Gold (90-100 points), Silver (75-89 points) and Bronze (60-74 points). UHV was recognized as a silver level institution for the third straight year.

Ashley Walyuchow

“Our student-athletes are great advocates for UHV and Victoria, and this reward is reflective of the values we instill and the expectations we set for our student-athletes,” UHV Athletic Director Ashley Walyuchow said. “This award also rewards programs that compete the right way. Our teams play hard but do not play dirty.”

The Jaguars strive to be active not only on the field but in the classroom and the Victoria community.

Throughout the year, UHV student-athletes take an active role in the Victoria community and participate in a number of community projects. Among the projects the UHV student-athletes undertake are participation in the Sure Bet Mentoring Program in the local schools, Habitat for Humanity, the Victoria Boys and Girls Club, helping at the food bank, sponsoring several blood drives, taking part in cancer awareness and fundraising activities, as well as helping coach youth leagues and providing camps for the youth and challenger leagues.

“Our department believes in giving back to the community, and we instill that in our student-athletes,” said Walyuchow. “Our activities in the community show we care about Victoria.”

During the past year, the Jaguars’ dedication to the Champions of Character program stood out as the UHV men’s soccer team earned a national award and the softball program for the second straight year was recognized with the Red River Athletic Conference Female Champions of Character of the Year recipient.

The men’s soccer team was awarded the NAIA Buffalo Five-Star Champions of Character Team Award during the NAIA National Men’s Soccer Championships. The soccer team took a very active role in the recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey, not only in Victoria, but in the Houston area as well.

The soccer team volunteered with the Samaritan’s Purse International Relief Program and spent numerous hours assisting Victoria residents in their recovery efforts from the devastating storm.

UHV junior softball player Michelle Revels was named the RRAC Betty Etier Female Character Athlete of the Year. It was the second straight year for a UHV softball player to earn the award.

In the classroom, the men’s soccer and softball teams earned NAIA Scholar-Team awards, while eight student-athletes were named as NAIA Scholar Athletes. A total of 65 student-athletes were named to the RRAC Scholar Athlete Team, and 61 earned recognition on the UHV President’s and Deans’ Lists during the fall and spring.

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.

Ashley Walyuchow
Paul Ebner