UHV alumna receives recognition as Mrs. Fort Bend County, gets ready to compete in state pageant

A University of Houston-Victoria alumna hadn’t competed in a pageant since high school, but she applied in October at the last minute to be a contestant for Mrs. Fort Bend County. The decision paid off.

Katrina "Kat" Jaso Alvarado

Now Katrina "Kat" Jaso Alvarado, a 1996 UHV graduate with a bachelor''s degree in psychology, holds the title of Mrs. Fort Bend County 2009 and is getting ready to compete in the Mrs. Texas International Pageant March 20-22 in San Antonio.

“I saw a couple of ads for the competition, but I kept putting off entering,” she said. “At the last minute, I just decided to go for it. I was overwhelmed when I won.”

Alvarado is the daughter of Goliad residents Julie and Hernan Jaso, chairman of the UHV President’s Regional Advisory Board. She competed against 28 other Fort Bend County contestants to win her current title. Although there was not a physical pageant, the contestants had to complete detailed applications and questionnaires, submit resumes and photos, and go through phone interviews before Alvarado was named Mrs. Fort Bend County in November.

“Although it’s not required that the contestants are mothers, everyone does have to be married for at least six months,” the 37-year-old Richmond resident said.

Contestants are judged on their commitment to their communities and families, and their desire to challenge themselves. Each contestant also must have a platform to support during her term. Alvarado’s platform focuses on family values and getting parents involved with their children’s lives.

“You only have one chance to raise your children,” she said. “My husband and I want to make the most of that chance before our daughters are adults and leave the home.”

Alvarado has happily put her family first for nearly a decade. After graduating from UHV, she worked in marketing for Miller Brewing Co. of Houston before getting married to Sal Alvarado III. They have two children, 8-year-old Alana and 4-year-old Apria, who Kat home schools.

She also runs the couple’s business, Mactrax DJ, from her home and finds time to be involved with the Multiple Sclerosis Society and various cancer organizations. She also is undergoing a three-month intensive training program to become a volunteer at DePelchin Children’s Center in Richmond. The organization provides social and mental health services to children and family members in the Houston area.

Alvarado also is busy making appearances as Mrs. Fort Bend County and finding sponsorships before competing in the Mrs. Texas International Pageant. At the state level, contestants go through interviews, and evening gown and fitness wear competitions. The winner receives a prize package valued at more than $15,000 and the chance to represent Texas in the Mrs. International Pageant.

But whatever happens, Alvarado said she is glad for the experience and proud of her degree from UHV.

“I had some great professors there, and I’ve used my degree in many ways even though I’m no longer in the corporate world,” she said.

For example, she learned better listening and personal communication skills from some of her classes, and her speech classes have helped her with her DJ business and in the pageant so far.

“We are always proud when our former students use their degrees to do great things for the community,” said Suzanne LaBrecque, UHV provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Recognition always follows, and it honors both the students and UHV.”

Alvarado may be contacted about appearances or sponsorships at 281-341-9282 or

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.

Paula Cobler