UHV to recognize School of Arts & Sciences outstanding graduates at commencement

Excellence definitely computes for two students graduating this semester from the University of Houston-Victoria School of Arts & Sciences

Bachelor’s candidate Ronald Dean Petrusek of Rosenberg and master’s degree candidate Vaishali Kumar of Sugar Land, both receiving a degree in computer information systems, will be honored as outstanding graduates at UHV’s fall commencement ceremonies beginning at 11 a.m. Dec. 12 at the Leonard E. Merrell Center, 6301 S. Stadium Lane, in Katy.

Professors at each of the four UHV schools select at least one outstanding graduate each semester from their bachelor’s and master’s programs to be honored during commencement. Both Petrusek and Kumar will receive $250 from the School of Arts & Sciences Faculty Excellence Fund, a fund established through donations from the school’s faculty.

Petrusek and Kumar both maintained 4.0 grade-point averages during their time at UHV.

Kumar said academic excellence is all a matter of focus.

Vaishali Kumar
Vaishali Kumar

“You should be focused on what you have to learn,” she said. “It is hard, but you have to decide on your priorities, and you can manage it all.”

Kumar earned her degree while staying at home with her young daughter, and now that her daughter is about to begin school, she is ready to start a career in the field of information technology service management.

“Ms. Kumar is a very brilliant student and a dedicated worker,” said Meledath Damodaran, one of her computer science instructors.

He noted that Kumar spent time working as a grader and other support roles for the program during her tenure as a student.

She also co-authored a paper published in the journal “IEEE Internet Computing” in 2008 about the expansion of social networking Web sites.

Petrusek said he’s always had an affinity for computers and even participated in a Cisco networking program for two years in high school. He now hopes to ply his trade in the world of Web design.

Ronald Dean Petrusek
Ronald Dean Petrusek

“If you want to, I think anybody can succeed in college,” he said. “You just have to not let it overwhelm you.”

The leader of his school said he did just that.

“By succeeding in the classroom as he did, Mr. Petrusek has demonstrated a great degree of discipline and scholarship,” Dean Jeffrey Di Leo said.

Students like Petrusek and Kumar represent the best kind of accolade for the school.

“The goal of the faculty and staff in the School of Arts & Sciences is to produce the best students we possibly can,” Di Leo said. “These two students are a credit to this school and UHV as a whole.”

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