Organization key to success for busy UHV education graduates

Success has meant years of staying really organized for two busy students graduating on Saturday from the University of Houston-Victoria School of Education & Human Development.

Both bachelor’s degree candidate Nicole King of Victoria and master’s degree candidate Karie Wimberly of Goliad will be recognized at commencement as Outstanding Students for the Spring selected by the school’s faculty because of their academic records and related achievements. The graduation ceremony begins at 9 a.m. on the east side of the UHV University West building, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St.

Karie Wimberly
Karie Wimberly

“It’s taken me 4½ years to get my master’s degree, but I had wonderful support from my husband, three boys and my grandmother,” said Wimberly, who will receive her Master of Education in school counseling. “With the help of my family and friends, I was able to reach my goal.”

Wimberly is the school counselor at both Goliad Elementary and Intermediate schools. Along with juggling a full-time job and classes, she has stayed busy with numerous organizations including Relay for Life of Goliad County, 4-H Club, her sons’ Parent-Teacher Organization and the St. John’s Lutheran Church Women’s Circle.

“My advice to other students is learn how to prioritize, be diligent with your studies, take classes with your whole heart and ask your professors for help when you need it,” she said.

King, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies, has been active on the UHV Student Senate for the last two years as secretary and then vice president.

Nicole King
Nicole King

“I have been able to meet many people by being involved with the Student Senate,” she said. “We have all been able to work together as a whole and interact with the student body, faculty and staff.”

King also spent the spring semester student teaching kindergarteners and second-graders at O’Connor Magnet School in Victoria and, if that wasn’t enough, planning her wedding.

“I’ve definitely had to stay organized,” she said. “Thanks to the support of my husband, family and friends, I was able to successfully manage the challenging days of my college career.”

On March 27, King married her high school sweetheart, Jonathan King, a 2005 UHV alumnus. Now she’s enjoying the adventures of married life and looking forward to teaching. She’s already been hired as a permanent substitute teacher at O’Connor, a year-round school, through the beginning of July and then will look for a teaching job in Victoria before getting her Master of Education from UHV.

King also has stayed busy at UHV serving on various committees, including two related to the expansion of UHV to a four-year university. She worked for two years in UHV Student Solutions assisting students with general questions about admissions, financial aid and billing, and has helped with student orientation sessions at UHV. King was invited to join the UHV team that competed in the spring of 2008 on the “Know Your Heritage: Hispanic College Quiz” TV show and the Gamma Beta Phi national honor society in the fall of 2008.

“While in college, it’s important to take advantage of opportunities that allow you to interact with different people and be willing to get involved,” she said. “Cherish this time in your life because it goes by so fast.”

Wimberly and King are two of nine degree candidates who will be recognized as Outstanding Students for the Spring on Saturday. Faculty members at each of UHV’s four schools choose at least one bachelor’s and one master’s degree candidate each semester.

“The faculty of the School of Education & Human Development is so proud of both Karie and Nicole for their dedication to the field of education,” Dean Lawrence Rossow said. “These two outstanding graduates will indeed make a difference in the lives of our youth.”

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