New Staff Council chair ready to take on challenges

With more than 20 years of management experience and 15 years of dedication to the University of Houston-Victoria, Mary Field is ready to take on a new role to help her colleagues.

Mary Field

Field, an administrative assistant in the School of Business Administration, is the 2020-2021 UHV Staff Council chair. She also will represent the university’s staff on the UHV President’s Cabinet. Field has been a member of the Staff Council for several years.

“I am excited for the opportunity to work with the board for the betterment of the hardworking UHV staff,” Field said. “We have some great people at UHV and on the board. I want to help accomplish good things for our staff, and I am ready to get started.”

The purpose of the Staff Council is to communicate staff concerns, share ideas and resources, and create opportunities for UHV involvement. The council also discusses university issues and policies.

Field, a native of Pearland, spent about 20 years as a manager at JoAnn Fabrics in the Houston area and Victoria prior to working at UHV. In 2005, she earned an associate degree in professional office technology from Victoria College and started working at UHV shortly before she graduated. Field has worked in the UHV School of Business Administration since she joined the university’s staff. She started as the senior secretary and then began her role as administrative assistant to the dean six years ago.

Field has been a member of the UHV Staff Council Executive Board for several years. She served as board secretary in 2008-2009 and 2017-2018, and vice chair in 2019-2020. The position of vice chair is a three-year commitment because the vice chair becomes the chair the following year and then past chair the third year.

“I joined the board because I wanted to be a part of changes for the good of the staff,” she said. “I like to help my coworkers and use my voice to help spur change.”

Rosie McCusker, the outgoing chair, will continue to serve on the board as the past chair. She thanked the members who served on the board in 2019-2020 and for their team effort.

Rosie McCusker

“I have enjoyed working with Mary since she joined the dean’s team in the UHV School of Business Administration,” McCusker said. “She speaks common sense and knows what the issues are. She will be a wonderful representative for the staff, as she is aware of many of the big issues at the grassroots level as well as for leaders higher up in the organization. I look forward to the new academic year under Mary’s leadership.”

In 2019-2020, some of the topics the council discussed were staff parking and working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The council also held virtual meetings through Microsoft Teams in the spring because of the pandemic. For the upcoming academic year, Field said she anticipates the Staff Council officers will continue to discuss how to help staff members move over on the pay scale if their position is unable to be reclassified and how the staff can both help with and benefit from student retention. In addition, she expects that the board will continue to discuss changes brought on by COVID-19 and how it can help reassure the staff.

“I like being at UHV because everybody works very hard to treat people fairly,” Field said. “We all want to make UHV a great place to get an education and a great place to be employed, so we don’t mind working hard to make it a wonderful place for students and staff.”

Serving with Field and McCusker on the 2020-2021 Staff Council are:

  • Vice Chair – Theresa Hawken, administrative assistant, UHV Library
  • Secretary – Shayna Palacios, analyst, Title IX and Equal Opportunity
  • At Large Victoria – Kendra Matthews, senior administrative assistant to the provost
  • At Large Victoria – Camilla Sutton, assistant director, Residence Life
  • At Large Victoria – Carmen Rodriguez, certification analyst, School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development
  • At Large Katy – Jennifer Reeder, academic advisor, School of Arts & Sciences
  • At Large Katy – Kristy Hennessey, academic advisor, School of Business Administration
  • At Large Katy – Daniela Martinez, student recruitment coordinator, School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development
  • University of Houston System Staff Executive Council Member at Large – Lauren Emerson, communications manager, Marketing & Communications
  • Employee of the Month Committee Member for Human Resources – Rose Brett, administrative assistant, Student Services

Staff council meetings are held the third Thursday of the month. The next council meeting will be at 2 p.m. Sept. 17 through Microsoft Teams.

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.

Amber Aldaco