Victoria County emergency officials to speak at UHV alumni luncheon

When Jena West was a University of Houston-Victoria student, she soaked up all the information she could from faculty members to prepare for her career. Now, she is happy to help the UHV and Victoria communities by serving in emergency preparedness.

West, a Victoria County deputy emergency management coordinator, will speak with Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Rick McBrayer at the UHV Alumni Networking Luncheon on May 5 at the UHV University North Multi-Purpose Room, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. The event will begin at 11:30 a.m. for networking, with the program and lunch beginning at noon. There also will be a question-and-answer portion.

Jena West

All UHV alumni and community members are invited to the luncheon. Registration is $10 a person, and lunch will be Jason’s Deli. Guests can choose their entrée after registration. Social distancing protocols will be observed, and masks must be worn by attendees when not eating.

West and McBrayer will give a presentation on their job roles, work experiences and various ways individuals and communities can prepare for different disaster scenarios.

“We are so excited to have Jena West for the luncheon to speak about all the ways to be prepared, as 2020 and this year has taught us that anything can happen at any time,” said Kira Mudd, UHV director of alumni relations and annual giving. “She is a valuable person in our community and we are grateful that she will share interesting stories with us and pass on her wisdom.”

Kira Mudd

West received a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice in 2013, and in 2015, she received a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies in criminal justice and homeland security and international security, all from UHV. During her time as a student, she was a member of the softball team from 2011-2013 and from 2012-2013 served as the Student Government Association president. She also was a Sigma Alpha Phi and Alpha Phi Sigma honor society member.

Attendees can expect to learn more about the local Office of Emergency Management, what West and McBrayer deal with on a daily basis in their roles, and emergency situations they have dealt with and how they prepare for those situations. The two also will talk about how individuals can prepare themselves, their families, businesses and organizations for different types of emergencies including hurricane season, severe weather and some new guidance for COVID-19.

Although preparing for any type of emergency begins at an individual level, preparedness is a collaborative effort with all town residents to lessen the impact of an emergency situation throughout the entire community, West said.

“We are only as prepared as the individuals we are trying to serve,” West said. “The realities that we see daily are that there can be new threats to our community on any day. There are things we can all do to prepare for emergencies. We can’t stop the weather or other natural causes, but we can mitigate the damage and help each other.”

West, a native of Missouri City, is excited to speak to her fellow alumni, UHV faculty and staff, and community members about emergency preparedness and spread the message to the greater Victoria community.

“As an alumna, it feels really satisfying to be able to use all my degrees that I’ve earned through UHV and the information I’ve gathered from experience and use all those tools to help educate others at this event,” West said. “It feels like I’ve come full circle.”

UHV alumni and community members may register by logging on to and clicking on the luncheon under the Event Calendar. For more information, or to suggest UHV alumni who could speak at future Alumni Networking Luncheon events, contact Mudd at 361-570-4869 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.

Amber Aldaco