University of Houston-Victoria master’s student Christopher McDonald was inspired to join the university’s Student Government Association by friends who encouraged him to pursue a leadership position.
Now, the graduate student has been elected as the new SGA president and will start his term June 3.
“I enjoy being involved in the community and on campus, as well as connecting with people,” McDonald said. “My friends saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself, and it led me to run for UHV student body president. I’m excited to take on this role. I’m always looking for ways to give back, and this is one way I can do that.”
McDonald is pursuing a Master of Education in clinical mental health counseling after graduating from UHV in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. He hopes to open his own counseling practice someday.
As he and his fellow representatives plan for next year, McDonald hopes to focus on bringing the students, faculty, staff and administrators together. His goal is to increase transparency and develop teamwork that will involve everyone’s ideas being brought to the table.
“I think it will be important to strengthen existing relationships already in place, take on challenging tasks, and assist where needed regardless of our titles,” McDonald said. “I want to help hold each other accountable and stay committed to the organization and its needs.”
McDonald, who earned his Bachelor of Arts in psychology from UHV in 2017, has experience working with people from different walks of life through jobs and community activities. He has had jobs at UHV Financial Aid, the Snack Shack in the 11:59 Lounge at Jaguar Hall, Lowe’s, Uber and Devereaux. He also was a licensed chemical dependency counselor intern at Treatment Associates of Victoria.
The San Antonio native also is involved in many community volunteer activities through SGA, UHV Student Life and Faith Family Church. McDonald has served as an SGA senator, the SGA director of finance and the community service chair and vice president for the UHV chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success. He also has led a small group Bible study at Faith Family.
“I grew up learning about having a servant’s heart through the selfless acts Jesus did to serve others,” McDonald said. “I want to do the same thing and help others with nothing in return. That’s rewarding to me.”
UHV graduating senior Deshavian Williams, the 2018-2019 SGA president, wishes McDonald the best as he steps into his new role.
“Chris deserves it,” Williams said. “The role will require lots of work, including the work put in behind closed doors, and networking is an essential component. Although he won’t need it, I wish him the best of luck and God’s blessings in everything he will do this next school year.”
Michael Wilkinson, senior director of Student Services & Judicial Affairs and the association’s advisor, said McDonald is exactly the type of person needed in the role of the SGA president. He is a person of high character, and always is willing to go out of his way to help others.
“I have no doubt that he will serve the UHV student body well as the next SGA president,” Wilkinson said. “I have personally known Chris since his freshman year at UHV and have witnessed him grow both personally and professionally. He effectively relates to all students, has an infectious personality, loves UHV and wants to see our institution grow. These characteristics will help his administration continue to make positive changes on the UHV campus.”
McDonald said that throughout the school year, he wants SGA members to remember why they chose to get involved in SGA in the first place.
“It’s really not about us,” he said. “It’s an act of service to the students and the university as a whole.”
Other students elected to the 2019-2020 Student Government Association are:
- Keiundra Jones, of Fort Worth, chief justice
- Michael Sierra, of Victoria, director of finance
- Tiarah Figueroa, of San Antonio, speaker of the senate
- Alexis Wallace, of Austin, director of student organizations
- Drea Rodriguez, of Houston, School of Arts & Sciences senator
- Noorulain Thalho, of Katy, School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development senator
- Leticia Evans, of Houston, graduate senator
- Randall Jasek, of Palacios, and Robin Rodriguez, of San Antonio, senior senators