University of Houston-Victoria

Curriculum and Student Achievement

Meet the Student Success Coaches

Student Success Coaches are here to assist incoming freshmen students and returning students with less than 45 credit hours. They provide services such as advising, registration help, success coaching, and skill building.

Cherlyn Hodge


Cherlyn Hodge is an Instructor and Student Success Coach in the Student Success Center. She attained her B.S. in Criminal Justice and M.Ed. in Higher Education from the University of Houston-Victoria and currently pursuing a certification in Holistic Sex Education. Cherlyn started her career as an Admissions and Records Analyst in the Office of Admissions in 2008. Cherlyn joined the School of Arts and Sciences advising team in 2010 as UH-Victoria was transitioning from an upper division university to a four year institution.

She is a native Victorian and an active member of the Victoria Black History Steering Committee, Co-Director of the A.D. Sheffield Symposium on African American History, and the Civilian Police Academy. It is her mission to be a bridge between the academics and Social Justice.

Cherlyn enjoys hiking, gardening, traveling, getting to know her students, and trying new foods. Go Jags!!!




Before arriving at the University of Houston-Victoria, Tom served as a Trio Writing Specialist at Indiana State University for sixteen years. Additionally, Tom has worked as a sexuality educator in inner-city Pittsburgh schools, an adult education instructor in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, a professional writing consultant at Bucknell University, a workforce development instructor in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and as an organizer and trainer for village water committees while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Beinamar, Chad.

Tom’s flash fiction, short stories, and creative nonfiction have appeared in a wide variety of print and online literary journals, and his short story collection And There Came Forth a Great Fish: Stories will be published by Gateway Literary Press in January of 2022.

Tom lives in Victoria with his wife and his dog, Beans.



I’m a Jaguar through and through! I earned my BA in Humanities English and my MS in Publishing from the University of Houston Victoria. This place and the people in it have a special place in my heart, and so do you. I’ve worked in higher education in various capacities both here and at Victoria College and I’m extremely passionate about what I do. I am always happy to help, lend a listening ear, advise, guide, and even laugh with you, so please never hesitate to reach out to me. As a Success Coach, some of you will see me as your UNIV instructor and other in an academic coaching and advising capacity. I work primarily with students who have less than 45 credit hours majoring in all undergraduate programs under the School of Education, Health Professions, and Human Development and Humanities majors in the School of Arts and Sciences.

I’m huge fan of the performing arts. Another way I serve the Victoria Community is by sitting on the Victoria Ballet Theatre Board of Trustees where we work diligently to bring the gift of dance, from classical ballet to modern dance, to all who are interested. Some other hobbies of mine include singing, crocheting, cooking, reading, and writing. If you are looking for connections to any of these hobbies or activities on campus or in the Victoria community, don’t hesitate to stop by. If I can’t help you personally, I can connect you to someone who can.

And lastly, I’m very family oriented. My husband and I recently welcomed a beautiful baby who brings me joy daily. I love cooking huge meals and inviting my siblings and parents over to just eat, laugh, and hang out. We play games (although I am often banned for being too competitive) and talk about everything under the sun. I’m committed to being a light and bringing joy to all those around me, and that includes you so please never be afraid to come to me with any questions or concerns that you may have either in person or via email. My office is a judgment-free zone. It’s a safe space for you to be heard, and I will always work hard to provide you with the help and answers that you need.


Sara Thurmond 


Sara Thurmond is a Student Success Coach, UNIV Instructor, and Foster Care Liaison at the University of Houston-Victoria. She earned two degrees at Victoria College: Associates of Arts and Associates of Science. She also earned two degrees at UH-Victoria: B.S. in Mathematical Sciences and M.Ed. in Higher Education with a concentration in Adult Education.

She is extremely passionate about two things: helping students find their way to their version of success and playing with her dogs, Emma and Piper. She loves animals and has three cats, two dogs, one horse. She also enjoys gardening, working out (weights, running, biking, hiking, Zumba, etc.).

Sara also enjoys promoting UHV and Jaguar spirit – you will often hear her throughout UHV. She is loud, outgoing, and proud to be part of the Jaguar Family and your college experience.