Graduate student wins UHV President’s holiday card contest
For Fatima Sanchez, art is a way to decompress and get away from school-related stress, and now it also is helping the University of Houston-Victoria graduate student pay for her education.
Sanchez of El Campo recently won first place in the UHV President’s Holiday Card Contest for her drawing of a jaguar wearing a Santa hat and surrounded by holly and pine branches. Her design will be featured on the front of the university president’s holiday card, and she will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Jose Ramirez of Victoria won second place and will receive a $500 scholarship.
In addition to the annual contest, UHV is hosting a showcase of designs by previous contest winners in the UHV Library. The display will be on the third floor of UHV University Commons inside the library until Dec. 23. In addition to the displays, students will be able to take holiday cards with the designs that they can send out to their own friends and family during the holiday season.
“I enjoy seeing the creativity expressed by our students every year during the holiday card contest,” UHV President Bob Glenn said. “I look forward to seeing her design featured on this year’s card, and I hope members of our community will find joy when they receive their cards this holiday season and take a look at some of the other winners from previous years.”
When she was working on her design, Sanchez chose to focus on UHV’s jaguar mascot. She wanted to give the image a Christmas feel without overpowering the image of the jaguar.
“It feels surreal that my design has been chosen as the official card for this year,” Sanchez said. “I’m not used to winning any awards, and my self-doubt held me back from trying in previous years. It’s exciting to know that something I created has been acknowledged.”
The opportunity to receive a scholarship for her artwork is especially important for Sanchez, who is working toward a Specialist in school psychology. Because she is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals student, opportunities for financial aid are limited, she said.
“I really appreciate that UHV allowed this contest to be open to all students without restrictions for their residency status,” she said. “It really shows how UHV values diversity in its student body and has resources available for anyone.”
Ramirez also sees drawing and artwork as a way to relax. When designing his card, the senior biology major chose to feature both a jaguar and UHV’s jaX mascot wearing Santa hats in a winter setting. He put the drawing together over three days.
The card contest interested Ramirez because it was different from a typical scholarship application. While most scholarships want applicants to write essays and display academic abilities, this contest was based purely on creativity. Now that this scholarship will help cover some of the cost of his classes, he plans to use some of the money he’s been saving up to purchase some much-needed school supplies.
“Placing in this contest feels amazing, and I am so grateful and honored that my artwork was chosen,” Ramirez said. “I’m just so happy that I had the opportunity to apply my passion for art and earn money for school at the same time.”
To view all of the winners’ artwork, go to www.uhv.edu/president/holiday-card-contest.
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 50 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.