UHV News

UHV News

Student tutor sets eye on federal law enforcement career

Cobey Wasicek
Cobey Wasicek is a UHV senior and baseball player who is majoring in political science with a minor in criminal justice. His goal is to become a federal marshal one day.

During Cobey Wasicek’s senior year at Victoria West High School, he had trouble finding motivation to succeed. Now the University of Houston-Victoria senior is preparing to graduate in May with dreams of one day being in federal law enforcement.

“I struggled as a student and an athlete in high school, but I found a second chance and new opportunities at UHV,” Wasicek said. “UHV is a great place to gain confidence in yourself. That opportunity to grow helped me find a new direction for my life.”

Today, Wasicek is a political science major who works as a student tutor and mentor in the UHV Student Success Center, where he helps other students understand their course materials. Additionally, he mentors incoming freshmen, guiding them through the college experience and teaching stress management techniques.

Heather Crow
Heather Crow

“Cobey is such a great asset to the Center for Student Success,” said Heather Crow, the center’s operations coordinator. “He is always willing to help any student, staff or guest that walks into the center. He cares for the students, and in his role as a peer mentor, he reaches out to the students and helps make them feel comfortable and welcome at UHV. Even though his time is stretched thin between classes, being on the baseball team and working, Cobey always comes to work with the biggest smile on his face and the willingness to help in any way he can.”

Wasicek’s journey at UHV began after he enrolled in the university’s summer bridge program, which is designed to help incoming freshmen prepare for college courses and life. That experience showed him that college was not as huge and intimidating as he expected. During his freshman year, he met with the head of the tutoring center and was encouraged to become a student success advocate and eventually a tutor and mentor.

“Being a tutor was great,” Wasicek said. “The best thing was seeing a student finally understand a subject after hours of focusing and working on it. You can see the stress leave their face.”

Initially, Wasicek thought he wanted to be an engineer, but it turned out that math wasn’t his strong suit, he said. He didn’t think about political science until he spent some time talking with a fellow student who is studying the subject. Those discussions led him to take a course, and he eventually decided he wanted to pursue the subject as a career with a minor in criminal justice. 

As he goes through the final semester of his undergraduate degree and prepares for graduation, Wasicek is already making plans for his future career. He plans to apply to the Victoria Police Department soon and, if accepted, will attend the police academy.

“Law enforcement and emergency services personnel have always been in my family,” he said. “My mom was a police officer for 29 years, my dad was a firefighter and EMS, and my sister and her husband have both worked in law enforcement. I’ve seen how they helped people and how people look at them like they’re some kind of superhero. I’m very proud of them, and I want to be like that, too.”

Wasicek eventually wants to become a federal marshal. He first thought about that career when he was younger and his mother was working with a Homeland Security task force on drug interdiction and narcotics.

“It was amazing to be around these agents from the big federal agencies and see how they worked,” he said. “I learned so much just from watching them, and I decided I wanted to be like them and do that kind of work.”

His time at UHV has helped him take the first steps toward those goals, Wasicek said. He’s gained confidence in himself and his abilities both as a student and as an athlete on the baseball team. He tried out for UHV’s team after talking with other players and the coach, who let him walk on and then become a full member of the team. He now plays as a catcher for the UHV Jaguars.

“UHV has been such a great, unique place to get my degree,” Wasicek said. “I used to be concerned that college was this imposing, aloof place, but that’s not UHV at all. It’s a place that offers new opportunities, and I’ve been encouraged to succeed in every area of my life.”

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.