UT Tyler Student Success
Ona Tolliver serves The University of Texas at Tyler as the Senior Vice President for Student Success. She joined UT Tyler in 2008 as the Director of Student Life and Leadership and in 2010 she progressed to the role of Dean of Students and Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs. Having worked in Higher Education, specifically in the field of Student Affairs, for more than twenty five years she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her work with students in the areas of student engagement, civic responsibility, retention, support and leadership. Ona’s experience in Higher Education includes working specifically with student development, policy and student transition.
During her time at UT Tyler, Ona has been integral to the creation of a number of new offices, programs and services dedicated to improving student success, retention and the operation of the university. These programs include the Military and Veterans Success Center, the Students in Recovery program, university-wide Scheduling & Conference Services office, Title IX Office, Patriot Pantry and the Center for Student Financial Wellness. Ona has worked to improve student persistence and retention through creation of the CARE team and serving as both the Deputy Title IX Coordinator and Foster Care Alumni liaison with the State of Texas.
Ona has worked with various community organizations including the local food bank, and agencies supporting the education and prevention of violence against women. She is an alumni of Leadership Tyler having participated in Class 30 and currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the Smith County Habitat for Humanity.
Prior to joining UT Tyler, Ona served as the Associate Dean of Students at the University of North Texas. In her role at UNT, Ona provided oversight for student activities, Greek life, volunteer programs, student organization risk management, crises intervention and retention programs and was a facilitator for the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI), an international program designed to address racism and oppression.
Ona received her Master of Education degree in Higher Education and Counseling and Student Affairs from the University of North Texas.
Assistant Vice President & Dean of Students
Andrew Pettee assumed the role of Assistant Vice President for Student Success and Dean of Students in November of 2019. He is currently responsible for Student Conduct and Intervention, Center for Student Financial Wellness, Student Wellness, Students in Recovery, Residence Life, the University Center, Scheduling and Conference Services, the Military and Veteran Success Center and the University CARE Team.
He has over a decade of experience in higher education and most recently served in leadership positions within the Purdue University System. Andrew has a demonstrated expertise in student behavior management and Intervention, threat assessment, retention, compliance specifically with Title IX, Clery Act, and the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Strategic Planning, Strategic Resource Allocation, Bystander Intervention, and facilities management.
Andrew holds a Level Three certification from the Association of Title IX Administrators, is a Certified Green Dot Implementation Instructor, and is actively involved in the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, the Association of Student Conduct Administrators, and the National Behavior Intervention Team Association.
He holds a Master of Arts degree in Student Affairs and Higher Education with an emphasis in Leadership, from Eastern Michigan University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, also from Eastern Michigan University.
Andrew is married to Linda Atkinson-Pettee who is also a higher education administrator, and they have two children, O'Neil and Raegan, and a coonhound named Bean.
Assistant Vice President and Director, Student Engagement
Joshua has been the Director of Student Engagement at UT Tyler since September 2018 and was promoted to Assistant Vice President in March 2021. Previously he served as the Assistant Director of Student Life & Leadership at UT Tyler for several years before assuming his new role and as Assistant Director of Residence Life & Housing at William Peace University in Raleigh, NC. He is originally from Stephenville, TX and earned his Bachelor of Science in Multidisciplinary Studies (Social Studies 8-12) from McMurry University and a Master of Science in Higher Education Student Affairs from the University of North Texas. He is an active member of NASPA, NODA, TACUSPA, and AFA. During his free time, his wife and kid loves watching marvel & Star Wars movies!
Executive Director of Career Success
Dr. Cooper serves as part of the Student Success team in the role of Executive Director of Career Success. She oversees career development programming for current students and alumni and is responsible for developing and maintaining employer relations. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the department of Human Resource Development in the Soules College of Business.
Prior to joining Student Success, Dr. Cooper was part of the Enrollment Management team at UT Tyler serving as the Director of Enrollment Services. She is a three-time alum of UT Tyler holding a bachelor’s degree in General Studies, a master’s degree in Public Administration and a Ph.D. in Human Resource Development with a specialization in organizational development and change.
She has worked in higher education for over 21 years. Dr. Cooper has been recognized for her research in the areas of shared services, employee engagement and organizational change and has presented nationally on these topics.
She is an alum of Leadership Tyler Class 28, Leadership Tyler’s Catalyst 100 Program and The University of Texas System Women’s Leadership Program. Dr. Cooper has also served on the City of Tyler Mayor’s Veterans and Community Roundtable and as a member of the Women’s Symphony League of Tyler. She is the 2018 recipient of the UT Tyler President’s Excellence Award and she currently serves as the institutional representative for Texas Women in Higher Education. She is a native of Nashville, Tennessee but now calls Tyler, Texas home. She and her husband Steve are the proud parents of three children, one of whom is also a graduate of UT Tyler.
Executive Director, Office of International Programs
Cynthia Martinez serves as the Executive Director for the Office of International Programs. She oversees International Student and Scholar Services, Study Abroad, Intensive English Language Institute, and Passport services. Cynthia’s focuses is expanding the global footprint for our students, faculty, and community by supporting the missions of UT Tyler. Cynthia has worked in the field of international programs for over 8 years. She earned her master’s degree in Sociology and bachelor’s in Criminal Justice at Texas A&M International University.
Lecturer and Director of Percussion and Spirit Bands
Tyree Hastings currently serves as the Director of Percussion Studies at UT Tyler. Prior to this appointment, he held a teaching position at the University of North Texas since 2019 where he taught applied lessons, percussion methods, and percussion ensemble, and at Brigham Young University-Provo from 2017-2019 where he taught percussion ensemble, drumline, music theory, and aural skills. His students have premiered new works, competed on internationally recognized stages, and received admittance into top tier drum corps. His students have said the following:
“Professor Hastings is a great teacher who ensures his students learn with hands on experience.”
“Lessons stretched my thinking by making me think more about the sound I was creating.”
“These lessons improved my timpani skills tremendously.”
In addition, Tyree has given clinics and performed at universities and high schools across the United States and Australia.
Tyree is also a diversified performer. His performances have included an international tour with Australian Broadway star Patrice Tipoki, a showcase concert at the TMEA conference in San Antonio, Texas, and multiple performances as a featured soloist at the Northwest Percussion Festival. Tyree can also be heard performing frequently with various professional ensembles in the area.
With an emphasis on percussion performance, Tyree holds a Master’s in Music degree from Brigham Young University-Provo and a Bachelor’s in Music from Eastern Washington University. His principal teachers include Mark Ford, Christopher Deane, Paul Rennick, Stockton Helbing, Ron Brough, and Michael Waldrop.
Title IX Coordinator
Blake Bumbard joined The University of Texas at Tyler as the Title IX Coordinator in 2015. He has thirteen years’ experience in higher education, and at previous institutions served in the areas of campus law enforcement, public safety, and emergency management. He is a native of East Texas and graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1997 with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice and English. He is married with three children and resides in Brownsboro, TX.
Assistant Director, Student Accessibility and Resources
Director, Student Equity Services