UHCL The Signal
The official student newspaper of the University of Houston-Clear Lake

From music lover to UHCL leader, meet Madison Stults


The fall of 2014 became an inaugural year at UHCL; it was the year UHCL became a four-year university.

The incoming freshmen of 2014 are preparing to graduate this spring, making the class of 2018 the first class of freshmen to graduate from UHCL ever. One of those graduating freshmen is Madison Stults, environmental-science chemistry major.

Growing up in Baytown, Texas, Stults attended Ross S. Sterling High School and was an active student during her high school years. She was heavily involved in softball all four years as a varsity catcher.

Stults was encouraged to attend UHCL by her parents who are alumni. Being awarded the New Hawk Scholarship to UHCL offered additional incentive to become a Hawk.

Music Club members L TO R: Madison Stults, Rigo DeLeon and Makayla Ellis during a Music Club concert. Photo courtesy of the UHCL Music Club.
Music Club members L TO R: Madison Stults, Rigo DeLeon and Makayla Ellis during a Music Club concert. Photo courtesy of the UHCL Music Club.

Shortly after Stults started her classes that first semester, she became involved in the Hawk Leadership Institute.

“My first taste of campus involvement was the Hawk Leadership Institute (HLI),” Stults said. “My mom forced me to join honestly, but I quickly realized I was growing so much in the program. HLI was the catalyst for all my involvement on campus.”

During her second year at UHCL, she helped form the Music Club and became president of the student organization.

Anton Dubrovskiy, assistant professor of chemistry, attended the Music Club events.

“She and I discovered our mutual passion for music at some point,” said Dubrovskiy. “Madi then formed Music Club. I was invited on several occasions to participate in Music club events. A year or so ago, I recall being at one of the Music Club recitals. It wasn’t a club. It was a family. Those folks cared for one another, trusted one another, supported one another – I’m yet to see an organization that is as close as what I saw that day.”

While the Music Club had many recitals, Stults recalls one in particular that resonates with her.

“The second Music Club spring concert, held in the Bayou Theater, was the best night of my life, honestly,” Stults said. “I stood on a stage in front of my family, friends and people I didn’t know, and I presented them this beautiful thing my friends and I had built. I sang from my heart. That was the best feeling. There aren’t really any other words to describe it than ‘awesome’.”

Stults’ first summer semester was spent being an Orientation Leader and then becoming Orientation Team Leader the following summer.

“I served as an Orientation Leader the first summer because my chemistry professor, Dr. Dubrovskiy, recommended me for the position,” Stults said.

She has maintained leadership positions throughout her time at UHCL and continues to learn from her past experiences.

“Little did I know, I had accumulated leadership skills all throughout my experience with Music Club and HLI,” Stults said. “Leading and loving are two in the same — they both come naturally from the heart and they must come together.”

Angie Montelongo, director of Orientation and New Student Programs, thought Stults was a natural fit for the peer leadership role due to her being an organized and dedicated team member.

“She did a great job with her specific tasks but also in keeping the team motivated throughout the summer season,” Montelongo said.

With the help of Dubrovskiy, Stults became a tutor for the Student Success Center helping other students who were struggling with their science classes.

“I was looking for someone who could help students with study habits and chemistry,” Dubrovskiy said. “Madi came to my mind – and lucky we were (I and Student Success Center) to discover hidden teaching talents of Madi. I lost count of how many semesters Madi’s been faithfully helping our students succeed academically at UHCL through one-on-one tutoring sessions.”

Although Stults is graduating in May, she will leave behind memories for faculty and students to always remember her by.

“[Through Music Club and tutoring], she always made people next to her feel that they matter,” Dubrovskiy said. “That they can learn to do something if they really want to. That friendship and creativity is better than boredom and pride. I will definitely miss her. Madi is a great example of how to be a successful student, servant leader, to care for something bigger than yourself, and have fun and energy while doing all of these things.”

As her last semester comes to an end, Stults reflects on her time at UHCL.

“UHCL has given me so much; I felt like Music Club and my work as a mentor in the Orientation Program and HLI was my way of earning what I had received,” Stults said.

Stults does have one piece of advice for incoming freshmen.

“To new freshmen — try something that’ll push you out of your comfort zone,” Stults said. “All of the experiences that make me smile were a result of me pushing myself or someone else pushing me.”