By Mallory Doeckel
Matt Prasifka has been at the University of Houston for just over a year now, working as a program director for Auxiliary Services, where he serves many different roles in support of the department.
Prasifka serves as the liaison between Auxiliary Services and the University’s Student Government Association. He meets consistently with SGA representatives and is the lead person behind the committees held by individual departments, such as Parking and Transportation, Dining Services, the Bookstore and more. In doing so, he is helping make sure that faculty, staff and student representatives have a chance to provide input regarding these vital campus services.
He is also the liaison between Auxiliary vendors and the University, managing the contracts for the UH Bookstore, Canteen Vending, Coca-Cola and several other lease properties. He works directly with the leaders of these areas to ensure that the needs of the campus community are being met and that the contracts are being executed correctly.
Finally, he represents Auxiliary Services in several Administration and Finance division-wide initiatives, including the A&F CARES (services assessment) program and managing the emergency plans for Auxiliary Services.
Of all of these roles, his work with SGA is arguably the most important. This is not Prasifka’s first time working directly with students in his career. In his 19 years spent working at the University of St. Thomas, his position started as leading the recreational sports department, and over time grew to include other responsibilities, including orientations, campus housing and Auxiliary Services. During the last 10 years there, he worked with students through SGA and other student programs.
When he came to UH, he was not sure if he’d still have the opportunity to work with students and the fact that he has been able to do so is one of his favorite things about his current position at UH.
Prasifka was born in Hutchins, a town right outside of Dallas where his parents still live. He went to college at Southwestern University in Georgetown, where he earned his degree in business administration. Although he is a Texas native, he hasn’t always lived here. He graduated with a master’s degree in health physical education and leisure from Oklahoma State University, and his first professional job was at Washington State University for about two and a half years.
During his undergrad years, he worked as a referee and umpire. His love of sports has not waned over the years and to this day he continues to referee basketball. If he had to choose a favorite sport, basketball would be it.
His main focus after-hours, however, is being there for his kids. His daughter just finished eighth grade and has participated in many sports over the years, including track and volleyball but currently is playing softball. His son just completed his sophomore year in high school and plays percussion in band, so he has concert performances and plays the snare drum during marching season.
Prasifka and his wife enjoy attending these events, as their main priority is showing up for their kids and being there to support them.