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UH System Highlights May 2011


University of Houston


One of the world’s foremost glaucoma researchers, Ronald S. Harwerth, is the recipient of the 2011 Esther Farfel Award, the highest distinction bestowed upon faculty by the University of Houston. Carrying with it a cash prize of $10,000, the award is a symbol of overall career excellence. With the first award given in 1979, Harwerth, chair of the College of Optometry’s department of vision sciences and a UH alumnus, is the 33rd recipient.


University of Houston - Clear Lake


Gary Boetticher, associate professor of computer science, computer information systems and software engineering, received the university’s 2010-2011 Piper Award nomination for outstanding teaching. Professors are nominated for the award by students, and the final nominee selection is made by the UHCL Piper Award Committee composed of four students and four faculty members. As UHCL’s nominee, Boetticher represents the university in the Minnie Stevens Piper Award competition, which honors Texas college and university professors.


University of Houston - Downtown


The College of Business has won a four-year grant totaling $545,100 from the U.S. Department of Education for a new program designed to increase the number of minority and Hispanic students completing a Master of Business Administration degree. UHD designed its “Development of an M.B.A. Program for Minority Students in the Texas Gulf Coast Region” to recruit 180 underrepresented students to the program over the next five years while achieving a 90 percent, five- year retention rate. The new M.B.A. will debut in January. The UHD College of Business dean is Donald Bates.


University of Houston - Victoria


The University of Houston-Victoria is extending its Jaguar Pledge for a second year to make obtaining higher education more affordable for new incoming Texas freshmen to the university from outside the Victoria region. The financial aid opportunity will cover at least 33 percent of the cost of tuition and fees for these incoming students during both their freshman and sophomore years. The Jaguar Pledge also is being extended for current UHV freshmen who will be second-year students at the university in the fall. Carolyn Mallory is the university’s financial aid director.

University of HoustonThe University of Houston

The Moores School of Music Concert Chorale is among nine international choirs selected to participate in France’s prestigious vocal competition Floriège Vocal de Tours, which runs May 27 - 29. The chorale will represent the United States at this event.

The Texas Diesel Testing and Research Center has received a $1 million grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to test a new technology designed to reduce the amount of ozone pollutants emitted by diesel-powered vehicles and equipment. The grant money is being used to retrofit 10 school buses operated by the Houston Independent School District and then evaluate the equipment’s performance over the next two years in the laboratory as well as on the road.

UH has been selected by The Princeton Review for inclusion in the forthcoming edition of “The Best 376 Colleges: 2012 Edition.”

Dr. Bernard Harris (’78) is the recipient of the Director’s 2010 Community Leadership Award from the FBI for his nonprofit foundation’s education and crime prevention programs for Houston-area students.

Tiphanie Yanique (’06) was named one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 for her book “How to Escape from a Leper Colony.”

Edward Albee, Distinguished University Professor, received the American Artist Award at the Mead Center in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes artists who have made significant contributions to American theater.

Leonard Bachman, associate architecture professor, earned best paper at the 2010 international conference on architectural education for “The Teaching of Research and the Research on Teaching: Two Frameworks and Their Overlay in Architectural Education.”

At the 2011 American Concrete Institute annual convention, Abdeldjelil “DJ” Belarbi, chair and professor of the department of civil and environmental engineering, received the Joe W. Kelly Award, an international award given to distinguished individuals to recognize outstanding contributions in education relating to the broad field of concrete.

Mark Clarke, professor of health and human performance, was recently elected to the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society at the University of Maine.

David R. Dow, Cullen Professor at the UH Law Center, is the winner of the 2010 Discover Award for nonfiction sponsored by Barnes & Noble for his book “The Autobiography of an Execution.” The award includes a $10,000 cash prize.

David Francis, director of the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation and Statistics (TIMES), and Coleen Carlson, associate director of TIMES, were awarded a $5 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences to focus on new research on whether research-tested reading interventions can be successfully implemented in school settings.

Dan Graur, John and Rebecca Moores Professor in the department of biology and biochemistry, is the recipient of the Humboldt Research Award for life achievements in evolutionary biology.

Dr. Jan-Åke Gustafsson, Robert A. Welch Professor in the biology and biochemistry department and director of the Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling, will oversee $5.2 million in grants from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. The grants will fund research to explore new treatments for prostate cancer.

Blake Ives, professor of decision and information sciences, was one of two recipients to be honored with the Leo Award for Lifetime Exceptional Achievement in Information Systems.

Jamison Kovach, assistant professor of information and logistics technology, was awarded the Faculty Excellence Award from the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering in recognition of excellence in teaching, service to the profession and scholarship.

Rebecca Lee, associate professor of nutrition in the department of health and human performance, was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to work with researchers in Guadalajara, Mexico, to develop education and training protocols for health care practitioners and researchers.

Natalia Milanesio’s article “Food Politics and Consumption in Peronist Argentina,” which was published in the Hispanic American Historical Review, received the Sturgis Leavitt Award from the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies. The prize is given annually for the best article written in any language on a Latin American or Iberian subject with preference for those that have an appeal beyond a single discipline. Milanesio is an assistant professor of history.

Michael A. Olivas, William B. Bates Distinguished Chair of Law and director of the Institute of Higher Education Law & Governance, has been inducted into the 2011 “class” of Fellows of the American Educational Research Association.

Shannon Buggs, director of communication for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, has been named one of Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women of 2010 by Houston Woman Magazine.

Anita Gaines, director of the international student and scholar services office, is the recipient of the 2011 Homer Higbee Award for Distinguished Service to NAFSA (National Association of Foreign Student Advisers).

John Boerstler has been awarded the prestigious Marshall Memorial Fellowship from the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Jozette Bionat, Rebekah Elliott, Taylor Herbert and Adrian Sese won first place in the 2011 National Collegiate Sales competition.

Babak Hayati was named winner of the 2010 ISBM (Institute for the Study of Business Markets) Doctoral Support Award for his research on “Performance Impacts of a Key Account Team’s Social Capital: A Social Network Perspective.”

University of Houston - Clear LakeUniversity of Houston - Clear Lake

UH-Clear Lake and Texas Chiropractic College recently signed a joint-degree agreement. The degree blends UHCL’s Master of Science in fitness and human performance with TCC’s Doctor of Chiropractic degree.

StateUniversity.com recognized UHCL for the second year in a row as one of the top 25 safest public higher education campuses in the United States. UHCL ranked as the fourth safest bachelor degree-granting institution in the nation and the safest bachelor degree-granting university in Texas.

Shannon McGraw Deitz (’01) has written “EXPOSED: Inexcusable Me ... Irreplaceable Him.” Her book was voted as About.com’s top five finalist for 2011 Catholic Book of the Year Award.

Patricia Dixon (’10) has had her book “Praise is What I Do: Psalms for the Modern Soul” published.

Joseph J. Hamilton (’05), the emergency medical technology department chair for San Jacinto College Central, received the 2010 EMS Educator Award for years of outstanding achievement in emergency medical services education.

Sue Brown, program area chair and associate professor of curriculum and instruction, received a $144,201 continuation award for “UHCL Mathematics Institute 2009-2012,” from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Teacher Quality Grants Program.

Professor and director of healthcare administration Ashish Chandra received the 2011 Federation of Business Disciplines Outstanding Educator Award from the Association of Collegiate Marketing Educators.

Jane H. Claes, assistant professor of library and information studies, had her book “Coast to Coast: Exploring State Book Awards” published.

Sandria Hu, professor of art, and Jason Makepeace, lecturer in art, presented workshops to art students and arts faculty in Xalapa, Mexico. In addition, Hu curated a print exhibition of 12 printmaking professors from eight universities in the UHCL International Art Consortium.

“The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of Los Angeles” was edited by professor of literature Kevin R. McNamara.

Professor of philosophy Keith M. Parsons published “Rational Episodes: Logic for the Intermittently Reasonable.”

Professor of finance Grady Perdue published “Personal Investing, Second Edition.”

Kay Brown, dean of students staff assistant, was recognized as Employee of the Quarter for January – March 2011 by the Support Staff Association.

Linda Contreras Bullock, assistant dean of student diversity and director of intercultural and international student services, was elected to serve as president-elect of the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education.

“Hospital Turnaround Practice in the United States: Value and Role of Consultants,” an article written by student Amrita Shenoy, distinguished alumnus and adjunct lecturer Raymond Khoury, and professor and director of healthcare administration Ashish Chandra, was selected for the McGraw Hill/Irwin Distinguished Paper Award.

University of Houston - DowntownUniversity of Houston - Downtown

UHD has been named to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The honor roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities.

Cheryl Grey’s (’93) historical mystery, “Deal with the Devil,” has been accepted by Astraea Press.

Jorge Ocampo Jr. (’06) recently received the Alief Independent School District’s Aiming High Award for his work with autistic children.

Kristin Anderson’s book titled “Benign Bigotry: The Psychology of Subtle Prejudice” has been named as one of the Outstanding Academic Titles of 2010 by the publication “Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries.” Anderson is an associate professor of psychology.

Brian R. Chapman has started his duties as senior vice president and provost at UHD.

Carol Tucker, director of institutional research, has been named vice president of the Texas Association for Institutional Research.

Frances Acevedo and Marlyn Davila joined more than 140 students from 51 Texas colleges and universities for poster presentations at the Texas Undergraduate Research Day in Austin.

Damaris Cortez has been named 2011 Social Work Student of the Year by the Houston Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

The academic work of Rosa Villagomez and An Vo was published in the December 2010 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Electroanalysis.

University of Houston - VictoriaUniversity of Houston - Victoria

UHV signed an articulation agreement with the Lone Star College System to make it easier for nursing students to continue their studies. Kathryn Tart is the founding dean of the UHV School of Nursing.

Graphic designer Melody Vecera (’06) and Internet technician Harry Bashaw (’03, ’09) were two of the marketing department staff members to be recognized with three prestigious ADDY Awards for advertising creative excellence. The university won one silver and two bronze awards in the contest sponsored by the American Advertising Federation-Victoria. Other department members who worked on the projects were interim director of marketing and communications Paula Cobler, former creative services manager Steven Nickel, graphic designer Cari Laza, communications specialist Ken Cooke and administrative secretary Lisa Vasquez.

Lisette Barton, assistant clinical professor, received one of two grants from the Texas Nurses Association District 9 to support her project “The Experience of Nursing School Failure.”

Jeffrey Di Leo, dean of the School of Arts & Sciences, was appointed to the Modern Language Association Delegate Assembly. He will serve in the “teaching as a profession” delegate seat within the teaching division. Di Leo also has written the book “Academe Degree Zero: Reconsidering the Politics of Higher Education” and has published the book “Federman’s Fictions: Innovation, Theory, and the Holocaust.”

Assistant history professor Matthew Rhoades is the author of the new book “Long Knives and the Longhouse: Anglo- Iroquois Politics and the Expansion of Colonial Virginia.”

Elizabeth “Libby” Rhoades’ book “Drugs and Alcohol in the 21st Century: Theory, Behavior and Policy” was published recently. Rhoades is an associate professor of school psychology.

Lisa Barr, a senior business adviser for the UHV Small Business Development Center, received the South-West Texas Border SBDC’s Star Performer Award. She will be one of about 60 people from the United States and its territories recognized in September as a Star Performer at the Association of SBDCs national conference.

Selected as employees of the month for November, December, January and February, respectively, were Tammy Lackey, the senior recruitment coordinator for the Houston area; Cheryl Shumbera, the PeopleSoft functional analyst in Admissions and Records; Juan Diego Martinez, a student services generalist; and Lou Ellen Callarman, a library associate in the UHV/Victoria College Library.

Mary Adkins was selected to participate in Texas Undergraduate Research Day in Austin. Her project focused on the effects that high amounts of limonin, a chemical found in lemons, grapefruits and other citrus fruits, have on chemotherapy treatments.

Ricardo Herrera won a contest sponsored by the San Antonio Symphony to conduct a song during a holiday concert. He led the symphony in the “Russian Dance” from “The Nutcracker Suite.”

Outstanding undergraduate students for the fall were Jared Venema, School of Arts & Sciences; David McGeehon, School of Business Administration; Mikki Woolard, School of Education & Human Development; and Jordan Lambert, School of Nursing. Outstanding graduate students were Martin Cano, School of Arts & Sciences; Liyuxuan Su, School of Business Administration; Nyssa Garcia, School of Education & Human Development; and Deidra Teoh, School of Nursing.