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News from the Colleges

A collection of news and stories featuring women and women of color from the University of Houston’s STEM programs.

UH Biomedical Engineering Professor Appointed By National Science Foundation As Program Director

Elebeoba May Elebeoba E. May, associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering, received a $215,032 Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) award from the National Science Foundation. Read more

UH Chemist Judy Wu Receives NSF CAREER Award for Hydrogen Bond Research

Judy Wu Judy Wu, a computational quantum chemist at the University of Houston, earned a National Science Foundation CAREER award for her proposal suggesting that connecting the two could change the way chemists view hydrogen bonds and potentially guide experimental efforts in the design of advanced materials with novel properties, including gels, plastics and electronics. Read more

Human Resource Development Professor Awarded for Service

Tomika Greer Tomika W. Greer, instructional associate professor of human resource development at the University of Houston College of Technology, received her first “academy award” during the Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) Conference in Richmond, Virginia, February 14-17. Read more

Cullen College Professor Combines Math and Engineering to Enhance Safety, Efficiancy In Oil and Gas Industry

Qianmei (May) Feng Qianmei (May) Feng’s research about failure analysis, failure time prediction, reliability modeling and maintenance work could be applied to drilling equipment that operate in harsh and dynamic environments. Read more

Hungry for Solutions: New Research Tackles College Hunger

Daphne Hernandez “Research suggests food insecurity, the lack of availability or access to healthy food, is one of the barriers to graduation for these students,” said Daphne Hernandez, UH assistant professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance (HHP). She and co-principal investigator professor Dan O’Connor, HHP chair, are working with the nation’s leading experts on food insecurity in higher education to evaluate a local intervention in Houston. Read more

Making Waves: Grad Student's Wave Research Earns AGU Award

Making WavesIt’s a common human experience: Sitting on a beach, watching as the waves lap against the sand. You feel your worries start to melt away as your mind focuses on the breaking waves, one after another. You notice the differences between them – how some build up height as they near the shore until they curl forward into a dramatic pipeline that’s the stuff of surfers’ dreams. Others seem to spill over themselves as they reach the shore, water and foam tumbling over the front of the wave and pouring onto the beach. Read more

NSF Grant Funds STEM Retention Conference for Hispanic Serving Institutions

Hispanic InstitutionsIn February, professors and administrators from around the country will convene at the University of Houston to discuss challenges and opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education at Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). Read more

Destiny Morton Takes part in U.S. Olympic Committee's FLAME Program

Destiny MortonHHP Sport and Fitness Administration graduate student Ms. Destiny Morton was selected to participate in the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Finding Leaders Among Minorities Everywhere (FLAME) program, the program was held from July 25-Aug. 1, 2017 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. Over the course of a rigorous seven days, FLAME attendees spend time networking with USOC employees, learning transferable professional skills and hearing from some of the Olympic Movement’s finest. Read more

UH BOUNCE Program Earns Grant to Promote Mindfulness in Youth

UH BounceThe BOUNCE healthy lifestyle program at the University of Houston College of Education has been awarded a $75,000 grant from the Aetna Foundation for an innovative program to promote mindful eating and exercise among minority adolescents and adults. Read more

Rupa Iyer Named Program Director at NSF

Rupa IyerRupa Iyer, PhD., associate dean; associate professor, engineering technology; founding director of the biotechnology undergraduate program and biotechnology graduate program Read more

UH Researchers Join National Effort To Study Recent Storms

Hurricane HarveyTwo University of Houston researchers are part of an effort by the National Science Foundation to better understand how disasters such as Hurricane Harvey happen and how best to respond. Read more

Professor Honored by Houston Woman Magazine

Margaret Kidd with Paula MendozaMargaret Kidd, instructional assistant professor, supply chain and logistics technology earned the Savvy Sister Award, which honors a woman who has made a significant career change, interesting business maneuver or an innovative change to her workplace. The HER Awards program, sponsored by Houston Woman Magazine, is designed to recognize Houston women who inspire those around them and serve as excellent role models for others in our community. The award was presented during a luncheon at the Junior League of Houston, August 23 Read more

Physics Graduate Student Spends Month at CERN

Casandra MorrisFor a physicist, working at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, ranks as one of the best possible ways to spend a summer. Casandra Morris, a graduate student in physics at the University of Houston, got to do just that, spending a month at CERN as part of her involvement in an international physics collaboration. Read more

Women in Technology: Prof. Margaret Kidd

Professor Margaret Kidd teaches undergraduate supply chain courses and coordinates student applicants for internships and scholarships. She serves as faculty advisor to the student organization Supply-Chain Industrial Distribution Organization (SIDO) and serves as a liaison for Houston Electric League (HEL) and Exporters Competitive Maritime Council Education Committee Houston (ECMC). Bridging her experiences from working at San Jacinto College, she has secured funding for approximately 200 supply chain students to take the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) certification exams within the past year. In partnership with the Houston Urban League, Professor Kidd has assisted with 35 students' job placements, internships, and scholarships. Read more

$2.1 Million Grant Will Spread Innovative Program to Other Institutions

Ruper Iyer An innovative approach integrating classroom instruction and research at the University of Houston will be spread to five colleges and universities around the country with a $2.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Rupa Iyer, principal investigator on the grant and founding director of the biotechnology program in the UH College of Technology, will implement the key components of the UH biotech program, including an environmental sampling research module, at five institutions: Rochester Institute of Technology, Southern Utah University, Louisiana Tech University, Prairie View A&M University and Alvin Community College. Read more

NSF CAREER Award Advances Work in Fundamental Physics

Claudia Ratti A theoretical physicist from the University of Houston is seeking answers to fundamental questions about the nature of the universe, studying the interactions of elementary particles for clues to what happened in the microseconds after the Big Bang. Claudia Ratti, assistant professor of physics at UH’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, has received a five-year, $475,000 Early CAREER award from the National Science Foundation to continue her work. Read more

UH Engineers Shedding Light On Water Pollutants

Stacey Louie and Debora Rodrigues It’s no secret that the water supply is constantly inundated with all sorts of waste and chemicals. Some are filtered out, others are not. Think about old, expired medicine you casually toss away. Pharmaceuticals don’t degrade. Read more

UH President Khator Urges College of Education Students To Be Leaders

President Renu Khator & Associate Professor M. Nicole Coleman During a visit to the College of Education on Monday, University of Houston President Renu Khator urged students to be trailblazers and to embrace big dreams. “I don’t want you all to be followers,” Khator told the dozen students in Associate Professor M. Nicole Coleman’s graduate-level course, introduction to group counseling. “There are plenty of universities producing followers. I want people who are leaders. I want people who are innovators.” Read more

Volunteer Tutors Help First-Graders Improve Reading Skills

Sharon Johnson Once a week, Visiting Associate Professor Sharon Johnson would take a break from grading papers, email or whatever else she was working on at the time. From her home or office at the University of Houston College of Education, she would call into a classroom at Crockett Elementary School for one of her favorite appointments. Read more

UH researchers work to curb alcohol abuse in HIV-positive patients

A team of University of Houston researchers from the department of psychology has been awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to reduce HIV transmission and progression among hazardous alcohol users. Rates of alcohol abuse among HIV-positive individuals are approximately twice as high as the general population. Read more

HHP research shows wheelchair rugby lowers depression and stress in spinal cord injury patients

A new study from the Department of Health and Human Performance (HHP) has found that frequent participation in wheelchair rugby is associated with lower levels of depression and stress among men with tetraplegia. The results of the study by HHP graduate student Stephanie Silveira and HHP faculty Dr. Daphne Hernandez , Dr. Tracey Ledoux and Dr. Michael Cottingham were published in the journal Spinal Cord. Read the entire article on the UH News website

Health Education Professor Norma Olvera Selected for USDA Fellowship

Norma OlveraDr. Norma Olvera, a professor of health education in the College of Education, was selected for a USDA Fellowship to explore innovative ways to assess eating behaviors in children and reducing childhood obesity. Read the Full Story

Learning by Doing: Inquiry-Based Physics Course for Student Success

Rebecca Forrest, instructional associate professor of physics and Margaret Cheung, associate professor of physics in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, have co-developed a new inquiry-based section of introductory physics through a pilot program as part of the Department of Physics' ongoing commitment to improving student success. Read the Full Story

Women in Technology: Dr. Holly Hutchins

Holly Hutchins, professor of human resource development in the College of Technology, teaches graduate courses that prepare students to diagnose learning and change needs of organizations, and to design, develop and assess interventions. Read Her Full Interview

UH Physicist Mini Das Will Lead Team to Develop X-ray Microscopy

Mini Das, assistant professor of physics in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, has received a five-year, $620,000 CAREER award from the National Science Foundation to develop and test methods for fast, low-radiation, high-resolution X-ray microscopy. Read the Full Story

Daphne Hernandez Wins USDA Grant to Prepare Students for Careers in Obesity and Nutrition

Daphne HernandezDaphne Hernandez, assistant professor of health and human performance in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, has won a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture to mentor and train undergraduate students for careers in obesity and nutrition. Read the Full Story

ADVANCE Faculty Search Workshops Result in More Faculty Applications Per Position

The ADVANCE Center is striving to change the way in which faculty are hired at UH through a search committee training and rubric-based system. The results of their efforts show a marked change in the number of female and underrepresented minority applicants. The applications in STEM-specific disciplines saw an increase in 32.7% overall, with a 24% increase in applications from African American applicants and a 46% increase in Hispanic applicants. "The success of this recruitment effort is astounding" said Dr. Mark Clarke, associate provost of faculty development and faculty affairs. "It is a testament to the commitment of our faculty search committees and department chairs to enhancing diversity within our faculty ranks, and I believe a direct reflection of the efforts of the ADVANCE initiative in helping to institutionalize these goals."

ADVANCE Mid-Career Workshop Encourages Women to Pursue Promotion

Dr. Alicia Monroe Provost Paula Myrick ShortAssociate Women Faculty in the STEM/SBS disciplines were invited to attend a workshop hosted by the ADVANCE Center. The workshop, titled Roadmap to Full, encouraged tenured and tenure-track women to pursue promotion to Full Professor.Provost Short welcomed the attendees and outlined the realities at UH before providing a call to action. She then introduced keynote speaker Dr. Alicia Monroe, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Faculty Affairs at Baylor College of Medicine. The afternoon included sessions on assessing promotion readiness, increasing research visibility, negotiating success, and seeking funding before providing next steps for the promotion journey. During lunch, faculty were presented with common myths surrounding the promotion process, which were debunked.

Save the Date for the Mid-Career Faculty Workshop

Save the date for the upcoming Roadmap to Full: A Workshop for ADVANCE Women Associate Professors on May 2, 2017 The workshop will feature keynote speaker Dr. Alicia Monroe, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Faculty Affairs at Baylor College of Medicine. This workshop serves tenured and tenure-track women in STEM and Social/Behavioral Science fields. Goals of the workshop are to provide participants with tools to determine promotion-readiness, and with an overview of benefits of promotion to Full along with the mechanics of the promotion process.

ADVANCE Center Changes Childcare Spots to Benefit Faculty

Children's Learning CentersThrough the Center for ADVANCING UH Faculty Success, the policy regarding options for children of faculty to attend the Children's Learning Centers (CLC) on campus has been changed. Previously, the Office of the Provost had up to 10 infant care spots for use in the recruitment of female faculty. The new policy has changed to include 15 spots for use at the Provost's discretion, split evenly among infants, toddlers, and pre-K children. The Children's Learning Centers will also commit to offering current UH faculty access to a spot at the CLC if they apply one semester in advance and are interested in a beginning of semester start date. Founded in 1975, the CLC has two locations on campus with a combined capacity of 221 children. Their mission is to provide a nationally accredited exemplary early childhood program that supports the student, staff, and faculty of the University of Houston (UH) while at the same time encourages UH student success by offering opportunities for learning, discovery, and engagement.

UH Engineers Join Forces to Transform Water Purification System

Debora Rodrigues and Yandi HuWhen it comes to clean water, Yandi Hu and Debora Rodrigues have a thirst for it. Hu, UH assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, works with Flint, Michigan on their water crisis and conducts research on reducing lead release in water lines. Rodrigues, UH associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, helps improve global access to clean water with a nano-sized technology that can weed out metals and microorganisms from drinking sources. Now they've teamed up and received a grant for $184,000 from the Qatar National Research Fund to change the world of water purification by making it more efficient and less expensive.

CLASS Doctoral Candidate's Research on Minority Women and Politics has Relevance to Current Events

Kenicia WrightCollege of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Student Kenicia Wright explores the unique experiences of minority females when it comes to political representation. Being both female and African American, Wright notes that the effects of overlapping social identities, such as race and gender, should not be overlooked. "America is one of the most racially diverse democracies," says Wright. "Despite this and the fact that representation is a core element of democracy, minority women are still substantially under-represented. I address this shortcoming in my dissertation, 'The Ties That Do Not Bind: Social Capital, Minority Female Representation, and Social Inequality in the U.S.'"

Women in Technology: Dr. Tomika Greer

Tomika GreerJust a few years after completing her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering, Dr. Tomika Greer became fascinated by discovering new ways to effectively implement technology that would enhance learning and support student success. With that inspiration, she pursued a master’s degree in instructional technology from Texas Tech University and subsequently earned her doctorate degree in human resource development at Texas A&M University. Greer joined the University of Houston in 2010 and currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the human resource development program. A coach and mentor for many students, Dr. Greer is a member of the undergraduate curriculum committee and oversees internships working with students to identify opportunities to apply and practice what they have learned. Particularly, she is interested in career development for women and minorities. Her research explores trends and challenges associated with curriculum, pedagogy, and outcomes of academic programs, which has been published in Advances in Developing Human Resources; a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to research-to-practice implications of HRD topics.

Mini Das Receives $1 Million Breakthrough Award from Department of Defense

Mini Das, assistant professor of physics in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Houston, was awarded a highly competitive $1 million Breakthrough Award Level 2 grant from the Breast Cancer Research Program, administered by the Department of Defense. This three-year grant was one of only 15 awarded for 2016. The grant supports Das’ research to develop an innovative imaging technique to solve the problem of low tissue contrast in current breast cancer imaging techniques. To do this, Das will lead an interdisciplinary team of physicists, biologists and engineers.

CLASS Researcher Receives Grant from U.S. Department of Labor to Examine LGBT Workplace Discrimination

A CLASS researcher has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to examine how well contractors are following a 2014 executive order signed by President Obama which bans federal contractors from workplace discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. Dr. Amanda Baumle, associate professor of sociology, is working with two faculty members from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to analyze data and determine the effectiveness of the order. Her co-investigators on the project are Dr. M.V. Lee Badgett, professor of economics, and Dr. Steven Boutcher, assistant professor of sociology.

Ph.D. Student in Chemistry Awarded Inaugural Axalta Achievement Scholarship

Zhongzheng ‘Amy’ Cai, a fourth-year chemistry Ph.D. student at the University of Houston, was awarded the inaugural Axalta Achievement Scholarship. This scholarship, which came with a $5,000 award and a plaque, was sponsored by Axalta Coating Systems in conjunction with the Powder Coating Institute (PCI). This scholarship is offered annually to a student pursuing studies in fields related to powder coating chemistry at a US university. “After obtaining my doctoral degree in chemistry, I want to work as a research scientist, applying my knowledge and expertise in catalyst design to solve challenges in polymer science,” Cai said. Learn More.

UH Engineer Earns NSF Grant to Improve Cell Phone User Experience

Xin FuXin Fu, assistant professor in the UH Cullen College of Engineering’s electrical and computer engineering department, earned a $410,000 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to customize smartphone designs and processors to better suit the needs of its vast array of users. Smartphone manufacturers have traditionally expected their customers to adapt to their devices. But with the diverse group of smartphone users now ranging from teenagers to CEOs, manufacturers are exploring ways to adapt smartphone technology to meet the needs of all its users

NSF Grant Funds Scholarship for NSM Students

A four-year, $999K grant from the National Science Foundation will fund scholarships for students pursuing degrees within the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, as well as the creation of a PARENT Academy to foster family support. “We want to help students build a support network, so that they can balance academics with their outside life” said Donna Stokes, associate professor of physics in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and principal investigator of the grant.

Castilla-Earls Examines Language Loss in Bilingual Children

Anny Castilla-Earls, associate professor of communication sciences and disorders in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, is breaking ground as a Latina woman conducting innovative research in the field of speech language pathology. In December 2016, Dr. Castilla-Earls, associate professor of communication sciences and disorders, was awarded a grant to examine language loss in bilingual children from the National Institute of Health for over $800,000 – and she earned the prestigious grant on her first submission.

Junior Scientist Award January 25, 2017

Graduate Student Targets Areas for Brain Surgery, Wins Junior Scientist Award

Ilknur Telkes, a fourth-year biomedical Ph.D. student in the Cullen College of Engineering, spends a good bit of her time in the operating room at Baylor College of Medicine pinpointing areas in the brains of patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease with a new bipolar microelectrode, designed to suppress symptoms of the disease. For her work in increasing the accuracy of target mapping and efficacy of brain surgery for Parkinson’s disease, Telkes has been named one of the 2017 North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS) Junior Scientist Award winners.

HHP Doctoral Student Bridgette Rooney Featured by NASA

Doctoral student in health and human performance (HHP) in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and NASA intern Bridgette Rooney was recently featured on NASA's website in an article titled, "Bridgette Rooney: The Military, Medicine, and Microbiology". The article profiled Bridgette's journey from the military to medicine to studying exercise immunology at HHP's Laboratory of Integrated Physiology under the guidance of Dr. Richard Simpson.

HHP Doctoral Student Bridgette Rooney Featured by NASA

Doctoral student in health and human performance (HHP) in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and NASA intern Bridgette Rooney was recently featured on NASA's website in an article titled, "Bridgette Rooney: The Military, Medicine, and Microbiology". The article profiled Bridgette's journey from the military to medicine to studying exercise immunology at HHP's Laboratory of Integrated Physiology under the guidance of Dr. Richard Simpson.

Education Professor Wins Competitive Grant to Study STEM Schools

Virginia Snodgrass Rangel, assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies in the College of Education recently won a competitive grant from the Spencer Foundation for nearly $50,000 to study STEM education. The funding covers work from January 2017 through December 2018. Her project focuses on defining the different types of STEM schools across the country and analyzing which programs produce the best results, particularly for students traditionally under-represented in science and math careers.

Boomerang Fathers January 25, 2017

Adolescent Depression in Girls Offset by Presence of 'Boomerang Fathers'

Daphne Hernandez, assistant professor of health and human performance in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and principal investigator investigates the impact of family instability and father absence or stepfather presence on adolescents experiencing depression. “Boomerang fathering” provided a type of stability in a daughter’s life that staved off her depressive symptoms compared to those adolescent girls whose fathers were completely absent.

Jami Kovach November 30, 2016

Jami Kovach Wins SW- DSI Outstanding Educator of the Year Award

Jamison V. Kovach, associate professor, UH College of Technology, was recently chosen as the 2017 Educator of the Year by the Southwest Decision Sciences Institute.

How and When Networking Leads to Higher Turnover

Caitlin Porter, assistant professor of industrial organizational psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences conducted a study in which researchers report that offering opportunities for workers to network with their colleagues can reduce the likelihood of turnover by 140 percent. 

Woman of Distinction October 5, 2016

College of Technology Professor Named 'Woman of Distinction'

Monika Zarzycka, instructional associate professor of digital media in the College of Technology was one of 10 women honored as a Woman of Distinction at the Graph Expo & Print 2016 Annual Conference. 

Biomedical Engineering Student Investigates the Effects of Vitamin Deficiency on Infectious Disease

Maya Gough, a biomedical engineering graduate student at the College of Engineering was invited to speak at the 2016 Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society International Conference this summer. Gough's research focuses on the effects of vitamin D deficiency on a cell affected by tuberculosis (TB). 

Rosenda Murillo's Research September 27, 2016

Rosenda Murillo's Research Impacts Houston's Latino Population

The Latino population is often plagued by cardiovascular health issues and Type 2 diabetes.  Rosenda Murillo, assistant professor of psychological health and learning sciences in the College of Education, seeks to enhance our understanding of these diseases in order to prevent them. 

Renu Khator Among Texas Women's Hall of Fame Honorees

The Governor's Commission for Women in Texas announced Aug. 18 that Dr. Renu Khator was among five women named to the Texas Women's Hall of Fame. The Indian American president of the University of Houston will be joined by the late musician Selena Quintanilla-Perez, Emma Carter Browning, Susie Hitchcock-Hall and Ginger Kerrick.

"I am honored to welcome these five extraordinary women into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement. "Whether in public service, the arts, business or education, these leaders have inspired generations of Texans to reach new heights, achieve new goals and elevate the Lone Star State."

Powering the Air and Sea August 10, 2016

Powering the Air and Sea: Ardebili Receives Two Grants to Store Energy

Haleh Ardebili, Bill D. Cook Assistant Professor in mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering received two grants from the Subsea Systems Institute and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, to develop batteries that can transform in shape. 

Fatima Merchant Develops Decision Making System for Breast Reconstruction

Fatima Merchant, associate professor of engineering technology in the College of Technology and collaborators from MD Anderson and UT Austin are developing a shared decision-making system for breast cancer patients considering breast reconstruction, and their surgeons. 

Dr. Rupa Iyer has been awarded the Fulbright Specialist grant

Dr. Rupa Iyer, Associate Dean in the college of Technology has been awarded the Fulbright Specialist grant in Technology in Engineering Education at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane and Faculty of Sciences and Techniques of Tangier, Abdelmalek Essaadi University in Morocco.

Dr. Iyer will engage in a collaboration research project that will foster Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI) Biotechnology laboratory orientation towards new ways of environmental sampling. This will not only allow AUI to apply on efficient standards and procedures, but also to put its results in an international context, beneficial to all partner institutions. AUI plans to benefit from Dr. Iyer’s expertise to develop a research module for our undergraduate engineering programs.

NSF Grant Funds Research on Evolution of Social Cooperation

Elizabeth Ostrowski, assistant professor of biology and biochemistry in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, was awarded a four-year, $696,634 grant from the National Science Foundation to study the evolution of cheating behaviors. 

Kelleher Studies the Evolution of Genomic Stability

Erin Kelleher Erin Kelleher, assistant professor of biology and biochemistry in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics is studying how genomes maintain stability through the evolution of mechanisms that regulate the activity of these jumping genes. 

2016 Gender Summit 8 April 28, 2016

Dr. Kovach Travels to 2016 Gender Summit 8 in Mexico City

Dr. Jami Kovach, associate professor, Industrial Technology, and ADVANCE Advocate, attended the April 28–29, 2016 Gender Summit 8, in Mexico City. Dr. Kovach received from the AAAS a travel award to attend the conference at which she gave a presentation: “Designing career paths to support women’s leadership development.”

Dr. Iyer Recognized for Distinguished Leadership in Teaching

Congratulations to Rupa Iyer, Ph.D., the recipient of the 2016-2017 University of Houston Distinguished Leadership in Teaching Excellence Award. It is the highest award given in teaching and the only one given in this category by the university. Dr. Iyer is the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies and the founding director of biotechnology programs in the College of Technology. She was presented the award at the 2016 Faculty Excellence Awards Dinner on April 14, 2016. This award brings $25,000 ($15,000 cash award and $10,000 in departmental support).

Moores Professor April 14, 2016

Dr. Scarrow named Moores Professor

Provost Paula Myrick Short announced the 2016 Moores Professors and the recipients of the UH Teaching Excellence Awards. Numerous CLASS faculty earned recognitions, including Susan Scarrow, chair of political science, who was one of two recipients of the John and Rebecca Moores professorship.

Dr. Rodrigues Advises UH Startup to Increase Global Access to Clean Water With Nano-sized Technology

WAVVE Stream Inc., a University of Houston startup company with the mission of increasing global access to clean water with a nano-sized filtration system, was recently awarded a VentureWell grant to bring their technology out of the laboratory and into the marketplace. 

$1 million grant from NASA funds UH research on astronauts' loss of muscle strength

A $1 million grant from NASA will allow researchers from the University of Houston Department of Health and Human Performance to examine the changes in astronauts’ muscle strength and function during extended space flights.

National Award March 25, 2016

Dr. Amanda Baumle’s book earns national award

Amanda Baumle, associate professor of sociology, co-authored the book, L egalizing LGBT Families: How the Law Shapes Parenthood, which recently was recognized with an Honorable Mention for Outstanding Publication at the 2016 Southwestern Sociological Association meeting in Las Vegas, NV on March 25. The book examines the role of the law in the lives of LGBT parents and how individuals use the law when making decisions about family formation or parenting.

Technology Professor Wins Distinguished Fulbright Specialist Award

Holly M. Hutchins, associate professor of human resource development, has been awarded selected for a Fulbright Specialist grant in Business Administration at Edinburgh Napier University, United Kingdom. As a Fulbrighter, Dr. Hutchins will travel to Scotland in April, joining the ranks of distinguished scholars and professionals worldwide who are leaders in the educational, political, economic, social, and cultural lives of their countries.

UH ADVANCE Team Authors Article "Career Options After Tenure"

The five authors from the University of Houston include: Jamie K. Belinne, Assistant Dean for Career Services in the C.T. Bauer College of Business; Brigitte Dauwalder, Associate Professor of Biology and Biochemistry; William S. Epling, Professor of Chemical Engineering; Jamison V. Kovach, Associate Professor of Information and Logistics Technology; and Fatima Merchant, Associate Professor of Engineering Technology.

Inaugural Holmes Scholar February 15, 2016

Jacobs Selected as Inaugural Holmes Scholar

Georgette Jacobs, a Ph.D. student of school psychology in the College of Education, has been selected as the inaugural University of Houston College of Education Holmes Scholar. The program provides mentorship, peer support, and rich professional development opportunities to doctoral students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds that are pursuing careers in education, school administration, or the professoriate. 

Kovach Awarded Funding to Advance Gender Equality in Science and Technology

Jamison V. Kovach, associate professor of information and logistics technology in the College of Technology, has been selected to receive a travel award for the Gender Summit 8 North & Latin America in Mexico City, April 28-29, 2016. Kovach and three other American Association for the Advancement of Science delegates will travel to Mexico City to meet international researchers and visit academic institutions.

Gurkan is Revolutionizing Secure Computer Networking

A team of UH researchers will confront universal collaboration challenges faced by university researchers and scientists with funding support from the National Science Foundation. Deniz Gurkan, associate professor of engineering technology in the College of Technology, is the principal investigator for the $500,000 award and Nicholas Bastin, research assistant professor, is the co-principal investigator. The proposed research will create ways to isolate networks for research labs to create an environment that eliminates data sharing problems.

Olvera Selected as First ADVANCE Administrative Fellow

Norma Olvera, professor of psychological, health, and learning sciences in the College of Education, has been selected to a two-year appointment as the first ADVANCE Administrative Fellow. She will work with Hanadi Rifai, associate dean of research and administration in the Cullen College of Engineering, to implement the college's 2014-2020 strategic plan.

Wellner Selected as a 2016 AAPG Distinguished Lecturer

Julia Wellner, assistant professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, was named a 2016 American Association of Petroleum Geologists Distinguished Lecturer. She is one of 10 people selected to receive this honor. Wellner and her students study the sediment deposited underneath and adjacent to ice sheets in the Antarctic, looking at the characteristics of the sediments as a way to determine ice behavior. 

Whitehead Receives Inaugural NSM Junior Faculty Research Award

Lisa Whitehead, assistant professor of physics in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, received the 2015 College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Junior Faculty Award for Excellence in Research. Whitehead, who joined the University of Houston in 2011, is an experimental particle physicist studying the properties of neutrinos, which are subatomic particles that have no charge and a mass that is, at most, a millionth that of an electron. 

Conrad Leads New Effort to Improve Clean-Up after Oil Spills

Jacinta Conrad, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering in the Cullen College of Engineering, earned a $1.8 million grant from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative to determine how the use of dispersants to break up an oil spill affects the natural cleaning role played by bacteria. Conrad's project builds on her previous work in colloid and interfacial science and this project will answer fundamental questions important to understanding how bacteria - microscale organisms that naturally occur in marine environments - can help in cleaning up spills during offshore drilling and production. 

Kulkarni Explores Stacking Faults to Strengthen Cobalt

Yashashree Kulkarni, associate professor of mechanical engineering in the Cullen College of Engineering, has partnered with Texas A&M University collaborator Xinghang Zhang to explore the mechanism of deformation in cobalt with high-density stacking faults via a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation. Kulkarni and Zhang will explore engineering processes that produce stronger versions of different crystalline forms of cobalt with improved ductility. The combination of strength and ductility in one material is highly desirable for structural engineering applications, yet somewhat uncommon in the materials science world. 

Acclaim for Technology Professor

Dr. Jamison (Jami) Kovach, associate professor, Department of Information and Logistics Technology, has been promoted to the level of Full Academician in the  International Academy of Quality. Dr. Kovach was inducted into the Academy several years ago as an Associate Academician. The International Academy of Quality (IAQ) is an independent, self-supported, non-profit, non-governmental organization that is administered by a collegial assembly of individuals who have been elected by their peers from among the most respected, active and experienced protagonists of quality in the world.

Professor Earns Grant To Explore Programmable Biological Organisms

Biological organisms can be re-engineered for singular purposes, such as production of biofuels, chemicals or pharmaceuticals, while computers are constructed to perform different and diverse tasks with simple downloads of new applications or software updates. Elebeoba May, associate professor of biomedical engineering at the UH Cullen College of Engineering, wants to marry the two concepts.

STEP Changes the Way Students Learn

The College of Education hosted more than 100 Houston area science teachers in July for professional development provided by the STEM Teaching Equity Project (STEP). Teachers completed 40 - 60 hours of training led by UH STEM and Education faculty, STEP staff, and K12 master science teachers. STEP training enhances teachers’ science content knowledge and inquiry-based instructional strategies. 

G.R.A.D.E. Camp Redefines STEM Field Roles

Engineering and computer science professions attract fewer women than other STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields in the United States. For more than a decade, professors at the UH Cullen College of Engineering have worked to change this longstanding tradition by hosting summer engineering camps strictly for girls. 

Amy Sater July 8, 2015

Amy Sater Named Chair of Biology and Biochemistry

Amy SaterAmy Sater, a professor on the University of Houston faculty for 22 years, has been named chair of the Department of Biology and Biochemistry in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Sater has been a member of the department’s leadership team for nine years, serving in the elected position of Policy Leader for the Cell and Molecular Biology Division from 2006-2011, and as Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies from 2011 to June 2015. In addition to those roles, Sater has chaired departmental search committees and served on the graduate council.

Summer Institute at UH Strengthens Social and Policy Science Scholarship

Graduate students from Houston and across the country converged at the University of Houston to participate in the EITM Summer Institute 2015 in June. Hosted by the Hobby Center for Public Policy, the institute helps its participants sharpen their dissertations and research projects.

“Typically, students are taught mathematical and empirical testing in separate courses. EITM instructs students in how to merge the two,” said Jim Granato, professor and director of the Hobby Center for Public Policy (HCPP). “It’s fundamental to science exercises for theories and tests to link in a transparent way so that we can build on that research.”

ADVANCE Poster Presented at the AWIS & NSF ADVANCE/GSE Program Workshop

Lisa Robertson, Managing Director, presented the Center for Advancing UH Faculty Success poster at the AWIS & NSF ADVANCE/GSE PROGAM workshop, May 31-June 2, in Baltimore, MD. This is the first time that ADVANCE and GSE were combined. The NSF ADVANCE program is attended by investigators and staff from ADVANCE centers around the country (current and graduated), and includes workshops and sessions that are designed to disseminate information about best practices and research connected with the goals of the program.

Faculty and Staff Excellence Award Winners Honored at the UH Sugar Land Campus

Four faculty members in the University of Houston College of Technology were recognized with awards for research, teaching, and service, on May 1 at the UH Sugar Land campus. Dean William Fitzgibbon presented the awards and acknowledged the faculty advisory committee for their diligence in reviewing nominations and recommendation of award recipients. 

$1.2 Million NSF Grant April 30, 2015

$1.2 Million NSF Grant Boosts Effort to Increase Engineering Technology Scholars

The Engineering Technology Department is one of two departments at the University of Houston that has received a combined $1.2 million from the National Science Foundation to support scholarships for students in engineering technology and computer science.

The money comes from the NSF’s S-STEM (Scholarships for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program. Initiated several years ago, the program is intended to improve education opportunities and support programs for academically talented students with financial need in an effort to boost the nation’s STEM workforce. 

UH Professor Chosen as Fulbright Specialist to Participate as Field Expert

Dr. Rupa Iyer, Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies of the College of Technology at the University of Houston has been recommended for the Fulbright Specialist Roster after receiving the endorsement from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and the Institute of International Education's Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES). The Specialist Roster is a prestigious list of experts who provide assistance with projects requiring their specialized knowledge, skills or research.

UH Drs. Hutchins and Penney interviewed about the ADVANCE program on KTRK-Channel 13

Associate Professor, Dr. Hutchins and her colleague Dr. Lisa Penney discuss the new Center for Advancing Faculty Success on ABC's Channel 13 Eyewitness News.

Yuliya Gorb receives NSF Career Award

Yuliya Gorb’s mathematical modeling, analysis and simulation is helping to solve problems related to complex composite materials. These types of materials can be found in a wide range of fields from medicine and materials science to subsurface engineering and microelectronics.

Gorb, an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Houston, was awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award. The five-year award worth $420,000 covers her research as well as a small after-school program for female high school students.

Jami Kovach Receives Best Paper Award at ICQEM Conference

Jami Kovach, assistant professor in the Organizational Leadership and Supervision Program and the Project Management Program in the College of Technology, recently received the award for best paper at the International Conference on Quality Engineering and Management in Portugal.