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Here, at the Office of Emergency Management, we believe in quality service to the UH environment and our broader community. This would not be accomplished without our incredible staff. Meet our staff:


Kelly BoysenKelly Boysen, Director

Kelly Boysen is the Director of Emergency Management with the Office of Emergency Management at the University of Houston. Having grown up in Galveston, Texas, Kelly developed an interest in hurricanes and weather at an early age. Kelly holds a B.S. in Meteorology from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. While pursuing her B.S., Kelly worked as a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specialist and as a marine and tropical weather forecaster.

Before joining the UH team, Kelly completed her Master’s Degree in Applied Geography from Texas State University. While pursuing this degree, Kelly worked as a graduate assistant teaching undergraduate meteorology classes at Texas State University. Also, during this time, she researched emergency planning for weather hazards on college campuses. Kelly also worked at the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management as an emergency management intern working on evacuation planning.

On the University of Houston campus, Kelly has been instrumental in striving for implementing a multi-dimensional communications process through the integration of social media and the campus emergency alert notification systems (EANS).   Kelly is also a certified in Threat and Risk Assessment, the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP), as well as EOC Operations and ICS Interface. Kelly is trained as a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Facilitator and Instructor as well as a WebEOC Instructor. Kelly is also a member of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) and the Texas State Guard. Kelly lives in Houston with her husband and trains for triathlons in her spare time. 

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Ginger Walker, Emergency Specialist-Planning and Business Continuity

A native Houstonian, Ginger Walker has worked on the UH campus for over 20 years. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she traveled the world alongside her husband who served in the United States Marine Corps.  A few years later she settled down in her own hometown of Houston accepting a position in the Office of the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance.  She has worked in the executive office of Administration and Finance, UH Police Department, Department of Public Safety, Campus Safety and now in the Office of Emergency Management.

While she has served as the de facto business continuity planner for UH since 2005, she joined the Office of Emergency Management in November 2012 as the Emergency Management Specialist, Planning and Business Continuity.  Ginger has a unique knowledge of continuity planning on the University of Houston campus as she been involved since its inception. She is responsible for ensuring the campus is in full compliance with the requirements of State Office of Risk Management, Continuity Policy.  Ensuring compliance includes completion of a campus-wide Continuity of Operations Plan, the creation of templates and coordination of the departmental, college and division Continuity of Operations Plans. Along with continuity planning for the campus, Ginger also works on various outreach programs, community training, and many other emergency management essential functions.  Ginger has a FEMA, Level 1 Business Continuity Practitioner Certification.

When Ginger is not working at the University of Houston, spends time with her husband and two daughters, enjoys exploring National Parks, volunteers at the Fort Bend Museum Association as a docent and committee member, and also is a Girl Scout Leader.   


 brian-hall-photo.jpgBrian Hall, Emergency Management Specialist

Originally from Mississippi, Brian has worked for the University of Houston since February of 2013.  Brian earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s of Business Administration from Millsaps College in Jackson, MS.  He recently began working as an Emergency Management Specialist with the Office of Emergency Management in 2018, but since 2009 he has worked in various roles with student housing and residential life at both the University of Memphis and the University of Houston.
Brian has always been asked to work on tasks focused on emergency management plans and response, and after his work as his department’s Ride-Out Team Lead during Hurricane Harvey, he found his passion for emergency management.  His new role as an Emergency Management Specialist focuses on maintaining the campus emergency plans, assisting buildings and departments with developing their own emergency plan, as well as conducting various emergency preparedness training and drills. 
When Brian is not working, he loves to spend time with his partner and 3 animals, socializing with friends, or traveling to new places in the country or world learning about the cultures and history.



Valarie Smith, Executive Secretary

Valarie moved to Houston in 2007 from San Marcos, Texas. She graduated with an Associates of Applied Sciences in Criminal Justice from Remington College and proceeded to work in the healthcare security industry. In December of 2013, Valarie joined the University of Houston as a member of the UH Department of Public Safety’s Security Leadership team and quickly moved into an administrative role as Assistant to the Chief of Police, where she was introduced to and became interested in Emergency Management.

As a member of the Office of Emergency Management team, Valarie serves as Executive Secretary and supports the Director of Emergency Management, as well as the Emergency Management Specialists.

Being part of the UH community, Valarie has actively participated in the Universities March of Dimes campaign, and Cougar First Impressions. In her free time, Valarie enjoys spending time with her husband and friends, life coaching, blogging, reading, social activism, and volunteering time to local charities.