The University of Houston Magazine

Quick Takes

John Roberts John W. Roberts has been named dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. Before joining UH, he was dean of arts and humanities and professor of English at Ohio State University. His research and teaching interests focus on African-American folklore. Roberts served two years as deputy chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has served on numerous departmental, college and university committees. And, he won a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship (1994–95). At Ohio State, he established a faculty mentoring program for the retention of minority and women faculty in the arts and humanities.

Ira Colby Ira Colby, dean of the Graduate College of Social Work, has been inducted into the National Academies of Practices (NAP) as a distinguished scholar in social work. NAP is an organization representing 10 of the health care disciplines: dentistry, medicine, nursing, optometry, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, podiatry, psychology, social work and veterinary medicine. Members provide guidance and perspective to policymakers regarding health care. As a distinguished scholar, Colby will participate in national policy forums, serve on various interdisciplinary task forces and help author various policy papers on health care.



Bruno Breitmeyer, professor of psychology, has written “Blindspots: The Many Ways We Cannot See.”

Art Conklin, associate professor of information and logistics technology, has written “Principles of Computer Security: Security+ and Beyond.”

Charles Olson Cook (M.S. ’72, Ph.D. ’80), professor of history in The Honors College, is one of several collaborators of “African Americans and the Presidency: The Road to the White House.” UH student Daniel Mendiola assisted.

Chitra Divakaruni, professor of creative writing, has written “One Amazing Thing.”

Cynthia Freeland, professor and chair of philosophy and faculty fellow in The Honors College, has written “Portraits and Persons.”

Tony Hoagland, professor of Creative Writing, has written “Unincorporated Persons of the Late Honda Dynasty” and “Little Oceans.”

Michael Horvit, emeritus professor of composition, and Robert S. Nelson, professor of composition and music theory, have co-written “Music for Sight Singing, 5th ed.”

David Mikics, professor of English, has written “Who Was Jacques Derrida? An Intellectual Biography.”

Jaana Porra, associate professor of decision and information sciences, has written a chapter, “Group Level Evolution and Information Systems: What We Can Learn from Animal Colonies in Nature,” for inclusion in “Evolutionary Psychology and Information Systems Research: A New Approach to Studying the Effects of Modern Technologies on Human Behavior.”

Steve Werner, professor of management and doctoral coordinator, has co-written “Managing Human Resources, 10th ed.”

Robert Zaretsky, professor of history, has written “Albert Camus: Elements of a Life.” Zaretsky; Sarah Fishman, associate dean and professor of history; and Alice Conklin co-wrote “France and Its Empire Since 1870.”


Rajender Aparasu, professor and division head of pharmacy administration and public health, has been appointed associate editor of BMC Geriatrics and to the editorial board of Drug Healthcare and Patient Safety.

Carroll Parrott Blue, research professor for the Center for Public History and the Texas Learning and Computation Center, is one of 20 humanities scholars selected from a national applicant pool invited to attend the National Endowment for the Humanities Institute for Enabling Geospatial Scholarship at the University of Virginia Scholars’ Lab. Blue will train on Geographic Information Systems tools and examine a selection of well-regulated geospatial approaches to humanities scholarship.

Richard Bond (’83, Ph.D. ’88), professor of pharmacology, has received a two-year $682,000 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the next phase of his ongoing investigation into the use of beta2-adrenoreceptor inverse agonists as potential therapeutic agent for mild, chronic asthma.

Stanko Brankovic, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Zhu Han, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, each received a five-year grant from the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious and competitive grant for junior researchers in science and engineering – the Faculty Early Career Development Program CAREER Award. Brankovic received $550,000 to research new products and technologies that could improve energy efficiency of everyday devices. Han received $400,000 for work that could allow wireless devices to more efficiently share radio waves.

Elizabeth Coyle, clinical associate professor of pharmacy, has been inducted as a fellow in the Society for Critical Care Medicine.

Vincent Donnelly, John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, along with Demetre Economou, John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Chemical Engineering, associate chairman of chemical and biomolecular engineering and Plasma Processing Laboratory director, have received $1 million as part of a five-year, $10 million Department of Energy grant to support the Center for Plasma Science, led by researchers at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Economou and Donnelly will join scientists from universities and national laboratories across the country to research the science behind plasmas to make them more efficient.

Stuart Dryer, John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Biology and Biochemistry and biology department chair, has been awarded the distinction of fellow from the American Association for the Advancement of Science — the world’s largest general scientific society.

Romi Ghose, assistant professor of pharmaceutics, received a one-year, $53,954 supplement from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. She is investigating how key drug metabolizing enzymes are suppressed in the liver during inflammation and infection, thereby increasing the susceptibility to adverse drug reactions.

Tracy Hester has been named the director of the UH Law Center’s Center for Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Law. He previously headed the environmental law group of Bracewell & Giuliani (Houston).

Thomas Holley, a senior staff geophysicist at Shell, has been appointed to lead the Cullen College of Engineering’s Petroleum Engineering Program.

Ali Kamrani, associate professor and director of industrial engineering, was appointed as Princess Fatimah Alnijris’ Research Chair for Advanced Manufacturing Technology Visiting Professor for the industrial engineering department at King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Kamrani is conducting research that could have applications in the medical field.

Stuart Long, assistant dean of undergraduate research at The Honors College and professor of electrical and computer engineering, earned the 2010 Esther Farfel Award, the highest honor that can be accorded to a University of Houston faculty member. The award is a symbol of overall career excellence.

Bradley McConnell, assistant professor of pharmacology, has been appointed to the editorial
board of Clinical and Experimental Hypertension.

Raúl Ramos, associate professor of history, has received the inaugural 2010 NACCS-Tejas Book Award for “Beyond the Alamo: Forging Mexican Ethnicity in San Antonio, 1821–1861.” He also was lauded as “a talented storyteller” who puts “Mexican Americans at the center” of a key moment in Texas history.

Ke-He Ruan, professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacology and director of the Center for Experimental Therapeutics and Pharmacoinformatics, received a two-year, $450,000 award from the National Institutes of Health’s new Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research program for “Prostacyclin-secreting Cells as Therapy for Pulmonary Artery Hypertension.”

Jeff Sherer, clinical associate professor of pharmacy, has been appointed to the editorial board for the American College of Clinical Pharmacy’s “Pharmacotherapy Self-Assessment Program, 7th ed.”

Barton Smith, professor of economics and director of the Institute for Regional Forecasting and senior economist for the Center for Public Policy, has received the Houston Business Journal’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognizes Smith’s research in urban and Houston-region economics and real estate.

Vincent Tam, associate professor of pharmacology, has been re-appointed to a three-year term on the Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy editorial board.

Jenny Yi, associate professor of education, has received a $272,753 grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas for her study on cervical cancer, which will develop, implement and assess the effectiveness of a culturally tailored cervical cancer educational program for Vietnamese American women with limited English proficiency.