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UH System Success Stories AUGUST 2005
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The Peace Corps recognized the University of Houston as the top historical volunteer-producing campus in Houston with 217 alumni volunteers since 1961.

Photo: Donald J. FossCharles Henry, College of Pharmacy business administrator, received the 2005 Charles F. McElhinney Distinguished Service Award, UH’s highest staff honor. Henry, Staff Council vice president, will begin his third term as the council’s president on Sept. 1. He held the position from 1998 through 2000. Henry, who joined UH in 1979, is a founding member of the Campus Cougars Alumni Association, a staff constituent group of the Houston Alumni Organization.


Mohamad Halawi (’05) was named a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar and will receive $300,000 in scholarships over six years. He also earned a 2005 Merage Foundation for the American Dream Fellowship, which recognizes promising immigrants and awards a $20,000 stipend. The Phi Kappa Phi honor society awarded him a Walter and Adelheid Hohenstein Fellow and a graduate fellowship. Halawi will attend medical school upon completion of a yearlong National Institutes of Health fellowship.

Sean Hill (’03) was named a 2005 Bush Artist Fellow, which carries a $44,000 stipend to support his work in poetry.

Jani J. Maselli (’94), attorney and adjunct professor of legal analysis, research and communication at the UH Law Center, received the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ Alumni Humanitarian Award in honor of her work representing death-row inmates.

Carl S. Richie II (’89), city of Austin’s Housing Authority board member, received the Southwest Regional Council of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment’s Commissioner’s Service Award for outstanding leadership.


Edward Albee, Distinguished Professor of Theatre, received a special Tony Award for lifetime achievement in theater.

UH presented Staff Excellence Awards to Mary Brantley, Faculty Senate staff associate; Tung Manh Ho, journey locksmith in the Department of Residential Life and Housing; Anna “Cuc” Nguyen, head cashier in the College of Optometry’s University Eye Institute; Cecilio San Miguel, lead carpenter in the Department of Physical Plant; Floyd Robinson, Health Center director; and Rebecca Szwarc, administrative assistant in the Department of Residential Life and Housing.

Suncica Canic, professor of mathematics, received a 2005 Top Houston Women in Technology Award from the Association for Women in Computing for her career achievements.

Rebekah Connally, academic advising specialist in the Division of University Studies, received UH’s 2005 George Magner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising.

Nick Flynn, assistant professor of English, received the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir for his book “Another Bullshit Night in Suck City.”

The Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency awarded a grant, totaling more than $800,000, to three professors to study DNA probes for detecting emerging or engineered pathogens. Yuriy Fofanov, assistant professor of computer science and of biology and biochemistry and director of the UH Bioinformatics Lab, is the principal investigator.
Co-investigators are George Fox, professor of biology and biochemistry and adjunct professor of chemical engineering, and Richard C. Willson, professor of chemical engineering and professor of biology and biochemistry.

The Senegalese Agency for Telecommunications Regulations appointed Alex Freundlich, research professor of physics and a Texas Center for Advanced Materials project leader, to the International Scientific Council for Veille Telecom magazine. Freundlich also presented a speech, “Photovoltaics: An Answer to the Energy-Telecommunications Dilemma of Rural Africa,” at the Third Annual Conference of West African Telecom Regulators.

Rebecca Lee, assistant professor of health and human performance, received a $3 million five-year National Institutes of Health grant to study the effects of neighborhood environment and group support on physical activity among African-American and Hispanic women.

Simon C. Moss, M.D. Anderson Distinguished Professor of Physics, received the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society’s (TMS) 2007 William Hume-Rothery Award for his leadership and contributions to the science of alloys. Moss also was selected to organize and present a keynote address and paper at the 136th TMS Annual Meeting.

Haluk Ogmen, department chair and professor of electrical and computer engineering, was invited to serve as a member of the National Institutes of Health’s Central Visual Processing Study Section, Center for Scientific Review.

John David Powell, assistant to the chancellor/president for communication, won first place in the Houston Press Club’s Lone Star Award in the category of Internet opinion writing for the fifth year in a row.

Jerald W. Strickland, assistant vice chancellor for international studies and programs and director of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Reaffirmation of Accreditation at UH, received the Dean’s Award for Meritorious Service from the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry for his devotion and service to optometric education and the delivery of eye and vision care services to the citizens of Missouri and the region. The UH Faculty Senate also presented Strickland with a plaque honoring him for outstanding leadership.


The UH student chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) received high honors at the IEEE Region Five Conference. For the second consecutive year, the organization won all four awards for which it was eligible. Professor and adviser Ovidiu Crisan received the award for the Outstanding Student Branch Counselor of the Year. Professor David Jackson received the Outstanding Educator of the Year Award. Wahad Mehmood received the Outstanding Student Member of the Year Award. The student branch took home the award for Outstanding Large Student Branch of the Year.

Barbara Nishae Brooks, technology leadership and supervision student, and Irene Cooperstein Cole, math and computer science student, were awarded a $10,000 Kathi Bowles Scholarship from the Association for Women in Computing.

Computer science student Jonathan Dowdall has advanced to the Imagine Cup 2005 U.S. Software Design Invitational world semifinals in the visual gaming category with their Team ContAInment. Computer science students and team members Thomas Nguyen, Pavan Podila and Puneet Sarda also placed first regionally in the competition, which is sponsored by Microsoft.

Mechanical engineering student Sandy Geffert is one of 20 national recipients of the NASA Harriett G. Jenkins Predoctoral Fellowship Program.

In the 29th Semiannual Texas Center for Superconductivity at UH Student Symposium, Prashant Gijavanekar, materials engineering student, placed first; Hong-Yi Chen, physics student, placed second; and Hugo Sanabria and Xiangkun Yu, both physics students, tied for third place.

The Smithsonian Institution awarded history student Trinidad Gonzales a Latino Studies Fellowship.

The College of Pharmacy took first place again in the American Pharmacists Association National Patient Counseling Competition. Dana Hausmann won the contest.

History student Sonia Hernandez was named the Northeastern Consortium for Faculty Diversity Visiting Dissertation Scholar.

History student Jimmy Patino received the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Diversity Fellowship.


UHD inaugurated its Information Center located on the third floor of the One Main Building. The center provides information to visitors and students.

The National Science Foundation has granted $240,000 to the College of Sciences and Technology for a Quadrapole mass spectrometer or a mass thermal analyzer. The tool will greatly enhance student and faculty research in chemistry, geology and geosciences.

Administrators at Houston PREP, a UHD summer preparatory and enrichment program in engineering, mathematics, science and technology for middle and high school students, will make a presentation on the program’s success at the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships’ conference. The UHD Center for Computational Sciences and Advanced Distributed Simulation administers Houston PREP.

Jacek Turski, professor of mathematical science, was invited to attend the semester program Modern Methods of Time Frequency Analysis at The Erwin Schrodinger International Institute for Mathematical Physics in Vienna, Austria. The Journal of Fourier Analysis and Applications cited his article “Image Processing and Analysis for the Silicon Retina Sensors” as its second most viewed article. He made a presentation on the application of his research in human-like robotic visual systems at the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Conference on Mathematics for Industry.


Colin Fletcher (’05) was accepted into Rice University Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management’s master of business administration program for fall 2005.

Carmen Galvan (’04) and Melinda Harkness (’03) were admitted into Texas Tech University School of Medicine for fall 2005.

Jeeba Kuriakose (’05) and Larry Bellot (’04) have been accepted into the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston’s microbiology and immunology graduate program.

Naresha Perryurban (’05) published her first children’s book, “Zora’s Valentine,” during her final semester as a UHD student. She teaches resource language arts.

Vedangi Sample (’03) was accepted into The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Division of Clinical Pharmacology.


Joanne Pavletich, associate professor and director of composition, will begin her term as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Antananarivo in Madagascar in January 2006. Her research will focus on how the Malagasy view African-American culture. She also will teach and advise graduate students.

David Beck Ryden, assistant professor of history, was awarded a funded faculty leave to research a book on the British slave trade and the economic and political developments that occurred in the Caribbean sugar colonies.

Three members of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Department of English received the 2004-2005 UHD Faculty Awards: Nell Sullivan, associate professor, service award; Kathryn Laity, assistant professor, scholarly and professional activity award; Jane Creighton, associate professor, teaching award. Anisul Islam, professor of economics, was honored with the first Elias Deeba Award in recognition of receiving all three faculty awards.


BMC Software Inc. awarded to the College of Business 11 scholarships, four of which were named in honor of the late Bobby Bizzell, the business college’s former dean. Recipients of the Bizell scholarships are César A. Ramirez, international business student; Robert M. Snyder, finance student; Alexey Kurochkin, computer science and marketing student; and Vicki J. Zahan, finance student.

Business student Michele R. Wilson received a Beta Gamma Sigma scholarship for her academic performance.

UH-Clear Lake is one of 10 institutions to receive the Council of Graduate Schools/Sloan Professional Science Master’s Implementation Award to help support programs in the sciences and mathematics.

The E.A. Smith Family YMCA honored President William A. Staples for his commitment to the community. UH-Clear Lake signed an agreement with Universidad La Salle in Mexico City to develop study abroad, reciprocal student and faculty exchange programs.

The American Association of University Administrators (AAUA) presented its Exemplary Model Award to UH-Clear Lake’s Success Through Education Program. Glenn A. Goerke, professor of educational leadership and former president of UH-Clear Lake and UH, received AAUA’s Eileen Tosney Award.

Kevin McNamara, associate professor of literature, received a Fulbright Fellowship to spend the 2005-2006 academic year at Ege University in Izmir, Turkey. He is serving as a full professor in Ege University's Department of American Literature and Culture, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, advising students on their research and assisting with program development.


Barbara Eubank (’88) and Ruth Woodall (’88) received the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District’s Campus Teacher of the Year awards. Eubank, reading peer facilitator at William B. Travis Elementary, also received the $1,000 Amegy Bank/Baytown Sun Teaching Award. Woodall teaches at Alamo Elementary.

Robert T. Pennington (’01) was named the city of Palestine’s finance director.

Diane Sikkenga (’02) was accepted into the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program.


The Professional Baseball Strength and Conditioning Coaches Society named Gene Coleman, professor of fitness and human performance and Houston Astros strength and conditioning coach, the first recipient of its Nolan Ryan Award in honor of his accomplishments and integrity.

Dorothea Lerman, associate professor of psychology, received Behavior Analyst Certification Board approval for the Applied Behavior Analysis course sequence offered in the School of Human Sciences and Humanities. Lerman also received a $17,280 grant from Louisiana State University’s Department of Education for the Autism Early Childhood Training Project.

Bonnie Mackey, assistant professor of early childhood education, co-authored the book “Collaborating for Real Literacy: Librarian, Teacher and Principal.”

Lee Revere, assistant professor of decision sciences, and Ken Black, professor of decision sciences, received the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) 2005 Edgar C. Hayhow Award for their article “Integrating Six Sigma with Total Quality Management: A Case Example for Measuring Medication Errors.” The article appeared in ACHE’s Journal of Healthcare Management.

Randy Seevers, associate professor of special education, was an invited professor in Singapore as part of its Ministry of Education’s Training in Special Needs policy initiative. Simone Tiu was named executive director of the UHCL Office of Institutional Effectiveness. Tiu was the assistant director for institutional effectiveness at Texas A&M University.


The student chapter of the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) received Best Fund Raiser, Best Children’s Event/Community Service and the Elizabeth Breathwaite Mini-Grant awards. UH-Clear Lake’s ACEI President Marlene Morgan also won the Elizabeth Breathwaite Student Leadership Award.

Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation recognized the Office of Financial Aid as a pilot school for its Awards by Web program. Administrators signed a memorandum of understanding that will allow UHV students to earn college credit while studying in Mexico’s Universidad Internacional.

President Tim Hudson has been nominated to serve on the boards of directors of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, the Victoria Economic Development Corporation and Victoria’s DeTar Hospital.

Celena McGuill, Katy Mills’ marketing director; Susan Armstrong Cain, vice president of marketing and sales for Armstrong Warehouse and Transfer Inc.; and Jan Clarke Jacob, retired educator, were appointed to the President’s Advisory Council for three-year terms.

Letting Education Achieve Dreams (LEAD) staff members were selected to present at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s 21st Annual Recruitment and Retention Conference. Participants included Margaret Rice, Office of Student Development and Regional Outreach director; Rachel Trevino-Garcia, LEAD and Office of Career Services coordinator; Ersilia Garcia, LEAD education awareness coordinator; Kerry Mix, coordinator of LEAD ambassadors; and Patricia Martinez, LEAD ambassador.

UH-Victoria joined the Texas International Education Consortium, the largest group of Texas public universities focusing on international issues.

Jane Fry, associate professor of education, was named editor of the Texas Reading Report for 2005-06 by the board of directors of the Texas Reading Association, for which she also serves as secretary. Fry teaches pre-service and in-service teachers how to help their students enjoy reading.


Linda Light (’93) was chosen as Victoria Independent School District Teacher of the Year. She teaches at Juan Linn Math and Science Magnet School.

Karen Soehnge (’86, ’94) was named Houston Independent School District’s chief academic officer.


Cam Caldwell, assistant professor of business management, and alumna Linda Richards (’05) co-authored papers accepted for publication in a special edition of the Journal of Business Ethics. The papers’ titles are “Principal Theory and Principle Theory: Ethical Governance from the Followers’ Perspective” and “Ethics and the Auditing Culture: Rethinking the Foundation of Accounting and Auditing.”

Carole Parks, UHV Small Business Development Center (SBDC) director, was recognized for outstanding service as an inaugural member of the Counselor Certification Committee of the South- West Texas Border Region SBDC.

Rachel Trevino-Garcia, Office of Career Services and Letting Education Achieve Dreams coordinator, and Eunice Mesa, assistant in the Office of Career Services, attended the Houston- Area Consortium Career Centers retreat.


Business student Bridgett Bentley received the 2004 International Applied Business Research Conference’s Best Paper Award for “The Efficacy of Remedial Education Programs on Houston’s At-Risk Youth,” which was co-written by Gbolahan Solomon Osho, UH-Downtown lecturer. The Journal of College Teaching and Learning published the paper.


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