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UH System Success Stories NOVEMBER 2010 
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The Abramson Center for the Future of Health at UH received a $250,000 pre-seed grant from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund for Blue Scale, a system that assesses cardiac function in the home and alerts the user to the need for intervention. Upon reaching specific milestones with the project, the researchers will receive the remaining $750,000 of the $1 million grant. Dr. Cliff Dacso, professor in the College of Technology, is the executive director of the center.

The C. T. Bauer College of Business is featured in The Princeton Review’s 2011 edition of the book “The Best 300 Business Schools,” released recently.

UH is part of the collaboration that received a five-year, $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support the project “Understanding Malleable Cognitive Processes and Integrated Comprehensive Interventions for Grades 7-12.” David Francis, Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor, chair of the department of psychology and director of the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics; and Jack Fletcher, Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor in the department of psychology, are the principal investigators for the UH section of the grant.

UH, ABB Inc, SuperPower Inc. and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have received a $4.2 million grant from the DOE to develop a superconducting magnet energy storage system device that could revolutionize the nation’s electrical power grid.

Venkat Selvamanickam, M.D. Anderson Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Applied Research Hub of the Texas Center for Superconductivity at UH, will lead the university’s efforts.

William SherrillFor the second time in four years, the Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the C. T. Bauer College of Business has been ranked the best of its kind in the nation, landing at the top of The Princeton Review’s list of leading undergraduate entrepreneurship programs in the United States. The center is No. 1 on the list of the Top 25 Undergraduate Schools for Entrepreneurs. The program was ranked No. 1 in 2008 and No. 2 in 2007 and 2009. William Sherrill is the program’s founding director.


Elizabeth Warren (’70), Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard University, was named by President Barack Obama to serve as the special assistant to the president and special adviser to the secretary of the treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Sugar Land City Council member Jacqueline Baly Chaumette (’80) has been named an ABC/13 Woman of Distinction for its 2011 winter ball, benefiting the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America Houston Gulf Coast/South Texas Chapter.


Alice Cepeda, sociology professor and associate director of the Center for Drug and Social Policy Research in the Graduate College of Social Work, was presented with the National Award of Excellence in Research by a New Investigator from the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse. The award recognizes outstanding research and/or publication in the field of Hispanic drug abuse.

Vincent Donnelly and Demetre Economou, professors of chemical and biomolecular engineering, received a threeyear, $450,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop their nanopantography method of nanoscale fabrication.

Thomas Kubiszyn, chair and professor of the department of educational psychology, received the Texas Psychological Association 2010 Outstanding Contribution to Education Award.

Roberta Nutt, visiting professor of counseling psychology in the College of Education, was presented with the Texas Psychological Association 2010 Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award.

Michael Olivas, William B. Bates Distinguished Chair in Law and director of the UH Law Center’s Institute for Higher Education Law and Governance, has been elected president of the Association of American Law Schools for 2011.

Tyler Priest, business professor, has been appointed senior policy analyst by the National Oil Spill Commission. Priest will work with the panel as it considers how the federal government can better manage promoting offshore production, protecting the environment and collecting revenues from oil and gas output.

Venkat Selvamanickam, M.D. Anderson Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Applied Research Hub of the Texas Center for Superconductivity at UH, was named as one of the recipients of the 2010 R&D 100 Award. The awards are sponsored by Research and Development Magazine and recognize the “100 most technologically significant new products of 2010.”

Physics professor Arthur B. Weglein will receive the Reginald Fessenden Award from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. The award honors an individual who has made a specific technical contribution to exploration geophysics. It is one of the highest awards presented by the organization.


Emily Messa, assistant vice president of university services, was appointed to the city of Houston Clean City Commission. The commission’s mission is to educate and to build community partnerships and awareness of how people can be proactive in preserving Houston.


Erica Fletcher was named one of Glamour magazine’s Top 10 College Women of the Year. Fletcher, whose profile appears in the October edition of the magazine, was selected for her academic excellence, personal involvement in the community and her leadership experience.

The team of Stacey Brown, Aimee Langlinais, Alina Tkachova and Kate Turner took first place in a case competition at the National Association of Women MBAs national conference.

Taraka Ravi Shankar Mullapudi is the recipient of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Trent R. Dames and William W. Moore Fellowship.

Megan Planas is the recipient of the Society for Mexican American Engineers 2010 President’s Award. The award honors individuals for their extraordinary dedication and exemplary work on a specific project having far-reaching implications on the organization.


The Scholars Academy received a five-year, $450,000 federal grant from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The grant funds efforts to increase underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics who enter programs in the nuclear science arena. Principal investigator Mary Jo Parker is the director of the academy.

Jennifer AbramsAlumnus Jennifer Abrams received a three-year, $33,000 fellowship from the American Society for Microbiology to support pioneering research into the molecular causes of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s and Parkinson’s. She was one of only seven students to win the national award.


Charles McClelland (’98) was appointed as chief of the Houston Police Department.

John Wolf (’10) has won the Texas Student Teacher of the Year Award. Wolf is a science teacher in Carmichael Elementary School in Aldine Independent School District.


Robert C. Wilson, jazz-artist-in-resident, received the 2010 Kemah Boardwalk Jazz Achievement Award. He has played with such musical greats as Ray Charles, Judy Garland and Stevie Wonder.

Yvonne Kendall, associate professor and program annotator for Mercury Baroque, has her writings featured on Mercury’s website. Kendall’s work will also be used at a forthcoming concert to be performed at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Alma L. Lara, adjunct professor of urban education, is the recipient of Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s 2010 Hispanic Heritage Award.

Gail S. M. Evans, professor of business law, has assumed the role of chairwoman of the Board of Leadership Montgomery County for 2010-2011.

Viola Garcia, associate professor in urban education department, has been named a vice president for the Texas Association of School Boards.


Lea Campbell, director of assessment, was accepted into Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) summer fellowship program. ABET accredits postsecondary engineering and technology programs worldwide.


Lindsey White’s article on “Usability Testing Trends in Library Services” was printed in Intercom, the monthly magazine for the Society for Technical Communication.

Twelve students took part in the Civic Houston Internship Program of UH’s Hobby Center for Public Policy. Participants were Christina Mayes, Lizeth Guerra, Quinten Flores, James Morris, Frank Amakwe, Russell Morris and Stephanie Power. Other participants were Chris Simmons, Lee Ann Norell, John Chavez, Maria Pantoja and Marjorie Romero.

UHCL received unanimous approval for accreditation of its Master of Arts in behavior analysis program offered by the School of Human Sciences and Humanities.

Nine School of Education faculty and 10 doctoral students presented their research papers findings at the 91st annual American Educational Research Association conference. Faculty participants included Winona Burt, assistant professor of educational foundations; Carol Carman, assistant professor of educational foundations; Denise Chapman, assistant professor of special education; Caroline Crawford, associate professor of instructional technology; John Decman, associate professor of educational administration; Kent Divoll, instructor of teacher education; Denise McDonald, associate professor of curriculum and instruction and program coordinator of teacher education; Lillian McEnery, associate professor of literacy, language and library science; and Debora Ortloff, assistant professor of education. Doctoral students included Kevin Badgett, Dawn Coryat, doctoral graduates Tina Farrell, Valentina Blonski Hardin, Karen Hickman, Lance Lyles, Rhonda Parmer, Angela Pedrana, Angela Randall and Jessica Trice Sanchez.

M. Bazlur RashidM. Bazlur Rashid, assistant professor of molecular biology in the School of Science and Computer Engineering, received a $341,934 award from the National Institutes of Health for his proposal “New Human Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase-binding Proteins in Testis: Possible Role in Fertility.”


Alumni Elaine Parker Adams (’00) had her article “School Return Stimulating for Mature Student” published by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Lisa Camp (’83) is the recipient of the 2010 National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians Paramedic of the Year Award.

Steve Christopherson (’98, ’81) was appointed to the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. He is a counselor at San Jacinto Intermediate School.

Craig Cordola (’98) was promoted to CEO for Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, Houston.

Tripp Montalbo (’05) was named chief operations officer at Huntsville Memorial Hospital, Huntsville.

Lloyd Potter (’81) was named state demographer by Gov. Rick Perry.

Monica Stout (’10) has written and illustrated the children’s book “Mandy’s Heart.”


Sue Brown, program chair and associate professor of curriculum and instruction, received $40,701 in additional funding from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Teacher Quality Grants Program. Her total award for the “Mathematics Institute 2009-2011” proposal is $243,010.

James Dabney, program chair and associate professor of systems engineering, was awarded $30,000 by the National Science Foundation for the UH/UHCL collaborative proposal “Collaborative Research: Develop Innovative Labs-to-Go Kits for Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Engineering and Technology Education.”

George Guillen, associate professor of biology and environmental science and executive director of the Environmental Institute of Houston, received an additional $15,000 award from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for his proposal “Texas Diamondback Terrapin Project, Galveston County, Texas.”

Lory Santiago-Vazquez, assistant professor of biology and biotechnology, Andrew Yang, associate professor of computer science and computer information systems, and Carl Zhang, professor of environmental science, received $245,527 from the National Science Foundation for their proposal “MRI-R2: Acquisition of a Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry System for Interdisciplinary Research and Training.”


Christopher Mathey was awarded the National Excellence in Leadership Award and a National Society of Leadership and Success scholarship.

Bayousphere, UHCL’s student-produced art and literary magazine, was selected by the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) as one of 19 finalists in the 2010 Magazine Pacemaker competition. This is the highest honor available to ACP members.


The softball team was recognized as a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Scholar Team. For a team to be considered for the award, it must have a minimum 3.0 gradepoint average on a 4.0 scale.

Lawrence RossowTwo of the master’s-level counseling programs offered by the School of Education & Human Development received national accreditation for the first time after a rigorous two-year review. The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs accredited the Master of Education degrees in both community and school counseling. Lawrence Rossow is the school’s dean.


Kristen Lindley (’09) is the recipient of a $25,000 2011- 2012 Rotary Foundation Academic-Year Ambassadori Hong Kong and learn how to run environmentally friendly businesses.


Biology professor Siva Somasundaram was the recipient of a $17,000 “Designing Foods for Health” grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. His latest research is part of a larger, ongoing project to find better ways to prevent and treat breast cancer.

History professor Harold Smith and adjunct faculty member Judith McArthur co-wrote the book “Texas Through Women’s Eyes: The Twentieth-Century Experience.”

Ginger Blomstrom, a faculty member in the School of Nursing, was invited to serve on the Mental Health America of Fort Bend County board of directors. Her term will expire in 2018.

Jeffrey Di Leo, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, had the article “The Cult of the Book – and Why It Must End” published in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Suzanne LaBrecque, provost and vice president for academic affairs, was elected vice president and president-elect of the Texas Council of Chief Academic Officers.


Margaret Rice, chief of staff, was named Texas state cocoordinator for the American Council on Education Network of Women Leaders in Higher Education.

Selected as employees of the month for June, July and August, respectively were Vangie Kolesar, PeopleSoft training coordinator in the finance office, Ashlee Wassick, advising specialist for the School of Arts & Sciences, and Elizabeth Corte, senior administrative secretary in the information technology department.


Erica Henry received an award from the Texas Counseling Association after she wrote a grant for the organization’s Educational Endowment Fund. The award allowed her to attend her first American School Counselor Association conference.

Pravina Halim and Johndavid Compian were awarded R.M. Tintsman fellowships to help area United Way offices. Halim assisted the United Way of Baytown Area. Compian became the first student employed by Victoria County United Way under the fellowship.

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