Countdown to Commencement: UH Graduation Tip Sheet

About 6,550 students ranging in age from 18 to 66 will cross the stage during the University of Houston’s 2008 spring commencement ceremonies this week. A total of 4,575 students will receive bachelor’s degrees, while 1,157 will receive master’s degrees and 277 will earn doctorate degrees. Five hundred and forty-one students will receive special professional degrees. Included among the graduates is a College of Optometry major for whom the profession is a family tradition. His father and grandfather both have enjoyed successful careers as optometrists. Many other graduating students also have interesting stories, including:


At 22, Arman Jahangiri already has lived an American dream. Eleven years after fleeing Iran with his family in search of freedom and opportunity, Jahangiri will graduate from the University of Houston and head to medical school.

Jahangiri’s big dreams for the future have earned him national recognition. He is among 12 winners of the 2008 Merage Foundation American Dream Fellowship, a nationwide scholarship competition that recognizes the most exceptional immigrant students with the greatest potential to contribute to their new homeland.

Jahangiri, a senior biology major in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, will attend the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas this fall. His interest in medicine was sparked while growing up in Iran, where his mother practiced dentistry at a clinic for the poor. He spent time at the clinic every day after school, befriending the physicians and accompanying them as they attended to their patients.

“I saw how priceless the doctor-patient relationship is,” Jahangiri said. “You’re interacting with someone who really needs you.”

For the full story, see:
Contact: Susan Hammons, 713-743-2624 or 713-816-6779.


An impressive academic record, a full slate of extracurricular activities and a winning attitude resulted in accounting and management senior Jessica Fung’s selection as the Bauer College Outstanding Undergraduate for spring 2008.

In 2007, Fung was a member of a Bauer College team that participated in the Deloitte National Student Case Study Seminar, which invited only six teams nationwide to participate in the competition. She has also been an officer in Bauer Ambassadors and the Accounting Society, as well as a member of Beta Alpha Psi and the University’s Model Arab League.

She is a member of the Bauer Business Honors Program and received the Ted Bauer Student Service Award for 2006. In 2007, she was recognized with the Department of Accountancy and Taxation Leadership Excellence Award. Fung has also balanced her schoolwork with internships with PricewaterhouseCoopers, ConocoPhillips and Protiviti.

Although she completes her undergraduate studies this spring, Fung won’t be leaving Bauer College for very long. She will return in the fall to continue her work in the college’s Professional Program in Accounting, where she will pursue a master’s degree. For the full story, see: Contact: Jessica Robertson, 713-743-4348


Joseph (Jodi) Moss, 29, might be a few years older than most of the optometry graduates at the University of Houston College of Optometry, but he has a long family history with the profession. His father is an optometrist in Minden, La., where he grew up, and his 85-year-old grandfather is a retired optometrist. After graduating with an undergraduate degree in biology, Moss explored the world of professional golf for a few years before deciding that providing vision care was such a strong family calling and such an appealing career, he had to pursue it. In addition to celebrating graduation this weekend, he and his wife, a speech therapist, have even more reason to celebrate -- they just had their first child, a baby girl, on May 2.

Although Grandpa Moss won’t be able to attend the graduation, Joseph’s wife and father will be in attendance at the Saturday ceremonies. He and his wife plan to settle down in Monroe, La., where he will be joining a private general optometry practice. Contact: Linda Hinkle, 713-743-4358


At 66, Jane Eifler is the oldest graduate in the University of Houston’s class of 2008. Her passion for art helped fuel her recent academic adventures and was instrumental in earning a master of fine arts in painting. While Eifler certainly learned much from her time at UH’s School of Art, her fellow students no doubt learned quite a bit from her.

A former assistant editor for Vogue magazine and veteran art teacher, Eifler has plenty of stories to tell. Still, her most recent experience as a UH student has been one of the most rewarding. “This is one of the most wonderful experiences of my life,” she said. “I had access to so many interesting people and events, and the sense of community among faculty and students was very satisfying.”

As a painter, Eifler’s work has been shown in galleries around the state including the Dallas Center for Contemporary Art, Fort Worth’s William Campbell Contemporary Art and Houston’s Contemporary Art Museum. Her most recent paintings were shown at UH’s renowned Blaffer Gallery during the annual Master’s Thesis Exhibition. Although she completed her degree, Eifler will remain a part of the university. When she’s not painting, she will spread the word about the university and serve as an unofficial ambassador for its art program. “I think it’s an incredible program, and I am very proud to be a part of it,” she said.

Contact: Mike Emery, 713-743-8186

Below is a list of UH commencement ceremonies:


College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
9 a.m. Hofheinz Pavilion
Speakers: Students

Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management
10 a.m. Cullen Performance Hall
Speakers: JimMcIngvale, Gallery Furniture co-owner

UH Law Center
2 p.m. Hofheinz Pavilion
Speaker: William H. Neukom, American Bar Association president

Cullen College of Engineering
3 p.m. Cullen Performance Hall
Speaker: J. Odis Cobb, Cobb, Fendley & Associates Inc. co-founder

College of Technology
6 p.m. Hofheinz Pavilion
Speaker: Herbert I. Goodman, Sarmar Corp.

Bauer College of Business (graduate)
7 p.m. Cullen Performance Hall
Speaker: Fran Keeth, retired Shell Chemicals Inc. CEO

May 10

College of Education
9 a.m. Hofheinz Pavilion
Speaker: Lorenzo Garcia, El Paso Independent School District superintendent

College of Pharmacy
9 a.m. Cullen Performance Hall
Speaker: W. Benjamin Fry, Texas State Board of Pharmacy president

Bauer College of Business (undergraduate)
1 p.m. Hofheinz Pavilion
Speaker: Jack Moore, Cameron president and chief operating officer

Graduate College of Social Work
1 p.m. Cullen Performance Hall
Speaker: Vicki Hanson, National Association of Social Works, Houston executive director

Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture
2 p.m. Architecture Atrium
Speaker: Will Bruder, principal, Will Bruder Partners Ltd.

College of Optometry
5 p.m.Cullen Performance Hall
Speaker: Brien Holden, University of New South Wales Cienctia Professor

Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Commission
5 p.m. M.D. Anderson Library, Rockwell Pavilion
RSVP required.

May 11

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
2 p.m. Hofheinz Pavilion
Speaker: John Gibson, Paradigm CEO

About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.