From First-Day Nerves to Digital Overload, UH Has Back-to-School Ideas

As the bell rings in another school year, the University of Houston has you covered with back-to-school story ideas.

Back to School
The University of Houston is making experts available on a variety of topics ranging from first-day nerves to finding the best scholarships for students.
Back to school books

Parents, hide your tears

A new class, new teacher and new school can be stressful for children and parents. Teresa Edgar, an associate dean at the UH College of Education who specializes in early childhood education, offers tips for easing anxiety in both parents and children. Media Contact: Sara Tubbs at 713-743-4248 or

Make Reading Fun Again

Research shows the more children read, the more their vocabulary grows. “But that doesn’t mean reading has to be a chore,” says Margaret Hale, a reading expert and associate chair of the Curriculum and Instruction Department at the College of Education. Hale can share tips to help children enjoy reading as the school year kicks off. Media Contact: Sara Tubbs at 713-743-4248 or

Win the Homework Battle

Back-to-school means homework. Carrie Cutler, clinical assistant professor at the College of Education, can provide tips for surviving the homework struggle. As a mother of eight, she can speak personally about the issue; she also can share insights for school districts on the best approach to assigning homework. Media Contact: Sara Tubbs at 713-743-4248 or

Embark on a Dream

Universities in Texas and around the country are looking for strategies to help first-generation students succeed. Sara Jones, an assistant professor at the UH College of Education, can provide insight on the challenges first-generation students face and provide tips for success. Media Contact: Sara Tubbs at 713-743-4248 or

Digital Overload

We love our digital devices. A recent study by the College of Optometry found blue light emitted from those devices can ruin a good night’s sleep. Lisa Ostrin, assistant professor and study lead, can talk about knowing when your children need to dim or turn off the phone so they can get enough rest. Media contact: Chris Stipes at 713-743-8186 or 

Happy, Healthy New Year

A new school year may include transition issues, including a sense of belonging, time and stress management, alcohol, drugs and sex and other mental health issues. Patrick Lukingbeal, director of UH Wellness, works with students in all areas of wellness. Media Contact: Sara Tubbs at 713-743-4248 or

Cougars Move In to Residence Halls

UH welcomes 6,494 new and returning Coogs during the annual Cougar Move-In Thursday, Aug. 17- Saturday, Aug. 19 at all seven UH residence halls. This year, a record 770 Cougar Mover Volunteers will help make the moving process fun, smooth and safe by helping families unload their vehicles, transport luggage and boxes to their new homes and unpack their belongings. Media Contact: Sara Tubbs at 713-743-4248 or

New Culinary Experience

UH Dining is under new management and students can expect culinary, technological and sustainability-related changes at campus dining facilities including: 24/7 dining, mobile ordering, a farmers market, two customized grow towers, expanded halal options, allergen friendly station and more vegan and vegetarian options. The two main dining halls are converting to zero-waste-to-landfill operations. Media contact: Chris Stipes at 713-743-8186 or

Scholarship Hunt Strategy

Many students rely on scholarships to pay for their education, but what many applicants may not know is there are numerous organizations and donors outside the University – locally and nationally, who are offering financial support. Mardell Maxwell, executive director of UH Admissions, can explain not only how to find scholarship opportunities, but also what students need to do to distinguish themselves from other scholarship seekers. Media Contact: Sara Tubbs at 713-743-4248 or

Mastering Mindfulness

Your back-to-school to-do list may be complete, but is your mind ready? Bradley Carpenter, associate professor in the College of Education, can share advice for parents, children and educators for practicing mindfulness to reduce stress and set intentions. A former school principal, Carpenter teaches the approach in his courses for aspiring school leaders. Media Contact: Sara Tubbs at 713-743-4248 or