Welcome to the
Powerhouse

The University of Houston is a powerhouse of innovation. UH has grown to service the city of Houston and beyond through our extensive educational offerings, partnerships with local businesses and contributions to the community. Explore more below about how our students, faculty and alumni are cultivating the future.

Arts

UH Arts provide students the fuel to awaken the imagination and contribute real art to the real world. Read about how students use their experiences and thoughts to ignite the imagination.

Health

UH Health is dedicated to preparing students for high quality careers in healthcare. Find out more about how UH is positioned to impact research and education globally.

Energy

UH Energy performs innovative research to address the emerging needs of the upstream and midstream petroleum sector. Read more about how UH energy fuels the industry.

Athletics

UH Athletics is driving sportsmanship to new levels by preparing student-athletes to be champions for life. Read more about how student-athletes are achieving success in academics and athletics.

Research

UH fuels innovation through groundbreaking research. Learn more about how UH faculty and students push beyond known limits to find creative solutions to the world’s most challenging problems.

Students

UH students have access to comprehensive higher education programs and countless resources providing the tools for success. Read more about how students are thriving at the University of Houston.

Faculty

UH faculty members drive our students and university to greater heights each year. They are National Academy members, Nobel Prize winners, accomplished researchers, and distinguished scholars. Learn more about how faculty strengthens their reputation.

Alumni

UH alumni bolster the economy in Houston and beyond. Read more about the leaders and their innovations that are successfully impacting and improving their industries.

Viewing Leadership

Christopher Lopez

The University of Houston inspires vision and drive for health leadership. One of only 23 optometry schools nationwide, we stand among an elite group. Now, one student has brought an even higher honor to the program. Christopher Lopez was selected as Vice President of the American Optometric Student Association for the 2016-17 academic year. Committed to the highest standards of clinical care, education and research, Lopez will serve as only a handful of national liaisons to represent the thousands of students across the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada who are energizing the healthcare field.

Science In Action

A student tinkering with an electronic component

The trick to education is to make it seem like fun. That’s what UH Professor Aaron Becker did. He used his research and development in robotics as a way to encourage students to study the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. He displays robots he’s constructed as a means to engage and interest others while simultaneously spurring their growth and knowledge. His efforts have caught the eyes of Congress. He spoke, at the invitation of the National Science Foundation, in front of legislators about the importance and need for STEM subjects in schools. That’s science in action.

A Healthier Life

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UH Health leads the charge in elevating the baseline of education and standards of practice for the field. With nearly one quarter of our degrees serving the healthcare industry, UH is performing its due diligence to serve the community. Our partnership with the largest and most influential medical center in the world exponentially magnifies the importance of why we turn such notice to this field. When the world is looking to Houston for answers, the University of Houston works in partnership with our nearby neighbors to deliver them. Every day, we're turning education into action.

The Sister Act

Saturn and its rings

Helen Nerio is one part of a powerhouse sister act. Following in her family’s footsteps, she decided to attend UH’s School of Art, citing the competitive Graphic Design program as a major factor. As a Graphic Design Student Association member as well as a resident advisor, Nerio found a place to incubate her artistic talent while helping others around her. Upon graduation, she looks forward to exploring the Houston art scene and job potential. Three UH sisters who chose three different pathways in their education all point toward one answer – UH is the place to develop passion into a career.

Out Of This World

Saturn and its rings

Astronomy expert Liming Li, assistant professor of physics, has a passion for investigating planetary science. It has spurred him to look into the cosmos to retrieve more information about planetary weather from far and away planets. How far has his curiosity taken him? It’s taken him to Saturn. He and his team study a satellite that orbits the planet, and he uses that data to compare and contrast earth’s weather patterns. What happens in our solar system is not a rare occurrence – with Dr. Li’s research, we are gaining a better understanding of our planet.

Terry Scholars

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The University of Houston’s collaboration with the Terry Foundation provides opportunities for students to enrich their education and make a difference in the world. Adaobi Ovuegbe embodies all the qualities of Terry scholarship recipients. Driven by a passion for serving those around her, she has used the support to invest in her education as a health major. She served in the UH Wellness department and works in the community to promote overall well-being and healthy living. By doing so, she joins a family of other Cougars who utilize their academic success and personal development to give back to others.

Setting The Bar

A Student studies at a desk

UH Law Center students outperformed their colleagues during this spring’s bar exam. They earned the highest passing rate – 83 percent – outranking the other eight law schools in the state. Receiving the best and the brightest recognition is no strange feat considering where they earned their degree. The UH Law Center established the first part-time law program in Texas, runs the third oldest Intellectual Property Law program in the nation, and ranks number eight in the country by U.S. News & World Report for Health Law. For these 25 new lawyers, they join a storied tradition.

World Wide Affair

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We welcome students from across the world to further their education. We educate people from such an assortment of countries that we rank as the nation’s second most diverse major university. A perfect example of our international presence is Gabby Peraza. Born in Venezuela, she moved to Houston and decided to attend UH. While here, she found a passion in broadcast journalism, which she has used to help tell her story as well as the story of those around her. She says, “Everyone has a place here. No matter what walk of life you come from, you fit into UH.”

Powering Forward

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We’re fueling energy research while training a new generation of leaders to power the industry forward. We’re leveraging partnerships with business powerhouses, performing groundbreaking research and development, and maximizing our students’ capabilities to new horizons. At UH, we’re taking energy to whole new levels, and we’re blazing the path for the future of innovation.

Crafting Legends

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Throughout the years, UH Arts faculty have included decorated professors, Tony Award winners and Pulitzer Prize recipients. They have mastered their craft and instilled their knowledge and experience into students. Now, those students have cultivated their skills to influence the culture of tomorrow. Students earn recognition both nationally and abroad in the performing arts. They apply arts programs in community wellness initiatives, and they collect honors for transforming art into livable, useful spaces. UH Arts is honing the talents of artistic legends in the making.

Medicine In Action

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From UH’s proximity to the world’s largest medical complex to our innovative outreach programs in the community, we’re equipping students with the skills and experience to succeed in a healthcare career. Our unique collaborations that allow students to partake in working-world settings motivated biology major Sriharsha Kambala to attend UH. His studies took him beyond the borders of the classroom and directly into the field. From shadowing physicians in the esteemed Texas Medical Center to participating in international medical mission trips, Kambala is fueling his ambition to create a difference in others’ health.

Going Green

A Prairie Field

Cougars push beyond current convention to preserve natural resources. UH’s far-reaching sustainability research and programs demonstrate our commitment to supporting ecofriendly activities and academic initiatives. Our Texas Center for Superconductivity developed a thermo-electric material that more efficiently generates electric power from waste heat. The UH Coastal Center (pictured) is working to preserve native coastal prairie. Our campus features elements like single-stream recycling, alternative transportation, green computing and solar panels. These examples highlight only a few university programs which earned UH the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s Gold status – Texas’ only institution to receive the recognition.

Strong Security

Larry Shi

When it comes to data breaches, it’s not a question of if, but when. Assistant professor of computer science Larry Shi is working to mitigate this universal problem. With big data usually requiring huge amounts of computation and storage resources, the cloud becomes the natural choice for those tasks. Cloud infrastructure, however, comes with inherent security and privacy concerns. Thanks to a nearly $370 million award from NATO, Shi’s team and associates from Korea University are developing the tools to battle these cloud-based challenges and safeguarded data. It’s just another way UH is improving business and community.

A Thriving Culture

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UH Cougars balance a life of academics with a life of athletics. They grow their minds while they grow their bodies. They train with focus, intent and purpose – always keeping their goal of success as mission critical. Whether they’re gaining knowledge about today’s most important academic concepts or gaining speed and accuracy in their sport, student-athletes always demonstrate the tenacity to achieve above and beyond expectations. They push past known borders to discover new horizons. They invent new moves and new plays while inventing the workforce of tomorrow. We’re building a culture of champions.

Unlocking Mysteries

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Researchers at UH have developed technology to see the nearly un-seeable. Through UH’s National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping, we’ve used planes loaded with equipment producing thousands of laser pulses per second – a technology called Light Detection and Ranging, or LiDAR – to produce richly detailed, three-dimensional topographical maps of geographically remote areas. NCALM has found a previously unknown ancient settlement in Central America, measured the impact of a warming climate in Antarctica and monitored the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill’s lingering impact. We’re creating the technologies that advance our future.

The Academy Award

Teacher writing on a chalk board

Students at UH often lead highly successful lives in the working world. A notable catalyst for their accomplishments is the university’s esteemed faculty. Recently, UH welcomed chemist Maurice Brookhart to its team. As a member of the National Academy of Sciences, he joins an elite group recognized for their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research as well as outstanding commitment to service. He also raises the cumulative number of UH Academy members to 14, which adds to the generous number of Tony Award Winners, Nobel Prize holders and academic record breakers who daily enhance our students’ capabilities.

United As One

A soldier in fatigues

UH drives Houston spirit by investing in the community through partnerships. Our recent alliance with Diageo, a leading beverage company, is empowering underemployed and unemployed veterans by using Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management faculty to help teach and develop job and life skills. The classes occur quarterly and sharpen our hometown heroes’ abilities so they may discover new career opportunities in restaurant, banquet and beverage services. With such a reliance on our community to support us in our efforts, we are proud to provide unique and important ways to return the favor.

The House UH Built

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UH and Direct Energy challenged students to address issues surrounding affordable housing and energy by innovating creative solutions. The competition offered participants hands-on experience by tasking them to design an 800-square-foot, two-bedroom house requiring less than $80,000 to build and accumulating less than $25 in monthly utility expenses. The winning designs will be constructed in Houston’s Third Ward. Popular answers included using solar panels and recycled rainwater to keep homes eco-friendly while also surmounting the challenge of keeping costs low. With the everyday concerns of affordable living, UH equips tomorrow’s leaders to handle even the toughest of situations.

Begging For Moores

An opera singer on stage in full costume

UH Arts provides the stage to turn fantasy into artistic expression, especially with the Moores Opera Center. Performers honed their skills to present several Houston and regional premieres throughout the years, and their work has drawn accolades from across the country. With 30 years of experience, the program triumphed with a five-year winning streak of honors from the National Opera Association. On the heels of that recognition, the Houston Press celebrated the program with a MasterMind Award for their edgy, groundbreaking productions. Our students and faculty are creating the scene where creative outlets are nurtured to their utmost levels.

Electric Avenue

Elizabeth Killinger

UH Cougars can be found anywhere from the classroom to the boardroom. One particular power player to keep an eye on is Elizabeth Killinger, President of NRG Retail and Reliant. This Bauer College of Business graduate spent the previous 25 years in the energy and services industries, both domestic and abroad. Now she has responsibility for all aspects of the $5 billion division of NRG that serves nearly 3 million customers. In what she calls the “Era of Personal Power,” Killinger is leading the company consumers can count on for power at home, work and on-the-go.

Healthy Initiative

A photo of Batoul Abuharb

Working as the single doctor who cares for multiple patients every hour can guarantee backbreaking duties. Until Batoul Abuharb took charge, that is. After witnessing the shortfalls of health options in her native country, the UH College of Optometry student decided to take a stand for better practices. She helped create Dunia Health, a text message service that eases the doctor-patient interaction and elevates the baseline of healthcare. Today, it aids more than 1 million people in the Middle East, and the United Nations is working to expand the company’s offerings even further.

Capitol Cougars

A photo of cherry tress in Washington D.C.

Students at the University of Houston hold the power to make a difference both near and far. This semester, 10 UH students are headed to Washington D.C. as part of the Hobby Center for Public Policy’s Leland Fellows program. Once there, they will continue working on their academic studies while also taking part in the day-to-day efforts in the capitol to affect change. Holding positions in the offices of Texas congressmen and women, these Cougars are leveraging their education and opportunities at UH to advance people’s well being on a national scale.

Medical Majesty

A stethoscope

UH Professor Lisette Barton lives the best of both worlds. She improves her patients’ health with her nursing abilities, and she also teaches students who will grow to fulfill the next generation’s health care practitioner demands. Her experience and talent landed her among the Top 25 Outstanding Nurses, hosted by the Texas Nurses Association, District 9. With nearly one quarter of all UH degrees directly tying into the healthcare industry, Barton plays her part in a thriving university that is contributing to the collective health of our community.

Peach Bowl Champs

A football player lifting a trophy

When competing for greatness, Cougars know few limits. For the first time in more than 30 years, UH advanced to one of the largest arenas for college athletics, the Peach Bowl, to defeat a top 10 AP team in a display of might and determination. The team ended their 2015 season on a grand stage by defeating Florida State University 38-24 to clench the coveted trophy. Quarterback Greg Ward Jr. earned the offensive MVP title, and head coach Tom Herman shaped UH history by bringing national attention to our powerhouse football team and to the city of Houston.

A Drive To Excel

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The resolve of Cougars knows no boundaries. The confidence and drive to excel in all we do is what strengthened the UH Football team to reach the ultimate benchmark: the American Athletic Conference championship. Led by Head Coach Tom Herman, the fifth coach in NCAA history to win the first 10 games of his career, UH’s football team rose through the ranks to achieve an unforgettable season, which earned them a spot in this year’s Peach Bowl. Tune in on December 31 to see Houston take on Florida State University.

Precious Cargo

Cargo on a ship

UH’s newest research center draws national expertise to focus on the most sensitive issues of the day. The Center of Excellence on Borders, Trade and Immigration Research will provide a national think tank that will address the complex issues faced both in the U.S. and globally regarding policy and technology. It will explore cutting-edge methods like facial recognition and other biometric technologies, securing cargo imports and exports, and protection protocols. With the Port of Houston ranked 1st in U.S. imports, 1st in U.S. export tonnage, and 2nd in the U.S. in total tonnage, this center works toward real industry solutions.

Education Is Key

A photo of Karen Nerio

Karen Nerio knows that education is key. As a young girl, she tutored her younger siblings. Now, she leveraged that same passion for helping others in her endeavors as a College of Education student. She already has started working in the local school districts and has built a portfolio of experience that will help her transition into a full-time job upon graduation. As a teacher, she plans to make an impact in other people’s lives, just like she did with her sisters, by helping them understand that education brings power.

The Write Work

A person typing into a computer

Innovation demonstrates itself in unique ways, and UH rewards creative thought. To fuel students’ creative output, UH created an award that recognizes outstanding works of prose and poetry. This year, UH will present the first Provost’s Prize for Creative Writing. The award recognizes two student writers with a cash prize of $2,500. This prize complements the growth of UH’s undergraduate creative writing initiatives. So far, our students have created the national journal Glass Mountain, created an annual Write-a-Thon and host the annual Boldface Conference. Now, we’re powering the future for creative writing.

Building A Future

Susan Rogers at her design desk

Learning about architecture takes place in a classroom. It can also take place in the community. UH professor Susan Rogers takes her students into the community to meet residents and discover firsthand how to make a difference in the city. She immersed her students in the surrounding area so that they could intimately understand the most important needs of Houstonians’ day-to-day life. Her efforts to acclimate students into real world scenarios haven’t gone unnoticed. She is the recipient of the AIA Houston’s Educator of the Year award — the third time in a row a UH professor has earned this distinguishment.

Winning Big

A basketball going through a hoop

This week, the Cougars return with purpose and persistence to the basketball court after wrapping up last season’s successes. Under the lead of head men’s coach Kelvin Sampson and head women’s coach Ronald Hughey, they accomplished great feats. They earned a 70-68 victory against defending national champion UConn in Hofhein Pavilion and set single-season statistical highs. They showcased their abilities elsewhere, too. Student-athletes last year received a spot on the American Athletic Conference All-academic Team, volunteered time with nonprofits, and one student earned a master’s degree. Join us this week to see the student-athletes who refuse to stop achieving.

Drilling Deeper

A sea turtle swimming in the ocean

UH drives research and development while fostering leadership and technology incubation. Creating new methods for companies to prosper while preserving workplace safety and the environment is our full-time job. Energy companies continue expanding into deeper waters for oil mining. Exploration into the unknown typically brings hurdles, but this is not a bad thing. It forces us to rethink current technology and invent new ways to solve old problems – and we’re the experts. UH tackled this challenge by helming a national research center to address subsea engineering and other offshore development issues. UH plays a key role in influencing energy's future.

Extreme Habitats

A rendering of a person working inside of a space ship.
The rendering is courtesy of Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA), Cullen College of Engineering.

Understanding the complexities of working in outer space is difficult, unless you’re a Cougar. UH's Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) is changing what once was considered science fiction into an everyday reality. Offering the world's only Master of Science in Space Architecture, SICSA transforms thoughts and ideas about space exploration into possibility. Through strategic partnerships with Houston's local space entrepreneurs like NASA, the Houston Airport System/Ellington Spaceport and Boeing, the program affords students opportunities to flex their ingenuity in real time. Through SICSA, we are addressing the challenges faced with extreme environments, including habitability, conservation, and safety.

Hollywood Calling

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The University of Houston’s reputation as a powerhouse of knowledge spans nationwide. We not only play a pivotal role in shaping energy and health, we also influence other industries as varied as Hollywood. Steven Spielberg’s recent thriller, “Bridge of Spies,” might not be the film it is without the expert knowledge of UH Professor Mark Young. As head of the Massad Family Research Center and Hospitality Industry Archives, Young was sought out by Spielberg’s team to provide historical information regarding Berlin’s service industry during the Cold-War era. The nation views UH as a place for answers, and we deliver.

Phi Beta Kappa

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University of Houston’s dedication to students earned the nod of approval from an elite group. The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honor society widely heralded as the gold standard of academic success, has invited us to house a local chapter. This event ushers UH into a rare collection of fewer than 300 colleges across the nation operating a chapter. The vetting process, including thousands of pages of documentation, six years of undergoing evaluation, and a 100-person task force, was a small price considering that it highlights our ongoing record of student and institutional achievement.

Art Vs. Status Quo

Project Row Houses

UH challenges the status quo each day by employing artistic programming as a tool to influence and bond the community. Recently, our Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts and Project Row Houses joined forces to present “Performing the Neighborhood.” Starting in 2016, this five-year partnership will showcase nationally acclaimed writers, musicians, performers, choreographers and other artistic types who will deliver performance-based works that explore Houston’s historic Third Ward and its relationship with our campus and city. Strengthening the connection within our area through creative expression is just another element of our everyday work.

Google’s Challenge

A group of business students who participated in the Google Online Marketing Challenge.

UH students repeatedly exemplify our legacy of success. A team from the C. T. Bauer College of Business scored a third-place finish in this year’s Google Online Marketing Challenge. This accomplishment adds to the school’s track record of earning a top-three placement — if not winning — almost every year of participation. That’s no easy task. The competition has fielded more than 100,000 students and professors from nearly 100 countries since it’s founding in 2008 and charges students to apply marketing strategy on the web. The judges consistently agree with us — our students are among the best.

Skin Cancer App

A doctor uses a smart phone application and specialized camera lens to screen a patient for skin cancer.

UH leads the charge in updating health practices. Professor George Zouridakis simplified a method to detect melanoma skin cancer by creating a smart phone application that quickly and inexpensively screens for this threat. The app, named DermoScreen, uses a smart phone and a specialized magnifying lens attachment to examine the composition and structure of moles and skin lesions for warning signs. Early testing showed an 85 percent accuracy rate, which rivals the accuracy rate for dermatologists. DermoScreen joins the litany of other smartphone apps being developed at UH that are upgrading people’s access to healthcare.

Numbers Don't Lie

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University of Houston has surpassed the benchmark of achievement yet again. We enlisted a record-breaking number of students for the 2015-16 school year, marking the largest enrollment count in campus history.

Students choose us for many reasons. They benefit from award-winning faculty, opportunities to connect with industry trailblazers, our pioneering approach toward educating and equipping tomorrow’s leaders and bustling student life experiences.

For us, though, the goal boils down to a single point: Be a powerhouse of innovation. According to the numbers, we hit the bull’s-eye. More than 42,500 people this school year chose UH for advancing their education.

Catching Sunlight

A man runs through a field as the sun is setting

Our work powers the future. A long-standing interest in reducing the human impact on Earth’s natural resources underscores the need to cultivate renewable energy technology. UH researchers are already working to implement new methods of capturing energy, including streamlining the method to harness sunlight. Professor Venkat Selvamanickam is using a $1.5 million federal solar energy award to develop a high efficiency, low cost solar cell that surpasses traditional electricity sources. His goal is to reduce the cost of solar electricity down to a few pennies per watt. With work like this, University of Houston is redefining the expertise of tomorrow.

No, not one. Two.

University of Houston football players rush onto the field

University of Houston student-athletes’ hard work produces widespread recognition as they best their competition on a national scale. Cornerback William Jackson and long snapper Nolan Frese were recently named 2015 Preseason All-Americans — meaning football’s chief analyst values the pair amongst the country’s best players in their respective positions. Featuring two All-American athletes on the same team concurrently is a rare feat for some universities, but that’s not the case here. Transforming determination and skill into noteworthy achievement occurs daily at UH.

Join the crowd at TDECU Stadium for the season’s first game when UH challenges Tennessee Tech on Sept. 5.

One Step At A Time

A photo depicting a child wearing a mock version of a pediatric exoskeleton.

We provide people the tools to move forward.

UH engineer Jose Luis Contreras-Vidal developed algorithms that allow a specialized cap to translate electrical brain activity into movement for adult-sized robotic exoskeletons. Now, he is using this technology to benefit children for a brighter future.

Children with spinal cord injuries face higher risks for skeletal deformities caused by still-growing bones in an immobile body. Further, no pediatric exoskeletons exist that allow children to walk independently. Cue Contreras-Vidal. By working on a customized pediatric exoskeleton designed to grow as the child grows, he is addressing the problem and helping children walk again.

Premier Programs

A student is using her laptop

UH aims to accomplish the highest mark of success in all we do — including our online curricula. With an increasing number of school districts requiring teachers to earn a master’s degree, UH addressed the demand by establishing a strong, flexible and successful online program. Now, our graduates are leveraging their premier experience to shape the next generation of leaders, influencers and achievers. The results speak volumes. U.S. News & World Report recently named our College of Education’s online graduate program as the nation’s best.

Leading The Way

A portrait of the new student regent - Garrett Hughey.

Cougars take initiative to cultivate their own path. A prime example, third year law scholar Garrett Hughey will serve as the upcoming academic year's Student Regent. Hand-selected by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for this role, he'll work in tandem with the governing board of the UH System to best represent the students' needs while also supplementing the university as it excels to new heights. Hughey joins the tradition of the previous nine student regents as well as the plethora of CEOs, judges, lawyers, teachers, social workers, and engineers who graduated from UH and continue making an impact in their community.

World Champions

Music pages

University of Houston students continue a proud tradition of triumph both nationally as well as abroad. The Moores School Concert Chorale recently earned praise during the Grand Prix of Nations, an international music competition held in Magdeburg, Germany. Led by accomplished professor Betsy Cook Weber, the chorale secured the World Championship in the Youth Choir category and also clenched gold awards in pop, jazz and folk categories. This feat adds to the growing list of awards bestowed to the chorale. Their other international achievements include receiving acclaim at prestigious competitions in Wales and in France.

Fueling Houston

A car's gas tank is being refilled.

UH alumni fuel Houston’s entrepreneurial spirit. Wisam Nahhas and Nour Baki, Bauer College of Business graduates, constructed a business plan to form an on-demand gas delivery service named FuelMe LLC. Using a patent-pending GPS-locating app, customers can request FuelMe to fill their car’s gas tank while they are working, in class, or even running errands. The results are prosperous. The company earned $50,000 in revenue through two trial tests last year and projects earnings of $2 million over the next 12 months. This is another example of Cougars transforming their University of Houston experience into a successful business venture.

The Power of Arts

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Katey Tidwell illustrates how the arts transcend limitations to spark change. As a 2013 University of Houston graduate who studied dance and communication disorders, she applies her skills and experiences with The River Performing and Visual Arts Center. This program offers an arts education to children with disabilities where they learn dancing, singing, sketching and a myriad of other creative disciplines. Through these classes, she helps to cultivate her students’ imaginative expressiveness, which in turn helps to advance their overall health and wellness. Tidwell’s work demonstrates how UH’s programs extend beyond the university’s borders to impact our surrounding community.

Just Add Water

A close-up shot of a water bottle.

Our research at University of Houston positively impacts universal health. Access to uncontaminated drinking water is problematic for much of the developing world. In these regions, clean water is either hard to come by or a commodity requiring laborious work or significant currency to obtain. UH civil engineering Assistant Professor Debora Rodrigues forged a tool to combat this issue. She developed a nanocomposite coating used for water purification. The technology helps remove heavy metals, radioactive materials and microorganisms. If implemented on a large scale, her discovery can improve health conditions both near as well as halfway across the globe.

Prizeworthy Plans

Sprinklers water a field of crops.

UH educates the next generation of energy pioneers. A four-member team of energy, business and law students recently placed first at the Texas Energy Innovation Challenge. During the competition, they were tasked with developing a creative, cost-effective use for the millions of gallons of contaminated water produced from hydraulic fracturing. Their proposal involved establishing a closed loop system capable of cleaning and recovering about 70 percent of the water, which could in turn by used for agriculture. Additionally, their plan costs less than current treatment methods. UH is already a leader in energy research. Our students are its future.

In Plain Sight

A student undergoes an eye exam.

Nearsightedness affects almost 30 percent of the U.S. population. UH is working to diminish that statistic. Our College of Optometry is one of only 21 optometry programs in the country, so when the National Institutes of Health (NIH) screens organizations to facilitate vision research, they look to us. Funded by nearly $7.5 million in NIH grant money, UH partnered with The Ohio State University to investigate bifocal contact lenses’ impact on slowing the progression of nearsightedness in children. If the lenses show positive results, the information learned will aid in optimizing lens designs to slow eye growth and delay nearsightedness.

Put A Cork In It

A photo of several wine corks.

A glass of fine wine is enjoyable; a spoiled glass of wine, however, is unforgettable. Chemicals from contaminated corks can taint the vino and tarnish its flavor. Research indicates tainted corks ruin nearly four out of 10 bottles of wine, resulting in global losses of more than $10 billion annually. A research team from UH’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management found an innovative way to combat this problem: sterilization. Using E-beam irradiation, high-energy electrons destroy pathogenic microorganisms, mold and spoilage bacteria, providing a safe way to treat the corks and preserve the beverage.

Writing History

A photo of the many books that are part of the

Hispanic literature’s past, present and future meld at UH’s Arte Publico Press. Constructed to preserve and encourage Latino writers, Arte Publico Press holds the distinction of serving as the oldest and largest Hispanic publisher in the country, and we stand at the forefront of archiving this heritage. The “Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project” encompasses an international endeavor to locate, record and disseminate Hispanic fiction, poetry, diaries and other writings from as far back as the U.S. colonial times. Through this project, the preserved works are being integrated into textbooks and curriculum from kindergarten to high school and college.

Scoring High

A student-athlete is studying for her classes.

UH Athletics is dedicated to victory in every sense of the word. Behind Cougar players and coaches is another team geared toward high scores — the Department of Student-Athlete Development. This group, comprised of academic counselors, tutors and other support staff, helps players balance their demanding sports schedules while also offering resources to bolster academic performance, professional development and leadership tools. The program’s results speak volumes. We host 88 student-athletes on UH’s latest Dean’s List, and our most recent student-athlete graduates have achieved gainful employment in areas like accounting, broadcasting, energy, health and entrepreneurship.

Taking A Stand

A student in a wheel chair plays rugby.

Political Science major Serjio Brereda faced a life-changing event when he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disorder that paralyzed him for several years. Delivered a prognosis of likely never walking again, he surmounted the challenge. He not only fought his way back to mobility through rigorous physical therapy; he co-founded UH’s Adaptive Athletics, an organization that offers athletic programs for students with disabilities. The group was celebrated as UH’s Undergraduate Student Organization of the Year in 2014. This summer, Brereda is traveling the country with Journey of Hope — a group that raises awareness and funds for people with disabilities.

Twice As Nice

A portrait of Mable Wan.

Earning one degree is good. Earning two is even better. Awarded a four-year scholarship, Mable Wan chose to attend UH’s Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship. When she finished within 3 years, she decided to apply the remainder of her scholarship toward a second major from the Electrical Engineering program. Her aspiration is to open a business specialized in developing robots to improve people’s quality of life by handling everyday tasks in the home or workplace. With degrees from two of UH’s most prominent programs, Wan is making bold strides toward turning her ideas into commonplace technology.

A Closer Look

A hand holding a phone displays a close-up shot of hair follicles.

Smartphones are versatile tools. They make telephone calls, provide driving directions and play music, among several other capabilities. Now, a University of Houston research team has developed a utensil to boost their usefulness. They fashioned an optical lens costing only three cents per unit and capable of amplifying images by a magnitude of 120, which rivals research quality microscopes. Given the availability of inexpensive smartphones and the lens’ low price, this product can yield inexpensive yet significant advancements in healthcare by allowing isolated clinics to share medical photography with specialists located hundreds of miles away.

Glamour Girl

A photo of Vanessa Alejandro standing in front of one of UH's iconic buildings.

Reaching top 10 isn’t easy, but Geology major Vanessa Alejandro achieved it by fervently following her passion. Glamour magazine named her one of the country’s “Top 10 College Women” based on her academic success, research initiatives and community-based projects. Alejandro co-founded Warriors of the Wild, a student-led venture that sends volunteers into local schools to perform entertaining skits and demonstrations that teach lessons about biodiversity and conservation. She’s also working with UH students and faculty to develop plans for an “Exploratorium,” an educational play zone proposed for location on campus to serve as a science-themed learning environment for Houston-area youths.

The Energy Experts

A portrait of Dr. Krishnamoorti.

When performing industry-defining work, it’s not uncommon to attract attention from others. In our case, UH piqued the interest of the United States Congress for the innovative workforce training programs we’re implementing to propel the energy sector. Acting Vice President and Vice Chancellor for Research and Technology Transfer Ramanan Krishnamoorti was recently invited to speak before select members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. They were particularly interested to learn about our success in addressing the demand for skilled energy workers as well as how other schools and businesses might use the UH model to achieve similar results.

A Scholarly Idea

A portrait of Alyna Fehmer.

To accept a scholarship is one thing; to create one, another. Just ask Bauer Business Honors program student Alyna Fehmer. A finance major and mother of one, she knew graduating UH demanded a diligent balance between her family obligations, her income and her studies. She understood many fellow students facing monetary adversity would benefit from scholarships, just like she did, to aid them in earning a degree and investing in the future. This thought inspired her to take action by co-founding a student-led, student-funded award — the Bauer Honors Student Advisory Board Scholarship.

Brain Power

A mechanical hand grips a water bottle.

UH researchers have developed a method to restore functionality to hand amputees through an inventive combination of electrical and computer engineering. They created an algorithm that, partnered with a special headpiece, allowed a person to operate a prosthetic hand powered solely by his thoughts. This non-invasive method employs a cap equipped with electrodes to harness ones brain waves and to translate those thoughts into the limb’s physical movement. The removable cap diminishes the inherent risks of current medical technologies, which involve surgically implanting electrodes within the cranium to operate the device.

Making An Impact

A student wearing a UH red shirt spends time volunteering in the community.

Cougars leverage volunteerism and community engagement to shape their city. Students, faculty and staff participate in internships that impact lower income neighborhoods and marginalized communities; deliver educational and cultural broadcast programming to Southeast Texas; and provide optometric services in medically underserved areas, just to name a few community initiatives.

Because of their work, for two consecutive years UH earned recognition on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, presented by the Corporation for National and Community Service. UH was placed on the Honor Roll with Distinction, classifying it as the single public institution from Texas bestowed with this acknowledgment.

Going To Bat

A pitcher throws a baseball from the pitcher's mound.

Teamwork and skill collide with fight and courage to create thrilling action on the field during America’s favorite pastime. Nationally ranked number 22 by the USA TODAY Baseball Top 25 Coaches Poll, the Cougar team consistently demonstrates that athletic mastery and heart cooperate together to achieve significant outcomes.

UH currently stands at 13-4 for their home games. Fans will get a chance to cheer on the team as they play a three-game American Athletic Conference weekend series April 10 – 12 against Tulane at Cougar Field.

Global Education

A photo of students and faculty posing in front of a building in India.
A group displays Cougar pride during the University’s first faculty-led study abroad opportunity in India.

Comprehending the complex issues of a cross-cultural, worldwide workforce is becoming more vital each day. Our students travel beyond the borders of the classroom to truly understand the role of globalization in economy.

One powerful way we educate students how culture impacts the future is our India Studies Program — the only of its kind in Texas. Students recently traveled to seven cities in India over the course of two weeks and three days. Doing so, they learned experientially about the history, politics, economics, languages, religion and cultures of India.

To serve a truly international higher education, UH makes it as easy as possible to gain access to culture. How do we help our students transition their classroom studies into visits to other countries? By issuing passports for free.

The UH Learning Abroad office has been officially designated as a Passport Acceptance Facility by the U.S. Department of State. Students, faculty, staff and members of the community are now able to apply for a U.S. passport book or card directly through our office. Even better, as part of the “Passport For Coogs” initiative, current UH students are eligible to have the cost of their U.S. passport book reimbursed.

At Your Service

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When choosing where to pursue an education to further her aspiring career in hospitality, Jackie Castaneda saw only one frontrunner — University of Houston’s Hilton College. Consistently ranked among the top hospitality programs in the world, the school’s curriculum energizes the industry’s future by offering hands-on, real-world experience as students earn their degrees. We’re known for producing high quality professionals who make an immediate impact in their field, making our students highly sought-after by recruiters across the globe. When she graduates, she will join the more than 80 percent of Hilton College alumni who have secured a job before graduation.

Upgrading Ability

A close-up image of superconducting ribbon.
This superconducting ribbon, developed by UH Professor Venkat Selvamanickam, is one example of the groundbreaking work in superconductivity taking place everyday at the University. This wire is improving the performance of wind turbines by a substantial 400 percent.

We’re making trailblazing strides toward perfecting electrical conduction and significantly upgrading technological capabilities. UH Physicist Paul Chu and his team of colleagues discovered a material that made high temperature superconductivity practical for real-world applications. Machinery like MRI equipment, electric motors, satellites and high-speed trains all run more efficiently thanks to his team’s research. Their work attracted the attention of the highly respected Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which awarded UH the distinguished Milestone Award to recognize the site where Chu performed his groundbreaking work, marking the second time ever the IEEE granted this award for advances in superconductivity.

Raising The Bar

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UH student Nick Brown defines the pinnacle of achievement. After graduating from our Honors College at age 20, he enrolled in our renowned law school. Ranked as a premier institution by U.S. News & World Report, our law center is one of only eight public schools in the nation with multiple “Top 10” specialty programs. Brown utilizes his aptitude by not only maximizing his legal education but also by serving as Vice President of the Student Bar Association. He demonstrates daily that UH graduates are fortifying the future.

Synchronicity

Dancers, dressed as flamingos, perform on stage.

Houston’s Theater District ranks second in seat capacity only to New York City. We understand the vital need to foster a program for up-and-coming artists. Through our School of Theatre and Dance, we unite interactive experience and classroom practice to nurture a blooming breed of dancers and performers. Translating creative ideas into a perfectly synchronized performance is no easy task, but thanks to the elite arsenal of theatre professionals who equip our students with the necessary tools to thrive in choreography, our graduates are reinventing and refreshing the arts world.

To Tell A Tale

Lacy M. Johnson poses in her office.

In UH’s Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, we empower students to use their thoughts and experiences to creatively generate award-worthy, important literature. Lacy M. Johnson, alumna of our Creative Writing Program and Director of Academic Initiatives for the center, did just that. Her memoir The Other Side recently earned the nod from the National Book Critics Circle, placing her among five finalists for one of its most prestigious awards. Her story of life and survival also collected reviews from the Los Angeles Times and Publishers Weekly. Johnson exemplifies the strengths and achievements of our programs, alumni and staff.

30 Is The New Genius

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Armed with a strategy and ceaseless determination, Casey McNeil showcased the ultimate business blueprint to woo investors. Faced with the challenge of mining rare earth elements, McNeil leveraged his entrepreneurial heart and UH education to forge a winning combination. After presenting his team's ideas at the US Department of Energy's National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition, he secured both their approval and their seed money to kick-start his own venture.

We believe in our students' ability to succeed, and we're not alone. Forbes Magazine, the authority for business influencers, endorsed McNeil as a Top 30 Under 30 leader in Energy.

Simply The Best

A basketball player dunks the ball through the hoop.

Driven. Devoted to teamwork. Fueled by progress. Innovative. Limit-pushers. Game changers. Decision makers. 100 percent prepared for anything that comes their way.

It’s difficult to determine whether these words describe our students in the classroom or our athletes at the game. We’re making history, both on and off the court. We educated the legendary Phi Slama Jama, and we’re accomplishing a lot more than just that. We’re building a powerhouse in athletics, arts, energy, and health — and it is cap stoned by our students’ success.

One Child At A Time

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Allina Farrukh proves daily that passionate community involvement begets tremendous societal change. As a pupil in our College of Education, she is sharpening her ability to influence children’s learning development. Farrukh also utilizes UH’s partnerships with local school districts to gain hands-on experience and perfect her pedagogical skills.

Simultaneously, she is bolstering the campus community’s influence abroad. She created a student group — the first chapter of its kind in Texas — that works to eliminate poverty for youth through strategic outreach and fundraising. Farrukh is changing the world, one child at a time.

Adding New Blood

An image of several red blood cells.

We’re not just changing lives, we’re saving them. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion. The process, while vital, has imperfections. Red blood cells stored in a refrigerator for prolonged periods of time can be dangerous and even deadly from a buildup of toxins and cellular waste. UH professor Sergey Shevkoplyas is developing a method to eliminate this threat and transform this routine procedure into a fail proof operation. Supported by a $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, Shevkoplyas is recalibrating medical paradigms.

Shaun Smith

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Our students are powered by ambition. Shaun Smith’s ambition motivated his multiple deployments with the army to create infrastructure and roads, launch agriculture projects, and build schools in foreign countries. Afterward, it inspired him to attend UH where he could flex the same leadership skills he learned in the armed forces. Steered by his passion for service, he currently advocates for the UH student body as the Speaker of the Senate for the Student Government Association. Just like the 40,000 students who attend UH and our 230,000 alumni, Shaun is sculpting both his community and his future.

Water Power 2.0

A close-up photo of hydrogen on the periodic table.

UH engineering professor Jiming Bao harnesses sunlight to generate power in an unexpected resource: hydrogen. One of the most low-pollution, high-power fuel sources in existence, hydrogen hasn't experienced widespread energy use because it doesn't occur naturally in gas form. This dilemma ignited Bao’s drive to explore nanotechnology’s capability to manipulate water molecules into readily usable hydrogen. Through the innovative fusion of nanotechnology and the sun's rays, Bao is unleashing the secret to create a new fuel source from the periodic table's simplest element. His research is just another reason we're called the Energy University.

Ragde Quintero

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We’re located at the interarticle of Diversity and Opportunity. Look no further than first generation Cougar Ragde Quintero for the proof. Born in Venezuela and now working on her dual degrees in psychology and civil engineering, she contributes to the bustling international hub known as Houston. With the most culturally diverse city in the country serving as our namesake, it’s no surprise the school ranks as the second most ethnically diverse research university in the United States.

Pitch Perfect

Opera singers are singing and acting during a show.

In UH’s Moores Opera Center, students drive the imagination. They articulate a story by merging song, dance, drama and a state-of-the-art performance hall. The result? National accolades. Operas produced by the program have earned several first place finishes at the National Opera Association’s production competition, which shines a spotlight on creative, high quality productions within the academic setting. With such talent, the UH program captured the attention of several opera writers too — the program frequently has played host to regional premieres since its creation in 1986.

Carlos Hernandez

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Carlos Hernandez, an Air Force ROTC member, has his sights set on making this world a better and safer place. Hernandez, a psychology major in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, knows that the University of Houston empowers students to not only dream big, but also turn those dreams into a reality. With dreams of becoming an officer in the United States Military, he’s well on his way to completing his mission.

Ody Ezeigwe

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Ody Ezeigwe, a psychology and pre-nursing major in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, knows that the University and City of Houston hold the keys to her future. With the largest medical center in the world set as the backdrop to the campus, the University is in a prime position to lead the health care sector. With visions of becoming a nurse and plans to stay and work in Houston after graduation, Ody is in the driver's seat on the road to success.

Ebola and the Law

A close-up image of visus strands.

With its position as a member institution of the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world, the University of Houston Law Center Health Law & Policy Institute is well positioned to lead the health law sector.

Dedicated to remaining on the cutting edge in the field of health law, programs like the recently held preparedness workshop on the Ebola virus help demonstrate that commitment. The workshop provided public officials a firmer grounding in the law for dealing with pandemic situations. It’s this drive to influence the health law sector that has helped the program remain consistently in the Top 10 in the nation.

Megan Wood

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Megan Wood knows the University of Houston is fueling research to tackle the energy crisis and drive industry trends. As a student in the Subsea Engineering program, the first of its kind in the nation, Wood is diving deep to change the world through technology.

World-class ID

A guitar player holding his instrument.

Each day, bold new ideas emerge from the studios of the University of Houston’s Industrial Design (ID) program. Students envision original concepts for products, amenities, fashion and other items. They also engage in projects that enhance industries and promote innovation.

This year, the ID program’s efforts in grooming tomorrow’s top designers — as well as generating groundbreaking designs — helped place it among the top institutions in the world. UH’s ID program is now ranked No. 14 globally according to the Red Dot Design Ranking 2014.

Superconductivity

A portrait of Paul Chu.

The phrase “groundbreaking discovery” may seem far-reaching for some. But not for UH. Our Texas Center for Superconductivity was founded by physicist Paul Chu, who still serves as its chief scientist. Almost 30 years ago, Dr. Chu’s team made high temperature superconductivity practical for real-world applications.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers recently awarded UH its prestigious Milestone Award for this work, which “led to advanced applications of superconductivity in energy, medicine, communications and transportation.” The Milestone award honors significant technical achievements that are considered breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. Groundbreaking discovery indeed.

Brett Connors

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Brett Connors, a student in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences is crafting the story of his success. Connors knows that the University of Houston is powering artistic discovery to awaken the senses and shape the cultural landscape. And now, as a published author in UH's nationally respected Creative Writing Program, he’s well on his way to leaving his mark in the world.

Arts Leadership

A photo of statues on the UH campus

When the University of Houston recently launched a Masters of Arts degree with a concentration in Arts Leadership, the vision was to think about leadership in terms of value systems and philosophies, not just in terms of individual skills. This groundbreaking graduate program is dedicated to taking an entrepreneurial approach to preparing creative professionals to launch, administer and maintain arts organizations of all sizes.

Using the Southern Methodist University and Carnegie Mellon University vanguard programs as inspirations, UH Arts has created a unique, more affordable program of their own. Designed with the working professional in mind, classes are scheduled at night and combine real world and classroom experience. In partnership with the Center for Arts Leadership, students in the program have access to reputable national leaders in the fields of arts, entertainment and culture.

The M.A. In Arts Leadership characterizes UH's commitment to change the cultural landscape through the arts and serve as a bustling laboratory. It's one of the ways UH Arts helps students experiment and grow into cultural leaders.

Student Regent

A portrait of student regent Asit Shah

Asit Shah, a junior in the Honors College and C.T. Bauer College of Business, is on the road to success. Just like the 160,000 congressmen, legislators, CEOs, astronauts, judges, entrepreneurs, educators, actors, athletes and artists that launched successful careers at the University of Houston.

Shah, who is double majoring in finance and supply chain management and minoring in energy and sustainability, has his sights set on creating a leading renewable company after graduation. UH is fueling his ambition, both inside and outside the classroom.

He was recently appointed to the UH System Board of Regents as the Student Regent by Governor Rick Perry, and is following in the footsteps of many successful Cougars. The Student Regent position began in 2005 when Gov. Perry signed legislation directing each public university’s board of regents to include one non-voting student member. The students have the same powers and duties as regents, but do not vote.

It’s a powerful responsibility, which suits him just fine.

Transforming Fat

A close-up picture of fat cells

There has been little time to savor the successes of the moment as professor Robert Schwartz and members of his lab push relentlessly toward their goal: clinical trials he expects will show that common fat cells, treated with two proteins, can convert quickly into stem cells capable of helping damaged heart muscle repair itself.

That stunning development could come within a year, a huge step forward in the treatment of heart disease, while also offering promise in a range of muscular, neurological and other disorders.

Trevon Stewart

Football players are playing the game.

Trevon Stewart, a hard-hitting safety, epitomizes the Cougar defense’s fierce attitude. An attitude that not only led the defense to a nation-leading 43 forced tackles in 2013, but also led Stewart to a nation’s best 10 takeaways himself. Currently ranked second in the nation with 23 turnovers in just seven games, and holding the nation’s second-longest streak with a forced turnover in 30 consecutive games, this defense is back to their powerful ways. Be sure to catch Stewart and the Houston defense in person at Homecoming at TDECU Stadium on November 8th.

In the Money

A student is working in a labrotory setting similar to Wall Street.

There are thousands of student-run investment funds in the U.S. that offer a predictable real-world investment experience. But the C. T. Bauer College of Business took an innovative approach instead. The Cougar Investment Fund is only one of four student-run funds in the nation that relies on individual investors rather than on endowment funds. It’s real investor money, worked in real time. And our MBA and MS Finance students are thriving under the pressure. In just a decade, the fund has increased value from $2 million to over $9 million through performance and new investment. They give professional investors a run for their money.

Music "Afoot"

A marching band member plays his instrument

No stage is needed this weekend as UH’s Spirit of Houston, Milby High School’s Marching Thunder and Austin High School’s Sonic Boom take over the streets of East Downtown. The “Afoot” performance of epic proportions will celebrate the centennial of the Port of Houston at this Saturday’s East End Street Festival. The UH Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts displays their commitment to presenting groundbreaking art — in this case ground shaking art — as nearly 300 musicians bring the streets to life. Admission to this event is free.

Clear Vision

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Ashley Atencio, a student in the University of Houston College of Optometry (UHCO), had her eye on the future when she chose to become a Cougar. UH is one of only 21 optometry schools in the nation and the only program with an on-site surgery center. We're graduating powerhouse optometrists like Ashley, who's ready to launch her career at the University of Houston.

Efrem Oliphant

Portrait of Efrem Oliphant

Willpower. Resolve. These are the characteristics of a true champion; the characteristics Efrem Oliphant displayed when he overcame a knee injury that sidelined him for over a year. Now in his senior year at the University of Houston, he’s back to his winning ways. Ranked seventh in the nation with an average of 11.5 tackles per game, this NFL prospect is one to watch. See him in action this season.

Detective Work

A picture demonstrating how the wand functions using a model of breast tissue

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Detection is vital. The current approach is to perform a lymph node biopsy. Right now, it takes hours of a surgeon’s time—using a radioactive method—to locate which lymph node to biopsy. UH professor Audrius Brazdeikis has found a safer and faster method for detection: magnetic sensing.

Dr. Brazdeikis and his group use a combination of nanotechnology and advanced magnetic sensing to quickly locate the right lymph node without exposing the patient or hospital staff to radiation. And it only takes 30 minutes. Read the entire article about this pioneering method in our Research & Innovation magazine, page 30.

Balance

Laura Duncan

It took an eye-opening road trip along the Gulf of Mexico coastline in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to persuade a public-spirited communications major, Laura Duncan, that she could best serve the environment by studying at the UH Law Center.

“I was asked to drive the coast with a marine biologist to gauge the environmental damage and talk to the fishermen and their families whose livelihood had been devastated by the spill,” she says. “I expected to hear, ‘We need to stop all of this oil production.’ But instead they spoke about how important energy development was to their own financial well-being as well as their friends and family and the entire region. It was all meshed together, and their message was clear, ‘We just have to find a way to balance it.’ That sense of interconnection played a big part in my decision to come to law school and to Houston. I saw the Law Center as a way to bring the environment and energy and natural resources together — reaching a balance.” Laura graduated 3rd in her class in 2014 and is currently a law clerk for Judge Gray Miller, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Nebolisa Egbunike

Nebolisa Egbunike

The University of Houston’s reputation as a powerhouse in energy is on the rise and students like Nebolisa Egbunike are helping us on that climb. As a student in the nation’s first and only subsea engineering program, Nebolisa founded the Subsea Engineering Society, the first organization of its kind in the world. With his passion for achievement and his location in Houston--the energy capital of the world--he is well on his way to making a global impact in the energy industry.

Science Fiction

Professor Sunny Canic stands in front of a white board with mathematical equations written on it.

UH professor Suncica “Sunny” Canic is a mathematician, not a medical doctor, but her research could save the lives of heart patients. Working with collaborators from Houston Methodist Hospital on a minimally invasive experimental procedure for heart valve replacement, Canic’s work could lead to optimal design of an alternative to open-heart surgery for treating failing heart valves.

“It almost sounds like science fiction,” Canic said. “Our project combines the most recent breakthroughs in technology, such as 3-D human organ printing, materials science, mathematics, scientific computations and cardiovascular sciences.”

On The Town

Actors in costume are on the set of a play.

Audiences are accustomed to quality performances and dynamic stagecraft from the students of the University of Houston. Soon, Houstonians will have even more opportunities to experience the talents being groomed at UH’s School of Theatre & Dance. The school is collaborating with local theater companies this fall and spring. UH students will act in plays produced by Main Street Theater Company, Stages Repertory Theatre, Stark Naked Theatre Company and Alley Theatre.

Visionary Depth

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Yes, UH created the nation’s first subsea engineering program. But we have a global mindset when it comes to energy. UH helped create—and currently leads—a subsea education partnership spanning five continents. From Europe to Singapore and Australia to Rio de Janiero, the Global Subsea University Alliance is an innovative solution to equipping the next generation of subsea engineers. Watch Nebolisa and Megan talk about why they took the plunge.

Derrick Mathews

A football player is running on the field with the ball in his hands

Our student-athletes double major in grit and determination. Linebacker Derrick Mathews is taking those lessons to heart. Now on the Butkus Award, Lombardi Award and Nagurski Award watch lists, Mathews is a defensive powerhouse on the rise who currently leads all active FBS players nationally with 400 career tackles and 43 career tackles for loss. See him in action this Friday when the Cougars play Temple.

Battling Lupus

Chandra Mohan in his office.

There’s been only one drug approved to treat lupus in the past 50 years. Dr. Chandra Mohan wants to change that. His biomedical engineering research team found a plant-derived chemical that is more effective at battling lupus than the current steroid-based treatment. And it comes with fewer side effects. Exciting healthcare discoveries…just another day at UH.

Eight Years

Four students dressed in suits sit at a board table

That’s how long the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Houston's Bauer College of Business has been recognized as one of the best nationally for educating entrepreneurs. This powerhouse program breaks the boundaries of a traditional business classroom. Our undergraduates develop business plans for innovative UH faculty research technology, that win national competitions and funding…against Ph.D. teams from MIT.

Lincoln Scott

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The city of Houston and the University of Houston go hand in hand. 1 in 7 Houstonians who have a BA received it from the University of Houston, and Lincoln Scott, a first generation cougar from Virginia, plans on continuing that tradition with plans to live in Houston after graduation. Lincoln, a marketing major at the C.T. Bauer College of Business, is well on his way to launching his career in one of the nation’s fastest growing cities.

Recipe for Success

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Ambition. Vision. Innovation. These were some of the ingredients UH alum Ryan Soroka used to create a recipe for success. Today, he and his business partners are savoring the fruits of their labor with Eatsie Boys Café and 8th Wonder Brewery. “Our time at the University of Houston taught us that community is such an important aspect of having a successful business. Our goal is to be an important part of changing the landscape of Houston and making our city a better place,” Ryan said.

Moving Up

A large crowd of UH students walks around the campus

The University of Houston’s reputation as a powerhouse in energy, health and the arts grows each year. Determined, diverse and dedicated students are coming to UH in droves. This year we’re breaking records with the highest fall enrollment numbers in our history. 40,959 students. “Our record enrollment reflects the undeniable, palpable energy on display on our campus. It is an exciting time to be a Cougar,” said UH President Renu Khator.

Wordplay

David Tomas Martinez

Doctoral candidate David Tomas Martinez is a poet whose words teem with memory. His experience in both a California gang and the U.S. Navy fuels work that has been praised for being “simultaneously intimate and spectacular” by Publisher’s Weekly. The University of Houston Creative Writing Program is where Martinez found his voice — and the ability to use poetry as power. Listen to a review of his first book of poetry, “Hustle,” on NPR’s All Things Considered.

Power Debate

Wind Turbines

Is energy independence good for the nation? Is America’s energy transportation infrastructure safe? Do energy companies have a social responsibility? Where will the next energy workforce come from? For the second year running, the UH Energy Symposium Series will bring together some of the brightest minds in energy policy, academia and the industry to debate big ideas surrounding energy. Join us for the first powerful debate on September 30.

Eric James

Eric James

Eric James, an Air Force ROTC member, is well on his way to making the world a safer place. James, a supply chain and logistics technology major, knows that the University of Houston empowers students to not only dream big, but make those dreams a reality. And now, with sights set on continuing his career in the military and achieving the rank of Colonel, that’s exactly what he’s doing.

Solar Sponge

A beaker holds water with a solar sponge floating at the top.

When you're trapped on a boat, you can easily make fresh water from sea water using evaporation, right? Wrong. Desalinating and sterilizing water with solar energy is slow and inefficient. University of Houston professor Dr. Hadi Ghasemi has found an innovative approach to improve the process: pencils. A recent article in NPR explains how Hollywood gets it wrong and how using graphite gets it right.

Armstrong

A violinist is playing his instrument.
Photo by dabfoto creative / David A. Brown

UH’s Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts is dedicated to groundbreaking and transformational collaborations. This commitment to innovation was on display as Artist in Residence Daniel Bernard Roumain lead the UH Spirit of Houston Marching Band and the Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band during September 6th's halftime show for a first-of-its-kind collaboration titled “Armstrong.”

The Doctor is In

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The saying “the doctor is in” has taken on a new meaning with the Graduate College of Social Work’s Virtual Reality Lab. The lab uses computer-generated virtual environments to help people battle addictions, change behavior and enhance mental health. In these environments, the therapist accompanies his patients in a virtual space and can teach them skills in real time.

Mary Davis

Mary Davis

Mary Davis is writing the business plan for her success. She knows that the University of Houston fuels her entrepreneurial spirit, so she plans to launch an early childhood education business after graduation. As a student in our powerhouse entrepreneurship program, she’s well on her way to launching her career at the University of Houston.

Yes, Invisibility

A camouflage device in a bent configuration, with a pixelated array of multifunctional components.
Photo by Cunjiang Yu

It could be a fun party trick — put your cell phone down on a table and watch it fade into the woodwork — or part of a lifesaving technology used by industry or the military. Optoelectronic camouflage is what we’re innovating right now.

Battery Life

Doctoral candidate Han Ju Lee

Doctoral candidate Han Ju Lee is researching a new and easy way to fabricate silicon nanowires. Why such a big fuss over something so small? Silicon nanowires are key to developing the next generation of high-efficiency rechargeable batteries. But he doesn’t stop there. This native of South Korea also studies gold nanoparticles that serve as a catalyst to generate methanol in artificial photosynthesis. Han fuels our innovation and builds our reputation as the Energy University.

Summer Scholars

A student is creating an iPad app that guides the construction of Lego models in hopes of one day applying this research to create blueprints for bridges and buildings.
Anson Jablinski is creating an iPad app that guides the construction of Lego models in hopes of one day applying this research to create blueprints for bridges and buildings.

Delving into a number of complex projects over the course of 10 weeks, 61 students across a variety of disciplines each received $3,500 stipends for an intensive, full-time research experience in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program under the mentorship of UH faculty members. Innovation in action.

Mind Mapping

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Developmental psychology professor Arturo Hernandez is working to unlock the neural bases of language. Since the 1990s, he has been collecting brain scan data as he has asked bilingual and monolingual people to process words and new languages. What has he found? Bilinguals do better learning new words than monolinguals.