Microfinance and community enhancement do not usually go together, but at UH, we are not afraid to forge bold, unique paths. Saleha Khumawala, Robert Grinaker Professor of Accounting leveraged her experience to found the SURETM (Stimulating Urban Renewal through Entrepreneurship) program. It provides aspiring entrepreneurs free financial and business education, ongoing business consulting and prepares them to access capital. Khumawala recognized the need for this type of program in the Houston area. To date, SURE has helped launch 61 businesses. It’s easy to see why the Houston office of the U.S. Small Business Administration named her Houston Woman in Business Champion of the Year.
Art doesn’t exist only in a gallery or museum – it’s all around us. University of Houston took the bold approach to highlight publicly viewable, easily accessible art instillations throughout the campus, and it has shaped the way other Texas institutions approach the matter. Our newest feature, a 50-piece collection titled “The Miraculous: Houston,” serves as the latest installation to our more than 400 piece collection – all open to the public year round. As the first Texas university to make public art a major initiative, we’ve still leading the charge in impacting the community.
When we think of energy we think of the future. First-year chemical engineering doctoral student Karun Kumar Rao is doing just that with his research on batteries. The UH student was recently awarded a NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship to identify new materials for what lies ahead with battery development. During his fellowship Rao plans to gain insight on batteries and energy by adding computational design to the materials. These opportunities could potentially advance space applications and contribute to NASA’s goal of innovation. At UH the power lies within the future.
The crude oil business is a multibillion dollar industry, but what happens if those pipelines stop working after a few years? That’s the dilemma that UH petroleum engineering professor Konstantinos Kostarelos and a team of students tried to solve. Over time, the buildup of particles in the oil solidify and change the dynamic structure of the pipes. The team, though, found they could circumvent the problem using electrokinetics. This idea could translate into increased productivity and savings for oil producers. The Energy University once again proves that ingenuity and creativity can plow through any challenge.
With all the advances in medicine, surgery is relatively easier to perform than in ages past. To help answer this, researchers at University of Houston have developed ways to bypass the deep cuts of surgery and instead employ tiny robots, guided by magnets, that can navigate through the body’s veins to deliver medicine and perform small tasks. The techniques that make this idea possible could jumpstart the next wave of medical breakthroughs and shift the way we approach health care.
At UH the sky is the limit for students pursuing career paths. Geology major, Sabrina Martinez in the department of earth and atmospheric sciences was recently selected for a competitive paid 10-week summer internship at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) at NASA. During her internship Martinez will engage with peer-reviewed research from leading planetary experts, explore career options and work aside scientists on her research project to create a geologic map of the terrain of Venus that includes both impact and volcanic features. At UH our students transform their studies into research that goes to the final frontier.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates more than 29 million Americans have diabetes and 25 percent of those affected don’t know it. UH is shifting the way we treat the country’s obesity and diabetes epidemic by starting with the community it knows best: its neighbors. The effort, lead by UH’s HEALTH Research Institute, will tackle this problem by bridging integrated networks of partners and resources to help provide better care for the Houston metropolitan area. Cougars are demonstrating they can take healthy ideas and transform them into vital, life-saving action.
At the University of Houston, in the energy capital of the world, researchers have developed a nanotechnology-based solution that will potentially boost oil recovery while being environmentally friendly and cost-effective. Previously developed solutions recovered less oil and raised concerns about potential environmental damage. Researchers Zhifeng Ren and Ching-Wu Chu from the Texas Center for Superconductivity and graduate students Dan Luo and Yuan Liu constructed a 2-dimensional nanofluid that functions in a groundbreaking way by recovering more oil with less damage to the landscape. At UH our curiosity fuels our progress while our respect for history preserves the past.
UH Arts equips students with the tools to strengthen their skills and talents. The professors provide seasoned advice while the university’s programs offer day-to-day chances to perfect their craft in front of a captive audience. It all melds together to help produce some of the best, nationally acclaimed talent in the industry. The UH Concert Chorale exemplifies one of these success stories. They are among the select few invited to sing at the Texas Music Educators Association convention and American Choral Directors Association conference. UH flourishing arts programs propel students to major accomplishments every day.
University of Houston dedicates itself to strengthening our health initiatives by expanding programs that teach students the necessary skills to succeed. The College of Nursing is leading the charge in producing the most skilled nurses and practitioners who work daily on the front lines to safeguard and maintain the highest level of patient care. Just how good are they? The college is rated in the top 5% in the nation based on its 100% first-time pass rate on the National Licensure Exam for RNs. That’s how UH is shaping the future of healthcare.
The University of Houston instills a spirit of hard work, education and performance in all its students. Those results manifest in many different ways. For the College of Technology, that means it produced the highest scorer on the rigorous American Institute of Constructors exam for the fourth consecutive year. This achievement is no oddity to a school that constantly trains its students to become the best in their chosen fields. Our high-quality programs, seasoned professors, valuable internships opportunities and strong culture of achievement make it no surprise that a Cougar is once again at the top of the pack.
UH’s Honors College was recognized for the first time as a top 10 honors college in the nation by Inside Honors. This achievement marks the high accomplishments and caliber of the college and its students. Regarded as a well-respected group of high-achieving students, the college serves as a way for Cougars to flex their academic prowess while still enjoying a high quality education. It also allows us to attract top talent to our campus. University of Houston’s Honors program is another example of our dedication to academic excellence.
The College of the Arts is strengthening its cultural ties with a French-American exchange with students from the École des Beaux-Arts for a month-long international residency in the art-centric town of Marfa, Texas thanks to a generous Partner University Fund grant. The interchange, headed by Abinadi Meza, director of CotA’s Interdisciplinary Initiatives program and winner of the 2014 Rome Prize, aims to create groundbreaking site-specific projects to activate international partnerships and focus on engaging with the landscape and community. Ingenuity in the arts doesn’t just stay in Houston, we expand onward into the world.
Theatre provides everyone a voice. That’s exactly the inspiration that Associate Director of Theatre Education Jackie deMontmollin channeled when she spearheaded the Summer Master of Arts for Theatre Educators, which grants a graduate degree over the course of three summers, and the BFA in Theatre Education programs. She helped create the lasting foundation to sustain UH’s classes offering advancement opportunities in the industry. Her labors caught the attention of the Texas Educational Theatre Association, which will award her for contributing to the field with their Educator of the Year Award. She serves as another example of the arts’ transformative power.
Dr. Anny Castilla-Earls is breaking ground with innovative research in the field of speech language pathology. The researcher was granted $800,000 from the National Institutes of Health to study language loss in students who grow up in Spanish-speaking homes and attend English-speaking schools. Located in the country’s most diverse city, the importance of language acquisition has real world effects in our community as well as abroad. The findings may create a long lasting impact by aiding language experts to distinguish between bilingual children experiencing natural language loss versus those who have a speech disorder.
Two UH students mastered a method to transform what used to be considered science fiction into a real life experience. They launched a venture that provides prosthetic hands and arms to people in need, all empowered by advances in 3D printing. The method saves time and money, and it grants easier and wider access to prosthetic technology – especially to children, who require new molds to fit their rapidly growing bodies. With their advancements proving beneficial to society, these students represent the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit that powers breakthroughs and fortifies our campus', alumni’s and students’ impact in the community.
At the University of Houston, we’re advancing creativity to explore the intersection of art and science. Engineering researchers at the Non-Invasive Brain Machine Interface Systems Team are collaborating with the Blaffer Art Museum to discover what brain activity looks like during the creative process. The neuroaesthetic study, funded by the National Science Foundation, uses algorithms to track the brainwaves of artists, writers and dancers for insights on perception, personality, and creativity. This project pushes art to the forefront of research to examine how we understand the imagination.
The pursuit of perfection fervently drives UH student-athletes in both sports and academics. Whether they’re training at 7 a.m., participating in classes taught by industry pioneers and thought leaders, or playing on the field until 10 p.m., they’re shattering records each moment of the day. They’re also breaking new ground in academic achievement with the highest average GPAs in school history. Simultaneously gaining knowledge about today’s most important academic concepts while enhancing speed and accuracy in their sport, student–athletes always demonstrate the tenacity to perform above and beyond expectations.
The University of Houston will offer the nation’s first Ph.D. in Spanish with a concentration in creative writing fall 2017. The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences is fueling creativity by having alumna Dr. Cristina Rivera Garza lead the program. Students in the program will work with faculty in the esteemed creative writing department and alongside the nation’s largest publisher of contemporary and recovered literature, Arte Publico Press. The University of Houston continues to push for diverse, interdisciplinary approaches to the literary arts to be at the forefront of research of Hispanic literature.
The only thing greater than winning a championship title is doing it twice in a row. The UH Law Center’s mock trial team recently dominated the National Trial Advocacy Competition for its back-to-back win against highly ranked challengers to defend its title. The soon-to-be lawyers went toe-to-toe with students from several competing universities and rose to the top to successfully argue a case that they might face not just in mock demonstrations but also in an attorney’s everyday work environment. University of Houston preps students to win in both scholastic competitions and also their careers.
Before they make their mark in industry, chemists fortify their abilities by studying at the college level in a premier program. College Choice lists the University of Houston’s Cullen College of Engineering as one of those programs. The publication ranks UH as one of the top 25 best places to pursue a chemical engineering degree as well as one of the best state university departments in the country for the same program. With increasing demand for new products and services in these fields, UH is preparing students to broaden their knowledge and launch prosperous careers.
At the University of Houston we’re testing glucose levels in a groundbreaking way by examining tears. Glucose is an essential simple sugar our bodies require for energy. Our researchers are using surface-enhanced Raman Scattering spectroscopy to monitor the glucose found in tears. By employing a contact-lens-type sensor the levels can be monitored without drawing blood. Researcher, Wei-Chaun Shih is pioneering the field by working to impact the applications of the technology. UH is tackling research by approaching science with an alternative eye.
UH students set high expectations for their accomplishments in both the classroom and upon graduation. Faculty at the College of Education mirror the expectation of unparalleled success when they instill the methods that will help graduates excel once they join the workforce. The National Council on Teacher Quality ranks UH in the nation’s top one percent of undergraduate programs that prepare elementary school teachers for their career, marking the second consecutive year the program has ranked in the list’s top 10 institutions. We’re more than just a university – we’re the training ground for the next wave of educators.
Obstacles occur regularly in college, but UH students have mastered overcoming adversity, especially when the thrill of victory is involved. Three Industrial Design students competed in the international MakeUp NYC competition to design a better makeup package, despite being on a regular school break. Each in their home city – separated by more than 2,000 miles – they divided the duties and utilized online tools to interface and complete the project. The finished product, thanks to the know-how they gained in class and communication via the Internet, earned a first place finish. Not even distance can stop a determined Cougar.
The Innovation Center at UH is a leading facility for UH students, faculty, alumni and the community at large to pursue their ideas, generate mock-ups and move their prototypes from ideation to creation to commercialization. The center empowers innovators to research their business model, overcome challenges, and think outside the box to create a thriving new venture. UH continues to fuel entrepreneurs to transform bright ideas into successful, innovative businesses.
UH’s Moores Opera Center is celebrating 30 years of giving imagination new life with its visionary arts programs. During those years, center director Buck Ross has grown the Moores Opera Center into one of the country’s foremost programs. The center has earned awards from the National Opera Association and acclaim from media and music fans alike. Whether the students are performing comedy, tragedy, social commentary or romance, they are always singing beautiful music. This is how UH is using arts to enrich and bridge the thoughts of our minds with the needs of our community.
Groundbreaking work happens daily at UH. Professor Arthur Weglein was recognized by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists for his pioneering work in extracting useful information from seismic data. The society bestowed the physicist with its highest honor, the 2016 Maurice Ewing Gold Medal, in recognition of his work on the inverse scattering series. Weglein used his knowledge about seismic patters to develop a method to process seismic data that did not require any knowledge about the subsurface to achieve any seismic objective, including not needing information above the reservoir to locate and to delineate a reservoir.
UH athletics blends strong force with agility and precision. The athletes blend ambition with on-the-ground preparation to boost their ability to succeed. With the recent opening of the Guy V. Lewis Development Facility, named after the famed retired UH head coach, and the close rankings of the conference players, they will use all their might and focus to deliver the most thrilling athleticism in the city. Join the UH Cougar basketball teams as they endeavor for another great season.
The five-year survival rate after a heart attack is worse than the survival rate of most cancer survivors. That’s why researchers made it a point to eradicate this problem. Among them are developmental biologists in UH’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, whose work has added novel, powerful tools to achieve this. After a heart attack, the heart muscles don’t regenerate; but new discoveries with microRNA suggest a development in the heart’s ability for the regenerative process. Through UH’s innovative research, we’re performing hallmark scientific work that will aid heart attack survivors to live fuller, more healthy lives.
Zachary Givens knew early on that his higher education goals would flourish at UH. Citing the abundance of college peers who were just as passionate as he is about the arts, he found a home not only where he could study but also where he could challenge himself and develop. The university, just like the city of Houston, offers a place to learn, train, and grow in many areas. He has utilized this advantage by taking part in several school productions, and he knows he is well on his way to mastering his place in art and performance.
UH researchers explore a multitude of topics to benefit science and knowledge. Assistant Professor of Philosophy Cameron Buckner helped design a study aimed at determining animal intelligence by looking at ravens. The birds instinctively hide their food when in the presence of other competitors. Through a series of audio and visual cues, the scientists were able to construct a variety of scenarios to present actual competitors, perceived ones, or competitor-free situations to see if they would hide their food or not. Through the tests, they discovered birds harbor the ability to translate abstract stimuli into rational thought.
UH positively impacts the community both near and abroad. Students and professors collected their skills, knowledge and ingenuity to bring a new type of computer lab to underdeveloped countries to improve literacy. The space, all confined to a 19 by 7 foot space and powered by the abundant, renewable resource of solar energy, is small enough to fit in a train car and accessible enough to be transported to most parts of the world. Through the partnership of philanthropy, slick craftsmanship and an eye for future energy technologies, the University of Houston is strengthening the world’s collective intelligence.
UH strives to continually innovate and grow in public health and service. We’re reinforcing that goal with the addition of our newest research center, raising our total to 25 university-operated research centers. The HEALTH Research Institute will draw from the scholars’ significant experience working with area agencies to discover and promote sustainable, science-based solutions to real-world health challenges. Ultimately, they will bridge the gap between medical science and underserved populations by presenting prevention and intervention strategies that mitigate a broad range of health disparities for groups affected by alcohol, anxiety, cancer, depression, diabetes, tobacco and illicit drugs.
23 years. That’s how many consecutive years Raymond Nimmer earned the distinction as a top law professor by Best Lawyers, the oldest and most highly respected peer review guide to the legal profession. Previously serving as Dean for the University of Houston Law Center, he eventually left his post to return to his true passion – inspiring and teaching the next wave of legal experts. His work paid off. U.S. News & World Report ranks UH’s law center #8 in Intellectual Property Law, #6 for our Part-Time Law program, and #2 in Health Care Law.
UH students harness their talents to command the highest level of success. Business student JP Dowling exemplifies the caliber of students who enrich their education at Bauer College of Business’ Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship. Driven by ambition, Dowling’s leveraged his classroom experience and university connections to strengthen business plans for local nonprofits and launch philanthropic ventures to elevate impoverished countries’ standard of living. His hard work has reaped a wealthy return on his investment. UH’s unique partnership with Warren Buffett – one of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs – allowed Dowling to learn firsthand from one of his most inspiring mentors.
Perhaps it’s the number of National Academy Members who teach at the University of Houston: 17. Maybe it’s the strength of our alumni’s success: more than 5,000 alumni own or run a business. Possibly, it’s our long-reaching relationship with landmark organizations like NASA, the Texas Medical Center, and the Energy Corridor. For these reasons and several more, an increasing number of people are choosing to attend UH. Our school year has commenced with a record-breaking enrollment of more than 43,000 students who are enhancing their education and preparing to influenced the world.
At the University of Houston, students are provided the tools to grow their talents. That’s exactly what Yvonne Ramirez did. To leverage all of UH’s opportunities to boost her education and future success via student involvement, she took full advantage of her options. She joined the Bauer Women’s Society and empowered her voice by launching several social media accounts to tell her story. Robust participation is one of the most noticeable hallmarks of the school as we boast more than 400 student organizations. Our students’ engagement reinforces the college experience’s value and impact.
The University of Houston provides the training ground for athletes to soar. UH’s football team dominated last season with wins in both the American Athletic Conference and the Peach Bowl. Our success earned our current spot as the 15th highest ranked team in the Associated Press poll — our highest preseason ranking in 25 years. We are refining our athletes’ prowess to execute the same command this year. UH drives athletics to great achievements as we also cement history with our record-breaking sports programs, storied successes and heart-racing moments.
When art collides with science, grand events occur. Student Anastasiya Kopteva has studied both dance as well as the sciences. She has seamlessly blended the two into several projects throughout the years. She participated in presentations across the country, including one of her most recent achievements — facilitating the Brain On Dance project at the Smithsonian Institution. Kopteva and her colleagues used an electrode-filled skullcap to measure brain signals of a dancer that in turn modulated a system of lights to visually represent the brain's activity. That's how UH students use art and science to enhance both facets.
UH’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management educates more than 1,000 students each year using innovative approaches to training students in the practices of hospitality. Many graduates find successful careers where they deliver the standard of excellence in the service industry. Notable entrepreneur Justin Yu is one of those proud alums. After opening and running his restaurant Oxheart in Houston’s Warehouse District, he immediately caught the eye of the James Beard Foundation. The group, regarded as the standard bearers in culinary arts, this year awarded Yu its highest distinguished title — Best Chef: Southwest.
Amanda Beasley’s influence stretches far. In fact, it spans across borders and languages. She spent a semester learning the Spanish culture and way of life, and her experience inspired her to major in Spanish. Her love of learning about other cultures didn’t stop there, though. She also decided to learn a third language at UH – American Sign Language – and Beasley actively participates in ASL community groups to spur her knowledge. Whether she is speaking in English, Spanish or American Sign Language, she knows she will make a difference both here in Houston and internationally.
Every four years, the best athletes compete in the greatest contest of their lives: The Summer Olympics. For athletes, there is no greater stage. UH is proud to be the home to 66 Olympians who have won 29 medals, including 20 gold. Our faculty and staff help anchor many student-athletes’ foundation in their education and future careers. That’s the Cougar tradition — we build champions both on the field and in the workplace.
From H-Town to The Big Apple, Malcolm Farrell is making all the right moves. A broadcast journalism major, he strengthens his skills and influence at UH by taking part in the Student Video Network and volunteering with the Collegiate 100. His journalistic work on campus includes serving as a news anchor for the student telecasts and creating informational videos. Like many of his colleagues, Farrell transitions the lessons he learns in class into real time productions at every chance. During the summers, he fine-tunes his abilities and extends his professional network through internships in New York City.
Drinking alcoholic beverages can be costly to the liver, heart, and brain, but can it lead to breast cancer? A UH researcher and his team’s bold discoveries suggest it can. Their work points to a direct link between alcohol consumption, estrogen and a cancer-causing gene in promoting cancer cell growth. Their research may lay the foundation to ultimately spur higher prevention rates of the disease. With the American Cancer Society estimating approximately 12% of women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, their studies provide a vital tool to making real change in promoting better health.
Angela Ho proves that humble beginnings can lead to large successes. Growing up in a small town, she was initially attracted to UH because of its size and impressive diversity. Once enrolled here, she heavily involved herself in UH Debate, which helped her find her voice, leadership skills, and a likeminded community. Using this catalyst, she actively pursued an education in both chemistry and business. The mix of interests and exposure to a variety of classes taught her a cross-functional knowledge that equips her with skills to effectively maneuver in the debate hall, the boardroom, and the science lab.
UH Cougars don’t just fit the mold — they shatter it. Student athlete Joe Davis broke records by capping off UH’s baseball season as Baseball America’s First Team Freshman All-American, making him the first freshman position player in the program’s history to earn this recognition. This title joins his list of other prominent accolades. He was also honored as American Rookie of the Year and First Team All-Conference. He accomplished all this while focusing on his studies in kinesiology and engineering. That’s a ringing endorsement of our students’ capability to energize their skills both on the field and in the classroom.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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, 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.
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 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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.