In celebration of National Women's History Month, the College of Technology is recognizing women who are "game-changers" in the University of Houston College of Technology. The world of technology is changing, with exciting career opportunities for women where they can leverage their expertise and innovation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and the social sciences.
The women highlighted in this feature represent a glimpse of the collective ambition, creativity, and intelligence that is improving our world. This feature is the first of an ongoing series that will highlight leading women in the College of Technology, whose contributions and experiences are empowering our students, blazing new trails, and making history.
“ There is a natural doubt in defining one's role due to environmental factors, or history, which is life as unfair as it is. However, I believe that there is something in everybody's inner self that we cannot help but to do, be, or pursue. Just listen to that interest, passion, and turn it into a goal. Excel in what you do; otherwise, there is no fun in doing it! ”
Dr. Deniz Gurkan is an associate professor in the computer engineering technology program and teaches the senior-level computer networking course along with network programming, network security, and network management graduate level courses. Additionally, Gurkan coordinates the engineering technology Master of Science network communications focus area degree requirements for College of Technology graduate students.
Supported by research awards through the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and various industry partners, she has formed collaborations with graduate students in the Master of Science thesis track and PhD students in the Computer Science program at the University of Houston.
“ Women are still underrepresented in STEM careers. Consequently, we are often expected to prove ourselves over and over again. Although unfair and often exhausting, it is the reality. My advice is to be prepared to work hard. ”
Dr. Jamison V. Kovach performs research and teaches courses in quality management within the University of Houston College of Technology project management master's program. Primarily, her focus is on applied research in industry to solve problems that help organizations achieve strategic objectives. Dr. Kovach also serves as the director of the Lean Six Sigma Professional Training program. In this role, she oversees the development and execution of diverse training that supports professional development and enables organizations to improve their competitiveness.
“ One can only hope that students are inspired and take a kernel of knowledge they learned through their course of study or industry engagement activity and do something remarkable with it. ”
Professor Margaret Kidd teaches undergraduate supply chain courses and coordinates student applicants for internships and scholarships. She serves as faculty advisor to the student organization Supply-Chain Industrial Distribution Organization (SIDO) and serves as a liaison for Houston Electric League (HEL) and Exporters Competitive Maritime Council Education Committee Houston (ECMC). Bridging her experiences from working at San Jacinto College, she has secured funding for approximately 200 supply chain students to take the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) certification exams within the past year. In partnership with the Houston Urban League, Professor Kidd has assisted with 35 students' job placements, internships, and scholarships.
“ Choose a career field that excites you.
The joy of life is getting up in the morning and loving what you do. ”
Dr. Barbara Stewart has had a prolific and multi-faceted academic career that has included teaching consumer science and merchandising, fashion promotion, industrial technology, nutrition science, business, and home economics. Dr. Stewart joined the University of Houston faculty in 1986, and within three years became an associate dean and associate professor.
“ Be persistent. You can quit when it is too easy, not when it is too hard. Follow your passion and everything else will follow. ”
University of Houston human resource development (HRD) professor Dr. Holly Hutchins teaches graduate courses that prepare students to diagnose learning and change needs of organizations, and to design, develop and assess interventions. Dr. Hutchins’ excellence in teaching has been widely recognized by UH, and she has earned numerous research accolades.
“ Your career should never define you but, it can be a powerful tool to impact the world. Set realistic goals and strive for excellence in all things to which you are devoted. ”
Just a few years after completing her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering, Dr. Tomika Greer became fascinated by discovering new ways to effectively implement technology that would enhance learning and support student success. With that inspiration, she pursued a master’s degree in instructional technology from Texas Tech University and subsequently earned her doctorate degree in human resource development at Texas A&M University.