Selected from nine colleges across campus, the fellows work in collaboration with UH Energy and the Energy Advisory Board to shape the conversation on energy at UH and beyond. The fellows serve a term of one full academic year and contribute to an online blog forum hosted by UH Energy and Forbes.
Meet the Fellows
- Jennifer Chauvot
- Paul Gregory
- Terry Hallmark
- Kairn Klieman
- Rafael Longoria
- Earl Ritchie
- Debora Rodrigues
- Chris Ross
- Julia Wellner
- Bret Wells
Jennifer Chauvot serves as Chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction for the College of Education at the University of Houston. Chauvot began her work at the UH College of Education in 2004 after serving in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at San Diego State University.
Chauvot’s work includes serving as principal investigator, co-creator and director of iSMART (Integration of Science, Mathematics and Reflective Teaching), one of the number one ranked US News and World Report online master degree programs. She also serves as co-director of the UH 4-8 Master Mathematics Teacher Certification Program.
Chauvot holds a Master of Science in Mathematics from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a PhD in Mathematics Education from the University of Georgia.
Paul Gregory is a professor of economics at the University of Houston. He currently teaches a course on comparative economic systems.
Gregory has published several articles in scholarly journals, in both Russian and English, and is an expert in Soviet economics and transition economics. His current research, funded by the National Science Foundation, is on the topic “High-Level Decision Making in the Soviet Administrative Planned Economy: Evidence from Soviet State and Party Archives.”
In the past, Gregory was involved in several funded economics research projects, and has earned multiple awards and honors, including the Fulbright Fellowship.
Gregory earned his bachelor’s in economics and master’s in Russian in economics from Oklahoma University, and his PhD in economics from Harvard University.
Terry Hallmark is Visiting Clinical Instructor in the Honors College. He teaches the Human Situation sequence, along with courses in ancient, medieval and early modern political philosophy, American political thought, American foreign policy and energy studies. His current research is focused on the political rhetoric and writings of Will Rogers.
Prior to his appointment in the Honors College, Hallmark worked in the international oil and gas industry, where he had a 30-year career as a political risk analyst.
He has been an advisor to international oil exploration and service companies, financial institutions and governmental agencies, including the World Bank, U.S. Department of Defense and members of the intelligence community. He is the Honors College coordinator for the minor in Energy and Sustainablility Studies
Kairn Klieman is an associate professor of history at the University of Houston and the co-founder and co-director of the Graduate Certificate in Global Energy, Development, and sustainability.
Klieman is a specialist in African history, a Fulbright Scholar, and a former Peace Corps volunteer (Zaire, 1984-1986) with many years experience in Africa. She received her Ph.D. from UCLA in 1997, where her work focused on pre-colonial Africa and the reconstruction of history through comparative historical linguistics. Her first book, entitled “The Pygmies Were Our Compass”: Bantu and Batwa in the History of West Central Africa, 3000 B.C.E. to 1900 C.E., was a finalist for the Herskovitz Award 2004 (top prize in the field) and a Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2004. She has received numerous prestigious grants and fellowships (Fulbright-Hayes, Social Science Research Council, Belgian-American Foundation, The West African Research Association, Humanities Research Center at Rice University), and received the University of Houston Teaching Excellence Award in 2007.
Upon moving to Houston, Klieman shifted her focus to the history of oil in Africa. She is currently working a book entitled Before the “Curse”: Petroleum, Politics and U.S. Oil Companies in the Gulf of Guinea, Africa, 1890s-1980s. The work chronicles the political and economic impact of international oil companies in sub-Saharan Africa across the long 20th century (colonial and post-colonial eras), inserting Africa for the first time into broader historical narratives about the history of global oil. Based on this work and many years of teaching about oil and energy at UH, she co-founded and continues to co-direct the Graduate Certificate in Global Energy, Development, and Sustainability (GEDS) at the University of Houston. This is a 9-unit graduate certificate that focuses on teaching prospective oil company employees current “best practices” for avoiding negative social, political, and economic impacts that can accompany oil and gas projects undertaken in less-industrialized nations.
Klieman has delivered lectures and papers on the subject of African oil history at locations across the globe, including for the U.S. State Department, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The University of Ibadan, Nigeria, The Rachel Carson Center, Munich, The University of Oklahoma, Rice University, Texas A&M, Brown University, and Boston University.
Rafael Longoria is an ACSA Distinguished Professor in Architecture at the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston.
His areas of research expertise include economic determinants of urban form, and architecture and planning in the cities of the American Southwest and Mexico, with a particular interest in sustainability, cultural hybridity, and public spaces.
Longoria’s current projects include The Green Convertible, Houston, Texas; Galveston Hurricane Reconstruction Projects; Sustainable Communities Design Initiative (CDRC), and AULA: Architecture and Urbanism in Las Americas.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Architecture in Architecture and History of Art from Rice University, and a MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.
Earl J. Ritchie is a retired energy executive and teaches a course on the oil and gas industry at the University of Houston. He has 35 years’ experience in the industry. He started as a geophysicist with Mobil Oil and subsequently worked in a variety of management and technical positions with several independent exploration and production companies. He retired as Vice President and General Manager of the offshore division of EOG Resources in 2007. Prior to his experience in the oil industry, he served at the US Air Force Special Weapons Center, providing geologic and geophysical support to nuclear research activities.
Ritchie has a broad range of interests in energy issues. He has served on several technical and civic committees, including having been chair of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Committee on Resource Evaluation. He has contributed to or reviewed evaluations of future oil and gas supply by the US Geological Survey, Minerals Management Service, and National Petroleum Council. His interests include alternative energy, urban transportation, and the role of traditional energy sources in future supply.
Ritchie holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology–Geophysics from the University of New Orleans and Master of Science degrees in Petroleum Engineering and Construction Management from the University of Houston.
Debora Rodrigues, Civil and Environmental Engineering | Cullen College of Engineering
Debora Rodrigues is an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Houston. Her current research focuses on developing bio- and nanotechnologies to reduce energy costs in water and waste-water treatment.
She also teaches classes on water quality, environmental engineering microbiology, and advanced environmental engineering microbiology.
Prior to her position at UH, Rodrigues was a member of the Environmental Engineering Seminar Committee at Yale University.
Rodrigues holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Biology Education and a Master of Science in Microbiology from the University of São Paulo in Brazil, and a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Michigan State University.
Chris Ross is an Executive Professor of Finance at the C.T. Bauer College of Business and the University of Houston, where he teaches classes on strategies in the oil and gas industry. He also leads research classes investigating how different energy industry segments are creating value for shareholders.
In addition to his position at UH, he chairs the Oil and Gas Policy Subcommittee of the Greater Houston Partnership, sits on the Program Committee of the Offshore Technology Conference, and is Board Chairman of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra.
Before arriving at UH, Ross spent 35 years in the petroleum industry as a management consultant. In recent years, he has refocused on the North American oil and gas industry. Ross has advised executives in the area of portfolio strategy for several independents and for companies with midstream and upstream assets. In the downstream sector, he has provided strategic review of the value potential for major oil companies.
Ross holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from King’s College at the University of London and a PMD from Harvard Business School.
Julia Wellner is an assistant professor of stratigraphy, sedimentology and glacial processes stratigraphy in the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department under the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Houston. She is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Earth Science at Rice University.
Wellner’s research focuses on Antarctic ice sheet history since the Eocene, geomorphic signatures of ice sheet retreat across the continental shelf, holocene climate of the Antarctic, sedimentation patterns in fjords and relation to oceanographic controls, and Plio-Pleistocne sequence stratigraphy from 3D seismic data.
In January, she was named a 2016 American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Distinguished Lecturer. The program offers outstanding lectures by speakers who are respected scientific leaders in their disciplines of petroleum geology.
Wellner holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, a Master of Science in Geology from the University of Alabama, and a Ph.D. in Geology and Geophysics from Rice University.
Bret Wells is an associate professor at the University of Houston Law Center. He teaches courses in oil and gas law, as well as taxation.
Prior to becoming a professor at UH, Wells worked as vice president-treasurer and chief tax officer at BJ Services Company, which provided oilfield services to the petroleum industry. He regularly speaks at conferences on his areas of expertise, taxation and oil and gas law.
Wells received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southwestern University in 1987. He then earned his Juris Doctorate with honors from the University of Texas School of Law.