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Exploratory Studies Professional Staff

Nina Howard

Nina Howard

Lead Student Success Advocate

713-743-4998 | email Ms. Howard

Best Part of My Job: Knowing that I have played a role in students successfully reaching their academic goals.

Interests: Reading and volunteering in my church and community.

Education: MEd in Higher Education, University of Houston; BA in Political Science, University of Houston.


Nakia Alexander

Nakia Alexander

Student Success Advocate

832-842-2106 | email Ms. Alexander

Best Part of My Job: Helping students persevere and achieve their academic goals.

Interests: Football, watching TV–especially Sci-Fi classics such as Twilight Zone, reading, and eating coffee ice cream!!

Education: MSW, University of Houston; BA in Communications, University of Houston.


Bina Benavides

Student Success Advocate

832-842-xxxx | email Ms. Benavides

Best Part of My Job: Seeing how students have grown and developed in their educational journey. Connecting to students and motivating them to be their best.

Interests: Comedy, Traveling, Learning about different cultures, Exercise Classes-Circuit training, Hot Yoga, Kickboxing etc., Reading, Time with Family/Friends and Fur Child.

Education: Master of Science, Public Administration, Oakland University and Bachelor of Arts, Psychology


Renee Hall

Renee Hall

Student Success Advocate

832-842-2109 | email Ms. Hall

Best Part of My Job: Motivating students, helping them discover who they are, and generating the possibilities for whom they can become.

Interests: Reading, watching TV, exercising, and spending time with family and friends.

Education: MA in English and African American Literature; BA in Mass Communications (Broadcast Productions), Minor in English, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC.


Shedrick Johnson

Student Success Advocate

832-842-2105 | email Mr. Johnson

Best Part of My Job: Empowering students to achieve academic excellence and reach their personal goals.

Interests: Sports, fishing, horseback riding, exercising, and spending time with family.

Education: MEd in Education (Workforce Development Education), University of Arkansas; BA in Sociology & Criminal Justice, University of Arkansas.



Eleanor Weaver

Eleanor Weaver

Administrative Coordinator

713-743-4979 | email Ms. Weaver

Best Part of My Job: When students come for help and they leave with the information they were seeking.

Interests: Spending time with my family, photography, and watching movies.

Education: Current student at the University of Houston.



Melissa Pierson

Dr. Melissa Pierson

Asst. Vice Provost

713-743-4961 | email Dr. Pierson

Best Part of My Job: Working with so many SMART and multi-talented students, many of whom don’t even know yet what amazing ways they are going to contribute to this world.

Interests: Running, reading, doing craft and home projects, cooking, and spending time with my beautiful family.

Education: PhD in Curriculum & Instruction, Educational Media & Computers, Arizona State University, 1999; MEd in Elementary Education, Northern Arizona University, 1994; BS in Elementary Education, Northern Arizona University, 1990.

Photography courtesy Forever Memories Fotography.