Dr. Patrick Lukingbeal
Patrick is a 7th generation Texan from Houston, and joined the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services as the Director of UH Wellness in June 2014. He received his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Individual Differences with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration from the College of Education here at UH. He also received his Master of Education in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education (SAAHE) as well as a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies – both from Texas A&M University. He is passionate about helping students be successful while in college and promoting healthy decisions around all dimensions of wellness.
He has several years of progressive experience in various higher education capacities, including wellness and wellbeing, residence life, conduct and student activities. Previous to UH, he has worked at Rice University, Georgetown University, and Texas A&M University. Currently, he serves as the Region III representative for the NASPA Wellness and Health Promotion Knowledge Community, as well as a past national co-chair of the NASPA GLBT Knowledge Community. He is also a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor through the National Council of Behavioral Health.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling the world, gardening, listening to music, Crossfit, and finding excuses to explore the great state of Texas.
Assistant Director for Health Education
Reuben graduated from California State University, Fresno with a BS in Health Science and a MPH in Public Health with an option in Health Promotion. He has worked at the University of Houston Wellness department for 4+ years. He is a member of the American Public Health Association, American College Health Association, Texas Association of College & University Student Personnel Administrators and Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. He serves as chair for the Healthy Coogs 2020 coalition. His interests are in general health education/promotion, men’s health, substance abuse, wellness and health coaching and worksite wellness. He is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist and Certified health and Wellness Coach. Reuben is passionate and committed to serve and assist the university in helping improve the lives of students, staff and faculty.
Favorite Quote “Knowing is half the battle” GI Joe
Jack is a junior Accounting major at the University of Houston. He has worked as a student worker for the UH wellness center since June 2013. He is passionate about a variety of health and wellness issues including tobacco cessation and mental health. He is currently the Treasurer of the Cougar Peer Educators here on campus. His interests include video games, sports, and hanging out with friends.
Angelo S. Ortiz Vela
Angelo is a freshman at the University of Houston, who will be majoring in Entrepreneurship. He is elated to be a student worker at UH Wellness, because he can interact and help students improve their wellbeing through the 9 Dimensions of Wellness. As a first-generation college student, Angelo wants to use his voice to help aid his generation and future generations. He wants to help heal and works on informing others that their acts of kindness do not go unnoticed.
Previously, Angelo has worked to increase Emotional Intelligence in youth with the Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation at the Emotion Revolution Summit, and has served on The Woods Project Student Advisory Board as Vice Chairman.
In his leisure time Angelo loves learning. He can often be found reading articles on Entrepreneurship, searching for self-improvement posts on Quora or Reddit, and watching YouTube videos that teach soft skills to improve different facets of life.
Ka Yan Ip (Karen)
Karen is a first year graduate student at the University of Houston’s Graduate College of Social Work. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the City University of Hong Kong in May 2016. Karen has previously worked with teens in poverty at an integrated family service center, and in a hospital setting for patients with chronic diseases and cancer. In these positions Karen has organized and led wellness programs, such as laughter yoga and a mindfulness workshop and she lead a therapeutic group for breast cancer patients using art therapy. She is currently most passionate about promoting mental health in communities. Karen loves trying new things and being a part of the UH community. During her free time she likes to spend time with family and friends, be outdoors, and do activities such as yoga, dancing and playing the violin.
Verna is a student in the Graduate College of Social Work, with a Macro, political social work concentration. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Political Science from Illinois State University. Currently in her last year of the program, Verna is interning with the Harris County Sheriff's Office Reentry program, doing program evaluation, which will complement her desired future professional aspirations of working in an administrative role within a corporation, working on organizational policy or working within the government (city or state) working on public policy. In her spare time Verna, enjoys volunteer work, which involves being a student Ambassador with the Graduate College of Social Work and working out and trying new healthy recipes for food preparation for her busy week. Verna is excited to join the staff of the UH Wellness Center because she believes that the Nine Dimensions of Wellness are important components of a student’s life in college and can continue to be effective in building a balanced lifestyle that will foster positive health and wellness outcomes, for the whole being throughout the entirety of life.