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BLN FY22 Annual Election

2021 BLN Annual Election

Candidate Q&A Forum

April 22, 2021

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Microsoft Teams meeting

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Online Voting  – Tuesday, April 27th - 29th  

Executive Committee Nominations 

Office of the President:

Debbie Samuels


Debbie Samuels is the Manager of Application Security and Investigations for UHS Information Security. Debbie attended the UH campus for three years and received her B.S. in Management Information Systems from the University of Houston Downtown and a M.S. in Management Information Systems from Houston Baptist University. My husband and I met while attending UH and married at the A.D. Bruce Chappel 25 years ago. We have three children and two grand daughters. One daughter recently graduated from UH December 2020 and participated on the UH track meet.

Thanks for the opportunity to have served as the BLN President for fiscal years 2019 – 2021. It has been an amazing opportunity for me personally and professionally with great benefits and rewards. I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with some of the most amazing Black faculty, staff and students across the UH System. I have seen how BLN has grown its membership, goals and initiatives and am honored to have been a part of the many accomplishments and successes.

We are definitely living in interesting and uncertain times. Last March when we all moved to working remote from home most of us thought it would only be for a few months and things would be back to normal. Here we are now well into to a year 2021 and COVID-19 is still here, we are continuing to wear masks, frequently washing our hands, practicing social distancing and there are challenges in the distribution of the vaccine in many of our communities.

Although there have been many challenges, I am very proud to announce that The Black Leadership Network had another very productive year and we are looking forward to more opportunities to serve our faculty, staff, students and the community in 2021. BLN’s mission statement is to “Support and celebrate the inclusion and progress of UH System Black faculty, staff, students, alumni and community.” Continue reading Debbie Bio here.

View Debbie Samuels Campaign Video


Office of the Secretary

Dineta Frazier


Dineta Frazier currently works as Assistant to the Executive Director of Media Relations under the Division of University Marketing and Communications. She has a B.S. Degree in Nonprofit Leadership with a minor in Biblical Studies from Biola University in La Mirada, CA. She has over 20 years of corporate management experience both in the for-profit sector and nonprofit sector. She is the founder of The Morgan Frazier Cancer Foundation, a 501c3 organization, and has served as Chair of the Board of Director and CEO since it began in 2009. Her efforts advocating for families affected by a CANCER diagnosis has brought in over $500,000 in in-kind donations to Texas Children’s Hospital. Dineta Frazier is the wife of 28 years to her beloved husband Stanley Frazier, together they have 5 children, Sydney 25yrs old, Morgan (Bereaved at 10 yrs. old), Ethan 20yrs old, Tyler 18 yrs. old and adopted daughter Myra Nicole, 36yrs old. She was born and raised in Houston’s, 5th ward, Texas and is a proud advocate for at-risk communities of color. She and her husband live in Spring, Texas and attend at New Light Christian Center Church where Bishop I.V Hilliard is pastor emeritus and the senior pastor is Dr. Irishea Hillard

Office of the Parliamentarian

Diedra Fontaine


Diedra Fontaine is the Director, Alumni Relations and Event at the University of Houston College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. She has a professional background in Development, Sales, Community Affairs and Auditing. Fontaine received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Business Information Systems from the University of North Texas and a MBA from Texas Southern University.

Diedra is the recipient of several awards including the Founders Award from The Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, Legacy Hero Alumnae from Texas Southern University, the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church Women’s Guild IMPACT award. In addition, she has been honored as a Women of Distinction by the Chrons & Colitis Foundation, a Woman on the Move by the Texas Executive Women Inc., Texas Diversity Council and inducted into the Houston Women’s Business Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame Diedra is a native Houstonian and livelong member of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, where she serves as a deaconess, Immediate Past President of the Women’s Guild and board member of the 5’C non-profit. Diedra is committed to serving her community and has served on several boards including the Linda Lorelle Scholarship Fund, Houston Area Urban League and The Holocaust Museum. She currently serves on the boards of The Ensemble Theater and Dress For Success Houston. Diedra is an active member of the The Links, Incorporated, Houston(TX) Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated – Alpha Kappa Omega Chapter, Girlfriends – Houston Chapter, Jack and Jill of America, Incorporate – Houston Chapter Associates and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. She is married to Dr. Terence Fontaine and they are the proud parents of Courtney Ann Fontaine.

View Diedra Fontaine's Campaign Video


Board of Directors Nominations 

Board Position #1 (1 Year Term):

Dr. Chance M. Glenn, Sr.


Dr. Chance M. Glenn, Sr. joined the UHV family as provost and vice president for academic affairs on August 5, 2019. Glenn started his academic career in 2003 at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York as a faculty member in the College of Applied Science and Technology. In 2008, he became associate dean in the Office of Graduate Studies. In 2012, he was hired as dean of the Alabama A&M College of Engineering, Technology and Physical Sciences. Glenn earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park. Both his master’s and doctorate in electrical engineering were earned at Johns Hopkins University. He also holds a certificate in management development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Glenn’s honors include a 2018 induction into the Indispensable Role of Blacks at JHU exhibit, a traveling and online exhibit honoring the contributions people of color have made to Johns Hopkins. In addition, Morningbird Media’s Electronic Alchemy eForge was named as a 2019 finalist in the experimental category in Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas. Glenn is an avid artist, singer/songwriter and was part of The Praise Project, a gospel group that recorded “First Fruits,” a CD nominated for a Grammy in 2000.

Board Position #2 (2 Year Term):

Dr. Felix Simieou


Dr. Felix Simieou is an associate professor of educational administration and Interim Associate Dean of the College of Education at the University of Houston at Clear Lake. In this role, he is responsible for the development of academic programs; leading the strategic planning and assessment efforts; overseeing the program review process for the State, accreditation process and other reports, and substituting for the Dean. Before serving as associate dean he was the department chair of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. As department chair, he led and managed the college’s Ed.D. and M.S. in Educational leadership as well as the educational foundation's program. As a faculty member, he teaches leadership courses in school-community relations, school law, principalship and transition and change. He has over 22 years of experience in education, including work as a classroom teacher, administrator in public and private schools, and currently an associate professor. He holds teaching certifications in Texas and Louisiana, as well as principal certification in Texas. At the university, he had been program coordinator of educational leadership and served multiple chair positions in faculty senate and various commitments at the university and college levels.


Board Position #3 (2 Year Term):

Dr. Elwyn C. Lee


Elwyn C. Lee grew up in the historic Third Ward of Houston, Texas attending public schools: Blackshear elementary, Miller junior high, and Yates senior high. His last two years of high school were at Phillips Academy in Andover Massachusetts, after which he attended Yale College graduating magna cum laude. Following Yale Law school graduation Lee joined Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now WilmerHale), a prestigious large firm in Washington, D.C. After three years he joined the University of Houston (UH) Law Center where he taught employment law, personal injury law, administrative law and ethics. Moving into administration in 1989 Lee served three semesters as the interim director of the UH African American Studies program. For the next twenty years, Lee served as Vice President for Student Affairs responsible for a comprehensive array of student and enrollment services. In his current Vice Presidential role, Lee develops strategies for making UH more inclusive and is ve Leader of the UH Third Ward Initiative, that collaborates with neighborhood stakeholders to address disparities in education, health, economic empowerment and art exposure. In response to the death of George Floyd the UH President appointed Dr. Lee to be Co-Chair of the University wide Racial Equity & Social Justice Committee (RESJC) charged with scrutinizing campus policies and practices and recommending actions that would enhance diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice. He is active in and with Third Ward organizations such as CHANGE HAPPENS, the EEDC, SHAPE Community Center, the Third Ward Complete Communities, and Project Row Houses (PRH) where he serves on the Board. With respect to the Black Leadership Network (BLN), I was in the room at its birth and literally named it. Over the years it has evolved to what we have today. I have been dedicated to helping BLN develop into a sustainable organization that has value for faculty, staff and students. My office has played a crucial role in organizing BLN receptions and banquets: contributing funds, preparing and presenting award certificates, and designing trophies. On a regular basis I support the organization by sharing announcements and news to BLN leadership that are frequently incorporated into the BLN newsletter. Currently, I am on the BLN Board and continues to provide ideas and advice drawing upon my experience and extensive networks

Board Position #4 (2 Year Term):

Dean Myra Conley


As a proud alumnus of the University of Houston I had the opportunity to work at the university for more than 35 years. I have been a member of the Black Leadership Network, Inc. since its inception in the 80's and was a board member at the time of the incorporation. Over the years I have had an opportunity to serve in various capacities including the student affairs committee chairperson, scholarship committee member, treasurer, vice president, president and board member. I support the efforts of BLN, Inc. in providing a venue for networking and the development of professional staff and faculty through the sharing of information. I believe we exist to work collectively to seek ways to serve the students and our campus community.

Board Position #6 (2 Year Term):

Joyce Taylor


Joyce Taylor joined UHCL as the coordinator of internship programs and lecturer in behavioral sciences. She received undergraduate degrees from Wilberforce University and the University of Dayton in Ohio; a certificate in physics from Hull University in Hull, England, as an academic study abroad scholar; leadership degrees from Lakewood Church Institute; and graduate degrees from UHCL in behavioral sciences with a specialization in industrial/organizational psychology, criminology, and cross-cultural and women’s studies. Most recently, Taylor served as the chair of the UHCL Alumni Association’s Executive Council for which she continues to serve as outgoing chair. I have been a part of the BLN since the current President sent out a note to invite all campuses to participate and join. I worked with the current officers/board to complete the By-Laws and the term positions, as well as worked to provide information for our 501-3C. I have been a part of the Board and am dedicated to BLN and have traveled from the UHCL campus pre-Cov-19 to attend the meetings and have encouraged other UHCL individuals to attend. I believe in BLN and the goals and mission and in the continual recognition of the leadership of my Black faculty colleagues, staff, alumni, and Black students across all the UH-campuses. I would like to continue to work as part of the Board for BLN’s successful future.



The nominee must be:

  • An active employee at a University of Houston System campus (UH, UH-Clear Lake, UH-Downtown, and UH-Victoria).
  • A paid registered member of BLN prior to April 22nd (you may pay dues and register at the same time as submitting your nomination)
  • Willing to accept the responsibility of an officer of the BLN.
  • And willing to volunteer 5-7 hours a month to role responsibilities. 


According to Article III Section 3.01 and 3.02 (a) of the BLN By-Laws:

Board Member Positions: Each member of the Board (each, a “Director”) shall conduct his or her duties in good faith, with ordinary care, and in a manner the Director reasonably believes to be in the best interest of the Corporation.

According to Section 5.01 (a), (c), (e) and (f) of the BLN By-Laws:

(a) President: The President shall preside at all Executive Committee meetings, and
shall supervise and control BLN’s operations in accordance with the policies and directives
approved by the Board. The President shall serve on both the Board and the Executive

(c) Secretary: The Secretary shall be responsible for the keeping of an accurate record
of the proceedings of all the Board, Committee, and Member meetings and shall give, or
cause to be given, all notices in accordance with the Bylaws or required by law. The
Secretary may delegate the recording of minutes of Board meetings to the Board Liaison
to the Secretary. The Secretary shall serve on the Executive Committee.

(e) Parliamentarian: The Parliamentarian shall advise BLN as to proper parliamentary procedure. The Parliamentarian shall serve on the Executive Committee.

Terms of Service

  • Elected candidates will serve a one-year or two-year term starting September 1, 2021, thru August 31, 2023.
  • In the event of unforseen position vacancy during fiscal year terms of service are reduced to remaining fiscal year terms of service remaining. 
  • Officers may serve consecutive terms.
  • Officers may not hold more than one office concurrently.


Voting allowed by eligible BLN members who have held memberships as of November 30, 2020.

Please contact Election Committee if you have any questions or additional information.

Dr. Sharon Green
Elections Campaign Committee Chair 
Phone: 713.743.7788

Thank you!