Daniel P. O'Connor, Ph.D.
Daniel P. O’Connor, Ph.D. is the interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) and professor, Health and Human Performance. He received his Ph.D. in Kinesiology from the University of Houston and holds a M.S. in Physical Therapy from Texas Woman’s University, and a B.A. in Human Performance and Health Sciences from Rice University.
Interim Dean O’Connor is an accomplished scholar and author whose specializations in interdisciplinary research agenda include evaluating the effectiveness of health-related interventions, explaining individual variation in health outcomes, and investigating the effects of physical activity on health and risk factors. He has collaborated in research across many diverse fields and topics, including obesity, health and wellness, public health, kinesiology, exercise science, rehabilitation, movement disorders, physiology, and surgery. Dr. O'Connor is the author of Clinical Pathology for Athletic Trainers: Recognizing Systemic Disease, 3rd ed. (with Thorofare, NJ: Slack Incorporated, paperback 2015).
Dr. O’Connor is a native Houstonian, exercise enthusiast and sought-after media expert on fitness. He has been featured in Runner’s World Magazine and his favorite quote is from Ph.D. advisor and mentor, UH Professor Emeritus Andrew S. “Tony” Jackson: “Get moving!”
Executive Administrative Assistant to Dean
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Dana M. Green is the executive administrative assistant to the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business and has been with the University of Houston since 2008. She has held various senior-level administrative positions with UH in Donor and Alumni Records, University Advancement, Office of International Studies and Programs, and UH Health and Academic Programs in the Office of the Provost. Prior to joining the University of Houston, she spent seven years as an Office Administrator in the private sector and industrial industry.
Susan Scarrow holds a Moores University Professorship in the Department of Political Science. Her teaching and scholarship focus on representation and political participation in parliamentary democracies, including political party development, comparative political finance, and the spread of direct democracy. She co-leads the multi-national Political Party Database , an NSF-funded endeavor which currently encompasses over 240 parties and over 40 countries. She co-edited Organizing Political Parties: Representation, Participation
Billy Hawkins is a professor at the University of Houston in the Department of Health and Human Performance. He received his Ph.D. in sport and cultural studies from the University of Iowa, an M.S. in human performance from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and a B.S. in business administration from Webber International University. Hawkins has authored numerous books, including The New Plantation: Black Athletes, College Sports, and Predominantly White NCAA Institutions. He is the co-author of Sport, Race, Activism, and Social Change: The Impact of Dr. Harry Edwards’ Scholarship and Service, and he also co-authored The Athletic Experience at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Past, Present, and Persistence. His research interests include the sociology of sport and cultural studies, sport management, and sport for development. Hawkins’ work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals and presented to academic associations in the fields of sport studies, sport history, sport sociology, and African American studies.
Todd Romero received his B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Boston College. An associate professor in the Department of History, he researches and teaches classes on early American, Native American, public and food history. Romero is the author of a number of articles and the book Making War and Minting Christians: Masculinity, Religion, and Colonialism in Early New England (University of Massachusetts Press, (2011).
His work has been supported by fellowships or grants from the Newberry Library, the John Nicholas Brown Center for American Civilization at Brown University, the Huntington Library, the American Philosophical Society, Massachusetts Historical Society, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. For his teaching, Romero has won the Provost’s Core Teaching Award (2012) and the Ross M. Lence Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities (2016).
Carla Sharp is a professor of psychology, director of the Developmental Psychopathology Lab and the UH-ADAPT clinic. She received her Ph.D. in developmental psychopathology at the University of Cambridge. In 2004, she moved to the United States to take an appointment as an assistant professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine.
Her published work includes over 250 peer-reviewed publications (H-index 53) and numerous chapters reflecting her interests in the social-cognitive basis of psychiatric problems and attachment-related disorders as well as the application of this work in developing diagnostic tools and interventions in youth. She has co-authored three books: an edited volume with Springer titled “The Handbook of Borderline Personality Disorder in Children and Adolescents,” an edited volume with Oxford University Press titled “Social Cognition and Developmental Psychopathology,” and a book with MIT Press titled “Midbrain Mutiny: Behavioral Economics and Neuroeconomics of Gambling Addiction as Basic Reward System Disorder. Her work has been continuously funded since 2009 by the NIH and various foundations.
J. Robert McKee is executive director of College Business Operations for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. He received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Arts in Management from Antioch College. Prior to joining the University of Houston, he served as Director of Business Operations with Boston University School of Medicine Graduate Medical Sciences and has held director-level finance positions in London and at Texas A&M University System in College Station. He has over 25 years of business, finance, accounting, forecasting, project and asset management, and business development experience in multiple industries including higher education, business, government and international services.
Toni Mooney Smith is the executive director of marketing and communications for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. She holds a Master of Science in communication from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Houston. She has successfully secured major media placement with global outlets, including CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, the Chicago Tribune, and USA Today. Prior to joining the University of Houston, she held director-level leadership roles in academia and health care, specializing in strategic communications, brand strategy, marketing, crisis communications, and public affairs. She was a standout basketball player for the University of Houston Lady Coogs, and is among an elite group of student-athletes in the program’s 1,000-Point Club.
Kim Howard has served in several development capacities at University of Houston for 20 years, working at Houston Public Media, Blaffer Art Museum and CLASS. She earned a Master of Public Administration from University of Houston and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from University of Oklahoma.
Director of Alumni Relations
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Diedra B. Fontaine is the director of alumni relations for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. She received a Master of Business Administration from Texas Southern University and a Bachelor of Business Administration in computer information systems from the University of North Texas. Prior to joining the University of Houston, she served as executive director in the Office of Development at Prairie View A&M University. She has extensive alumni-relations experience and has coordinated alumni outreach initiatives, planned special events, and overseen strategic planning. She has held director-level roles in health care, aviation and sales. Fontaine has also served as an adjunct instructor in the Jesse H. Jones School of Business.
Amy O'Neal earned her bachelor's degree in history from Texas A&M University and her master's and doctorate in history from the University of Houston. Her research focuses on medieval history specifically Norman and Anglo-Norman women in 10th-12th century England and France. She teaches history and has worked in UH's Department of History and the Women's Studies Program. As director of Assessment and Accreditation Services, O'Neal coordinates assessment initiatives within the college, provides faculty and staff support for the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) and Institutional Effectiveness Plans (IEPs), and collects and analyzes data for the college.
Janie Graham is the Executive Director for Undergraduate Programs for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Youth and Human Services from Salem-Teikyo University where she also earned her certificate in American Humanics (now known as Nonprofit Leadership Alliance). She has been with the University of Houston since 1999. Prior to joining the University of Houston, she served as the Dean for an all girls private high school in San Antonio.
Linda Davis is the Director of Educational Technology for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Governors State University. Her doctorate in Instructional Technology and Distance Education is from Nova Southeastern University. Prior to joining the Dean’s office, she served as Director of Staff Development and Instructional Technology Facilitator for Kirby School District in Illinois and taught online courses for University of Northern Iowa.
Frank Houston is the College Information Services Manager and Information Security Officer for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from Jones College and a Master of Science in Management with a focus on Information Security from Colorado Technical University. Prior to joining the University of Houston, he served as Director of Information Technology for a major medical management corporation in south Florida.
Research Development Administrator
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Latricia Vaughns is the Research Development Administrator for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas and a Master of Business Administration from Texas A&M University-Commerce. Her experience includes grant administration for academic health science centers and local government agencies.
Research Liaison Officer
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Denise McGuire is the Research Liaison Officer for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. She received her bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a Master of Business Administration from Texas Southern University. She has been with the University of Houston since 2009, previously serving in the Division or Research (DOR). Prior to joining the University of Houston, she worked in various purchasing and procurement roles with Macy's, MD Anderson Cancer Center and Houston Community College.