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News from CLASS

Maturity, Perseverance Propel Youngest CLASS Graduate to English Degree

When Pavel Petrov began his first semester as a University of Houston student at age 16, he thought the college-level classes he took in high school had prepared him for the demands of higher education. Although he quickly realized a stiffer challenge lay ahead, he rose to the occasion and thrived alongside older peers. Now 19, Petrov will graduate as an English major after just three years of study. Read more

African American Studies Program Marks 50th Anniversary with New Bachelor of Arts Degree

The UH College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) is pleased to announce that undergraduate students will have the option to declare a major in African American Studies beginning in the Fall 2019 semester. Read More


Political Science Professor Emeritus Establishes New Scholarship for Graduate Students

Joseph Nogee, professor emeritus of political science, and his wife, Jo Nogee, have established The Jyle Nogee Graduate Studies Endowment in Political Science. The endowment supports scholarships for graduate students within the Department of Political Science. Read more

Professor’s Film Competes for Oscar Nomination

Cullen Distinguished Professor of Economics Paul Gregory was credited as an executive producer on “Women of the Gulag,” a short film based on his book of the same name. The project, which features interviews with six female survivors of Soviet slave-labor camps, was among ten films shortlisted for Oscar nominations in the Best Documentary Short category. Read more

Research Team Receives Grant to Study Racial Disparities in Cancer

Assistant Professor of Health and Human Performance Melissa Markofski is on a research team that has received a four-year, $1.3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute. Markofski is part of a collaborative effort between the University of Houston and MD Anderson Cancer Center that has empowered researchers to investigate and address disproportionately high rates of prostate cancer in African American and Hispanic men. Read more

Psychologist Obtains Research Award to Improve Young Learners’ Reading and Writing

Yusra Ahmed, research assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, has received a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The three-year grant, which totals $1.14 million, funds research into improving academic achievement among grade-school students struggling with reading, writing and comprehension. Read more

UH Partners with Museum of Fine Arts, Houston on Accessible Tours for the Hearing Impaired

The American Sign Language Interpreting (ASLI) Program at the UH College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) is proud to join forces with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) in creating an accessible museum experience for visitors in need of sign-language interpreters. On Saturday, March 30, seniors in the ASLI undergraduate program will volunteer at the museum, serving as interpreters for docent-led tours. ASLI Undergraduate Program Coordinator Sharon G. Hill has been instrumental in making this groundbreaking accessibility effort a reality. Read more

Professor Receives Grant to Study Anxiety and Alcohol Abuse in Latino Populations

Andres Viana, associate professor in the Department of Psychology, received a five-year, $900,000 award from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Viana’s project is titled “Synergistic Effects of Anxiety and Alcohol Use Among Latinos and its Sociocultural Mechanisms.” Read more

Adaptive Athletics at UH Recognized as Wheelchair Tennis Leader

Adaptive Athletics at UH has received a 2019 United States Tennis Association Wheelchair Tennis Grassroots Grant in the amount of $3,000. Under the direction of Michael Cottingham, associate professor of health and human performance, the organization has developed one of the largest and most active wheelchair tennis programs in the United States. With the help of the grant, Cottingham aims to grow UH wheelchair tennis into one of the top three programs nationwide. Read more

Psychologist Receives Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant

Arturo Hernandez, professor in the Department of Psychology, was awarded a 2019-2020 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. He will have the privilege of joining an outstanding research group in the Basque region of Spain. Read more

UH Division of Research Recognizes Three Outstanding CLASS Professors

Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished University Professor Michael Zvolensky, Department of Psychology, was selected to receive the Award for the Excellence in Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity at full professorship level for 2018-2019. Cameron Buckner, assistant professor of philosophy, received the award at assistant professorship level, and Jeffrey Church, Ross M. Lence Distinguished Teaching Chair in the Department of Political Science and the Honors College, received the award at associate professorship level. Read more.

Professor’s Latest Novel Explores the Indian Experience

“The Forest of Enchantments,” the latest novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, professor of fiction in the Creative Writing Program, was published by HarperCollins in January 2019. Read more.

Political Scientist Joins Influential Journal

Jeremy D. Bailey, professor in the Department of Political Science, has been named among the new editors of American Political Thought. Bailey will serve a four-year term beginning this summer. Read more

Economics Student to Embark on South African Study Tour

Bwalya Musonda, a senior majoring in economics, will be a part of the International Scholar Laureate Program Delegation on Nursing and Health Care. The 2019 program begins May 18 and takes place in the South African cities of Durban and Johannesburg. Read more

Creative Writing Ph.D. Candidate Publishes Debut Novel

Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, a doctoral student in the Creative Writing Program, had her debut novel, “House of Stone,” published by W.W. Norton & Company in January 2019. Tshuma has been recognized as one of the most promising writers from Africa under the age of 40. Read more

Creative Writing Alumna Releases Debut Memoir

Allie Rowbottom’s debut memoir, ”Jell-O Girls,” was published in July 2018. The memoir braids the evolution of one of America's most iconic branding campaigns with stirring tales of the women who lived behind its facade. Read more

CLASS Alumnus Shares Wisdom from Successful Finance Career

CLASS alumnus Steve McClellan, former president of Finance of America, met with UH students on March 7, 2019 to share stories and advice from his journey to academic and professional success. McClellan graduated from UH in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science in psychology and later received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. McClellan currently serves as a consultant at HMS Partners LLC in Atlanta, where he resides. Read more

$10 Million Anonymous Gift Supports Psychological Research

An anonymous $10 million gift by a grateful patient family to the Texas Center for Learning Disabilities (TCLD) has cemented its future as a world-class interdisciplinary research institution. Jack Fletcher, the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen distinguished university chair of the Department of Psychology, is the principal investigator of the TCLD, one of only three national learning disability centers in the United States funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Read more

$1 Million Endowment Gift Supports New Center for Arab Studies

CLASS has received a $1 million gift from the Arab American Educational (AAEF) to support the creation of the AAEF Colloquium Endowment, AAEF Graduate Seminar, and the Center for Arab Studies. Read more

CLASS Media Mentions