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University of Houston
January 2015

Teaching Creativity: English Department building creative writing pedagogy program

Top Story
Creative writing programs encourage and develop the talent in people who want to write poetry and prose. But what training is there for people who want to teach creative writing techniques to people who want to write poetry and prose? The Department of English, home to the internationally acclaimed UH Creative Writing Program, is building a creative writing pedagogy program that will teach future creative writing instructors how to teach their craft to others. read more
Qian Lu

Jan. 21 birthday bash for former Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby

The Hobby Center for Public Policy (HCPP) has planned a birthday bash for former Texas Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby and all the gifts to celebrate the honoree will benefit future public policy students. The "Bill Hobby Birthday Roast and Toast in Celebration of His 83rd Birthday" will be held from 6:30 – 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 21 at the River Oaks Country Club. read more

Dr. Francesca Behr

Blaffer and three other Houston museums present Mel Chin: Rematch

The Blaffer Art Museum has taken the lead in presenting Mel Chin: Rematch, the most expansive survey of Chin’s work to date and a homecoming for one of the city’s most renowned artists. Blaffer will host the largest component of the exhibition that was organized by the New Orleans Museum of Art. read more

CLASS Students in the Media

Baritone Heath Martin, a music graduate student, was hired to sing the male role in the world premiere of the two-person, seven-song opera, On This Muddy Water: Voices from the Houston Ship Channel, commissioned and presented by HGOco, the community collaboration arm of the Houston Grand Opera, in celebration of the centennial anniversary of the opening of the Houston Ship Channel. The piece opened in Houston in December and the final local performance will be on Wednesday, January 21 in the Tudor Gallery of the Julia Ideson Library, 550 McKinney Street.
Jack J. Valenti School of Communication senior Cassidy Estrada participated in a hidden camera investigation conducted by KPRC Channel 2 to answer the question, "What are Houston employers paying for entry-level jobs?" Estrada is interning at the station this semester.
Kendall Kaminksy, a senior in the School of Theatre and Dance, wrote a play that recently premiered at UH. The play, "The End of Side A" was selected from several submissions as the student-authored work to be developed and produced this season according to the Houston Chronicle article, UH to premiere theater student's play and the Houston Press article, 100 Creatives 2014: Kendall Kaminsky, Playwright.
Andrew Joseph Pegoda is currently completing his Ph.D. in history. His article, The Emotional Costs of Student Success, was recently featured in Inside Higher Ed.

CLASS Faculty in the Media

The recent attacks in Paris were the deadliest acts of terrorism in that country in decades. Sarah Fishman, professor of history, commented about how the world is standing together with France in the ABC-13 story French Americans Horrified By Paris Attacks.
WalletHub's recent study examining 2014's Cities with the Highest and Lowest Population in Need featured comments by Sheila Katz, assistant professor of sociology.
After two students committed suicide on campus in recent months, Temple Northup, assistant professor of communications, penned an article in the Houston Chronicle titled, After UH's second student suicide this year, silence.
Tony Hoagland, poet and professor of creative writing, was featured in the Houston Chronicle articles, Can poetry save America? Houston poet makes the case and Twenty poems that could save America.
Research conducted by Stacey Gorniak, assistant professor of health and human performance, indicates that Type 2 diabetes may impact memory. Her findings were recently published in the Defender Network article, Type 2 Diabetes may affect memory.
Robert Zaretsky, professor of history, recently wrote the following articles:
Tablet recently ran a piece authored by David Mikics, professor of English, titled The Nazi Romance With Islam Has Some Lessons for the United States.
With gas prices falling, My Fox Houston recently ran a story titled, Lower gas prices could punish Houston economy. Steven Craig, professor of economics, offered expert opinion about the effect on the local economy.
Paul Gregory, professor of economics, was featured in WalletHub's article, Ask the Experts: The Impact of Falling Oil Prices on Your Wallet.
Houston Matters recently ran the program, How Prevalent Is Plagiarism in the Media and the Classroom? Garth Jowett, professor of communications, offered commentary on this subject during the program.
John Vincent
John Vincent, co-director of the center for couples therapy, provided commentary regarding the dropping divorce rate on the KTRH-AM 740 story, Divorce Rate Dropping.

CLASS Alumni/ae Notes

State Senator John Whitmire
State Senator John Whitmire ('75, Political Science, '80 UH Law) made the first donation – $4,000 – to the new Cougar Experience Scholarship, for freshmen students who choose to live on campus. UH has the second-largest residential campus in Texas. More than 7,000 students lived on campus this fall, which is 95 percent of its capacity. UH does not require freshmen to live on campus and a proposal to require such was tabled by the administration in August.
Poet Janine Joseph ('13, Ph.D. Creative Writing & Literature) wrote the libretto for On This Muddy Water: Voices from the Houston Ship Channel, a 30-minute song cycle commissioned and presented to celebrate the Ship Channel's centennial by by HGOco, the community collaboration arm of the Houston Grand Opera. The Houston Chronicle noted the accomplishment in the article, Character of Ship Channel flows freely in "On This Muddy Water." Joseph is also the librettist of a 2012 Houston Grand Opera commission set in the Korean-American community.
Michelle Reed, who graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism in 2012, recently was named Director of Communications, Gulf Coast Division of the American Heart Association. Prior to this position, she worked in the journalism industry at news outlets in Bryan/College Station and Lufkin, Tx.
Darius Clark Monroe is an award-winning filmmaker and CLASS alum of the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication. His most recent documentary appeared on the PBS program, Independent Lens in January. In the film, Evolution of a Criminal, Monroe explores what led him to pull a bank heist as a teenager in Texas, and returns to the scene of the crime.


Jan. 17: Mel Chin: Rematch
Presented by the Blaffer Art Museum, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Asia Society Texas Center and Station Museum of Contemporary Art
A citywide homecoming for one of the most important artists Houston has produced, the Houston presentation of the retrospective exhibition will be displayed in the four presenting museums.
The component at the Blaffer will showcase Chin's science-based projects.
Saturday, January 17th – Roving Opening at all four venues. Noon at Blaffer. 2 p.m. at Asia Society. 4 p.m. at CAMH. 6 – 9 p.m. party at Station Museum.
Free and open to all.
Blaffer Art Museum, UH Arts District, Entrance 16 on Cullen Boulevard and Entrance 18 on Elgin Road.
Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston, 5216 Montrose Blvd., Houston, 77006
Asia Society Texas Center, 1370 Southmore Blvd., Houston, 77004
Station Museum of Contemporary Art, 1502 Alabama St, Houston, 77004

Jan. 19: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
(federal and state holiday)
State Senator John Whitmire

Jan. 20: First day of classes for the regular spring 2015 session

Jan. 21: Bill Hobby Birthday Roast and Toast
Benefitting the Hobby Center for Public Policy and the Hobby School of Public Affairs initiative
Wednesday, January 21st – 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
For ticket and table prices, please call 713-743-4016
River Oaks Country Club, 1600 River Oaks Blvd.

Jan. 24: Day of Service Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Coog City Cares, a student-run project of the Bonner Leaders Program in the Honors College, has joined with the UH Metropolitan Volunteer Program and the Center for Student Involvement to more than 1,000 in a day service dedicated to build bridges between UH and the Third Ward community.

Jan. 28: The Barbara Karkabi Living Archives Series: Women in Energy Panel Discussion
Presented by the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program and the Friends of Women's Studies
A panel discussion featuring Deci Autin of ExxonMobil Development Company; Peggy Montana of Shell Midstream Partners; Sue Payne, formerly at ExxonMobil Development Company & National Math and Science Initiative; and Cynthia Walker of Occidental Petroleum Corporation.
Monday, January 26th – 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Rockwell Pavilion in the M.D. Anderson Library
Free for students and members of the Friends/ $10 general public

Jan. 28: Ethics in Science Lecture:
The Devil's Heritage: Masuo Kodani, the "Nisei Problem," and Social Stratification at the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission in Japan

Presented by the Ethics in Science initiative and the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation and Statistics (T.I.M.E.S.)
State Senator John Whitmire
This talk by Vassiliki Betty Smocovitis, a history of science professor at the University of Florida, focuses on Masuo Kodani, a Japanese American geneticist and his role as intermediary between the survivors of the atomic bomb drops and American officials and scientists collecting genetic data.
Wednesday, January 28th – 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Philip G Hoffman Hall, Room 232 (PGH-232)

State Senator John Whitmire
Jan. 29: Lecture: Lessons from My Travels by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Presented by the English and Modern and Classical Languages departments and the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program
Dr. Spivak is University Professor at Columbia University and an internationally acclaimed expert in transnational feminism, postcolonial studies, translation studies and literary theory. She will discuss her global approach to criticism and education.
Thursday, January 29th – 5:30 p.m.
University Theater in the University Center
Entrance 1 on Calhoun Road

Jan. 29: Opera Opening – The Elixir of Love by Gaetano Donazetti
Presented by the Moores School of Music
A shy young man wins the girl of his dreams with a little help from a bottle. If it only was that easy in real life! The Elixir of Love is a charming comedy set in the Italian countryside that was a favorite of both Pavarotti and Caruso.
All performances at 7:30 p.m. with a preview lecture 45 minutes before the curtain rises.
Thursday, January 29th
Saturday, January 31st
Sunday, February 1st
Monday, February 2nd
Tickets $7 for students and senior citizens, $12 for general public
Moores Opera House
Entrance 16 off Cullen Blvd.

Jan. 30: Opera Opening – Frau Margot by Thomas Pasatieri
Presented by the Moores School of Music
In Amsterdam of 1938, the widow of a famous composer is reluctant to allow another composer to complete her late husband's un-finished opera until she conducts a séance to ask his permission.
Friday, January 30th – 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 1 – 2 p.m.
Preview lecture 45 minutes before the curtain rises.
Tickets $7 for students and senior citizens, $12 for general public
Moores Opera House
Entrance 16 off Cullen Blvd.

Please Save the Dates

March 6: Table Talk Luncheon
Benefitting the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program & hosted by the Friends of Women's Studies
This annual event invites 50 of our city's most dynamic women leaders in a diversity of disciplines and professions to lead conversations with luncheon guests. Confirmed 2015 conversationalists include Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Fashion entrepreneur and Table Talk Honorary Chair Tina Knowles and Brown University President Emerita Ruth Simmons, as well as CLASS alumnae screenwriter and blogger Kristin Wong, Fox Television Master Chef champion Christine Ha and opera singer Barbara Padilla.
Friday, March 6th – 11 a.m. reception and 12 noon luncheon.
Underwriting and individual ticket information available here.
Hilton Americas Houston Hotel, 1600 Lamar St, 77010

April 8 – 12: CounterCurrent
Presented by the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts
Countercurrent is a festival of bold experimental art that occupies a range of unexpected sites in the city of Houston. It includes audio and visual installation, live performance and participatory events by artists from around the world. Collaborations with dynamic organizations and artists in the Houston community are included as well as fresh new works by faculty and students.
Wednesday, April 8th – Sunday, April 12th
Participating artists and venues will be announced here in the coming weeks.

For more events, check the CLASS calendar.

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