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University of Houston
Commencement Edition

Spring 2015 Convocation

The College had the most students apply to graduate in its history – just under 1,840. Of that, 272 were candidates for master’s and doctoral degrees. Among the undergraduates, 10 completed their studies with perfect 4.0 grade point averages and about 20 percent of the class earned Latin honors of summa, magna or cum laude. The College salutes its students’ many academic accomplishments and wishes them continued success in their future endeavors.

Hats on Parade Gallery | Pre-Convocation Photo Gallery | Convocation Photo Gallery

Saluting the Spring 2015 Graduates

The Perfect G.P.A.s
The First Class of Masters of Arts in Arts Leadership
Mahin Ansari, B.A. in American Sign Language Interpreting
Vi Dieu, B.A. in Dance
America Jauregui, B.A. in French and Italian Studies
Kory Kittell, B.A. in Political Science

CLASS Students in the Media

Mai-Ly Steers, lead author of the study "Seeing Everyone Else's Highlight Reels: How Facebook Usage is Linked to Depressive Symptoms," is a doctoral candidate in social psychology. She wrote the article, Why Facebook can be depressing, and what you can do about that, for the Houston Chronicle. Her research linking social comparison and Facebook usage to depressive was extensively covered by national and local media outlets:
Roel Benavides, Jr., is a 2015 Hobby Fellow majoring in political science. He is currently working in the office of State Representative Jim Murphy. Benavides recently wrote the article, A Business-Friendly Solution for Texas, which ran in the Houston Chronicle.
Lenore Caston-Miller, a senior completing a bachelor's of fine art in sculpture, is one of five UH students going to Washington D.C. this summer as the first participants under an agreement between UH and the Smithsonian Institution that will allow the students to work with researchers at one of the organization's museums or research centers.

CLASS Faculty in the Media

The journal Preventive Medicine published a study conducted by Daphne Hernandez, assistant professor of , that suggests certain types of stress at home can lead to children becoming obese by age 18. Several media outlets reported on Dr. Hernandez’s findings:
Alabama Media Group ran an article featuring Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, professor of creative writing. The article, AshaKiran's Ray of Hope to feature American Book Award-winning author, is a profile on Divakaruni and her works.
Brandon Rottinghaus, associate professor of political science, was a featured commentator on the Houston Matters program, What’s Houston’s Political Identity? He also appeared on the My Fox Houston news segment titled, Dr. Brandon Rottinghaus discusses two cuban americans running for white house.
A research study by Scott Bassinger, associate professor of political science, was highlighted in the Corpus Christi Caller Times article, Why don't politicians know when to get off the stage?
Robert Zaretsky, professor of modern and classical languages, was featured in a Houston Chronicle article about his new book. The article was titled, Professor tracks journey of enlightenment. In addition Zaretsky wrote the following articles:
Momentum recently ran a Q&A with Tracey Ledoux, assistant professor of health and human performance. The article, What’s the scoop on food allergies, weight gain, and disabilities?, featured Ledoux’s responses to various questions concerning food allergies.
Sixto Wagan, director of the UH Center for Arts Leadership, recently hosted the Leadership in the Arts Summit. The event was highlighted in the Houston Public Media article, What Does It Take To Build A 21st Century Arts Community In Houston?
KPRC Channel 2 ran a segment about CounterCurrent titled, 2nd Annual CounterCurrent Festival. Karen Farber, Executive Director of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, appeared on the program to discuss the event.
Kimberly Meyer earned her PhD in Creative Writing at UH and now teaches in The Human Situation sequence in the Honors College. She was featured in the Houston Press article, UH Professor and Author Kimberly Meyer Writes a Memoir About Mothers and Daughters.
Houston Matters recently aired a program titled, Backlog Means Immigration Cases Won’t Be Heard Until 2019. Jeronimo Cortina, assistant professor of Political Science, commented on the growing number of backlogged cases.
Paul Gregory, professor of Economics, appeared in an article titled, Prof. Gregory: Reich is Wrong, the 1 Percent Do Work which ran in NewsMax.
Houston’s environmental issues were the topic of the Houston Public Media program, Earth Day: Analyzing Houston's Environmental Successes And Shortcomings. Martin Melosi, professor of history, has been analyzing the city’s environmental issues for decades and offered insight during the program.

CLASS Alumni/ae Notes

The Houston Chronicle ran a pictorial of famous UH alum, and several former CLASS students, including Loretta Devine and Jack Valenti, were included in the story titled, Which new University of Houston grad will join this list of notable former students?
Houston Rockets play-by-play announcer Bill Worrell was recently awarded the “Distinguished Alumni Award” from UH. Worrell, a former UH baseball player, was a radio-TV major. The Houston Chronicle article, Thanks to Rockets' win, Worrell will get UH award, details his accomplishments.


Now – September 5: Early Awnings: Henning Bohl with Sergei Tcherepnin exhibition
On display at the Blaffer Art Museum
Early Awnings is an installation of sculptures, drawings, and sound conceived as a multi-dimensional platform for story-telling by artists Henning Bohl and Sergei Tcherepnin. The work was developed in collaboration with students from UH’s Creative Writing Program. Read more about the exhibition here.

Now – September 5: Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler: Sound Speed Marker exhibition
On display at the Blaffer Art Museum
Claudia Schmuckli, Blaffer’s director and chief curator, contributed to the comprehensive catalog for Sound Speed Marker, a trilogy of video installations, related photographs and an outdoor sculpture by the renowned Swiss-American artist duo, Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler. Organized by Ballroom Marfa, where the exhibition premiered in 2014 before traveling to the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, Sound Speed Marker addresses all the known clichés associated with Texas: its industries of cattle, oil and space, its heroes of cowboys, wildcatters and astronauts, its vast land and skies and extreme weather. Read more about the exhibition here.

June 6 – 27: Texas Music Festival 2015
Presented by the Moores School of Music
The Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival was founded in 1990 to provide young professional musicians with a challenging musical environment in which to develop skills in orchestral, chamber music, and solo performance. The intensive four-week orchestral fellowship program on the University of Houston campus is guided by renowned guest conductors, members of Houston’s orchestras, faculty from the Moores and Shepherd schools of music, and other distinguished artists. Review the month-long schedule of concerts and events and purchase tickets here.

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