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Dean Antonio D. Tillis and the CLASS Office of Communications.

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Fall 2018

First Female UH Student on Houston Texans Training Staff Breaks Down Barriers

Second-year Master of Athletic Training (MAT) student Beverly Fowler is completing her clinical education assignment with the NFL’s Houston Texans, and she’s enjoying every moment of the experience. Fowler, a first-generation graduate student, is the first female UH student to complete her full-year clinical experience on the team’s training staff, and just the second female student trainer in the 17-year history of the Texans. Read more

Photo Credit: Houston Texans

UH Professor, husband lands safely after booster failure

Lt. Col. Catie Hague, professor of aerospace studies and commander of the Air Force ROTC program at the University of Houston, breathed a sigh of relief when her husband, Air Force colonel and NASA astronaut Nick Hague, returned to solid ground following his first mission to the International Space Station on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. The October mission was grounded after booster failure resulted in an emergency landing shortly after launch. CBS News | Read more

Photo credit: NASA

Students and Professors of Jewish Studies Organize Campus Vigil for Victims of Pittsburgh Shooting

On October 30, a candlelight vigil was held in the courtyard of the Student Center to honor the 11 people killed in the mass shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue. Read more

Professor’s Mental-Health Research Recognized by American Psychological Association

Dr. Rheeda L. Walker, associate professor of psychology, will be named an American Psychological Association (APA) Fellow in 2019. Walker, who serves as director of the Department of Psychology’s Culture, Risk, and Resilience Lab, is receiving national recognition for her research into suicide prevention across ethnic groups. Read more

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Professor Establishes Peer-Mentoring Program

Dr. Byron Ross, instructional associate professor of communication sciences and disorders, has established a peer-mentoring program for students at UH with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The purpose of the program is to provide additional support to students with ASD — or any student with social challenges — by matching them with a student mentor who can assist them in navigating life as college students. Read more

National Safety Initiative Welcomes UH Professor as Advisor

Dr. Christiane Spitzmueller, professor of psychology, served as the scientific advisor to the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America on their industry-wide safety assessment project. Read more

Professor Earns International Recognition in Sport and Sociology

Dr. Billy Hawkins (right), professor of health and human performance, was inducted to the 2018 class of North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS) Research Fellows. Hawkins’ record of scholarship and sustained contributions to the NASSS intellectual community was deemed exemplary and worthy of this important distinction. Read more

$2.5 Million Grant Awarded to Psychology Researcher Studying Student Achievement in Mathematics

Dr. Paul Cirino, associate professor of psychology, has received a four-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Cirino is probing the minds of 1,000 Houston Community College students taking developmental or remedial math coursework to find out where the stumbling blocks occur. Read more

Professor Joins Nationwide Initiative to Redesign American History Courses

Dr. Raul Ramos, professor of history, is part of a four-year project called “History Gateways” that will launch in January and study the efficacy of introductory American history courses. It is made possible by a $1.65 million grant from the Mellon Foundation to the American Historical Association. The funds will be split among two- and four-year higher education institutions in New York, Chicago and Houston. Read more.

Professor Examines Why Those Who Exercise More Drink Most

Upending conventional wisdom that physical activity can be a healthy deterrent to alcohol consumption, University of Houston Moores professor of psychology Clayton Neighbors is examining the relationship between the two in college students. In prior work, Neighbors concluded that as activity goes up, so does drinking. Read more.

LGBT Discrimination Research Earns Professor National Science Foundation Grant

Dr. Amanda Baumle, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology, was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant in the amount of $294,492 to study employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Read more.

International Grant Awarded to Professor Studying Media and Terrorism

Dr. Lea Helmueller, assistant professor of journalism, has been awarded a scientific exchange grant for a research project on media and terrorism at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. Read more

Jack J. Valenti School of Communication Student Interns in Israel

For almost three months this summer, journalism senior Nola Valente took on a reporting internship in one of the most contentious countries in the world. Based in Jerusalem, Valente worked closely with a small team at a non-profit American news agency called The Media Line. Read more

Beyond Bars: Doctoral Student Leads Creative Writing Workshops at Harris County Jail

Kaj Tanaka, a doctoral student in the Creative Writing Program, is making a difference as a teacher in the Harris County Jail Creative Writing Workshop. After first leading a workshop in 2014 at a county jail in Illinois, Tanaka has led three workshops in Harris County since the fall of 2017. He is motivated by a belief that correctional facilities shouldn’t dehumanize their occupants. Read more

Hispanic Studies Students Highlight Impact of Immigration Crisis

UH Hispanic Studies graduate students Sylvia Fernández and Maira Álvarez collaborated with leading digital humanities scholars on the creation of “Torn Apart/Separados,” a digital visualization project that emerged from the immigration crisis at the United States-Mexico border. Read more

UH Multimedia Students Season Their Skills with Cooking Show

University of Houston students in the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication are teaming up with the nonprofit Recipe for Success Foundation to launch a series of web videos about healthy eating. The aspiring filmmakers and photographers in the multimedia storytelling class are spending the semester honing their production skills at the nonprofit’s Hope Farms in Houston’s Sunnyside community. Watch Video | Read more

Jack J. Valenti School of Communication Student’s Viral Prank Featured on “The Ellen Show”

Jevh Maravilla (right) is a senior in the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication. Along with a friend, he devised a bold plan to bring ethnic diversity to the McDonald’s marketing strategy. Watch Jevh on “The Ellen Show”

UH Receives $4 Million Anonymous Gift to Support Creative Writing, Other Liberal Arts Programs

The University of Houston College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) has received a $4 million anonymous gift in support of its Creative Writing Program, among other CLASS initiatives. The gift will also fuel research activity in the humanities and social sciences, and advance the college’s mission of transforming today’s students into tomorrow’s global leaders, successful entrepreneurs and industry innovators. Watch Video | Read more

$1 Million Gift from Businessman and Philanthropist John Nau Creates Fellowships for Texas History

Graduate students studying history at the University of Houston will have an opportunity for a deep dive into the state’s past, thanks to a $1 million endowment created by Houston businessman and philanthropist John L. Nau III. Read more

Professor of Spanish Makes Donation to Establish Literary Award

The UH Department of Hispanic Studies has established the literary award “Escritura Revuelta” thanks to a donation made by Dr. Pedro Gutiérrez, professor of Spanish and immediate past chair of the department. The award is named in honor of Gutiérrez’s mother, Luisina Revuelta. One prize of $2,000 will be awarded every year for a total of five years. The award is open to all writers who are enrolled in a Spanish graduate program at any college or university in the United States. Read more

Alumnus Jim Nantz Makes Surprise Cameo During UH Football Game

Read more in the Houston Chronicle


In Celebration of Women's History Month

Annual Table Talk Luncheon — March 5, 2019

Table Talk is a fascinating combination of conversations over lunch, led by dynamic women of various cultures, professions and experience at each table. Table Talk benefits the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program at the University of Houston. Read more

In Celebration of Women's History Month

African Women’s Literature and Film Conference — March 29-30, 2019

The University of Houston’s Department of English and Creative Writing Program will host “(Re)membering Africa: Women’s Narrative on the Continent and Beyond,” a conference featuring an impressive array of Africa-focused writers and scholars. The conference was organized by four Ph.D. and MFA students, and will focus on identifying, articulating, and promoting the art of African, African-American, African Diasporic, and other under-represented writers. Read more

Latino Art Now! — April 4-6, 2019

From April 4-6, 2019, the UH College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences will welcome the world’s foremost Latino artists and scholars for a three-day series of exhibitions, presentations, and panel discussions. The Latino Art Now! Conference will serve as the centerpiece of over 20 Latino-focused exhibits and events at Houston-area galleries, museums and universities beginning in February 2019. Read more

Author, Law Professor, and Activist Delivers Powerful 2018 McGovern Lecture

Noted law professor, author and activist Sheryll D. Cashin, the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law, Civil Rights and Social Justice at the Georgetown University Law Center, delivered a provocative and insightful address to more than 200 attendees. She discussed the modern-day racial caste system in a lecture titled “The Descendants: From Slavery to Jim Crow to Dark Ghettos, A Call for 21st Century Emancipation.” Read more

Wheelchair Tennis Aces Compete at Houston Cougar Open

UH Adaptive Athletics hosted its third annual UH Cougar Open Wheelchair Tennis Tournament Oct. 19-21 at the Memorial Park Tennis Center. The Cougar Open, sanctioned by the United States Tennis Association, is the largest wheelchair tennis tournament in Texas, drawing players from around the nation. Read more

CLASS Mourns the Loss of Dr. Tony Hoagland

Dr. Tony Hoagland, acclaimed poet and professor in the UH Creative Writing Program, passed away at age 64 following a battle with cancer. Read more

Department of History Says Goodbye to Retiring Professors

The Department of History had to say goodbye to several senior professors, who retired last spring after contributing greatly to the mission of the department. Read more

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