University of Houston Division of Student Affairs - 2021–2022 Annual Report - University of Houston
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Annual Report FY 2022-2023

Summary of accomplishments, challenges, and key metrics from the previous fiscal year.

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Supporting Student Success

Dr. Monica Thompson
Interim Associate Vice Chancellor/ Interim Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Executive Director of University Career Services

Comprised of 22 departments and programs, the Division of Student Affairs supports the University's mission by providing a comprehensive array of services, programs, and activities that enhance the learning environment and development of the whole student.

  • University Career Services


    Launched gender-neutral closets to support all students, and received over $25,000 in corporate sponsorship. Outcome: Funding supported student success in their careers.

  • Center for Student Empowerment

    Graduation Cap

    100 youth and 28 case managers attended Preparation for Adult Living (PALS) College 2-day conference hosted by CSE. Outcome: Guided youth in learning about college-related topics and careers.

  • Marketing & Communications


    VPSA office submitted Annual Reports that detailed the accomplishments of the Division of Student Affairs with data and articles. Outcome: 3x Award-winning Annual report from the Public Relations Society of America.

  • Assessment & Planning


    Conducted the 6th annual Student Satisfaction Survey of all UH students to gather feedback on how students experience all aspects of the University. Outcome: Students reported their highest levels of satisfaction with UH and its services in 2022-2023 since the survey first began in 2017.

Dean of Students
Fostering Student Engagement

Donell Young, J.D.
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

The Dean of Students oversees all aspects of the Dean of Students office, including setting the goals and long-range planning for the department. Our Associate Dean of Students manages the day-to-day functions of the office, also serving as the principle coordinator of student conduct matters. There are four Assistant Deans who support the overall mission and vision of the office. Our team is rounded out with support of our Instructional Assistants, Office Supervisor, Office Coordinator, and Student employees.

  • Women & Gender Resource Center


    Initiative to contact menstrual product companies for donations resulted in 500 pads and 500 tampons donated to WGRC. Outcome: 1,000 new organic period products available to the community.

  • International Students & Scholars Services


    Assisted Financial Aid Office to administer the Texas Public Education Grant (TPEG). Outcome: Total of $180,000 in funds for the academic year.

  • Veteran Services


    Numbers grew over 50% in the Spring. Outcome: Highest cording ceremony attendance with over 80 graduates.

  • Children's Learning Centers


    Children’s Learning Centers: Established Child Care Relief Fund 2022 & Texas Workforce Commission. Outcome: Funds used to provide CLC tuition assistance and supplies. 

Student Housing & Residential Life
Unrivaled Residential Experience

Don Yackley
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, Student Housing & Residential Life

Student Housing & Residential Life supports the mission of the University of Houston by fostering communities where academic success, student growth and development, diversity, and community are nurtured. Our professional staff and students lead with our values of student success, student development, customer service, and an ethic of care.

  • Residential Life


    Increased occupancy creates opportunity for fiscal health, program improvements, and access to housing for UH students which can be shown to positively impact graduation rates. Outcome: Campus occupancy increased by a sustained 5% in Fall 2022 compared to Fall 2021.

  • Operations & Outreach


     Collaborated with the Center for Fraternity & Sorority Life and current Greek Townhouse Association to create an addendum to the Townhouse Corporation License Agreement. Outcome: Supported chapters struggling to meet occupancy, and rewarded chapters for full double occupancy by waiving monthly townhouse fees.

Student Life
Enriching Campus Life

Keith T. Kowalka
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, Student Life

Student Life encompasses all that students do on campus. From resources to involvement, Student Life helps students find their place and ensures that their time at the University of Houston is the best that it can be.

  • Center for Student Involvement


    Successfully integrated Engage with the EMS system, which allowed Registered Student Organizations to use a single platform for event registration, room reservations, form requests, and more. Outcome: 160% increase in the number of event registrations processed in Fall, from 1,324 to 3,434. 

  • Center for Diversity and Inclusion


    Implemented an effective center sign-in process, as well as held more intentional events, such as “To-Go Tuesdays” to increase awareness of the center and its location. Outcome: Center had its second-highest fall semester usage since its inception.

  • Student Centers


    Worked with the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center to host over 50 blood drives during FY23. Outcome: Collected 1,205 units and saved 1,530 lives due to patrons’ generous donations.

  • LGBTQ Resource Center


    Held the biggest LavGrad Ceremony in Spring 2023, with a total attendance of 125 people and 32 registered graduates. Outcome: Increased attendance from 110 total and 28 registered graduates in Spring 2022.

  • A.D. Bruce Religion Center


    Leveraged donations from departments within the DSA to continue the Wednesday Lunch Program. Outcome: 321% increase in attendance to Wednesday Lunch Program.

  • Center for Student Media


    Continued collaboration with UH Admissions and Orientation to successfully distribute the Transitions Magazine. Outcome: Increased the printing and distribution of Transitions Magazine by 6%.

  • DSA IT Services


    Partnered with CSI and CSM during the weekend of Move-In and the first weekend of UH Weeks of Welcome to host Playfair. Outcome: Brought close to 700 students together to meet and participate in icebreakers.

  • Center for Fraternity & Sorority Life


    Inducted a total 90 new members by FY23. Outcome: Created the largest class since 2012.

Health & Wellbeing
Promoting Student Wellbeing

Chris Dawe
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, Health and Wellbeing

Our defining statement is to cultivate a community of care to promote and enrich the health and well-being of our students to become successful scholars and engaged global citizens. Our working definition of holistic well-being is living our best selves, individually and within our communities, by being, doing, connecting, caring, and learning.

  • Student Health Center


    Conducted Patient Satisfaction Survey. Outcome: Received 89.81% total positive satisfaction.

  • Campus Recreation


    254 participants in newly developed Leadership Academy. Outcome: Leadership Academy attendance increased by 318%.

  • Cougars in Recovery


    Implemented staff communication strategies to heighten awareness of CIR. Outcome: Gained 214 total allies across the DSA and campus.

  • UH Wellness


    Partnered with DoorDash and utilized student volunteers to send groceries to students. Outcome: Decreased food insecurity by increasing students served by 2200%.

  • Justin Dart, Jr. Student Accessibility Center


    AIM database digitized the application process. Outcome: Increased the registration process by 90%.

  • Counseling & Psychological Services


    Introduced “Anxiety Toolbox” Essential Skills Workshop. Outcome: Increased workshop participation by 18.2%

Honors and Awards
2022 - 2023

Vyckie Avila – UH 35 Years of Service Award - Campus Recreation

Joseph Secrest - Certified Student Affairs Educator and Certified Campus Recreation Professional – NASPA - Campus Recreation

Arleen Rodriguez - Certified Student Affairs Educator (CSAEd), July 2023 and Certified Student Affairs Educator-Campus Recreation (CSAEd-CR), July 2023 - Campus Recreation

Lupita Hernandez: ACUI Greer Dawson Wilson Scholarship Recipient – CDI

Black Student Union recognized as the Best Department Collaboration of the Year – CDI

Carlie Pierre - 22-23 Advisor of the Year – Award given by Black Student Union - CDI

Katy Kaesebier received the ACUI Adell McMillan Memorial Scholarship. - CSI

Ahjah Green received the ACUI New Professional Institute Scholarship – CSI

Karen Jubert was awarded the Boris L. Henson Spring 2023 Mental Health Scholarship. – CAPS

Kevin Nguyen was selected as the Outsmart Magazine’s 2023 “Gayest & Greatest” in four categories – LGBTQ Center


Creation Station won the Multi-Page Publication Design award at the ACUI Region II Conference in Huntsville, Texas. – Student Centers

The Student Centers was voted Best On Campus Place to Work by The Cougar. – Student Centers

Creation Station received the following awards during ACUI an annual Graphic Design Competition: - Student Centers

  • Third Place for Calendars: LGBTQ History Month Calendar; Student Christopher Edwards
  • Honorable Mention for Cards/Invitations: College of Pharmacy Tri-Fold Invitation; Staff member Rosemary Dao
  • Honorable Mention for Artwork: CSI Window Artwork; Student Gerald Sastra
  • Honorable Mention for Signs: CougarCon Signage, Student Emma Matocha

Brock Taylor (Residential Life Coordinator) received the NASPA Kuumba Award for New Professionals. - SHRL

Brock Taylor completed his Ph.D. – SHRL

Reuben received the Staff Council Inspiring Leadership Award – UH Wellness

Cynthia Olmedo/ UCS Women Professional in Government Scholarship Award May 2023 – UCS

Germaine Washington and Scott Radimer received the bronze award from Houston Public Relations Society America for the 2022 Division of Student Affairs Annual Report. – VPSA Office

Chris Dawe was elected Chair of the U.S. Health Promoting Campuses Network (USHPCN). – VPSA Office

Don Yackley was recognized as the outgoing SWACUHO President in February 2023.- VPSA Office

Daniel M. Maxwell served as the 2023 NASPA Annual Conference Chair. – VPSA Office

Keith T Kowalka - ACUI – At-Large Member of the Board of Trustees – VPSA Office

Laura Zavala-Membreno was selected to participate as a fellow in the 2023 Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education Career Development Institute. - WGRC

Abigail Garcia was selected as a Thomas Moorman Fellow with TACUSPA. - WGRC

Toria Jones was awarded the Optimism Award from Staff Council. - WGRC

Presentations and Publications
2022 - 2023

Ortega, G., Aguilar-Smith, S., Lizalde, G. (2022, November 19). Exploring the Racial and Gender Trajectories of Latinx Executive Leaders at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) in Texas. 47th Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) in Las Vegas, Nevada. – Business Services

Ortega, G., Aguilar-Smith, S., Lizalde, G., & Porras, C. (2023). Barriers to Power: Exploring the Troubled Trajectories of Latinx Executive Leaders at Hispanic-Serving Institutions. Innovative Higher Education. – Business Services

Will Cornelio & Joseph Secrest - GPS: A Guided Pathway to Student Success, NIRSA Annual Conference, March 2023 - Campus Recreation

Michael Crook - The Power of strength-based Partnerships. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) February 15, 2023 – CDI

Lupita Hernandez - “Porque el Echaleganismo No Es Suficiente (Why Grit Isn’t Enough)” at Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE) Conference. April 7, 2023. Houston, TX. – CDI

Lupita Hernandez - “Porque el Echaleganismo No Es Suficiente (Why Grit Isn’t Enough)” at Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE) Conference. April 26, 2023. Tarrant County, TX. - CDI

Michael Crook - American Heart Association (AHA) Advocacy Manager Training: Understanding and Shifting Organizational Culture, Virtual presentation for AHA Managers. February 28, 2023, National virtual presentation from Houston, Texas.CDI

Michael Crook - Getting to Know Your Team Strengths. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Inclusion Team, June 2023

Cassandra Joseph - NPHC Will Show You the Money: Getting to Know about NPHC from the National Board – Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors - National Harbor, MD, December 2022 - CFSL

Dr. Norma Ngo presented the keynote, “Sex Therapy 101: An Application in College Counseling". - CAPS

Karen Jubert, M.Ed., LPC-S, NCC presented “Personal Renewal: Prioritizing Moments to reCENTER & recharge” for the Texas Counseling Center Intern Conference on 3/31 - CAPS

Karen Jubert, M.Ed., LPC-S, NCC presented at Saybrook University – Grief Support for the Bereaved (January 2023), and Deeply Rooted: A Reflection Journal for Clinicians of Color Who Experience Compassion Fatigue ( March 2023) - CAPS

Karen Jubert, M.Ed., LPC-S, NCC presented at The Women’s Fund: The Cost of Caring: The Unspoken Impact of Compassion Fatigue (April 2023) and Navigating the Personal Journey of Grief and Loss (March 2023) - CAPS

Dr. David Ranschaert also presented “EPPP and What To Expect” for the February 2023 CHATS (Council of Houston Area Training Sites) training series in Houston, TX. - CAPS

Dr. Cecilia Sun presented on a mental health panel for the May 2023 Bridges Conference: Charting a Course for a Happier and Healthier Community in Houston, TX. – CAPS

Lawrence Daniel, Meli Iracheta-Guerra, and Felicia Quichocho presented ways to Get Involved at both New Student Orientation and Transfer Orientations throughout the summer. – DSA IT

Dr. Sara Jahansouz Wray is continually requested to provide keynote presentations at local treatment centers in Houston – Prevention and Recovery Center and Westpark Springs Hospital – this has provided numerous opportunities to connect with UH students and faculty that are in treatment. - DOS

Dr. Sara Jahansouz Wray was a guest speaker on episode 28 of the Sober Reference Podcast on December 12, 2022. The episode is available on all podcast platforms. - DOS

Hope Pacheco was invited by MDRC to participate in a national virtual policy roundtable with students, higher education administrators, faculty scholars, and funders on postsecondary education regarding the needs of women of color Resisting Erasure: Strengthening Supports and Research on Women of Color College Achievement. - DOS

Dr. Sara Jahansouz Wray is continually requested to provide keynote presentations at local treatment centers in Houston – Prevention and Recovery Center and Westpark Springs Hospital – this has provided numerous opportunities to connect with UH students and faculty that are in treatment. - DOS

Dean Young served as a panelist for a Council on Student Affairs’ webinar: Utilizing Case Manager in Student Affairs. - DOS

Jin Zhang co-presented at the NAFSA Region III conference on Help for PDSOs/ROs: Initial Certification, Recertification, and Redesignation-- Best Practices. Jin Zhang also trained F-1 Advising for Beginners at the NAFSA Region III Conference. – ISSSO

Jin Zhang was selected to be the lead trainer for the NAFSA Annual Conference workshop for the Core Education Program (CEP)-J-1 Advising: Intermediate.

Ida Thompson was selected by IE Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Hendley to write an Essay for the Voices Section of NAFSA International Educator Magazine in the December Issue. The International Educator is published bi-monthly by the NAFSA Association of International Educators. December 2022: The Values that Shape Our Work. – ISSSO

Ida Thompson, International Student Counselor 2, chaired NAFSA Black and Multicultural Professionals in International Education (BMcPIE) (MIG) (SIG) and presented at the “Lift Up and Climb” Session and also was a panelist and presented at Campus and Community Programming session to represent NAFSA BMcPIE. - ISSSO

Dr. Landrus Burress - Purdue University - Maximizing Experiential Learning Courses in Public Health: Applied Public Health Knowledge. – Health Center

Suva Gomes – Obtained his JAWS Certification to train others this past December of 2022. This is an international certification that is highly recognized in the assistive technology space. – JDSAC

Kevin Nguyen, Program Director of the UH LGBTQ Resource Center spoke at a conference as a panelist for the 2022 Texas LGBTQ+ Unity Conference hosted by the Texas Diversity Council on October 11, 2022 (National Coming Out Day) – LGBTQ Center

Gracen Jinks presented LGBTQ 101 and participated in a professional panel for the HISD Pride Summit – LGBTQ Center

Gracen Jinks and Kevin Nguyen co-facilitated a Cougar Ally Training specifically for the Student Government Association. - LGBTQ Center

Eve Esch and Kimberly Reed presented at the Region II ACUI Conference on Closing the Loop when conducting assessments – Student Centers

Beverly Thom and Eve Esch presented Emergency Action Plans at the Division's Leadership Conference. – Student Centers

Eve & Bev presented at the system-wide Leadership Conference on Emergency Response and related activities. – Student Centers

Eve Esch presented two sessions at ACUI's Annual Conference, one about Assessment and one about Finances for Student Centers/College Unions. - Student Centers

Irene Tobias presented a workshop, “Putting a Why in Student Housing Emergency Management,” at the ACUHO-I Business Operations Conference in New Orleans, LA. – SHRL

Leanica Adams served on the "Beyond the Traditional Undergraduate: Graduate, Family, & Married Student Housing” panel at the StarRez Conference in Baltimore, MD on July 9, 2023. – SHRL

Irene Tobias presented a program session, Firehouse Logic, at SWACUHO 2023. - SHRL

Kenny Mauk presented a program session, Managing Occupancy, at SWACUHO 2023. - SHRL

Kenny Mauk and Mackenzie Wysong-Bentley were panelists at the program session, All You Need is a Clear Path for Advancement at SWACUHO 2023. - SHRL

Mackenzie Wysong-Bentley presented Low Risk, High Rewards, and Easy Money at the Southwest Association of College and University Housing Officers conference, in February 2023. - SHRL

Don Yackley discussed professional involvement in the May 2023 SWACUHO Podcast. - SHRL

Juliann Losey received the UH Staff Council Impact Award 2023 - SHRL

Mackenzie Wysong-Bentley presented “Low Risk, High Rewards and Easy Money” at Campus Live! (ACUHO-I Conference and Expo), June 2023 - SHRL

Katie Dash presented Being a PAL to Yourself and Others (Mental Health and Healthy Relationships)at a local conference hosted by the Center for Student Empowerment PALs (Preparation for Adult Living) conference to a total of 67 high school students. – UH Wellness

Adalia Espinosa presented “We are Building Wealth Out Here – A Workshop about Money, Budgets, and Facing Anxieties to the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education State Conference, Feb 2023 in Houston, Texas - UCS

Multiple members of UCS staff presented at the UH Leadership Conference and HACCC Drive-In - UCS

Scott Radimer & P. Shefman presented (2023) 2023 NASPA Annual Conference. Managing People for Assessment. Boston, MA. – VSPA Office

Bureau, D., & Scott Radimer, presented at the 2023 NASPA Annual Conference. Implementing Division-wide Program Review Using CAS Standards. Boston, MA. – VSPA Office

Bureau, D., Crain, L., & Scott Radimer, presented at the 2023 NASPA National Conference. The Many Uses of CAS Standards to Create, Implement, and Assess Programs and Services. Boston, MA. - VSPA Office

Keith Kowalka, presented at the 2023 ACUI Virtual Conference. Leveraging Assessment Data to Enhance Student Engagement. - VSPA Office

Garcia, A. (2023, February). Unpacking Yellow Silence: The Transformation of the Asian American Experience in Higher Education [Conference Presentation]. Association of College Unions International. Boston, MA, United States. - WGRC

Garcia, A. (2023, March).Relational approaches to nurture Asian American communities and solidarities [Conference Presentation]. Association of Asian American Studies. Long Beach, CA, United States.- WGRC

Malone-Miller, G.(February 23, 2023). Career Day at Mead Middle School [Featured Speaker]. Steve Mead Middle School Career Day, Houston, TX, United States. - WGRC

Zavala-Membreno, L. (2023, February 22 - 25). Hay Que Echarle Menos Ganas: Interrupting Hustle Culture Mentality [Conference Presentation]. 48th Annual Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education Conference, Houston, TX, United States. - WGRC

Garcia, A. C. & Jones, T. (2023, June 8 – 11). So You Agree? You Think Your Programming is Inclusive?: Critical Perspectives on Programming for Underserved Student Populations [Conference Presentation]. 2023 Naspa Region III Summer Symposium, Orlando, FL, United States. - WGRC

Jones, T. (2023, July 27). Critical Viewpoints for Disabled Survivors: Addressing Barriers and Accessibility On and Off Campus [Virtual Presentation]. ValorUS Campus Summer Series, Virtual, United States. - WGRC