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College Roundup A selection of faculty, staff, student and alumni happenings

May 2024

Vera Hutchison, an associate professor of literacy education, was selected as co-chair of the Research Committee for the Association of Teacher Educators.  She is responsible for conducting monthly meetings, representing the committee at board meetings and making important research selections. Hutchison will serve a two-year term ending in March 2026.  

Carrie Cutler, a clinical associate professor in the mathematics education program, was selected for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Early Childhood Advisory Committee. She advises the council president on improving engagement and support for early childhood math. Cutler’s one-year term will end in December 2024. 

Dean Cathy Horn, who leads the UH Education Research Center, was elected to serve as president of the Texas Association of Colleges for Teacher Education for a one-year term that began in May 2024.  

April 2024

Beatrice Cruz, who earned a B.S. in teaching and learning in 2022, won New Teacher of the Year at Queens Intermediate School in Pasadena ISD. Cruz teaches seventh grade science at the school.  

Anna Suarez, who earned a B.S. in teaching and learning in 2017, was named 2023-24 Teacher of the Year from Robertson Elementary in Katy ISD. She teaches third grade math and science at the school. 

Elizabeth Maldonado, who earned a B.S. in teaching and learning in 2022, won New Teacher of the Year at Morales Elementary in Pasadena ISD.  Maldonado teaches fourth grade reading and language arts at the school. 

Aleida Gonzalez, who earned a B.S in teaching and learning in 2022, won New Teacher of the Year at Jessup Elementary in Pasadena ISD. Gonzalez teaches first grade at the school. 

Earl Bennett, who earned a Ph.D. in higher education in 2022, has been promoted to Vanderbilt University’s senior associate athletic director for strategy and business operations. Bennett previously served as the executive director of player development and administration. He played football for Vanderbilt, where he was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2017 and earned status as a Southeastern Conference Legend in 2015. Bennett also had a six-year football career with the Chicago Bears. 

Four faculty members earned UH Teaching Excellence Awards for 2023-24: Associate Professor Virmarie Correa-Fernández (recognized for undergraduate research mentorship), Clinical Associate Professor Bulent Dogan (recognized for innovation in instructional technology), Assistant Professor Allison Master (teaching excellence) and Clinical Professor Jahnette Wilson (recognized in the instructional/clinical category). 

Rhaniece Choice, who earned an M.Ed. in special populations in 2022, won 2023-24 District Teacher of the Year at Alief ISD. Choice also won Teacher of the Year from Cummings Elementary in Alief ISD in February. She serves as an in-class support teacher, advocating for students to ensure their services are being met.   

March 2024

Health Professor Norma Olvera hosted the Latino Health Summit, “Salud Para Todos: Latino Health Equity,” in March. The hybrid event, held online and at the University of Houston, drew about 930 attendees with representation from 42 U.S. states and six other countries. Leaders and speakers at the summit aimed to tackle health challenges in the Hispanic community. 

Jesus Esparza, who earned a B.S. in teaching and learning in 2022, won Beginning Teacher of the Year at DeAnda Elementary School in Houston ISD. Esparza teaches third grade math at the school.

February 2024

Fathima Noordeen, who earned a B.S. in teaching and learning in 2022, won 2023-24 Rookie Teacher of the Year from Malala Elementary in Fort Bend ISD. Noordeen teaches third grade math and science at the school.

Caroline Hill, who earned a B.S. in teaching and learning in 2023, won 2023-24 Rookie Teacher of the Year from Carolyn and Vernon Madden Elementary in Fort Bend ISD. Hill teaches first grade reading, writing and social studies at the school.

Megan Proulx, who earned a B.S. in teaching and learning in 2019, won 2023-24 Teacher of the Year from Kingwood Middle School in Humble ISD. Proulx teaches sixth grade world cultures and assists with the Charms dance team at the school.

Jaquelin Alvarez, who earned a B.S. in teaching and learning in 2022, won 2023-24 Rookie Teacher of the Year from Royalwood Elementary in Sheldon ISD. Alvarez teaches fifth grade math at the school. 

Savannah Bridgewater, who earned a B.S. in human development and family studies in 2019, won 2023-24 Teacher of the Year from Foster Elementary School in Humble ISD. Bridgewater teaches kindergarten at the school.  

Delmi Antunez Valdez, who earned a B.S. in teaching and learning in 2018, received the 2023-24 Bilingual Teacher of the Year award from Smith Elementary School in Aldine ISD. Antunez teaches third grade math at the school. 

January 2024

School Psychology Ph.D. students Georgina Sakyi and Mariana Vázquez served as authors of the Resource Guide for Psychology Graduate Students of Color (third edition) by the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students. The guide provides advice on topics such as wellness and self-care; research and publishing; financial planning; and dealing with imposter syndrome. Sakyi earned an M.Ed. in counseling in 2022 and Vazquez earned an M.Ed. in counseling in 2021.