Cougar Cudos - University of Houston
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Cougar Cudos

Cougar Cudos is a Staff Council program that allows staff to recognize other staff members for exceptional service to the University of Houston.

You can nominate a fellow staff member each month by using the form below. Winners will be awarded a certificate and listed on the Staff Council website!

Nominate a fellow Coog

  • Cougar Cudos Nomination Form

    Nominate a fellow staff member to receive a Cougar Cudos by submitting the online form below.

    Make sure you are logged into your University of Houston Microsoft Office 365 account using your cougarnet credentials.

    Cougar Cudos Nomination Form (link)

  • How does it work?

    How many staff members can I nominate?

    As many colleagues that you feel need recognition for their contributions the the University of Houston.

    How many times can a single individual be awarded a Cougar Cudos?

    Winners can be recognized multiple times a year for different contributions to the university. If multiple people nominate the same staff member for the same work, the person will only receive one Cougar Cudos recognition. 

    Can I nominate a person without letting them know?

    Yes, you can submit a nomination for a colleague and choose to keep your nomination anonymous.

    How can I access the Cougar Cudos Nomination Form?

    You have to be logged into your University of Houston Microsoft Office 365 account using your cougarnet credentials. 

2022 Cougar Cudos


  • April 2023


    Stefanie Florencio, Executive Administrative Assistant, University Libraries

    "Thank you for your donation!"

    Whitney Johnson, Program Director, Student Services

    "Thank you for your donation!"

    Louis Medina, Senior Project Manager, College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics

    "Louis has been very helpful with mounting some of the cherished paintings in my office. I have been seeking help from various sources and facilities for a month or so, and due to the size of the frame, no solutions worked. When I explained this to Louis (he shares my adjacent office), he went out of his way to get it properly attached and mounted to the wooden wall (I tried multiple times before without success) even while I was on AWA. This has made a positive impact to me in enjoying the workspace and to be more productive, and also be inspired by the work from Louis."

    Erica Mahan, Program Manager, Undergraduate Student Success

    "Thank you for your donation!"

    Scott Mason, Program Director, Hobby School of Public Affairs

    "Thank you for your donation!"

    Melisa Nieto, Program Director, College of Pharmacy

    "Thank you for your donation!"

    Fariba Pouraryan, Program Director, UH Law Center

    "Thank you for your donation!"

    Kellie Sager, Administrative Coordinator, Electrical Engineering

    "Thank you for your donation!"

    Tommie Trevino, Business Administrator, Political Science

    "Thank you for your donation!"

    Shanequea White, Business Administrator, College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics

    "Thank you for your donation!"


    DaNesha Allen, Director, Food Service Auxiliary Services Operations

    "Thank you for your donation!"

    Russell Allen, Accountant IV, Financial Accounting

    "Thank you for your donation!"

    Jacqueline Chee, Accountant IV, Financial Accounting

    "Thank you for your donation!"

    David Frankfort, Systems Administrator 3, Enterprise Systems

    "Thank you for your donation!"

    Ron Gonyea, Power Plant Electrician, Utility Operations

    "Thank you for your donation!"

    Amy Ma, Assistant Manager, User Services Support, Technoogy Services and Support

    "Thank you for your donation!"

    Allyson McDonald, Assistant Director, Risk Management

    "Thank you for your donation!"

    Sharon Pellas, Manager, Environmental Health & Life Safety

    "Thank you for your donation!"

    Jennifer Rea, Executive Director, Facility Partnerships & Engagement, Facilities & Construction Management

    "Thank you for your donation!"

    Courtney Washington, Manager, Staff Council

    "Thank you for your donation!"

    Rafael Arroyo, User Services Support Specialist 2, Technology Services and Support
    Ivey Davis, Assistant Manager, User Services Support, Technology Services and Support
    Rene Gonzalez, User Services Support Specialist 2, Technology Services and Support
    Matthew Harvey, Help Desk Coordinator, Technology Services and Support
    Amy Ma, Assistant Manager, User Services Support, Technoogy Services and Support
    Mark Norgan, Apple/Mac Desktop 2 Technology Services and Support
    Kevin Vu, System Analyst 2, Technology Services and Support

    "The Help Desk team consistently demonstrates outstanding team spirit, they provide exemplary work performance as a group, they are committed to serving our campus community with excellence. This team works from home during inclement weather and even after hours."

    "It is with great pleasure that I nominate the IT Support Center staff members (Ivey Davis, Matthew Harvey, Rafael Arroyo, Rene Gonzalez, Maricela Rodriguez and Amy Ma) for consideration of the 2023 Cougar Kudos award. In addition to performing their job at an exemplary level, the IT Support Center demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to the university community. This team quickly discerns customers individual needs and move efficiently to provide key information, recommendations, or direction. The IT Support Center is known as the ‘go-to’ for most IT needs at our university. They receive all kinds of calls daily from offices throughout the university, students, and parents who call for information and assistance. Through many changes that occurred during the 2020 pandemic, this team has made a difference at our university with providing support through it all. They exemplify the mission of the university by providing the best customer service every day!"

    Research & Tech Transfer

    Elyse Davis, Administrator, Division Business Operations

    "Thank you for your donation!"

    Ashley Merwin, Executive Assistant to VC/VP, Research

    "Thank you for your donation!"

    University Advancement

    Carina Pouraryan, Development Associate, Development

    "Thank you for your donation!"

    Trina Silva, Officer, Development

    "Thank you for your donation!"

  • March 2023

    Academic Affairs

    Lupita Curiel, Program Manager II, College of Medicine

    "She always helps her peers and volunteers her knowledge and experience to train and cross-train her peers. She is very conscientious of her work and knows all faculty students by name and each academic and personal detail."

    Jamail Garrick, SEVIS Compliance Coordinator, Admissions

    "Jamail is hard working, and makes difficult tasks look easy. She participates in improvement of processes in our department and only has the student in mind. She is an example of what a great staff member looks like."

    Steven Beatty, Director, College of IT Support, Deans Office-Arts
    Ray Pina, Assistant Manager, User Services Support, Deans Office-Arts

    "When I had connectivity issues with my computer due to my hub not working, which was during a heightened time of student enrollment at the beginning of January, Steven and Ray worked together in order for my system to be restored almost immediately. They went above and beyond in order to ensure that I had a hub that worked efficiently, within 30 minutes or less, which allowed me to continue to provide quality service and professional efficiency with our students in KGMCA's care."

    Administration & Finance

    Evan Broadbent, Emergency Management Specialist in the Office of Emergency Management

    "Evan goes above and beyond his required duties. His compassionate behavior is always demonstrated in his willingness to assist others when needed, and he does it with a smile. His efforts are much appreciated!"

    Consuelo Gonzalez, Custodian 1, Local Custodial Services

    "Consuelo is very sharp. She is very passionate and meticulous about her work and makes sure that everyone has all that they need. She is always pleasant and warm when she shares the operational concerns of things that need my attention for Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine."

    Donna Halton, Contracts Manager, Office of Contracts Administration

    "Donna is amazing! She is always willing to answer my questions no matter how big or small. She never hesitates to help. She is an amazing resource and a great asset to the University."

    Ric Rodrguez, Enterprise IT Security Analyst 3, UIT Security

    "I have been at UH over 15 years and have been fortunate to work with Ric on some difficult matters. Everyone in my office would agree that he is extremely knowledgeable, achieves great results, and is not only a wonderful resource but is delightful to work with, even when the work must be conducted on a rush basis. Ric well deserves Cougar Cudos."

    Martha Saldana, Custodian 3, Local Custodial Services

    "Martha is always very pleasant and cordial. Everyone in the College of Medicine has gotten to know her and love her. She always asks us if we need anything, and to be sure to let her know when we do. She is very efficient and passionate about her work here in Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine! Her passion shows in her smile and in her meticulous manner of her work. Love her!"


  • February 2023

    Academic Affairs

    Keah Walker, Department Business Administrator, Natural Sciences & Mathematics

    "Keah is the most incredible boss I have ever had in my 12 years of office work. She has great communication and leadership skills. She is devoted to her job and is a refuge in stressful work situations. If I am in a pickle, I know Keah can help me escape it. She manages one of the biggest department staff and faculty in the College of Natural Science and Mathematics. She has too many great qualities that other departments have offered her a job, but she loves her staff group too much to leave us."

    "Keah goes above and beyond to help build a strong staff in the EAS department."

    "Keah Walker is an exceptional leader, a caring soul, full of light, and so much more. She cares about her staff and faculty, goes above and beyond, is personable, and puts her staff in positions to grow, to learn, and to succeed. You do not find many people like Keah Walker. She deserves to be recognized for Cougar Cudos."

    "She is our staff voice to the Natural Science and Math College."

    "Best boss I ever had."



    Mary Nguyen, Department Business Administrator, Chancellor/President's Office
    Brenda Ramirez, Department Business Administrator Chancellor/President's Office

    "Given the many new initiatives of the Chancellor/President and faced with the on-going issue of staff turnover, this group continues to be flexible, resilient, available, and reliable to meet every demand from each of their departments. Mary has continued to excel in her work in providing guidance and training to staff in Internal Audit and daily support to employees in the Office of Government and Community Relations and the President's Office. Brenda has continued to support the new initiatives of the new office of UH Population Health as well as train several new employees in General Counsel and Staff Council in their roles related to Contracts and Procurement and organizational processes and procedures. Rida (student worker) provides unwavering support to the office and is reliable and eager to learn."


    University Advancement

    Abby Trahan, Development Officer I, Annual Giving
    Sarita Mehta, Development Officer I, Annual Giving
    Anessa Rios-Ezeude, Director, Annual Giving
    Cassidy Nussman, Development Coordinator 2, Annual Giving

    "The Annual Giving team did an amazing job leading their first campaign as a group, together.
    GivingTuesday was a huge success, resulting in more than 120 gifts to the University. GivingTuesday had not been done in many years, and this new team was able to bring the initiative to life under intense timelines. Sarita Mehta led the multichannel mini-campaign for the team, and we are grateful for her leadership."

  • January 2023

    Academic Affairs

    LaDawn Fletcher, Development Officer 2, Development, College of Nursing

    “LaDawn is a thoughtful and brilliant development officer for the College of Nursing. She has the ability to make everyone feel at ease and engage them in conversation. She is forward thinking and strategic. She plans and executes her priorities always with a goal in mind of how to help students, faculty and donors be successful. She has helped guide the Nursing Alumni Association. Moreover, she graduated December 2022 with her master’s degree from the Public Administration program in CLASS. She was the recipient of a UH Staff scholarship to help her complete her degree. She is now a UH alumni Life Member. The College of Nursing appreciates LaDawn’s leadership, vision, enthusiasm and teamwork as we build the future of nursing at the University of Houston.”

    Administration & Finance

    Amy Hutchings, Office Assistant, UH Police Department

    “Amy is an integral part of the Police Department. Although she works specifically for the Records Division, Amy also assists the Admin staff and Personnel Department when needed. When I was away on an emergency, Amy stepped in and made sure that my primary role in the department was covered. Amy does all of this with a positive attitude and a smile. Because of this, I believe Amy is deserving of a Cougar Cudos.”

    Lois Nichols, User Services Support Assistant Manager, Technology

    “I recently started at UH in October, and since then, Lois has gone out of her way to welcome my colleague (who started at the same time) and me. Below are a few examples:

    • The first week, she spent hours online walking us through the CoT policies, processes, and procedures.
    • When we moved to the Sugar Land campus, she took us on tour and explained all the ends and outs of the buildings.
    • After a month of being here, she asked - did you get a welcome packet? We said no. The next day, guess what Lois had for us? A bag of UH goodies.
    • I think Lois's most personable gesture was when a baby shower event was scheduled. She came and talked to me and said - I realize you are not familiar with the people associated with the shower, but if you would like to attend, you are welcome to go with me. She knew it would be awkward to participate in a new social gathering and such a personable occasion. Although I declined to go, I took her up on the Thanksgiving feast invitation.

    She goes out of her way to help those around her - young or old - students, faculty, or staff. If she doesn't know it, she finds someone who can.
    Lois made my first couple of weeks at UofH most enjoyable. As a transplant from College Station, she has been imperative in helping me understand the culture and environment at UH.”

    Shirley Shiflet, Program Coordinator 2, Executive Degree Programs

    "Shirley is bright light in the Bauer Graduate Admissions Department! She provides excellent customer service to prospective and incoming students. Shirley recently hosted a successful event for our networking event for our students, providing a great opportunity to engage them and introduce them to current students, alumni and faculty."


    Imani Anderson- Health Inspector, Fire and Life Safety
    Christina Martinez-Health Inspector, Fire and Life Safety

    "On November 27, 2022, The City of Houston issued a boil water notice for the entire city, including the University of Houston’s food establishments. Imani Anderson and Christina Martinez, Health Inspectors with the UH Campus Safety, ensured that each food establishment planning to open followed their emergency action plans ensuring the campus community had safe food to eat. Imani and Christina met with several stakeholders and University administrators to help coordinate these efforts. They followed up after the boil water event to confirm that contaminated water filters and ice were disposed of. Imani’s and Christina's personal efforts helped the University of Houston’s food establishments transition from normal operations to emergency operations smoothly and efficiently. Imani and Christina are great assets and safety advocates to Campus Safety and the University of Houston."



    Research & Technology Transfer

    Kendra Norwood, Animal Resources Supervisor, Animal Care Operations

    "Kendra, our Animal Resource Manager, has been instrumental in the success of the Animal Care Operations department, especially during times of reduced staffing. At times, Kendra has single-handedly cared for the animals on the sixth floor by completing husbandry duties, in addition to performing her own supervisory roles. Her dedication to the utmost care of our animals has been a driving factor for Kendra since day one. Thank you Kendra!"


  • December 2022

    Academic Affairs

    Akash Bhatt, Application Developer 4, Graduate School

    "Akash goes above and beyond to assist with Bauer College initiatives. He makes helpful and strategic recommendations that help us to reach our admissions goals."

    Allison Watson, Academic 1 Advisor, Deans Office - Arts

    "Allison has played an integral roll in the onboarding of a new academic advisor to the Office of Academic Affairs and Student Success in the McGovern College of the Arts. Even in her role as a front line advisor, she dedicated time to make sure the new advisor receive important and accurate information on the programs they would be advising. In addition to helping with the onboarding of a new advisor, she has carried a heavier student caseload in a time of transition, all in the name of support students and supporting their success. A huge thank you to her for going above and beyond."

     Kristin Johnson, Performing Arts Venue Manager, Music
    Jason Burton, Scenery & Prop Constr Supervisor, Music
    David Siegel, Audio/Visual Services Manager, Music

    "Kristin worked with Streaming Media, the Office of Protocol & Special Events, and student-run opera productions to ensure adequate time for setup, rehearsal, and performance of the Fall Address. She also supported the construction of the truss & LED walls, as well as coordinated between ushers, production staff, and speakers to ensure an accurate start time and a smooth ambiance for all in-person attendees.
    Jason was instrumental in the construction and mobilization of the truss and LED walls in addition to his vital role operating the lighting board before, during, and after every Fall Address.
    Having only joined UH a few months ago, David Segal has been a great addition to the Fall Address production team on audio.
    The entire team at Moores Opera House are amazing and fun to work with."


    Administration & Finance

    Lisa Benford, Director of Environmental Health & Safety

    "I would like to recommend EHS Director Lisa Benford for a cougar Cudos. Ms. Benford is the most selfless, hardworking outstanding director our department has ever had in its realm. Lisa fights hard to ensure her team receives the best and never expects anything in return. I would like to say Thank You, Lisa Benford!!!! Environmental Health & Safety is Blessed to have such a Phenomenal Person Leading Us."

    Martinique Burton, Assistant to VC/VP, Legal Affairs General Counsel

    "In addition to being very helpful and supportive, Martinique has demonstrated professionalism and kindness. She is much appreciated!!"

     Matthew Castillo, Web Technology Manager, Technology Services & Support

    "Planning for the President's Fall Address begins the day after the previous Fall Address. Matthew Castillo, who first planted the idea of using LED walls for the Fall Address, coordinated with local contractors to rent the screens. A year later, Matthew oversaw the purchase of the LED walls, the supporting truss system. He was instrumental in the construction, operation, and mobilization of the LED walls and supporting system this year."

    Adetejuola Gbosi, Safety Specialist, Environmental Health and Safety

    "I am pleased to nominate Ms. Adetejuola Gbosi for a Cougar Cudos. I have managed Teju for a little under a year now and have found her to be punctual, efficient, and unfailingly dependable. In fact, I have never worked with a person who gives as much attention to detail as she does. Our department recently hosted our annual Biosafety Biosecurity meet and greet, and it was noted how Knowledgeable and Professional Teju is. It is an absolute honor for me to manage and guide such an outstanding employee. Continue your excellent work!"

    Nalan Giannukos, Director of Printing & Postal Services, Printing Operations

    "Nalan does an incredible job at the Print Shop. Consistently goes above and beyond to deliver a great product fast. Terrific can do attitude. Always ready to help fellow Coogs get their jobs done. Also great with recommendations when you need him. We are all very lucky to have him on staff!!"

    "Nalan helped with the ribbon cutting for the College of Medicine by installing a banner for the event. He was very patient during the whole process and was completely committed to customer satisfaction."

    Shannon Harrison, Asstant Director, Production Operation, KUHT TV

    "Planning for the President's Fall Address begins the day after the previous Fall Address. For the last 2 years, Shannon has gone above and beyond to present an amazing show and elevate the Fall Address to a multimedia, online & in-person video production. Shannon directed all of the visual elements of the Fall Address separately for both the in-person attendees and viewers online."

    David Lee, Assistant Director, Div Business Ops, A&F Business Services

    "David is our new Business Operations manager for the HR dept. assisting us with everything from invoices to contracts. Since taking HR on as one of his areas to service, he has helped me continually and always with a smile and positive demeanor. Despite tight timelines, missing information and/or difficult situations, he always provides excellent customer service. POWER UP Employee Wellness has recently had a number of pressing contracts that needed processing all at once- mammograms, perkspot, etc., and David has been responsive and there to support throughout the process. For his consistent good nature and kindness, I'd like to thank him with a Cougar Kudos."

    Kirven McKissic, Info Services 2 Manager, Techology Services & Support

    "He is hard working and always available. Kirven dedicates his time supporting SHRL staff and student labs. He takes care of so many Housing locations and always does so with a smile. He is overworked and sometimes falls behind the scenes. He goes above and beyond having to be the liaison between UIT and SHRL. No troubleshooting too small and no project too complex for this manager. He has been with the University for over 27 years!"

    Diane Sylvester, Assistant Business Administrator, A&F Business Services

    "Diane is always helpful in resolving questions and addressing concerns about the business side of things whether its paying bills, getting a contract, or questions about personnel and human resources she provides a wealth of knowledge that gives managers peace of mind."

    Iggy Harrison, Senior Streaming Media Technician, Technology Services & Support
    Scott Wharton, Digital Media Developer, Technology Services & Support

    "Streaming Media produced the Fall Address through camera operations (manned, PTZ, & a slider), video switching, LED wall & truss construction, and live streaming to the Fall Address webpage (& a 2nd live stream w/ Picture-in-Picture ASL interpretation), Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube."


    Marketing & Communication

    Jeffery Lautenberger, Editor 3 University Videographer, University Marketing

    "Cudos to Mr. Lautenberger for his tireless efforts in creating the graphics for the President's Fall Address. These movie-quality visualizations move as the President shares her message with our community. Jeffrey's talent shines through in the variety and quality of the graphics, but the real measure of value is in his dedication to the details. Every data point is accurately displayed, checked, and double-checked. Jeffrey's work on the Address is only one example of so many projects he completes for our university each year. His work ethic and drive to make the University of Houston better make him an example for us all. Thank you, Jeffrey."

    Greg Ortiz, Director of Creative Services (UMC), University Marketing
    Jeffrey Lautenberger, Editor 3 University Videographer, University Marketing

    "Greg and Jeff edited all of the videos seen in the President's Fall Address on the LED walls and in the live stream, as well as created the intro animations. The Creative Services team always do an amazing job handling a variety of content, they set the bar that everyone else aims for."


    Research & Technology Transfer

    Nicole Byrd, Animal Care Assistant, Animal Care Operations

    "Nicole has been and continues to be an essential member of the animal care team. Amidst the staffing shortages, Nicole has stepped up to assist in staff-deficient areas to ensure all animals are taken care of appropriately. Nicole and her colleagues have also divided up weekend coverage until fully staffed. Thank you, Nicole!"

    Jonathan Distefano, Animal Care Assistant, Animal Care Operations

    "Jonathan cares deeply for the animals on campus. Due to staffing shortages, our existing husbandry staff members are doing more duties/work to help cover areas that do not have a full husbandry crew. Jonathan was and continues to be one of these helpful staff members; ensuring that all areas/animals are cared for appropriately. In addition to assisting in these areas, Jonathan also works as a nursery attendant on weekends."

    Latisha Gray, Animal Resources Senior Supervisor, Animal Care Operations

    "Over the course of her time here at UH, Tish has been vital to the success of our facility. She leads by example and steps up to work directly with her team during periods of staff shortages. Tish also assists on the sixth floor when our NHP supervisor is away; she manages to get everything done and does it spectacularly. Finally, Tish also assists our facility in caring for our nursery infants on weekends. Thank you so much Tish, you are appreciated beyond measure!"

    Karen Romero, Animal Care Assistant, Animal Care Operations

    "During current staffing shortages, Karen and her colleagues have stepped up to ensure all areas are covered and all animals are cared for appropriately. For the time being, Karen is rotating weekend shifts with her current colleagues until we are fully staffed. Thank you, Karen, for going above & beyond and helping to keep our facility pristine and our animals cared for."

    Timothy Thomas, Animal Care Assistant, Animal Care Operations

    "Tim has been instrumental to the success of the facility. We are experiencing staffing shortages in one department; Tim and his colleagues have stepped up and assisted with duties in this area to ensure everything continues to run smoothly."

  • November 2022

    Academic Affairs

    Linda Hulett, Operations Administrator, Office of the Dean, College of Medicine

    "I am a new hire so I had a lot to learn about the facilities and parking processes. Linda is always very friendly, patient and helpful. She walked me through the systems and always ensured I had all of the help I needed.

    When I ran into trouble, she did not hesitate to go the extra mile to assist me. Linda is a true treasure."

    Tristan Sims, Program Director 2, Office of the Dean, Natural Sciences and Mathematics

    "When I started my role at NSM I realized that I and my team needed to learn all the departments, majors, programs, minors, and other academic information in order to successfully support student career development. For this, I turned to the expert, Tristan, and asked if he would schedule a time with us so we could learn more about the specific NSM degrees. He graciously agreed although he is so very busy in his senior leadership role. What I was not prepared for was the level to which Tristan provided us with valuable information. Not only did he put together a beautiful presentation, but he also took 2 1/2 hours out of his busy schedule to share everything from the degrees to programs, to the relational majors across campus to where and how our graduates fit in the working world. I cannot tell you how much we learned that afternoon. Tristan even stayed after 5 pm to ensure all our questions were answered. Tristan far exceeded going above and beyond to impart knowledge so our team can be successful. Tristan dedicated himself to everything he does, is so thorough, and truly showed he cared about the success of the NSM Career Center. So, we want to shout out this Cougar Kudo from the NSM Career Center to Tristan Sims!"

    Danielle Steber, Administrative Assistant, Biomedical Sciences

    "Danielle's knowledge of UH systems and processes is outstanding. She is always willing to take time out to train me, a new employee - no matter how many questions I ask or how long it takes, despite her own workload. She also always does it with patience and positivity.

    I have noticed these same traits in dealing with others in the department as well. Danielle is a true stand out."

    Paul Turcotte, Senior Research Analyst, Institutional Research

    "Paul Turcotte is a Senior Research Analyst and a valued member of the UH family. His home is in the Provost’s office and he is known for his attention to detail. If you all watched the annual Fall Address, you would have seen his handiwork and excellence in most of the slides. He painstakingly went through miles of data to produce the final product that showed how much he cares about his job here, and how much of a team player he is. Our office is so very proud of him and I believe that he deserves this Cougar Cudos for his excellence and persistence in being the high performer that we’ve all come to know and expect.

    Great job, Paul!"

    Curtis Wallace, Program Manager 2, Office of the Dean, College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences

    "Curtis Wallace is always willing to assist to make a situation better or just to resolve the issue at hand. He is knowledgeable about policies and processes and truly understands the "how and the why" when things need to get done. He is loyal to UH, staff, faculty, and students. I am thankful for all he has did for me and others in OUR, and he is truly missed. I am happy for him in CLASS now. : )"


    Administration & Finance

    Mike Oestereicher, Assistant Vice President, Facility Services, Facility Management

    "After the President's Address on 10/12 Mike helped an elderly donor by giving her a golf cart ride to her car. She is in her mid 90s and is a wonderful donor to the university- and she was very intent on hearing the president speak in person. His kindness was a great way to cap off her visit& greatly appreciated! Thanks for going the extra mile, Mike!"


  • October 2022

    Academic Affairs

    Christina Gibson, Program Manager 2, Admissions

    "I'm nominating Christina Gibson for Cougar Cudos because she has helped me tremendously in my transition into the Office of Admissions and giving me tips/showing me the ropes of how the Department operates. During my almost three weeks with the Office of Admissions, Christina has made it as smooth as possible to take the time to introduce me to staff, show me where things are, the how-tos, all while also doing her daily job! She is a boss-lady, for sure and brings so much knowledge and impact to the Office of Admissions! I'm so happy to have her as a colleague!"

    David Carter, Web Developer 3, Education Innovation & Tech

    "David manages the Canvas LMS for UH. My department uses Canvas extensively for our micro-credential programs, and I often need David's help setting it up and troubleshooting. He is very knowledgeable, and always accessible and responsive, and it always a very positive experience working with him. Without him, we would have had a much harder time running our courses."

    Paul Turcotte, Senior Research Analyst, Institutional Research

    "Went out of his way to make the First Impressions experience fun and memorable not only for those the worked with at the table, but with students and with the event's support staff. I particularly noted how Paul went out of his way to walk a student to a building nearby and a location that was hard to find by the student."


    Administration & Finance

    Tracy Wiggins, Customer Service Rep 2, Parking & Transport Operations

    "On August 30th, 2022, I called Parking & Transportation regarding a question I was asked by one of the Biology professors. Tracy answered the phone and answered every question in the most professional way. She was not sure about one of the items, so she put me on hold, went over and found the answer for me. People like Tracy are often the people that make a great institution, an outstanding institution. Tracy, it is staff like you who make me proud to be a part of this institution."


    Research & Technology Transfer

    Alicia Vargas, Senior Specialist, Research Compliance, Research Integrity & Oversight

    "I am sending in this cudos on behalf of Dawn Mopkins, who has given permission for this to be submitted online. Her Curdos for Alicia is: Thank you Alicia for your support and guidance over this last year. Your efforts are much appreciated!!"

    Grace Rosanes, Director of Research Fin Svcs (OCG), Office of Contracts & Grants

    "Grace is a rock in DOR. We know she's one who can always assist, always has such an inviting tone. I know she's incredibly short-staffed, but she is still so incredibly attentive and helpful. I wish there were 5 of her! She absolutely deserves praise and recognition."

    Ha Nguyen, Accountant 2, Research (OCG), Office of Contracts & Grants

    "I am submitting this Cudos on behalf of Michele Hoffman, who has given permission to submit this cudos online. The Cudos for Ha is: Ha excels in helping our team with post award management. She is very helpful and is very good at explaining the details for her requests; and assists when we have questions. She is always very professional and always helps our team with PI related grant issues."

    Marian Denney, Accountant 2, Research (OCG), Office of Contracts & Grants

    "I am sending in this cudos on behalf of Michele Hoffman, who has given permission for this to be submitted online. Her Curdos for Marian is: Marian is an awesome employee! She is so professional and is always willing to explain and help our team with grants management. Even though we work in different departments we collaborate as a team. Thank you!"


    Student Affairs

    Brandy Taylor, Lead Teacher, Child Care Children's Learning Centers

    "Mrs. Taylor is a breath of fresh air on this campus. As a Lead Teacher in the Yellow Room at the Children's Learning Centers, her day to day is caring for kids; and Mrs. Taylor takes that to a whole different level. She is consistently greeting children and families with a warm smile and a hug regardless of whether they are in her classroom. While much of the campus has returned to "normal", parents at the CLC have not been able to enter the classrooms; but Mrs. Taylor has created a communication channel with parents and families and makes them feel involved in what is happening day to day. I am able to have conversations with my daughter about her class and her time in Mrs. Taylor's care because of her dedication to involving me in her care. She is thoughtful and goes the extra mile by being proactive with her communication. I am so grateful my daughter is with Mrs. Taylor every day; it allows me to focus on my important work as a staff member here at UH knowing my daughter is well cared for and loved!"

    Cam'ron Senegal, Financial Coordinator 2, Business Services, Student Affairs

    "Cam'ron became a full-time employee after he graduated from UH this Summer. He appreciated what CFI provided him and is giving it back to the next generation Coogs. Cam'ron has a cheerful personality and engaged with almost everyone that passed by our booth. It has been a joy watching and working with Cam'ron. I know I received a "Cougar First Impression" from him that day! Someone please get him onboard Staff Council!!!"


  • September 2022

    Academic Affairs

    Ryan Salazar, Program Coordinator II, UH Sugar Land, Office of the Provost

    "Ryan is our new Program Coordinator at the Sugar Land site. He was hired in May 2022 of this year. He has had phenomenal work ethic throughout his training period, and has gone above and beyond for the Academic Services department. Through event bookings, finalizing the Fall 22 academic schedule, and handling general inquiry, Ryan has exhibited excellent customer service and care for our students, faculty, and staff. He also helped us completely revamp our display cases in the 1st floor of the George building. We are very lucky to have him on our team, and he deserves the recognition of Cougar Cudos for his hard work. "

    Kayly Scott, Director of Marketing, Katherine G. McGovern College of the Arts

    “As a CFI volunteer, Kayly was very engaged, welcoming, and helped numerous students to make their first day at UH was a success.”


    Administration & Finance

    Wendell McCloud, Assistant Fire Marshall, Environmental Health & Life Safety, Campus Safety
    Ernest Johnson, Deputy Fire Marshal, Environmental Health & Life Safety, Campus Safety
    Joshua Hahn, Deputy Fire Marshal, Environmental Health & Life Safety, Campus Safety
    Marcus Hicks, Deputy Fire Marshal, Environmental Health & Life Safety, Campus Safety

    “Wendell McCloud, Ernest Johnson, Joshua Hahn, and Marcus Hicks were instrumental in ensuring that both the UH Law Center and Fertitta Family College of Medicine received their certificates of occupancy, allowing them to open on time. The team arrived early and stayed past their regular work hours to ensure all fire and life safety systems were tested and functioned correctly. With limited personnel and over eight weeks, the team had to split their time between these substantial projects and continue answering calls for service, investigating fires, and conducting inspections on other construction projects. Their direct efforts continue to contribute to student success.”

    Elicia Davis, Asst. Business Admin, Central Business Services, A&F Business Services

    "The University is experiencing challenges in all levels of operations and employees are stretched to performing above and beyond regular duties to address the challenges. Elicia Davis has been pivotal in keeping Accounting Services moving smoothly through the personnel staffing process for the last seven months. Ms. Davis has been available and communicative throughout the entire process from ePAR to ePRF to directing us to the right areas for other processes. She has been pleasant and informative each time we have contacted her.
    Ms. Davis's prompt and immediate responses to our requests have provided an uninterrupted flow in our daily tasks. Coog-dos to Elicia Davis!"

    Dawn Mopkins, Director of Occupational Health Services, Campus Safety

    “During Cougar First Impressions Day 2, I was volunteering at Table 18 (Campus Safety Table) for the 8 AM-10 AM shift. Dawn came to volunteer at her 10 AM-12 PM shift and got there a little early. While there, Dawn immediately started walking out to engage with the students walking by. She was asking them if they wanted water, a fan from her department, or had any questions. Even though a lot of students just kept walking by, for the time I saw her she was engaging and energetic to them, welcoming our Coogs back to campus. I wish I had seen her for longer but for the 15 minutes I did she was showing true passion and an ethic of care, which is exemplified what our Cougar First Impressions volunteers should do.”       

    Mark Rosanes, Web technology Manager, Technology Services & Support, University Information Technology

    “Mark Rosanes is the best type of colleague. He provides thoughtful feedback, focuses on solutions and stays calm in the face of last minute requests. He always strives to provide the best, most competent customer service, and he does it all humbly and with the best interests of the University at the forefront of his choices.” 


    University Marketing & Communications Division

     Jason Brock, Web Developer II, Marketing and Digital Strategy, University Marketing & Communications Division

    “Jason has been active behind the scenes in communicating the COVID-19 web content at UH. He deserves to be recognized for his quick response and flexibility.”


    Office of the President’s Division

    Brisa Gossett, Program Manager II, Staff Council

    “Brisa was amazing in executing the Cougar First Impressions (CFI) event and worked triple overtime to ensure the event was a success.”


    Student Affairs

    Tonya Anderson, Financial Aid Program Coordinator II, Enrollment Services, Scholarships & Financial Aid

    “Due to staffing, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid has lost a crucial player for our Scholarships and Grants team. In addition to her own responsibilities, Tonya has taken on many of the job duties for this other role. I am not surprised as she is always a team player and willing to always go above and beyond to help the entire team of financial aid.”

    Norine Mattox, Financial Aid Advisor II, Enrollment Services, Scholarships & Financial Aid

    “Ms. Mattox has demonstrated her commitment to student success in the way she performs her daily job duties, plus she has stepped up as needed to work beyond the regular hours of her job to ensure our processes are completed to meet the needs of the students as the fall semester starts! She gives extra effort with assisting not only our students, but her colleagues as well. She is an extraordinary example of what is required from a person whose role is to ensure student success at UH. She does this without having to be asked and always with a smile and professional attitude. We are so very lucky to have Ms. Mattox here at UH!”

    Gwendolyn Richmond, Financial Aid Program Coordinator II, Enrollment Services, Scholarships & Financial Aid

    “I am nominating Ms. Richmond for this recognition because she truly represents the customer service standards we strive to achieve each and every day here at UH. Ms. Richmond demonstrates her commitment to student success each and every day in the way she excels in her job! She is always professional in demeanor when assisting students and serves as a live-by example to her colleagues. In the last few months, as we all prepared for the start of the fall semester, Ms. Richmond has gone well above expectations to make sure our processes were up to date so students would have the resources they need to get the new semester off to a good start! If there is anyone who deserves to be recognized for outstanding commitment to student success, it is Ms. Richmond!”
  • August 2022


    Administration & Finance

    June Lawrence, Administrative Coordinator, Real Estate Services

    “June is a dedicated employee who is always willing to assist in any way possible.  Due to a staff member leaving in 2021 and the department having difficulty filling the position, June has taken the initiative to learn new processes and procedures to help make the department successful and keep providing excellent services to the UHS. June takes great pride in her work and tackles every task with a high level of dedication and enthusiasm.  June is constantly striving to improve our processes and procedures to increase efficiency.  June has increased her knowledge and experience with real estate matters over her 3 years and has become an integral part of the ORES team.

    June is highly respected by her peers, colleagues and customers both internal and external to the university.  June is an excellent team player who always goes above and beyond in working with departments so that success can be achieved in the quickest time possible.  June has been an excellent point of contact for constituents and through effective communications has established their trust and reliance as a tremendous resource. June serves in a role that provides services to each of the UHS campuses, which can be difficult to manage due the variety of complex projects.  Through the establishment of standards of excellence, June helps to keep ORES on track by exceeding expectations and producing many positive results.  June has been successful in managing the responsibilities of 2 or more staff positions due to an open position within ORES and taken initiative to expand her real estate knowledge and learn new skills to help the department and its customers be successful.”



    Office of the President’s Division

    Christopher "Blake" Stroud, Department Business Administrator, UH Energy

    “Blake Stroud is UH Energy's Department Business Manager. He is the first person that a potential new hire, or new staff member comes in to contact with, and is a wonderful representative for the University of Houston. My first impression of him a year ago, was that he was kind, professional, thorough and knowledgeable, and I have since realized that he is also patient, generous and discreet. Blake is one of the best people that I have ever met. He is an enthusiastic advocate for the University of Houston and strongly supports our goals and mission. He trains people in financial practices very thoroughly and demonstrates high standards of efficiency and accuracy without making the trainee feel slow or inadequate. I have seen time and time again that he empathizes with learners and, in doing so, builds confidence and team spirit. Blake is an exemplar for the kind of co-worker and staff member that we would always wish to have on our team. By being approachable and patient, he improves the efficiency of the department and builds staff morale. The University of Houston is richer for having him here as a manager and team member.”


    University Advancement

    Roya Esfandi, Director of Advancement, Gift Planning

    “Roya is an integral part of the Office of Gift Planning.  She is hard working and dedicated.  She’s worked for University Advancement for many years, and always contributes great ideas during team meetings.  In addition to working hard, she takes time to recognize the hard work of others in our division.  During my training period, she was always available to answer questions.  As the department worked on filling open positions, she assisted with various responsibilities.  She is so deserving of this recognition.”


    Amy Healy, Administrative Assistant, Development

    “Amy has worked for University Advancement for many years and is always willing to help anyone that needs assistance.  She takes pride in her administrative duties and is receptive to learning.  Daily, she exemplifies the meaning of teamwork.  When I first started, she made sure I have everything I needed in my office and made me feel very welcome.  At events where I didn’t really know anyone, she took the time to introduce me to others and made me feel included.   Truly grateful to work with her.”


  • July 2022

    Academic Affairs

    Pamela Simpson
    Asst, Administrative, Senior Vice Chancellor

    "Pam Simpson is one of the most loyal and detail-oriented people I have ever met. She has a heart that is as big as Texas and strives to always be at her best. She has worked for Provost Short for many years, and many other Provost's before her! She has taken care of the Provost's office so well that everyone on campus knows her. She is very respected throughout the UH campus and her peers will tell you that she is always kind, helpful, and takes care of things in a timely manner. Her demeanor to all the guests that walk in, as well as those who call in, is always on par. You can just hear her smile through the telephone line! She greets everyone she meets with a smile and a helpful attitude. When I first started as the Provost's Executive Administrative Assistant, Pam was instrumental in training me in the ways of the office and I have benefited so very much from her great wealth of wisdom. I nominate Pam Simpson for Cougar Cudos based on this and so much more! There are so many things that I could tell you about Pam but there just isn't that much room here... suffice it to say, without her in the Provost office, it would not run as smoothly as it does now. She is very deserving of this recognition!"


    Administration and Finance (A&F)

    Vivian LoDuca
    Sr Talent Development Spec, Human Resources

    "Every time I walk into a a training and see Vivian, I KNOW it is going to be a great training! She is passionate about the subject matter being taught and it shows in her delivery. She brings energy to the room by her authentic explanations and real world visuals. She is animated and adds humor to the subject matter. She makes everyone feel comfortable and WANT to participate. She is extremely engaging and knowledgeable. She definitely deserves a Cougar Cudos!"

    Maricela Rodriguez
    Coord 2, IT Documentation, Technology Services and Support

    "Maricela took it upon herself to document/test and assist with making videos, FAQ's and updated web pages etc ( for the soon to come new Telephony Microsoft Teams which will replace Skype for Business. In addition with she also assists the IT Support Center with calls and chats."


    College of Medicine

    Lupita Curiel
    Mgr, Program 2, Medical Education

    "Lupita organized the first ever event for the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine participation in Take Your Child to Work Day. She enthusiastically persevered through uncertain times while the college transitioned to a new name and prepared to move into a new building. At the last minute of planning, the goodie bags and give-away items had to be quickly re-ordered with new name and logo. When plans for participants to tour the college were impacted by move preparations, Lupita found a location in which COM could host games, show informational videos, and serve pizza. Others may have given up when faced with multiple road blocks, but Lupita rallied fellow COM Staff Council members and other college volunteers, and hosted a most successful event. "


    College of Optometry

    Colleen Laborde
    Research Liaison Officer, Optometry

    "Colleen always knows what to do and how to handle financial things. She knows how to get things done. She is especially useful at navigating the UH bureaucracy."


    Division of Research 

    Byron Guevara
    Accountant 1, Research (OCG), Office of Contracts and Grants

    "Mr. Guevara is a warm greeter and does a good job tackling problems. He's kind and eager to assist. He's a real go getter when something peaks his interest. He asks good questions and reassures you that a reply is coming soon. I've never met Mr. Guevara, we've communicated via phone and email. I look forward to his fun and positive salutations. Mr. Guevara, kudos to you for going beyond the call of duty!"

    Chanelle Mack
    Prgm Dir, Contracts Mgmt, Office of Tech Transfer and Innovation

    "In the absence of two team members that have left the University and work in different areas of the Commercialization team she has volunteered or basically, just jump in and have helped and is helping keeping us afloat as we go through the hiring process of backfilling those two positions."

    Nancy Nguyen
    Analyst, Functional 3, Office of Contracts and Grants

    "Nancy has been such a wonderful support for the many eRAFs submitted by Chemical Engineering. She always goes above and beyond and provides flexibility to the department making our job just a little easier."


  • June 2022

    Academic Affairs

    Angela Green
    Academic Advisor II, College of Nursing

    “Angela Green is an excellent advisor. She is conscientious, extremely polite, and helpful for her students in the College of Nursing. She is thorough in her review of student academic needs, is approachable, and connects personally with students either on the phone, in person, or through an on-line portal. She makes sure the student is complete and ready from day of admission to day of graduation. Thank you Angela!”

    Shanequea White
    Department Business Administrator, Natural Sciences & Mathematics              

    “I would like to give a big shout-out to Shanequea White who has worked above and beyond to get her department caught up on outstanding items. She has been dedicated and determined as well as a thoughtful and effective manager, building a strong team in her department who can get the job done. This is a well-deserved recognition of a job well done. Kudos!!”



    Administration and Finance (A&F)

    Rafael Arroyo, User Services Spec II, Technology Services & Support, UIT
    Ivey Davis, Lead, User Services Specialist, Information Technology, UIT
    Matthew Harvey, Help Desk Coordinator, Technology Services & Support, UIT
    Kevin Vu, Systems Analyst II, Technology Services & Support, UIT

    “This group of IT professionals are amazing to work with and receive help from.  They are collectively an amazing team to get support from. Rafael started from a student worker and has now become a trainer to the incoming student workers and present at NHO.  Matthew was a student worker, the shipping and receiving coordinator and now a FT staff member.  Ivey has spent 1/2 her University career with the help desk and over 4 decades of providing excellent customer service and support with UIT, overall.  Kevin has spent his countless hours, days and nights dedicated to supporting staff, faculty and senior management.  He was once a young student pursuing his degrees and working part-time, and then was hired on as soon as he graduated and never left.  They all provide support with compassion and patience and deserve to be recognized.”



    Division of Research 

    Vanessa Stepney
    Research Administrator II, Contracts and Grants

    “Vanessa is deserving of a Cougar Cudos because she has demonstrated her tireless efforts in supporting departments with grant expenditures even in the wake of staff shortages and turnover in her department. She has maintained her position with grace and perseverance. We are truly thankful to have her at the University of Houston.”

    Cory Thaxton
    Communications Coordinator, Strategic Research Communications

    “I have worked with Cory on several projects and wanted him and DOR to know how great he is doing. His insightful support, attentive nature, and professionalism are appreciated and don't go unnoticed!”

  • May 2022

    Administration and Finance (A&F)

    Henry Pham
    Microsystems Analyst II, Financial Computing Systems, Administration & Finance

    “Henry goes beyond to assist with any technical issue and any other computer issue. Not only is he super reliable and very knowledgeable, he is also very kind. He has helped with solving issues on his off days on more than one occasion for me, so I know he does the same for the finance division.”

    George Rea
    Director, Plant Accounting, Controller, Administration & Finance

    “George is over Plant Accounting, and recently developed and conducted a training for our team in A&F and Facilities Business Services. He is an excellent resource for information, so I will call him for background on many things related to the business of plant funding. He has such clarity of mind and ease of communication that he hears your question, can filter through the noise and confusion, and share with you the specific information that you need to know to move forward. It is a skill that too few have and many appreciate. Thank you, George!”


    College of Medicine

    David Garcia
    Director, College IT Infrastructure & Data Analytics, College of Medicine

    "I wanted to give a big shout-out to David for his tireless efforts on our UH COM data server,, and the SAS application. It has been a challenging process but David has been on top of these joining meetings with Keith Martin, Dr. Claudia Neuhauser, and other major players at the University. Sometimes we have not seen eye to eye but knowing his heart and passion for the work, I could not ask a better colleague to work with on this. There are many more hurdles to cross but I wanted to acknowledge his hard work and dedication.”


    University Advancement

    Leslee Hackett
    Digital Content Specialist, Donor Engagement, University Advancement

    “Leslee is new to the University Advancement team and has been a vital asset to the overall department and Development Communications team! She has hit the ground running by ramping up the overall social media content, owning the department photography, and taking on upcoming video projects. She has increased overall viewership and engagement across Facebook, Twitter, and the newly created departmental Instagram. I know that Leslee will continue to be an amazing asset to the team and look forward to her success within the University of Houston System.”


    Student Affairs

    Aleena Iqbal
    User Services Specialist II, DSAES IT Services

    “I had just gotten my new laptop set up when I began to have trouble logging in with Cougarnet. I put in a ticket with DSAES IT, and Aleena was quick to assist me! The issue ended up being more complex than we expected and took a few days to resolve, but Aleena was so kind and patient and kept in communication with me every step of the way. I wanted to nominate her for Cougar Kudos because her kindness and confidence in what she was doing ensured me that the problem will be fixed. Thank you for your help in getting me back in business and helping our students succeed!”

    Rachel Honora
    Associate Registrar, Office of the University Registrar, Enrollment Services

    “Rachel is consistently diligent and attentive to the needs of all staff. Every interaction I have had with her has been pleasant and the issue is resolved in a timely fashion, if not immediately. She is an individual whom I know I can rely on and receive the most accurate and current information from. The University of Houston should be thankful to employ such a magnificent team leader. Thank you, Rachel.”

  • April 2022

    Academic Affairs

    JoAnn Medina
    Program Coordinator II, College of Nursing

    “JoAnn Medina is who prospective nursing students go to when they are interested in becoming a nurse, or when a nurse wants to continue in the graduate program in the College of Nursing. She is well known in our partner hospitals as she helps guide nurses into the CON program that best fits their needs. She conducts the weekly Zoom Information sessions and she is likely the person you will talk to when you call the College's main phone number or email the College of Nursing. Whether in person, on Zoom, through email, or on the phone she always has a smile on her face and delights in helping students find the career path for their education journey in nursing at UH.”

    Ryan Nguyen
    Research Stores Manager, College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics (NSM)

    “Ryan tremendously helped me find the right tools that I needed in my lab, he followed up by phone and email (reached out to company and myself) and made sure my orders are correct.”


    Administration and Finance (A&F)

    Daniel “Dan” Corcoran
    Assistant Treasurer, Treasurer, Assoc. VC/VP of Finance

    "Dan has come to our rescue more than once. A couple of years ago, Dan was instrumental in assisting us set up the UH Research Store billing system. Dan spent many hours explaining the ins and outs of the system and working with us to get the module up and running. Today, we were in a bind because another State of Texas agency was wanting to send us checks for an upcoming forum and needed us to fill out authorization forms. We could not make heads or tails of the forms. When we emailed Dan with the details, Dan called back in less than 10 minutes. With a cheerful demeanor, Dan not only signed the form but also filled out all the relevant information for us. Dan is an asset to UH and to all of us who have asked for his help on various occasions."

    Monica Davila 
    Financial Manager, General Accounting, Assoc. VC/VP of Finance

    “Monica was extremely helpful and patient with me. I was not sure of the process, but she guided me through the process with profound professionalism. She did not make me feel less than her because I was unsure. I appreciate her kindness. I am grateful.”

    Elicia Davis
    Assistant Business Administrator, Business Services, VC/VP of Admin & Finance

    “We've recently changed our invoicing process, and as a result, the volume of emails I send has increased, as have my inquiries on invoice processing. In the past, I may have inquired about outstanding invoices a few times a year, whereas I'm now asking for updates on a weekly basis. After only two weeks of this new process, Elicia anticipated my needs and started sending regular updates on paid and outstanding invoices before I even ask. This has made the new aspects of my role SO much easier. I am so appreciative of Elicia for taking this extra step!”

    Neil Hart
    Executive Director, Parking and Transportation Services, Office of Administration

    “Neil Hart helped our department by doing a Parking permit presentation at our Facilities Town Hall along with coming in at 10pm at night to do a presentation to our 2nd & 3rd shifts. We greatly appreciate the time that was given to help educate our staff on this process.”

    Abraham Thomas
    Journey HVAC Mechanic, Facilities and Construction Management, Facilities Operation and Maintenance

    "I am writing this letter to nominate Mr. Abraham M. Thomas for Cougar Kudos. Abraham is a Journey HVAC technician with the University of Houston Facilities Services HVAC team. The Hilton College is one of the many buildings he supports on our campus. In the past year, Abraham has been instrumental in supporting support to our building HVAC systems for both major and minor repairs. The systems he works on not only affect our classrooms and faculty offices, but also the hotel guest experience. Abraham understands the sensitivity of our operation and acts with that sense of urgency. In my years of experience in facilities, Abraham’s knowledge of HVAC systems is unparalleled. He seems to be a walking encyclopedia of knowledge, and he loves to share his knowledge with anyone who will listen. At Hilton, our vision is to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality by delivering exceptional experiences to every guest, every time. Abraham truly understands this vision and lives it each time he steps into our building. His customer service skills are exemplary. He is one of the friendliest people I know, and he always arrives with a smile on his face and a happy greeting for his co-workers. It is truly a pleasure working with Abraham and I appreciate all his support. It is with great pleasure that I respectfully submit this nomination for Abraham to be recognized with Cougar Kudos.”

    Richard Zagrzecki
    Department Outreach Manager, Parking & Transport Operations

    “Richard did a parking permit presentation at our Facilities Town Hall to explain the new procedure that will begin in August. We greatly appreciate the time and coordination to help our employees understand this new process. He also helped prepare for a late-night presentation that Neil Hart conducted for our 2nd & 3rd Shift employees. They have gone above and beyond to help everyone understand this new initiative.”

  • March 2022

    Academic Affairs

    Amy Tran
    Administrative Coordinator, Student Services, C. T. Bauer College of Business

    “Amy has been instrumental in helping me get things done, especially last semester when I was short-staffed. She is diligent and communicative. She is deserving of all the kudos!”


    Administration and Finance (A&F)

    Katherine Fieldcam
    Digital Prepress Tech., Printing Operations, Office of Administration
    Seleste Bautista
    Digital Prepress Tech., VC/VP, Printing Operations, Office of Administration

    “Kathy and Seleste are great to work with. Both are phenomenal graphics designers and their work speaks for itself. However, their personalities are equally great. They are very responsive and it has been a true pleasure working alongside them on various projects!”

    June Lawrence

    Administrative Coordinator, Real Estate Services

    “While working in the Office of Real Estate, June assisted me with accomplishing many projects.  Although she did not come into her role with real estate experience, she was eager to learn.  No matter the task, June takes pride in making sure the job is done right. She is not afraid to ask questions, and values feedback in order to be successful in her role.  She is truly an asset to the University and is so deserving of this recognition.”



    Ashley Merwin
    Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor/Vice President for Research

    "Ashley continues to get kudos from people around the Division of Research for her hard work, dedication, and passion for keeping the internal engagement among staff a focus for the division leadership. Here's an example of a recent division kudo received from a colleague: Ashley is absolutely wonderful. No matter what my concern, big or small, she is always there to help and make my concern feel valid. She is extremely patient and always kind. She represents the Division of Research so well.

    Ashley represents the very best of what DOR has to offer and she is a great ambassador for UH. She is so deserving of institution-level recognition for her tireless dedication to the University."             

    Leavonda Robinson

    Research Administrator I, Office of Contracts & Grants

    “Ms. Robinson has been an amazing addition to UH and is committed to helping the departments she works within anything they need. She asks questions when she does not know the answer and goes above and beyond.”

  • February 2022

    Academic Affairs

    Agnes Ruby Corpus
    Clinical Facilitator, College of Nursing

    "Agnes is an organizer, and she loves it! Whenever an assignment is given to her, she tackles the task head-on, creates how she will organize, is very detailed and neat in her work. She always has a finished product that is excellent. Moreover, Agnes is very polite and is customer-friendly. She always has everyone's best interest at heart. We are fortunate to have her in the College of Nursing."

    Kimberly Phillips

    Secretary II, College of Nursing

    “Kimberly consistently goes above and beyond her responsibilities to make sure that faculty and staff are happy. The breakroom is everyone's responsibility but she makes sure it's always clean. She is the first person any student or visitor sees and she ALWAYS has a bright smile and a strong desire to help. Kim takes her responsibility seriously and ensures it is completed in a speedy and thorough manner. She is consistently prompt and fast in her response to faculty requests for course books and clarifies requests before processing. Kimberly is definitely a big asset to UH College of Nursing and we are extremely fortunate to have her! Therefore, I strongly recommend that she is recognized and offer her many, many Cougar Cudos!!”


    Administration and Finance (A&F)

    Bret Mitchell Collier
    Police Captain, University of Houston Police Department

    “UHPD offers a variety of training for its employees. Captain Collier recently created and personally narrated training regarding the UHGo app. The training was clear, concise, and very professional. Great job Bret!”

    Brittaney Cooks Harvey
    Police Corporal, University of Houston Police Department

    “Corporal Harvey has recently received a new assignment critical to UHPD departmental operations. Her attitude and aptitude have been very beneficial to the difficult transition that she has undertaken. I am most thankful for her professionalism and effort.”

    Chandra Kaye Johnson
    Assistant Chief of Police, University of Houston Police Department

    “2021 was a very difficult year with a host of challenges. Assistant Chief Johnson willingly and professionally handled many of these issues for UHPD with minimal guidance and excellent results. One example of her excellence was the revision of all security post orders for all UHPD security offices. Great job! Great effort!”

    Pamela Muscarello
    Director, Accounts Payable, Controller

    “I would like to nominate Pam for a Cougar Cudos because she has done tremendous work since she moved to the  A/P office as the new Director. She has streamlined the AP website so that everything is now cohesive and in one location where things are easy to find. Additionally, one of the best tools that have now been created since she transferred to AP is the AP newsletters that go out to campus. These newsletters are extremely informative and provide really great tools, resources, and reminders for processes, which comes in really handy when I need to pull a reference for a process I don't use all of the time. It is very useful to our administrative team! Thanks Pam!!”

    Ronald Sampson
    Lead Plumber, Facilities/Construction Mgmt.

    “I had a ceiling leak in my room for a while with multiple attempts to fix it without success.  When Ron finally got assigned to the work request he was able to come up with a solution that fixed the leak permanently.  Not only was Ron able to fix the problem, he was also very courteous and went out of his way to prevent any damage to equipment in the room.   Ron is a valuable asset to UH, in my opinion, and deserves much more than a Cougar Cudo.”

    Maria Vega
    Financial Coordinator I, Business Services

    “Maria's tenacity is incredible.  She quickly learns new skills and makes them her own with improvements.  Always a team player, Maria gets a problem resolved immediately.  I am so grateful to work by her side and watch her flourish into an incredible leader while remaining humble and grateful each step of the way.  Congratulations, Maria you deserve it.”



    Lisa Roberts
    Research Administrator I, DOR Central

    "Lisa Roberts is highly commendable for both the form and content of her communication. She is competent and an effective and dedicated professional. Very positive and much appreciated- a great way to start the New Year."

    Danielle Griffin

    Assoc Director of Research Integrity & Oversight, DOR Central

    “Dr. Danielle Griffin has been hugely helpful to me getting the appropriate IRB documentation completed for NSF-funded projects I am working on. She has been extremely responsive, professional, and helpful in supporting me in navigating the ICON system, appropriate documentation, and reliance agreements. Without her support, I would not be able to do the research I need to do to make tenure."

  • January 2022

    Academic Affairs

    Lawrencene Dourseau, Accountant II, Mathematics, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

    “Goes above and beyond in making sure she finishes her work. She's a tremendous asset to the department and has taught many staff members valuable lessons.”

    Jessica Feil, Program Manager II, Chemistry, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

    “Jessica is a tremendous asset to the department. Research labs across several buildings rely on her support. Her dedication towards achieving perfection hasn't gone unnoticed and her work ethic is admired by all.”

    Jay Hills, Assistant Registrar, Enrollment Services, Office of the University Registrar

    “Jay has been implementing new initiatives to move the Registrar’s office and the University forward. Although he may not get the recognition he deserves, he goes above and beyond. He continually bends over backwards for our students and our staff. I believe he is a great advocate for our cougars and should get some Cougar Cudos.”

    Nadine Kantala, Clinical Learning Nursing Staff, College of Nursing

    “Nadine is an excellent staff member for the College of Nursing Simulation Centers at UH at Sugar Land. She is organized and always willing to lend a helping hand to all students who need remediation and guidance in practicing their clinical skills. She works well with the faculty and the simulation team. She supports the clinical learning needs for student success.”

    Anh Nash, Financial Coordinator II, Chemistry, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

    “Anh works tirelessly in processes a vast assortment of purchases for our department. She is dependable and helps ensure that the faculty and staff are supported. Everyone in the department appreciates her.”

    Carly Peden, Academic Advisor II, College of Nursing

    “Carly has been remarkable in her ability to adapt to the various advising needs of the College of Nursing students. She supports students in the undergraduate and graduate levels with their questions as they apply to the program. She uses technology to navigate and advise students appropriately to help them be as successful as possible in their degree progress. She helps to mentor advisors and works well as a team player.”

    Tammy N. Whatley, BAAS, Student Affairs Director, College of Nursing

    “Tammy is amazing! She is laser focused on student success in the College of Nursing. She orchestrates the student experience from recruitment, application period, interviews, orientation, advising, academic pathways, and student events through to graduation, commencement and pinning. She and her team work hard to provide the caring experience that the graduate nurses will take with them through their careers.”


    Administration & Finance

    Anthony Carpenter, Buyer III, Purchasing Department, Office of Finance

    “I’ve worked with Tony for six years now and each time I’ve had to call him for assistance on a purchase order Tony will always answer my call or calls me back even if I do not leave a voice message. Tony is very knowledgeable and helpful in problem solving any issues I might have. My department submits orders for various research labs on campus and there is one lab that requires more lead-time making their request very time sensitive, Tony has worked weekends to ensure I receive my purchase orders in a timely manner to meet the needs of my professor’s high urgency request. Anthony (Tony) Carpenter is a valued member of the University of Houston.”

    Sheena John, Foreign Nat. Tax Accountant II, Tax Accounting, Office of Administration and Finance

    “Sheena is very knowledgeable, professional and helpful. She met with my professor and my admin team on a weekly basis for a period of 3 months when processing our first RFP request. At each meeting she thoroughly explained the process and answered our numerous of questions. Our department submits orders for various research labs on campus and some orders need more lead time making the request very time sensitive; Sheena will diligently work with myself or my admin team to meet our high urgency request to issue the purchase order in a timely manner. We are in the process of starting a new RFP and Sheena has met with myself, our admin team and the PI to jump-start the process. TIMES really appreciates all Sheena’s hard work, efforts and taking time out of her busy day to meet with our faculty & admin staff. Sheena John is a valued member of the University of Houston.”

    Brooke Kaiser, Administration Assessment/Evaluation Analyst, Office of Administration and Finance

    “Brooke is a stellar colleague and co-chair for the Staff Council Communications Committee. I have known her since she joined the Council and she has consistently been an innovative, creative, thoughtful, and collaborative partner in any endeavor she is part of. She consistently goes above and beyond. Her leadership and vision has elevated Staff Council communications to a new level, and her commitment to excellence only propels us further. She is an amazing leader, colleague, and friend.”

    Tiffany Taylor-Denson, Department Business Administrator, Business Services, Office of Administration and Finance

    “UHPD has a number of complex issues relating to business services. Tiffany is knowledgeable and always willing to assist my team to obtain a great resolution to a host of issues. Personally, I really appreciate her supportive, professional tone and approach during all of our interactions. Great asset to the Business Services team!”


Previous Recipients

  • Cougar Cudos

    Cougar Cudos was first launched in 2016 to recognize the staff across campus who demonstrated outstanding work and dedication to the University of Houston.

    Cougar Cudos Awardees

  • 2020 - 2021 Cougar Cudos

    Academic Affairs

    • Azucena “Suzy” Banuelas, Custodian III, Optometry Clinic
    • Willard Brewster, Manager, Facilities Management Zone
    • Anthony "Tony" Cantu, Skilled Trades Tech I, College of Optometry
    • Christine Cortez, Financial Coordinator I, Mexican-American Studies
    • Dr. Rikki Bettinger, Associate Director, Mellon Research Scholars Program and Program Manager, Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards
    • Kara Ellis, M.S., Academic Advisor I, College of Technology
    • Whitney Johnson, Program Manager II, Student Services, C.T. Bauer College of Business
    • Kevin Le, Engineering Technology
    • Judy Mata, Department Business Administrator, College of Natural Science and Mathematics
    • Jemal Moore, Academic Records Coordinator, Engineering Undergraduate Programs
    • Moumita Mukherjee, Senior Research Analyst, Institutional Research
    • David Nguyen, IT Support Manager, Graduate College of Social Work
    • Quentin Stewart, Assistant Business Services I, College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics
    • Joana Tan, Assistant Business Administrator, Mechanical Engineering
    • Courtney K. Wilson, Instructional Designer II, Graduate College of Social Work
    • Harriet Yim, Web Project Manager, Office of Communications, Cullen College of Engineering


    • Cory Tristan, Financial Assistant II

    Student Affairs

    • Shenae Champ, Office Supervisor, UH Children's Learning Centers
    • Kim Clark, Executive Director, Campus Recreation
    • Sabrina Grant, Administrative/WC Building Coordinator
    • Cecilia "Cece" Hernandez, Assistant Director, UH Children's Learning Centers
    • Rachel O'Mara, Associate Director, Operations, Campus Recreation
    • Jennifer Skopal, Director, UH Children's Learning Centers

    University Advancement

    • Kendra Hakanson, Program Director, Alumni Relations

    University Marketing and Communications 

    • Dineta Fraizer, Administrative Assistant, Media Relations
    • Dianah Hobbs, Assistant to VC/VP for Marketing and Communications

    Administration and Finance

    • Zachary Lounder, Financial Coordinator 2, Business Services, Department of Public Safety
    • Mariela G. Raudales, Financial Coordinator II, Business Services, Administration and Finance
    • Debbie Samuels, Department Business Administrator
    • Diane Sylvester, Assistant Business Administrator, Business Services, Administration & Finance
      Tiffany Taylor-Denson, Department Business Administrator
    • Jatarra Mayhue, Accountant II
    • Jesus Santos, Office Assistant I, University of Houston Police Department
    • Hector Bonilla, Contracts Reporting Manager
    • Allen DeForde, Assistant Director, Parking & Transport Services
    • Cristian Garcia, Recruiter, Human Resources
    • Vivian LoDuca, Senior Talent Development Specialist, Human Resources
    • Krista McElroy, Compensation Analyst, Human Resources
    • Joseph Carter, Building Management Systems Lead, Facilities Operation and Maintenance
    • Jesse Gonzalez, Building Management Systems Technician II, Facilities Operation and Maintenance
    • John Robinson, Journey HVAC Mechanic, Facilities Operation and Maintenance
    • Willy Vazquez, Insulation Mechanic, Facilities Operation and Maintenance/ Journey HVAC Mechanic, Facilities Operation and Maintenance
    • Rafael Arroyo, ACA, Technology Services & Support
    • Ivey Davis, User Services Specialist Lead, Technology Services & Support
    • Rene Gonzalez, ACA, Technology Services & Support
    • Matthew Harvey, Help Desk Coordinator, Technology Services & Support
    • Amy Ma, User Services Specialist Lead
    • Leroy Mays, Director of IT Customer Services, Technology Services & Support
    • Mark Norgan, Apple/Mac Desktop Specialist II
    • Llesenia Rodriguez, University Information Technology
    • Maricela Rodriguez, IT Documentation Coordinator II, Technology Services & Support
    • Mark Rosanes, Web Technology Manager
    • Michael Rapp, Enterprise IT Security Analyst III, UIT Security
    • Genille Rodriguez, Real Estate Specialist II, Real Estate Services
    • Paula Lockett, Custodian II