Testimonials - University of Houston
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adanIt feels like yesterday that we began our journey in the MS Human Resource Development Executive program. I’m extremely proud of the growth we’ve experienced and excited to wrap up the program this summer. Becoming a transformational leader isn’t for the weak. It’s for those who are willing to live their lives courageously. I’ve chosen this instead of living in my comfort, and boy, I tell you, it feels good.

- Adan Morales, Office Manager at Pioneer Engineering, Cohort 8, Class of 2021

shannonThe Executive HRD program has had a profound impact on me, both professionally and personally. The course curriculum is masterfully designed and extremely rich. Having been in Human Resources practice for nearly 20 years, I can truly say that through the relationships with my professors and cohort members, and several key learnings in consulting practice, organizational development, learning design, culture and leadership, I have gained new knowledge and perspective that have enabled me to be a more effective and confident strategic partner to my organization.

- Shannon Polite- Senior Manager, Human Resources at Fluor Corporation- Cohort 7 Class of 2020

winstenThe Executive MS HRD program taught at the University of Houston is par excellence! The instructors are passionate; the coursework is relevant, and the experience is meaningful. I have chosen this program because it has taught me to be valuable wherever I am—in the boardroom, at home or in the community at large. The professors strip away the extraneous routines and get right to the business of nurturing their students to become successful consultants, researchers, and practitioners. Strategy and tactics are taught hand in hand with cross-cultural agility and prudent leadership. The courses encourage broad thinking and reinforce an oft-forgotten but significant principle: regardless of industries, challenges, or opportunities, people must be kept first. I wholeheartedly recommend this program. The coursework is rigorous, and the instructors are exacting; but it is short, to the point, and oh so very rewarding! You will undoubtedly leave changed.

- Winsten Jose Sr. Analyst, Premier Inc. Cohort 7

zee The workload is rigorous and requires a strong commitment to the overall body of work. It is very comprehensive, practical, relevant, and immediately became applicable to my daily work. More than theory, it’s genuinely practicum-based, and is useful in my career as a Human Resources Manager. The interventions I developed are practical, project-based, and are relevant in real-time. The professors are excellent, they challenge us to view matters from various perspectives- allowing us to emerge as exceptionally strategic practitioners and planners with the ability to set realistic, yet challenging, goals, and objectives- not only for ourselves but for the overall health of our organization.”

- Zee Turnbull, Human Resources Manager, Episcopal Diocese, Cohort 7

Abigail The University of Houston MS HRD program helped me accelerate my leadership contributions as a newly promoted HR Manager responsible for supporting a cross-functional executive team. I chose this program because of the reputable alumni that shared compelling experiences of their personal and professional growth. The HRD program provided a deeper level and a more strategic view of what it means to be a trusted business partner. It helped me refine my influencing skills and find my voice as a leader. This program helped accelerate my strategic organization development skills, and as a result, I can genuinely take a consultative approach to diagnose challenges within my organization. Lastly, the diverse contributions of my cohort created a fantastic learning community that helped with the work-school-life balance.

- Abigail Trujillo, Human Resources Manager at Crane ChemPharma & Energy, Cohort 6 - Class of 2019

Mannuel My experience in the Executive Human Resource Development program has been truly fruitful and enriching to my personal and professional life. Despite a career in the United States Army, the program unlocked a new level of focus, discipline, and capacity to be my best self, as a professional, a husband, a father and a member of my cohort “The Masterminds.” Having a faculty helping you through the tough times and celebrating the good times has been invaluable. The transformational growth I experienced is priceless, and I would encourage any prospective student looking for a life-changing experience to consider this program. Over the course of the program, I have been able to apply the HRD tools and techniques to my work environment. Not only have I grown as a leader, but the knowledge gained has helped me to influence and grow leaders in my organization. This enables me to share concepts learned and enhance the confidence of my colleagues, associates, and senior leaders.

- Manuel Rodriguez Jr., Division Manager at City of Houston, Cohort 6-Class 2019

alahmed-mohammed.jpg The Executive Human Resource Development program was one of the most demanding and rewarding experiences of my professional life. The one-year program is very fast-paced, but the daily inclusion of the content into my work and personal life made the learning experience a truly holistic one. I appreciated how much practical wisdom and corporate experience the professors brought to the program. Because we were embedding our learning into our work on a daily basis, I had the opportunity to test things while still learning. Seeing positive results from that approach over and over while having the opportunity to get feedback and coaching from my professors in real time has embedded the knowledge in a way that a purely academic program would not.

- Dovie Crouse, Vice President of Corporate Services at Arion, Cohort 2 - Class of 2014

rick The University of Houston's Executive Human Resource Development Program provided me an opportunity to expand my knowledge and skills in building out programs and processes strategically. The coursework allowed for immediate application of organization development theories and frameworks in the workplace. I appreciate the flexibility and "global" structure of a one year program which allowed our cohort to find a balance between career and academics. Having completed the program, my biggest take away was the ability to use the knowledge learned across various industries. I previously held a nine years career in financial services and my executive HRD education provided me an opportunity to follow a passion in education—driving opportunities for future generations. I now lead professional leaders programs with Latinos for Education; an education nonprofit focused on ensuring Latino leadership representation across the education sector. The University of Houston is "home," so much so that I now continue my journey pursuing a Doctoral degree in Education—a goal which would not have happened if I had not been experienced the Executive HRD program. Go Coogs!

-Ricardo Rodriguez, Manager – Greater Houston Programs, Latinos for Education Class of 2014

deniseThe HRD program is one of a kind. Throughout the program I saw myself transform and grow into a strategic leader that elevated my career far beyond my expectations.  The program provided me with the foundation, tools and confidence to think bigger and make strategic decisions that ultimately led me to become a relevant leader within my organization. In addition, the strong team connect and support that I received from my professors and fellow Cohortians was amazing. I can now say with confidence, that I am truly a HRD Professional- thank you ExHRD Program!!

- Denise Backus, Manager, HR Business Services, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, Cohort 5-Class 2017

franklinThe Executive Master's HRD program was a defining moment in my career. Prior to completing the program, my engagement at work was more reactive and tactical. However, since completing the Executive Master's HRD I have been exposed to a cadre of professors that have contributed to an awakening in me. This awakening has allowed me to have a better perspective regarding the balance of tactical and strategic conversations. In some sense, the timing with the downturn in the oil market provided a great opportunity for changes to be made, but at the same time, I can say that using the ideas and practical applications generated from my participation in the Executive Master's HRD made the conversations around changing our organization a lot better. Additionally, I have been able to expand my network of professionals that are able to enrich my professional life and give me resources previously unknown or available. The Executive Master's HRD is an experience that was well worth the time and money.

- Franklin Brown, Craft Training Capability Manager, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc, Cohort 4-Class 2016


Although I had a great deal of OD consulting experience before entering UH Sugar Land’s Executive HRD program, this program significantly expanded my knowledge base and strengthened my resume, such that I was able to explore many new opportunities until I found the perfect job. More than that, my professional network has grown significantly, including UH professors, industry guest speakers, and members from several HRD cohorts. For me, the HRD program was a major career-changing, life experience on both a personal and professional level.

- Jeff Cameron, Manager-Organization Transformation & Technical Development, Lockheed Martin, Cohort 3-Class 2015


As a working professional, I was seeking a program that would allow me to continue my career as I pursued my degree.  The Executive Master’s in HRD program allowed me to do just that.  The program complemented my busy work schedule and allowed me to apply my learnings on the job.  The fast-paced program refined the way I look at leadership, organization development, and instructional design.  It expanded my view on adult learning, consulting, and networking.  An added layer, not marketed in the program, are relationships you gain within your cohort and the professors.  Everyone brings a diversity of thought to the table, which the program structure encourages.  The program was a wonderful experience and I would recommend it to anyone looking to expand their view of Human Resource.

- James Godina, Process Architect, HR Innovation at Chevron Corporation, Cohort 5 - Class of 2017


I chose the Executive Human Resource Development program because of the flexibility and convenience it offered. My learning style is best suited for “in class” discussion, but as a leader, a husband and a father, I needed a program that allowed me to balance all those things while still getting a high quality education. I felt this program was built just for me. The program also increased my consulting skills and strengthened the ones I already had. By doing that, it has helped me better satisfy clients and be seen as a strategic HR partner and leadership expert.

- Kolby Ivanhoe, VP of Human Resources at Wood, Cohort 2, Class 2014


There are not enough words to describe how impactful the Executive Human Resource Development program, at the University of Houston, has been on my life. It was a transformative experience for me personally and professionally. Professionally, the program provided direct access to the latest research and resources, incredible experts in the field, who facilitated learning in a manner that modeled what it means to build capacity in others and within an organization.  I gained the knowledge, critical thinking skills and the confidence to establish myself as a strategic business partner in my organization.  The ExHRD program created a safe, supportive, and nurturing setting that allowed me to discover who I was at the core. As a result, I am able to drive change, and assist in the agility and responsiveness of my organization.  On the personal front, the program provided an amazing cohort experience.  I gained the dearest friends which I will have for life!

- Anh Lee, Educator, Pathways in Technology Early College High School- FBISD, Cohort 3- Class 2015


University of Houston’s Executive HRD program provided me the exposure and knowledge to take my career to the next level. As a sales professional who spends upwards of 70% of my time traveling, UH’s HRD program provided me the flexibility to attain my masters while still working and traveling full time. The core project that I worked on throughout the program pushed and rewarded me in ways I did not know was possible. I would highly recommend this program to anyone looking to differentiate themselves and has passion towards affecting change in your organization, regardless of your career field concentration.

- Ashley Noud, Global Commercial & Strategic OEM Manager at Chevron, Cohort 4-Class 2016

Lisa Olmeda

As Human Resources Professionals, HR should be prepared for trends in order to be effective, efficient and successful in all areas. The program will stretch and challenge you on all levels; however, in the end you will have a multitude of tools, techniques, resources, references, connections, associations, and relationships. The program allows for immediate application. The courses are outlined to provide a foundation and layers are built upon each other. You will definitely leave the program a different person – well developed, equipped and prepared for the future. The University of Houston staff is professional, dedicated and committed to the program. The wealth of information and expertise provided are invaluable.

- Lisa Olmeda, Human Resources Benefits Specialist, Cohort 2, Class of 2014