Skyline News header
A Publication of UHD Public Affairs
June 3, 2010
Submit news items to

TopToday at UHD.....

Opening reception at noon today for O'Kane's Enchanting Taiwan exhibit.

Interstate 10 weekend construction will cause closures and detours.

UHD Sports & Fitness awards athletes during annual banquet.

Scholars Academy Reunion united alums, faculty and students.

Sixty Legacy students receive GEDs in special UHD ceremony.
O'Kane's opening reception at noon today for Enchanting Taiwan exhibit

 Enchanting Taiwan exhibit

UHD's O'Kane Gallery and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) of Houston will present an exhibit of 33 photographs that feature Taiwan, starting with an opening reception at noon today. The reception is open to the public and refreshments will be served.

Entitled "Enchanting Taiwan,"  the exhibit highlights the Pacific island's natural diversity and beauty and includes photos of unusual landscapes, like the example above that shows the thick mats of rich green seaweed that grow on the fingers of rock reaching into the sea near Laomei in Taiwan's Northeast Coast National Scenic Area.

Other photos will feature Taiwan's folk customs, people, cities, temple festivals and holiday celebrations. The exhibit is part of a global traveling exhibition schedule and includes many of Taiwan's most accomplished photographers. It will remain at the O'Kane Gallery until June 29.

UHD and TECO plan another collaboration during the fall semester with an Ang Lee film festival. "Pushing Hands" will play Oct. 19 with a Tai-chi master giving a pre-show demonstration; "The Wedding Banquet" is planned for Oct. 20; and "Eat Drink Man Woman" is set for Oct. 21 followed by a reception and faculty panel to discuss Ang Lee's films.
Back to Top 
Interstate 10 weekend construction will cause some closures around UHD

Planned highway construction work will lead to closures and detours this weekend that may affect traffic to UHD, including a section of Interstate 10 westbound at U.S. 59, which will close from 9 p.m. Friday, June 4, to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 5, to allow the Texas Department of Transportation to pour concrete. Traffic will detour to U.S. 59 north, a U-turn at Collingsworth, then U.S. 59 south to I-10 west.

In addition, I-10 east at U.S. 59 also will close from 9 p.m. Saturday, June 5, until 5 a.m. Monday, June 7, also to pour concrete. Trafffic will detour to U.S. 59 south, U-turn at Franklin, then take the I-10 east ramp at Franklin.

Interstate 10 east to the U.S. 59 north ramp also will be closed starting at 5 a.m. Monday, June 7.  Traffic will detour to U.S. 59 south, U-turn at Franklin and then  the I-10 east ramp at Franklin.  From there, motorists will take I-10 east, U-turn at Waco and then take I-10 west to U.S. 59 north.  This closure will be used for a traffic switch and to pour concrete.

For street maps and more information on alternate routes to access downtown, please check the website at

Back to Top
UHD Sports & Fitness recognized year's  achievements during annual banquet

Richard Sebastiani gives award to John Hudson
John Hudson
UHD Sports & Fitness recognized the accomplishments of this year's athletes and coaches during the sold out 14th annual banquet in May.

The overall awards included  John Hudson, coach of the UHD Powerlifting Club Team, who received the 2010 Special Service Award. Hudson, assistant professor of English, coached the team to its third National Collegiate Championship this year, and the team has become a UHD recruitment bonus for aspiring college-age powerlifters around the state and nation.

One of the team's stand-out powerlifters, Linda Okoro, won the Female Athlete of the Year Award. Last fall, she lifted her way to a record performance at the World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters World Championships in Reno, Nev., and earned the Capello Memorial Award, named after a famous deadlift champion known for his determination, courage and never-quit attitude. Okoro shared the stage with Male Athlete of the Year Stephen Kidd, an athlete who crosses the disciplines with other 2010 awards in both Flag Football and the Men's Basketball Club Team. Kidd motivates other team members with a positive attitude and encouragement, Sebastiani said.

Stephen Kidd

Stephen Kidd
Linda Okoro

Linda Okoro
Additional overall Sports & Fitness departmental awards included Alex Weston, a basketball player who received the Sportsmanship Award; Valdene Steward, winner of Student Employee of the Year; and Gabrielle Gilford, Student Supervisor of the Year. These awards are just a handful of those distributed, but a complete list can be found here.

Back to Top

Scholars Academy Alumni reunion unites students, faculty and alums

Mary Jo Parker

Above, Mary Jo Parker, director of UHD's Scholars Academy, speaks to attendees at Wednesday evening's Scholars Academy Alumni Reunion in the Special Events room. Alums, students and faculty from the College of Science and Technology viewed student poster presentations and visited during the opening reception, which was followed by a dinner. The Scholars Academy started in 1999 with 20 students and has grown to about 150 students and 400 alumni.

Below, Scholars Academy members and recent graduates discuss the research posters on display during the reunion. Scholarship, research and student success are cornerstones of the Scholars Academy program.

Scholars Academy Alum Reunion Posters

Back to Top
Sixty Legacy graduates receive their GEDs in first-of-its kind UHD ceremony

Po-Chu 2
UHD's Po-Chu Anges Leung, longtime director of testing services, applauds as 60 students receive their GEDs (General Equivalency Diplomas) during a first-of-its kind ceremony in the Auditorium May 28.

The graduates were among about 90 people recognized by Legacy Community Health Services, a non-profit health center with an educational component that partners with UHD for its testing services. An additional 30 students were recognized for completing Spanish literacy classes through Legacy's program.

Back to Top
UHD's year-end deadlines announced for FY 2010 purchase requisitions

Purchase requisitions to be processed against FY2010 funds must be submitted to the Purchasing Department by specific deadlines in June, July, August and early September. For a complete list of specific deadlines and explanations, please click here and print out the list.

Information on FY11 purchase requisitions will be sent out to the UHD community later this summer.

Back to Top

Faculty invited to Lunch & Learn training session on Blackboard New Generation

ACE Lunch & Learn

Faculty members who would like to get a head start on the pending conversion to Blackboard Next Generation (NG) - which will replace Blackboard Vista in spring 2011 - are invited to an IT Training Lunch & Learn. Click here to reserve a spot for the 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, June 10, training in the TTLC training lab, Room A723. Click on the above flier to read an enlarged view.

Back to Top
UHD Sports & Fitness will offer summer aerobics and fitness programs

UHD Sports & Fitness invites the University community to participate for free in aerobics and fitness programs, the first time these sessions have been offered during the summer months.

The Sneak Peek Fitness Programs, which include pilates, yoga, martial arts and a boot camp, is under way now through August with classes from noon to 1 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays. Click here for a summer schedule.

Aerobics classes also are under way through August 4, with a wide variety of classes offered at different times throughout the way. Check out the full schedule of exercise opportunities here.

For information or questions, contact Rhonda Scherer, assistant director of Sports & Fitness, at 713-221-8481 or

Back to Top
Entrepreneurship Workshop set for UHD College of Business June 25

UHD's College of Business and MYOBusiness have teamed up to offer a daylong workshop for entrepreneurs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, June 25, in Room B140 of the Shea Street Building. Dubbed "Mind Your Own Business Entrepreneurship Workshop," the session is designed for longtime business owners, those just starting out or those whose business remains in the dream stage.

Working entrepreneurs will share real-life scenarios, address critical issues, offer proactive marketing and sales strategies and information on best practices. Presenters include Ken Jones, director of UHD's Center for Entrepreneurship; Deborah Hroch, president of Hroch & Associates; and Scott Black, president of MarSell & Associates. The June 25 workshop is the first of an upcoming series of workshops; registration remains open for the July 23 session.

Admission is free to UHD students and alumni if they register using code STU0625 and using a student ID. Cost is $295 for other registrants.
Registration is available online. Additional information is available on the MYOBusiness website.

Back to Top
Changes to state employee benefits will take effect September 1

The Employee Retirement System (ERS) Board of Trustees on May 25 approved several changes to the FY 2011 benefits for state employees and retirees, and all changes will be effective Sept. 1.

The approved changes include the following: The TexFlex account fees will be cut in half. The current fee of $2 will be reduced to $1, saving participants $12 a year for each health care or day care account. The TexFlex debit card one-time fee of $15 will remain the same. TexFlex helps manage insurance cost increases and helps participants budget for health and day care expenses.

Short-term disability coverage rates will decrease from 29 cents per $100 of monthly covered salary to 26 cents per $100. Long-term disability rates will decrease from 70 cents per $100 of monthly covered salary to 63 cents per $100.

HealthSelect Premium Contribution Rate Changes
  • Employees and qualified retirees will continue to have fully paid health insurance. 
  • Contribution rates for coverage of a member and spouse will increase by $16.02 a month (from $220.32 to $236.34). 
  • Contribution rates for coverage of a member and children will increase by $10.74 a month (from $147.52 to $158.26). 
  • Contribution rates for coverage of a member and family will increase by $26.76 a month (from $367.84 to $394.60).

No Changes to Dental, Life, AD&D and SKIP Rates
The State of Texas Dental Choice Plan and Humana Dental DHMO underwent no changes. Active and Retiree Basic Term Life Insurance and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance rates for participants and dependents will remain the same, and voluntary AD&D and retiree dependent life insurance rates also will stay the same.

In addition, Skip rates remain at either $15 or $25 per month for children coverage based on employees' income eligibility.

The annual Summer Enrollment period will be from July 5 to 30 for employees to make changes to benefits. If you do not want to change your benefits, you do not need to do anything. Your current benefits will continue in Plan Year 2011.

If you need additional information, please contact Van Le at 713-221-8443 or Betty Powell at 713-221-8072.

Back to Top

UHD Sports & Fitness to host Biggest Loser competition for teams, individuals

UHD Sports & Fitness will host the UHD Biggest Loser competition for teams or individuals who can compete to lose the most weight in 10 weeks, from June 9 to August 13.

Register by June 11 to participate in the campuswide competition designed to help people lose weight in a healthy and fun way. Click here for a registration form and flier on the Biggest Loser event. Cost is $5 per person to register.

The contest is open to UHD students, faculty and staff members. Teams must have at least five members, and all must work in the same University department.

Back to Top

DVDs to help prepare for GRE available for viewing at Urban Education office
Graduate Record Exam (GRE) preparation DVDs are available to students and non-students in the Urban Education office in C-440 for in-house viewing between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.

This DVD set is appropriate for anyone interested in becoming familiar with the GRE and gaining a quick overview of strategies that might be helpful to pass the exam's three sections, which are Verbal Reasoning, Analytical Writing and Quantitative.

The workshop shown on the DVD was conducted in December 2009 and was videotaped for the benefit of UHD students and others hoping to apply for admission to graduate programs. The DVDs are produced by the UHD Information Technology department and funded by the U.S. Department of Education through its Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education.

For more information, you may contact Anjoo Sikka, professor in the Department of Urban Education, at 713-221-8156 or To learn more about the GRE, please visit the GRE website.

Back to Top

UHD students, staff and faculty forming team for Impact a Hero 5K June 5

UHD students, staff and faculty are invited to join a UHD team that will participate in the June 5 Impact A Hero 5K in Sugar Land to raise funds for wounded and disabled U.S. veterans. Walkers and runners are invited to join the UHD team.

The race starts with a 7 a.m. Saturday, June 5, pre-race ceremony, followed by a 7:25 a.m. wheelchair race, the 7:30 a.m. 5K run (3.1 miles) and an 8:30 a.m. Kids 1K race, all of which start at Mercer Stadium, 16403 Lexington Blvd., Sugar Land. Registration is $20 per person before May 28. For UHD community members unable to participate June 5, donations can be made directly to the Impact a Hero organization.

See UHD's team page to sign up to participate or to make a donation. A flier also is available. For more information on the event and the Impact a Hero organization, visit the group's website.

Back to Top

IT Training for Faculty-Staff-Alumni

Register for IT training opportunities at the links below.  To schedule a one-on-one appointment or other assistance, please call 713-221-8200.

Blackboard Learning Management
           Friday, June 4
           10 to 11:30 a.m. - Blackboard: Getting Started
           Monday, June 7
           1 to 2:30 p.m. - Blackboard: Mail, Calendar & Who's Online?
           Wednesday, June 9
           2 to 3 p.m. - Blackboard: Group Manager & Roster
           Thursday, June 10
           11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. -Blackboard NG: Lunch & Learn

           Friday, June 11
           10 to 11:30 a.m. - TaskStream e-Portfolio

Internet Applications
           10 to 11 a.m. - Wikipedias and Wikis

           Tuesday, June 8
           1 to 2 p.m. - Excel: Charts & Graphs

See all current IT training available

The Skyline eNews is produced daily by the Office of Public Affairs and you will receive the Skyline eNews via email while you are a UHD employee. We update our email list weekly. The eNews is a University faculty and staff newsletter and is designed to keep employees informed of university activities, policy changes, human resources issues, business office information and security information.

The deadline for submitting items is 9 a.m. the day before publication. Past issues are archived on UHD's Web site. The archive link is in the lower right column.   

We are always interested in your activities. Let us know at least 24 hours in advance so we can include your event in the Skyline eNews. We also try to photograph University activities, but we need to know when and where your event is taking place. Email or call Public Affairs at 713-221-8010.
In this issue
Today at UHD
O'Kane Gallery opening reception at noon today for Enchanting Taiwan exhibit
Interstate 10 weekend construction will cause closures and detours
Sports & Fitness awards athletes for year's accomplishments
Scholars Academy Alumni reunion brings together alums, students and faculty
60 Legacy grads earn GEDs in UHD ceremony
Stories from previous Skylines
Procurement deadlines announced for FY2010 requisitions
Lunch & Learn set for June 10 for Blackboard NG
GRE preparation DVDs available for viewing in Urban Education
UHD team will participate in Impact a Hero 5K
Join us on Facebook
UHD Facebook graphic
UHD is on Facebook at Become a fan and connect to other University Facebook pages and groups.
Quick Links