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Sept. 8, 2010
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TopComing up at UHD.....

The National Family Strengths Symposium is free for UHD faculty and students today and tomorrow in the UHD Auditorium and Special Events Rooms, third floor Academic Building.

Auditions for fall theater productions will be today in the O'Kane Theatre. See story below.

Sports and Fitness workshop  from noon to 1 p.m. today in Room 726-A in the Academic Building called MyPyramid Tracker helps people analyze their nutritional and physical activity.

BSW Program will sell art and note cards made by children of UHD students, staff, and faculty to raise funds today and tomorrow.

The UHD's MS-150 Cycling Team is hosting an information meeting from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday in the Library Special Events Room N-420.

Faculty Senate holds first meeting of the 2010-2011 academic year.

Faculty Senate meeting

UHD's Faculty Senate held its first meeting of the fall semester Tuesday. Senate President Phil Lyons welcomed senators and said that his new role as Faculty Senate president has provided him with a greater understanding of how various projects across the university fit together.

The senate also heard a report on Freshman Convocation (see related story this issue) and agreed to organize a plan to contact about 600 freshmen who did not attend the convocation program as well as continuing students in their second, third and fourth semesters at UHD.  The effort is designed to assist students and increase retention and graduation rates. 

The meeting included a brief discussion of UHD's new BHAG and comments from UHD President William Flores.   Guest speakers included Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Michael Dressman, UHD Student Body President Ali Abedi, Vice President for Finance and Administration David Bradley, Vice President for Student Services Ed Apodaca and Vice President for University Advancement and External Relations Johanna Wolfe.

"I want to welcome all of you back. I am looking forward to working with you this year," Flores said. He reported that he would travel to Austin on Thursday (Sept. 9) for UHD's Legislative Appropriations Request Hearing held jointly by the Legislative Budget Board and the Governor's Office of Budget, Planning and Policy.

UHD's submitted its request in August. It included a $41.4 million request for a new Science and Technology Building that would also have an attached parking facility. UHD asks for the authority to issue tuition revenue bonds to fund construction of the 120,000-square-foot classroom and laboratory building. It would provide a modern home forUHD's College of Sciences and Technology and would also have an attached parking facility that would be funded with auxiliary revenue bonds.  UHD also asks for $800,000 to extend the Scholars Academy concept across the university. The Scholars Academy in the College of Sciences and Technology has been nationally recognized for helping to prepare high school students for college and for mentoring undergraduates.

  • Dressman asked senators to encourage faculty colleagues to consider applying for the open faculty ombuds position. Applicants must have been tenured ten years with UHD. Any tenured faculty member who is a member of the faculty assembly, any tenured faculty member on modified service or any formerly tenured and now retired member of the faculty may apply.  Applications should be made by Sept. 15 and can be directed to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.

  • Bradley told senators that Metro construction related to the light rail expansion was running behind schedule, but updates would be made on the road construction website as needed to keep the campus community informed.  He also said that stairs would soon connect the eighth, ninth and tenth floors of One Main Building to the seventh floor of the Academic Building. Plans are also under way to update UHD's Campus Master Plan.

The Faculty Senate's next meeting will be at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 21, in the Academic Building, Room A-300.

Freshman Convocation follow up
UHD associate professor of English Tammis Thomas reported to UHD's Faculty Senate yesterday that UHD's first Freshman Convocation has been very successful.  More than 1,400 copies of Malcolm Gladwell's, "Outliers," were distributed to freshmen and students were asked to enter an essay contest by writing about the book.

Essay award winners will be officially announced and recognized at an awards ceremony on Sept. 23rd.  The first-place winner received $500.  Other award winners will receive book vouchers.  The First-year Common Reading/Freshman Convocation Committee selected the winning essays.

Other events throughout the semester will build on the Freshman Convocation experience.
Learn and Learn session focuses on benefits of joining a credit union

Smart Financial Credit Union will present a Lunch and Learn session, Recycle Your Dollars the Smart Way, from noon to 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 20, in the Buffalo Bayou Room, Special Events Center, third floor, Academic Building.

The session will cover such information as what is a credit union, what are the benefits of joining a credit union, how can I budget and save more and how do I save for retirement. Advance registration is highly recommended to assure enough materials and lunches are available. The course code is UHD 803, session 0001. A flyer is available here.

To register, click here.

UHD's Social Work Program's Kidsart Project helped raise funds for the program's activities.

National Family Strengths Symposium

The National Family Strengths Symposium runs through today in the Cullen Robertson Auditorium, third floor Academic Building.
Families often have complications such as substance abuse, disabilities, mental illness, violence, crime, and bullying. The National UHD Symposium on "Family Strengths and Diversity: Power, Promise, Practice" will address these topics and many more. National leaders in the field will lead discussions and presentations about hands-on solutions for current and future human service workers, educators, corrections staff and other helping professionals and for families. 

UHD staff and student volunteers helped check in symposium participants.
family strength checkin
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An example of the Kidsart for sale.
Kidsart sobreve

Bachelor of Social Work Program sponsors Kidsart Project to raise funds

The Bachelor of Social Work Program will sell art and note cards made by children of UHD students, staff, and faculty to raise funds during the Center for Strengthening Families Symposium, today. 


Titled the Kidsart Project, the items will be displayed near the Special Events rooms and the Coffeehouse on the third floor, Academic Building. Staff will be available to assist with purchases which can be made with cash or check and which must be finalized by 10 a.m. Thursday. The BSW fundraiser is to support BSW student scholarships and BSW program and student activities and projects.

Student Government Conducts Survey

UHD Undergraduate Student Government President Ali Abedi wants to see a student union on campus even if it means increasing student fees.


Abedi, a senior majoring in natural sciences, says he and other members of student government soon hope to have at least 4,000 responses to a survey that asks students if they would back the construction of a new student union. Abedi hopes to have the survey results before meeting with UHD administrators later this fall.


UHD, one of four separate universities in the University of Houston System, is located on the northern edge of Houston's business district. UHD is a non-residential institution and a student union is especially important because it would give students a place other than residence halls to gather and build community, Abedi said.


"We are also surveying students and asking them about campus issues," he said. We have asked students to prioritize five issues: food options on campus, parking, the need for childcare facilities on campus, campus security and the need for a more robust student -life experience.


He is also working with student leaders at other Houston colleges and universities. The group would like to form a student-based Mayor's Advisory Council, based on a similar organization in Austin.

'MyPyramid Tracker' workshop meets today in Room A-726

The Sports and Fitness Center is sponsoring a workshop called "MyPyramid Tracker" to help people analyze their nutritional and physical activity from noon to 1 p.m. today in Room A-726 in the Academic Building.

Studies show that people who write down or log what they eat and their physical activity are more successful at losing weight and maintaining their weight than people who don't keep such records. "MyPyramid Tracker" is an online activity log and at the workshop participants will learn how to create their own MyPyramid account and more about the benefits the service offers.

Snacks and appreciation gifts will be provided. For more information and a link to reserve a spot is available on the attached flyer. To register, click here.
Auditions for fall productions will be today in the O'Kane Theatre

Auditions for this fall's production of The Laramie Project, based on the real-life kidnapping and murder of university student Matthew Shepherd, plus 15 student-directed One-Act plays will be from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. and from 6 - 8 p.m. today in the O'Kane Theatre, Room N-364, One Main Building.


All UHD students, faculty and staff are welcome to audition. The auditions are cold readings; no preparation is necessary. For information, please call Thomas Lyttle, professor of Arts and Humanities, at 713-221-8118.

UHD's MS-150 Cycling Team hosts information meeting Thursday

The UHD's MS-150 Cycling Team is hosting an information meeting from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, in the Library Special Events Room N-420, to discuss the annual fundraising ride from Houston to Austin.


The meeting is open to students, faculty and staff. This year's BP MS150 ride is scheduled for April 16-17 and participants raise money for multiple sclerosis research. More information about the ride is available here.


For more information about the UHD MS-150 Cycling Team, contact Jose Cantu at 713-222-5337.

Stories from previous Skylines
UHD employees can buy discounted Texas Renaissance Festival tickets

UHD employees can purchase  tickets to the Texas Renaissance Festival at the 'Group Ticket" discounted rate of $15 for adults and $6 for children ages 5 to 12.

The festival will be from 9 a.m. to dusk Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 9 - Nov. 28, and the Friday after Thanksgiving.

To receive the 'Group Ticket' rate, you must use the discount code UHS-1488 and must purchase tickets in advance via credit card by phone or fax. The ticket handling fee of $1 per ticket will be waived. To place an order by phone, call 1-800-458-3435. To place an order by fax, use the attached form and fax to 1-936-894-2391. Orders are accepted 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Visit for festival information.


If you have any questions, please contact Bobbie Horack, Work/Life Coordinator, at or 713-222-5318.

Free practice tests available at UHD

The Scholars Academy office has made arrangements with Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions to have free practice tests for the GRE, LSAT, NCLEX, MCAT, DAT, OAT, PCAT* available on-campus Friday, Sept. 17. 


Students need to register online with Kaplan for the free practice tests. Kaplan will also provide a detailed score analysis and strategies to help students prepare for test day. The MCAT, GRE, and LSAT tests begin at 10 a.m. while the NCLEX, DAT/OAT, and PCAT tests begin at 10:30 a.m.


To sign up call 1-800-KAP-TEST or visit A flyer is available here.

*Test names are registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Employees, retirees are eligible for new discount purchase program

UHD employees can now safe with the new State of Texas Discount Purchase Program at


UHD employees, retirees and their families are eligible for discounts on a variety of products and services from cars to theme parks to sporting events. The Discount Purchase Program is provided at no cost. Just go to the website, click on the category or company that appeals to you, and start saving. Discounts will change and new products and services will be added, so check back often. Contact the customer service line at 1-800-683-2886 if you have questions.

O'Kane Gallery Director and Associate Professor Mark Cervenka, left, talkes with exhibit artist Melanie Crader and her husband, Mick Johnson, who also is an artist and a UHD adjunct art instructor.

O'Kane Gallery's Melanie Crader exhibit will be on display through Oct. 7

The O'Kane Gallery begins the fall season with Houston artist Melanie Crader's solo exhibition, The Eula Project, which will be on display through Oct. 7.


Crader's installation physically transforms the gallery into a facsimile of a domestic residence that begins the intersection of the present and a life lived decades ago. Upon the discovery of a box containing mundane objects found over 20 years after her grandmother's death, Crader began exploring the similarities between their two lives. Utilizing the contents of the box as source material, The Eula Project explores the formation of an identity as it relates to space, aesthetics, gender, social class and memory.


A native of southern Louisiana, Crader's exhibit history includes Gallery Sonja Roesch in Houston, Women and their Work in Austin, and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY.  Her work has addressed the complex issues of identity and the feminine as it is packaged through predominantly consumer channels. Her clean, crisp, at times minimalist stylistic leanings bring focus to specific detail divorcing it from its original context. The Eula Project provides an examination of one identity revealed through such details.


Since 1970, the O'Kane Gallery has provided cultural arts for the diverse university and downtown communities. The gallery is located on the third floor of the One Main Building. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Guests may park in Visitor Parking, Travis and Girard, or take Metro's Light Rail to its final north-bound stop at the UHD front door. Normal summer gallery hours are Monday - Saturday, 10 - 5 pm, closed university holidays.

Melanie Crader is a recipient of an Individual Artist Grant Award. This grant is funded by the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance.

Writing Proficiency Examination is no longer a General Education requirement

Michael R. Dressman, interim vice president for Academic Affairs and Provost, has suspended the UHD General Education Program's Writing Proficiency Examination as a requirement, effective immediately.


 "After consulting with the academic administrative and faculty leadership, as well as the faculty members most involved in the teaching and assessment of writing, I have determined that the WPE does not add to the credibility of our graduates' credentials," Dressman said. "The intentions of the WPE and original design of the exam and the follow-up process were noble, but the implementation has not resulted in a fair and constructive contribution to the educational program for our students."


The provision in the General Education Program that requires that students pass two upper-level writing-intensive courses designated by their major program remains in effect.  Dressman said he will work with the departments and the colleges to strengthen that requirement and explore other ways to develop and enrich UHD students' language abilities and writing performance.


Students who have already paid a fee for an administration of the WPE for later this semester will receive a refund through Testing Services.


"I am certain that there will be unforeseen consequences of this action in any number of students' degree programs, and I ask that advisors, department chairs, and deans exercise creativity and student-centered responsiveness in dealing with those cases," he said.

Sports and Fitness announces CPR/AED/First Aid Certification class schedule

UHD Sports and Fitness announces the American Red Cross CPR/AED/First Aid Fall 2010 Certification Class schedule.


Individuals who take the training for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) use are more likely to use the training on someone they know versus a complete stranger. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn what to do in case of an emergency situation.


CPR/AED Certification        

Sept. 10, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Oct. 14-15, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Nov. 11-12, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.


First Aid Certification

Oct. 29, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Dec. 3, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.                                           


The class fee is $5 for UHD students, faculty and staff members and $10 for others. The sessions are limited to the first 15 people who prepay for the class. The certification is valid for one year.


To reserve a spot for this training, stop by the Student Life Center. For more information call 713-221-8225. A flyer is available here.


UHD President Bill Flores speaks during fall convocation.
Convocation includes first university-wide look at UHD's BHAG
UHD President Bill Flores addressed the UHD community Sept. 2 and included the first university-wide look at the Big Hairy Audacious Goal that the university community has compiled.

The goal: UHD will be a premier city university engaging students in high-impact educational experiences.

Flores said that high-impact experiences such as undergraduate research, internships, community service, capstone programs, service learning and a vibrant freshman experience will create experiences students will value and remember.

"These high-impact experiences are dynamic and engage students in their own learning," he said.  "They are high quality, high touch, high impact and high achievement experiences that will shape student success."

Benefits, he predicted, will include higher grade-point averages, improved retention rates, improved graduation rates, and more successful students whose stories will help build UHD's image and brand.
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Opportunities available to collaborate on community service grant for students

UHD will submit a grant for the Segal AmericCorps Education Award for one to 10 openings in the Americorps' Students in Service (SIS) program through the Texas Campus Compact.


Each award is for $1,132 and each student selected will complete 300 hours of service. Students must be juniors or seniors. The Texas Campus Compact is looking for SIS Campus Partners who can have the greatest impact in their community on "Closing the Gaps"/College Access. The compact has received a sub-grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service. As a selected program provider, the compact will receive 80 300-hour part-time AmeriCorps slots.

For more information or to collaborate on this funding opportunity, contact Jean DeWitt, UHD director of Community Engagement.

ACP-MAT information sessions set for Sept. 13, 22 in Commerce Street Building

The Department of Urban Education in the College of Public Service is sponsoring Alternative Certification Program-Master of Arts in Teaching with Certification (ACT-MAT) Information Sessions from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 13 and Sept. 22, in Room C-100 in the Commerce Street Building.

This program is designed for individuals who would like to earn a teaching certificate or a master's degree. This program would be of particular interest to substitute teachers or paraprofessionals who already have undergraduate degrees. A flyer and directions to the information session are available here.

For more information call 713-221-8194 or visit the website

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 Vista


1-2:30pm -Blackboard Vista: Using Photoshop to Enhance Your Course

Thursday, September 9th

10-12pm -Open Lab: Shea Building

Tuesday, September 14th

10-11am -Blackboard Vista: Managing Course Content

Thursday, September 16th

2-3pm -Blackboard Vista: Assignments

Friday, September 17th

10-11:30am -Softchalk Lesson Builder


Internet Applications

Monday, September 13th  
2-3pm - SurveyMonkey

Wednesday, September 15th
10-11am -Photostory


Microsoft Office

Thursday, September 9th

10-12pm -Open Lab: Shea Building


See all current IT training available

The Skyline eNews is produced Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the school year 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 website. 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
Coming up at UHD
Faculty Senate holds first meeting
Learn and learn focuses on credit unions
Family Strengths Symposium continues
BSW sponsors Kidsart fundraiser
USG surveys students
MyPyramid Tracker workshop meets today
Fall theater production auditions today
UHD MS-150 bike team plans information session
Discount tickets available for Texas Renaissance Festival
Free practice tests available
Employees eligible for discount purchase program
O'Kane Gallery opens fall season
WPE dropped from General Ed requirement
CPR/AED/First Aid training schedule
University gets first look at BHAG
Community service grants available
ACP-MAT information session Aug. 30
Register for IT training classes
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