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A Publication of UHD Public Affairs
Sept. 22, 2010
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TopComing up at UHD.....

The UHD Community Health Fair will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. today in the Special Events Center, third floor, Academic Building.

An Alternative Certification Program-Masters of Arts in Teaching with Certification information session will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. today in Room C-100 in the Commerce Street Building.

UHD will host Nicolas Kanellos, the Brown Foundation Professor of Hispanic Literature at the University of Houston, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, in the Cullen Robertson Auditorium, third floor, Academic Building.

Winners from the Freshman Convocation Essay Contest will be recognized at an award ceremony beginning at 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, in Room 1099-North, One Main Building.

Support groups for veterans
are forming and start-up sessions will meet from 3 to 4 p.m. today and Thursday in Room N-420, the Library Special Event Room.

UHD's Scholars Academy wins $450,000 NRC grant to increase underrepresented STEM students in nuclear sciences

UHD's nationally recognized Scholars Academy has won a five-year, $450,000 federal grant designed to increase underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics who enter programs in the nuclear science arena.

Principal investigator Mary Jo Parker, director of UHD's Scholars Academy, was notified yesterday, Sept. 21, that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission had funded UHD's proposal. "The grant will let us create pipelines from UHD to Texas A & M University, the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Houston and other schools with graduate programs in nuclear sciences, nuclear engineering and nuclear medicine," she said.

UHD will receive $90,000 a year for five years. Parker said the money will pay for scholarships, research stipends, conference-related expenses and other costs associated with mentoring eight students each year. "We want to increase the number of underrepresented professionals in the nuclear industry, and this grant will provide support for students who are interested in a number of different career paths."

At the end of the five years, Parker hopes to have a firmly established pathway from UHD to nuclear science graduate degree programs in Texas for underrepresented populations. 

UHD assistant professors Janusz Grebowicz and Maria Benavides in the Natural Sciences Department serve as co-principal investigators on the project and Rene Garcia, Scholar' Academy program manager, will help manage the grant. 

Other collaborators include the state's two nuclear power sites, the South Texas Project and its Nuclear Operating Company, located 90 miles southwest of Houston near Bay City, and the Comanche Creek Nuclear Power Plant, located about 40 miles southwest of Fort Worth.

Community Health Fair offers free health screenings, $10 flu shots today

The UHD Community Health Fair will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. today in the Special Events Center, third floor, Academic Building.

Admission is free. Flu shots will be available for $10. The event will feature fitness demonstrations, giveaways, health information, health screenings, healthy snacks and nutrition counseling.

The Community Health Fair is co-sponsored by the Community Involvement Center, Sports and Fitness, Student Health Services and the Environmental Health and Safety Office.A flyer is available here.

UHD grad receives American Society for Microbiology fellowship

Jennifer Abrams found her life's work would center on scientific research thanks to opportunities provided by the Scholars Academy and faculty mentors in the Department of Natural Sciences at UHD.

Abrams graduated from UHD in 2007 and moved directly into a microbiology doctoral program at the UT Health Science Center in Houston. This week she won a three-year $33,000 fellowship from the American Society for Microbiology to support cutting-edge research into the molecular causes of diseases such as Alzheimer's, Lou Gehrig's and Parkinson's. She was one of seven students to win the national award.

Abrams said she found out about the award while at home one night reading email. "I was very surprised," she said. "Honorable mentions had already received their letters, so I wasn't expecting the ASM's Award letter."

Abrams said her success started at UHD. To read more....

Ground zero

'Ground Zero' discussion features Muslim, Christian, Agnostic views

The Center for Public Deliberation sponsoring a public discussion, "Muslim Community Center Near Ground-Zero" last night to consider different arguments about the proposed Muslim community center being located near Ground-Zero, where the World Trade Center buildings stood before they were destroyed Sept. 11 in terrorist attacks. The panelist were from left, Derek de la Pena, UHD assistant professor of Psychology; Michael Duncan, UHD assistant professor of English; Alp Aslandogan, president of the Institute of Interfaith Dialog, and moderator Paul Fortunato, assistant professor of English. The organizing team also included Raquel Chiquillo, associate professor of Spanish, and Diana Bowen, right, instructor of communications.

Urban Education Department offers ACP-MAT information session today

The Department of Urban Education in the College of Public Service is sponsoring an Alternative Certification Program-Master of Arts in Teaching with Certification (ACT-MAT) information session from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. today 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
UHD will honor Freshman Convocation Essay Contest winners Thursday

UHD will recognize winners from the Freshman Convocation Essay Contest at an award ceremony beginning at 3 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 23) in Room 1099-North, One Main Building.

This year, UHD asked new freshmen to write essays based on Malcolm Gladwell's book "Outliers."  The book examines what factors lead to extraordinary accomplishments and success. As part of the convocation program, students participated in small group discussions about the book with faculty from across the university.

A $500 cash prize will be awarded to the first-place author at the ceremony.  Book vouchers will go to those winning second through fourth places and to the 17 individuals earning "Awards of Excellence" recognition.

UHD plans to make Freshman Convocation an annual fall tradition, says coordinator Tammis Thomas, associate professor of English.

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Hispanic writer, researcher, Arte Publico Press founder discusses work Thursday

In recognition of Latino Heritage Month, UHD will host Nicolas Kanellos, the Brown Foundation Professor of Hispanic Literature at the University of Houston, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, in the Cullen Robertson Auditorium, third floor, Academic Building.

Kanellos is a noted author and director of the national research project, "Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage," that is designed to identify and preserve Hispanic literature. He also founded Arte Publico Press, one of the country's oldest publishers of Hispanic literary works. His presentation is free and open to the public

Kanellos will discuss one of his many works: "Hispanic Firsts: 500 Years of Extraordinary Achievement." Attendees can purchase his book and following the discussion he will be available to sign copies of the book. Complimentary refreshments will be served. The reception will take place in the Coffeehouse outside of the auditorium.

For information, contact Maria Garrett, coordinator of Student Activities, at 713-221-8573 or email A flyer is available here.

UHD Veterans Services partners with UTEAP to start veterans support group 

UHD Veterans Services is starting a support group for veterans in partnership with the Employee Assistance Program conducted through the University of Texas Health Science Center (UT EAP).

Start-up sessions will meet from 3 to 4 p.m. today and Thursday in Room N-420, the Library Special Event Room. Sessions will continue on Wednesdays and Thursdays through October.

"Please attend one of the start-up sessions and hear what we have to offer," said Michael Records, UHD Veterans Services manager. "Sometimes all you need is someone to talk to and listen."

Veterans can have difficulty readjusting to civilian life and dealing with a variety of issues including the federal Veterans Affairs Department.

The support group will address such topics as marital and family problems, post traumatic stress disorder, transitioning to civilian life, addictions and traumatic brain injuries. The group can also serve as an information resource to help veterans and their families, Records said.

For more information, contact Records at 713-226-5581 or email him at or contact Delphi Medina, LMSW, LCDC, at 713-500-3156,

Sports and Fitness Workshop targets 'Exercise vs. Nutrition' on Sept. 24

UHD Sports and Fitness is sponsoring the workshop "Exercise vs. Nutrition" from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, in room N-1099, One Main Building.

Is exercise or nutrition more important where your health is concerned?  If you want to know your personal answer, register for this workshop.Participants will receive individual measurements and set personal fitness goals to strengthen muscles and decrease overall body fat.In addition, everyone will receive a specific nutritional guide to maintain or strive for a healthy weight according to their specific body type. Once you have both of these components, you will be able to answer the question. The workshop is free to UHD staff, faculty and students.

Snacks and an appreciation gift will be provided.To reserve a spot for this seminar call 713-221-8481 or email A flyer is available here.

First Generation Student Steering Committee hosts Student Welcome event

The First Generation Student Steering Committee is hosting a First Generation Student Welcome from noon to 2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 27, in the Special Events Center, third floor, Academic Building.

The Welcome event will include food, UHD memorabilia, a raffle, and information that will be valuable to all students.  Please stop by if you can.    See the attached flyer.

Volunteers prepare UHD's fall garden

Twenty-one volunteers came out last Saturday to work in the UHD Community Garden. The team planted the fall beds with broccoli, carrots, collard and mustard greens, cabbage and cauliflower. All produce is destined for Target Hunger, a non-profit organization that helps feed the hungry in the inner city. A flyer with photos is available here.

Environmental Health and Safety Office supports Have an Exit Strategy campaign

The State Fire Marshal's Office has asked each university to showcase the "Have an Exit Strategy" campaign. This campaign will make all occupants ask the question "Where are the Exits?" no matter what type of building they enter. 

The UHD Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHS) and the State Fire Marshal's Office (SFMO) invites you to join in spreading the "Have an Exit Strategy" message.

Edward Arias, UHD Environmental Health and Safety Manager, said working together, we can make our campus and communities safer. 

In a fire, seconds count. It is difficult to see through the thick, toxic smoke. People panic and rush to the only way they know out --the entrance.  The entrance may not be the best or quickest way out, Arias said.

When you enter a building, any building, plan an exit strategy. Notice at least two exits you could use in the event of a fire. Get out alive.

For the next two weeks EHS Office will have promotional items to give away in the Special Events corridor in the Academic Building.

Tip: Test your survival skills in a virtual town filled with different types of houses

Stories from previous Skylines
Wilson receives 2010 Kemah Boardwalk Jazz Achievement Award last weekend

UHD Jazz-Artist-in-Resident Robert C. Wilson has played with Ray Charles, Judy Garland, Stevie Wonder and other jazz greats, but an award he won this past weekend in Kemah may be more memorable.

Wilson won the 2010 Kemah Boardwalk Jazz Achievement Award at the festival he founded 13 years ago. Immediately after his wife, Julie, finished her vocal performance on the Kemah stage, Bob McGrew, secretary and treasurer of the Houston Professional Musicians Association, and UHD President William Flores took the microphone to make the announcement.

"It's quite an honor, and I am very grateful," said Wilson who was deliberately led to believe another individual was in line for the honor this year. McGrew and others had worked behind the scenes to surprise Wilson. Read more...

Student Activities seeks cake donations for its Fall Family Festival Cake Walk

The Office of Students Activities and Events is seeking donated cakes for its Cake Walk during the annual Fall Family Festival which be from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23.

The festival will include a kids costume parade, raffles, hot dog eating contest, arts and crafts show, Houston Rockets inflatables, games, music and more. A flyer is available here.

To contribute a baked good, please email Liza Alonzo at

For people who would like to donate a cade, but who cannot attend the festival, SAE will collect the cakes on Friday, Oct. 22.

For more information, contact the Office of Student Activities at 713-221-8573 or visit

Career Services hosts fall Career Expo Sept. 29 and expects 50 employers

Career Services will hold its fall 2010 Career Expo from 1 to 4 p m. Sept. 29 in the Special Events Room, third floor, Academic Building, where more than 50 employers will have information booths to recruit current students, upcoming graduates, and alumni for employment and internship positions. 

All majors are welcome.  Students are encouraged to dress professionally (dark suit preferred) and to bring plenty of resumes.  Workshops are being held at Career Services for resume preparation, interview skills and "How to Work a Career Fair" so that students can get the most out of the event.  Faculty members are invited to visit with the employers - make connections for your classes. 

For information or to volunteer to help, please contact Career Services at 713-221-8980, or visit room N-340.

State Historian discusses cultural realities of history education Sept. 29

Jesus F. de la Teja, chair of the history Department at Texas State University-San Marcos and the first State Historian of Texas, will discuss "Cultural Realities and Culture Wars: Texas History Education in the 21st Century" at noon Friday, Sept. 29, in room A-436, Academic Building

The debate over history and how it's taught has fueled culture wars in the United States for many years. Most recently, national attention focused on the Texas State Board of Education's selection of social sciences standards for textbooks. de la Teja was one of six experts the Board consulted during the process.

"Texas history education faces numerous challenges, funding shortages, competition with TAKS preparation, but especially outdated paradigms emphasizing mythological masculine memes, " de la Teja said. "The formulation of heroic white men conquering a wild land, savage Indians, and mongrel Mexicans and spearheading a Southern version of Manifest Destiny that ignored blacks except as an amorphous mass of labor, a la T. R. Fehrenbach's still popular Lone Star, runs up against the reality that is our urban, multicultural, multiracial society.

"The presentation makes the case that the relevance of Texas history education rests on re-examining the Texas experience to re-balance the story to more directly reflect the concerns and realities of the children we have in our classrooms."

The event is sponsored by Achieving the Dream, the UHD Department of Social Sciences History Faculty, and the Alpha-Nu-Epsilon Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the history honor society.

For more information and to RSVP, contact Gene B. Preuss, UHD associate professor of History, at 713-222-5308 or email A flyer is available here.

Information session set for Sept. 27 to kick off countdown to fall Open House

An information session is set for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 27, in the Library Events Room N-420, to kick off the countdown to UHD's Fall Open House: Destination Downtown on Oct. 23.

Come be part of the fun, get involved as a volunteer to make a difference. UHD's open house is the university's biggest campus visitation program. Past events have attracted up to 1,200 prospective students and their families. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP if you will be attending the information session by emailing Lucia Cantu at to ensure enough snacks.

Staff Council announces fall meeting schedule and Edge Award applications

The UHD Staff Council meetings  are open to all staff members and the fall meetings will be at 2 p.m. in room N-1099 on Oct. 20, Nov. 17 and Dec. 15.

Applications are now being accepted for the Edge Award. Apply for the Edge Award today at

The EDGE is a grant award available to UHD full-time staff members interested in attending seminars, workshops, training sessions, continuing education courses, etc. that are related to their jobs. One award will be presented each month by random draw from applicants. The maximum award per workshop/seminar is limited to $200. A flyer is available here.

Religion and the First Amendment are topics of Oct. 12 public discussion

The Center for Public Deliberation is sponsoring a the public discussion, "Religion and the Public Sphere," from, 8 to 9:45 a.m. Oct. 12 in room N-420, the Library Special Events Room, One Main Building.

The discussion will focus on religion and the First Amendement of the U.S. Constitution.

Students will address a set of questions about how religion fits and does not fit in public spaces like universities, government, courts, and the media. The discussion will focus on the document, "God and the Commons," produced by the Kettering Foundation. Snacks and beverages will be provided for participants. A flyer is available here.

College of Public Service hosts information session on degrees in education and criminal justice Oct. 7

The College of Public Service will host an Information Session from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Thursday, Oc.7, in the Commerce Building, Room C100, for UHD students interested in pursuing degrees in education or criminal justice.

The event will provide information on declaring a major, THEA and TExES exams, internships, and scholarships.  CPS advisors and faculty will be available to answer questions and meet informally with students.

An additional information session will be at 4:30 p.m. for Urban Education candidates on Oct. 7 in Room C100.

Refreshments will be served. For more information, please contact the CPS Advising Office at 713-221-8906.

Bond and investment expert discusses fraud at AIG Tuesday, Sept. 28

The Institute of Business, Ethics and Public Issues in UHD's College of Business will host Gordon Massie, former head of AIG's Leveraged Finance Group  at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28, in room A-405 in the Academic Building. He will discuss AIG's acquisition of American General Corporation om 2001.

Massie will detail AIG's accounting practices for its high-yield bonds, the discovery of accounting fraud, and how accounting fraud was confronted.

Massie has been a regular speaker at high-yield bond and investment management conferences in the United States and Europe. He has worked in the financial/investment business for 30 years with companies including Texas Commerce Bancshares, Prudential Insurance Company, American General Corporation, and American International Group (AIG). At American General, he was responsible for the management of American General's $3 billion high-yield bond portfolio for 16 years.

Massie earned a Bachelor's degree in Economics and a Master's in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley. He is in the process of publishing his first book titled, "The Whistleblower's Dilemma.Confronting Fraud at AIG".

For information or to RSVP, contact Carolyn Ashe, professor Management, Marketing and Business, at 713-221-8051 or email A flyer is available here.

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        

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.


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

               10-11:30 a.m. - Respondus Open Lab

Thursday, Sept. 23
11-12 p.m. - Blackboard: Mail, Calendar & Who's Online

Monday, Sept. 27
1-2 p.m. - Blackboard: Communication Tools

Wednesday, Sept. 29
               10-11:30 a.m. - Respondus: StudyMate

Thursday, Sept. 30
               1:30 - 2:30 p.m. - Respondus: Lockdown Browser


Tuesday, Sept. 28 
1:30 - 3 p.m. - TaskStream e-Portfolio

Microsoft Office

Friday, Sept. 24

10-11:30 a.m. - Excel Macros 

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
Community Health Fair Wednesday
Community Health Fair Wednesday
ACP-MAT information session Wednesday
Freshman essay contest winners receive recognition
Hispanic writer presents for Latino Heritage Month
Veterans Services starts support group
Sports and Fitness workshop targets Exercise vs. Nutrition
First Generation Student Welcome set for Sept. 27
Volunteers prepare fall garden
Exit Strategy Campaign under way
Wilson receives jazz achievement award
Student Activities seeks cake donations
Career Expo set for Sept. 29
State historian discusses history education
Open House information session Sept. 27
Staff Council announces meeting schedule, Edge Awards
Religion and the First Amendment discussion in October
CPS hosts information sessions
Bond expert discusses AIG fraud
CPR/AED/First Aid training schedule
IT training classes available
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