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A Publication of UHD Public Affairs
Oct. 8, 2010
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Michael Milligan, executive director of ABET, the agency that provides accreditation for postsecondary programs in applied science, computing, engineering and technology programs worldwide, will speak on campus at 10 a.m. today in the Special Events Room, Academic Building.

The CHSS Study Abroad Program is to London and Dublin and an information session will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, in Room N-420, the Library Special Event Room.

UHD Sports and Fitness is sponsoring a workshop, "Can You Breathe," from noon to 1 p.m. Oct. 8 in Room N-1099, One Main.

UHD's Community Garden volunteers have scheduled a garden work party from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at the UHD Garden.

The UHD community can join Service Jam, an online event, that will engage non-profit organizations, corporations, academic institutions, and government agencies in a discussion Oct. 10-12 on how social innovation can help solve world problems. See story below.

The Spanish Program Open House will be from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11, and from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, in Room N-602, on the One Main Building.
ABET director will speak on campus today in Special Events Room

Michael Milligan, executive director of ABET, the agency that provides accreditation for postsecondary programs in applied science, computing, engineering and technology programs worldwide, will speak on campus at 10 a.m. today in the Special Events Room, Academic Building.

Milligan will meet with faculty, students and guests and will make a PowerPoint presentation about ABET, its current activities and his vision for the institution.

UHD President Bill Flores, Interim Provost Michael Dressman and others will host the session. ABET named Milligan as its third executive director in May 2009.  The Baltimore-based agency accredits some 2,800 programs at more than 600 colleges and universities.

Milligan holds three degrees in electrical engineering, a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, a master's degree from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University.

Fall Open House Destination Downtown set for Saturday, Oct. 23

UHD's fall open house Destination Downtown will be from 9 am. to noon Saturday, Oct. 23, starting in the One Main Building.

The open house will feature campus tours, opportunities to meet faculty and staff members, previews of UHD's five colleges and 44 degree programs, financial aid information and information on student organizations. There also will be prizes and giveaways.

RSVP online at

Jane Creighton, UHD associate professor of English and Cultural Enrichment Center director, talks with poet Brian Turner before his presentation.
soldier poet
Brian Turner reads award-winning poetry from battlefield at UHD presentation

Soldier-Poet Brian Turner discussed his books of poetry, Here, Bullet and Phantom Noise, during his presentation Thursday in the Cullen Robertson Auditorium.

Here, Bullet, won the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award, the New York Times "Editor's Choice" selection, the 2006 Pen Center USA "Best in the West" award, and the 2007 Poets Prize, among others. His second poetry book, Phantom Noise, was released by Alice James in the spring of 2010. Turner has recently been selected as one of 50 United States Artists Fellows for 2009. Tuner is regularly referenced in the New York Times as a veteran/poet spokesperson for his generation.

For information contact Jane Creighton, associate professor of English and Cultural Enrichment Center director, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, at 713-221-8295 or

Community Garden volunteers plan work day Saturday

UHD's Community Garden volunteers have scheduled a work party from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at the UHD Garden.

Time permitting, they group will:

·         build and plant a new bed

·         "weedeat"

·         weed and fertilize existing beds

·         water

·         build a compost bin

·         build a sample drip watering system

Everyone is welcome.

Sports and Fitness offers workshop on breathing and healthy living today

UHD Sports and Fitness is sponsoring a workshop, "Can You Breathe," from noon to 1 p.m. today in Room N-1099, One Main.

The workshop is free and open to UHD faculty, staff and students. Breathing is essential to healthy blood flow, helps keep the body functioning properly and increases the body's ability to heal.  A person's posture, fitness level, and sleeping habits can affect all of these things.The guest presenter, who is a certified fitness and ergonomics professional, will lead participants through breathing exercises and show proper body alignment that will improve the air flow through your body.

Light refreshments and attendance gifts will be provided. To reserve a spot for this seminar, please call 713-221-8481, stop by the Student Life Center or email Rhonda Scherer at A flyer is available here.

LBGTQ Allies presents documentary on Bible-based religion and homosexuality

The UHD Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) Allies will sponsor two screenings of For the Bible Tells Me So at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. in room N-420, the Library Special Event Room, Monday, Oct. 11.

The LGBTQ Allies' screening of the film is timed to coincide with National Coming Out Day. The documentary explores the supposed conflict between Bible-based religion and homosexuality.   

"Does God really condemn loving homosexual relationships?  Is the chasm separating Christianity from gays and lesbians too wide to cross?  Is the Bible an excuse to hate?...Through the experiences of five...Christian, American families...we discover how people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child or family member."

Discussion sessions will follow both screenings. For information contact John Hudson, assistant professor of English and co-chair of the Safe Zone Project to assist LGBTQ students, at 713-223-7902.

Study Abroad Program to London and Dublin information sessions Saturday

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences Study Abroad Program this year is to London and Dublin and information sessions will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, in Room N-420, the Library Special Event Room.

The Study Abroad Program includes seven nights in London and four nights in Dublin.

For information contact Sandra Dahlberg, professor of English and program coordinator, at or phone 713-221-8949. A flyer is available here. Information is also available at the website,

Free online Service Jam discusses world problems and role of social innovation

The UHD community can join the Service Jam, an online event, that will engage non-profit organizations, corporations, academic institutions, and government agencies in a discussion Oct. 10-12 on how social innovation can help solve world problems.

The event brings together prominent leaders, professionals, and passionate individuals, to generate breakthrough ideas that will redefine service and social innovation. Sponsored by IBM, participants can collaborate virtually and have the flexibility to log into the Jam from anywhere in the world at anytime during the three-day event. Eight discussion forums will occur at the same time.

Special Guests
Justin Davis-Smith, CEO, Volunteer England, UK
Dr. Michael Bürsch, former Member of the Bundestag, founder of Centrum für Corporate Citizenship Deutschland
Momo Mahadav, president, Maala Business for Social Responsibility, Israel
Oistein Mjaerum, head of Industry Relations, Red Cross Norway

New Discussion Forum Hosts
Matthew Salier, National Engagement Manager, The Smith Family
Jonathan Reckford, CEO, Habitat for Humanity International
Rosabeth M. Kanter, Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

To register for the jam, go to this website:

Contact Jean DeWitt, UHD director of community engagement,  for more information.  

Spanish Program Open House is scheduled for Oct. 11, 12 in Room N-602

The Spanish Program Open House will be from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11, and from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, in Room N-602, on the One Main Building.

Prospective majors are invited to come and meet Spanish faculty and hear about the Spanish BA program and the Spanish Honors Society (Sigma Delta Pi), the Hispanic student organizations like La Tertulia and other UHD activities related to Hispanic culture and Spanish language (like our Hispanic film series). 

Rocío de los Cobos, a representative from Centromundolengua Hispanic studies program in Cádiz, Spain, will be present along with Dr. Ana-María Medina to discuss upcoming foreign studies options for UHD students in Summer 2011.

Refreshments will be available. A flyer is available here.

Kendall's writings now part of Mercury Baroque website

The writings of Yvonne Kendall, UHD associate professor and program annotator for Mercury Baroque, are now a featured part of  Mercury's website --

Kendall's work will also be used at a forthcoming concert to be performed at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. 

Dependents now eligible for benefits coverage up to age 26

The Federal Health Care Reform bill includes a provision that extends benefits coverage to dependent children up to age 26.

This provision goes into effect in the first plan year after Sept. 23, 2010. Because the Texas Employees Group Benefits Program (GBP) plan year begins with the State's fiscal year on Sept. 1, coverage for dependents to age 26 will not begin until Plan Year 2011.

For now, dependent children are eligible in the GBP until they turn 25 years old, as long as they are not married. They do not have to be students.

If you have a dependent child who is turning 25, Employee Retirement System (ERS) automatically drops the child from coverage at the end of the month he or she turns 25. ERS sends you a letter about six weeks before the coverage ends. The letter includes a COBRA Election form. If your dependent wants to continue coverage under COBRA (the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985), he or she must mail the completed form with the correct premium payment to ERS by the due date stated in the letter.

Management Development Program Legal Compliance Update Fall 2010

There have been significant changes in the legal/compliance landscape over the previous two years.  UHD managers must have a firm grasp of the do's and don'ts surrounding the various legal landmines that may come their way.  As a result, the Management Development Program (MDP) has added a Legal Compliance Update to provide managers the information they need to make good business decisions. 

The MDP Legal Compliance Update will be divided into two 3-hour sessions.  The first session will include the following topics: Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (GINA), Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), new employee onboarding, and successful recruitment and selection techniques.

The second session will include the following topics: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), employee recognition, and UHD policy updates (sexual harassment, Title IX, non-retaliation, and discipline & dismissal).

Both 3-hour sessions are mandatory for all UHD managers.  Due to scheduling challenges, managers will be assigned a session time and date.  If anyone needs to reschedule to a different time/date, please contact Doug teDuits at to arrange a more convenient time/date.   Thank you!

Session 1

Tuesday, Oct. 26

1:30 - 4:30 p.m. in room C-100, Commerce Street Building.

Thursday, Oct. 28

8:30 - 11:30 a.m. or 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. in room N-602, One Main Building.

Friday, Oct. 29

8:30 - 11:30 a.m. in room N-602, One Main Building.

Monday, Nov. 1

8:30 - 11:30 a.m. or 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. in room N-602, One Main Building.

Session 2

Monday, Nov. 8

1:30 - 4:30 p.m. in room C-100, Commerce Street Building.

Wednesday, Nov. 10

8:30 - 11:30 a.m. or 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. in room C-100, Commerce Street Building.

Friday, Nov. 12

8:30 - 11:30 a.m. or 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. in room N-602, One Main Building.

Tuesday, Nov. 16

1:30 - 4:30 p.m. in room N-602, One Main Building.

ESO announces ESO Cafe blog

Employment Services and Operations announces the ESO Café, UHD's first employment related blog. 

Through this interactive tool, employees will be able to read and comment on articles relevant to the UHD community, professional/personal wellbeing, new employee introductions, important announcements and upcoming events - all geared towards enhancing your quality of life at work. The ESO staff is excited to provide this opportunity and encourages everyone to access ESO Café and sign-up for automatic email notifications. To access the blog, click on ESO Café, or navigate to

New subscribers will automatically be entered into a weekly drawing for a free combo meal at the UHD Food Court, complements of Aramark*.

Stories from previous Skylines
Veterans Services opens new office

The UHD Veterans Services Office official opened Tuesday in Room S-244 in the One Main Building. Interim Provost Michael Dressman stopped by to visit with Veterans Services manager Michael Records and greet veteran students.

The new office offers veteran students the assistance and support of a full-time staff who can provide them with educational benefits information and guide them through the enrollment process. Staff members can also certify their benefits and serve as their advocate at UHD. The office includes a computer lab.  

Fall Family Festival includes food, crafts show, games, contests and music

The fifth annual Fall Family Festival will be noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, at several UHD venues featuring a day of fun activities including games, rides, a craft show, food, contests, and more for UHD students, faculty, staff, alumni and their families.

The Office of Student Activities hosts the event that has grown to become one of UHD's biggest on-campus traditions. Activities will take place on the North and South Decks, the Main Portico, the UHD Coffeehouse area and Special Events Room. Special attractions include a kids' costume parade and hot dog eating contest.

Food from local area vendors such as My Fit Foods, Domino's Pizza, Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and Cielo offer a great variety of choices for children to adults. The Houston Rockets, General Mills and Downtown Aquarium Restaurant will also have booths. 

Visit for more information. 

National Save for Retirement Week courses help people prepare to retire

In recognition of "National Save for Retirement Week" to increase personal financial literacy and to raise public awareness of the retirement-savings vehicles available to all workers, two valuable and timely trainings will be offered to UHD faculty and staff.

Preparing to Retire from UHD, Course Code: UHD069, Session #: 0001, will be from 2 - 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct.19, in Room A-405, in the Academic Building.

Betty Powell, assistant Vice President for Employee Services, will review the process employees should follow in preparing for a smooth transition into retirement. Topics include TRS, ORP, retiree benefits, employment after retirement, and Social Security.

Light snacks will be provided. Registration is highly recommended to assure there are enough snacks and handouts for attendees.

Click here to log into PASS

to register for this session.

Retirement Strategies for Life, Course Code: UHD070, Session #: 0001, will be offered from noon - 1 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 20, White Oak Room, Academic Building.

A VALIC representative will discuss the challenges faced in retirement including managing retirement income, Medicare, Social Security, long term care, and the effects of inflation on retirement savings. A free lunch will be provided by VALIC on a first come, first serve basis to those who register in advance.

Click here to log into PASS

to register for this session.

Follow these instructions to register for a class:

1.       Log into PASS (

2.       Input your Empl ID and password

3.       Select Training

4.       Select Request Training Enrollment

5.       Select Search by Course Number or Course Name

6.       Select View Available Sessions

7.       Select Session number

8.       Verify date, time and location

9.       Press Continue

10.   Press Submit

11.   You should receive a confirmation email

Career Services hosts opportunities for students to interact with recruiters

Career Services is hosting a several opportunities for students to find out more about job and internship opportunities with area companies. Upcoming opportunities include:

·         Reynolds & Reynoldswill be holding an Informational Seminar on Oct. 12 - this is open to all majors.  See job#1825 for details and to RSVP.  Several job postings are on

·         Sterling Bank is recruiting for their Credit Academy (Credit Analysts positions) (job#1912).  This is open to Finance & Accounting majors graduating on or before December 2010.  Please apply now!  Interviewing will be on-campus Oct. 13 for those who qualify.

·         HACU is accepting applications for their Internships and Scholarships for Spring 2011 and Summer 2011 start dates.  Encourage students to apply early - deadlines are soon.  See job #1913 for details.

·         Career Services continues to help students get their resumes ready and sharpen their interview skills through our RESUME and INTERVIEW workshops. Call the office at 713-221-8980 to RSVP.    

Great local companies want our students:  Hewitt & Associates, IRS, McConnell Jones Lanier & Murphy, MDAnderson, First National Bank, Carbon Steel Inspections, Enterprise, Bennett Law Firm, and many others. To see all of the active job listings, or to apply, direct students to please visit Over 170 jobs/internships listed.

UHD is moving to an online assessment records management system

The University of Houston - Downtown is moving to an online assessment records management system called Assessment Information Management (AIM). 

This online system allows UHD faculty and administrators to post, update, archive, share and review assessment documents. All UHD faculty and academic administrators have accounts for their affiliated academic programs.Beginning with the 2009/10 program assessment reports (due to the Office of Academic Assessment on Nov. 1, 2010) all assessment reports, plans and data will be archived in the AIM system. Faculty are strongly encouraged to review the assessment data for their discipline.

Please bookmark the following and use it to access the site: Once you reach the login page, you will access the site by entering your e-mail username and password. The original URL for AIM () will be disabled late this week and should be removed as a bookmark. Please note that none of the data entered under the old RAT URL will be lost as we migrate to the permanent URL.

Links to AIM can also be found on some of the University computing pages.  You will find an AIM link on the main computing page under the Faculty tab at Another link can be found under Faculty & Staff e-Services on this page: .

AIM is maintained by the Office of Academic Assessment.If you notice any broken functions, have difficulty accessing the AIM site or you need to be added as a reviewer, please notify Lea Campbell ( 713-226-5548) or Laura Riveron (, 713-226-5594).

State Farm presents $4,000 for the IRM program.

Elizabeth Lineberger, from left, Wendall Braniff, April Robert and Steve Sucher.
state farm
State Farm Insurance Companies presented a $4,000 grant to support UHD's Insurance and Risk Management Center during the Career Services annual Career Expo featuring more than 60 employers.

Wendall Braniff, director of the IRM Center, accepted the check on behalf of the center. This is the second award State Farm has provided for the program.

"State Farm is delighted to continue the partnership with UHD and the IRM program.  As the program continues to grow and produce graduates with the knowledge and skills vital in the industry, we hope State Farm can open doors for them," said Elizabeth Lineberger, State Farm Agency Field Consultant, who made the presentation and was recently promoted to Agency Field Executive in State Farm's San Diego South offices.  April Roberts, Agency Field Executive for the Montgomery Trace Agency Field Office, will continue the partnership with UHD.

State Farm has been integrally involved in supporting the program since fall 2009, when classes were first offered.  State Farm Vice President of Agency, Rita Howard, serves a vital function on the IRM Center Advisory Council, which plays a key role in the development of financial support for the IRM Center, student internships and graduate career opportunities.

"UHD and the IRM Center appreciate State Farm's continued support for the program.  Our graduates will complete 30 hours of insurance and risk management courses to earn a bachelor in business administration with an IRM major.  This is one of the most diverse and comprehensive programs in this discipline in the nation, making our graduates well-poised to make meaningful contributions to the companies and agencies that hire them," Braniff said.

IRM students attend Education Day at RIM Society meeting

UHD IRM students Andy Trevedi and Eric Anaya attended the September Education Day meeting of Houston Chapter of Risk and Insurance Management Society which featured presentations from educators including Jim Drew with Bowen, Miclette & Britt; Gary Sylvester with Anadarko Petroleum Company; and Wendall Braniff, director of UHD's Insurance and Risk Management Center.

Supported by an Advisory Council that boasts members from all areas of the insurance and risk management industry, the UHD program offers eight CPCU courses as part of its property and liability curriculum.  It also offers three Certified Risk Manager (CRM) courses, five Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) courses, and three Registered Health Underwriter (RHU) and Registered Employee Benefits Consultant (REBC) courses.  The program has quickly become one of the most comprehensive and diverse insurance and risk management degree programs in the U.S. 

"The value the CPCU designation to professionals in the industry is unchallenged," said Linda Berryman, Liberty Mutual Underwriting Specialist and 2010-2011 Houston CPCU Society President. "College graduates who have also completed courses in the CPCU series will have a definite advantage for positions over those who have not."

"Houston provides many opportunities for graduates desiring careers in insurance and risk management," Braniff stated. "The market for individuals with the knowledge and skills in this area is outstanding - even in the current economic climate. UHD students tend to be older, more mature, and already have job experience. They are seeking careers with upward mobility and the insurance and risk management industry in Houston, the fourth largest city in the U.S., offers an abundance of opportunities for UHD insurance and risk management majors to meet those expectations."  

IBA hosts speaker on domestic and international business transactions

Joseph Dilg
Joseph Dilg
Joseph C. Dilg will present a program on domestic and international business transactions, including acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, and financings to the International Business Asssocation from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Oct. 13 in Room B-119 in the College of Business.

Dilg is well-versed in all aspects of the domestic and international energy business, including oil and gas and electric power generation. Since 2002, Joe has been consistently recognized by Chambers Global as a leading lawyer in energy law, and Chambers USA has recognized him since 2003 in corporate, energy, and natural resources law.

Dilg now serves as managing partner of Vinson & Elkins, where he has led V&E's multi-pronged growth strategy that includes talent management, global expansion, and continued U.S. growth. During his tenure, the firm has advanced its industry-leading women's initiative and significantly enhanced its diversity and associate development programs. In addition, V&E established offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo to better serve clients and to stay ahead of increasing globalization, particularly in the energy industry where V&E has a preeminent reputation.

Register with Majid Salaar at The event is open to all and free.
 Anyone can attend but attendees should sign up with Majid Salaar at

For more information contact IBA President Gebran Charbim at, IBA Faculty Advisor Anisul Islam, professor of finance, accounting and computer information systems  at or 713-221-8914 or Cassim Madha at or 281-203-9822.

Community Involvement Day Oct. 13 features agencies, service opportunities

Community Involvement Day will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, in the Special Events Room, A-300, in the Academic Building.

Representatives from area agencies will be on hand to discuss their work and volunteer opportunities available for students. A door prize will be given away.

Veterans Services Office sponsors information fair Saturday, Oct. 23

UHD's Veterans Services Office is sponsoring a Veterans Information Fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, in the Special Events Room, A-300, in the Academic Building.

Representatives from difference agencies will be on hand to answer questions about benefits and services. For more information, contact Michael Records, UHD's manager of Veterans Services.

TTLC offers training in ePortfolio tool Taskstream on Oct. 19

The Technology Teaching and Learning Center (TTLC) is holding a Brown Bag Showcase on the ePortfolio tool Taskstream from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 19 in Room A-715 in the Academic Building.

Taskstream eliminates the need for hardcopies of student portfolios and requires minimal effort to retrieve material. It is organized and searchable. A flyer is available here. This training session enhances computer and technology skills. Bring your lunch and dessert and drinks are on the TTLC. Click here to reserve a spot for 1 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19, in the TTLC (A715).

Application deadline for Red Rose Scholarship is Nov. 5

The deadline for students to apply for the Red Rose Scholarship is 5 p.m. Nov. 5.

The scholarship award is for $3,000 that pays $1,500 per semester. To be eligible students must have a grade point average of 3.5, 57 total credit hours, 24 credit hours at UHD and be a full-time UHD student the 2011-2012 school year.

For more information, go to the website,

Career Services hosts Reynolds & Reynolds for recruiting presentation

Career Services is hosting the company, Renolds and Reynolds, for a recruiting presentation, open house and question-and-answer session from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, in Room N-1099, One Main Building. (job # 1825 in jobs4gators)

Such company presentations usually include information about the company, details on the positions available (see list below) as well as tips for graduating seniors on interviewing, networking and career fairs. All majors are welcome to attend.

They are typically recruit for:

· Marketing
· Sales
· Consulting
· Software Implementation
· Programming
· IT related positions
· Technical writing
· Software Education
· Clerical

All classifications are welcome to participate and network with the recruiters, but seniors/alumni will be encouraged to submit resumes and/or apply for posted positions. (See jobs4gators for multiple job openings for Reynolds & Reynolds.)

Reservations are not mandatory, but would be appreciated. If interested in attending, please RSVP to: or call Career Services at 713-221-8980.

Criminal Justice Speaker Series features Harris County Sheriff Garcia on. Oct. 13

The Criminal Justice Speaker Series will feature Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia who will provide an Overview of Harris County and Crime from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, in Room C-100, first floor, in the Commerce Street Building.

The free event is open to UHD faculty, staff and students. The doors open at 5:30 p.m. for seating. A coffee reception will follow the presentation.

The Speaker Series is sponsored by the Department of Criminal Justice in the College of Public Service.

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.

UHD officer plans to rappel down hotel to raise funds for charity on Oct. 30

UHD Police Lt. Fred Varela is planning to step off the roof of the Intercontinental Hotel-Galleria in October, and he'd appreciate your support.

Varela will rappel down the hotel's 23 floors Oct. 30 to raise funds for Special Olympics. The rappelling event is open to anyone willing to commit to raising $1,000, but a special contingent of Houston area law enforcement officers, including Varela, has agreed to participate.  "Go Over the Edge" is one of several Special Olympics fund-raising events the policing community participates in throughout the year, Varela said.

Varela has a goal of raising $2,000, but "I have a ways to go in raising funds," he said. The effort has special meaning for Varela.

"I've been blessed with a 12-year-old son who is autistic. He is high functioning and interacts with regular kids. I see kids not as fortunate and it is heartbreaking," Varela said. "Special Olympics gives everybody a chance. Everybody can participate and everybody gets something at the end of the day."

Varela said, "Something exciting like this with an adrenaline rush is right up my alley. I haven't done any rappelling since I got out of the military (U.S.Coast Guard) where we rappelled from a helicopter onto the deck of a ship."

He encourages people to support the effort and to come out and watch the event. "We have to learn to help one another. If you lend a hand to help people, somewhere down the line, somebody will help you," Varela said. "I have a lot of faith. You have to in this kind of job (law enforcement)."

To support Varela's effort, visit the website,

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

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


Wednesday, Oct. 13

1 - 2 p.m. - Blackboard Vista: Communication Tools

Thursday, Oct. 14

2 - 4 p.m. - Respondus Open Lab

Friday, Oct. 15 
10 - 11 a.m. - Blackboard Vista: Assignments


Classroom Tools

Tuesday, Oct. 12 
1-2:30 p.m. - Useful Classroom Gadgets



Monday, Oct. 11
2 - 3:30 p.m. - TaskStream e-Portfolio


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
ABET director will speak on campus
Fall open house is Oct. 23
Poet discusses work from the battlefield
Community garden workday Saturday
Workshop addresses breathing and health
LGBTQ Allies screens documentary
London, Dublin trip information sesssions next week
Service Jam discusses world problems
Spanish Program open house
Kendall's writings on baroque website
Dependents eligible for benefits to age 26
Management Development Program schedule
ESO announces blog
Veterans Services Office opens
Fall Family Festival is Oct. 23
Retirement courses available
Career Services hosts recruiters
UHD switches to online assessment records management
State Farm presents IRM program $4,000
IRM students attend Education Day
IBA hosts business transaction speaker
Community Involvement Day is Oct. 13
Veterans Services Office sponsors information fair
TTLC offers Taskstream training
Red Rose Scholarship appllication deadline is Nov. 5
Speaker series features Harris County Sheriff
Religion and the First Amendment discussion in October
UHD officer plans to rappel down hotel for charity
Exit Strategy Campaign under way
IT training classes available
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