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Feb. 2, 2011
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TopToday and coming up at UHD.....

UHD librarians can now be contacted via an in-browser chat. See story below.

The Women's Resource Center of Greater Houston will present a program on financial literacy called "Post College Money Basics" from 11 a.m. to noon today in the Library Special Events Room, N-420.

UHD students who took English 1300, 1301 or 1302, fall semester 2010 can compete for hundreds of dollars in book voucher prizes in the Freshman Essay Contest.


Sports and Fitness staff offers a variety of programs to help students, faculty and staff lose weight and get in shape including free aerobics classes that have started in the Student Life Center.  

UHD prepares for weather-related power outages today and later this week
Rotating utility outages ordered by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas could affect UHD today and later this week.


Today the Council ordered local utilities to begin controlled, temporary interruptions of electric service lasting from 10 to 45 minutes per neighborhood across much of Texas. Outages should help offset electricity shortages tied to extreme weather across the nation.


During an outage, UHD emergency generators would power essential services in UHD buildings such as elevators and hallway lighting. The Shea Street Building is more likely to experience outages because its electric feeder is not part of the critical central business district's power grid.


If an outage occurs, UHD elevators will stop and hold in place for about 10 seconds until generators come online and will then continue to operate. UHD faculty, staff and students should stay calm if this happens. UHD administrators ask faculty, staff and students to turn off extra lights and appliances to help the region conserve energy.


UHD's Emergency Management team continues to monitor the power situation and the weather. UHD posts emergency announcements on UHD's homepage and distributes messages through email and other communication tools. Sign up for emergency text messaging at

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Vincent Tinto will discuss faculty-student engagement on Feb. 4

Vincent Tinto
UHD will host Vincent Tinto, nationally known professor from Syracuse University, at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 4, when he will present "Promoting Engagement and Retention in an Urban Campus" in the Wilhelmina Cullen Robertson Auditorium, third floor, Academic Building.

Tinto developed his presentation specifically for UHD, using enrollment and retention data and other information UHD provided. 

An informal session with time for questions will occur at 1 p.m. and will focus on linking student success initiatives to strategic planning. Both events are open to the University community.

Tinto has written extensively on student success in higher education and the positive impact that institutions have experienced with learning communities. His visit will build on work UHD has already done through its Quality Enhancement Program and Achieving the Dream initiatives.

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Financial literacy program targets 'Post College Money Basics' today in N-420 

The Women's Resource Center of Greater Houston will present a program on financial literacy called "Post College Money Basics" from 11 a.m. to noon today in the Library Special Events Room, N-420.


For information contact Liza Alonzo, Office of Student Activities, 713-221-8662, or email


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Poetry night offers open mic for students, faculty and staff Tuesday, Feb. 8

The Campus Activities Board's Poetry Night will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8, in the O'Kane Theatre.


The format is open mic and students, faculty and staff are welcome to participate.


Sign-ups will be at Student Activities, room S-204, One Main Building, or email Readers can also sign up "on the spot" the day of the event. Each performer will have about 10 minutes. Refreshments will be served at the event.


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Mentees and mentors visit Natural Science Museum.
Connections mentees and mentors begin spring semester with trip to museum 

The Connections Mentoring Program kicked off the spring semester with a field trip last Friday to the Museum of Natural Science to see the "Real Pirates" exhibit.


The program has 80 active mentees and 27 mentors. The program provides opportunities for students to learn from mentors who serve as coaches, role models, advisors, guides and referral agents. The program is designed to increase the number of students who remain in school and earn their degrees by creating or expanding their social and academic support systems and promoting high academic expectations. The Connections program is in its third year.


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Pre-Law Forum provides information on law school and legal fields Thursday

A Pre-Law Forum will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday in room A-350 in the Academic Building, featuring a panel of attorneys who will provide information to students interested in attending law school.


The forum is free and open to the public. Topics will include law school admissions, the LSAT exam and different law fields. Panel members also will discuss what the law school experience is like. For information contact Edgar Colon, visiting assistant professor, at


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Community Involvement sponsors New Year Clean Out Drive benefiting charities 

The Community Involvement Center is sponsoring a New Year Clean Out Drive through Feb. 23 benefiting area agencies.


The center will be collecting linens, non-perishable food items, clothes and prom dresses and accessories. Donated items can be dropped off in room S-204, One Main Building. Items collected will benefit agencies including Bering Omega Community Services, the Fairy Godmother Project and SustainU Clothing.


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UT Public Health School hosts multicultural dinner, program 

UHD students, faculty and staff are invited to a multicultural potluck dinner sponsored by the University of Texas School of Public Health's Global Health Concentration and the Student Society of Global Health from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18, at the UTSPH, 1200 Herman Pressler, RAS 102A/B and Pump Handle.


The event features diverse food and cultural attire. International items will be raffled. Special guests include John Glenn, a former political prisoner in Burma (the Republic of the Union of Myanmar), and a performance by the Refugee Community Empowerment Association youth. Admission is free with a food dish to feed 10 people or tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children age 11 and under.


Email for information or to register a food dish. A flier is available here.


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Stories from previous Skylines
Student Research Conference set for April; deadline to register is Feb. 16

Applications for the 10th annual UHD Student Research Conference, sponsored by the Scholars Academy, are due Feb. 16.


The conference will be Friday, April 15, and is open to students within the Colleges of Business, Humanities and Social Sciences, Public Service and Sciences and Technology. Conference planners expect to have more than 100 research and project posters along with oral presentations. They also anticipate having numerous representatives from academia and industry in attendance. A flier is available here.


For more information and an invitation, contact the UHD Scholars Academy at The application and conference information are available at


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UHD business students visit the Taj Mahal during
a trip to study businesses in India.
UHD business students visit India

UHD business students recently traveled to India as part of an international studies course that examined the developing country's business communities and the factors contributing to their growth.

"The experience was unbelievable and enriching," Arabeya Lopez, a participating student, said. "UHD did a remarkable job with this trip."

Some 34 students spent almost two weeks in the cities of Mumbai, Jaipur, Agra and New Delhi touring companies and visiting major tourist attractions.

Lopez said stops included Indian marketing and consulting firms, a call center, an orphanage, a hospital, the Taj Mahal, the Amber Fort and the Gateway of India.

 "At each visit, the people were extremely hospitable and happy to share their information with us, but the Indian orphanage visit was by far the most touching," Lopez said.

The trip was led by Lucille Pointer and Omprakesh Gupta, associate professors in UHD's Department of Management, Marketing and Business Administration.

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Sports and Fitness offers aerobics and fitness classes in Student Life Center

Sports and Fitness offers a variety of programs to help students, faculty and staff lose weight and get in shape including free aerobics classes that have started in the Student Life Center. 


Aerobics classes are offered throughout the week sometimes as often as five times a day. Specialty classes are $10 for 10 sessions. Sports and Fitness encourages instructors to slow down and help new class participants. The center also offers personal trainers as well as massages. 


Staff members can take advantage of the Fitness Release Time Program that allows them to exercise three hours a week during the workday without having to make the hours up or pay them back to the university. Individuals interested in using FRT should discuss their work out plans with their supervisors. For a schedule of Fitness Programs offered in Sports and Fitness, click here.  Information is also available from Rhonda Scherer, assistant director, Sports and Fitness, at or at 713-221-8225.   


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Library offers new online chat service

UHD librarians can now be contacted via an in-browser chat.


To chat with a librarian, go to  and enter your question. Current service hours for LibChat are noon to 4 p.m. Monday - Friday. Librarians will respond as soon as possible. This service is yet another way that students and faculty can interact with librarians. E-mail, phone and in-person reference services are still available.


For more information about the Ask a Librarian service, please go to

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Chemistry Club plans to elect officers, build on first year as UHD organization

The UHD Chemistry Club will kick-off the Spring 2011 semester with new officer elections at its first monthly meeting at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 4 in room N-604, One Main Building.


"Chemistry is a very applicable, broad and fun science," said Maria Villescas, club president. "Our goal is to reach as many students as possible and promote chemistry as a definite possibility in their futures."


The club became a registered UHD organization last year with Maria Benavides, assistant professor, as the faculty advisor. The group plans to host monthly meetings, chemistry-related workshops, seminars and field trips to provide interested students with a platform for interacting with each other.

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UHD essay contest deadline is Friday

UHD students who took English 1300, 1301 or 1302, fall semester 2010 can compete for hundreds of dollars in book voucher prizes. All they need to do is submit an essay they wrote in last semester's English class to the Sigma Tau Delta Freshman Essay Contest.


All English Department professors will accept entries until noon, Friday, Feb. 4, or students may turn their papers in between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday - Friday at the English Department office, room S-1045 in the One Main Building. 


Students will compete for book voucher prizes of $400, first place; $200, second place; $100, third place and $50 for fourth and fifth places.  


To be eligible, students must attend UHD this semester. Entries must be typed and double-spaced, with a student's name, ID number, phone number and the English class listed in the upper left-hand corner. If sources are used, students should attach their bibliographic source page. Contest organizers say using sources is welcomed, but not required. 


Sigma Tau Delta is an international English honor society. Students who have questions can talk to an English professor or email UHD Associate Professor JoAnn Pavletich, Director of Composition, at A flier is available here


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Sports and Fitness offers CPR/AED certification training Friday

Sports and Fitness will offer its first CPR/AED Training of the semester from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Feb 4, at a location to be announced.

CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation) and AED (automatic external defibrillator) training is open to everyone. The fee is $5 for the UHD community and $15 for the public.

Statistically, people have a greater probability of using this training on someone they love versus a complete stranger. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn what to do in case of an emergency situation.

Participation is limited to the first 15 people who prepay for the class. To reserve a spot for this training, stop by the Student Life Center.
CPR/AED certification is valid for one year.

For more information call 713-221-8225, email sports& or visit


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Financial Aid Fair helps students complete aid application process 

The UHD Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid invites students seeking financial assistance for the 2011-2012 academic year to attend the annual Financial Aid Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23, in room A-300, the Special Event Center, Academic Building.


Each February the office hosts the fair to raise financial aid awareness and assist students in the application process. Designated computer stations will enable interested students to complete the FAFSA for the 2011-2012 academic year. Office staff members suggest students come to the fair with a copy of their 2010 W-2 forms and tax returns, their parents' and spouses' 2010 W-2 forms and their FAFSA PIN numbers to facilitate the application process.


This year's fair theme is "UHD Gator-Aid Bowl" and the fair features sports-themed games based on financial aid trivia with prizes and food available for students. A flier is available here.

Students who don't have PIN numbers can log onto to apply for one before the fair.


For more information, contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid at 713-221-8041.

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Career Services co-sponsors Texas Job Fair featuring more than 100 employers

UHD Career Services encourages interested UHD students and alumni to attend the Texas Job Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8, at the University of Houston Campus Recreation and Wellness Center where more than 100 employers will be recruiting for employment and internship opportunities.


UHD Career Services is a member of the sponsoring organization, the Houston Area Consortium of Career Centers, and is a co-sponsor of this event. A flier is available here. For more information, contact Career Services at 713-221-8980, or visit the Career Services Office in room N-340, One Main Building.

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UHD President names Brian Chapman as Provost and Senior Vice President

Brian R. Chapman

University of Houston-Downtown President Bill Flores has announced the appointment of Brian R. Chapman as provost and senior vice president.


Flores selected Chapman from among four finalists. His appointment, effective March 1, is subject to ratification by the University of Houston System Board of Regents and will be considered at the Board's Feb. 16 meeting in Houston.

"We are excited by the leadership, energy and experience Dr. Chapman brings to UHD," Flores said. "He is an excellent fit with our needs and I know he will provide proven academic leadership for the institution."

Chapman, a professor of biology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, has more than 30 years of experience in higher education. To read more...

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Registration deadline is Friday for College of Business Meet the Industry Event 

The College of Business is holding its second Meet the Industry event for business students from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, in the Shea Street Building, and the deadline to register is 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4.

The cost is $12. Late registration ends at 5 p.m. Feb. 7 and costs $20. Keynote speakers include: Ronald C. Green, Houston City Controller; Walter Ulrich, president and CEO, Houston Technology Center, Thomas Smouse, human resources director, Noble Energy, Inc., and Will Smith, business consultant, Workforce Solutions.

The event will introduce students to a variety of industries and careers involving Finance, Business, CIS, Supply Chain, Accounting, and Insurance & Risk Management, International Business, Management, and Marketing.

Information on the event, panelists and registration is available at the event website,

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Friday workshop addresses 'What's Stopping You from Taking Care of You'

UHD Sports and Fitness is sponsoring a workshop "What's Stopping You form Taking Care of You?" from noon to 1 p.m. Friday in room N-1099, One Main Building.


The workshop is free to UHD students, faculty and staff. Many barriers exist that prevent people from doing what it takes to be healthy and fit. If you need motivation and practical tips to do better, to keep going or to get started on the right path to better health, this workshop is for you. 

To reserve a spot for this seminar please visit the Sports and Fitness website  at

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UHD hosts the Houston Environmental Education Summit on Saturday

UHD will host the fourth annual Houston Environmental Education Summit, "Green Schools, Green Families, Green Sites," from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5.


UHD hosted the event last year and it brought 350 visitors to campus, said Brad Hoge, assistant professor, Department of National Sciences. This year, organizers expect 400 participants. The registration fee is $10 and includes a continental breakfast and lunch.


The summit is co-sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation, Houston Independent School District, Environmental Educator's Exchange and UHD's Department of Natural Sciences. The event is open to teachers, principals, executive principals, curriculum specialists, district administrators, school board members, PTA leaders, parents, program sponsors and anyone who cares about the education of children in the Houston area including UHD faculty, staff, students and their families.


The summit will explore various ways to help reverse the growing trend of the indoor child by connecting children to nature through environmental education at school, at home, and through the offerings of various nature centers in the Houston area. Studies show that students who participate in hands-on environmental education programs are able to connect to the natural world while achieving higher academic standards, increasing their critical thinking skills, self-confidence and academic motivation. Six CPE credits will be available for attending.


For information contact Marya Fowler, National Wildlife Federation at 512-610-7767 or email A flier is available here. Registration and agenda information is available here,

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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 p.m. - Blackboard: Assignments

 Friday, Feb. 4
10 - 11 a.m. - Blackboard: Assessments

Windows 7

Thursday, Feb. 3  

1 - 2 p.m. - Transitioning to Windows 7

See all current IT training available

The Offiice of Public Affairs produces the Skyline eNews Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the school year, 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
UHD prepares for power outages
UHD hosts Vincent Tinto
Financial Literacy Program today
Student Research Conference application deadline is Feb. 16
Connections mentees and mentors visit museum
Pre-law Forum provides information on legal fields
Community Involvement drive collects items for charity
Students, faculty and staff invited to multicultural dinner
Student Research Conference application deadline is Feb. 16
UHD business students visit India on study trip
Aerobics, fitness classes start at Student Life Center
Library offers new online chat service
Chemistry Club plans to elect officers, build on first year
Freshman Essay Contest deadline is Feb. 4
Sports and Fitness offers CPR/AED training
Financial Aid Fair helps students complete applications
Career Services co-sponsors job fair
President names new Provost and Senior Vice President
Meet the Industry event registration opens
'What's Stopping You from Taking Care of You' workshop
UHD hosts Environmental Education Summit
IT Training schedule
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