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April 29, 2011
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UHD assistant professor Volodymyr Hrynkiv will discuss "Optimal Control of a Biharmonic Obstacle Problem" at 3 p.m. today, April 29, at a seminar on partial differential equations at the University of Houston.

UHD students will present Don Nigro's bizarre comic murder-mystery, "Ravenscroft," through the weekend in the O'Kane Theatre, N-364, One Main Building. The final show is 3 p.m. Sunday.

Employment Services and Operations will launch a new optional benefits program for benefits-eligible employees at a kick-off fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, May 2, in the White Oak Room A-300, Academic Building.

The Department of Arts and Humanities is offering a choir class this fall for 30 students, and auditions are 4 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 2, in room N-279, One Main Building.

Criminal justice skyline
International Criminal Justice class

Class moves overseas to study criminal justice issues in Ireland, Great Britain   


University of Houston-Downtown faculty and students will be in Ireland, England and Scotland from May 16 to 28 visiting prisons, courts and police departments as part of their International Criminal Justice class.


The 27 undergraduate and graduate students met from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, Feb. 12 to April 30, discussing the criminal justice issues they will encounter during the trip. The trip leader is Mark Kellar, associate professor of criminal justice. Other criminal justice faculty participating are Lance Hignite, assistant professor, and Judith Harris, lecturer.


"The class offers students a unique face to face experience with criminal justice systems from both a cultural and an academic point of view," Harris said.


For the class, undergraduate and graduate students are responsible for writing research papers and must complete in-class and at-home examinations before taking the trip abroad, Harris said. Graduate students have more rigorous requirements and are responsible for presenting their research on a particular component of the Scottish, Irish and English Justice Systems, she said.


Andy Pryce, British Deputy Consul General in Houston, spoke to the class on the English criminal justice system and provided the students with contacts to help them enter English courts, police departments and a prison.


In Scotland, the trip will start in Edinburg. The group will then travel to the Scottish Highlands where the class will meet with a Scottish police superintendent and the Dornoch constabulary in northern Scotland. Class members will stay at the famous Dornoch Castle.


When the group lands in Dublin, Ireland, they will visit with barristers from the Supreme Court of Ireland and learn about Irish trial procedures. During the last session, the class will see Irish dancers perform.


UHD professor participates in seminar on differential equations at UH  

UHD assistant professor Volodymyr Hrynkiv will discuss "Optimal Control of a Biharmonic Obstacle Problem" at 3 p.m. today, April 29, at a seminar on partial differential equations at the University of Houston, Department of Mathematics, room 646, Philip Guthrie Hoffman Hall.



"We consider a variational inequality of the obstacle type where the underlying partial differential operator is biharmonic. We consider an optimal control problem where the state of the system is given by the solution of the variational inequality and the obstacle is taken to be a control. For a given target profile we want to find an obstacle such that the corresponding solution to the variational inequality is close to the target profile while the norm of the obstacle does not get too large in the appropriate space. We prove the existence of an optimal control and derive the optimality system by using approximation techniques."


ESO hosts kick-off fair on May 2 for optional benefits program 


Employment Services and Operations will launch a new optional benefits program for benefits-eligible employees at a kick-off fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, May 2, in the White Oak Room, A-300, Academic Building.


The University of Houston System is partnering with Aflac and MetLife to sponsor several new optional benefit plans. These supplemental benefits are in addition to the benefits currently offered by the Employee Retirement System ("ERS"). The cost of each product will be the employee's responsibility and will not be supplemented in any way by UHD or the UH System.


The products are Aflac's Accident, Cancer, Critical Illness and Hospital Protection plans, and MetLife's Universal Life with Long-Term Care plan. During the kick-off fair, employees can meet face-to-face with Aflac and MetLife representatives, and qualify for several door prizes.


Aflac and MetLife will also offer free confidential benefit consultations for UHD employees.They will be on campus twice per week during the open enrollment period, scheduled for May 2 through Aug. 5, in room S-910,One Main Building, as indicated below:


MetLife - 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays.

Aflac - 8 am. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Thursdays.


UHD students' history essays chosen for state history publication 


UHD students, Ron Parker and Lisa Hatman, will have essays published in the next edition of "Touchstone," a publication of the Texas State Historical Association.


Parker's essay titled "The Romantic History of Sylvan Beach" won second place, senior division, at the Clifton Caldwell Historical Essay Competition which the association sponsors. Hatman's essay is titled "Falcon Dam and the Fate of Zapata County."


"Touchstone" is devoted to publishing student essays and is the only publication that publishes college students, said Garna Christian, UHD professor of history. Parker and Harman are his students. Christian's students have been successful at the essay competition and at being published over the past several years. The association divides essays into a junior division for community colleges, a senior division for four-year universities and a graduate division. Winners of the essay competition, four in each division, are frequently, but not always chosen to be published, he said. The judges for the competition and the publication are different.


This year, five junior division essays were selected for publication along with three senior division essays. UHD students wrote two of the three senior division essays selected for publication which, as Christian said, is "very good."


Registration fair skyline
Registration stations helped students sign up for classes.

First Registration Fair streamlines process 


The Registrar's Office hosted its first Registration Fair Wednesday, April 27, in the Coffeehouse for Summer Registration and Fall 2011 Priority Registration. The fair included food, drinks and games. Advisors were on site to help students get a jump on the registration process.  


Landing Theatre Company announces fundraising dinner in the Heights 


The Landing Theatre Company, the new professional company in residence at UHD, is having a fundraising event, the 1,000 Ships Launch Party Dinner, from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 5, at the Obsidian Art Space, 3522 White Oak Drive in the Heights.


Tickets are $45 and proceeds will benefit the Landing Theatre Company. Space is limited, so advance ticket purchase is recommended. The evening will include entertainment by the Heritage Jazz Trio, a silent auction and a candle-lit dinner with entrees from Birraporetti's. The auction will feature original art, theater tickets and other items. There will be cocktails, St. Arnold's beer and information about the theater company. A flier is available here


The Landing Theatre Company's mission is "to develop bold and dynamic productions of the best American plays, explore the most innovative new playwriting that highlights the American Experience and maintain the highest artistic standards for our work, while building bridges between profession and training in the arts."


To buy tickets now for an evening of art, music, theater and dinner, visit the website David Rainey is the company's artistic director.


Table tennis skylineTable tennis tournament attracts students 


The Welcome Week coordinators sponsored a two-day Table Tennis Tournament that attracted men and women players to the new student lounge in the Student Activities area, second floor, One Main Building. 


Stories from previous Skylines
The drunken inspector considers the widow's offer of marriage in the gothic thriller, 'Ravenscroft.'

Final play of the year, gothic thriller 'Ravenscroft,' continues through weekend  

UHD students will present Don Nigro's bizarre comic murder-mystery, "Ravenscroft," as the final show of the year through the weekend in the O'Kane Theatre, N-364, One Main Building.


Directed by UHD alumnus Miguel Roman (Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts), this funny, yet frightening, work includes skeletons in the closet, ghosts on the staircase and much more than the unsuspecting detective investigating the case expected. Audience members won't be able to guess the ending, but will be teased, seduced, bewildered and amused as they are led to the conclusion.


"Ravenscroft" will be staged at 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday, April 29 and 30, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 1. Admission is free. Seating is first-come, first-seated. 

Sports and Fitness annual banquet  will be Saturday, May 14


The 15th annual UHD Sports and Fitness Banquet will be at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 14, in room A-300, the Special Events Center, third floor, Academic Building.


The event includes a dinner, awards presentation for UHD's outstanding sports and fitness participants and door prizes. Tickets are $5 until April 30 and $10 after that. No tickets will be sold at the door. This event always sells out, so buy your tickets now at the UHD Student Life Center.

New choir class auditions set for May 2  


The Department of Arts and Humanities is offering a choir class this fall for 30 students, and auditions are 4 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 2, in room N-279, One Main Building.


The new UHD Choir will give two performances each semester on or off campus including accompanied anthems, major concert works, a cappella spirituals and world music. Enrollment in the three-hour choir class is limited to 30 students, who will be accepted via audition only. No advance preparation for the audition is required.


For more information, contact Jason Oby, adjunct instructor, at or Carrie Allen, assistant professor, at A flier is available here.  

Master of Arts in Teaching Program celebrates 10th anniversary May 3    


UHD's Department of Urban Education is commemorating the 10th Anniversary of its Master of Arts in Teaching program at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 3, in room C-100, Commerce Street Building.


Celebrate the important work MAT graduates do in classrooms around the country. Outstanding graduate students and alumni, along with current students, will discuss how the program has affected their teaching and their students' learning.  


For information contact Sue Mahoney, assistant chair of graduate programs, Department of Urban Education, at


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.





1 - 2 p.m. - Photoshop: Photo Retouching


End of sem skyline 

End of Semester Wrap-up 


Thursday, May 5

1 - 3 p.m. - End of the Semester Wrap-Up (Snack and Learn) 


See all current IT training available

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In this issue
Criminal Justice class goes to Ireland and Great Britain
UHD professor is speaker at UH math seminar
ESO kicks off new optional benefits program
UHD students' essays chosen for history publication
Registration Fair helped students sign up for classes
Landing Theatre Company plans fundraising dinner
Table Tennis Tournament attracts students to new lounge area
Student play continues through the weekend
Sports and Fitness banquet will be May 14
New choir class auditions set for May 2
Urban Ed plans MAT 10th anniversary celebration
IT offers training classes
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