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A Publication of UHD Public Affairs

July, 13, 2011

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The deadline to respond to the dependent verification audit is July 15. If benefits eligible employees do not respond, their dependents will lose their health, dental and life insurance on Aug. 1. 


Information Technology will perform an upgrade to the Banner Financial Aid System with the work starting at 5 p.m. Friday, July 15.


The UHD Cycling Club will have information meetings at 2:15 and 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, July 27, in room A-420 in the Academic Building.


The Landing Theatre Company's summer 2011 production will be David Mamet's play,"American Buffalo," opening Friday, Aug. 5.


Respond to dependent verification audit immediately    


Benefits eligible employees who are in Phase 1 of the Texas Employees Group Benefits Program (GBP) dependent verification audit have received repeated communications from Aon Hewitt since March 2011.  


If these individuals have not sent in the requested document copies, they must do so by July 15, 2011 or their dependents will lose health, dental and life insurance on Aug. 1, 2011.

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Information Technology schedules upgrade to Banner beginning Friday      


Information Technology will perform an upgrade to the Banner Financial Aid System with the work starting at 5 p.m. Friday, July 15, and ending by 12 p.m. Saturday, July 16.


The following services will be unavailable during the maintenance period:          

  • Banner (Student Records System)
  • Banner Financial Aid
  • Faculty and Staff e-services (payments, personal data and class roster)
  • Student e-services (registration, payments, schedules, personal data and grades)
  • Access to Student Account Info via e-services (usernames and passwords for GatorMail, Network ID and Blackboard Vista)
  • AIM
  • AdAstra

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact the Help Desk (X3000, 713-221-8031,


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UHD Cycling Club schedules information meetings for potential members     


The UHD Cycling Club will have information meetings at 2:15 and 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, July 27, in room A-420 in the Academic Building for anyone interested in joining the group and learning more about cycling.


The club is open to students, alumni, faculty and staff. The club welcomes all experience levels from new riders to long-distance veterans. Club members participate in a number of rides throughout the year, including the MS 150 from Houston to Austin. As club members point out, they do indeed "wear nifty UHD jerseys."


For more information about cycling at UHD, contact Mercedes Gonzales at 713-221-8427 or


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The Landing Theatre Company presents Mamet's 'American Buffalo' Aug. 5-28      


The Landing Theatre Company's summer 2011 production will be David Mamet's play,"American Buffalo," opening Friday, Aug. 5, and running through Sunday, Aug. 28, in the O'Kane Theatre.


Preview performances begin Wednesday, Aug. 3. Winner of the 1976 Obie Award for Best Play and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, the play remains a relevant commentary on current economic times in America. In an urban junk shop, among piles of discarded items, three discarded people seek new life from plotting the robbery of a valuable coin. The men's search is at the core of the American dream, but soon issues of betrayal and trust explode as the plan unravels.


Kevin Holden directs a cast, which includes Steve Irish, Matt Hune and Drake Simpson. The production also features scenic design by Frank Vela, costume design by Pat Covington, lighting by Jerome Choate and sound by Jasmine Zapeda. 


Tickets to "American Buffalo" are $20, and are available for purchase online at or in person prior to performance at the O'Kane Theatre inside the UHD's One Main building. The Aug. 3-4 Preview performances are $15. Student rates are $5. As a special offer, theatre supporters who buy a pair of tickets will receive a $10 gift certificate to Birraporetti'sItalian restaurant and Irish pub.  


The Landing Theatre Company is a professional company in residence at UHD. The Company offers an annual summer festival of plays devoted to American playwriting and stories about the American experience. The company began in 2010 with its inaugural production of Tennessee Williams' masterpiece, The Glass Menagerie, directed by Artistic Director, David Rainey.


"American Buffalo" is one of two offerings this summer. On Aug. 13-14, the company will present staged readings of "Rushing Roulette," a new play by A. Xandréa Shane. 


For more information about The Landing Theatre Company, visit or contact Christina Martinez or Lauren Gayden at


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Stories from previous Skylines

College of Public Service offers online Master of Science in Criminal Justice    


The University of Houston-Downtown's College of Public Service will offer a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice entirely online for the first time starting with the Spring semester 2012.


UHD's Department of Criminal Justice in the College of Public Service now offers a master's degree through regular face-to-face evening classes. Faculty and staff have been planning the online initiative for a year and a half. The deadline for admission to the online degree program is Nov. 1. More information is available here

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Science trip
UHD science students and faculty in New York City.

Science in the City trip introduces students to career paths, scientists and museums     


Four faculty members and 10 students from UHD's Department of Natural Sciences recently returned from the Science in the City Spring 2011 trip to New York City where they visited science-related venues, toured museums and saw other cultural sites.


Trip organizers said a goal of the trip was to show students a variety of career paths that graduates with science degrees can pursue with varying levels of education from bachelor's degrees to doctorates. A second goal was to broaden the general cultural experiences of students and for students to meet individuals from a variety of social and ethnic backgrounds who have achieved success in science. The trip was May 24 -29.


Trip leaders were Lisa Morano, associate professor of Biology and Microbiology, and Jerry Johnson, assistant professor of Biology and Biochemistry. Other chaperons were Phil Lyons, associate professor of Biology and Microbiology, and Akif Uzman, professor of Biology and Biochemistry and chair of the Department of Natural Sciences.


Students apply for the Science in the City program and are chosen based on grade point average, essays and recommendations. The Department of Natural Sciences pays half the cost of the airfare and hotel expenses and students pay the other half, plus food, local transportation and entertainment expenses in New York City. 


While in New York City, the group engaged in three science-related tours. First, the group toured several scientific laboratories at New York University where they discussed science career paths in academia with graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and premier scientists in their fields. Second, the group toured the New York Botanical Garden, meeting with industry-funded scientists, herbarium staff and scientists and a scientific librarian. Finally, the group toured the American Museum of Natural History, where they had access to all museum exhibits, behind-the-scenes workings of the museum and the graduate school housed on the premises.


The group also had access to cultural experiences while in New York City including: Broadway, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Ground Zero and the city's numerous museums.


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Main Street closure update   


Main Street was originally scheduled to close for 18 months in mid to late June for construction of the METROrail North Line. New estimates place the closure date closer to early August, said Chris McCall, UHD Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management. 


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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



3 - 4 p.m. - Blackboard Vista: Assignments

Thursday, July 14  

3 - 4 p.m. -  Blackboard Vista: Managing Course Content


Blackboard Learn


Thursday, July 14   

10 - 11 a.m. - Adopters Converting Early (A.C.E.)

Friday, July 15

11 - 12 p.m. - Blackboard Learn - Getting Started



See all current IT training available


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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
Respond to dependent verification audit immediately
IT schedules upgrade to Banner beginning Friday
Cycling Club schedules information meetings
The Landing Theatre Company announces summer productions
College of Public Service offers online MSCJ
Science students and faculty return from Science in the City trip
Main Street closure update
IT training schedule
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