New Horizons - Summer 2003
The full-color magazine for alumni, community partners, donors, faculty, staff and friends of the University of Houston-Downtown highlights achievements with news stories, features and photos.
SUMMER 2003 From Houston's Downtown University to Taiwan ew Horizons N University of Houston-Downtown At the opening of the exhibit, UHDowntown community friends Don Wang, chairman, MetroBank, N.A. and Suzanne Hauser, gallery supporter, joined Charles Chen, director of the information division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office. A stunning coastal view of Taiwan fro m the exhibit in the O' Kane Gallery V isitors to UHD's O'Kane Gallery were transported halfway around the globe this summer by a colorful photo exhibit -- "The Many Splendors of Taiwan." The exhibit was organized by the Government of China and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston. Photos depict various aspects of Taiwan, ranging from natural scenery to cultural heritage. The exhibit celebrates the university's new international partnership, the Bayou Connection, an exchange program between UHD's criminal justice program hen and Chung-Cheng University (CCU) in d Charles C r an nne Hause , left, Suza Taiwan. The first group of CCU graduate students Don Wang is expected to study at UHD in Fall 2004. UHD Alumna of the Year T Dr. Phebe Chen is UHD's 2003 Alumna of the Year -- an honor given to outstanding graduates of UH-Downtown who seek opportunities to support the university and the community. Open for Business: Summer Programs at UHD hings were a bit different back in 1981. Back then, UH-Downtown was called University of Houston Downtown College. And Phebe Chen had just moved with her family from the Philippines to Houston, fresh out of her freshman year at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City. G reat white egrets, rockets and kitchen chemistry were all part of the summer landscape at UHDowntown. Each summer, UHDowntown dedicates considerable faculty, administrative and student resources to educational enrichment programs and classes for kindergarten through high school students and teachers. Although varied in nature -- from a professional jazz band experience for high school students to space science classes for educators -- these programs are designed to enhance and inspire students who are traditionally under-represented in university settings. Paper airplanes and mousetrap cars are more than toys in the Houston PREP program. They're important tools for teaching science and math principles to middle and high school students from the Houston metropolitan area. The academically successful students learned about the engineering and science professions during the Houston Prefreshman Engineering Program (PREP) this past summer. The eight week program is currently in its fourteenth year, hosted by Continued on page 4 Phebe had a number of adjustments to make as she began her sophomore year at UHD. Lucky for Phebe -- she chose a university where faculty could give students ample personal attention, a tradition of caring that continues today. In 2003, Dr. Phebe Chen returned to UH-Downtown as UHD's Alumna of the Year, honored for service, leadership and commitment to the community, to UHD, and to family or work. Continued on page 3 UH-Downtown There's more good news inside! � Every scholarship helps ................................... p. 2 � Alumni Notes ................................................. p. 3 � From the ground up ........................................ p. 4 Houston's Downtown University Scholarship Gifts from UHD Friends BMC Software Supports Business Students BMC Software, a leading provider of enterprise management solutions, donated $30,000 in scholarship funds to UHDowntown. With the funds, six annual $1,000 scholarships will be awarded each fall for the next five academic years. Students eligible for the BMC Software scholarships must be juniors or seniors pursuing a major or minor in administrative management, computer information systems, finance, or marketing at UHD. For the fall 2003 semester, the following students received the first BMC Software scholarships: Stephanie Jefferson, Benjamin Peak, David A. Plath, Feryal Umrani, Vershonda Williams, and Monika Malgorzata. Greater Texas Foundation Helps Remove Barriers The Greater Texas Foundation gave $20,000 to UH-Downtown from their "Removing Educational Barriers Scholarship" fund. The scholarship is intended to help students overcome barriers to higher education. Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Commissioner Don Brown said, "Helping students pay for college provides a path to a brighter future -- for them and for the state." (From left) UHD Vice President for Administration Chaney Anderson joins Lou Murray, representing the Greater Texas Foundation, as he presents a scholarship gift to Latasha Jackson, UHD director of scholarships and financial aid. Also on hand is UHD President Max Castillo. The Greater Texas Foundation receives funds primarily from its for-profit subsidiary, LoanSTAR Funding Group, one of the largest Texas-based holders of student loans. J. Don Boney Book Scholarship To help students in financial need and to honor the university's first president, Dr. J. Don Boney, the UHD Soul Foods Image Awards Committee has dedicated the proceeds from its annual awards to a book scholarship in his name. The awards honor AfricanAmerican UHD faculty and staff during Black History Month. In light of the group's purpose, applicants to the J. Don Boney Book Scholarship must submit an essay about the accomplishments of an African-American leader. The two winners must be currently enrolled students who can prove financial need. They will receive $600 for one year to buy textbooks and class materials from the UH-Downtown Bookstore. Bragging Rights Fulbright Grant Dr. Robin Davidson, director of UHD's Learners Community, is the recipient of a grant from the prestigious Fulbright Program, the U.S. government's premier international educational exchange program. Field Trip Chemistry Members of UHD's Scholars Academy (above) get an insider's view of a research facility at ChevronPhillips Chemical Company LP in Kingwood. Dr. Eduardo Baralt (in dark shirt on right), lead research chemist for ChevronPhillips, greets Scholars Academy students and faculty member Will LeDoux as they visit with UHD chemistry student Nicole Olsen (on left). Olsen is getting valuable industry experience from a co-op program with the company. A number of UHD students have gone on to successful careers in the chemical industry as a result of their participation in co-op programs. Dr. Davidson will teach American literature during this academic year with a focus on poetry at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. She has a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing. Established in 1946, the Fulbright Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and other countries, through the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills. Fulbright recipients are chosen for their leadership potential. Ready for Hollywood When Dr. Ann Jennings isn't teaching students how to polish their proofreading skills or sharpen their syntax, she's at her own computer writing award-winning scripts. An associate professor of English and coordinator of UHD's professional writing program, Dr. Jennings has written mystery novels and took up screenplays a couple of years ago. Her screenplay, "Part-Time Czar," won a Silver Award at Worldfest Houston, the biggest film festival in terms of submissions. Dr. Jennings's entry was chosen from among 4,500 entries in all categories. 2 Alumni Society News UHD Alumna of the Year Continued from page 1 Dr. Chen is currently Associate Professor and Chief of Ultrasound of the Department of Radiology at the UT Health Science Center. Board certified in pediatrics and diagnostic radiology, her primary interest is women's health. She teaches fourth-year medical students in radiology, focusing on the use of ultrasound. She graduated from UHD in 1981 with highest honors -- Summa Cum Laude -- with a Bachelor of Science in General Studies, which has become UHD's Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies. Phebe was able to use that "general degree" as a springboard for medical school, thanks to classes that created a solid underpinning of knowledge. Calendar of Events O'Kane Gallery: Candace Brice�o, drawing and paint with sewn felt, through Oct. 2, 713-221-8043 O'Kane Theatre: The Lion in Winter, Oct. 31-Nov. 8, 713221-8104 Concerts Raise Funds for UHD Students UHD students received a warm welcome on stage at Jones Plaza during a Tejano Tuesday concert -- part of the Bud Light Tu Musica en la Plaza series that runs April to October. Psychology major Robinson Arteaga (holding the microphone) thanked the audience for their support on behalf of the UH-Downtown delegation. Proceeds for the concert series, approximately $12,000, will be used for student support services. Sponsors are Anheuser Busch Companies and Silver Eagle Distributors, Inc. Dr. Chen graduated from Baylor College of Medicine Commencement: December 7, in 1985, and did postgraduMinute Maid Park ate training in pediatrics at Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati. Her postgraduate work in radiology was at Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago, and at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She belongs to several professional organizations, including the MRI Society of Greater Houston, the Texas Medical Association, and the Harris County Medical Society. Dr. Chen has a strong record of community volunteer service, including the Christian Community Service Center, Foundation for Interfaith Research and Ministry, and The Senior's Place. The Alumnus of the Year is honored for leadership, service and commitment to the university, the community, and work or family life. Past alumni of the year have been Texas Senator Mario Gallegos, Jr., and Rick Hartley, executive director of The 100 Club. ALUMNI NOTES Bobbye Brown Donaldson (`91) has left Houston and Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. to join the Las Vegas law firm, Beckley Singleton Chtd., as a Trainer and Legal Assistant. She will be assisting the firm in the development and implementation of written and intranet training materials. Rewa Marie Fyles ('99) has just fulfilled her dream of publishing a book of her poems. After many years of writing, she has published a collection entitled Feeling Poetic, A Book of Poetry. Bishop Larry D. Leonard (`02) decided to finish his education at UHD after many years as pastor and family man. He has been in ministry for over 41 years and has pastored Morning Star Full Gospel Baptist Church for 25 years. He is launching an international ministry, Victory of the Word, as teacher and evangelist. Lillian McKissick (`83) enjoyed a twenty-year career in accounting after graduation. This fall she will start her first year as a law student at the University of Tulsa Bishop Larry D. Leonard College of Law with plans to pursue a career in public service. She is also preparing for her first fitness competition in 2004. Her hope is to inspire others that it is never too late to pursue one's dreams. Mark Elliott Miller, MPH ('88) published his second book, Advice for Life From the Mouths of Elders, One Hundred Ways to Grow Old Gracefully. He received his Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2000. What's New? Send a Note! Update your former UHD classmates on your life by submitting an item for the "Alumni Notes" in New Horizons. We'll also post your item in the alumni section of UHD's website. You can e-mail directly from the website at www.uhd.edu/alumni/notes.htm. Or, send an e-mail to Karen AlfaroChamberlin at email@example.com. Or, mail your item to Karen at UH-Downtown, One Main Street, Suite 990-S, Houston, Texas 77002. 3 UHD alumni gathered at the Alumnus of the Year reception sponsored by the President's Alumni Society Council are (back row from left) Geri Lenued and Rick Hartley, (front row from left) Mimi Penn, Dolores Stawitz, Phebe Chen, Janet Heitmiller, Naomi Hines and Brenetta Brooks. Open for Business: Summer Programs at UH-Downtown Continued from page 1 present their research at UHD's annual Student Research Conference. UHD's Center for Computational Science and Advanced Distributed Simulation. Also in its fourteenth year, the Jesse H. Jones Academic Institute helps Jeff Davis High School students transition to the more rigorous university experience. This year, nearly 400 students took four weeks of courses taught by university professors in UH-Downtown classrooms. The program focused on nature this year, including a boat trip down Buffalo Bayou to Sharing space science with middle and high school teachers, high school students, and college students from the greater Houston (In foreground) Lawrence Spence, a UHD alumnus who teaches in HISD, guides high school students area, The Partnership view wildlife and from the Jesse H. Jones Academic Institute on a boat tour of Buffalo Bayou. Spence volunteers with the nonprofit group Kids on the Bayou, which helped coordinate the watery field trip. Initiative in Space Science examine environhosts classes, workshops, mental issues. To date, nearly 5,000 students have The six-week summer programs for and research programs. participated in the program, which Upward Bound and Educational Science teachers from HISD spent received a statewide award for Talent Search prepared students two days at UH-Downtown in the excellence. Partners include from the Aldine and Houston university's Say Yes! workshops, Houston Endowment, El Paso Independent School Districts for which helped teachers learn to Corporation and HISD. college. This summer, the 1,205 teach biology, chemistry, and students in these programs physics with computers and new The Young Sounds of Houston, a participated in cultural enrichment technology. The program is fundcitywide program hosted by the activities to supplement the college ed through a grant from the Shell UHD Civic Jazz Orchestra, featours they made during the Oil Company Foundation. tures Houston's top middle and school year. high school musicians in a profesHouston Urban Learning Initiatives sional-level stage jazz band. This As part of the university's six-week in a Networked Community (HUyear, the group performed for a Summer Environmental Research LINC), a program that develops second time at the Program, eight academically the proficiencies of elementary and National successful UHD students with an secondary teachers in science, Federation of interest in natural science conduct- mathematics, and technology, met Musicians annual ed full-time research under the again this summer to practice meeting at the close supervision of faculty mentors teaching methods that these educaRiviera Hotel in Las at UHD and Sheldon Lake State tors can apply to their classrooms Vegas. Park. Students in the program will in the coming academic year. Four Stories High, a Year to Go Construction crews topped out UH-Downtown's new classroom building, under construction at the corner of Main and Commerce streets, just across the bayou from UHD's One Main and Academic Buildings. The four-story 101 Main Building will open for classes in Fall 2004 with 25 classrooms and computer labs, as well as faculty and administrative offices for the criminal justice and urban teacher education programs. The two academic disciplines make up UHD's proposed new College of Public Service, which offers two master's programs in addition to respected undergraduate programs that prepare individuals for community-oriented careers. By keeping classrooms and faculty active all summer, UH-Downtown continues to serve Houston in ways unparalleled by more "traditional" universities. is published by the Office of Communications and Marketing, UH-Downtown, and distributed to friends of the university with updates on campus activities. Call 713-221-8010 for more information or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. New Horizons Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 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