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Bravo The Good News Report of UH-Clear Lake

Winter 2016 Edition

Spotlight News

  • For the first time in its 40-year history, University of Houston-Clear Lake has been listed in the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings. The ranking in the Best Regional Universities in the West marks a major milestone for the university, which became a four-year university in fall 2014 by adding freshman and sophomore course work to its roster.

University Highlights

  • UHCL experienced record-breaking enrollment in fall 2015 with more than 8,900 students choosing the university to help them reach their educational goals. Furthermore, UHCL data included a 93.7 percent course completion rate, as well as a 70 percent first-year retention rate. Fall 2015 marks the start of the university’s second academic year as a four-year university.

  • Medical students at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston seeking to gain an edge with additional management and finance skills will be able to obtain a Master of Business Administration at UHCL while working on their medical doctorate beginning in 2016.

  • For the second consecutive year, Victory Media designated UHCL a Military Friendly® university. Victory Media is a veteran-owned company committed to creating marketplaces where veterans can thrive and succeed following their service.

  • The 84th Texas Legislature approved House Bill 100, which authorized two key UHCL projects geared to accommodate expected student growth. Among the outcomes was continued operations support for the university’s transition to a four-year institution; exceptional item funding for UHCL’s Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities; and capital construction funding for the addition of two new buildings, including a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Classroom Building at UHCL and a Health Sciences and Classroom Building at UHCL Pearland Campus.

  • Citing growth in the Texas Medical Center and the energy corridor, UHCL’s School of Business Center for Executive Education moved from the university’s Bay Area Boulevard location to the Texas Medical Center, home of the university’s Healthcare Administration program.

  • The John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education selected UHCL to participate in a national higher education project for the 2015-2016 academic year. The comprehensive program brings together faculty, staff and students to develop and implement a strategic action plan to improve the student experience. UHCL and other universities selected to partner with the institute will conduct a self-study during 2015-2016 to develop its strategic plan, which will then be implemented in 2016-2017.

  • UHCL’s graduate physics program was recognized as an American Physical Society Bridge Program partnership site. The APS Bridge Program strives to prepare underrepresented minority students, particularly African-American, Hispanic and Native American students, for doctoral graduate work in physics.

  • For its commitment to effective urban forest management, UHCL Pearland Campus earned the 2014 Tree Campus USA® recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation. To earn Tree Campus USA recognition, a university must meet five standards that demonstrate a commitment to planting and caring for trees on campus as well as involving students in that process. The standards include maintaining a Campus Tree Advisory Committee, dedicating funds for the campus tree program, observing Arbor Day, which falls on the last Friday of April, offering a service learning project and maintaining a formal Campus Tree Care Plan.

Faculty and Staff Highlights

  • UHCL Alumni Association awarded the 2015 Outstanding Professor Award to Professor of Healthcare Administration Ashish Chandra.

  • Four UHCL faculty received the 2015-2016 University Faculty Fellowships, which recognizes outstanding faculty and includes a $5,000 stipend for books, education tools, research, travel to conferences or other academic needs. Recipients include Bettye Grigsby, associate professor of educational leadership; Mary Short, professor of clinical psychology; Troy Voelker, associate professor of management; and Laurie Weaver, professor of bilingual and multicultural education.

  • Assistant Professor of Literature Anne Marcoline received the 2015-2016 Marilyn Mieszkuc Memorial Professorship. Established in 2003 through an endowment from Ben Mieszkuc, the Marilyn Mieszkuc Memorial Professorship Endowment supports faculty research in Women’s Studies.

  • Associate Professor of Educational Leadership Gary Schumacher has been named the recipient of the Sandy Johnson/Barrios Technology, Ltd. Endowed Professorship in Educational Leadership. The endowment includes a three-year appointment that comes with a $10,000 annual stipend to assist with research.

Students Highlights

  • School of Education undergraduate Amanda Cox and graduate student Kimberly Riggs were named the 2015 recipients of the prestigious Dr. Patricia Potter Wilson School of Education Outstanding Graduate and Undergraduate Student Scholarships. The selection is based on academic performance and leadership capabilities.

  • Melvina LeBlue, Claudia Perez, Amy Sengler and Ashton Zeplin became the first students awarded the Bachelor of Science in Nursing during the fall 2015 Commencement Ceremony. The RN to BSN program, located at UHCL Pearland Campus, began accepting students in fall 2014 under the guidance of Assistant Professor of Nursing Karen Alexander.

Alumni Highlights

  • Katherine Becker, ’03 BS, ’06 MHA/MBA, Marla Davis Chandler, ’96 BA, ’01 MA, and Kanchana Weerasinghe, ’98 BS, ’00 MS, received the 2015 Early Achievement Awards presented by the UHCL Alumni Association.

  • Harris Brooks, ’00 MHA/MBA, Palo Pinto General Hospital CEO, has been named Mineral Wells Index’s 2015 Man of the Year. Mineral Wells Index is the newspaper for Mineral Wells and Palo Pinto County.

  • Glenn Burnett, ’98 BS, has been appointed vice president of finance for Memorial Hermann Pearland Hospital. He currently serves as vice president of finance at Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital and will continue in that role.

  • Anita Fogtman, ’85 BA, was honored by the UHCL Alumni Association with the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award during the annual Alumni Celebration in October.

  • Hillary Gramm, ’11 MA, was recognized by Houston Business Journal in the publication’s 2015 40 Under 40 Awards, a prestigious list naming top movers and shakers in the Houston metro area. Gramm is the resource development director for Communities in Schools – Bay Area, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support and empower students to stay in school.

  • DeeAnn Powell, ’99 MS, ’11 Ed.D, has been named superintendent for the Pasadena Independent School District. She makes history by being the first female to lead the school district.

  • Kimberly Spinks, ’88 BS, ’93 MS, has been named senior vice president and trust investment officer for Texas Bank and Trust in Longview.
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