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Bravo The Good News Report of UH-Clear Lake

Fall 2014 Edition

Spotlight News

  • UHCL’s fall 2014 enrollment reached an all-time high of 8,668 students, including more than 400 freshmen and sophomores. This semester marks the first that UHCL has provided freshman- and sophomore-level coursework. Established in 1974 as an upper-level institution, the university previously offered programs only for junior, senior or graduate students.

University Highlights

  • Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board granted approval in July for UHCL to offer a Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM-related focus. The new degree will be offered beginning spring 2015.

  • In September, UHCL unveiled a full-scale replica of the 1752 Liberty Bell to be permanently displayed in the north lobby of the Bayou Building. The bell was cast by Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London, England, the creators of the original bell housed in Philadelphia. The Liberty Bell project stems from a dream of Associate Professor of Legal Studies James Benson to offer educational opportunities outside of the classroom to students and visitors. The installation of the bell at UHCL was made possible through generous donations from alumni and community partners.

  • During a private ceremony in October, UHCL announced the renaming of its Office of Veteran Services to the Capt. Wendell M. Wilson Office of Veteran Services honoring the longtime university friend. UHCL created the office in 2013 to serve the needs of student veterans. The name establishes a permanent legacy paying tribute to Wilson’s distinguished service in the U.S. Air Force and his leadership and service to UHCL, the Bay Area Houston community and members and veterans of the Armed Forces.

  • United Space Alliance donated models of the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station to the JSC History Collection in UHCL’s Alfred R. Neumann Library.

  • Victory Media tapped UHCL as a Military Friendly School. Victory Media’s Military Friendly Schools list features top colleges, universities and trade schools recognized for their dedicated efforts to ensure military students’ success.

  • The Continuous Improvement Commission of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation continued NCATE or the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education accreditation for UHCL’s School of Education at the initial teacher preparation and advanced preparation levels. The accreditation indicates that the school and its programs meet rigorous standards set by the professional education community. The next accreditation visit will take place in spring 2021.

  • UHCL is partnering with Deer Park Independent School District to create a professional development laboratory school at Parkwood Elementary School. The collaboration fosters an environment to provide best practice learning experiences for education students and ongoing professional development for educators. UHCL also has a laboratory school partnership with Clear Creek ISD at McWhirter Elementary School.

  • UHCL and Vietnam National University, Hanoi, signed a 2+2 program agreement, allowing students from VNU’s University of Engineering and Technology to complete their first two years in Vietnam before completing their Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at UHCL. The agreement is subject to approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Other agreements include partnerships with universities in China, Taiwan, Thailand, India and Japan.

Faculty and Staff Highlights

  • Assistant Professor of Special Education Elizabeth Beavers was honored by the International Council for Exceptional Children with the organization’s first-ever Division of Early Childhood Award for Mentoring. Presented at the organization’s 30th annual conference, the award recognizes individuals who have provided significant guidance in the development of the next generation of early childhood education leaders.

  • BIO-WEST/Texas Water Development Board awarded $85,000 to George Guillen, executive director of the Environmental Institute of Houston and associate professor of biology and environmental science, for “Brazos Basin Environmental Flow Standard Validation & Integration of River Flows & Brazos Basin Estuary Response.”

  • Professor of Fine Arts Sandria Hu received a Fulbright Specialist grant to spend three weeks with undergraduate and graduate students and faculty at the University of Veracruz in Xalapa, Mexico. During her time in Mexico, Hu offered workshops on the printmaking technique chine collé, which culminated in a critique of the students’ final projects.

  • Mental Health and Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County and Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services awarded $127,000 to Dorothea Lerman, director of the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities and professor of psychology, for “Project ABA-SkIP: Applied Behavior Analysis Services.”

  • Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience David Malin and Associate Professor of Psychology Chris Ward received an award of $46,350 from Tietronix Inc. and the National Institutes of Health for a proposal titled “Provide Technical Development & Research Services to National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in Drug Dependence Research.”

  • Jana Willis, associate professor of instructional design and technology and curriculum and instruction, received $77,372 from Tietronix Inc. and the U.S. Department of Defense for a proposal titled “To Provide Technical Development & Research Services to DARPA.”

  • Bay Area Houston Advanced Technology Consortium granted a $101,260 award to Associate Professor of Computer Science and Computer Information Systems Andrew Yang, the executive director of UHCL’s Cyber Security Institute, for his proposal “Developing a Cybersecurity Curriculum in Network Management & Security for Certification Program.”

Students Highlights

  • Christine Houston and Mari Martinez, undergraduate students in the UHCL School of Education, were named Exceptional Teacher Candidates by the Texas Quest for Quality project, a state initiative highlighting exemplary quality in university-based teacher preparation programs. The two, selected by state and national reviewers, represent the top 5 percent in their class and have demonstrated outstanding classroom skills, knowledge and effectiveness.

  • UHCL’s School of Education recognized students who received Success Through Education Programs scholarships. STEP, beginning its 21st year, is a collaborative effort between UHCL, four area school districts and four community colleges designed to create opportunities for students to explore teaching as a profession and to prepare them to become certified teachers. Scholarship recipients include Yacel Amador, Dalila Carrillo, Stephany Chavez, Lillana Gomez, Lakeisha Henderson, Orelia Lozano, JoAnn Moreno, Krista Ovalle, Erin Pitlock-Mullican and Larissa Wright.

Alumni Highlights

  • The UHCL Alumni Association celebrated the accomplishments of alumni and professors at its 2014 Alumni Celebration in October. Recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award include Lee College Innovation in Teaching and Learning Technology Conference Founder and Program Chair Carolyn Lightfoot, ’90 MA, and UHCL Professor of Management and Human Resource Management Kevin Wooten, ’76 BA, ’78 MA. Retired NASA Program Analyst Ann Hammond, ’82 BBA, received the Marilyn S. Sims Leadership Service Award. UHCL Professor of Decision Sciences Ken Black and Assistant Professor of Sociology Stephen M. Cherry were honored with Outstanding Professor Awards.

  • Recognizing the strong leadership qualities of a longtime university friend, UHCL renamed its Alumni Association Leadership Service Award as the Marilyn S. Sims Leadership Service Award. The renaming of the award recognizes and honors the many gifts and talents of Distinguished Alumna Marilyn S. Sims, ’88 BS, whose lead-by-example approach to supporting her alma mater has strengthened the university.
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