Egret nameplate   The magazine of University of Houston-Clear Lake
fall 2012 | volume 19 | number 1

feature stories

Making the Grade
UHCL Hawk Takes Flight
Class in Session
Share & Support
Creating Leadership
A Place for Writers


For the Record
What's Online
Class Notes
Alumni Association
Spotlight Story





  • UHCL was named to the 2012 president’s higher education community service HONOR ROLL by the Corporation for National and Community Service. This is the third time UHCL has received this honor, which recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities.

  • The UHCL School of Education announced a NEW WEEKEND COHORT for its Master of Science in Education Management with Principal Certification program that will be offered at San Jacinto College North beginning fall 2012. The program has also been streamlined, reducing the required course load by six credit hours.


  • The Office of Student Life honored several student organizations at the 34th annual student LEADERSHIP BANQUET. Student Veterans of America was awarded Best New Organization of the Year; The Unity Club was given Social Awareness Event of the Year and Student Organization of the Year; and the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers was recognized for Professional Development Event of the Year and Most Improved Organization of the Year. Graduate student, former Student Government Association President and founder of the Sustainability Club Hank Hodde won the Distinguished Leadership Award.

  • Bayousphere and The Signal, both UHCL STUDENT PUBLICATIONS, received awards at the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association’s state competition. The Signal newspaper won 25 awards, three of which were first-place awards, for its print and online editions. Bayousphere, a literary art magazine, received three awards including an honorable mention for story package.

  • The university’s Student Council for Exceptional Children Chapter 1148 received the Texas Council for Exceptional Children’s Chapter EXCELLENCE AWARD at its annual convention. Chapter 1148 was recognized for its leadership in coordinating events such as its annual Take-a-Buddy-to-the Fair, a carnival-like event for students with special needs that promotes social skill development as well as assists in the development of motor skills. This year’s fair served approximately 300 students and teachers, and included the support of 60 volunteers.

  • Graduate student Cindy Steffens
    Graduate student Cindy Steffens, who is pursuing a Master of Arts in Sociology and has a Bachelor of Science in Public Service Leadership from UHCL, earned an HONORABLE MENTION for her work on the Council for Political Affairs at the 2012 National University Model Arab League in Washington, D.C.

  • The Texas State Teacher Association recognized UHCL’s student chapter for having the largest membership increase in the state as well as being named the state’s largest TSTA STUDENT PROGRAM. The UHCL chapter also received an award for Community Service Event of the Year, for the creation and hosting of Big Great Harvest BASH, which benefited the Boys and Girls Harbor in La Porte, Texas.

  • UHCL’s 14-member CRICKET TEAM, the Blue Herons, won Best New Team Award at the American College Cricket Spring Break Championship held in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.


  • Professor of History Angela Howard was awarded ADVISOR OF THE YEAR by the UHCL Office of Student Life. Howard serves as the adviser for the Women’s Studies Student Association and has been a reliable presence at campus-wide events such as The Vagina Monologues and Feminist Boot Camp.

  • Three faculty members have been selected to receive University FACULTY FELLOWSHIPS for the 2012-13 academic year. Kim Case, associate professor of women’s studies and psychology; Everette Penn, associate professor of criminology; and Cheryl Sawyer, associate professor of counseling, will each receive a $5,000 stipend toward educational materials, research seed money, conference travel, workshops and seminars.

  • NASA awarded four UHCL School of Science and Computer Engineering professors with an $86,185 grant for their proposal, “Collaboration of Graduate and High School Students for International Space Station Hardware Development Projects.” Principal investigator for the project is Mary Randolph-Gips, assistant professor of computer systems engineering, and co-principal investigators are Ipek Bozkurt, assistant professor of engineering management; James Helm, associate professor of software engineering; and Ki-Young Jeong, assistant professor and program chair of engineering management. The proposal provides engineering project management support for high schools and unites the students with mentors at NASA. It also helps university and high school instructors to develop mentorships with researchers, graduate students, high school students and NASA.

  • Pictured (l to r) are NASA Director of University Research, Collaborations and Partnership Kamesh Lulla, UHCL Dean of Science and Computer Engineering Zbigniew Czajkiewicz, NASA Human Systems Academy Deputy Pamela Denkins, Dodo Seriki, Shih, UHCL Provost Carl A. Stockton and Wyle Education and Strategy Coordinator Kevin Rosenquist.
    TWO UHCL professors were recognized for their contribution to STELLAR (Science, Technology, Engineering and Life Science Lessons for Assembly and Reasoning) by the NASA Human Health and Performance Center at Johnson Space Center for providing an educational assessment of school lesson plans that focused on space life sciences and human space exploration. School of Education Assistant Professor of Science Education Vanessa Dodo Seriki and School of Science and Computer Engineering Professor of Computer Engineering Liwen Shih were recognized as essential to the substantiation of the lessons’ value. Pictured (l to r) are NASA Director of University Research, Collaborations and Partnership Kamesh Lulla, UHCL Dean of Science and Computer Engineering Zbigniew Czajkiewicz, NASA Human Systems Academy Deputy Pamela Denkins, Dodo Seriki, Shih, UHCL Provost Carl A. Stockton and Wyle Education and Strategy Coordinator Kevin Rosenquist.

  • UHCL School of Education Secretary Pat Yarzy was honored as Employee of the Quarter by the UHCL SUPPORT STAFF Association.

  • Professor Emeritus of Human Sciences and Studies of the Future OLIVER MARKLEY won the inaugural Jan Lee Martin prize in 2011 for his essay, “Research and Action toward the Upside of Down,” presented by The Journal of Future Studies. The award is given to someone who effectively communicates futures studies theories, methods and approaches.

  • Jane Claes, associate professor of school library and information science, received a $463,857 award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ 2012 Laura Bush 21st Century LIBRARIAN PROGRAM for her proposal, “School Librarian: Early Link to Literacy and Learning.”


  • The UHCL community mourns the passing of a distinguished scholar and a valued friend. ROBERT C. HOPKINS, who joined the UHCL faculty in 1976 as associate professor of chemistry and biophysics and was promoted to professor in 1981, passed away in August 2012. Hopkins served as acting dean of the School of Natural and Applied Science, now the School of Science and Computer Engineering, 1978-79, and as interim dean 1994-95. He was awarded the President’s Distinguished Research Award in 1985 and retired from the university in 2002. Along with his wife Star, he established The Robert and Star Hopkins Endowed Scholarship for science degree candidates. Known for his “work hard, play hard” philosophy, Hopkins balanced pursuing original research and experiencing destinations across the globe. BEN MIESZKUC, who established the Marilyn Mieszkuc Memorial Professorship Endowment in memory of his wife and the Eve Mieszkuc Memorial Scholarship in memory of his daughter, passed away in August 2012. He followed opera all of his life, and travelled to the great opera centers of the world simply to hear performances. An art devotee, he also supported art programming at UHCL and shared his art collection with the UHCL Office of University Advancement.

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