Egret nameplate   The magazine of University of Houston-Clear Lake
Fall 2013/Winter 2014 | volume 20 | number 1


Message from the President
Reducing the Distance
Life Below the Sea
Culture and Conflict


Preparing for a New Generation
Crazily Creating Success
Reducing the Distance
Culture and Conflict
Finding Life Below the Sea
The Difference an Hour Can Make


For the Record
What's Online
Class Notes



For the Record

  • News Highlights
  • |
  • In Memory
  • |
  • Awards and Appointments
  • |
  • Research and Grants
  • School of Education recognized for exemplary practices

    Pictured, former Assistant Professor Donna Kirkwood (l), assists UHCL

    Pictured, former Assistant Professor Donna Kirkwood (l), assists UHCL teacher candidate Rebeka Hazelet (r) with three-year old Khadija Dodo Seriki during a practicum session in the university’s early childhood model classroom.

    The UHCL School of Education has been recognized for excellence by the Quest for Quality Teacher Preparation in Texas project for two of its programs, the Two-Semester Internship and the Early Childhood Model Classroom and Practicum.

    A collaborative effort between the Center for Research, Evaluation and Advancement of Teacher Education and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the project identifies and highlights exceptional students and faculty, exemplary instructional and programmatic practices, and applicable research. It is designed to support the goals of Closing the Gaps, a state initiative to help strengthen Texas’ economic base and overall work force for the future; among its goals are increasing student participation and success in higher education.

    “It offers the student hands-on experience related to every aspect of the teaching profession,” says Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction Denise McDonald, program coordinator of teacher education.

    UHCL’s Early Childhood Model Classroom and Practicum was cited as an Exemplary Faculty Practice. The early childhood model classroom was designed by former UHCL Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education Donna Kirkwood and Assistant Professor of Special Education Elizabeth Beavers.

    Mascot gains a name

    Event Photo from Hawk Name Reveal

    The UHCL mascot’s name was revealed during the I HEART UHCL Day in October.
    View video from the Hawk naming event.

    During the annual I HEART UHCL festivities, the name of the UHCL Hawk mascot was revealed as Hunter the Hawk.

    “This is historic – it is a major milestone in the development of UHCL,” says UHCL President William A. Staples.

    The Mascot Leadership Team conducted significant research in narrowing down numerous name suggestions to just three: Hawkins, Hunter and Talon.

    “Announcing the name is very important to the closure of the university’s search for a mascot, and I’m glad this important announcement was made during the annual I HEART UHCL festivities,” says Coordinator of Student Life – Student Organizations Patrick Cardenas.

    I HEART UHCL is an annual celebration that began in 2009 and allows students, faculty, staff and community friends to show their university spirit by wearing, sharing and decorating with the university’s colors.

    Art Gallery Coordinator travels abroad for consortium

    UHCL Art Gallery Coordinator of Audience Development Jeffrey Bowen traveled abroad this summer to share information about the art gallery in Slovakia and Serbia and to meet with members of UHCL’s International Arts Consortium.

    Specifically, Bowen met with arts faculty of the University of Arts in Belgrade, Serbia and the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava to exchange creative works by consortium artists, and share information about UHCL’s art gallery events and facilities.

    “When our faculty and artwork travel abroad, UHCL positions itself as a dynamic university with state-of-the-art facilities and a terrific atmosphere for learning,” says Bowen.

    He returned with artwork from the University of Arts in Belgrade for an exhibition in 2014. In January, UHCL will present “A Snapshot of Serbia: Faculty and Student Photography.”

    UHCL mourns the loss of two charter professors

    Don Kyle, UHCL charter faculty member and professor of accounting

    Don Kyle, UHCL charter faculty member and professor of accounting.

    UHCL mourns the loss of charter faculty members Calvin Cannon and Professor of Accounting Donald Kyle.

    Cannon joined the university as dean of the School of Cultural Studies in 1973, a year prior to the start of UHCL’s first classes. He played a key role in the initial conception of the university and went on to serve as founding dean of the present-day School of Human Sciences and Humanities. He remained in this role until leaving the university in 1980. Cannon passed away in September.

    Of his time at the university, Cannon was quoted as saying, “My days in Clear Lake were among the most beautiful of my now long life. I felt immense pride and satisfaction seeing the campus, serenely beautiful as founding Chancellor Alfred Neumann and the rest of us had dreamed it would become.”

    Kyle joined UHCL as a charter faculty member and was a professor of accounting in the School of Business at the time of his passing in September. He was a past Minnie Stevens Piper Program nominee and an Institute of Management Accountants Academic Mentor of the Year and contributed to numerous articles in academic journals throughout the years.

    “Don was instrumental in the development of the accounting program for our School of Business,” says UHCL President William A. Staples. “He touched the lives of students, faculty, staff and alumni throughout the university community.”

    UHCL Pearland Campus adds news degree program

    UHCL Pearland Campus

    UHCL Pearland Campus

    UHCL Pearland Campus students can gain the knowledge for careers in systems and network administration, technical management, technical support, website development and more through the addition of the Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Technology beginning this fall.

    “The new degree program will help address the technology-based career needs of the area,” says UHCL President William A. Staples. “It is the first degree opportunity for UHCL Pearland Campus from the university’s School of Science and Computer Engineering.”

    Adding this degree program brings the total number of complete undergraduate degree programs offered at UHCL Pearland Campus to seven. Other offerings include the School of Business bachelor of science degrees in accounting and management; School of Human Sciences and Humanities, bachelor of science degrees in criminology and general behavioral science as well as the bachelor of arts degree in psychology; and School of Education, bachelor of science degree in interdisciplinary studies with various certifications.

    San Jacinto College and UHCL students fight fires while weightless

    Students from San Jacinto College and UHCL flew aboard NASA’s “Weightless Wonder” aircraft, while conducting a scientific experiment on suppressing flames in microgravity as part of NASA’s Microgravity University program.

    The San Jacinto College/UHCL team was one of 14 teams selected from universities and colleges nationwide to participate in the program, and it includes three San Jacinto College students and four UHCL students, along with a faculty adviser from each institution.

    UHCL students include team lead Ryan Page, Jarrett Lockridge, Alexander Smith and Megan Burns. UHCL Professor of Computer Science Kwok-Bun Yue is the UHCL faculty adviser.

    The team participated in the Microgravity University’s Minority Serving Institutions and Community Colleges program, which competitively selects proposals submitted by student teams from schools across the country. The goal of the program is to provide an educational opportunity for the students involved, as well as meet existing needs within NASA.

    The team’s project, “Acoustic Flame Suppression Mechanics,” experimented with suppressing or extinguishing a small flame using sound waves in a microgravity environment.

    Million Dollar Club created to recognize faculty

    Eleven UHCL faculty members and two staff members were recognized through the creation of the Million Dollar Club, a special honor for those who have been awarded one or more grants totaling a million dollars or more in the past 10 years.

    “We enjoy celebrating the hard work of our professors and staff who are committed to achieving excellence in teaching, research and service,” says UHCL Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Carl A. Stockton. “By receiving record amounts of grant money from external agencies, and by conducting cutting edge research, UHCL has established itself as a leading master’s university in the state of Texas.

    “Our professors and staff members have not only worked hard in their respective fields and received grants for their work, but they have also shared their knowledge and research with our students, future teachers, scientists, doctors and more.” In addition to providing financial resources for academic research, the grants provide scholarships and resources for numerous educational initiatives.

    New members welcomed to the Million Dollar Club include School of Education faculty members Associate Professor of Literacy, Language and Library Science Jane Claes; Professor and Chair of Educational Leadership Program and Chair of the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership Larry Kajs; Professor of Bilingual and Multicultural Studies and Chair of Foundations Judy Marquez; Associate Professor of Counseling Cheryl Sawyer; Professor of Bilingual and Multicultural Studies Laurie Weaver; Emerita Associate Professor of Literacy, Language and Library Science Maureen White; and Associate Professor of Teacher Education and Instructional Design and Technology Jana Willis.

    School of Science and Computer Engineering members include Program Chair and Associate Professor of Mathematics Tom Fox; Executive Director of the Environmental Institute of Houston and Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Science George Guillen; Division Chair of Computing and Mathematics and Professor of Computer Science and Computer Information Systems Kwok-Bun Yue; and Program Chair of Computer Science and Professor of Computer Science and Computer Information Systems Sharon Perkins Hall.<<Top

    In Memory

    The UHCL community mourns the loss of Officer Joe Segovia, who joined the UHCL Police Department’s patrol division on Jan. 9, 2013. He was killed when his vehicle was struck while traveling to work on June 10, 2013. A U.S. Army veteran, Segovia had integrated quickly into the campus community and was regarded as an exemplary officer.<<Top

    Awards and Appointments

    • Assistant Professor of Special Education Elizabeth Beavers has been named the 2013 Teacher Educator of the Year by the Houston Area Association for the Education of Young Children. Beavers was recognized for her service to further the education of early childhood teachers in the region.
    • Retired UHCL Professor of Fitness and Human Performance A. Eugene Coleman has been awarded the Boyd Epley Award for Lifetime Achievement by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Coleman received the award during the NSCA’s 36th National Conference in July held in Las Vegas, Nev. Coleman joined UHCL in 1978 and helped create and grow the Fitness and Human Performance program for the School of Human Sciences and Humanities. His work with NASA’s Astronaut Training Manual and the Houston Astros contributed to this prestigious honor. He retired from the university in July 2013.<<Top

    Research and Grants

    • The National Science Foundation awarded a grant of $1,103,743 to UHCL for support of the “Collaborative STEP: Bridges to STEM Careers” project under the direction of Sadegh Davari, division chair of computing and mathematics and professor of computer science and computer information systems; Sharon Perkins Hall, program chair of computer science and professor of computer science and computer information systems; and Krishani Abeysekera, program chair of information technology and lecturer/system administrator of computer science and computer information systems.
    • Assistant Professor of Computer Science Ahmed Abukmail received an additional award of $114,080 for a total of $230,000 from the Innovative Imaging and Research Corp/NASA, for his proposal, “Evaluate the Potential of Using a Mobile Device within an Energy Efficient Smart Light System Concept (Phase II).”
    • Director of the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities and Professor of Psychology Dorothea Lerman received two awards totaling $42,180 from the Texana Center and Carruth Center for her proposal, “Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities: Graduate Student Assistantships.” She also received three awards totaling $70,300 from Pasadena ISD/ Department of Education, Clear Creek ISD/Department of Education, and Sheldon ISD/ Department of Education for “Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities: Graduate Student Assistantships” and a $143,936 award for fiscal year 2013-2014 from MHMR/DARS for “Project ABA-SKIP: Applied Behavior Analysis Services.”
    • Executive Director of the Environmental Institute of Houston and Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Science George Guillen received two awards totaling $167,300 from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality/Environmental Protection Agency for “EPA Training Required to Conduct National Rivers and Streams Assessment (NRSA) Field Work, Work Plan #1” and “National Rivers and Streams Assessment (NRSA), Work Plan #3.” He also received a $622,813 award from the City of San Marcos for his proposal, “Increase Abundance and Integrity of Aquatic Plants in San Marcos River from Spring Lake Dam to the Wastewater Treatment Plant.”
    • Assistant Professor of Biology Heath Mills received a $157,010 award from NSF for his proposal titled “The Deep Biosphere of Young and Oxic Oceanic Crust.”
    • Associate Professor of Biology, Biotechnology and Environmental Science Richard Puzdrowski received a $148,117 award from NSF for his proposal, “Scholar Program for Natural Sciences.”
    • Assistant Professor of Computer Engineering Mary Randolph-Gips received an $86,185 award from NASA’s Johnson Space Center, for her proposal, “NASA Collaboration of Graduate and High School Students for International Space Station Hardware Development.”
    • Division Chair of Natural Sciences and Associate Professor of Biology and Biotechnology Larry Rohde received additional funds of $172,715 for a total award of $319,432 from NASA’s Johnson Space Center for his proposal, “Dependence of Radiation Quality on Charged Particle-Induced Early and Late Damages in Chromosomes and Investigation of Intrachromosome Rearrangement as a Biodosimeter for Radiation Exposure.”
    • Assistant Professor of Geography Deanna Schmidt received a $47,542 award from Oak Ridge Association of Universities/U.S. Department of Homeland Security, for her proposal, “Planning for Disaster Recovery with Faith-based and Secular Non-profit Organizations.”<<Top

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