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President Khator on C-SPAN

Faculty

Mark Bly

Mark Bly cast in new role

Students

Anastasia Poozdniakova

Art major takes a dive in Beijing

Academics

Moores School of Music students

Book: Moores School tops for creative students

Alumni

Carol Lewis

Do you know this alumna? Millions around the
world will watch her

Discovery

John Powell with David Francis

Powell talks with 2008 Farfel recipient David Francis

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Renu Khator

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Feature

President Khator talks Top Tier: Tells lawmakers “people do not invest in whining”

President Renu Khator traveled to Austin on July 23 to provide testimony to a joint hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Education and the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Higher Education. State senators wanted to hear from UH and other emerging research universities about the need for more Tier I or nationally competitive research universities in Texas.

The President told senators that not all Texas universities can be elevated to the top tier status; therefore, lawmakers should look to see which emerging research university is ready for that next step in terms of research productivity and in terms of the broadest impact on the state, either by constituencies or by serving a metropolitan area.

Current UH external research funding, at $73.5 million, is the highest among those seeking top-tier status. And, we are the largest university (public or private) in the city that accounts for 24 percent of the state’s population.

President Khator also told the senators that for UH to be the state’s next top-tier university requires increases in state funding, in private partnerships, and in alumni support.

“People do not invest in whining; they invest in vision,” she told committee members. “And they invest when there is a pathway to accomplishing that vision.”

Click on the screen to watch President Khator’s entire testimony and more discussion about the requirements and challenges faced by our University.

Khator on the Cougar Nation

Meantime, here’s a letter from the President to members of the University community regarding the start of the new academic year and her expectations for the Cougar Nation.

In two weeks, the University will open for the new academic year and we will be welcoming our students back on campus. More than five thousand new freshmen and transfer students will also be here for the very first time, reminding us once again that a university is called a university because it engages in student learning. If it were not for our students, we would be called by anything but university.

In order for us to be a nationally competitive, top-tier university that thousands of you ask for through the 100-day Plan, we must first commit to providing a nationally competitive, top-tier learning environment. Each and every one of us, irrespective of what we do in our job description, contributes toward creating that learning environment. Therefore, I am requesting you to take some time, reflect upon our mission and take pride in being a part of this significant endeavor. While doing so, consider my following requests:

  1. 1. There is no place for rudeness in the Cougar Nation. We must be extremely courteous in our dealings with students. Being courteous does not mean bending rules or giving in to demands that are against our policies; it simply means going the extra mile to be helpful to students in navigating this complex university environment. Please see that you and all your colleagues treat students the way you would like to be treated if you were a student here.
  2. 2. There is no place for “shuffle” in the Cougar Nation. We must be fully responsive and efficient in our processes. The less time students spend in navigating university processes, the more time they will have to devote to learning. Please have your unit review your processes by asking these simple questions: Is this the most efficient way for us to do our job? Are we using all the tools and technology at our disposal? Can we streamline any steps in the process? If I were at the receiving end of this process, how would I like this process?
  3. 3. There is no place for cynicism in the Cougar Nation. We must be fully committed to our mission of providing student access and success. Once we admit a student, we have an obligation to provide her/him as much support as possible to ensure that he/she succeeds. Please review the mission of your unit and its impact on student learning. A top-tier university manifests excellence and excellence comes with quality and rigor. Our faculty demand, and will demand even more, excellence and quality from students. As they make the requirements for learning more rigorous to meet the standards of a top-tier institution, it will become essential for us (a) to admit only those students who are academically prepared to succeed, and (b) to give them the supportive environment that will ensure their success. It would be my hope that all of our students leave from the University with diploma in hand, sparkle in their eyes, questions in their mind, and unforgettable UH memories in their hearts.

I thank you for considering my request. What you do is very important to the University’s future. If all of us do our part, I know that UH will rise to become a top-tier learning center that we all wish for it to be.

Wishing you a productive semester,

Renu


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Faculty

Mark Bly

New dramaturge in Theatre and Dance

Getting a new play off the ground and onto the stage is often a challenge for any playwright or director. Enter stage right: The experienced dramaturge.

Although the dramaturge’s roles vary from production to production, one of the most common tasks is assisting playwrights and directors in developing fresh works through research and consultation.

As one of the country’s eminent dramaturges, Mark Bly has helped launch more than 200 original plays for theater companies across the country. Starting this month, he will share his insight on the craft with our School of Theatre and Dance students as a distinguished professor.

Bly will teach dramaturgy and playwriting classes as part of the Alley Theatre and UH School of Theatre and Dance Master of Fine Arts Professional Training Program. Bly also will serve as the Alley’s senior dramaturge and director of its new play program.

“I enjoy working with students,” Bly says. “I have learned quite a bit from my years in the theater, so I am pleased that I can share things on a case-by-case basis with students. I particularly look forward to doing so at UH.”

Bly recently served Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage as a senior dramaturge and oversaw new play development. He is the former Associate Artistic Director at Yale Repertory Theatre and Chair of the Yale School of Drama’s playwriting program. Bly also handled dramaturge duties for the Seattle Repertory Theatre and the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minn.

“Mark is one of the most respected dramaturges in the country,” says Steven Wallace, Director of the School of Theatre and Dance. “He has advanced the role of dramaturgy, particularly as it relates to the development of new works. We’re very excited about his arrival and know his presence will have a significant impact on our students.”

Earlier this year, the school announced it was joining forces with the Alley to enhance our graduate program. Beginning this fall, M.F.A. students will work alongside the Alley’s creative minds to learn the process of creating professional theater.

Each fall and spring, the School produces five plays performed in the Wortham Theatre and the José Quintero Theatre, two dance concerts, student productions, and the New Play Festival. Each summer, the School produces the Houston Shakespeare Festival, and the Children's Theatre Festival.

The School has benefitted from notable past and current faculty such as Pulitzer Prize and Obie Award winners Edward Albee and Lanford Wilson, three-time Tony Award winner José Quintero, Tony Award-winning producer Stuart Ostrow, Tony Award-winning playwright Mark Medoff, Royal Shakespeare Company founder Sir Peter Hall, and Houston Shakespeare Festival founder Sidney Berger.
(Mike Emery contributed to this story)


David Francis

Another Fellow for Francis

David Francis (’84 MA Psychology, ’85 Ph.D. Psychology), Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor, Chair of the Department of Psychology and Director of the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics (TIMES), has been named a fellow in the American Educational Research Association.


David  McKinney

McKinney IABC Communicator of the Year

David B. McKinney, ABC, APR, Adjunct Professor in the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and Communications Manager at Shell Oil Company’s Deer Park refinery and chemical plant, was named Member Communicator of the Year by the Houston chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators. McKinney has been with Shell since 1980 and has been communications manager of the Deer Park refinery and chemical plant since 2000. He is an IABC accredited business communicator and holds the accredited in public relations designation from the Public Relations Society of America. In 2007, the PRSA Houston chapter named him the public relations professional of the year.


Also at the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication:

Randy Polk and Keith Houk judged entries for the Houston Bar Association’s Law Day Video Contest, in which high school students prepared short videos to reflect their interpretations of this year’s theme: The Rule of Law: Foundations for Communities of Opportunity & Equity.

Craig Crowe’s electronic field production class participated in a Media Training Conference for The Sisters of Charity from across Texas by working with groups of nuns from across Texas, interviewing them based on scripted scenarios to prepare for media interviews; and Crowe participated in the Duke Talent Identification Program by teaching Houston high school students in a Commercial Production Workshop. The UH Honors College and UH-Downtown conduct this National Workshop Program with Duke to introduce gifted and talented students to Science, Technology and Liberal Arts.

Alfred Arteaga, former UH English professor, poet, dies

Alfred Arteaga

Alfred Arteaga, celebrated poet and professor of Chicano and ethnic studies at the University of California at Berkeley, and former Assistant Professor of English at UH, died July 4 of a heart attack at a hospital in Santa Clara. He was 58

Find out more faculty news on the CLASS News and Events page.


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Students

CLASS Olympian takes a silver

Anastasia Pozdniakova

Art major Anastasia Pozdniakova picked up a Silver medal in the 2008 Olympic Games during the first week of competition, although not for Team USA. She’s competing for her native Russia.

The 22-year old shares the 3-meter synchronized springboard medal with teammate and former Cougar Yulia Pakhalina (Gold in Syndey, Gold and Bronze in Athens, and five-time NCAA champion). Nastia is also competing in the 3-meter individual springboard.

Pozdniakova and Pakhalina

Cougars Anastasia Pozdniakova and Yulia
Pakhalina practice six hours a day,
six days a week in preparation for the
Olympics. Photo by Pathik Shah

Nastia was named the Conference USA Diver of the Meet after winning the 1-meter and 3-meter titles during the 2007 C-USA Swimming and Diving Championships. She was a redshirt this past season and did not compete for the Cougars as she trained for the Olympics. During the 2006-07 regular season, she was named the C-USA Diver of the Week four times.

Nastia continued the success of her sophomore year, winning the 1-meter and 3-meter championships at the NCAA Zone D Meet. She finished second on the 3-meter springboard and fifth in the 1-meter at the NCAA meet, earning All-America status.

“It’s exciting,” Nastia told UH Today. “I’m not sure what to expect, but I’ll do my best and see what happens.”

Nastia has spent years preparing for this Olympiad. At age 7, she took her first diving lesson in her hometown of Elektrostal, Russia. Since then, she has dreamed of becoming an Olympian. One of her big steps toward that goal was her enrollment at UH in 2004. She joined the Cougar diving team, practicing six hours a day, six days a week. (Francine Parker contributed to this story)


The Traveling Cone

The Travelling Cone

School of Art graduate student Emily Sloan sent us this picture of what appeared to be a really tiny man in a hat standing next to a traffic cone. But we were wrong. Emily tells us it’s her entry in this year's Houston Art Car Parade. King Cone (The Travelling Cone) has shown up at some construction sites around town over the last couple of months.


Outstanding Graduate Research Award

We also received word about another graduate student, M. Janelle Cambron, one of four students to win a Graduate Student Outstanding Research Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology for her paper The role of interpersonal contingent self-esteem in diathesis-stress and self-propagating models of depression, which she wrote with Linda K. Acitelli, Associate Professor and Director of the Social Psychology and Health Program in the Department of Psychology.

Janelle will present her paper at a symposium at the SPSP conference in Tampa, Fla., in 2009. The SPSP conference is arguably the most important conference for social and personality psychologists. This award is not only a great honor, but it also is a unique opportunity for Janelle to showcase her research.


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Academics

We knew it, you knew it, now they know it.

Logo for the Moores School of Music

The Rebecca and John J. Moores School of Music is accustomed to the sweet sounds of success. With award-winning students and faculty, state-of-the art facilities, spectacular performances, and dynamic degree plans, the Moores School is one of the country’s leading music institutions.

Now, the school is listed among the nation’s top programs for creative students in the new book Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers by Elaina Loveland, former editor of the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s Journal of College Admission. She also is the author of Creative Careers: Paths for Aspiring Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers.

“UH’s music program is well regarded for its impressive faculty, expansive curriculum and performing opportunities,” notes Loveland. “Its many positive characteristics make it a school for aspiring musicians to consider.”

Published by SuperCollege, Creative Colleges spotlights 200 higher education schools and programs focused on art, drama, dance, music, and creative writing. Selection was based on curricular breadth of degree programs, scholarship availability, cost, number of performance opportunities, quality of faculty, and alumni accomplishments.

“It is wonderful and very appropriate for the school to be listed in this publication,” says David Ashley White, Director of the Moores School of Music. “Of course, credit must go to our talented students, faculty and staff who have worked hard over the years to establish our reputation.”

The Moores School, with annual enrollment of 600 students, offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Areas of study include composition, conducting, performance, theory and musicology. Its faculty consists of internationally recognized performers, composers and scholars.

Among its ensembles: the Moores School Symphony Orchestra, Moores Jazz Ensemble, Moores Opera Center, Concert Chorale, Concert Women’s Chorus, Spirit of Houston Cougar Marching Band, Wind Ensemble and Percussion Ensemble. Most of the school’s concerts are performed in the 800-seat Moores Opera House. For more details on the Moores School of Music, visit its Web site. (Mike Emery contributed to this article.)



TAKING NOTES: UH TEACHING MUSIC EDUCATION TO HOUSTON EDUCATORS

Logo for PCS

Never underestimate the power of music. It tells stories, entertains audiences of all ages, defines generations and shapes cultures. In the classroom, however, it’s become an effective tool for inspiring and energizing young minds.

Last month, approximately 150 Houston Head Start teachers gathered in the Pasadena Convention Center to learn how to incorporate music in their curriculum, thanks to the Abiola Initiative in Music Education and the University of Houston’s Preparatory and Continuing Studies program (PCS).

Rhona Brink, PCS clinician and UH alumna, oversaw the training sessions, which prepared teachers to make music education part of their overall curriculum for preschool children. She also focused on different elements of music education, including singing, movement, games, fantasy or role playing, listening and evaluation.

“I’ll take them through these elements using songs and recordings,” Brink said. “If I am showing them how to use movement in the classroom, I’ll use particular songs and invite them to get up and move around with me. Basically, I’ll model activities that they can use with children.”

The initiative is the brainchild of Houstonians Lisa and Agbo Abiola, who donated $50,000 to UH to provide music lessons to schools that could not afford arts programming. This fall, the Abiola Initiative will provide music classes at the UH Child Care Center, the Third Ward Head Start Program, the Clayton Homes Head Start Program, the Gateway MLK Head Start Program, and Yellowstone Academy.

As part of our Rebecca and John J. Moores School of Music, PCS offers vocal and instrumental classes to the public each fall, spring and summer. Classes are taught by Moores faculty and student instructors and are not part of UH’s curriculum.

You can find more information about PCS at its Web site or by calling 713-743-3398.
(Mike Emery contributed to this article.)

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Alumni

Carol Lewis

The University of Houston continues its long tradition of Olympic greatness at the 2008 Beijing Games.

This month’s featured alumna is a former Olympian, the greatest female long jumper in Cougar history, and an experienced broadcaster.

Carol Lewis (’89 Radio and Television) makes her fifth straight Olympics appearance as a broadcaster for NBC Sports in Beijing.

As a long jumper, Carol was a member of the 1978, 1988, and 1991 U.S. National Track & Field Team, a member of the 1980, 1984, and 1988 U.S. Olympic Team, and a member of the 2002-03 U.S. National 2-man (or woman in this case) bobsled team.

She won the 1984 U.S. Olympic Trials. She was the Bronze medalist in the World Athletic Championships in 1983, and the Bronze medalist at the World Cup in 1985.

She placed ninth in the Summer Olympic Games in 1984; won the TAC National Outdoor championship in 1982, 1983, and 1985, and the TAC National Indoor championship in 1983, 1984, and 1985.

She also won the NCAA Outdoor championship in 1983 and 1985, and placed third at the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1980 and 1983.

In August 1985, Carol broke the American long-jump record twice in the same meet with leaps of 23 feet, and 23 ft, 1-1/4 inches, becoming the first American woman to legally break the 23-foot barrier.

Carol is fluent in Italian, an avid tennis player, and the Executive Director of the Carl Lewis Foundation. Yes, the same Carl Lewis voted Athlete of the 20th century. Carl’s her brother and a former Cougar Olympian who won nine Gold medals and one Silver medal.


Ebonie Floyd

Former Cougar track and field star Ebonie Floyd (’07 Psychology) qualified for her first Olympic Games with a sixth-place finish in the women's 400-meter at the U.S. Olympic Trials, earning her a spot in the 4X400-meters relay pool.

Ebonie is a four-time NCAA All-America and holds five Cougar school records. She was a two-time Conference USA Female Athlete of the Year, and she holds three C-USA meet records. And, she won an unprecedented 12 combined C-USA championships.

During her senior season, Ebonie won the 200-meters at the NCAA Midwest Regional, setting a meet record with a time of 22.32. She also won the 100-meters. Her performance that day earned her the U.S. Track and Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association South Central Regional Female Track Athlete of the Year.



Anastasia PozdniakovaAnastasia Pozdniakova is a future alumna (she’s an Art major) and an Olympian, although not on Team USA. Read more about Nastia’s Beijing and UH achievements in the Students section.

Other CLASS Olympians include current Cougar head track coach Leroy Burrell (’94 Radio and Television) who won a Gold medal as a member of the U.S. 4x100-meter relay team, and Frank Rutherford (’88 Economics), who won the Bronze competing in the long jump for the Bahamas.

GO COOGS!!!

New MSU Dean a CLASSmate

Gary Myers

Gary Myers (Ph.D. ’86 Creative Writing and Literature) is the new Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Mississippi State University. Myers has been at MSU since 1989. He served as Associate Dean for four years before being appointed Interim Dean in July 2007. His poems have appeared in the New Yorker, Poetry, and Kansas Quarterly, among other publications.



CLASS artists in the news


The Superdome by El Franco Lee II,
The Superdome
El Franco Lee II



Houston’s Lawndale Art Center selected El Franco Lee II (’07 Art), a 2008 Artadia Awards recipient, as one of three participating artists in the Lawndale Artist Studio Program. More than 70 artists were in the running. His work was included in Nexus Texas at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston in 2007.







Wind by Karen Garrett


Wind
Karen Garrett

HCG Gallery in Dallas is running an exhibition of some of the works of Karen Garrett (MFA ’92, Studio Art – Sculpture) through Aug. 27. The show of new and archival works represents the breadth and scope of her vision over the last two decades.

Karen is considered a pioneer of the monumental sculpture movement. She’s worked with clay, raw cardboard, resinated cellulose laminate, stained glass, and other media to create her intricate pieces. Karen’s work has been on exhibition at the Kirkpatrick Museum Complex in Oklahoma City, The Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Wyndy Morehead Fine Arts Gallery in New Orleans, and Dallas Contemporary in Big D.

Trivia: Elton John and Billy Joel requested Karen's work for their private rooms while on concert tour at Rice University.

Beth Burns

Beth Burns (’92 Drama) is up in Austin directing the Bard’s Twelfth Night for Scottish Rite Theatre each Friday through Sunday until Aug. 30.

The Houston native studied at UH with three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Edward Albee then split for LA where she ended up at the Groundlings improv theater company and school (which claims Saturday Night Live alumni Phil Hartman, Will Ferrell, Lisa Kudrow, Jon Lovitz, and Laraine Newman).

She, her husband, and their now 5-year-old daughter left LA for Austin, where they now live.

Go to the head of the CLASS

Public Reations Society of America Logo
Michelle McCormick The Houston chapter of the Public Relations Society of America passed out its Gold, Silver and Bronze Excalibur Awards in June to Houston-area public relations pros. And CLASS alumni took home their share.

Michelle McCormick (MA ’02 Public Relations Studies) of Toby Stark Public Relations received the Gold Award for her Non-Profit PR Program Campaign, Via Colori 2007; and the Bronze Award in Newsletter for Knapp Knews.


Lisa Merkl

Lisa Merkl (’92 Journalism, ’97 Communications), Senior Science Writer and Media Relations Representative in the UH Office of University Communication, received the News Release Gold Award for Melatoni: The Hormone of Darkness. But wait, there’s more! The same news release also garnered the International Association of Business Communicators Houston Chapter Media Relations Bronze Quill Award of Excellence for News Release and the Bronze Quill Award for Publications Writing, and the Texas Public Relations Association Silver Spur/Best of Texas Silver Award in News Writing. You can read it on the News and Events page of the UH web site.


Victoria Morales (’06 Political Science) of Pierpont Communications received the Silver Award for Harris County Disaster Housing Assistance Program, and the Corporate Identity Campaign Silver Award for Save-A-Lot Gulf Coast Expansion.


Nancy Sims

Nancy Sims of Pierpont Communications, and a lecturer in our department of Political Science received the External Communications Campaign Silver Award for Harris County Disaster Housing Assistance Program, the Corporate Identity Campaign Silver Award for Save-A-Lot Gulf Coast Expansion, and the Charitable Giving Bronze Award for Verizon Wireless: Transform a Room, Transform a Life. She also received the IABC Houston Chapter Media Relations Bronze Quill Award of Excellence for Houston We Have A New Airline.


Patricia Elwell Singer (’98 Public Relations) of Shell Lubricants received the Product Launch Gold Award for Q HorsePower New Product Launch, the Research Gold Award for Research for Shell Lubricants’ Employee Communication Program, and the Special Video Project Bronze Award for Launch of Shell Lubricants’ Employee Communication Transformation.

Ronda Wendler (’78 Radio and Television, ’83 Speech Pathology and Audiology) of the Texas Medical Center received the Feature Story Gold Award for With a Song in His heart: Surgeon’s Son Composes Opera About Heart Transplants; the Article Silver Award for His & Hers Medical Procedures Save Couple from Stroke; the Article Bronze Award for Teen Clinics Offer Kids a Brighter Future; and the External Newsletter Bronze Award for Texas Medical Center News.



IABC logo

The Houston Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators also handed out their annual awards recently. We mentioned some winners above, and here are the other CLASS alumni recipients.

Sharon Dotson

Sharon Dotson (’87 Journalism) of Bayou City Public Relations received the Bronze Quill Award of Excellence in the Communication Management/Community Relations category for Free and it Feels Good; So What’s the Rub?

Liesl Owens

Liesl Owens (’90 Journalism) of The Fifth Business received the Electronic and Digital Communication Bronze Quill Award of Excellence in Audiovisual for Life Offshore – an Ocean of Opportunity.

Diane Trippel (’93 Radio and Television), Manager of Web Technologies here at UH, received the Electronic and Digital Communication Bronze Quill Award of Excellence for The New UH.edu.

Although Mike Emery is not an alumnus of CLASS (he received his master’s at UH-Clear Lake), we’re happy to point out that Houston’s IABC chapter named him Volunteer of the Month for June for his work in starting UH’s student chapter. Mike is a Media Relations Representative in UH’s Office of University Communication. You’ve seen his byline here in Graffit-e, and he’s a lecturer in the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication. So, yeah, we’ll claim him.


In Memoriam

Raphael Baly (’04 Economics) May 27, 2008.

Thomas Collerain

Thomas Michaeo Collerain (’61 Political Science), July 20, 2008

Jimmie Don Long

Jimmie Don Long (’68 Psychology), Aug. 1, 2008

Read more about CLASS alumni on our Web page. If you would like to share your accomplishments with your CLASS family, please send us an email note.

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Discovery

This month, John David Powell, Interim Director of Communication, visits with David Francis, the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor, Chair of the Department of Psychology, and Director of the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics or TIMES.

This past May, Prof. Francis received the Esther Farfel Award, the University’s highest honor recognizing faculty excellence.

Francis was key in founding the National Research and Development Center for English Language Learners within TIMES. Funded by a $10-million U.S. Department of Education grant, the project focuses on literacy and English language development of Spanish-speaking elementary and middle-school students.

He also was among the researchers who founded the Texas Center for Learning Disabilities. The center’s development was assisted by an $8.5-million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. It also combines efforts from TIMES and other institutions.

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Around CLASS and Campus


In about a month, the University of Houston will celebrate the investiture of Renu Khator as our eighth chancellor and thirteenth president.

The big event begins at 2 p.m., Sept. 18, in the Cullen Performance Hall on the University of Houston campus.

A scholarship dinner at the Hilton Americas hotel in Houston starts at 7:00 p.m. with a reception. Dinner begins at 7:45. Black tie optional.

You can learn more about all of the events planned for this special occasion in the life of the University by visiting the Inspiring Excellence event web site.

Remember, this is a scholarship dinner, which means you have an excellent opportunity to invest in a student while participating in the Investiture of the President. Part of the ticket/table price goes to various scholarship opportunities for our high-achieving and well-deserving students.

VIP ticket: $250, $500, or $100 (seat for one)

LAUDE: $2,500

  • 1 Table of ten (1 seat will reserved for a student)
  • Investiture commemorative keepsake
  • Name listed in all printed materials

A portion of your gift supports UH scholarships. When making your reservation, please tell us where you would like your contribution to go. You may choose the President’s Excellence Fund 2009 for university-wide scholarships OR a scholarship in the college or unit of your choice.

MAGNA CUM LAUDE: $10,000

  • 1 Table of ten (1 seat will be reserved for a student)
  • 6 Center Orchestra seats to the Moores Symphony
  • 5 Complimentary valet parking passes
  • Investiture commemorative keepsake
  • Name listed in all printed materials

A portion of your gift supports UH scholarships. When making your reservation, please tell us where you would like your contribution to go. You may choose the President’s Excellence Fund 2009 for university-wide scholarships OR a scholarship in the college or unit of your choice.

TIER ONE: $15,000

  • 1 Table of ten (1 seat will be reserved for a student)
  • 4 guests invited to a private lunch with President Khator
  • 4 guests invited to a premier wine tasting hosted by the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management
  • 1 Private box, which seats four, to the Moores Symphony
  • 5 Complimentary valet parking passes
  • Investiture commemorative keepsake
  • Name listed in printed materials

A portion of your gift supports UH scholarships. When making your reservation, please tell us where you would like your contribution to go. You may choose the President’s Excellence Fund 2009 for university-wide scholarships OR a scholarship in the college or unit of your choice.

Endowed Scholarship in your name: $30,000

  • 1 Endowed scholarship in your name
  • 2 Tables of ten (2 seats will be used to host students)
  • 6 Guests invited to a private lunch with President Khator
  • 6 Guests invited to a premier wine tasting hosted by the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management
  • 1 Private box, which seats four, to the Moores Symphony
  • 10 Complimentary valet parking passes

A portion of your gift supports UH scholarships. When making your reservation, please tell us where you would like your contribution to go. You may choose the President’s Excellence Fund 2009 for university-wide scholarships OR a scholarship in the college or unit of your choice.

Endowed Graduate Scholars/Fellow in your name: $60,000

  • 1 Endowed Graduate Scholar/Fellow in your name
  • 3 Tables of ten (2 seats will be used to host students)
  • 10 Guests invited to a private lunch with President Khator
  • 10 Guests invited to a premier wine tasting hosted by the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management
  • 1 Private box, which seats four, to the Moores Symphony
  • 15 Complimentary valet parking passes

A portion of your gift supports UH scholarships. When making your reservation, please tell us where you would like your contribution to go. You may choose the President’s Excellence Fund 2009 for university-wide scholarships OR a scholarship in the college or unit of your choice.

For questions, or to make your reservation, please contact Beth Burroway at 713-743-8866, or you may send her an email at ejburroway@uh.edu.

Hope to see you there!


Uncle Andy wants you (to come see his Polaroids at Blaffer Gallery)

Uncle Sam

Andy Warhol captured on canvas and film New York’s bohemians and Hollywood’s icons. In September, a collection of his Polaroids depicting personalities of the Big Apple and Tinsel Town will have a home in the University of Houston Art Collection.

An extensive selection of Warhol’s photos featuring celebrities, socialites, and scenes from the artist’s private life was donated to UH by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. These images will be on view at UH and available for research and study by students and scholars.

Blaffer Gallery, the Art Museum of the University of Houston will run an exhibition of more than 50 photos in Celebutants, Groupies and Friends: A Photographic Legacy from the Andy Warhol Foundation, from Sept. 13 to Oct. 18 Sept. 13 – Oct. 18.

Among the famous faces captured by Warhol’s camera are Jamie Lee Curtis, late Studio 54 owner Steve Rubell, 80s rock icon Billy Squier, Princess Caroline, and singer/actress Pia Zadora.

“The photos are most valuable because they are a rarely seen glimpse into Warhol’s working process, especially for his famous portraits,” says Michael Guidry, curator of the UH University Art Collections. “Warhol would take many, many Polaroids of his clients, posing them, putting high contrast make-up on them. Some are very flattering and some not so flattering. Most of the Polaroids were studies for paintings and the black and white photos are a mix of travel and party pictures of his friends and social network.”

The Warhol Foundation’s gift was made as part of the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program in honor of the foundation’s 20th anniversary. As one of the participating institutions in this program, UH received approximately 150 photographs selected by Jenny Moore, curator of the Photographic Legacy Program.

The UH Art Collection includes an assortment of public works on display throughout the campus. Works include murals, paintings, sculptures, photographs, prints and tapestries. Public tours of these works are presented by Blaffer Gallery and can be arranged by calling 713-743-9971. A list of works can be viewed at the UH Art Collection web site.
(Mike Emery contributed to this article.)

HOMECOMING 2008
SAVE THE DATES
NOVEMBER 1-8, 2008

Shasta

Friends,

As we begin making preparations for a new academic year, I am excitedly looking forward to having the opportunity to take part in so many Cougar events and traditions that are scheduled for the upcoming Fall semester—especially Homecoming 2008.

Homecoming is one of the most exciting and invigorating traditions on any college campus. It serves as the perfect time for reuniting with old friends, reflecting on past experiences and basking in school pride.

This year at UH, we’re looking forward to getting the entire Cougar family back together for Homecoming 2008. And, we’re thoroughly excited about inviting our friends, colleagues and loved ones from all over the country back home to see firsthand how we are building our future right here on the University of Houston campus.

To help plan this year’s events, I’ve asked several members of our UH family to serve on the 2008 Homecoming Committee. I’m absolutely certain that these individuals will help deliver a Homecoming Week that is fun, fantastic and forever memorable for us all.

Over the next few months, you will be receiving detailed updates on all of the planned festivities. Until then, please mark the week of November 1 through November 8 on your calendars as UH’s Homecoming Week 2008. Also, begin making plans to come out to campus for some of the events—especially the UH Cougars vs. Tulane Green Wave football game on November 8, 2008.

We have plenty to be excited about at the University of Houston, so let’s all do our part to make our 2008 Homecoming Week one of the best yet.

Go Coogs!

Renu Khator
Chancellor, University of Houston System
President, University of Houston




Theatre and Dance Logo

School of Theatre and Dance Raises Curtain on Season of Premieres

Contemporary works by veteran, emerging artists highlight 2008-2009 productions

New plays take center stage at the University of Houston. During the upcoming 2008-2009 season, the School of Theatre and Dance will present local debuts and world premieres of works by rising playwrights and esteemed masters of the craft.

Among the highlights of the season are the world premiere of Nathaniel Freeman’s Hurricane Katrina-inspired Bridges on Oct. 3; the local debut of Louis Sachar’s stage adaptation of his popular children’s book Holes on Oct. 13; and the Houston opening of former faculty member and Pulitzer Prize winner Edward Albee’s latest production, Peter and Jerry on Feb. 13, 2009.

“We are offering a season that is both accessible and relevant to all our subscribers and friends,” said Steven Wallace, director of the School of Theatre and Dance.

“It’s a challenging slate full of vigor, intellect and intensity. As we train the next generation of theater and dance artists, we are conscious of presenting a body of work that we hope will connect artists and audiences across age and ethnicity.”

The following five productions are included in the School’s subscription series. Tickets for individual productions will be available Sept. 2. For additional details, call 713-743-2929 or visit the School’s box office.

  • Oct. 3 - 12, 2008
    Bridges by Nathaniel Freeman; Directed by Steven Wallace, World Premiere

Presented in collaboration with the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, this world premiere production focuses on the oral histories of Hurricane Katrina survivors who were stranded on the I-10 overpass after their neighborhood was decimated. The script was adapted from interviews gathered as part of the UH Surviving Rita and Katrina Project.

Mary Zimmerman

Mary Zimmerman

Nov. 7 - 23, 2008
Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman; Directed by Jack Young Houston Premiere

Zimmerman’s stunning Tony Award-winning adaptation of some of Roman poet Ovid's humorous, heartbreaking myths is set in and around a large pool. An ensemble cast depicts the transformations that define the human experience. Created at Northwestern University, Metamorphoses was produced at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, the Seattle Repertory Theatre, and the Berkeley Stage Company before moving to Broadway’s Circle in the Square Theatre in 2002. That year, Zimmerman earned the Tony Award for Best Direction for this play.


Edward Albee

Edward Albee

Feb. 13 - 22, 2009
Peter and Jerry by Edward Albee; Directed by Sidney Berger, Houston Premiere

Fifty years ago, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and former UH professor Albee dazzled audiences with the provocative A Zoo Story, which detailed a Central Park meeting between Peter, a publishing executive, and Jerry, a disturbed young man. In 2008, Albee added a first act, Homelife, which details Peter’s marriage and the events leading up to his meeting with Jerry. Paired as Peter and Jerry, the combined works will have its local debut after its New York debut.


Charles L. Mee

Charles L. Mee

Feb. 20 - March 1, 2009
“bobrauschenbergamerica” by Charles L. Mee; Directed by Kim Weild, Houston Premiere

The artwork of Robert Rauschenberg has long intrigued and challenged art aficionados. This imaginative production explores the American landscape through a creative lens that is inspired by the recently departed artist. Not unlike his unique “combine” paintings, the play melds a host of diverse characters, settings, music, dancing, and stories.


Amy Lanasa and Mark Medoff

Amy Lanasa and Mark Medoff

April 3 - April 19, 2009
Buy 1 Get 5 Free by Amy Lanasa; Guest Director, Houston Premiere

What do you do when your sister is a convict, your momma can't kick her bingo habit, and your husband is still missing from your honeymoon skydiving trip two years ago? Lock yourself in your trailer, of course. This comedy farce, by up-and-coming playwright Lanasa, won the Best Short Play Award at the 2001 Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival.


In addition to the subscription series, the School of Theatre and Dance will debut its Theatre for Young Audiences program with a production that runs during the week for school children:


Holes Movie Poster
Oct. 13 - 24, 2008
Theatre for Young Audiences presents
Holes by Louis Sachar; directed by Jackie deMontmollin, Houston Premiere>

Adapted from Sachar’s book and the film of the same name, Holes tells the story of Stanley Yelnats, a young man sentenced to hard labor in West Texas for a crime he did not commit. Between dodging poisonous yellow-spotted lizards and trying to play nice with other inmates, he finds himself unraveling a century-old mystery.


The school will continue to develop new work for dance and theatre with these annual offerings:

  • Nov. 22 - 23, 2008
    Emerging Choreographers Showcase

The creative energies of up-and-coming choreographers are showcased in this annual concert that has become a favorite among dance enthusiasts.

  • April 24 - 26, 2009
    Spring Dance Concert

Dance aficionados look forward to this annual show featuring contemporary works by faculty and guest artists that is set on the pre-professional dance company, the UH Dance Ensemble.

  • April 30 - May 3, 2009
    New Play Festival

The New Play Festival offers Houstonians a chance to enjoy the city’s freshest theater. Tomorrow’s star scribes develop scripts under the supervision of Tony winner and UH professor Mark Medoff and present them during intimate readings.

Each season, the School of Theatre and Dance produces five plays performed in the Wortham Theatre and the Jose Quintero Theatre, two dance concerts, student productions, the New Play Festival, the Houston Shakespeare Festival and the Children's Theatre Festival.

(Mike Emery contributed to this article.)



Logo for Women's studies program

Conference header

The Women's Studies program is preparing for two major event for the upcoming Fall semester.

The 2008 Women's Conference on "Gender, Creativity and the New Longevity", November 13 -15.

The conference will bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars, artists, and practitioners to consider the social and personal consequences of the new longevity.


Logo for DiverseWorks

The exhibition: Thrive (DiverseWorks, Houston) November 14 - December 20.

Time plays through the work of fifteen notable Houston artists, all women, in Thrive.

This event was organized in conjunction with the UH conference Gender, Creativity, and the New Longevity. The exhibition and accompanying programs are a co-presentation of DiverseWorks and the Women’s Studies program.

You can read more about these events in next month's issue of Graffit-e.

 


More at CLASS

For more information about what’s going on at CLASS, please visit our News & Events page.

Make sure you visit the CLASS home page for more information about our programs, students, faculty, and staff.  Missed an issue of Graffit-e?  Catch up by visiting the online archive.

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Transcript of Dean Antel's Video Message

Hello. My name is John Antel.

One of my great pleasures as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Houston is to tell people about our college’s amazing students and alumni.

This month, the world is watching some of our CLASSmates.

Senior Art major Anastasia Pozdniakova claimed the Silver medal in the 3-meter synchronized diving, along with former Cougar diving great Yulia Pakhalina.

Nastia and Yulia are competing for their native Russia.

Ebonie Floyd, who graduated last year with a degree in Psychology, is an alternate on the women’s 4 X 400-meter relay team.

And Carol Lewis, a 1989 graduate in Radio and Television, and a four-time Olympian, makes her fifth straight appearance as a commentator for NBC Sports.

You can read more about them in this issue of Graffit-e.

Scholarships helped give these student-athletes the opportunity to succeed in the pool, on the field, and in the classroom.

Scholarships also play a huge role in the success of our undergraduate and graduate students who might otherwise have to stop out or delay their graduation.

This month, you have the opportunity to invest in our students at the investiture of our president.

Sept. 18 is the day for the investiture of President Khator.

That evening is the scholarship dinner, where part of the price of a seat or a table goes into a scholarship fund of your choice.

You also have the opportunity to establish an endowed undergraduate scholarship, or an endowed graduate scholarship or fellowship.

You can find details about the investiture and the scholarship dinner in this newsletter.

I hope you can join us for both events.

Transcript of Intro for Discovery

Hello. My name is John David Powell, and from the television studios of the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication at the University of Houston, this is the Discovery section of Graffit-e, the electronic newsletter of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

David Francis is the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor, Chair of the Department of Psychology, and Director of the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics or TIMES.

This past May, Prof. Francis received the Esther Farfel Award, the University’s highest honor recognizing faculty excellence.

Francis was key in founding the National Research and Development Center for English Language Learners within TIMES. Funded by a $10-million U.S. Department of Education grant, the project focuses on literacy and English language development of Spanish-speaking elementary and middle-school students.

He also was among the researchers who founded the Texas Center for Learning Disabilities. The center’s development was assisted by an $8.5-million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. It also combines efforts from TIMES and other institutions.

Francis arrived at UH as a graduate student in 1979. He earned a master of arts and a doctorate in clinical neuropsychology, and in 1985, he was hired as a visiting professor. One year later, he became a permanent member of the UH Psychology faculty.

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