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Philip Hoffman and Shata IV Dean Antel


Elizabeth Gregory

Influence beyond the classroom


Alexandra Canga

CLASS researchers win awards


Lyndon Johnson

UH Moments on the air


Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan

Do you know this alumna? Kimiko Hahn does


Powell with Cortina, Tillery and Granato

Faculty researchers discuss Obama election

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Hoffman the Builder transformed the face of the UH campus

Philip G. Hoffman and Shasta IV

Shasta IV nuzzling PGH during UH
welcoming ceremonies for new mascot,
April 21, 1977

Next time you get the chance, go to the top floor of any building at the University of Houston, find a window or balcony that provides a view of a portion of the campus, and then marvel at the brick-and-mortar fingerprint left by former president Philip G. Hoffman, known as Hoffman the Builder. In fact, you don’t have to finagle your way into someone’s top-floor room with a view. You can walk to the PGH breezeway and quite literally stand in his shadow (remember, PGH stands for Philip Guthrie Hoffman).

Philip G. Hoffman Hall

Philip Guthrie Hoffman Hall

Philip Guthrie Hoffman, the fifth President of the University of Houston, the first Chancellor of the University of Houston System, and President Emeritus, passed away Oct. 29 at the age of 93.

Hoffman was born in Kobe, Japan, in 1915 to missionary parents. The family moved to Oregon when he was five. He received his B.B.A. from Pacific Union College in 1938, and his M.A. in History from the University of Southern California in 1942. He took a break from school to serve as an intelligence officer in the United States Navy during World War II. After the war, Hoffman earned his Ph.D. in History from The Ohio State University in 1948.

Before arriving at UH, Hoffman taught at the University of Alabama, and then served as First Vice Dean and Dean of the General Extension Division of the Oregon State System of Higher Education, now known as the Oregon University System. Hoffman c. 1979

He came to UH in 1957 as Vice President and Dean of Faculties, a post he held until September 1961 when he succeeded Clanton W. Williams as the President of the University. Over the next sixteen years, Hoffman oversaw the move of UH from a private institution to a public university and laid the foundation – literally and figuratively – that transformed the former Houston Junior College into Houston’s university.

Hoffman became the UH System’s first Chancellor in 1977. He retired two years later to serve as President of the Texas Medical Center.

In 2005, the University of Houston System Board of Regents honored Hoffman for his contributions to the University and to the System. When asked about the things of which he was the most proud, Hoffman pointed to the integration of the student body, as reported in the University’s news release about Hoffman’s death.

“We had hoped to integrate the university beginning in the summer of 1961. About three days before this was to happen, I invited the editors of the newspapers and the heads of the television and principal radio stations for cocktails one late afternoon in the Houston Club. I told them that we . . . could either do it quietly or we could have something that resembled Mississippi or Alabama. My choice was that students would look around (one day) and say ‘we are integrated.’ There were at least 15 people in that room, and that was a tremendous story. Everyone there agreed that it was best to integrate the university peacefully. So, the university integrated quietly, and that is all there was to it.”

Our first African-American student was a Music graduate student. In 2007, UH remained the most ethnically diverse urban research university in the nation with 19.6 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, 19.4 percent Hispanic, and 13.2 percent African-American students.

President Renu Khator proclaimed October 31 as Philip G. Hoffman Day. “The University of Houston family extends its deepest sympathy to Dr. Hoffman’s family,” said Khator. “Dr. Hoffman served the university with loyalty, vision, energy and commitment. Under his watch, the landscape of the University of Houston was forever transformed. We have lost a true Cougar friend.”

Hoffman's family includes his wife, Mary (a niece of president Warren G. Harding); three daughters, Mary Victoria, Ruth Ann, and Jeanne; six grandchildren, and one great-grand daughter.

Highlights of the Hoffman presidency

Hoffman c. 1960


  • Enrollment: 12,187
  • Faculty: 675
  • Budget: $9.66 million
  • Physical Plant Value: $26 million
  • Library Volumes: 262,275
  • Research Funds: $505,000
  • Terminal Degrees Offered: 8
  • Total Degrees
  • Awarded: 1,345 Gifts (including federal grants): $1.01 million
  • First African-American student enrolled
  • Faculty Senate established


  • UH officially became a state university.
  • Enrollment: 17,430
  • Board of Regents replaced Board of Governors; governor appointed as first members: Col. William B. Bates, James T. Dukes, James A. Elkins Jr., Aaron J. Farfel, George S. Hawn, Edward D. Manion, Corbin J. Robertson, Lyndall Wortham, and Jack J. Valenti


  • Students’ Association established
  • UH became first major university in the South to integrate its intercollegiate athletics program


  • A.D. Bruce Religion Center completed


  • Lamar Fleming Building completed
  • UH Board of Governors adopted policy setting aside one percent of the cost of future major construction for art acquisitions


  • Texas Legislature established the Graduate School of Social Work
  • Enrollment: 20,000 +
  • “Negro” history course offered
  • University Center, M.D. Anderson Library addition, Cullen College of Engineering, Agnes Arnold Hall, and Underground Computer Center (now closed) completed


  • Student Life Building (home to the Houston Alumni Organization for 30 years) completed
  • Cougars defeated UCLA in “Game of the Century” on national television from the Astrodome before the largest crowd at the time to attend a college game


  • Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management held first classes
  • First courses offered in African-American Studies Program
  • Lynn Eusan became first African-American homecoming queen
  • Science and Research Center, Bates College of Law, and Central Power Plant addition completed


  • Moody Towers, Hofheinz Pavilion, Melcher Gymnasium, General Services Building, Isabel C. Cameron Building, Stephen Power Farish Hall, Information Center, and Coastal Environmental Laboratory completed


  • Texas Legislature authorized UH-Clear Lake
  • Charles F. McElhinney Hall, Clear Lake Graduate Center completed
  • Cougars voted into the Southwest Conference, effective in 1976
  • Enrollment: 26,475
  • Faculty: 1,450
  • Budget: $29.3 million
  • Physical Plant Value: $100+ million
  • Library Volumes: 64,469
  • Research Funds: $7.1 million
  • Terminal Degrees Offered: 24
  • Total Degrees Awarded: 3,891
  • Gifts (including federal grants): $2.85 million


  • Center for Mexican-American Studies created
  • Fine Arts Building completed


  • University Center Addition, UC Satellite, and Continuing Education Center completed
  • Sara Campbell Blaffer Gallery dedicated in Fine Arts Building


  • UH-Clear Lake opened
  • One Main property purchased to establish UH Downtown College
  • Classroom and Office Building completed


  • Child Care Center and Bates College of Law Phase II completed


  • Computing Center and Optometry Building completed
  • Cullen Foundation pledged $3 million to endow 9 distinguished professorships as part of the UH 50 Fund established to raise at least $23.5 million by 1981


  • UH celebrated 50th anniversary
  • College of Technology addition, Humanities building, Lyndall Wortham Theater,
  • M.D. Anderson Library’s John H. Freeman Wing, and Science and Research II completed
  • One-millionth book added to M.D. Anderson Library
  • UH System established with Hoffman as first chancellor

In Memoriam

Wilbur Meier, Jr.

Wilbur L. Meier, Jr., University of Houston System Chancellor (1986-89), October 13, 2008, in Raleigh, NC.

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A Message From Dean Antel

Dean Antel

Just as the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the rest of the University of Houston prepared for homecoming and the Ike-delayed investiture of President Renu Khator, we received the sad news of the death of former president Phil Hoffman (see Feature section of Graffit-e).

When we look back at the first years of his presidency, it’s interesting to note the truth behind the adage that says the more things change, the more they stay the same. In his inauguration speech on April 27, 1962, Hoffman predicted UH would “become a large university. This dictates a high priority for new buildings, for a more selective admissions process, for other reasonable controls on size. We do not prize size itself, other than as a possible index of public service. We do, however, prize quality.”

He also quoted from the 1959 report, “What Makes A University Great,” which listed among the criteria the constant re-evaluation of a university’s aims, functions, and curricula; an atmosphere conducive to free enterprise in ideas; a focus on leading, not following; and not claiming greatness lightly.

Forty-six years later, we have new buildings going up, a selective admissions process to bring us the very best students, and a plan to fulfill President Hoffman’s belief that UH will become a great university.

President Khator, in her Investiture speech on November 7th (that you can read by clicking here), referred to UH as a local university with a global dimension, a university ready “to stir the soul of higher education in Texas and the nation,” and ready to be the state’s next Tier I university. She listed four initiatives that will serve as pathways to achieving this goal: the UH Energy Initiative, the UH Health Initiative, the UH Arts Initiative, and the UH Star Initiative.

I’m happy to tell you that our College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences plays a role in the success of each of these initiatives, which we’ll discuss in future editions of Graffit-e. Of course, CLASS is at the core of the Arts Initiative, which President Khator sees as a way to position UH as a “world-class arts destination and as a national innovator in commissioning new work, employing and training thousands of artists, and sponsoring world-class arts series.”

If you appreciate history, you’ll want to go to the Academic section of this newsletter where you’ll learn about the UH connection to President Lyndon Johnson and Gov. John Connolly, and where you’ll learn where you can listen to a KUHF radio feature about the work of the Center for Public History to chronicle Houston’s history.

Don’t forget to catch up on the accomplishments of our faculty, our students, and our alumni to learn more about one of Houston’s most influential women, read about two of UH’s top student researchers, and find out which CLASS alumni came away with victories in the Nov. 4 elections. All of the people you’ll read about this month, and every month, are CLASS examples of what President Hoffman called UH’s “basic ingredients of greatness.”

John Antel



Elizabeth Gregory

Elizabeth Gregory, Professor of English and Director of the Women’s Studies Program, is one of Houston Women Magazine’s 50 most influential women in Houston for 2008!

Says Beverly Denver, editor and publisher, of Houston Woman, “Simply put, we were looking for those women whose actions or thoughts can change the actions and thoughts of others.”

Gregory teaches courses on British and American modernism, contemporary poetry, ancient and classical literature, feminist criticism, cultural criticism and American literature since 1860. She also is the author of Quotation and Modern American Poetry: "Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads" (Rice University Press, 1996), which focuses on the work of T.S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, and Marianne Moore. She edited The Critical Response to Marianne Moore (Praeger Publishers, 2003). And, she’s written articles on modernism, confessional poetry, and Homer's heroines.

Her new book is Ready: Why Women Are Embracing the New Later Motherhood, from Basic Books.

English faculty continue publication juggernaut

Wyman H. Herendeen

Wyman H. Herendeen, Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English, proudly points out that his faculty continues to maintain its outstanding record of publication in Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric and Composition. During 2007-8, English faculty members (including Gregory) published the books listed below. And, oh yes, he published William Camden: A Life in Context (Boydell & Brewer)

Hosam Aboul-Ela

Hosam Aboul-Ela, Associate Professor, Other South: Faulkner, Coloniality, and the Mariategui Tradition (University of Pittsburgh Press)

Dorothy Baker

Dorothy Baker, Professor, America’s Gothic Fiction (Ohio State University Press)

Paul Butlet

Paul Butler, Assistant Professor, Out of Style: Reanimating Stylistic Study in Composition and Rhetoric (Utah State University Press)

Chitra Divakaruni

Chitra Divakaruni, Professor, The Palace of Illusions (Doubleday). See March issue of Graffit-e.

Mark Doty

Mark Doty, Dog Year (Harper Collins)

Mat Johnson

Mat Johnson, Assistant Professor, Incognegro (Bloomsbury USA). You can read more about it in the March issue of Graffit-e.

Chicanas in the Conversation book cover

Elizabeth Kessler, Lower Division Administrator, Chicanas in the Conversation (Pearson Education, Inc)

The Making of Modern Cynicism book cover

David Mazella, Associate Professor, The Making of Modern Cynicism (University of Virginia Press)

David Mikics

David Mikics, Associate Professor, A New Handbook of Literary Terms (Yale University Press)

Robert Phillips

Robert Phillips, John and Rebecca Moores Professor, edited Karl Shapiro: Coda: Last Poems and Essays on Elizabeth Spencer (Texas Review Press)

Sporting Lives book cover

James Pipkin, Associate Professor, Sporting Lives: Metaphor and Myth in American Sports Autobiographie (Universitiy of Missouri Press)

Irving Rothman

Irving Rothman, Professor (and the one in the jacket), Daniel Defoe: An Essay on the History and Reality of Apparitions (AMS Press, Inc.). Watch July’s Graffit-e Discovery interview here.

Hawthorne, Gender, and Death book cover

Roberta Weldon, Associate Professor, Hawthorne, Gender, and Death; Christianity and Its Discontents (Palgrave MacMillan)

Jeremy Desel

Emmy for Desel

Jeremy Desel, instructional faculty member in the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, received four Lone Star Emmys last month. The Lone Star Chapter (Texas) of the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences, recognized Desel with Emmys for News Writer (Write This! V. 2008); On-camera Talent-Reporter, Special Assignment (Money, Fees, And Obama); and Crime News, Series (History Repeating? HPD Crime Lab) for KHOU TV.

Also from the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication . . .

Robert Heath

Robert Heath, Professor of Communication, and Lan Ni, Assistant Professor of Communication, wrote a section of the Essential Knowledge Project on Corporate Social Responsibility. The Institute for Public Relations launched EKP earlier this year to provide a guide to existing public relations research and translate this knowledge into practitioners’ language. The new section features the what, why, and how of CSR with the intent to help public relations practitioners use experts’ carefully considered thoughts along with research findings to determine the best plan of action as they help formulate CSR standards and give voice to organizations.

Martha Haun, Associate Professor of Communication, was honored at a reception at the state convention of the Texas Speech Communication Association in Corpus Christi where she represented TSCA Region IV as their sole nominee for University Educator of the Year 2008. The nomination recognizes excellence in university teaching combined with service to TSCA. She also presented the newly approved Undergraduate and Graduate Health Communication concentrations at the panel discussion held at the Rockwell Pavilion titled, The University, the City, and Community Health.

Orlando Zamora joins the Valenti School as an Academic Advisor to replace Dale Higginbotham. He comes from Enrollment Services call center where he was a customer service representative since 2007. He previously was an office assistant in University Testing Services. He has a B.S. from UH in Information Systems Technology.

The Valenti School redesigned its Home page (hint, hint).

Friend and Knight of Italy (and a UH professor!)

Marc Zimmerman

Marc Zimmerman, Professor of Modern and Classical Languages, recently published Orbis/Urbis Latino: Los Hispanos en las ciudades de los estados unidos, Eds. Cardenio Bedoya, Flavia Belpoliti y Marc Zimmerman in MCL’s Global Casa/Lacasa Book Series. He also completed José Gamaliel Gonzále, Bringing the Art of Aztlan to Mexican Chicago to be published by the University of Illinois Press in 2009. He was awarded the title Friend and Knight of Italy (amico and cavalieri) by the Italian Consul General of Houston this past June.

ComD and Baylor College of Medicine collaboration

Peggy Blake


Monica McHenry


Yes, UH does not have a medical school, but many of our faculty conduct medical research every day. For example, two faculty members in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Associate Professors Peggy Blake and Monica McHenry, are working with researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine in the Texas Medical Center to gain insight into the neural correlates of cognitive and motor aspects of speech and language by using real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging, aka fMRI.

Blake’s primary interest involves how individuals understand complex language after right hemisphere damage. She is particularly interested in finding the neural correlates of inferencing, a high-level skill often disrupted by a stroke.

McHenry is exploring the use of fMRI as a biofeedback tool to help individuals with reduced intelligibility develop automatic use of compensatory strategies, such as speaking slowly. She also is developing studies to help individuals with apraxia of speech (a motor programming disorder) use biofeedback to produce errorless speech.

Hartzel at Appalachian State

Valerie Hartzell

Valerie Hartzell, a member of the Preparatory and Continuing Studies faculty in the Rebecca and John J. Moores School of Music, is a classical guitarist who shared her strumming skills at a free recital this month at Appalachian State University.

Hartzell is the creator and director of the “Classical Minds” Guitar Festival and Competition at the Moores School of Music Texas Music Festival and is the director of the Greater Houston Guitar Guild.

Hartzell began her classical guitar studies at age 3 and made her international debut in San Mamete, Italy, at the Festival del Piccolo Mondo in 1994. She is a prize winner at the Portland Guitar Competition, the East Carolina University Competition and Festival, and the Appalachian Guitar Festival and Competition. She also took first prizes at the 10th International Guitar Competition “Simone Salmaso” in Viareggio, Italy, and at the Concours de Guitare Classique Heitor Villa-Lobos in Nice, France.

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

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CLASS researchers take honors

Two CLASS student researchers took home honors at the fourth annual UH Undergraduate Research Day, put on by the Division of Research, on Oct. 2.

Aleandra Canga

Alexandra Canga, shown here with Stuart Long, Interim Dean of The Honors College, received a Poster Presentation award for her research titled “Love, Sex, and RISK: Sexual Behaviors among Mexican-American Heroin Sniffers.”

Canga, a Sociology major, worked with Alice Cepeda, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Senior Researcher at the Center for Drug and Social Policy Research in the Graduate College of Social Work.

Study abstract:

Non-injecting heroin use (NIU) has been identified as a potential precursor for the transition to injecting drug use (IDU) and other related risk behaviors. This study examines and compares high-risk sexual behaviors with a focus on gender differences among a cohort of Chicano non-injecting heroin users. Data for this analysis are from structured interviews with 300 street-based recruited male and female NIUs in San Antonio, Texas, using an adaptive sampling methodology. There were significant differences found in sociodemographic characteristics between males and females in this sample. The findings indicate that females are engaging in high-risk sexual behaviors with partners with high-risk characteristics such as current injectors. The findings revealed no significant differences in condom use, in that most are engaging in unsafe sex practices (unprotected sex). Findings may be used to form specific policies and intervention strategies to prevent unprotected sexual behavior and other harmful health consequences among NIUs.

Stacey Joldersma

Stacey Joldersma, received congratulations from Dean Long for her Poster Presentation award for her research titled “Contextual Utility: An Experimental Study of Its Relevance as a Choice Probability Model.” Joldersma, an Economics major, worked with Nathaniel Wilcox, Professor of Economics, in the Department of Economics.

Study abstract:

In the literature on risky decisions, a bet is just an alternative whose outcome depends partly or wholly on chance. The subjective value of a bet seems to depend on the alternatives available for decision makers, or more accurately, the overall choice context. Context effects, like the “Myers Effect” by Lee (1971), are inconsistent with most theories of choice probabilities in decision making, but can be explained by a choice probability model called contextual utility (Wilcox 2007). In contextual utility, this range of possible outcomes in a bet pair determines the variability of choice. Accounting for this variability allows contextual utility to explain violations of expected utility that have been the topic of discussion among decision theorists for decades. The first experiment, having two parts, was designed to replicate the Myers effect using large outcome bets. A second experiment was designed to use subjects’ choices from specifically constructed bet pairs to estimate a parameter for the subjects’ expected utility. Using the estimated utilities, we should be able to predict choices in other bet pairs.

By the way, 15 of the 59 presenters from across the University came from CLASS

History students make good

Holle Canatella

Holle Canatella, a Ph.D. candidate in medieval European history, presented a paper titled "Matilda of Scotland and Her Male Correspondents" at the Western Conference on British Studies in San Antonio, Texas, in September. She also has a forthcoming essay in the Journal of the History of Sexuality, titled “Long Distance Love: The Ideology of Male-Female Spiritual Friendship in Goscelin of St. Bertin's Liber Confortatorius.”

Dan G. Donalson, a Ph.D. candidate in U.S. History, presented the paper “Preliminary Findings on the Personal Uses of the Espionage and Sedition Acts of 1917-1918” at the annual meeting of the Canadian Association for American Studies in August and another essay titled “Martin Dies, Sr. and East Texas Conservatism” at the East Texas Historical Association in Nacogdoches, Texas, in September.

Lauran Kerr-Heraly, a Ph.D. candidate in U.S. History, received the Ottis Lock Endowment Award from the East Texas Historical Association that will support her dissertation research on African American female physicians. She also presented an address titled “I was a Teenage Grad Student: My Journey through Academia” at the Biennial Conference on Faith and History at Bluffton University in, Bluffton, Ohio, in September.

Other kudos for our History students include:

  • Holle Canatella, received the Graduate Assistant Fellowship from the Women's Studies Program
  • Kristen Contos, a doctoral student, received the William's History Essay Prize - $250-for a paper titled “No Longer Entitled: Adolescent Pregnancy in Public Schools Before and After Title IX”
  • Natalie Garza, a Ph.D. candidate, received The Shuart Scholarships: Blanche Espy Chenoweth Graduate Fellowship - $2500. (photo down the page at if you can lift it)
  • Erin Graham, a Ph.D. candidate, received the Women's Studies Program 2008-2009 Dissertation Fellowship of $20,000 for her dissertation “Bordering Chaos: Mothers, Daughters and Neoliberalism”
  • Lauran Kerr, a Ph.D. candidate, received the Maud Smith Paddock Grad/Undergrad Scholarship of $2,500

CLASS Cougars take the court

The 2007-8 basketball season is underway, and once again, we have CLASS students among the Cougars.

On Joe Curl’s Lady Cougars squad:

Ryan Bradley Zane Jakobone Megan Morton
Ryan Bradley Zane Jakobsone Megan Morton
Junior, Sociology Senior, Sociology Sophomore, Psychology
Houston, Texas Riga, Latvia Winnsboro, Texas

And on Tom Penders’ Cougar team:

Aubrey Coleman Sean Coleman Marcus Cousin DaShaun Williams
Aubrey Coleman Sean Coleman Marcus Cousin DaShaun Williams
Junior, Sociology RS Junior, Economics RS Senior, Sociology Senior, Sociology
Houston, Texas Houston, Texas Baltimore, Md. Chicago, Ill.



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UH Moments on KUHF

Lydon Johnson

This Associated Press photo shows President Lyndon Johnson riding with aides on Nov. 23, 1963, the day after the assassination of President John Kennedy. The person riding in front of Johnson is Jack Valenti, (’42 ASD General Arts and Sciences, ’46 Business Administration), a member of the first University of Houston Board of Regents at the time, appointed on Aug. 7, 1963, by Gov. John Connolly (who was shot with the magic bullet while riding with Kennedy in Dallas).

The histories of our city, our state, and our nation over the past seven decades cannot be told fully without considering the contributions of UH students, faculty, and staff. And that’s what KUHF does with its UH Moment series, aired each Wednesday at 7:49 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. A recent segment looked at the efforts of the UH Center for Public History to chronicle Houston’s history.

Marisa Ramirez

Marisa Ramirez (’00 English) writes and hosts the series. You can listen to the segment by clicking here.

Arte Público Press also on the air

Arte Publico Press logo

Arte Público Press is the nation's largest and most established publisher of contemporary and recovery literature by U.S. Hispanic authors. Its imprint for children and young adults, Piñata Books, is dedicated to the realistic and authentic portrayal of the themes, languages, characters, and customs of Hispanic culture in the United States. Arte Público Press, Piñata Books, and the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage project provide the most widely recognized and extensive showcase for Hispanic literary arts, history, and politics.

Each month, KUHF and Arte Público Press present the Author of the Month. Victor Villaseñor is the current featured author. Villaseñor’s works bring Mexican-American culture and literature to a wide audience. He wrote the acclaimed best-sellers, Burro Genius (Rayo, 2004); Rain of Gold (Arte Público Press, 1991), which details the saga of his family’s immigration to the U.S. from Mexico; and Thirteen Senses: A Memoir (Rayo, 2002). His other non-fiction works include Wild Steps of Heaven (Delta Books, 1995), Jury: The People vs. Juan Corona (Little Brown and Company, 1976), and the screenplay for the award-winning film The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez.

Villaseñor lives in Oceanside, Calif. You can listen to KUHF’s Eric Ladau’s interview with Villaseñor by clicking here.

The ups and downs of relationships study gets national attention

Chip Knee

Chip Knee (or C. Raymond, if you’d prefer), Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the Interpersonal Relations and Motivation Research Group, along with graduate student Amber Bush and researchers from the University of Michigan and Idiro Technologies, published a study that’s getting some attention from at least a couple of national magazines.

In Relationship-Contingent Self-Esteem and the Ups and Downs of Romantic Relationships (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2008, Vol. 95, No. 3, 608–627), Knee et al. determined relationship-contingent self-esteem emerges from perspectives on authenticity, need fulfillment, and relationship functioning and is an unhealthy form of self-esteem that depends on one’s relationship.

They compare involvement in a romantic relationship to sailing over the bounding main, where partners negotiate the steering of the boat, the height and direction of the sails, and how long they can stay on board as rough waters affect one partner more than the other. According to the study, one partner may seem devastated by a few small ripples, while the other seems to remain relatively unscathed by a tidal wave. The study also found that the degree that a relationship affects a person may involve the tendency to depend on the relationship for personal validation.

“If one is tied to the bow of the ship, for example, even small ripples may feel like tidal waves. The degree to which one’s sense of self is contingent on one’s relationship may transform everyday undulations into seemingly more major crests and troughs . . . However, if both partners feel seasick at the same small ripples, they may embrace each other out of shared desperation. That, of course, does not imply a happy, satisfying boat ride, but it does make both partners cling to each other for fear of what the expansive, deep, dark waters may hold for them.”

You can read the study and make your own determination by clicking here.

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Do you know this alumna?


She’s Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan (’04 Ph.D., Creative Writing and Literature), who’s receiving some buzz about her first book, Shadow Mountain (Four Way, 2008). It’s a short work, 80 pages, selected by acclaimed poet Kimiko Hahn as the winner of the Four Way Books Intro Series in Poetry.

In Shadow Mountain, Kageyama-Ramakrishnan draws on the stories of Japanese-Americans placed in California’s Manzanar Relocation Center during the Second World War, stories from her childhood, and memories of her grandparents.

Kimiko Hahn says Kageyama-Ramakrishnan is “a socially-conscious writer whose issues of war and passion bring us back, then forward again.”

Kageyama-Ramakrishnan is a California native, born in Santa Monica and raised in The City of Angels. She received her B.A. in English from Loyola Marymount University in L.A., her M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of Virginia where she was a Henry Hoyns Fellow, and her M.A. in Literature at the University of California at Berkeley. She was a Cambor Fellow here at UH, where she earned her Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature.

She lives in Houston with her husband, Raj, a scientist specializing in HIV/AIDS research at Baylor College of Medicine, and their three cats. She teaches full time at Houston Community College, Central Campus. Four Way Books will publish her second book, Bear, Diamonds and Crane, in 2011.

You can read more on the Website Critical Mass, the blog of the National Book Critics Circle Board of Directors.

CLASS pols win at polls

Several CLASS alumni won races in Harris and surrounding counties earlier this month. Congratulations to each of them!

Sylvester Tutner Berly Wooley
Sylvester Turner (’77 Political Science) Beverly Woolley (’93 Political Science)
State Representative State Representative
District 139, Incumbent District 136, Incumbent

Walle Armondo Carol Alvarado
Armando Walle (’04 Political Science) Carol Alvarado (’92 Political Science)
State Representative State Representative
District District 140 District 145, Incumbent

Ana Hernandez Vince Ryan
Ana Hernandez (’99 Political Science) Vince Ryan (’69 English, ’74 Law)
State Representative Harris County Attorney
District 143, Incumbent  

Alferd Bennett Ruben Guerrero
Alfred “Al” Bennett (’88 Political Science) Ruben Guerrero (’73 Political Science)
61st District Court Judge 174th District Court Judge
Harris County Harris County

Steve McKeithen Josefina Rendon
Steve McKeithen (‘76 Political Science) Josefina Muñiz Rendón (’72 Sociology, ’76 Law)
Harris County Attorney 165th District Court Judge
  Harris County

Cliff Vacek
Cliff Vacek (’69 Political Science, ’75 Law)
400th District Court Judge
Fort Bend County, Incumbent

Moon Winters wins Grand Prize in national essay contest

Kaye Monn Winters

Kaye Moon Winters (’07 Creative Writing), is the Grand Prize winner of the Your Next Chapter essay contest conducted by AARP and Borders ®.

Her $5,000 prize package included a lifetime AARP membership, a $250 Borders gift card, a portable Reader Digital Book from Sony ® and a Borders Personal Publishing Premium package from She also received a trip for two to Washington D.C. where she attended AARP’s Life@50+ event.

Encouraged by her daughter, Moon Winters began taking classes at the age of 55 at San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas. She went on to graduate summa cum laude with a B.A. in Creative Writing in 2007. Her experiences as an older student and now as an advisor/recruiter for non-traditional students for San Jacinto College inspired her essay, which you can read by clicking here.

Giving the Emmys some CLASS

Texas’ Lone Star Chapter of the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences handed out its Lone Star Emmys last month, and several CLASS alumni took home a coveted statue. Congratulations!

The list of CLASS winners follows with name, category (entry title), organization, and job title.

Sam Baker

Sam Baker (’81 Journalism)
Politics/Government, Program/Segment (Sharing the Power: A Voter’s Choice Special)

Matthew Brawley (’95 Radio and Television)
Photographer, Program (Non-News)/Short Form (The Last 24)
Editor, Program (Non-News) (The Last 24)
HoustonPBS (KUHT, which means he’s also a UH staff member)
Principal Photography

John Bubarak (’94 Radio/Television, Spanish)
Specialty Assignment Report, News Series (Middle East Smuggling)

Vicky Charleston (’83 Art)
Graphic Arts, Graphics/Animation (Design Excellence 2007-8)
Senior Graphic Designer

Stephen Davis (’01 Media Production)
Documentary, Topical (The New Space Race)

Milton Durango

Milton Durango (’07 Media Productions)
Specialty Assignment Report, News Series (El Placer Bajo La Lupa)
KXLN – Univision
News Photographer

Robyn Hughes (’91 Graphics Communication)
Graphic Arts, Graphics/Animation (Design Excellence 2007-8)
Art Director/Graphic Designer

Patricia Schwab (’75 Radio and Television)
Texas Heritage, News Single Story/Series/Feature (New London School Disaster)
Producer/Post-Production Director

Sahir Waseem (’02 Graphics Communication)
Graphic Arts, Graphics/Animation (Design Excellence 2007-8)
Graphic Designer

Fujio Watanabe

Fujio Watanabe (’89 Radio and Television)
Photographer, Program (Non-News)/Short Form (The Last 24)
HoustonPBS (KUHT, which means he’s also a UH staff member)
Principal Photography

Hammerle’s a Hummerdinger

John Hammerle

John J. Hammerle (’65 Music Education, ’69 M.Ed.), sent us some information awhile back that he thought we’d like to share. And he’s right! John’s retired from his last gig as Dallas Independent School District Executive Director of Fine and Performing Arts. Now he’s traveling around the country to consult for school districts. But while he was gainfully employed, John taught music in Texas public schools and performed professionally with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the American Wind Symphony, and the Dallas Wind Symphony. He’s pictured here with his 2004 Bayard H. Friedman Hummer Hero Award from Score A Goal in the Classroom.

If you received an award or special recognition you’d like to share with your CLASSmates, or maybe you got hitched (or unhitched), or maybe you have a new baby (as opposed to an old baby?) or grandkid, or maybe your puppy was born with two heads, well, just pop us an email at and we’ll put it out there for all of the honest world to see.

Hewitt to chair national committee

Jess Hewitt (’80 Economics), president and chief executive of biodiesel producer Gulf Hydrocarbon Inc. is the new chairman of the marketing committee for the National Biodiesel Board. Hewitt will lead committee meetings during NBB meetings and report recommendations back to the governing board. The NBB, founded in 1992, is the national trade association representing the biodiesel industry.

Alumna added to UH media group

Angela Hopp (’00 Journalism), who joined UH last fall to do communication for the Office of the Vice President for Research, is now working in the Office of Communication covering the Cullen College of Engineering, the College of Optometry, the College of Technology, and the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture.

Angela worked as an editorial assistant at the Houston Chronicle while attending UH. After graduation, she went to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock as a news copy editor. Angela returned to the Chronicle in 2004 to work the news copy desk. Over the next six years, she rose through the ranks to be the editor of the Sunday Page One. She’s also an adjunct professor of print and digital media at the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication.

Sturtevant hitched

Sara Rose Sturtevant (’03 English) and Cathy Andrews got hitched back on June 20 in Monterey. She’s an attorney with the Monterey County Superior Court. The new couple lives in Aptos, California.

In Memoriam

John Ventura

John P. Ventura (’75 Journalism,’78 Law), Director of the Texas Consumer Complaint Center at the UH Law Center, Oct. 28.

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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The election of Barack Obama as the nation’s 44th president is the topic of our discussion this month with three CLASS researchers in the departments of Political Science and History:

Jerónimo Cortina, an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and one of the authors of Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: Why Americans vote the way they do;

Tyrone Tillery, associate professor in the Department of History specializing in African-American and Civil Rights history, and author of The Role of Government in Race Relations in Detroit, Michigan: 1943-1968; and

Jim Granato, director of the Center for Public Policy and author of The Role of Policymakers in Business Cycle Fluctuations.

It’s a lively and informative discussion that ranges from voter motivation to a look at the economic policies at the time of the Great Depression and the lessons they hold for us and for the new Obama administration.

Editors Note: Following the taping of this interview, Jim Granato pointed out an error in his statement about the unemployment rate during the Great Depression, which was lower at the end of Roosevelt's second term than when he took office. Jim provided the following table. -- jdp

Depression Era Unemployment Chart

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Around CLASS and Campus

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.

For parking information and to register, please visit the Women’s Studies Home page ( or call 713-743-3214.

Logo for DiverseWorks

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


Time plays through the work of fifteen notable Houston female artists in Thrive. Among the artists: Elia Arce ('08 MFA Studio Art); Laura Bennett ('07 MFA Photography/Digital Media); Ellen Berman ('76 MFA English); Suzanne Bloom, Professor of Art; Rachel Hecker, Associate Professor of Art; Charles Mary Kubricht ('83 MFA Art); Debra Rueb ('89 MFA Photography); and Kelli Vance ('08 MFA Painting).

This event is 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.

DiverseWorks is located at 117 E. Freewy in Houston. Formore information, call 713-223-8346.

Annual Cougar Marching Band Dinner/Concert
Friday, November 21

"Spirit of Houston"Marching Band

Underwritten by Sterling Bank

Come support the "Spirit of Houston" Cougar Marching Band in a fun-filled, exciting evening of music and dance. All proceeds benefit the Cougar Marching Band/Cheer/Dance scholarship and program funds.

Dinner 6:30 p.m., Moores School of Music Courtyard
Concert 8 p.m., Moores Opera House

UH Entrance 16 at Cullen Boulevard
Tickets: 713-743-3388

Theatre and Dance Logo

School of Theatre and Dance Raises Curtain on Season of Premieres

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.

For additional details, call 713-743-2929 or visit the School’s box office.

By the way, Theatre and Dance has some nifty videos on YouTube.

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.

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.

Moores news

Moores School of Music logo

Here’s a list of upcoming events from the Rebecca and John J. Moores School of Music. You can obtain more information by calling 713-743-3388.

More Moores news in their online newsletter Upscale Weekly.


(Celebrating Adler's 80th Birthday)

Thursday, November 13, 7:30 pm RS $15/10
Charles Hausmann, David Bertman, directors
Works by Adler, Maroney, Piston, Welcher

Friday, November 14, 7:30 pm RS $15/10 100-80-60-40-30
Rob Smith, director Jaemi Blair Loeb, assistant director
Works by Carter, Adler, Welcher, Smith, Maroney

Sunday, November 16, 7:30 pm $10/5
Blake Wilkins, percussion
Kimberly Clark, flute
Andrzej Grabiec, violin
Randall Griffin, clarinet
Paula Page, harp
Timothy Hester, piano
Alec Warren, percussion
Works by Toru Takemitsu

Tuesday, November 18, 7:30 pm $10/5
Noe Marmolejo, director

Friday, November 21 Dinner 6:30 pm, MSM Courtyard
Concert 8 pm, MOH
Underwritten by Sterling Bank
David Bertman, director

Come support the "Spirit of Houston" Cougar Marching Band in a fun-filled, exciting evening of music and dance. All proceeds benefit the Cougar Marching Band/Cheer/Dance scholarship and program funds. Info:

Sunday, November 23, 6 pm
17th Century Vespers
Matthew Dirst, director
Richard Robbins, conductor
Works by Leandro Gallerano
Christ the King Lutheran Church Rice Blvd at Greenbriar
Info: 713-523-2864

Tuesday, November 25, 7:30 pm $10/5

David Bertman, John Alstrin, directors
Works by Creston, Wilson, Tichelli, Sousa, Holst, Lauridsen

Saturday, November 29, 7:30 pm
present a GIRLS CHORUS premiere concert with HGO STUDIO ARTISTS*
Britten: Ceremony of Carols
Villa de Matel 6510 Lawndale Street
Info: 713-228-OPERA (6737)


Wednesday, December 3, 7:30 pm Free
Christmas in the Chapel
SYMPHONIC BRASS, CONCERT WOMEN'S CHORUS, UNIVERSITY MEN'S/WOMEN'S CHORUSES, FLOREAT David Bertman, Richard Robbins, Justin Smith, Jennette Roesner, conductors
Works by Pinkham, Gabrieli, Michael Haydn, Wessman, Morales, Stroope
UH Main Chapel, A.D. Bruce Religion Center

Friday, December 5, 7:30 pm RS $15/10
Franz Anton Krager, conductor
Winners - 2008 Concerto Competition
Dvorák: Symphony No. 6

Sunday, December 7, 3 pm RS $10/5
Matthew Dirst, conductor
Handel: Messiah

* Guest Artist/Group
RS Reserved Seating

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts logo


Adam Zagajewski

Poetry and Music: A Conversation, with pianist Sarah Rothenberg and poet Adam Zagajewski
Friday November 21
7 pm

Poet Adam Zagajewski and pianist Sarah Rothenberg present an evening of readings, performance and conversation inspired by the themes and ideas of the recent Blaffer Gallery exhibition, Damaged Romanticism.

Presented in conjunction with the Blaffer Gallery exhibition “Damaged Romanticism: A Mirror of Modern Emotion,” which surveys a strand of contemporary art that puts emotions front and center, built on the knowledge that rebirth grows out of experiences of things gone horribly wrong.

Location: The Rothko Chapel
Free Admission
Information: 713-524-9839

For more information about what’s going on at CLASS, please visit our Web site.

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 on the campus of the University Of Houston.

The election of Barack Obama as the nation’s 44th president is the topic of our discussion this month with three researchers.

Tyrone Tillery is an associate professor in the Department of History specializing in African-American and Civil Rights history.

He served as the executive director of the Detroit branch of the NAACP, and is recipient of the 1993 Gustavus Myers Center Outstanding Book Award on the subject of intolerance in the United States.

Jeronimo Cortina is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, a research associate at the Center for Public Policy, and a visiting scholar in the Center for Mexican American Studies. And, he is one of the authors of Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: Why Americans vote the way they do.

Jim Granato is the director of the Center for Public Policy and an associate professor in the Department of Political Science. His recent book is The Role of Policymakers in Business Cycle Fluctuations.

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