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Commencement Fall 2008 Antel


Renu Khator

Khator named to advisory council


Melisa White

CLASS students learn politics


Andrew Carnegie

UH gets Carnegie classifi-cation


Elizabeth Warren

Do you know this alumna?
She’s tracking your moolah


Chasing the dragon in SA

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Watch out, everyone. Nearly a thousand new CLASS Cougars prowl the landscape today, following the Dec. 19, 2008, Commencement at Hofheinz Pavilion.

We had about 500 degree recipients walk across the stage and shake hands with Dean Antel and other administrators. In all, about 850 students applied for undergraduate CLASS degrees, and 126 applied for graduate and doctoral degrees.

Oh, and almost a fourth of those receiving baccalaureate degrees (196) graduated cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude. With honors, in other words.

Congratulations to all of our new CLASS alumni and to their families.

Below are links to various portions of the ceremonies.

J. Matthew Boyleston Rivka Mignonne Reitsis Noskeau

Student speakers Boyleston and Noskeau

Student speaker J. Matthew Boyleston, Ph.D., EnglishCreative Writing

Student speaker Rivka Mignonne Reitsis Noskeau, B.A., Theatre

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News from the Dean's Office

Dean John Antel

John Antel takes his new position as Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of the University of Houston System and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost of the University of Houston on February 1.

So this will be his final appearance as Dean in Graffit-e, the electronic newsletter of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Houston, where he has been dean since 2002.

Prior to taking dean’s post, he was chair of the economics department for about five years.

John Antel joined the UH faculty in 1981 as an assistant professor of economics. He was named an associate professor in 1988 and became a full professor in 1995.

He has chaired the Undergraduate Enrollment Management Taskforce and served on the University of Houston Academic Senate Executive Committee

He came to the university after working as a consultant in labor and population studies for the Rand Corporation.

John Antel received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of California at Berkely, and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Los Angeles.

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Khator named to India’s Global Advisory Council

President Renu Khator

President Renu Khator, Professor of Political Science, is on the Prime Minister of India’s Global Advisory Council. Khator, who was born in the Uttar Pradesh province of India and earned a bachelor's degree at Kanpur University, is among eminent people of Indian origin in diverse fields around the world who make up the 25-member council.

“I am deeply honored to join such a prestigious group of world leaders whom I will serve with on the council,” Khator says. “This represents yet another opportunity to position the University of Houston as a global resource for expertise and to increase the university's visibility on an international scale.” (Richard Bonnin)

Paul Gregory and the Lost Politburo Transcripts

Paul Gregory

Paul Gregory, Cullen Distinguished Professor of Economics, and fellow Hoover fellow Norman Naimark of Stanford University, edited the groundbreaking Lost Politburo Transcripts: From Collective Rule to Stalin's Dictatorship (Yale University Press and Hoover Press, 2008, 288 pages), the latest in the Yale-Hoover series on Josef Stalin, Stalinism, and the Cold War. The book is a collection of works from prominent Western and Russian scholars who examined verbatim transcripts of Soviet Politburo meetings from the 1920s to 1938, but that stayed in secret archives until the late 1990s. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in Politburo power struggles and early Soviet history.

CLASS faculty chosen for QEP

CLASS faculty members will participate in the University of Houston Quality Enhancement Plan. The University is bolstering student research skills with the Learning Through Discovery Initiative, part of the QEP. The initiative promotes a teaching and learning culture supportive of research in all disciplines for all undergraduate students.

The 10 CLASS faculty members are:

Scott Basinger

Scott Basinger, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Cynthia Freeland

Cynthia Freeland, Professor and Chair of Philosophy

Maria Gonzalez

Maria González, Associate Professor of English and Director of Upper Division Studies

Manuel Gutierrez

Manuel Gutiérrez, Associate Professor of Spanish Linguistics in Hispanic Studies

Janet Kohlhase, Associate Professor of Economics

Joseph Kotarba

Joseph Kotarba, Professor and Chair of Sociology

Carl Lindhal

Carl Lindhal, Martha Gano Houston Research Professor of English

David Mazella, Associate Professor of English

Dennis Rasmussen

Dennis Rasmussen, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Lynn Voskuil, Associate Professor of English

Pickering pens MacGregor story

James Pickering

James Pickering, Professor of English, has written another work about Estes Park, Colo, The MacGregors of Black Canyon: An American Story. Commissioned by the executive director of the Muriel MacGregor Charitable Trust, the 506 page book contains more than 140 historic photographs and maps and 16 contemporary color photos. Pickering is the honorary Historian Laureate of Estes Park. He’s written several books about the area and Colorado.

Bloggin' with Rigby

Elizabeth Rigby

Elizabeth Rigby, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Faculty Associate at the Center for Public Policy, has a regular blog on the Huffington Post. Her most recent blog, as of this writing, looks at why progressives should care whether an economic stimulus comes in the form of tax credits or spending. Rigby also is a Research Affiliate at the National Center for Children and Families at Columbia University. Her work examines the politics of poverty and inequality across a range of child and family programs, including Food Stamps, early childhood education, and Medicaid/SCHIP.

Divakaruni picked as Author of the Month

Chitra Divakaruni

Chitra Divakaruni, a professor in the Creative Writing program, was Arzoo Magazine’s December 2008 Author of the Month. Divakaruni, an award-winning poet and novelist, was born in India. Her short story collection, Arranged Marriage, received the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Prize for Fiction, the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award for Fiction, and an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. She has written four best selling novels: The Mistress of Spices (chosen by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the best 100 books of the 20th century), Sister of My Heart, Vine of Desire, and Queen of Dreams. She also wrote the short story collection, The Unknown Errors of Our Lives, and two children's novels, Neela: Victory Song and The Conch Bearer. Her latest work, The Palace of Illusions (Doubleday, 360 pages), recasts the Indian epic poem, The Mahabharata, said to be the world’s longest poem, coming in at 220,000 lines and written around 900 BC. You can read more about her in the March 2008 issue of Graffit-e.

Wagner's Panopticon


Cory Wagner, Assistant Professor of Sculpture, has a new show at Houston’s Lawndale Art Center. Personal Panopticon, borrows the concept from philosopher Jeremy Bentham’s 18th-century design for a prison that let an inspector spy on the inmates, which architect Silke Berit Lang called “a sentiment of invisible omniscience.” Because society trains us to look critically at ourselves, Wagner uses various means to make the room and the visitor shrink, grow, change, and think.

Heath and alumni help write the book on crisis communication

Bob Heath

Bob Heath, Emeritus Professor of Communication, was the lead editor on the Handbook of Crisis and Risk Communication (Routledge), with Dan O'Hair, past National Communication Association president. Heath and O'Hair wrote Chapter One, “The Significance of Crisis and Risk Communication.” Heath also was the lead author, along with O'Hair and Michael Palenchar (M.A. ’97 Public Relations) for the chapter “Community Building through Risk Communication Infrastructures.” Heath and Stephanie Proutheau (M.A. ’06 Public Relations Studies), a doctoral student at the Sorbonne, wrote “Precautionary Principle and Biotechnology: Regulators are from Mars and Activists Are from Venus,” based in part on her master’s thesis. Palenchar wrote another chapter, “Historical Trends of Risk and Crisis Communication.” And, Mike Ryan, Professor of Communication, wrote the chapter “Science Literacy and Risk Analysis: Relationship to the Postmodernist Critique, Conservative Christian Activists, and Professional Obfuscators.”

Emery hangs with KISS

Mike Emery

Mike Emery, Adjunct Lecturer, wrote a chapter in Business of Entertainment: Popular Music (Praeger Publishers), edited by Robert Sickels. Mike’s chapter, “Rock Brands”, focuses on branding strategies in popular music. He interviewed musicians from groups such as Journey and KISS, and noted graphic artists who created iconic logos for acts such as AC/DC and Motorhead. Sociology Chair Joe Kotarba was also interviewed for the chapter.

Wave of Research

Adjunct Lecturers Rosario Laudicina (Principal at Pensar LLC) and Ken Bielicki (VP and Group Media Director at Fogerty, Klein, Monroe) had their 3360 Principles of Advertising classes develop case studies for the M.D. Anderson Library in the fall semester. Final products included research/assessment data, media plans, and creative execution. The UH Library deans selected the Wave of Research campaign for implementation, which uses water sports and recreation as a theme. It will be used in outreach to faculty and students.

Find out about other Valenti faculty activity at the school’s Weekly Update site.

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CLASS students intern up close and personal with politics

The Alumni section of this month’s Graffit-e profiles one CLASS alumna trying to track the economic bailout money, and another alumna who ended her tenure as the nation’s top education official. It also lists the UH and CLASS alumni serving in the Texas Legislature and in the U.S. Congress. It’s a pretty impressive list, one that shows the depth of leadership among CLASS graduates.

Well, we add to that leadership every year through such opportunities as the Government Internship in the Center for Public Policy. Last semester, 50 University of Houston and University of Houston-Downtown students worked as CPP interns in government offices, public service organizations, and political campaigns in Houston, Washington, D.C., and Florida. Click here to find out more.

Armondo Walle

By the way, Texas State Representative Armondo Walle (’04 Political Science) is an alumnus of UH and of the internship program.

The Houston Chronicle recently ran a profile on Rep. Walle that you read by clicking here.

2009 Mickey Leland
Congressional Interns

CPP also serves as home to the Mickey Leland Congressional Internship Program. More than 200 students from UH, UHD, and Texas Southern University count themselves as alumni of this program that provides intern opportunities in the U.S. House and Senate.

The 2009 Leland interns from UH include:

Natali Blevins Andrew Leba
Natali Blevins, Senior Andrew Leba, Senior
Double major in Psychology and Political Science Double major in Biology and Political Science
Working with Rep. Gene Green (’71 Business) of Texas Working with Rep. Michael Honda of California

Shiv Srivastava Melissa White
Shiv Srivastava, Junior Melissa White, Senior
Majoring in Political Science Double major in Political Science and Psychology
Working with Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas Working with Rep. Al Green of Texas

You can find out more about the Leland Internship and about this year’s interns from UH, UHD, and TSU at the program’s Web site.

And, you can read the Houston Chronicle story about the program and watch a video of the interns talking about why this is a good time to start in politics by clicking here.

1st Texas Political Science Student Conference

Here’s an invitation to all graduate students to submit papers for the inaugural Texas Political Science Student Conference sponsored by the Political Science Graduate Student Association at UH and the Political Science department.

The conference highlights the research accomplishments of graduate students in a collegial and professional setting. Organizers welcome papers on any topic related to government and/or politics. All subfields and political science perspectives are welcome. If you are interested, e-mail your abstract to by January 30. Those selected will be contacted in mid February. Final papers are due by May 8.

If you would like to serve as a discussant on a panel, please send an email to stating your interest and main areas of scholarly knowledge.

Zhu receives Marshall Scholarship, going to UK (no, the other UK, over there)

Jessica Zhu

Jessica Wei Zhu, a senior Piano Performance major in the Rebecca and John J. Moores School of Music starts her graduate studies London’s Guildhall School of Music in September. Jessica is one of 40 U.S. students named as Marshall Scholars, which allows her to continue her education for two years in the United Kingdom.

“When I learned that I was a named a Marshall Scholar, it was a life-changing moment,” Zhu says. “It’s wonderful to have people believe in me and realize the value of student musicians.”

You may remember our story about her in the April, 2008, edition of Graffit-e, where we told you about her grand prize in the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Young Artist Piano Competition national finals in Denver, Colo. The prize included a Steinway grand piano and possible concert appearances. To get to Denver, she won the Texas and South Central Division competitions of MTNA.

Her other awards include the 2006 Young Texas Artists Music Competition and the 2004 Kingsville International Young Performers Competitions.

“We are very proud that one of our most outstanding graduates has received this prestigious scholarship,” said David Ashley White, Professor of Composition and Music Theory, and Director of the Moores School. “I have long been impressed with Jessica’s great talent as a pianist and her prowess as a scholar. She will represent UH well!”

Nancy Weems, Professor of Piano, guided Zhu through her musical development at UH. Zhu credits Weems’ experience as a musician and a mentor in assisting her growth as a pianist.

Zhu was born in Shanghai, China, and moved to the Houston area when she was 11. She picked up the piano as a young girl, and when she was in junior high, she met Weems while taking lessons from Weems’ husband, John.

Marshall Scholarships, established in 1953, are named for former Secretary of State George C. Marshall. They are mainly funded by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and overseen by the Marshall Commission.
(Mike Emery contributed to this story)

Charara Receives NEA Fellowship

Hayan Charara

As a teenager, Hayan Charara was thrilled to see his first published poem a few pages away from a piece by beat scribe Allen Ginsberg.  The experience energized and inspired Chara, who later wrote two books and emerged as a dynamic literary voice. Now a doctoral candidate in our Creative Writing Program, Charara received a $25,000 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship.

“This fellowship makes my job as a writer much easier, as it allows me to spend more time working on poems,” says Charara. “In fact, this comes at a perfect time. I'm about finished with a third collection of poems, and over the next year or so, I will ready them for a new book.”

Charara wrote The Alchemist's Diary (Hanging Loose Press, 2001, 85 pages) and The Sadness of Others (Carnegie-Mellon University Press, 2006, 57 pages). Common themes and topics presented in his works focus on Arab-American culture, family relationships, and loss of loved ones.

Charara grew up in Detroit and moved to Houston in 2003 to hone his talents in CWP.

“Past and present faculty, including Tony Hoagland (2008 Jackson Poetry Prize), Mark Doty (2008 National Book Award), Nick Flynn (1999 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award) and visiting poet Jane Miller (1993 Western States Book Award) challenged me to reconsider how I write and what I write about, all the while still honoring the vision I have for my poems,” he explains. “I owe them a good deal.”

“One of the genuine joys of working in UH’s Creative Writing Program is being able to teach and learn from talented students such as Hayan Charara," says J. Kastely, CWP director.  “He brings to poetry a sensibility that is tuned keenly to issues of justice and issues of beauty.”

CWP offers graduate poets, fiction writers and non-fiction writers training in both creative writing and literary studies. Students emerge from the program with either a Master of Fine Arts or a doctorate.
(Mike Emery)

Cougars no longer national-record holders, Vollmer plays again

The UH Cougar Football Team ended the nation’s longest bowl losing streak last month by defeating the Air Force Academy in the Armed Forces Bowl up in Fort Worth. Cougar fans remember the loss earlier in the year to Air Force. That’s the game we moved out of Robertson Stadium because Ike was marching our way.

Sebastian Vollmer

Sebastian Vollmer, a CLASS alumnus AND a CLASS student, was one of three Cougars selected to play in the East-West Shrine game on Jan. 17 at Robertson. Sabastian (’07 Public Relations/Advertising), of Kaarst, Germany, is completing a second undergraduate degree in Economics.


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New Carnegie classification moves UH closer to Tier One status

Andrew Carnegie

The University of Houston received great news just before the holiday break when the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching announced our inclusion in its 2008 Community Engagement Classification. UH is among 119 U.S. colleges and universities selected in this go-around, and the only public metropolitan university in Texas to make the grade. A total of 147 institutions across the nation applied.

The Community Engagement Classification differs from other Carnegie classifications in that it is an elective process that does not rely on national data. The Foundation asks institutions to submit required documentation describing the nature and extent of their engagement with their various communities, which allows the Foundation to address elements of institutional mission and distinctiveness not represented in national data.

The Foundation classified the Institutions in one of three categories:

  • Curricular Engagement describes teaching, learning and scholarship that engage faculty, students and community in mutually beneficial and respectful collaboration. Their interactions address community-identified needs, deepen students’ civic and academic learning, enhance community well-being, and enrich the scholarship of the institution. (Three institutions)

  • Outreach and Partnerships describes two different, but related, approaches to community engagement. The first focuses on the application and provision of institutional resources for community use with benefits to the institution and to its community. The latter focuses on collaborative interactions with community and related scholarship for the mutually beneficial exchange, exploration, and application of knowledge, information, and resources (research, capacity building, economic development, etc.). (Six institutions)

  • Curricular Engagement and Outreach & Partnerships includes institutions with substantial commitments in first two categories. (110 institutions)

Rice University, Duke University, Michigan State University, The Ohio State University, the University of California at Los Angeles, Louisiana State University, and the University of Houston-Clear Lake joined UH in the third category. UH-Downtown made the cut in Outreach and Partnerships.

Renu Khator

UH already carries the Foundation’s highest-level classification as a doctoral-granting research university.

“This milestone is truly a testament to the hard work and commitment of our students, faculty and staff,” said President Renu Khator. “Recognition by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is one of three universally accepted national benchmarks of top-tier universities. Support for the University of Houston’s designation as a top-tier university is building, and this achievement further empowers our path to inclusion among the nation’s top national research universities.”

In putting on her UH System Chancellor’s hat, Khator noted the selections of UH, UHCL and UHD “illustrate the strength and quality of the entire UH System.”

Welcome Wilson, Sr.

Welcome Wilson Sr., Chair of the UH System Board of Regents, praised the selections as the latest in a series of successes for the System.

“This prestigious recognition for community engagement is one that we have emphasized for some time. It was only a few weeks ago that The Princeton Review named the Bauer College of Business Entrepreneurship Program number one in the nation. Earlier, a former student in the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication received the Pulitzer Prize for photojournalism. More recently, a Moores School of Music student won a Marshall Scholarship, earning her the opportunity to further her studies at a higher learning institution in the United Kingdom. All of these achievements reflect well on the world-class education offered at the University of Houston.”

Carroll Ray

The Carnegie classification “is indeed great news and well-deserved recognition,” said UH System Regent Carroll Robertson Ray, the latest member of the distinguished Cullen Family to sit on the governing board. “My heartfelt congratulations go out to all of our dedicated faculty and staff throughout the UH System who are making such a difference in Houston and its surrounding communities.”

Elevating UH into the ranks of the nation’s top research universities is one of President Khator’s major goals. The University’s designation as a community-engaged institution is especially significant, because Khator strongly emphasizes that support of the Greater Houston community is essential to achieving top-tier status.

“The University of Houston has more impact than perhaps any other institution of higher learning on the culture and economy of America's fourth-largest city,” said Houston Mayor Bill White. “It is deserving of this recognition among America's top-flight colleges and universities. We know it to be deserving of top tier recognition in so many of its endeavors.”

Texas has just three Tier One universities: the University of Texas at Austin; Texas A&M University; and Rice University, a small private university with about 5,000 students.
UH, which has more than 36,000 students, is one of seven Texas public universities seeking Top Tier designation, and money, from the State.
(Richard Bonnin contributed to this story).

UH gets more SACS

Once again, UH comes through in the SACS. UH officials returned from San Antonio last month with the good news of reaffirmation of accreditation by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, or SACS.

“The reaffirmation reflects UH’s commitment to excellence in higher education,” said President Khator. “It also is indicative of the university’s dedication to its students. Just as our students work hard to earn their degrees, UH is committed to meeting and exceeding specific professional standards and criteria that are part of the accreditation process.”

SACS accredits colleges and universities throughout 11 southern states and parts of Latin America. Accreditation indicates UH maintains clearly specified educational objectives consistent with our mission and appropriate to the degrees we offer. We also have to show that we achieve those objectives.

The reaffirmation process occurs every 10 years. UH has been going through the process for two years. Universities participating in this voluntary evaluation must submit a compliance certification document and develop a Quality Enhancement Plan aimed at bolstering student learning.

The compliance document was reviewed in November 2007. In April 2008, a team consisting of representatives from peer institutions conducted an on-site review of the university.

Jerald Strickland

Leading UH’s reaffirmation efforts was Jerald Strickland, Interim Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

“In any industry, there always is a need to measure quality. In higher education, the reaffirmation of accreditation includes an extensive review of an institution, its faculty, colleges, resources, programs and facilities,” Strickland said.

UH’s QEP, the Learning Through Discovery Initiative, focuses on strengthening undergraduate research by provided students with research-related training, engaging them in research opportunities, and connecting them to mentors and resources on campus and in the community. The skills students learn will augment their education experience and better prepare them for their chosen careers, said Veronique Tran, founding director of the Office of Undergraduate Discovery Programs.

Photo by Mauricio Lazo,
The Daily Cougar

“As part of this initiative, we’ve already launched several exciting programs and resources to provide research training and expand research opportunities for students in all fields of study,” Tran said. “These include the Discovery Workshop Series, the Undergraduate Research Travel Award Program and the QEP Curriculum Development Program.”

This spring, a Web-based tool, eDISCOVERY, will be available to help the greater Houston community participate in the initiative. The tool will enable faculty and staff, and local industry, small businesses, non-profit organizations - and alumni in these sectors - to connect to UH students.

After five years, UH will deliver a report on the development and growth of the Learning Through Discovery Initiative to SACS.

“Our goal is to evolve this initiative,” Strickland said. “We ultimately want to see it grow from being a program to being a part of the learning culture on this campus.” (Mike Emery)

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Two Communication Disorders alumnae are in the national and local news. One is helping us sort out our national economic crisis, and the other, along with her husband, is helping our students and faculty through special endowments.

Warren on the case

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren (’70 Communication Disorders), at the time of this writing, chairs the Congressional Oversight Panel monitoring the spending of the federal bailout money. Since 1995, she’s been a member of the Harvard Law faculty where she is the Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law and writes about bankruptcy and credit issues facing middle-class Americans. Warren recently called for the creation of a financial products safety commission, which would regulate credit products in the same way the government regulates other consumer goods. She frequently testifies before Congress about proposals to change the way lenders relate to consumers. Warren is the author of The Two Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers are Going Broke. She received the Sacks-Freund Award in 1997. In 2008, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Howards establish scholarships, fellowships

Sue Howard (M.A. Communication Disorders ’81) and her husband, Dick, set up the Pattye Sue Stephens Lebel and Jesse Loran Lebel Communication Disorders Faculty Fellowship Endowment for the support of a faculty member in Communication Sciences and Disorders in memory of Sue’s parents.

They also established the Raymond Oeland McCall Scholarship Endowment for the American Humanics Program in the Graduate College of Social Work, and the Howard Family Inspiring Excellence Scholarship Endowment in ComD.

And, through the efforts of Sue and the UH ComD Alumni Association, ComD is the new home for the UH ComD Alumni Association Scholarship Endowment and its first faculty fellowship endowment.

Says Sue, “I think what I love about UH is that the quality is top-notch. It served me well, and I am proud to have attended UH and now to give back.”

“We believe in philanthropy, and we believe in education,” says Dick. “Those two things are really what drive us to do what we do.”

And, we’re glad! You can read more of their story, and others, in the recent issue of The University of Houston Magazine. (Bob Wright ’75)

If you’d like information about how you can establish a scholarship, fellowship, or endowment, just send us an email at

COM Foundation Donor of the Year

Carolyn Robinson (’62 English) of Texas City is the College of the Mainland Foundation 2008 Donor of the Year. Robinson, who also graduated from COM's associate-degree nursing program, endowed the Herb and Betty Langford Memorial Scholarship to assist future COM nursing students.

Robinson established the scholarship in her parents’ name because of the assistance she received from scholarships during her student days in the COM nursing program and her family's close ties to the college. Both Langfords served for years on the Citizens Advisory Council at COM.

Spellings says goodbye

Margaret Spellings (’79 Political Science) is among many CLASS alumni who have served, and continue to serve, our cities, our states, and our nation (see below for list of current Texas congressional and legislative members). The most recent U.S. Secretary of Education received an honorary doctorate from UH in 2004.

Margaret Spellings

Spellings was born in Michigan and moved to Houston at an early age, where she attended public schools. Prior to serving in the administration of Gov. George W. Bush, Spellings worked for Austin Community College, the American Cancer Society, and the Republican Party of Texas, and as Associate Executive Director of the Texas Association of School Boards.As Senior Advisor to Gov. Bush from 1995 to 2001, she was responsible for developing and implementing his education policies, including the Texas Reading Initiative; the Student Success Initiative, aimed at eliminating social promotion; and a strong school assessment and accountability system.

In 2001, she left Austin for D.C. to be Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy. In this role, she helped craft education policies including the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. She also was responsible for the development and implementation of White House policy on issues such as immigration, health, labor, transportation, justice, and housing.

In 2005, President Bush appointed her to the post of eighth Secretary of Education where she was responsible for the federal coordination of the nation’s education system and the management of a 5,000-person department that oversees federal education policy development for the K-12 sector and higher education.

Birk to George

Peg Birk

Peg Birk (’76 Philosophy) is the first full-time executive director of the George Family Foundation. Most recently, she was co-executive director of the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation. Prior to that, she was interim president for The McKnight Foundation. Birk is on the Minnesota Women’s Economic Roundtable board of directors, the Dean’s Advisory Council at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, and the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation board of directors.

Lumpkin draws on art history degree

Libby Lumpkin

Libby Lumpkin (’74 Art), director of the Las Vegas (Nev.) Art Museum, is an art historian, author, editor, critic, and curator. She’s also developing a graduate program in design for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Lumpkin earned her BA in Art History at UH, her MA in Art History at the University of Texas at Austin, and her Ph.D. at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. She is working on a catalog for the Martin Mull exhibition at Spike Gallery in New York, and she’s organizing a biennial exhibition for the Washington Project for the Arts at the Corcoran Museum in Washington, D.C.

Corona also in Vegas

Jesse Corona

Jesse Corona (’01 Media Productions) is doing news at KVBC-TV, the NBC affiliate in Las Vegas, Nev. He reports for the 4, 5, and 6 p.m. news Monday through Friday. Before he received his UH degree, he spent about six years in the U.S. Navy as a reporter and photographer for the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service. He then came to the Navy Recruiting District in Houston where he became the youngest person to receive the “Public Affairs Officer of the Year” award. After getting his degree, he worked at Houston’s KTRK-TV as a photographer/editor, then did a stint as a reporter for News24 in Houston before heading to New Mexico to be the Four Corners Bureau Chief for KOAT-TV based in Albuquerque.

Moshiri featured writer

Farnoosh Moshiri

Farnoosh Moshiri (MFA Creative Writing ’00) was a featured writer at the Art League Houston and Voices Breaking Boundaries Nov. 16, 2008, event: We the People: Writers’ Voices from Iran, Palestine, and Pakistan. Moshiri comes from a literary family in Tehran, Iran, and has lived in Houston since 1987. She’s written three novels: At the Wall of the Almighty (Interlink Publishing Group, 1999, 495 pages), The Bathhouse (Beacon Press, 2nd Edition, 2003, 148 pages), Against Gravity (Penguin [Non-Classics], 2005, 336 pages), and a collection of short stories, The Crazy Dervish and the Pomegranate Tree (Black Heron Press, 2004, 180 pages). 

UH Alumni shaping our future

The 111th Congress and the 81st Texas Legislature are under full steam in D.C. and Austin, respectively. Once again, UH (and CLASS) Cougars prowl the halls of power. We’ve put together a list of the Cougar Congressional and Legislative delegations, along with links to their Web pages, so you can keep track of what they’re doing on our and your behalf. Their Web pages also have contact information, just in case you need to set them straight on a thing or two.

U.S. House of Representatives

Gene Green Ted Poe
Gene Green
(’71 Business)
Ted Poe
(’73 Law)
29th Congressional District 2nd Congressional District
Web page Web page

Texas Senate

Royce West John Whitmire
Royce West
(’79 Law)
John Whitmire
(’75 Political Science, ’76 Law)
District 23 District 15
Web page Web page

Texas House of Representatives

Alma Allen Carol Alvarado Bill Callergari
Alma Allen
(’92 Ed.D.)
Carol Alvarado
(’92 Political Science)
Bill Callegari
(’72 Civil Engineering)
District 131 District 145 District 131
Web page Web page Web page

Jessica Farrar Ana Hernandez Chuck Hopson
Jessica Farrar
(’95 Architecture)
Ana Hernandez
(’99 Political Science)
Chuck Hopson
(’65 Pharmacy)
District 148 District 143 District 11
Web page Web page Web page

Dora Olivo Chuck Hopson Larry Phillips
Dora Olivo
(’75 M.Ed., ’81 Law)
Larry Phillips
(’90 Law)
Robert Talton
(’71 Business)
District 127 District 62 District 144
Web page Web page Web page

Senfronia Thompson Sylvester Turner Beverly Woolley
Senfronia Thompson
(’96 Law)
Sylvester Turner
(’77 Political Science)
Beverly Woolley
(’93 Political Science)
District 141 District 139 District 136
Web page Web page Web page

John Zerwas Armondo Walle
John Zerwas
(’76 Biology)
Armondo Walle
(’04 Political Science)
District 28 District 140
Web page Web page

In memorium

Grace Anthony (’63 Psychology, MA ’65 Psychology), who founded one of the first industrial psychology firms in the southwestern United States, died Dec. 23, 2008, at the age of 94. She and her husband, the late psychologist John H. Anthony (’58 Psychology), established The Personnel Counselors firm in Houston in 1944, screening job applicants and employees up for promotions within sales firms, banks, construction companies, homebuilding companies and accounting firms.


Charles Franklin Lisman III (MA ’72 Music), born on July 11, 1938, died Dec.13, 2008

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Faculty research mentoring award nominations sought

We highlight student researchers this month here in the Discovery section of Graffit-e. But, before we meet a couple of outstanding CLASS student researchers, we have this announcement from the Office of Undergraduate Research about the 2009 Faculty Award for Mentoring Undergraduate Research. This $5,000 award recognizes demonstrated excellence in mentoring undergraduate researchers, encourages mentoring relationships with undergraduate students, and conveys the university’s high regard for such contributions made by the faculty of the academic and research community.

This award goes to faculty members that mentor undergraduates outside of the classroom, and their commitment to undergraduate research extends above and beyond the classroom experience.

The Faculty Award for Mentoring Undergraduate Research is a career award open to faculty members from all departments who make a significant contribution to their fields by supporting and mentoring undergraduate students in research and scholarship endeavors. Full professors, associate professors, and assistant professors who have made a lasting commitment to undergraduate research within their respective departments, and have served at the university for at least five years are eligible for the award.

Nomination forms are available on the Office of Undergraduate Research's website. All nomination materials and letters of support must be received at the Office of Undergraduate Research by Monday, February 9th. If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact Stuart Long at or Karen Weber at

Chasing the dragon in SA

Each year, the UH Division of Research hosts Undergraduate Research Day to showcase the work of student/faculty teams from across the university. This year, two CLASS students received Poster Presentation Awards for their work, showing again that research is not confined to science labs. You can read about them in the November issue of Graffit-e.

Alexandra Canga was one of those students. Alexandra is a Sociology major who looked at “Love, Sex, and RISK: Sexual Behaviors Among Mexican-American Heroin Sniffers.” And, she’s a research assistant in the Office for Drug and Social Policy Research in the Graduate College of Social Work.

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

Prof. Cepeda has written about the relationship between drugs and violence, sex workers on the U.S./Mexico boarder, gang affiliated adolescent females, and risk associated with transitioning to injecting heroin use. She also is co-investigator of a National Institute on Drug Abuse study examining how disaster related experiences associated with Hurricane Katrina impact changes in substance use and abuse patterns.

Weisinger gets NIH big bux, summer job

Brian Weisinger, a Senior Psychology major, received not only $20,000 from the National Institutes for Health Undergraduate Scholarship Program for academic and living expenses, but also a summer job if he wants it. Hey, you can’t beat that with a stick!

Yet the Houston native tells the story quite matter-of-factly, as if winning the nationally competitive award and landing a gig to boot weren’t exceptional. “It takes a lot of time and commitment from yourself, but it is worth it because you really only get out of it what you put into it,” Weisinger explains.

Weisinger believes in the no pain, no gain approach, and that’s why he threw himself into research projects in five UH laboratories – all while working off campus 30 hours a week .

NIH recognized what UH already knew, which is why he’s received the Provost Undergraduate Research Scholarship and the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship to fund his research activities.

His thesis, in collaboration with graduate student Stephanie Kovacs, who is studying Child-Family Clinical Health Psychology, examines how the parents of sick children approach treatment options and how the ages and illnesses of the children interact with demographic and personal characteristics of the parents.

“With pediatric illness, treatment decisions may be particularly hard for parents due to conflicting feelings of wanting to protect the child while at the same time minimize the child’s suffering,” explains Weisinger. “To facilitate discussion between parents and physicians, it is important to understand how the characteristics of a child patient impact the treatments selected.”

The SURF award funded the initial research to create a questionnaire that investigates how a serious illness affects a patient’s goals and how abandoning or changing those goals affect the patient’s quality of life. Weisinger collaborated on that project with Liz Ross, a first-year Clinical Health Psychology graduate student who assisted in the coding and statistical analyses.

“Various areas of psychology have investigated goals and their impact on quality of life,” he points out. “However, there has been little research in health psychology addressing the role of serious illness upon goals.”

Weisinger says UH research prepared him for his stint at the NIH. “There is really no other way to learn how to be a researcher than to actually participate in it and learn from experience. There is no class that will teach you what you need to know.”

Weisinger credits much of his success to Associate Professor Mary Naus, Director of Developmental Psychology Training, and Director of Health Psychology Research Group.

“She takes pride in the development of her undergraduate research assistants. She knows where the student needs to be to be prepared for graduate school, and she makes sure that you learn all the different aspects of research that will help you in your future.”

Naus says Weisinger’s strong academic skills and commitment made him one of the top students in the structured training program in Clinical Health Psychology.

“Our research group is very proud of extraordinary research assistants like Brian,” Naus says. “We select about three students per year, and the best of them work with our team for two years, culminating their training with their own honors theses and authorship on conference posters.”

Just 14 students received the NIH scholarships out of 200 who applied. An NIH researcher and a postdoctoral fellow will mentor each student, who also will attend formal seminars and participate in a variety of programs.

After graduation, the scholars typically continue their training as full-time employees for a year in NIH research laboratories. Weisinger said he hopes to join a clinical psychology graduate program in the fall, but the extra year of training at NIH — the world’s largest biomedical research institution – also would be hard to turn down.
(Angela Hopp, ’00 Journalism)

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Around CLASS and Campus

Schmuckli to lead Blaffer

Claudia Schmuckli

Claudia Schmuckli is the new Director of Blaffer Gallery, the Art Museum of the University of Houston. Claudia joined Blaffer as Director of Public Relations and Membership in 2004 before her promotion to Curator in 2006. A Swiss citizen born in Japan and raised in Germany, she came to Houston via New York City where she was Assistant Curator at the Museum of Modern Art from 1999-2003, and Curatorial Assistant at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation from 1997-99. Claudia received her master’s degree in Art History from the Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany, in 1996.

Schmuckli has been a pivotal figure in the presentation of contemporary art in Houston. Chantal Akerman: Moving through Time and Space (2008) and the Houston Area Exhibition (2008) are her most recent Blaffer projects. Past exhibitions include Amy Sillman: Suitors & Strangers (2007), Katrina Moorhead: A Thing Called Early Blur (2007) and Urs Fischer: Mary Poppins (2006).

“I am excited to take the reins at this particular moment in time,” Schmuckli says. “I inherit a healthy institution with an exceptionally dedicated staff, enthusiastic board, and an ambitious agenda. With new university leadership in place that has made the advancement of the Arts one of its top priorities, this is a unique opportunity to build on past successes and to expand the reach of the museum’s exhibitions and programs on and off campus.”

“It has been a pleasure working with Claudia since she joined the museum,” notes Russell Sherrill, Chair of Blaffer’s advisory board. “Our board is confident in Claudia’s ability to lead the Blaffer and continue its success in reaching local, national and international audiences.”

Two galleries showing Damaged Romanticism: A Mirror of Modern Emotion

It’s common these days for exhibitions organized by Blaffer Gallery to go on the road and to great success in other galleries across the country. Film trivia buffs remember seeing the banner for the Chuck Close exhibition hanging from Gotham’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in the film Hitch. This month, art lovers in NYC and Southampton, New York, will enjoy Damaged Romanticism: A Mirror of Modern Emotion, organized for Blaffer by former Director Terrie Sultan, now Director of the Parrish Art Museum.

Damaged Romanticism brings together the works of 15 internationally recognized contemporary artists in paintings, sculpture, installations, photographs and videos. They explore such varied subjects as nature, the modern landscape, the human body, identity, relationships, and spirituality, presenting artists’ multilayered responses to the world.

This is the first exhibition jointly presented by the Grey Art Gallery in New York and the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton. It runs concurrently, opening January 13 at the Grey and February 7 at the Parrish. Says Sultan: “The artists, like the original Romantics who so powerfully transformed the arts and society two centuries ago, keenly feel the damage wrought by the forces of modernity and by our divorce from the natural world. But the fantasies of these damaged romantics are tempered by a pragmatic realism. Their sense of disillusionment and loss never stops them from clinging stubbornly to hope.”

Oil and Mud at Blaffer

Courtesy of the CLUI Photographic Archive

Texas Oil: Landscape of an Industry
January 17 – March 29

The Center for Land Use Interpretation is a research organization based in Culver City, Calif., involved in exploring, examining, and understanding land and landscape issues. Texas Oil: Landscape of an Industry, the culmination of CLUI’s study of Texas, shows how oil extraction and refining has sculpted the state’s terrain.

Brian Calvin
Guard (II), 2007
Acrylic on canvas
48 x 72 inches
Courtesy Marc Foxx Gallery, Los Angeles

Electric Mud
January 17–March 29

Electric Mud, guest-curated by David Pagel, art critic for the Los Angeles Times and Associate Professor of Art Theory and History at Claremont Graduate University, features the work of Californians Brian Calvin, Ron Nagle, Michael Reafsnyder, James Richards, Anna Sew Hoy, and Patrick Wilson. It explores visual art that confounds the boundaries between clay, traditionally used for its functionality, and paint, conventionally used for aesthetics.

Masters Art

The School of Art Masters Thesis Exhibition runs from April 11 - April 25 with the Opening Reception on Friday, April 10, 6-8 p.m. at Blaffer Gallery.

This exhibition marks the crowning achievement of a new generation of emerging artists graduating from the University of Houston. Following three years of research and development, this exhibition offers many students the first opportunity to show their work in a museum context and challenge the public with new, fresh ideas. A catalogue, including selected reproductions of each artist’s work, will accompany the exhibition.

Faculty, staff, students highlight annual TETA conference

The School of Theatre and Dance will have a big presence at this year’s Texas Educational Theatre Association annual conference, Jan. 22-25:

  • Workshops by Sidney Berger, Carolyn Boone, Brian Byrnes, Jackie deMontmollin, Jim Johnson, Mark Medoff, Jonathan Middents, Trish Rigdon, Brandy Robichau, Rob Shimko, and Claremarie Verheyan.

  • Professor Kevin Rigdon is the Keynote Speaker.

  • Distinguished Professors Mark Medoff and Mark Bly are special guests.

  • Freshman Playwright Richard Sabatucci won PlayFest with his play Good John and will see it performed at the convention. 

  • Graduate student Cherie Acosta will present a workshop on Costume Design.

  • 10 Theatre students will be working the convention.

  • UH is sponsoring the Hospitality Booth.

  • UH is hosting an alumni reception on Friday evening.

Have time for a show in April?
AUDITION for The Honors College

In April, The Honors College at the University of Houston stages an adaptation of Euripides’ The Children of Herakles, based on a new translation by an Honors College faculty member.

The chorus will have a strong emphasis on movement; actors with experience in modern dance are encouraged to audition.
All actors will receive a stipend.

• Roles are available for actors and actresses of all ages.
• 10-person Greek chorus
• 5 - 7 named speaking roles

• Please bring a headshot and resume.  
• Please prepare a short monologue from any period or genre and an a cappella song.
• Be prepared to do cold reads and participate in a dance audition. The dance audition will follow the lunch break.
• Please be dressed to dance by 1 pm.

DATE: Saturday, January 24

TIME: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm (hour break for lunch)

LOCATION: Commons Area at Honors College in MD Anderson Library

CONTACT: John Harvey at for more information

Coming productions

Still ahead for the rest of the season are 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.

Edward Albee

Edward Albee

• Feb. 13 - 22, 2009
At Home at the Zoo (formerly titled Peter and Jerry) by Edward Albee; Directed by Sidney Berger, Houston Premiere

Fifty years ago, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and former UH professor Edward 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. Albee added a first act, Homelife, which details Peter’s marriage and the events leading up to his meeting with Jerry. Peter and hiis wife Ann survive a confessional that shakes their 15-year marriage. Homelife ends with Peter going to read a book in Central Park, where a chance meeting with a stranger named Jerry will change his life in an alarming way.
Experience the intensity and honesty for which Albee is known.

A member of the Dramatist Guild Council, Albee has received three Pulitzer Prizes for drama, a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement, as well as the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of the Arts. He taught playwriting at the University of Houston from 1989 – 2003.

"...tight dialogue, a challenging premise and an unsettling ending."
- New York Times

Charles 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

• 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 Amy 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:

• 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 Mark Medoff, Distinguished Lecturer, and present them during intimate readings.

Announcing the 2009 Gulf Coast Prizes in Poetry, Fiction and Nonfiction:

Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Art is accepting applications for the 2009 Gulf Coast Contests, awarding publication and $1,000 each in Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction.

Brigit Pegeen Kelly

Brigit Pegeen Kelly (Poetry), the 2008 recipient of the Academy of American Poets Fellowship, and Professor of English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign;

Antonya Nelson

Creative Writing faculty member Antonya Nelson (Fiction), named by The New Yorker as one of the “twenty young fiction writers for the new millennium”; and

Dinty W. Moore

Dinty W. Moore (Non-fiction), creative writing instructor at Ohio University and winner of the 2008 Grub Street National Book Prize in Non-Fiction.


Submit one previously unpublished story or essay (25 double-spaced pages max) or up to five previously unpublished poems (10 pages max). Indicate your genre on the outer envelope. Your name and address should appear on the cover letter only. Include a SASE for results. Manuscripts will not be returned.

Your $20 reading fee, payable to "Gulf Coast," will include a one-year subscription.

Postmark deadline: March 31, 2009.

Send Entries to:

Gulf Coast Prize in [Genre]
Department of English
University of Houston
Houston, TX 77204-3013

Operas and International Piano Festival headline Moores dates

Spring at the Rebecca and John J. Moores School of Music brings a spectacular line up for our enjoyment.

The Edythe Bates Old/Moores Opera Center becomes the first university company to produce Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath (April 3-6), and only the second to produce Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas (Jan. 29-Feb. 2). Other memorable Houston premieres included Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges, Weber’s Der Freischütz, Barber’s Vanessa, Massenet’s Chérubin, Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims, and Weill’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. See calendar below for dates and other information.

On February 6-8, the 26th annual International Piano Festival presents Abbey Simon, Pascal Roge and Stephen Kovacevich in recitals and master classes.  

The 11th annual Jazz Festival presents the Texas Music Festival Jazz Project and saxophonist Bill Evans with our Jazz Orchestra on February 20-21.  

The Moores School of Music Society’s Annual Dinner Concert, In Grand Style, will be February 28.  

On March 6, our newest piano faculty member, Tali Morgulis, will perform Gershwin’s Concerto in F with our Symphony Orchestra.  

Moores closes its spectacular season with our Symphony and combined Choruses performing Verdi’s Requiem under the direction of distinguished conductor Murray Sidlin.  In addition to these events, our ensembles, faculty and guest performances, and master classes round out a vibrant and dynamic 2009!

Tickets and Information: 713-743-3313

Box Office hours: Monday - Friday, 9 am - 4 pm
Box Office personnel will confirm phone orders for tickets during business hours only.
Click here for updated information

For all concert information and box office rules, please visit the MSM website!

Friday, January 23, 7:30 pm $10/5
Mendelssohn, Korngold and Brahms - Oh My!
Kyung Sun Lee, violin
Brian Suits, piano
Concert in honor of Fredell Lack
Dudley Recital Hall

Monday, January 26, 1 pm Free  
Heasook Rhee,* piano
(Faculty, Manhattan School of Music)
Dudley Recital Hall

Tuesday, January 27, 7:30 pm Free
Tilmann Wick,* cello
(Faculty, Hanover Music Academy)
Heasook Rhee,* piano
Works by Schumann, Fueting, Poulenc, Brahms
Dudley Recital Hall

Wednesday, January 28, 12 pm Free
Tilmann Wick,* cello
Moores School of Music Room 147A

BuckRoss, producer/director
LucyArner, musicdirector

Thursday, January 29, 7:30 pm
Saturday, January 31, 7:30 pm
Sunday, February 1, 2 pm
Monday, February 2, 7:30 pm RS $15/10
Florencia en el Amazonas
by Daniel Catán
Feel the heat of the jungle as a riverboat travels down the Amazon and takes its passengers on a mysterious journey deep into the soul.  Audiences continue to clamor for this lush, gorgeously sensual music with echoes of Puccini and Debussy that will leave you spellbound in wonder. Sung in the original Spanish.

Friday, January 30, 7:30 pm
Sunday, February 1, 7:30 pm  RS $15/10
Lucio Silla
by W.A. Mozart
Spectacular arias reverberate with echoes of Don Giovanni in this early Mozart opera set amidst treacherous doings in ancient Rome.


February 6-8

Friday, February 6, 3 pm  Free
Opening Lecture
Performance and Analysis - or Synthesis:
Theorizing Gesture and Meaning for Performers

Robert Hatten*
(Faculty, Indiana University)
In conjunction with Texas Society for Music Theory   
Dudley Recital Hall

Friday, February 6, 7:30 pm RS $25/15
Abbey Simon Recital
Works by Bach, Clementi, Beethoven, Chopin, Ravel

Saturday, February 7, 9 am $10/5
Pascal Rogé* Master Class
Dudley Recital Hall

Saturday, February 7, 12:30 pm $15   
Artist Conversations Luncheon
Moores School of Music Room 118
/ Includes box lunch
Saturday, February 7, 2 pm $10/5
Abbey Simon Master Class
Dudley Recital Hall

Saturday, February 7, 7:30 pm RS $25/15   
Stephen Kovacevich* Recital
Works by Bach, Schumann, Beethoven

Sunday, February 8, 11:30 am $10/5   
Stephen Kovacevich* Master Class
Dudley Recital Hall

Sunday, February 8, 3 pm RS $25/15   
Pascal Rogé* Recital
Works by Fauré, Satie, Ravel, Poulenc, Debussy

Tuesday, February 10, 7:30 pm $10/5
Wayne Brooks, viola
Melissa Givens, soprano
Sophia Silivos,* violin
Kevin Dvorak,* cello
Rodney Waters,* piano
Works by Bolcom, Martinù, Schumann

Friday, February 13, 7:30 pm RS $15/10
Jonathan Floril,* piano
2008 National Chopin Competition Winner
Works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Scriabin
In cooperation with Kosciuszko Foundation - Texas Chapter

Sunday, February 15, 3 pm $10/5
Vagram Saradjian, cello
Beethoven: Sonatas for Cello and Piano, Op. 5, No. 2; Op. 102,
Nos. 1 & 2; Variations on Themes from Mozart’s Magic Flute

Monday, February 16, 12 pm Free
Justin O’Dell,* clarinet
(Faculty, Michigan State University)
Moores School of Music Room 147A

Monday, February 16, 7:30 pm Free
Justin O’Dell,* clarinet
Akiko Konishi,*** piano
Dudley Recital Hall

Monday, February 16, 7:30 pm $10/5
Moores School Percussion Ensemble’s Greatest Hits
Blake Wilkins, Alec Warren, directors
Works by Hollo, Deane, Pawassar, Cage, Smith

Tuesday, February 17, 7:30 pm $10/5
Timothy Hester, piano
All-Brahms recital performed on the 1839 Bösendorfer

Thursday, February 19, 1 pm Free
Jessica Mathaes,* violin
(Concertmaster, Austin Symphony)
Moores School of Music Room 108

Thursday, February 19, 7:30 pm $10/5
Lucy Arner, piano
Jessica Marsten,* soprano
Works by Wolf, Respighi, Rachmaninoff, Strauss
Dudley Recital Hall

Friday, February  20, 7:30 pm Free
Suites and Sweets
Jessica Mathaes,* violin
Rodney Waters,* piano
CD release recital.
Works by Cowell, Stravinsky, Korngold, De Falla,
Pierre Jalbert (world premiere)
Dudley Recital Hall

February 20 - 21

Friday, February 20, 7:30 pm  $10/5
Noe Marmolejo, director
Houston’s all-star professional jazz orchestra

Saturday, February 21, 7:30 pm  $15/10
BILL EVANS,* saxophones
Noe Marmolejo, director
Ryan Gabbart, assistant director

Monday, February 23, 7:30 pm $10/5
with the MacAdam-Somer Quartet**
Rob Smith, director
Jaemi Blair Loeb, assistant director
Contemporary folk music and a world premiere by Robert Nelson

Tuesday, February 24, 7:30 pm  $10/5

David Bertman, John Alstrin, directors
Works by Arnold, Grainger, Turina, Verdi, Sousa, Holst, more

Wednesday, February 25, 1 pm Free
Dudley Recital Hall

Sponsored by Houston Friends of Music

Saturday, February 28, 6 pm
In Grand Style

Tickets start at $300. Proceeds benefit scholarships and special projects.
Black tie.
Info: 713-743-3168 or 713-743-1304


Monday, March 2, 7:30 pm $10/5
Glad and Very:  The Music of Vincent Persichetti
Justin Smith, Richard Robbins,
Daniel Alexander,*** flute
Melanie Sonnenberg, mezzo-soprano
Howard Pollack, piano
Choral, vocal and chamber works by one of the 20th century’s most neglected masters, featuring Flower Songs, Winter Cantata, chamber music for piano and winds, and Emily Dickinson Songs.
(Pre-concert lecture at 7 pm)

Tuesday, March 3, 7:30 pm $10/5
Betsy Cook Weber, Richard Robbins, Justin Smith, Gregory McDaniel
, conductors
Works by Poulenc, Allaway, Berlin

Friday, March 6, 7:30 pm RS $15/10
Franz Anton Krager, conductor
Tali Morgulis, piano
Daniel Alexander,+ flute
Works by Nielsen, Fortmann, Gershwin
Featuring the newest member of our piano faculty in Gershwin’s Concerto in F.

Saturday, March 7, 7:30 pm  $10/5
David Bertman, director
Works by Corigliano, Dvorák, Grainger,
Ticheli, Persichetti, more

Tuesday, March 10, 7:30 pm $10/5
Bass Desires
Dennis Whittaker, double bass
Timothy Hester, piano
Works by Granados, Frescobaldi, Bach, Rabbath, Myers, Franck
Organ Recital Hall

Thursday, March 12, 12 pm
Lenten Concert
Richard Robbins
, conductor
St. Paul’s United Methodist Church
5501 Main Street
For info: 713-528-0527

Thursday, March 12, 7:30 pm $10/5
Sonata, Serenade and Suite Fantasie
Jennifer Keeney, flute
Timothy Hester, piano
Works by Bach, Martinú, Hanson, Alon, Widor
Dudley Recital Hall

Thursday, March 12, 7:30 pm Free
Friday, March 13, 7:30 pm Free
Britten Folk Song Project
Organ Recital Hall

In collaboration with Houston Grand Opera

Saturday, March 14, 4 pm  Free
An 18th-century Musical Pleasure Garden
with members of Ars Lyrica Houston*
Matthew Dirst
, director
Bayou Bend
1 Westcott Street
For info:

Saturday, March 28, 2 pm and 7:30 pm
Bach-Vivaldi Festival

Hans Graf,* conductor
Charles Hausmann, choral direction
Works by J.S. Bach, Vivaldi
Houston Baptist University
For info: 713-224-7575

Tuesday, March 31, 7:30 pm  $10/5
Franz Anton Krager, conductor
Andrzej Grabiec, violin
Sophia Silivos,* violin 
Rita Porfiris, viola
Steve Estes,* cello
Dennis Whittaker, bass
Melissa Suhr,* flute
Robin Hough, oboe
Randall Griffin, clarinet
Blake Wilkins, percussion
Nancy Weems, piano
Timothy Hester, harmonium
Timothy Jones, bass-baritone
Reger: Clarinet Quintet
Arrangements for chamber orchestra:
Debussy: Prélude à  l’après-midi d’un faune
Mahler: Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
Dudley Recital Hall


Thursday, April 2, 2 pm Free
Ricky Ian Gordon,* composer
Melanie Helton, ** soprano
(Faculty, Michigan State University)
Composer Ricky Ian Gordon and longtime collaborator Melanie Helton coach Gordon’s art songs and discuss his approach to writing for the voice.
Moores School of Music Room 129

Friday, April 3, 7:30 pm $10/5
Lawrence Wheeler, viola
Judy Kang,* violin
Lynn Harrell, cello
Mozart: Divertimento in E-flat
Beethoven: Eyeglasses Duo
Dudley Recital Hall

Buck Ross, producer/director
Lucy Arner, music director

Friday, April 3, 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 4, 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 5, 2 pm
Monday, April 6, 7:30 pm RS  $15/10

The Grapes of Wrath
by Ricky Ian Gordon
A Houston premiere!
Set off with the Joad family down Route 66 to find work in the golden land of California.  This American epic just premiered in 2007 to ecstatic reviews and audience accolades.  The Grapes of Wrath is a moving, heart-wrenching saga that celebrates the triumph of the human spirit. We are honored to be the first university production of this great work, and it will be an experience you will talk about for years to come. Sung in English. 

Thursday, April 9, 7 pm  Free
William Preucil,* violin
(Concertmaster, Cleveland Orchestra)
Dudley Recital Hall

Monday, April 13, 7:30 pm  $10/5
Blake Wilkins
, director
Works by Engelman, Xenakis, Hartke

Wednesday, April 15, 7:30 pm  $10/5
Rob Smith, director
Jaemi Loeb, assistant director
Works by award-winning student composers Hugh Lobel and Tyler Ruberg, more

Friday, April 17, 7:30 pm RS $15/10
Franz Anton Krager, conductor
Stanton Welch,* artistic director

Monday, April 20, 7:30 pm  $10/5
Muses and the Mythic
Jennifer Keeney, flute
Sonja Bruzauskas,* mezzo-soprano 
Anita Kruse,* piano 
Works by Mozart, Debussy, Gluck, and the premiere of Musaic by Paul English
Dudley Recital Hall

Wednesday, April 22, 7:30 pm  $10/5

Jon Faddis,* trumpet
Noe Marmoleo, director
Ryan Gabbart, assistant director

Friday, April 24, 7:30 pm $10/5
David Bertman, director
Kenneth Goldsmith,* violin
Works by Gottschalk, Villa-Lobos, Persichetti, Berlioz, Barber, Sousa, Hindemith, Strauss

Sunday, April 26, 3 pm  $10/5
David Bertman, John Alstrin
, directors
Works by Graham, Welcher, King, Wilson, Reed, Gillingham,
Camphouse, Bernstein, Chance, Grundman, Ellerby, Grainger, Sousa, Sparke

Thursday, April 30, 8 pm
Sunday, May 2, 8 pm
Monday, May 3, 8 pm

Leonard Slatkin,* conductor
Charles Hausmann, choral direction
Roberto Sierra: Missa Latina
Jones Hall, 615 Louisianna
For info: 713-224-7575


Friday, May 1, 7:30 pm RS $15/10
Verdi’s Requiem: a Defiant Requiem
Murray Sidlin,*
Franz Anton Krager, orchestral direction
Betsy Cook Weber, Richard Robbins, Justin Smith, choral direction
Cynthia Clayton, soprano
Melanie Sonnenberg, mezzo-soprano
Joseph Evans, tenor
Hector Vasquez, bass-baritone
Distinguished guest conductor Murray Sidlin leads the school’s combined forces in a moving version of the Verdi Requiem inspired by prisoners of Nazi concentration camp Terezin who gave 16 performances, singing libera me and salva me boldly and directly to their captors. Illuminated by video footage and narration by prisoners, this is, indeed, a “Defiant Requiem.”


20th Anniversary Season
Immanuel & Helen Olshan


Saturday, June 13, 7:30 pm
Franz Anton Krager, conductor
Richard Dowling, piano    
Mozart: Piano Concerto in E-flat, K. 482
Strauss: Alpine Symphony

Friday, June 19, 7:30 pm
Stephen Threlfall
, conductor
Ravel: Le Tombeau de Couperin
Britten: Suite on English Folk Songs

Stravinsky: Pulcinella (complete)

Saturday, June 20, 7:30 pm
Lavard Skou-Larsen, conductor
Mozart: Symphony No. 39 in E-flat, K. 543
Sibelius: Pelléas and Mélisande (excerpts)
Ibert: Divertissement

Saturday, June 27, 7:30 pm
Josep Caballé-Domenech, conductor
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist
Competition Winner, soloist
Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks
Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 3 in A minor

Saturday, July 3, 7:30 p.m.
Barry Jekowsky, conductor
Elmar Oliveira, violin
Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
Barber: Violin Concerto, Op. 14
Theofanidis: Symphony (commission premiere)


Tuesdays, June 9, 16, 23 and 30, 7:30 pm
Chamber music at its best with TMF faculty artists, guests, and the TMF Jazz Project.

More at CLASS

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