Graffit-e February 2010

UH Moores Concert Chorale

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Historic Historian


Bernadette Pruitt (History 2001) was the first African- American woman graduate of the Ph.D. program from the UH Department of History. Her dissertation is now becoming a book -- "For the Advancement of the Race", about the black migration from East Texas to Houston from 1900 to 1941.

Pruitt studied under Drs. Linda Reed and Joe Pratt. She was a respected student and revered for her confidence and tenacity. Pruitt left Detroit and came to Houston to seek opportunity. She put herself through T.S.U. as an undergraduate and then entered the UH History Ph.D. program. She is now a tenured associate professor in the history department at Sam Houston State University and specializes in black urban history.

Pruitt has authored a number of articles and essays on the black experience in the United States and her books, articles and papers have been cited in countless publications.

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Success is Brewing

Karla Mock (Art, '94) received her master’s degree in jewelry and metal smithing. But diamonds and pearls aren't the accessories she's focused on these days, now it's more like Michelob Light and Budweiser.

Mock and Sullins

Mock and Sullins

Mock and her co-worker Russell Sullins spend the workday thinking about beer, and the duo have won acclaim for their Beer Gourmet program. As Graphic Design Coordinator at Del Papa Distributing, Mock began developing store displays that would promote a beer-food pairing in the beverage aisles of grocery stores. Sullins saw the potential for bringing the pairings directly to the consumer and took his idea to Mock for collaboration.

Mock’s eye-catching displays combine the elements of the pairing, with copies of featured recipes. One recent pairing links an ultralight beer with roasted-poblano guacamole, and the in-store display consolidates the peppers, avocados, chips and appropriate beer in one spot.

“It’s going international,” Mock said. “I’ve worked with Anheuser-Busch representatives to translate the recipes into Spanish.”

Mock has been with Del Papa Distributing since 2002. She is also a jewelry artist and shows her work at local galleries.

Source: The Daily News, Galveston County

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Meet a few CLASS alums who've been busy pursuing literary endeavors.


Katherine Center's (English, 1998) third novel, Get Lucky, goes on sale April 6, 2010. She is also the author of “The Bright Side of Disaster” and “Everyone is Beautiful” and is known for her breezy style which invites the reader to commiserate while laughing all the way.

Her books and essays have appeared in Redbook, People, USA Today, Vanity Fair, Real Simple, the Dallas Morning News and the Houston Chronicle. Katherine was named one of seven new writers to watch by BookPage, and in the fall of 2009 her first novel was optioned by Varsity Pictures.

Center received her master's in fiction from the University of houston and while attending the university she served as the co-editor of the literary fiction magazine, Gulf Coast. Her graduate thesis, Peepshow, a collection of stories, was a finalist for the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction.

Katherine currently lives in Houston with her husband and two young children.

KooJason Koo (Creative Writing 2002) has released his debut poetry collection, Man on Extremely Small Island (C&R Press, 2009). Koo earned his BA in English from Yale, his MFA in creative writing from the University of Houston, and his Ph.D. in English and creative writing from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

He currently lives in New York, where he teaches at NYU and Lehman College and serves as Poetry Editor of Low Rent.


Richard Waterman (Political Science MS '83 Ph.D. '86) has signed with Otherworld Publications of Louisville, KY for the release of The Oracle

Waterman is a Political Scientist with specialties in the American Presidency, Bureaucracy, the Courts, and the Environment. He is a professor of Political Science at the University of Kentucky, Lexington where he has taught for nine years.

He has published widely in the field of Political Science, and has served as President of the Southwest Political Science Association, won the Laverne Burchfield Award from the journal Public Administration Review, testified before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and was interviewed for CNN, including its prime time special "Fit To Lead."

The Oracle is slated for release in November, 2010.

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Outstanding Alumnus


Larry Matysiak (Music) was recognized by the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music on Friday, Feb. 12 as its Outstanding Alumnus in Music Education for 2009.

The award was presented during the alumni reception for the University of Houston School of Music at the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Convention in San Antonio.

Matysiak is the Director of Secondary Music for the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District.

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UHBAA Scholarship Celebration

The University of Houston Black Alumni Association will host their 21st Annual Scholarship & Awards Celebration on Friday, March 12 at 7:30pm at the Hilton Americas.

The UHBAA was founded in 1988 as a special interest constituency of the University of Houston Alumni Association (UHAA). The group serves more than 600 active African-American alumni paid members of The University of Houston Alumni Association and has given close to $28,000 in scholarships since its inception.


The Scholarship & Awards Celebration is a special evening to honor both distinguished black alumni and erudite African- American students. Local television news anchor, Sharron Melton, of Channel 13, will be the Mistress of Ceremony for the evening.

The honorees for the 2010 Scholarship Celebration will be:

  • Sallie Creuzot, Co-Founder, Frenchy’s Creole Chicken
  • Earl M. Cummings, CEO, BTS Team, Inc.
  • Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Former NASA Astronaut & CEO/President Vesalius Ventures
  • John A. Matt, Senior Vice President, Gas & Power Health Safety Security & Environmental (HSSE), Shell Oil Company
  • Ricky A. Raven, UH Alumni Association Board of Directors and Partner, Thompson & Knight, LLP

The 2010 Distinguished Service Awards will be presented to:

  • Dr. Frazier Wilson, Vice President, Foundation & Manger Social Investments, Shell Oil Company

Proceeds from Scholarship and Awards Gala will benefit UHBAA scholarships, programs, and the African American Initiative for Scholarships (AAIS).

For more information about this event, visit the Black Alumni Association website.

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Family Jewels

Well the pearly whites to the right may not be what you'd call a family heirloom, but then again, they're "Not the Family Jewels!".


Emily Sloan (Art '09) is now showing "Not the Family Jewels!" at Gallery 124 in the Houston Museum District. Its an exhibit of non-traditional approaches of wearable artworks curated by Sloan and including the artwork of Gabriel Craig, Arthur Hash, Lauren Kalman, Masumi Kataoka, Katja Korsawe, Edward McCartney, Gwendolyn McLarty, Erika Pahk, Natalya Pinchuk, Gary Schott, Amy Weiks, and Kristi Wilson.

Sloan received her MFA in sculpture form the University of Houston School of Art in 2009. She's exhibited at the Target Gallery in Alexandria, VA, The Dallas Contemporary, Deborah Colton Gallery, and Lawndale Art Center. Sloan's work incorporates drawing, sculpture and painting. Many of her pieces use humor to engage the viewer in a dialogue about the environment and preoccupations with social standings.

Sloan's upcoming projects include the Blaffer gala celebration in April and solo show at Art in May.

"Not the Family Jewels!" will show through March 14 with the closing reception on Thursday, March 11, 7-10pm

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