The University of Houston’s Top Ten of 2010

December caps a year of records, rankings and milestones at the University of Houston.  The following is a list of UH's top accomplishments for the year as well as a peek at some of the rising stars for 2011.  As you prepare your year-end stories, if you'd like to interview any of our resources, please contact our office for assistance.   

1. Tier One: UH continues to make significant progress on the Tier One trek in a number of key areas, including research awards, which totaled $110 million as of July 2010, a 9 percent increase from a year ago. Research expenditures also were up, totaling $78.8 million, a 12 percent increase from 2009. Read more:  

2. Superconductivity Support: UH and three other institutions received a $4.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a superconducting magnet energy storage system device that could revolutionize the nation's electrical power grid. Also this year, UH's Texas Center for Superconductivity received a $3.5 million grant from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund to help establish TcSUH's Applied Research Hub and recruit stellar scientists and researchers in superconductivity and related materials. Read more:  

3. Cancer Research: UH professors continued to work on a number of cancer research projects. In a published paper, Dr. Jan-Åke Gustafsson, Robert A. Welch Professor in UH's biology and biochemistry department, described how his research team discovered how gallbladder cancer may be connected to higher exposure to estrogens. Read more:  

4. Ph.D. Initiative: Houston Endowment Inc. awards UH a $5 million grant to help increase the number of doctoral students it graduates annually. The grant money will be used to help recruit, retain and graduate highly qualified doctoral students in targeted areas such as engineering and the sciences. 

5. teachHOUSTON: The teacher-prep program designed to create qualified math and science teachers to meet the critical national shortage was the recipient of a $1 million gift from Kitty King Powell, co-founder of the Powell Foundation. Read more:  

6. New Digs: The Jack J. Valenti School of Communication broke ground on the Lance T. Funston Communication Center, which will feature a two-story video production studio as well as faculty and staff offices. More than 1,600 students major in communication, making it one of the largest academic units at UH. Read more:  

7. Campus Life. A record of more than 38,500 students were enrolled this fall at UH, including the more than 1,100 first-time freshmen living in the new Cougar Village residential facility. An added benefit is the faculty-in-residence who are available for guidance and mentoring. Read more:  

8. Top Rankings: Several UH programs/colleges were in the national spotlight, including the Bauer College of Business Entrepreneur program, which was ranked No.1 in The Princeton Review. Additionally, the Architecture, Pharmacy and Optometry colleges were ranked among the Top 10 colleges and universities that graduate Hispanic students. Read more:  

9. Open for business: UH embarked on a new partnership with KUHT HoustonPBS, which opened a new interview studio to provide live feeds nationwide via the Vyvx fiber-optic transmission network. National and international media outlets used the new studio to interview several UH professors about the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, most notably UH geologist Don Van Nieuwenhuise.  

10. UH and TMC: UH, a new member of the prestigious Texas Medical Center, is part of the National Center for Human Performance. The center recently was designated an "Institute of Excellence" by President Barack Obama. Read more:  

A Few Things to Watch in 2011:

  • Tier One: UH, one of the most diverse, urban research universities in the country, continues its effort to join an elite group of universities that have Tier One status.
  • Brené Brown: The Graduate College of Social Work associate professor focuses her research on the emotion of shame. Her work to promote "authenticity" has struck a chord with men and women around the world.
  • Going Green: The UH was named one of the greenest campus in Texas and more innovative efforts to conserve the planet are in store.
  • In Space: UH partners with NASA to host an international space symposium in April 2011.