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News from CLASS

CLASS Event Calendar

Dec. 5: Puppet Shows
Presented by the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts
Students enrolled in the Collaboration among the Arts class that’s part of the Interdisciplinary Art Program will perform a puppet show with themes ranging from fairy tales, shadow animation and middle school education. Under the guidance of Aurora Curator and UH Professor Mary Magsamen, this performance is the culminating project of the semester.
7 p.m. at Aurora Picture Show, 2442 Bartlett St, Houston, 77098.

Dec. 5 & 6: Emerging Choreographers Showcase
Presented by the School of Theatre & Dance
For more than 15 years, the UH School of Theatre & Dance has presented the Emerging Choreographer’s Showcase to introduce audiences to rising student talents within the Center for Choreography. Students choreograph, costume, produce and design the evening; showcasing their performance in a professional theatre setting. Purchase tickets here. 12 noon and 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday in the Quintero Theatre on campus.

Dec. 5 & 6: The World Premiere of The End of Side A by Kendall Kaminisky
Presented by the School of Theatre & Dance
While helping their mother pack for a move, a college-aged sister and brother discover a collection of secret audio recordings made by their deceased father decades earlier. As curiosity gives way to obsession, how will the long-ago private lives of the people on the tapes change the family’s world in the present? Purchase tickets here.
7:30pm on Friday and 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday in Studio 208 Space in the Cynthia Woods Mitchell for the Arts Building.

Dec. 7: 3rd Annual Graffiti Run
Sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Performance
Arrive at the starting line dressed all in white and be prepared to get splashed with spray paint along the 5K route around campus. The event promotes healthy and colorful living. A portion of the proceeds are donated to the HHP Scholarship Fund. Go to to submit your name and registration fee for the run or pay the walk up fee on the day of the event. The starting times are staggered after 8:30 a.m.

Dec. 7: Free Holiday Concert - Lo, How a Rose…
Presented by Moores School of Music
Celebrate the season with the combined choirs of the Moores School of Music at a free holiday concert in the Moores Opera House. The program will include rousing choral pieces and a cappella serenades. Join us at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, December 7 to get into the spirit of the most wonderful time of the year.

Dec. 8: Ethics in Science Lecture Series – “Atypical Combinations and Scientific Impact” by Brian Uzzi, Ph.D., Northwestern University
Presented by the Ethics in Science Education Project and the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics (TIMES)
It is a popular belief that science is advanced when atypical ideas are united, inspiring fresh thinking to problems. Yet, many scientific ideas and innovations intentionally build on convention. Professor Uzzi’s research suggests that creativity in science appears to be a phenomenon of two extremes: conventionality and novelty.
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in Room 232 in Phillip G. Hoffman Hall

Dec. 10: Free Screening + Lunch
Presented by Blaffer Museum of Art
Join us for a screening of “Frontrunners,” a 12-minute video and highlight of the Blaffer Art Museum exhibition “Miguel Amat: Dark Pool Knight Vision.” The video draws on the financial sector’s reliance on military terminology, particularly for high-speed trading algorithms. Amat juxtaposes a sound montage of interviews with a former Blackwater contractor and investors in “dark pools”—forums for trading securities out of the public eye—with scenes from their favorite movies. Lunch is free after the talk.

Dec. 19: Fall 2014 Commencement
The College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences (CLASS) commencement ceremony is 9 – 11:30 a.m.  in Hofheinz Pavilion on Cullen Boulevard.

For more events, check the CLASS calendar.

CLASS Faculty in the Media

CLASS Dean John W. Roberts and Ayanna McCloud, artist and program director of Friends of Women’s Studies, have been appointed to the City of Houston’s new Arts and Cultural Plan Community Advisory Committee by Mayor Annise Parker and Co-Chairs Philamena Baird and Rick Lowe.
According to the PsychCentral article, Religiosity May Reduce Suicidal Thoughts in African-Americans, research suggests religion among African-Americans helps keep suicidal rates low despite the psychological stress of racism. The article is based on research conducted by Rheeda Walker, associate professor of clinical psychology. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education also featured Walker’s research in the article, A New Study Shows the Moderating Role of Religiosity on Black Suicides.
Chip Knee, professor of psychology and director of the Interpersonal Relations and Motivation Research Group, recently conducted a series of studies to investigate relationship-contingent self-esteem. The research was highlighted in the Khaleej Times article Are You Over-Committed?
Robert Zaretsky, professor of history, recently wrote the following articles:
The connection between puzzles, mystery and magic are featured in Peter Turchi’s new book, A Muse and a Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery, and Magic. Turchi, professor of creative writing, recently discussed his book on the Houston Matters program, What’s the Connection Between Good Storytelling and Puzzles? Turchi  was also featured in WUNC’s story, A Muse And A Maze: The Mysteries Of Fiction Writing.
Karen Stokes, director of dance at UH School of Theatre & Dance, recently authored an article for the Houston Chronicle titled, Where do arts and humanities students end up? Ask HSPVA grads. The story details the wide variety of career paths followed by students who graduate with degrees in the arts and humanities.
Alumna Lacy Johnson, director of academic initiatives for the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, was named one of Houston’s most fascinating people in the 2014 edition of the annual list compiled and published by the Houston Chronicle.
Type 2 diabetes, which has been found to impact dexterity and sensory function in the hands, may also impact the short-term memory of those living with the disease, according to research by Stacey Gorniak, an assistant professor of Health and Human Performance. Her findings were highlighted in the Houston Defender article, Type 2 Diabetes may affect memory.
The Houston Chronicle in its Gray Matters blog recently applauded Creative Writing Professor Tony Hoagland for his essay, “Twenty Little Poems that Could Save America,” published in Harper’s Bazaar in 2013.
The Washington Post cited the research of Arthur Santana, assistant professor of communication, in its article, The case against comments, about the trend of news organizations barring readers from commenting on articles hosted on their websites.

CLASS Alumni/ae Notes

The University of Houston Alumni Association honored in November 100 businesses around the nation owned and operated by UH alumni. Six CLASS alums made the first ever Cougar 100 ranked list of rapidly growing businesses complied by the Alumni Association and the Houston Business Journal. The College congratulates our alums and wishes you continued success.

Shannon Langrand (’93, English) – Langrand and Company – No. 20
Laura Bowen (’94, Art History) – ExecuTeam Staffing – No. 53
Steven McClellan (’77, Psychology and Bauer double major) – Urban Financial of America – No. 54
Bob Livermore (’68, Psychology) – Marketing Plus – No. 72
The Honorable Johnny Isbell (’70, Psychology) – Apache Oil – No. 73
Nicolas Brines (’92, Psychology) – Azur West Salon – No. 77
The American Foundation for the Blind honored Christine Ha (’13, MFA in Creative Writing) with a 2014 Helen Keller Achievement Award.  Established in 1994, the award recognizes individuals and organizations that have improved the quality of life for all people with vision loss. Past recipients include Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder. Ha is the Season 3 winner of the competitive amateur cooking television show MasterChef and founder of the Blind Cook blog.
The Houston Press named Lauren Burke (’14, Dance) one of the 100 Creatives of 2014. Her journey to becoming the 2014 Outstanding Dance Student of the Year at UH was highlighted in the Houston Press article, 100 Creatives 2014: Lauren Burke, Dancer and Choreographer.
Je’Caryous Johnson (FS ‘99) wed Meaghan Chrystal Roberts in an outdoor wedding in Beverly Hills on November 15, 2014, the Beverly Hills Insider reported. Guests in attendance included Hollywood celebrities Vivica A. Fox and Richard Roundtree. Johnson is a playwright, producer, director and CEO of Je’Caryous Johnson Entertainment in Beverly Hills. His bride is an entertainment attorney licensed to practice law in California and Texas.
Terry Williams, (’11, Master’s in Health and Human Performance) has opened The League Elite Training Facility in Houston, where he is a co-founder, president and chief executive officer.
The Houston Chronicle reported on the post-journalism life of Bob Boudreaux, the former KTRK Channel 13 weekend anchor. He’s working as an actor, performing mostly Shakespeare, in Prague, the Czech Republic. Boudreaux anchored "Live at Five" and the weekend news on Channel 13 from 1978 to 2002. In the School of Theatre & Dance, he studied under Dr. Sidney Berger and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Edward Albee.