College Roundup - University of Houston
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College Roundup A selection of faculty, staff, student and alumni happenings

July 2024

Cindy Romero, program manager in the Department of Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences, has been elected to the UH Staff Council as an at-large representative. She will serve a three-year term beginning July 1, 2024.

May 2024

Mahnoor Ahmad, a doctoral student in the school psychology program, was selected to present her research on religious affiliation and problematic alcohol use at the Southwestern Psychological Association’s 2024 Graduate Student Research Showcase. Ahmad earned a B.S. in psychology and minors in human development and family sciences and quantitative social sciences in 2020 from UH. 

Corissa Barrow, a counseling psychology doctoral student and a mental health therapist, earned a $25,000 grant from The Jed Foundation and Victoria’s Secret PINK. She plans to establish a nonprofit called The MIND Project to provide mental health education and resources for adults aged 16-25, with an emphasis on inclusivity for the Hispanic community.

Vera Hutchison, an associate professor of literacy education, was selected as co-chair of the Research Committee for the Association of Teacher Educators.  She is responsible for conducting monthly meetings, representing the committee at board meetings and making important research selections. Hutchison will serve a two-year term ending in March 2026.  

Carrie Cutler, a clinical associate professor in the mathematics education program, was selected for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Early Childhood Advisory Committee. She advises the council president on improving engagement and support for early childhood math. Cutler’s one-year term will end in December 2024. 

Dean Cathy Horn, who leads the UH Education Research Center, was elected to serve as president of the Texas Association of Colleges for Teacher Education for a one-year term that began in May 2024.  

April 2024

Beatrice Cruz, who earned a B.S. in teaching and learning in 2022, won New Teacher of the Year at Queens Intermediate School in Pasadena ISD. Cruz teaches seventh grade science at the school.  

Anna Suarez, who earned a B.S. in teaching and learning in 2017, was named 2023-24 Teacher of the Year from Robertson Elementary in Katy ISD. She teaches third grade math and science at the school. 

Elizabeth Maldonado, who earned a B.S. in teaching and learning in 2022, won New Teacher of the Year at Morales Elementary in Pasadena ISD.  Maldonado teaches fourth grade reading and language arts at the school. 

Aleida Gonzalez, who earned a B.S in teaching and learning in 2022, won New Teacher of the Year at Jessup Elementary in Pasadena ISD. Gonzalez teaches first grade at the school. 

Earl Bennett, who earned a Ph.D. in higher education in 2022, has been promoted to Vanderbilt University’s senior associate athletic director for strategy and business operations. Bennett previously served as the executive director of player development and administration. He played football for Vanderbilt, where he was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2017 and earned status as a Southeastern Conference Legend in 2015. Bennett also had a six-year football career with the Chicago Bears. 

Four faculty members earned UH Teaching Excellence Awards for 2023-24: Associate Professor Virmarie Correa-Fernández (recognized for undergraduate research mentorship), Clinical Associate Professor Bulent Dogan (recognized for innovation in instructional technology), Assistant Professor Allison Master (teaching excellence) and Clinical Professor Jahnette Wilson (recognized in the instructional/clinical category). 

Rhaniece Choice, who earned an M.Ed. in special populations in 2022, won 2023-24 District Teacher of the Year at Alief ISD. Choice also won Teacher of the Year from Cummings Elementary in Alief ISD in February. She serves as an in-class support teacher, advocating for students to ensure their services are being met.