October Newsletter
10/04/2023, 08:30:01 AM

October Newsletter

Hobby School presents Your Houston, Your Vote
2023 City of Houston Mayoral Debate

The Hobby School of Public Affairs presents Your Houston, Your Vote, a televised mayoral debate in partnership with Houston Public Media and Univision Houston featuring the leading candidates vying to be the next mayor of the City of Houston on Oct. 19. 


The event will feature a panel of journalists, including Houston Public Media's Politics and Government Reporter, Andrew Schneider, Univision Houston's News Anchor, Marcela Pérez Barros, and The Daily Cougar's Editor in Chief, John Lomax. Houston Public Media's Executive Producer of Enterprise Journalism, Christina Lee, will serve as the moderator. The joint effort will reach Houston residents before the first day of early voting.


The debate will broadcast on Houston Public Media's TV 8 and News 88.7 and in Spanish on UniMás 67 at 7 p.m. on Oct. 19. It will also stream at houstonpublicmedia.org, univision45.com and various social media platforms. 

The Hobby Hour: Rediscovering Our Sacred Middle Ground, Oct. 11

Author and businessman Paul Hobby will discuss his book “Glorious Tension: Rediscovering Our Sacred Middle Ground in an Age of Extremism" on the next Hobby Hour at noon on Oct. 11.


Hobby’s thought-provoking book explores concepts such as confirmation bias and political grandstanding, describing the importance of compromise and celebrating the things we have in common in a collection of essays. Hobby School Dean Jim Granato will host the virtual conversation.


Meet the newest cohort of Next Generation Leadership Academy students

Eight UH undergraduates from various majors and backgrounds seeking innovative careers rooted in public service and social impact are furthering their leadership skills through the national leadership program. They join more than 500 like-minded students from 17 universities eager to serve their communities.

Established by The Volcker Alliance, the collaborative program firmly aligns with the Hobby School's mission to increase civic engagement participation and real-world experience across industries and sectors in an effort to develop the next generation of public leaders.


Hobby School's Emily Janowski joined peers and mentors from the NextGen Service Corps at the University of Nebraska at Omaha on Sept. 6-8 for an immersive fall retreat. Janowski oversees the Next Generation Leadership Academy at the Hobby School and enjoyed meeting fellow university leaders in the national network during the three-day gathering, where they exchanged program best practices and creative approaches to high-impact student activities.

Hobby School students experience Texas’ largest policy and politics festival

Nearly a dozen Hobby School students, four staff members and several alumni attended the 2023 Texas Tribune Festival, the largest policy and politics gathering in the state. Attendees networked with peers, met elected officials and heard from top policymakers, historians and award-winning journalists at some of the nearly 125 sessions. The gathering featured more than 300 speakers examining timely topics such as artificial intelligence, healthcare, energy, immigration and the 2024 elections.


Cougar pride was front and center at the higher education panel sponsored by the Hobby School. It featured UH System Chancellor and President Renu Khator, Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp and Texas Tech University System Chancellor Tedd Mitchell. The higher education leaders addressed the role educational institutions play in the future of our regions and Texas, new state and federal funding opportunities and policy changes from the 88th Texas Legislature.


"Getting connected with other local civically engaged professionals was the highlight of this opportunity," said Jalil Cantarero, Master of Public Policy candidate. "I left inspired to continue learning and advocating for equitable, effective and efficient policy in Texas."



Does party affiliation translate across state borders? A new survey examines how Democrats, Republicans and Independents compare to fellow party followers across Texas, California and Arizona on controversial topics such as support of a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, an abortion ban after 15 weeks and immediate climate action.


The three-state survey comparing political party attachments, ideology and views is the third in a series to be examined by a collaboration of the University of Houston's Hobby School of Public Affairs, Arizona State University's The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Stanford University's Bill Lane Center for the American West and Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. Senior Research Fellow Richard Murray is leading the study of Texas.



Dobbs and Democracy: Melissa Murray will deliver the Richard Gelwick Endowed Lecture for the Hobby School on Nov. 1

A year ago, in June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2022), addressing whether the Constitution protects the right to an abortion.


New York University law professor and reproductive rights scholar Melissa Murray will discuss the decision that overturned Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992)—concluding a federal right to seek an abortion—and its implications for American democracy at the upcoming Richard Gelwick Endowed Lecture, 6-7:15 p.m., Nov. 1 in the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion at the M.D. Anderson Library. The lecture is free, but registration is required.


Civic Engagement Boot Camp prepares participants for November elections


The Hobby School hosted more than 40 participants at the 2023 Civic Engagement Boot Camp. The voter education camp featured speakers Julia Osemi-Seied from the office of Houston City Council Member Sallie Alcorn, Juan Cardoza-Oquendo and Laila Khalili of Houston in Action, voting advocate Annie Benifield, Ph.D., data analyst Hector DeLeon and Bria Lott from the Harris County Clerk’s Office. Presenters spoke about the city's civic legacy, opportunities to increase voter education and participation, voting freedoms and voter demographic trends and projections. Twenty-three volunteers signed up to be deputy registrars after training on the state rules and regulations to assist in registering eligible voters.


Marco Cruz, a post-baccalaureate from the University of Houston-Downtown, emerged enlightened after the six-hour boot camp.


“What I found most enlightening from the boot camp was learning that the Hispanic population percentage in the state, specifically those eligible to vote, does not tell the entire story and is not congruent with the narrative of Texas becoming a Democrat state eventually. Politicians seeking the Hispanic vote need to go beyond the narrative that Hispanics equal Democrats if they want to win this all-important vote."


Public policy students mobilize ahead of local elections

Hobby School students took part in National Voter Registration Day activities by sharing voter education resources and important election dates and registering university community members to vote in the upcoming City of Houston elections. Student volunteers, including Civic Houston interns and undergraduates, partnered with MOVE Texas, a nonpartisan grassroots organization focused on civic engagement among youth.


Students in the public policy laboratory course led by the Hobby School's Sara Sands were joined by special guest Jeronimo Cortina, an associate professor in political science at the University of Houston. Professor Cortina discussed the role of location and distance on political perceptions and behaviors.

Save the date for the 2023 Hobby School Fall Mixer: Nov. 15

Save the date for the fall mixer on Nov. 15 and tap into the network of Hobby School students and interns, past and present, and Certified Public Manager participants and alumni. Meet new peers or reconnect with old ones to share academic and career advice and updates and celebrate the 2023 Hobby Leadership Award winners. Award nominations are open through Oct. 6. Food and beverages will be provided.


International energy delegation explores Houston perspective

Members of Argentina's Neuquén City Mission to Houston, led by Mayor Mariano Gaido, were greeted by Hobby School Dean Jim Granato to explore global energy markets and policy from a Houston perspective. Consul General of Argentina, Hon. Cristina Tosonotti, Assistant Consul General Alejandro García and Ambassador Michael Pelletier, director of the UH Institute for Global Engagement, and members of the chamber and UH community welcomed the emissaries at the meeting convened by the Hobby School's Pablo Pinto.


The group discussed energy and its impact at the local and regional levels and other public policy issues that impact energy capitals. Professors Bruce Race, UH School of Architecture, German Cubas, UH Department of Economics, and the Hobby School's Sunny Wong, Gail Buttorff, Savannah Sipole, Maria Paula Pérez and Agustin Vallejo also attended.


"Building relationships among the international delegation will help the Houston energy community broaden our global perspective through innovation, education and research opportunities," said Pablo Pinto, director of the Center for Public Policy at the Hobby School.




Renewable energy policy topic of Oct. 17 panel

Hobby School Distinguished Professor and UH Energy Fellow Pablo M. Pinto is a panelist at the Texas Industrial Energy Efficiency Network webinar, 2-3:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct.17, to discuss the legislative and regulatory development impacting the Texas energy industry. Recent developments such as Senate Bill 624 and 258 have created new layers of state approval for wind and solar energy production, thus raising costs passed on to consumers. The webinar features experts from industry and academia sharing their insights on the path to the deployment of renewable-centric energy projects.


Business director moves to UH Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts

The Hobby School’s director of business operations, Betsy Roguer, has accepted the position of executive director for business operations for the Kathrine G. McGovern College of Arts. Under her direction, the Hobby School navigated an office move from a temporary location at the Science Building to the former Bates Law Building. Roguer joined the Hobby School in 2022 to manage daily administrative, human resources, and financial and budgetary operations. The new Hobby School director of business of business administration, April Blount, began Oct. 2.

Hobby School in the News


Data from the American Community Survey, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau was shared by Hobby School Dean Jim Granato at The State of Hispanics Data Summit hosted by the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Aug. 23. The findings made regional news, highlighting the influence of Hispanics on the economy, political representation and policymaking. The Hobby School survey led by researchers Renée Cross and Mark P. Jones, Houston Elections 2023, continued to be in the spotlight as local campaigns gained momentum ahead of Election Day.


The Houston Chronicle featured an opinion piece on the state of Hispanics in Houston co-authored by Dean Granato and Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President Laura Murillo. In addition, the report’s results received placement in the Houston Business Journal and local television coverage. Over the past month, other media mentions included The Hill, The Wall Street Journal, Houston Business Journal, Texas Standard and KHOU 11.


The Hobby School has more than 261 media mentions to date.

Complete List of Hobby School Media

Hobby Happenings


Hobby School Happenings captures lectures, events, application deadlines, programs and collaborations hosted or co-sponsored by the Hobby School and its centers. Mark your calendars and join us for the next Hobby School happening.


Oct. 2-6

National Voter Education Week


Friday, Oct. 6

2024 Leland Fellows Application Deadline



Friday, Oct. 6

2023 Hobby School Leadership Awards Nomination Deadline
Nomination Form


Wednesday, Oct. 11, 12-1 p.m.

The Hobby Hour: Rediscovering Our Sacred Middle Ground

Author and Businessman Paul W. Hobby, Genesis Park



Thursday, Oct. 14, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Graduate Programs Information Session (Virtual)


Friday, Oct. 15

Graduate Programs Spring 2024 Priority Application Deadline



Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2-3:30 p.m.
Texas Industrial Energy Efficiency Network (TIEEN)
Legislative and Regulatory Developments in Texas Impacting Energy Production, Efficiency and Use

Webinar Registration


Wednesday, Oct. 18, 9 a.m.

Houston Matters Political Roundup, Renée Cross
News 88.7

Listen Online


Thursday, Oct.19, 7 p.m.

Your Houston, Your Vote

Houston Mayoral Debate

Broadcast on TV 8 and News 88.7
Stream on houstonpublicmedia.org and univision45.com


Friday, Oct. 20, 12-1:30 p.m.

Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center Care Lecture Series

Dementia, Respect and Care (Virtual)

Amy Mullin, University of Toronto
Zoom Care Lecture Series


Friday, Oct. 20, 12:30-1:45 p.m.

Center for Public Policy Speaker Series

Family Ties: The Effects of the Price of College on Parent and Student Finances

Oded Gurantz, University of Colorado Boulder
Teaching Unit 2, Room 211


Wednesday, Nov. 1

Spring 2024 Application Deadline (International)



Wednesday, Nov. 1, 6:15-7:15 p.m.

Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center on Ethics Center Gelwick Endowed Lecture
Dobbs and Democracy, Melissa Murray
Rockwell Pavilion, M.D. Anderson Library


Thursday, Nov. 2. 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Graduate Programs Information Session



Friday, Nov. 3. 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Center for Public Policy Mini-Conference

Citizen-State Interactions in Comparative Perspective


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