Cougar Milestones October 20, 2021
10/20/2021, 09:00:01 AM

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exCITE Talks 2021

Eleven undergraduate students competed in the final round of the annual exCITE Talks competition held by the Cougar Initiative to Engage (CITE). The students presented their co-curricular learning experiences. Halle Perez, a senior double-majoring in marketing and finance, was the first-prize winner. Perez presented her internship with Bank of America during which she had the opportunity to work on recruitment initiatives targeted to the Latino community. The second-prize winner was Alexandra Ulinski, a senior physics major. Ulinski presented her experience in Observing Our Changing Planet, a co-curricular learning program led by Edgar A. Bering (Physics), Shuhab Khan (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences), and Mequanint Moges (Engineering Technology). Observing Our Changing Planet has received a CITE grant to support student travel.

NSM Ph.D. Student Awarded Fulbright and NSF Awards

Physics Ph.D. student Fernando Flor was awarded a Fulbright Research grant to study in France as well as a National Science Foundation Mathematical and Physical Sciences Ascending Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to work at Yale University. For his postdoc, Flor will be working in the Wright Laboratory under the supervision of Helen Caines, professor of physics.

While he will not be changing fields completely, he will join the STAR experiment at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York. In France, Flor has studied under the mentorship of professor Boris Hippolyte, describing rare particle formation in the early universe with statistical thermodynamics models. In collaboration with UH, “we’re modifying and developing a statistical thermal model that we can apply onto experimental data from ALICE, A Large Ion Collider Experiment, at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland to be able to replicate the particle yields our detectors detect,” said Flor.

CLASS’ Master of Athletic Training Program Reaccredited

The Department of Health and Human Performance’s Master of Athletic Training (MAT) Program was reaccredited for 10 years by the Commission on the Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The UH MAT Program is the only accredited MAT Program by CAATE in the Greater Houston Area and is also the only program in the country that has the following combination of features: 

  • Is in a R1/Tier One public University that has a Division I athletic program  
  • Is in a major city 
  • Is in the middle of the world’s largest medical center

Additionally, the MAT Program is outperforming the national average for all CAATE accredited programs in two critical areas: first time pass rates and overall pass rates on the Board of Certification credentialing exam, and job placement rates six months after graduation. 

Dr. Tasneem Bawa-Khalfe, assistant professor of biology and biochemistry, was awarded $1.79M from the National Institutes of Health for her project titled, "Targeting Constitutively Active SUMO Modified Androgen Receptors in Endocrine Resistant Breast Cancer." The research at the Bawa-Khalfe laboratory focuses on how cancer cells exploit select post-translational modification systems to drive cancer progression.

The Cougar Health Research Academy celebrated the success of the inaugural four-week program aimed at exposing University of Houston undergraduate students to the diverse and rewarding field of public health. The program, which was funded by a CITE program grant from the Office of the Provost, was organized by UH College of Pharmacy's Institute of Community Health in partnership with the Houston Health Department.

Computer science Ph.D. student Muhammad Naeem Akram spent his summer at Forschungszentrum Jülich, a distinguished research center in Germany, learning the practical applications of his doctoral studies after receiving a DAAD RISE Professional Scholarship. Akram creates computational meshes of real-world objects, and 3D computer representations that aid in rendering, visualization, and geometric processing.

Paula Myrick Short
Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, UH System
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, UH | 832-842-0550

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