The University of Houston Magazine

Quick Takes

William MonroeWilliam Monroe, Nancy O’Connor Abendshein College Professor in Honors and English and executive associate dean of The Honors College, was named dean of the interdisciplinary college, which serves the academic needs of the university’s gifted undergraduates. Monroe’s book, Power to Hurt: The Virtues of Alienation, was selected as an outstanding academic book of the year by Choice magazine and was nominated for the Phi Beta Kappa/Christian Gauss Award. He currently is working on The Vocation of Affliction, a book on Georgia writer Flannery O’Connor. Monroe also directs The Common Ground Teachers Institute and is the founder of UH’s Medicine and Society Program.

Joseph PrattJoseph Pratt NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) Cullen Chair of Business and History, was named interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. He has served as chair of the Department of History and as the executive director of the Scholars’ Community. Pratt has won several teaching awards since he joined UH in 1986. He is conducting research on a variety of energy history topics, including the modern history of Exxon. Pratt also is the director of the Houston History Project, a research initiative.



Amanda Baumle, assistant professor of sociology, authored Same-Sex Partners: The Demography of Sexual Orientation.

David A. Brenner, visiting assistant professor of German in The Honors College, authored German-Jewish Popular Culture before the Holocaust: Kafka’s Kitsch.

Chitra Divakaruni, Betty and Gene McDavid College Professor in Creative Writing, authored Shadowland. Also, The Palace of Illusions, was published as paperback.

Bob Heath, emeritus professor of communication, authored “Terrorism: From the Eyes of the Beholder” and co-authored “The Communication and Rhetoric of Terrorism” and “Shifting Paradigms and New Directions for Managing Terrorism” in Terrorism: Communication and Rhetorical Perspectives. He also is an area editor for advertising, public relations, and strategic communication for the International Encyclopedia of Communication.

Wyman H. Herendeen, professor of English and chair of the Department of English, authored William Camden: A Life in Context.

Peter Norton, director of UH’s Anxiety Disorders Clinic, co-authored The Anti-Anxiety Workbook.

James Pickering, professor of English, authored The MacGregors of Black Canyon: An American Story.

Mike Ryan, professor of communication, and Les Switzer, professor emeritus, authored a chapter, “Mirror on a War Agenda: Conservative Christian Activists and Media Coverage of the Iraq Invasion,” in Terrorism: Communication and Rhetorical Perspectives.

Konduru Sivaramakrishnan, C.T. Bauer Chair in Accounting, co-authored Managerial Accounting.

Xiaohong Sharon Wen, associate professor of Chinese and director of Chinese and Japanese programs, authored: Studies of Chinese Language Acquisition by English Speakers: from Theories to Practice.

Faculty Kudos

Raymond Applegate, Irvin M. Borish Chair in Optometry and professor, has received the Garland W. Clay Award from the American Academy of Optometry.

Edward Blair, Michael J. Cemo College Professor in Marketing of the Department of Marketing & Entrepreneurship in the C.T. Bauer College of Business, was named the 2009 chair of the American Statistical Association Committee, which advises the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration.

Carl A. Boger Jr., associate dean of the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, is the first recipient of the Clinton L. Rappole Distinguished Chair, the fourth endowed chair at the college. Professor Emeritus Rappole was the college’s first Eric Hilton Distinguished Chair. Boger has devoted more than three decades to teaching and mentoring students. Dorothy Nicholson (’77) led the campaign to raise $1.2 million for the chair.

Hayan Charara, adjunct professor in The Honors College, was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Poetry. The $25,000 fellowship encourages the production of new works and allows writers the time and means to write.

Hua Chen, assistant professor of pharmacy administration, and Lavanya Sudharshan (M.S. ’08), pharmacy administration alumna, have received the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research’s Best Contributed Podium Presentation Award in the New Investigator category for “The Disorder (ADHD) from Childhood to Adulthood: A Medicaid Study.”

C.W. “Paul” Chu, T.L.L. Temple Foundation Endowed Chair in Science and professor of physics, was honored at a Vatican ceremony as a recipient of the Ettore Majorana-Erice- Science for Peace Prize. The annual award includes a cash prize to assist recipients, who are elected by the World Federation of Scientists, in their efforts to promote science and peace throughout the world. Chu and fellow physicist Maw-Kuen Wu (Ph.D. ’81) were awarded the prize for their discovery of a high-temperature superconducting system.

Kevin Gee (O.D. ’02), clinical assistant professor and director of UH’s Sport’s Vision Performance Center, was named Young Optometrist of the Year by the Texas Optometric Association.

Marcus Gonzalez (O.D. ’06), clinical assistant professor, was named the state’s best educator by the Texas Optometric Association.

Martha Haun, associate professor of communication, was honored at a reception at the Texas Speech Communication Association (TCSA) state convention. Haun represented TSCA Region IV as their sole nominee for the 2008 University Educator of the Year.

Fazle Hussain, Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor in Mechanical Engineering, was elected to the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST) board of directors. TAMEST provides recognition to the state’s top achievers in science, engineering, and medicine.

Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, associate professor of economics, has received two awards: the European Central Bank’s 2008 Wim Duisenberg Research Fellow for economists in academia, central banks, and top research institutions who are recognized international experts in their field; and the European Commission’s Marie Curie Reintegration Award for top researchers who undertake research in Europe.

Ramanan Krishnamoorti, M.D. Anderson Professor of Chemical Engineering, was appointed chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in the Cullen College of Engineering. He was named a fellow of the American Physical Society for his outstanding research contributions to polymer thermodynamics and structure and properties of polymer nanocomposites.

Carlos Ordóñez, associate professor of physics, has earned the American Physical Society’s 2009 John Wheatley Award, which recognizes physicists who have contributed to the development of science in Third World countries. A native of Panama, Ordóñez credits his opportunity to study with world-class researchers in the United States with helping to launch his career as a theoretical physicist. He is working to extend those same opportunities to promising young scientists from Latin America.

Monica Perales, assistant professor of history, was awarded the 2008 Oral History Association Article Prize for “Fighting to Stay in Smeltertown: Lead Contamination and Environmental Justice in a Mexican American Community.” The article examines the 1970s lead contamination case that brought about the demise of a Mexican working-class barrio in El Paso, Texas, called Smeltertown.

B. Montgomery “Monte” Pettitt (’75, ’75, Ph.D. ’80), Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Professor in Chemistry and professor of computer science, physics, biology, and biochemistry, is one of only three researchers in UH history to be awarded the distinction of Fellow from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Of 486 Fellows, Pettitt was one of only sixteen honorees in Texas in 2008.

Jerry Rogers, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, was inducted as a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and received a Lifetime Service Award for his leadership and service.

Earl Smith III (’72, O.D. ’72, M.S. ’75, Ph.D. ’78), dean of the College of Optometry, was named Optometrist of the Year by the Texas Optometric Association for his contributions to the profession.

Karen Stokes, director of the Center for Choreography and associate professor of dance, has received the Big Range Dance Festival 2008 Buffy Awards’ Best Choreographer in the Evening-Length Concert category for her piece, Hometown. Also, Jhon Stronks, adjunct instructor of dance and director of the Houston Metropolitan Dance Center’s Pre-Professional Dance Company, The Houston Met Too, received Best Choreographer in the 15-40 minute category for Ok, I’m Here … Now What? and Best Choreographer in the Under 15-minute category for A View From the Edge.

Ronald Turner, Alumnae College Professor in Law, was elected to membership in the American Law Institute. He is a newly elected member of Advocacy Incorporated’s Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Advisory Council.