President's Message

Transformers: Addressing UH’s Achievements and Aspirations

Each year, President Khator delivers a Fall Address assessing the state of the University of Houston. It provides a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the University’s collective accomplishments and its common goals. This year’s address – her sixth – celebrated what has been achieved and set a bold course for a future committed to transforming a great University into a greater one.

Board of Regents

Reflections from the Regents

We invited some members of the University of Houston System Board of Regents to share their thoughts with our readers, choosing to answer one of three questions. Their responses provide a quick glimpse into the individuals who help shape the policies and establish the direction of the University of Houston.

News Briefs

TDECU Stadium Kicks Off New Era in UH Athletics

A remarkable new chapter in the University of Houston’s history has begun with the launch of TDECU Stadium, the impressive facility that is home field for the Cougar football games and a site for a multitude of other community events, including concerts and high school football.

2 Dine For: New Dining Options On And Around Campus

Food for thought? Several new vendors have begun operating around campus, including inside the food court of the updated University Center, plus two food truck pads and a new late night food truck service at the Student Service Center. Come spring, Freshii will offer organic and vegetarian options at the UC.

A Rare Accomplishment

The REEcycle business plan and startup is based on a technology developed to extract rare earth elements from electronic waste.

Creating An Irresistible Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

UH is partnering with a group of investors to commercialize technologies created by its faculty, advancing the UH Energy Research Park as a focal point for entrepreneurial activity in the Houston region.

From Stem Careers To Degree ROI: Houston Grads Have Liftoff

Job-hunting UH grads are finding success by degrees — so say two well-informed websites, NerdWallet and Affordable Schools.

Beware of Food Buzzwords, Says UH Professor

Extravagantly healthy claims on food labels deserve some healthy skepticism. A UH researcher has the straight skinny.

Coogs Developing Their Social Graces

UH continues to maintain its position among higher education institutions as an innovative user of social media with award-winning recognition over the last three years.

Record-breaking Year For UH Enrollment, Housing And Fundraising

With enrollment pushing 41,000, annual fundraising approaching $127 million and student residency at its highest numbers to date, the University is swelling with more than just pride.

New Faculty

Hired Education

The University of Houston would not be the Tier One institution it is today without the significant contributions of its world-class teachers and researchers. But exactly how does UH consistently recruit a first-rate faculty?

It’s more complicated than you might think.


UH Arts: Enriching, Entertaining, Educating

University arts programs across the country serve not merely to educate the next generation of actors, creative writers, dancers, singers, musicians and visual artists, they also serve as bridges and gateways to the communities in which they are situated.

Dramatic Club debuts with “Ghost Parade”
Cullen Performance Hall dedicated on Halloween
UH begins policy dedicating 1% of construction costs to the acquisition of public art
Fine Arts Building and Blaffer Gallery open
UH presents first Houston Shakespeare Festival
Creative Writing Program established
First opera performed, Moores Opera House opens a decade later
Edward Albee joins School of Theatre & Dance
Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival founded
$20 million gift establishes Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts
Spirit of Houston Cougar Marching Band performs at Super Bowl XXXVIII
Blaffer Art Museum undergoes major renovation

Now Playing … Creative Coogs

As UH continues to produce Creative Coogs, it is a list that grows longer every day.

‘Spoiling Paper’: Barthelme Memories

In an unorthodox tribute, Padgett Powell recalls Donald Barthelme’s influence on him … and countless other writers.

The Arts of Community Engagement

On any given day, Houstonians can attend a performance, exhibition or reading at the University of Houston. In fact, UH hosts more than 175,000 visitors to its campus arts events annually.

Welcoming Wilhelmina Grove

The UH Arts District has put out an extraordinary welcome mat, a $2-million entryway adorned with lush landscaping and hanging lanterns.


UH Energy: Engaging, Encompassing, Empowering

UH Energy as a formal entity is fairly new — President Renu Khator introduced the idea of making energy a primary focus for the University of Houston in 2008 — but its roots go back decades.

Courses in electricity, diesel motors and aircraft engines for WWII workers
Cullen Family donates $5 million for first Engineering Building
Doctoral programs in chemistry, physics, electrical, chemical and mechanical engineering
Paul Chu makes high temperature superconductivity breakthrough
Physics Department named one of 10 most influential in America by Science magazine
Global Energy Management Institute founded
Texas Center for Clean Engines, Emissions & Fuels opens
One of country’s first courses in carbon trading offered
74-acre Schlumberger property becomes UH Energy Research Park
Undergraduate degree in petroleum engineering begins
DOE funds National Wind Energy Center at UH
Master’s degree program in subsea engineering launches

Going Deep … UH Institute Safeguards Offshore Energy Efforts

With energy companies moving to more challenging environments to explore and produce hydrocarbons over the next decades, the challenges and risks continue to grow.

UH Subsea Engineering Joins Global Alliance

As employers increasingly seek workers with global experience, an international network of subsea engineering programs will allow University of Houston students to study with experts around the world.

Superconductivity Fueled New Era of Energy Research

A discovery nearly 30 years ago at the University of Houston set off a frenzy, with scientists around the world joining in after physicist Paul Chu and his colleagues created the material that brought high- temperature superconductivity into the modern era.

UH Energy Symposium Focuses on Big Ideas

UH Energy will address the top issues facing the industry today during its “Critical Issues in Energy” upcoming symposium series.

Top-Paid Majors (Starting Salaries) for the Class of 2014

Engineering majors, especially petroleum engineering, continue to rule when it comes to top salaries for graduates.


UH Health: Teaching, Training, Treating

There’s a tremendous demand for health care and the University of Houston is ideally suited to help meet it.

College of Pharmacy founded
College of Nursing opens (closes ‘56)
College of Optometry founded
College of Pharmacy establishes Texas Medical Center location
Health Law and Policy Program ranks best in the nation
$81 million Science and Engineering Research and Classroom Complex opens
30-year research pact signed with Methodist Hospital
Jan-Åke Gustafsson launches Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling
Health-related research more than 50 percent of total research expenditure
Center for Neuromotor and Biomechanics Research member of National Center for Human Performance
Health and Biomedical Sciences Building opens

Following the Holistic Path to Tame the Wolf Called Lupus

Although there is no cure for lupus, a new researcher at the University of Houston thinks there could be one in the future, and he is on a quest to find it.

Reducing Obesity’s Growing Epidemic

For many years, Texas has ranked in the Top 20 of the most obese states in the country. Unfortunately, ‘bigger in Texas’ has come to mean ... us. Obesity is an epidemic and a critical public health issue.

Virtual Reality vs. Very Real Problems

Directed by Professor Patrick Bordnick, the Virtual Reality Clinical Lab is a place to study behaviors and addictions and find interventions.

Professors Emeriti

Mamie Moy: Chemist, Professor, Pioneer

Mamie Moy’s life would likely have been totally different if her parents hadn’t defied traditional Chinese-American culture.

Giving & Alumni

Celebrating the Year with Alumni and Loyal Friends

We have held numerous notable events this past year in the Advancement division, and all have strengthened and confirmed the fact that we are a University which mirrors the energy of this great city.

Success: Larry Hill Helps Area Students Reach New Heights

One Houston professor and alumnus is combining secondary and university education with philanthropy and community engagement to help Space City’s youngest engineers reach for the stars, literally.

Navigating New Generations of Success: Randy Pike

His passion for education, however, led him to define a considerably larger legacy at the University of Houston — one that honors his roots and inspires future generations to succeed.

Hoops, There It Is …

Construction’s underway on the new $25-million Basketball Development Facility, a 53,000 square-foot building where Cougar hoopsters will hit the books, the weight room and the practice courts.

Homecoming Week

Nov. 2–8, 2014

For more information and to RSVP, visit

Thursday, November 6

Cougar 100 Luncheon

@ The Bayou City Event Center
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
9401 Knight Road

Join us as we recognize the top Cougar 100 owned or operated companies.

cougar 100 logo
Friday, November 7

UHAA Celebrity Golf Classic

@ Quail Valley Golf Club in Missouri City
Registration opens at 9 a.m.
Shotgun start at 11 a.m.

UH alumni celebrity golf classic logo and club managers association of america logo
Friday, November 7

Inaugural Class Reunions 2014

  • 50 Year

    Class of '64

    @ Hilton University of Houston
    6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

  • 25 Year

    Class of '89

    @ University Center Ballroom
    7 – 9 p.m.

  • 10 Year

    Class of '04

    @ Blaffer Art Museum
    7 – 9 p.m.

Saturday, November 8

Homecoming Football Game & Party on the Plaza

UH vs. Tulane

@ TDECU Stadium

Party on the Plaza

@ the Alumni Center with Curtis Poullard and the CZ Band.

UH and Tulane football helmets

Class Notes

UH Alumni Making News Around the Globe


David Levin (’70, J.D. ’73) announced the publication of his latest novel, “Demon Dust,” a paranormal/fantasy thriller set in Galveston. His other published literary works include novels, “Promise” and “The Demons of San Antonio” and a nonfiction guide for youth, “Teen Law.” He and his wife live in Houston and have two sons and a special dog.


W.H. “Bill” Easter III (’71), retired chairman, president and chief executive officer of DCP Midstream, was recently appointed to the Baker Hughes Inc. board of directors.


Michael Hainkel (‘78, M.S.Accy. ‘79) has been named executive vice president and chief tax officer at Lions Gate Entertainment.


Mike Brem (’79, M.B.A. ’81, J.D. ’90) has been elected to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Board of Directors.


Steve Monks (’84) was elected to serve on the board of directors of the Group Legal Services Association (GLSA), formerly the American Prepaid Legal Services Institute.


Mark Polimeno (’88) published a new cookbook titled, “Mother Teresa’s Fine Foods.”


Shed Boren (M.S.W. ’89) has joined Camillus Health — a leading provider of health care services for persons who are homeless in Miami — as its executive director.


John D’Amico (’91) was installed as the mayor of West Hollywood on April 21. He was first elected to the West Hollywood City Council in 2011.


Patrick Dennis (’01) has been named a partner in the law firm of Doyle Raizner LLP, based in Houston and Phoenix, specializing in insurance, maritime and pharmaceutical law.

Juan F. Vasquez, Jr. (J.D. ’01), attorney with Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry, has been recognized by Chambers USA as one of the top tax controversy attorneys in the United States.


Melissa Krisztal (’03) is now talent acquisition specialist for Hearst Media. She will be actively recruiting entry level sales and marketing candidates in the Houston and San Antonio markets and is hopeful to help UH alumni with their careers.


Jake Donaldson (’06), Three Square Design Group principal, recently saw Three Square named a top design firm by ENR Texas and Louisiana.


Nichala Davidson (’08) received her Master of Arts in counseling from Prairie View A&M University in 2010 and also received her Licensed Professional Counselor Certification from the State of Texas in August 2013.


Isabel Soto (’13) is a presidential appointee and confidential assistant for the U.S. Department of Education – Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education in Washington, D.C.


Paula Santamaria (’14) is a presidential appointee and the special assistant to the chief of staff for the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C.

We invite you to submit your alumni news and updates at

Last Look

What’s old is new again. The University Center, which opened in 1967, has been undergoing a major transformation, which concludes with the grand opening of Phase 2 in January 2015. The original (left) and the renovation (right) still share some reassuring similarities.