June 2015

Pharmacy Students Champions at Statewide Meeting

University of Houston pharmacy students wrapped up the spring semester with awards for excellence in professional service, clinical skills, and disease management; earning kudos at the state level from the Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists (TSHP).

Pharmacy Students at Statewide Competition
University of Houston College of Pharmacy students Salman Farooqui, Marissa Blumenthal, Eric Kao, and Sunny Bhakta.

Competing against more than 60 teams from across Texas, Pharmacy Doctorate students won in both the clinical skills and disease state management competitions.   

Repeating last year's success in the second-year category, Sunny Bhakta and Salman Farooqui won the third-year award. Marissa Blumenthal and Eric Kao were this year's winners in the second-year category.

Also bringing home accolades was Phuoc Anne Nguyen, who was honored with the Leo F. Godley and Ann Godley Residency Fellowship Award. Nguyen, who earned her Pharm.D. in 2013 and recently graduated from the UH College of Pharmacy with a Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Health Outcomes and Policy, will complete her M.S./Residency program this summer at the Michael E. DeBakey Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Houston.

CLASS Student Wins National Fellowship

CLASS Student Savannah Williamson
Savannah Williamson in Oxford, MS during a five-week dissertation research trip.

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences graduate student Savannah Williamson won a prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute Fellowship to attend the seminar on "Slavery in the American Republic: From Constitution to Civil War." This two-week Institute, held in Washington, DC and Charlottesville, Virginia, brings together faculty participants to explore the rapidly accumulating new collaborative scholarship, which focuses on the reading and interpretation of slavery in America from the writing of the Constitution to the Civil War. The multidisciplinary approach provides a distinct perspective allowing for greater understanding of the complexities of slavery in America and opens a window onto how slavery could exist in a country founded on many of the ideals of the Enlightenment. Congratulations, Savannah!

Online Psychology Degree Ranked 8th in the Nation

The University of Houston has been recognized as one of the nation's top institutions providing students with an online psychology curriculum.  In recent rankings, the University was among "The 30 Best Online Bachelor in Psychology Degree Programs," placing 8th on the list compiled by, an independent organization staffed by editors with academia and research experience.

Although the full University degree is not offered online, the requirements for completing a psychology major can be fulfilled through web-based coursework. The University was selected for this designation because all of its required upper-division courses can be accessed through its Distance Education program. According to, the University is among the institutions ranked on this list based on quality of program, types and ranges of courses offered, faculty strength, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.


Engineering Students Win at Robotics Competition

Engineering Students Win at Robotics Competition
Engineering students Erick Saucedo, Steven Do, and Aman Fatma pictured with faculty advisor Julius Marpaung.

A team of electrical and computer engineering students from the University recently took the top trophy at a robotics competition at Oklahoma State University for their creation of a remote robot that performed a myriad of commands - in the dark.

The competition was the 2015 Mercury Remote Robot Challenge hosted by OSU in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The Mercury Remote Robot Challenge is an international, interscholastic robotics competition. Each year, Mercury Robotics challenges competitors to design and build a robot capable of performing a mission. The robot must be operated remotely over the Internet from at least 50 miles away.

The team was composed of Erick Saucedo, Steven Do, Aman Fatma, and their advisor Julius Marpaung; instructional faculty member in the electrical and computer engineering department. The team's robot, "Cougar Paws," was designed to navigate in total darkness. Its tasks were to capture a golf ball, climb and descend 30 degree inclines, and deposit the ball at a specific destination.

The team took home the first place prize with the highest score in the competition. Fellow competitors came from US schools such as The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Oklahoma, but also internationally from countries like Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil.


New Major in Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies

A Bachelor of Arts degree in Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies major is now open at the University.  The degree integrates aspects of history, politics, sociology, and cultural studies to explore and analyze women's presence and influence in global affairs and development. The historical and cultural roles of gender and sexuality are examined on their own and in their intersections with other cultural markers, such as race, class, age, and disability.

The new program provides a degree-completion option for students currently enrolled with minors in the Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program. The curriculum will be built around the core courses offered through the WGSS Program and cross-listed courses on women, gender and sexuality topics offered in disciplines across the university.

By establishing this new bachelor's degree, the University's offerings are in alignment with similar majors at Rice University, Texas A&M University, and The University of Texas at Austin.  The first cohort of students earning the Bachelor of Arts in Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies are expected to graduate in spring 2018.

Paula Myrick Short, Provost | | 832.842.0550 |
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