ROTC Battalion Commander Neil Chaffee Promoted to Colonel

Lieutenant Colonel Neil Chaffee, Professor of Military Science and Battalion Commander of the University of Houston Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program, was recently promoted to Colonel in a private ceremony. Only 6% of 490,000 military personnel achieve the rank of Colonel. Col. Chaffee was also named Professor of Military Science of the year for the 5th ROTC Brigade.  

Neil Chaffee becomes Colonel
(Left to Right) Neil Chaffee is promoted from Lieutenant Colonel to Colonel by former Colonel Rocky Gay.

Colonel Chaffee leads the UH ROTC program, which is ranked in the top 8 of the 275 Army ROTC programs across the nation. A native of Houston and a graduate of Texas A&M University, his professional career centers on Sensitive Reconnaissance Operations with manned and unmanned aircraft.

Dr. Frankino Awarded $435,000 NSF Grant

Dr. Tony Frankino, associate professor of biology and biochemistry in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, studies how natural selection can drive the evolution of body proportions. In support of this research, he was recently awarded a three-year, $435,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. These funds are part of an $835,000 collaborative NSF grant with Alex Shingleton, associate professor of biology at Lake Forest College.

Tony Frankino
Tony Frankino, associate professor of biology and biochemistry in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Houston.

"What no one has thought about is the role of the genetic variation that underlies an individual's relative trait sizes and how that affects evolutionary outcomes," Frankino said. "The patterns of individual genetic variation in relative trait and body sizes are most likely affecting what the response to natural selection will be." Read the Full Story

Professor Evans Wins Debate at Oxford Union Debating Society

Barbara Evans
Dr. Norman Fost of the University of Wisconsin, left, UHLC Professor Barbara Evans, Oxford Professor Julian Savulescu and Sir Ian Wilmut of the University of Edinburgh prepare for mental battle over the ethics of genetic manipulation. 

Dr. Barbara Evans, professor at the University of Houston Law Center, recently traveled to Oxford University to compete at the Oxford Union Debating Society. She used funds from the Provost Global Faculty Development Fund to do so. Her three-person team included Dr. Norman Fost, professor emeritus of pediatrics and director of the medical ethics program at the University of Wisconsin and Dr. Rahul Gandhi, a young medical doctor and monk currently pursing an MBA at Oxford University.

The team was required to argue against the statement: "This House Believes the Manipulations of Human DNA is an Ethical Necessity." Noted Evans: "That's what they do: they turn the tables on you and make you argue against whatever you are known for believing. It's brilliant. It forces you to have thoughts you never would have thought otherwise."

The opposing team included Sir Ian Wilmut, famous for cloning Dolly the Sheep, Oxford's noted moral philosopher Julian Savulescu, and student debater Lynda Troung, a fast-rising star in RNA research. "It was an uphill battle" said Evans. "We were up against an all-star team." Evan's team won in a 53-47 percent vote. Read the Full Story.

Travels with Shasta!

Send your photos of Shasta's travels to, tweet them @SashaProf , or share them with Provost Paula Myrick Short on facebook.

Shasta in Ireland

Shasta on the Cliffs of  Moher in Ireland.


Paula Myrick Short, Provost | | 832.842.0550 |
This is an official message sent by the University of Houston. To verify the validity of this message, visit or email