March 2015

Global Leadership Studies Endows Professorship

Dr. Yali Zou  
Dr. Yali Zou, Global Leadership Studies Endowed Professor  

 Dr. Yali Zou, founding director of the Asian American Studies Center (AASC) and professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, is the University of Houston Global Leadership Studies endowed professor. The Global Leadership Studies Professor Endowment is a University-level endowment in the amount of $500,000. Funds from this new resource not only recognize Professor Zou’s leadership and contributions to the global leadership studies program, but also provide opportunities to expand current programs and new initiatives.

“I am incredibly honored and humbled by this professorship. I will work very hard with the great team at AASC to ensure continued success of AASC with this generous and invaluable gift,” Dr. Zou remarked. The AASC was established in 1995 at the University of Houston. It is an interdisciplinary academic institute that provides the students of the University of Houston academic courses, research opportunities, the China study abroad program, and the international students and scholars exchange program.

Computer Science Department Preparing Students for Global Challenges

The National Science Foundation has awarded the University of Houston Computer Science Department a STEM Grant of more than $580,000 for scholarships. The three-year grant will attract the brightest undergraduate students to study computer sciences at the University of Houston, and also retain those students and prepare them for the global challenges of the 21st century. The students will be recruited from high schools and community colleges to build a diverse community of well-qualified scholars who are leaders and who will increase the undergraduate participation in computer science research.


A unique aspect of the grant will focus on student achievement through improving effective communication skills and ethics, participation in leadership and innovation activities, exposure to multiple cultures, and courses on entrepreneurship and intellectual property. Students will also use gaming and animated storytelling as a community building and peer mentoring activity. Congratulations to the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the Computer Science Department!

Association of IT Professionals Student Chapter Wins Again!

For the second time, the University of Houston Association of IT Professionals (AITP) Student Chapter is honored with the AITP’s Region 3 Outstanding Student Chapter of the Year Award. The students were recognized for providing an outstanding variety of opportunities for members and, additionally, for members participating in a wide range of diverse professional development activities. AITP’s Region 3 represents AITP student chapters in seven states, including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Missouri, with student chapters at The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, Louisiana State University, University of New Mexico, Baylor University, University of Arkansas, University of Mississippi, Oklahoma State University, and many other institutions. As a result of this achievement, the UH AITP Student Chapter will now be competing for the AITP National Overall Outstanding Student Chapter award, which will be presented at the AITP National Collegiate Conference and Career Fair to be held in Omaha, Nebraska. Congratulations to the UH AITP Students and their faculty adviser, Professor Brett Detillier!

Honors College Graduate Soars at London School of Economics

Safa Ansari-Bayegan started her career at the University setting precedents. As a freshman, she was the chair of the volunteering program for the Honors College Student Governing Board, which led to her election as president, a first for a sophomore. Majoring in Political Science and Philosophy with a minor in Phronesis she immersed herself in the Phronesis minor program in Politics and Ethics as a Fellow. At the end of her sophomore year, she became Chief Fellow, serving as liaison between faculty and Fellows.

  Safa Asari-Bayegan

Recent graduate Safa Ansari Bayegan

Participating in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship and serving as an intern with the Texas Defender Service led her to become a finalist for the nationally competitive Truman Scholarship. Safa also took advantage of Learning Abroad opportunities, traveling with Honors Collage classmates and professors to Greece and to Northern Europe. Being challenged academically and continuously encouraged by supportive faculty over the course of her four years at UH provided her with a sense of direction and focus that has proven invaluable post graduation.

“Not only did the Honors College provide me with incredible opportunities to be involved, but also I found it to be a home within the larger University,” said Safa.

At the London School of Economics, she pursued a master’s in Human Rights and obtained it with distinction. Safa has moved back to Texas, accepting a position with the Regional Public Defender’s Office for capital cases in Lubbock. She will be conducting mitigation investigations in the cases of indigent defendants facing capital murder charges.  Safa is passionate about a career that she is fully prepared for, in large part, due to the leadership and service experience she gained while at the Honors College.

College of Technology Student Named AAC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year

University of Houston Volleyball Senior Hitter Kadi Kullerkann added to an already decorated 2015 season as the American Athletic Conference officials named her the 2015 Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Kadi Kullerkann
Senior volleyball player Kadi Kullerkann

Kadi will receive a $4,000 scholarship, which may be applied to graduate or professional studies.  Kadi served as the Cougars' number one hitter and also was named First Team All-American Athletic Conference for her Conference-leading performance this season.

In addition to her success on the court, Kadi is maintaining a 3.82 cumulative GPA over four years and has been named to the Dean's list for six straight semesters. She will earn a bachelor's degree in Digital Media with a minor in Computer Applications in May and plans to attend graduate school. The American Athletic Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year award is one of a number of scholarships presented by the Conference during the 2014-15 academic year. One male and one female from each of the Conference's 11 member institutions may be named as the winners of the Conference's Institutional Scholar-Athlete Scholarships.

Paula Myrick Short, Provost | | 832.842.0550
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