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Message from Paula Myrick Short, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost:

As the city continues to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and our campus community returns to a sense of normalcy, I want to reiterate that our priority continues to be the safety and well-being of our faculty, staff, and students. In these extraordinary circumstances, I thank our faculty and staff who have been flexible and accommodating to students regarding their concerns over academic deadlines and maintaining course schedules. It also has been extremely uplifting to witness so many Coogs organize and mobilize during this time of need.

Below are resources related to Hurricane Harvey available to our campus community. We hope many of you have found this information useful and will share with others.

As we transition back to campus and academic life here at UH, I want to reassure you that the University of Houston and the Office of the Provost remains committed to supporting our Cougar community. We are glad see so many of you back on campus and look forward to another successful academic year.

UH Faculty and Staff Address Day Care Options as School Resumes

Hurricane Harvey STEM Camp
Young campers launch bottle rockets during Hurricane Harvey STEM Camp. Photo courtesy of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

With local schools shut down for another week and many daycare facilities remaining closed after Hurricane Harvey struck Houston, many UH faculty and staff parents struggled to find proper childcare for their children when school resumed at UH the day after Labor Day. But with some quick-thinking and collaboration, educators from various colleges were able to address a critical need as parents went back to work.

The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the UH STEM Center organized a free, weeklong Hurricane Harvey STEM Camp for 50 children of UH faculty, staff, and students. Young campers, in grades K-8, were flying soda-bottle rockets, building bridges out of toothpicks, constructing boats out of aluminum foil, and testing pendulums. Read more.

College of Education/Workshop Houston Camp
Day campers at Workshop Houston. Photo courtesy of the College of Education.

Faculty, staff, and students from the College of Education worked with Workshop Houston, a Third-Ward nonprofit that runs arts-related afterschool programs, to hold day camps for HISD students until they returned to school on September 11.

Finally, Dr. Cathy Horn, Dr. Holly Hutchins, and Dr. Christiane Spitzmueller from the Center for ADVANCING UH Faculty Success were hard at work developing a Facebook group for faculty, creating a survey to match displaced faculty members into other faculty members' homes, compiling a list of childcare options available, and creating a survey for a childcare co-op.

UH Students are #CougarStrong

Coogs Volunteer for Harvey Relief
Top: UH Cougar Football team load up supplies for a convoy headed to Houston. Bottom: UH students volunteer at BBVA Compass Stadium.

All across the city and state, UH students have been actively donating their time and resources to help out their neighbors and fellow Coogs whose lives have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Before Hurricane Harvey made landfall, UH Cougar Football relocated to UT-Austin in order to practice. While there, student-athletes answered the call to collect donated items and load trucks on their way to Houston.

Back on campus, a group of UH students formed their own ride-sharing program to volunteer at BBVA Compass Stadium, an overflow site for collecting and sorting supplies donated to evacuees staying at the George R. Brown Convention Center. "We just wanted to give people a way to help out because I know that they wanted to," said Katherine Corrigan, who along with friends, put out a call on social media.

Since classes resumed at UH, the Center for Student Involvement is collecting supplies such as blankets and pillows, towels, toilet paper, diapers, baby food, and clothing at the Student Center North first floor Commons Desk. UH students, faculty and staff in need of items can stop by this area to collect any of the donated items.

The overwhelming and generous response of our campus community has been inspirational. The road to recovery will be a long one for Houston and the Gulf Coast region, and our job to help each other does not end here. We hope you continue to support the relief efforts by donating or volunteering for the weeks and months to come.

 

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Paula Myrick Short, Provost | provost@uh.edu | 832.842.0550 | uh.edu/provost

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