New Digital Installation on Campus Celebrating Faculty Excellence at UH
Jan. 9, 2023
By Mike Emery, 713-743-7197
University of Houston researchers are seeing their names in lights … quite literally.
In addition to earning prestigious accolades, awards and acceptance into the National Academies, UH faculty are being recognized on campus through the new Scholars Walk. This digital installation spotlights those scholars who are making significant impact across academic disciplines and elevating the research profile of the University.
Located on the west side of the Student Center (just across the sidewalk from the back of the M.D. Anderson Library), the Scholars Walk is comprised of 10 4K screens (on the front and back of five vertical blades standing just over 7 feet tall) showcasing images and information on selected researchers’ accomplishments. Information is presented so pedestrians can learn about each professor’s work and their contributions to a range of fields.
“This is an important addition to our campus and truly highlights the groundbreaking work taking place here,” said Robert McPherson, interim senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “At UH, we truly celebrate those faculty members who inspire our students and enhance our University’s status as a premier research institution.”
Following intensive planning and installation, the Scholars Walk made its debut in late fall and is beginning a steady rotation of featured researchers from month to month.
The inaugural professors featured on the Walk, included recent National Academy of Engineering inductees Leon Thomson and Pradeep Sharma, freshly minted Guggenheim Fellow Keliy Anderson-Staley and distinguished faculty members such as Diana S-L Chow, Ezemenari M. Obasi and David Francis.
“The Scholars Walk is a great way to recognize faculty who have made significant contributions to research and scholarship,” said Claudia Neuhauser, interim vice president of research at UH. “This digital installation is in a prominent location for students, staff and faculty to see and learn about the accomplishments of our researchers and scholars.”
The Scholars Walk was envisioned by former Provost Paula Short and former Vice President of Research Amr Elnashai as an extension of the 50-in-5 initiative (focused on increasing the research and scholarly output of UH faculty). Both administrators conceived of the Scholars Walk as further demonstration of the outstanding work performed by professors at the University.
Prior to the campus Scholars Walk, a virtual version was launched in 2021 with details on faculty awards and accomplishments.
Teams from the Office of the Provost and Division of Research are collaborating to generate content for the Scholars Walk, and many others have contributed to the project. Joujou Zebdaoui, Sandy Ta and Hussain Alkinani from UH Facilities/Construction Management led its construction despite a number of obstacles, including Houston’s unpredictable weather and supply chain challenges.
Other key contributors to the Scholars Walk are University Information Technology’s E-communications team, including Mark Rosanes and Dominic Johnson. Both helped coordinate the platform used to post content on the Scholars Walk screens.
“The Scholars Walk is a perfect addition to the University of Houston, which already is growing by leaps and bounds,” McPherson said. “It is a perfect platform for educating our community about UH’s talented faculty and the great work they are doing both on our campus and in the community.”