Staff Voters’ Guide - University of Houston
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Staff Council Elections on June 15 - July 8, 2022

The 37th annual University-wide election for Staff Council representatives is scheduled from Wednesday, June 15, 2022, 6:00 a.m. - Friday, July 8, 2022, 5:00 p.m. Voting in the 2022 election will be online only and in-person voting will not be available this year.

2022 Voting Instructions

Online voting at will be available from Wednesday, June 15, 2022, 6:00 a.m. - Friday, July 8, 2022, 5:00 p.m.

  • Select the Election icon under University Services.
  • You may need to refresh your icons if you do not see the Election icon.

Voting in the 2022 election will be online only and in-person voting will not be available this year.

In order to vote during the 2022 elections, voters:

  • Must be benefits-eligible (50% FTE or greater) staff members.
  • Must know their CougarNet account username and password.
  • May cast their vote for no more than the number of open positions available for their division and for one At-Large candidate.
  • May write-in one candidate for their division (if the division has open positions) and one At-Large candidate.
  • May cast their vote from any computer, phone, or tablet with internet access.
  • May only vote once. The online voting site will reject any voter's attempt to go through the voting system more than once.

The representative divisions, total representatives, openings, and candidates are:


Division Total for
At-Large 3 1 2
Academic Affairs 15 5 9
Administration & Finance 10 3 5
Office of the President 2 0 0
Division of Research 1 0 0
Student Affairs and Enrollment Services 4 1 2
Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine 1 1 1
University Advancement 1 0 0
University Marketing and Communications 1 0 0


Multiple vacant positions will be filled by candidates who have received the highest numbers of votes (votes will be ranked in order from highest to lowest).

2022 Candidates

This Voters' Guide includes a list of all candidates by representative division and a brief biography.

  • At-Large (1 opening)



    Stefanie Florencio
    Executive Administrative Assistant, M.D. Anderson Library, University Libraries

    “I have been working at UH and within the Libraries since March of 2019. I was nominated to join Staff Council last year and would like to re-nominate myself to continue to serve as being part of Staff Council. I enjoy being on the council because I get to meet other staff members, and be part of committees and aware of what is continually happening on campus."

    Why do you want to serve on Staff Council?
    “I enjoy being on the council because I get to meet other staff members, and be part of committees and aware of what is continually happening on campus. I am hoping that this year as my work load balances better I will be able to join more committees.”



    Trina Silva
    Director of Advancement, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

    "Trina Silva is the Director of Advancement for University of Houston’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) and has worked with advancement colleagues for over 3.5 years to reach fundraising goals and to develop donor-centric stewardship and cultivation plans. Trina has over six years of experience in higher education, including time in recruiting for Sam Houston State University. Prior to working in higher education, she was a corporate sales manager, community engagement coordinator, and an event and volunteer coordinator. Trina currently serves as UH Staff Council member at-large, is co-chair of the Awards and Advancement Committee, and serves as a staff council representative on the university-wide Fraternity/Sorority Community Advisory Board and on The University System Staff Executive Council (USSEC). Outside of the university, Trina stays active in the community and serves as a board member on the Houston East End Chamber of Commerce Foundation, volunteers for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Corral Club Committee, serves on the Summer Soiree Steering Committee for Dress for Success’s Women of Wardrobe and is co-chair on the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation Ladies Guild Book Club Committee. Trina earned a B.A. in journalism - public relations from Sam Houston State University and an M.A. in humanities from University of Houston - Clear Lake. In her spare time Trina enjoys spending time with friends and family, going on hikes, reading, perusing outdoor markets and craft shows, and trying new restaurants.

    Why do you want to serve on Staff Council?
    “To serve my fellow staff members as an advocate to implement new ideas and to help the university improve for generations to come.”

  • Academic Affairs (5 openings)



    Erica Barreraz-Mahan
    Associate Director, Office of Global Engagement and Special Programs, Honors College

    "Erica Barreraz-Mahan is Associate Director of the Office of Global Engagement and Special Programs in the Honors College. Erica began working in higher education while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa. For over a past decade, Erica has worked with students across the globe and from all walks of life; she is committed to supporting students from all backgrounds pursue their academic and personal goals. Prior to working at UH, Erica worked with a TRiO program at UTSA and served as Peace Corps Prep Coordinator at Colorado School of Mines. She joined the UH staff in 2020 while serving as an academic advisor in the Bauer College of Business. In 2022, Erica moved over to the Honors College and now works in global engagement. Erica enjoys meeting new people and building community. Staff Council gives Erica the opportunity to serve, stay connected and help fellow staff members with activities that will advance the University and make it a positive working environment.”

    Why do you want to serve on Staff Council?
    “I was nominated in March of 2022 to join Staff Council in the Academic Affairs division. I have enjoyed being a part of the Council these past few months. The people, conversation, and sharing of ideas makes the time put into Staff Council well worth it. I would like to continue and give the Council a full 2 years of service to carry on the work of building the UH community.”



    Callista Brown
    Program Manager II, Mathematics, College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics

    “Callista Brown has proudly served as a UH staff member for over 7 years and currently is the Program Manager for the Master of Statistics and Data Science program. Previously Callista was the Assistant Director of the Center for Student Media. Callista is currently pursuing her doctorate in Higher Education Administration. Callista has a passion for serving her community. In the College of Natural Science and Mathematics, she serves as the Chair for the Staff Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Outside of UH, her community involvement includes serving as a captain for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR), President of the Houston Energy Corridor Rotary Club, President of Woodlake Forest I HOA, and a member of several buyers groups that support HLSR and youth education.”

    Why do you want to serve on Staff Council?
    “I enjoy serving my community. I believe in the hard work that Staff Council does and I want to contribute to Staff Council's future success.”




    Seth Evans
    Financial Coordinator II, Physics, Natural Sciences & Mathematics

    “I have been with the University for a little over 7 years now and have served 3 of those years on Staff Council. During that time, I have chaired the Staff Affairs Committee during which we have accomplished getting face coverings for our front line workers during the pandemic. Our latest accomplishment was working with Administration to push forth the AWA project.”

    Why do you want to serve on Staff Council?
    “I enjoy meeting new fellow staff members and helping them achieve their goals and dreams while working here at the University.”




    Genny Lee
    Project Manager, Undergraduate Business Programs Office (UBP), C.T. Bauer College of Business

    “I currently work as Project Manager for Bauer College of Business’ Undergraduate Business Programs. My responsibilities include enrollment management, maintaining the degree progress reports, degree plans, and automation of business processes in the office. Other projects include organizing a Staff Appreciation event for the office. I am interested in creating a better work environment for staff so that they can better serve the UH community.
    I have served on Staff Council for many years and was co-chair of the Scholarships and Professional Development Committee until its recent change to the Awards & Advancement Committee. I also served on the Recreation and Wellness university-wide committee and currently serve on the Global Strategies and Studies Advisory Committee and Food Service Committee. I am a proud alumnus and have been at the university for 27 years.”

    Why do you want to serve on Staff Council?
    “It is fulfilling to be able to be the voice of change that UH needs to keep up with the changing time. I love serving on different committees, to learn more about what each committee offers, and how it relates or affects staff in our work environment.”




    Emily Merrell
    College Business Administration, College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics

    “Emily Merrell has worked at UH for the past 11 years. She is currently the College Business Administrator in the College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics. She has been on Staff Council for the past 6 years and has served in a variety of roles including Staff Council President, Staff Affairs Co-Chair, and most recently Communications Co-Chair.”

    Why do you want to serve on Staff Council?
    “I would like to serve on Staff Council to continue to advocate for staff with UH leadership and to cultivate a positive environment that strengthens the personal and professional growth of all staff.”




    Elsie Myers
    Department Business Administrator, Chemistry College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics

    “I am a Department Business Administrator for the Department of Chemistry. I have been a UH employee since March 2002 and have served on Staff Council since 2009. I have served as Staff Council President from 2011 to 2012 and from 2015 to 2016. During my time of voluntary service on the Staff Council, I have served on many U of H Committees and Staff Council Committees that include Events, Cougar First Impressions, TPAC, and the USSEC. During my terms as Staff Council President, I have always been a voice for our staff community, especially for hot topics on campus, such as parking, ePerformance, and merit salary increases. Currently, as a member of the Staff Council, I hold the Treasurer Officer appointment and I would love to continue to serve on Staff Council, to be part of this significant advisory body to the President of the University and the University administration. Thank you.”

    Why do you want to serve on Staff Council?
    “I genuinely enjoy being part of a larger team on campus, which provides a voice for the staff community and can bring about change towards staff concerns or issues.”




    Melissa Nieto
    Academic Advisor III, Graduate Office, College of Pharmacy

    “I have worked at the University of Houston for almost 10 years. I started at UH, as a student worker in 2013 while I worked on my Bachelors degree and I currently work as a graduate academic advisor while also completing my Masters degree, both here at UH. For the last 2 years, I have enjoyed serving on staff council, meeting many fellow UH employees, serving our student body, and volunteering on various events. I am looking forward to serving another term and continuing to give back to this great community!”

    Why do you want to serve on Staff Council?
    “I am a proud UH alumni and current graduate student. I have created many friendships and memories here and have gotten so much from UH. For that reason, I want to serve another term and continue to give to the community that has also given so much to me.”




    Kellie Sager
    Office Coordinator, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Cullen College of Engineering

    “Kellie Sager is an integral part of our office energy. It's always positive, upbeat, and happy when she is in office. She's been with us in ECE for about 2+ years now, and we feel insanely grateful to have her. I think she would serve the Staff Council incredibly. She is very interested, talks about UH often, and has endless energy to serve the community. I would love to see how she shines in this role.”

    Why do you want to serve on Staff Council?
    "After joining the events committee this year, I realized I want to be more involved in the UH Community. I would love to serve as a positive voice for my fellow co-workers and assist in keeping UH a safe and fun work environment for all."




    Shanequea White
    Department Business Administrator, Physics, Natural Sciences & Mathematics

    “Shanequea White is the Department Business Administrator for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics- Physics department. She served as the FY22 UH Staff Council President. She is a UH alumna (BBA ’13) and a longtime staff member of 11+ years. Shanequea has been active in the UH Staff Council for many years and has contributed to the success of many campus-wide efforts, such as the Sock & Blanket Drive and the Spring Egg Hunt. Previously, she won the 2018 President’s Excellence Award for Community Service. Outside of UH, Shanequea is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., an organization whose purpose is to aid and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world. She is interested in Staff Council because she wants to continue serving the UH Staff community by advocating for staff concerns. “Together Everyone Achieves More!”

    Why do you want to serve on Staff Council?
    “As the Immediate Past President of the UH Staff Council, the primary reason I serve on Staff Council is to meaningfully contribute to serving the University of Houston Staff constituents and its mission. But to open the conversation up to staff across campus and encourage consideration among UH Administration on initiatives or programs that could help further Staff advancement/development. Also, in creating programs to help with Student Success!”

  • Administration & Finance (3 openings)



    Jacqueline Chee
    State Appropriation Accounting

    "I am seeking a 4th term on Staff Council. I have been an active council member since 2013 and have served on many committees. Currently, I am the co-chair for the Staff Council Awards and Advancement Committee where I promote and oversee the scholarship distributions.
    I wanted to create a sense of community and help increase employee morale at Technology Bridge. I coordinated CFI at Tech Bridge so that staff members get the opportunity to volunteer, contribute towards student success and get to know each other. I organized fire drill so that everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency and jumpstarted the Yoga program at Tech Bridge. I enjoy my time at the Staff Council. It allows me to learn, build long-lasting friendship and serve. I am a difference maker. I believe everyone can make an impact in others’ life. Looking forward to continue serving on Staff Council again.”

    Why do you want to serve on Staff Council?
    “CFI and Award & Advancements Committees"

    From Nominator:
    “Jackie is an exceptional staff member and has worked at the University of Houston since 1998. She has served as a Staff Council representative for many years and currently servers as co-chair for the Awards & Advancement Committee (formerly known as the Professional Development Committee). Through her leadership Staff Council scholarships, Cougar Cudos, and other professional development opportunities - such as the SC Rebecca Szwarc Professional Development Reimbursement - have been made available to staff. In addition to supporting staff programs, Jackie has been an integral part of Cougar First Impressions and volunteers across campus whenever help and volunteers are needed. I have also seen her serve the University community by sharing resources with staff and for bringing staff concerns with leadership. Her voice speaks for many.”


    Ron Gonyea
    Power Plant Electrician, Facilities/Construction Management, Operation and Maintenence

    "Ron Gonyea is a licensed Journeyman Electrician and graduated from the JATC Electrical Apprentice Program in 1989. Prior to joining UH Utility Services in 2005, he worked in construction for 20 years. Ron has consistently demonstrated a passion for helping workers get their voices heard and concerns and issues addressed. He has been a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 716 for 37 years and a member of Texas State Employees Union CWA Local 6186 for 17 years. For 17 years, Ron produced and hosted Voices At Work, a labor related radio program. He has served as a delegate to the Harris County AFL-CIO for both IBEW Local 716 and TESU CWA Local 6186. He served as a job steward on many occasions. Ron previously served as UH Staff Council President from 2012-2013. His current duties include maintaining the Cougar High Voltage substation and high voltage distribution on campus; reviewing drawings for new buildings; and supporting other electricians with troubleshooting complex equipment."


    Allyson McDonald
    Assistant Director, Risk Management, Office of Finance

    “With over 20 years of insurance experience, I came to the University of Houston from the State Office of Risk Management to work in the UHS Risk Management department. After being at UHS for over four years now, I have found this to be an amazing place to work. I strive for open communication with all departments and work towards an enterprise risk management foundation. I have worked diligently to break down communication silos within the University and open dialogue between departments when it comes to insurance, claims, and risk management. In an effort to strengthen our ability to obtain the best risk financing products, I’ve continued my professional education and earned the Certified Insurance Counselor designation from the National Alliance. I want to bring my dedication to UHS even further by joining the Staff Council. Together, we can and do make a difference.”

    Why do you want to serve on Staff Council?
    “One of the main reasons I opted for working for state entities was the ability to help the State of Texas in some way. The greatest joy of my career is the ability to help others, and that is the main reason why I would like to join Staff Council - to help however I can. UHS is a wonderful institution, a fantastic place to work, and I want to help be a part of a team that works towards giving students the best educational experience and continues to be a safe and stable place to work.”

    Sharon Pellas
    Program Manager II, Campus Safety, Fire and Life Safety and Environmental Health and Safety

    “Sharon Pellas has been employed at the University of Houston for more than 14 years. Graduated in 2010 from UH with a double major in English Literature and Political Science, she decided to pursue a Paralegal Degree at Rice University in 2012. Currently, Sharon works as a Program Manager II in Campus Safety, Fire and Life Safety and Environmental Health and Safety. She served three years in Staff Council by being part of 3 committees, 1 ad-hoc committee and co-chair of Take Your Child to Work Day. Her commitment to the University of Houston has always been a priority. Sharon looks forward to continuing an all-inclusive agenda in Staff Council. As a mother of two children on the spectrum, Sharon hopes to continue making changes for acceptance and awareness of our disAbility community.”

    Why do you want to serve on Staff Council?
    “I have been in Staff Council for 3 years and my experience has been rewarding. I am an active member in 3 committees and serve as Co-Chair of Take Your Child To Work Day. Being a Staff Council representative allows me to keep serving my UH community. I look forward to making our Staff feel more inclusive with their families at events on campus.”

    Courtney Washington
    Administrative Assistant, Administration and Finance

    “I am currently a member of Staff Council serving as Co-Chair of the Staff Council Events Committee. I am excited about the possibility of continuing my service. I greatly appreciate the commitment to being a representative voice for UH staff and engaging with the campus community. I am appreciative of the nomination and consideration to serve again.”

  • Office of the President (0 openings)

    There are no openings for the Office of the President this year. Staff members in the Office of the President will be able to vote for or write-in an At-Large candidate.
  • Division of Research (0 opening)

    There are no openings for the Division of Research this year. Staff members in the Division of Research will be able to vote for or write-in an At-Large candidate.

  • Student Affairs and Enrollment Services (1 opening)



    Janelle Brown

    “Janelle Brown is a graduate and longtime employee of the University of Houston. Her passion and love for the University is deeply rooted in her desire to serve the University and its students. It is very rewarding to know that we are coming together as a body of people who get things done, for our employees as well as the students.”

    Why do you want to serve on Staff Council?
    "I have now had the pleasure of serving on SC for a year now. I really appreciate the fact that this Board is a hard-working, body of people who get things done. I enjoy the fellowships and friendships that i have made. As secretary, it is very fulfilling that my role plays a pivotal part in getting the information out in a timely and professional manner."

    Sabrina Grant
    Administrative Coordinator, Integrated Enrollment Services

    "I, Sabrina Grant have been with the University of Houston for over 13 years. I work under the Division of Student Affairs Enrollment Services. I am an “Outstanding” Administrative Coordinator, and always going above and beyond in the Office of Integrated Enrollment Services to help support my team and others. My contributions have been and always will be attentiveness, courtesy, and commitment to the UH Staff Council. I have enjoyed engaging and building relationships with the UH Staff Council, Faculty, Staff, and Students and would be honored to serve in this capacity for the next 2022 term.”

    Why do you want to serve on Staff Council?
    “I would like to serve on Staff Council, to help change the UH Community for the better, and to continue to be involved with staff in decisions affecting their activities.”


  • Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine (1 opening)



    Lupita Rangel Curiel
    Program Manager II, Medical Education, UH Fertitta Family College of Medicine

    “I have been with the University of Houston since January 04, 2014. I started working as a Program Coordinator 2 for the Experiential Programs with the College of Pharmacy and now as a Program Manager 2 for the Household Centered Care, Longitudinal Primary Care Course, and Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships with the Fertitta Family College of Medicine. I have enjoyed working with faculty, staff and students throughout my tenure with UH. I love planning events and getting people motivated and engaged in all the UH Staff Council activities. As a UH Staff Council Member, I will work diligently to represent our UH staff and create opportunities for future engagement activities, staff retreats and networking. WE must do better, WE can do better, WE will do better!”

  • University Advancement (0 openings)

    There are no openings for University Advancement this year. Staff members in University Advancement will be able to vote for or write-in an At-Large candidate.

  • University Marketing and Communications (0 openings)

    There are no openings for University Marketing and Communications this year. Staff members in University Marketing and Communications will be able to vote for or write-in an At-Large candidate.