CLASS dean resigns, nationwide search begins for replacement


Roberts has served as the dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences since July 2010. | File Photo/The Cougar

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Dean John Roberts has turned in a letter of resignation to Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Paula Myrick Short. Short has accepted his resignation and Roberts’ last day is scheduled for Jan. 30.

Short will conduct a nationwide search throughout the spring semester for Roberts’ successor. Short mentioned at a Faculty senate meeting that they are not publicly considering anybody for the position as of Tuesday. An interim dean has not been named yet.

Roberts was named dean of CLASS in July 2010. Before that, Roberts was an English professor and Dean of Arts and Humanities at Ohio State University. Throughout his nearly four-year tenure, Roberts started initiatives to integrate the Houston art community with UH, including leading the UH Arts initiative and forming collaborations with the Houston Arts Alliance and the Alley Theatre.


CLASS dean resigns, nationwide search begins for replacement” was originally posted on The Daily Cougar

MLK Day of Service planned to become largest service event in UH history

Courtesy of Wikipedia

This second annual MLK Day of Service is trying to become the largest event in campus history. | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

This year, UH will host its second annual Martin Luther King Day Day of Service on Jan. 24. Looking to emulate the teachings of service to all that King dedicated his life to, the University is looking to make this year’s event the largest in campus history.

“The combined efforts of multiple departments and student organizations will help to achieve the goal of making this years’ Day of Service the largest and most successful service event in campus history,” said Kaitlyn Palividas, broadcast journalism sophomore and student co-chair of the Bonner Leader Program.

“Sponsoring organizations include the Bonner Leader Program, the Honors College, Baptist Student Ministries, Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Center for Student Involvement, Metropolitan Volunteer Program (and the) Office of Governmental and Community Relations.”

With a much larger pool of community organizations partnering with UH and the use of social media – there’s even a Facebook page for information about the Day of Service – the University’s goal may very well be achieved. On the event’s Facebook page, about 1,300 people have been invited, and the number of those saying yes to participating has grown daily.

“The community is vital to the University, and this is a simple way for students to give back,” Palividas said.

When Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was first observed in 1986, three years after former president President Ronald Reagan signed it in law, citizens around the country searched for ways to commemorate King’s dedication to service. Former Pa. Senator Harris Wofford and Atlanta Congressman John Lewis started the National Martin Luther King Day of Service, federal legislation that is meant to push Americans to turn the holiday into a day of action. Others followed the challenge, and college students were a part of a large population of those spending a day to help others.

“Volunteers can look forward to packaging food for the elderly, beautifying empty lots, painting community meeting spaces and making valentine’s cards for veterans among other things,” said fellow co-chair of the Bonner leader program and biotechnology sophomore Grace Schwarz.

“Volunteers will get a different perspective on, and become more aware of, the disparities in our community. My hope is that volunteers come back understanding how much need there is just a block from the university and be excited to help those who need it.”

The volunteer day offers a morning and afternoon shift, though participants are encouraged to participate in both. The day begins at 7:30 a.m. with a breakfast and welcome remarks. Volunteers will then be shuttled to various organizations to assist in community-led projects. A lunch will follow for the volunteers at the Student Center ballroom at noon, and the afternoon shift will begin at 1 p.m. While the event is being hosted at UH, family, friends and anyone in the Houston community willing to serve is encouraged to participate.

Volunteers are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing for the various tasks, and meals and T-shirts will be provided. Students will receive a certificate at the end of their shift noting their participation.

For more information including registering with the Food Bank, visit uh.edu/mlk.


MLK Day of Service planned to become largest service event in UH history” was originally posted on The Daily Cougar

UH to launch offshore energy research center

UH will charter a new subsea engineering national research center to help improve the sustainability and development of energy resources in the Gulf of Mexico. The center will focus on reducing the amount of offshore accidents and deep water disasters.

“We are grateful for this grant, which is the culmination of years of work to establish the University of Houston as the Energy University and a vibrant and comprehensive partner with the energy industry,” President Renu Khator said in a release.

“We envision our Subsea Systems Institute as serving to ensure that technologies, policies, regulations and standards needed for safe and environmentally responsible operations in the energy industry are developed and shared.”

UH will lead the institute, collaborating with the Johnson Space Center, Texas Southern University, Houston Community College, Lone Star College and Rice University.

“A center focused on prevention is the right thing to do,” UH Chief Energy Officer Ramanan Krishnamoorti said in a press release. “A center in Houston is the right place to do it, and (this) is the right team.”


UH to launch offshore energy research center” was originally posted on The Daily Cougar

Gibbs to seek new opportunities after bowl win

Houston Athletics announced Monday that UH’s interim head coach and defensive coordinator David Gibbs is currently pursuing other coaching opportunities after two seasons with the Cougars.

Gibbs led the Cougars to nationally acclaimed defensive performances in Houston’s two most recent seasons and led the Cougars to a 35-34 victory over the Pittsburg Panthers in the 2015 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my two seasons at Houston and appreciate the efforts of our student athletes, especially that of the Third Ward Defense,” Gibbs said in a press release. “While we’ve had positive discussions with Tom Herman and a great opportunity at UH, my family and I feel it is time for a new challenge and are looking forward to the next steps in our journey. I’d like to thank Mack Rhoades for his trust in naming me interim head coach during my time at Houston.”

With the absence of Gibbs as defensive coordinator, incoming Houston head coach Tom Herman selected Utah State defensive coordinator Todd Orlando to fill the void, which was announced by UH Athletics Monday evening.

The Utah State defense reached the national rank of 12th in scoring defense in 2014 with 19.7 points per game and seventh in 2013 with 17.1 points per game.

Orlando brings many promising figures to UH as his defense this past season at Utah State totaled 49 sacks on the year, putting them in fourth nationally, as well as 114 tackles for loss to reach the rank of second.

“When you look at the success Utah State has had defensively over the last two seasons, we are excited to add Todd Orlando as our defensive coordinator,” said Herman in a release. “His defensive style is both aggressive, as evident by the sacks and tackles for loss number, and opportunistic, ranking among the nation’s best in turnovers.”

In addition to Orlando, Herman also brought in Craig Naivar as assistant head coach, co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach, Jason Washington as special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach and Drew Mehringer as wide receivers coach. Corby Meekins was named tight ends coach, according to an announcement by UH Athletics Monday evening.


Gibbs to seek new opportunities after bowl win” was originally posted on The Daily Cougar