The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) recently bade a fond farewell to several long-standing members of the Gator Community.
Among the recent faculty and staff who were recognized for their service to the University were:
- Dr. Carolyn Ashe, professor, Marilyn Davies College of Business. During her time at UHD, Ashe served as Faculty Senate president and earned several honors, including a Teaching Excellence Award and Online Teacher of the Year.
- Elaine Pearson, executive director for Academic Administration & Operation. Pearson served the University of Houston System for more than 30 years, holding positions at the University of Houston and UHD. Pearson also served as an adjunct lecturer at UHD. Pearson also served her country as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy and for a time, balanced her responsibilities for the UH System with her commitment as a member of the Navy Reserve.
- Tommy Thomason, assistant dean of students. Thomason, an alumnus, was a fixture at UHD for many years, contributing his experience and expertise primarily to the Division of Student Affairs. Among his roles in the division was serving as Title IX coordinator and student conduct officer. Thomason also provided oversight to UHD’s Student Counseling Services and other resources for students and provided guidance to faculty with regard to student conduct.
- Rita Thomason, academic adviser, College of Humanities & Social Sciences. Thomason (wife of Tommy Thomason) served UHD for 20 years working in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences as administrative secretary, senior business manager and as an academic adviser.
- Dr. Chris Birchak, dean of the University College. Birchak served UHD for three decades as a professor and administrator. At the University, she held a variety of positions including assistant chair of the English department; director of the Professional Writing Program; and associate dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Dr. Michael Fields, dean of the Marilyn Davies College of Business. Fields served as dean for five years and was present during many pivotal moments for the college. He played an important role in securing a $10 million naming gift for the college, the largest in the University’s history. Under his guidance, the college grew its graduate programs, namely the Master of Business Administration (MBA).
Retirement receptions were held honoring these faculty and staff members for their exemplary contributions and commitments to UHD.