14:22 PM

Alumni in the News


By Mark Kramer

Starting this month, we are launching our Alumni in the News feature that will highlight University of Houston-Downtown graduates who have been spotlighted in the media for their achievements or accomplishments. In this edition, we take a look at four UHD Alumni that recently made headlines.

Helping Others: Rashad Garrett

Rashad Garrett, Owner and Chief Executive Officer, of Faith of a Mustard Seed, was featured in Home Business on the creation of an on-demand therapy app makes it easier for people to seek expert counseling and mental health services. Garrett earned his bachelor’s degree in Corporate Communication with a minor in Financial & International Business from UHD. He attended Texas Southern University where he earned a Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in Policy & Procedure.

Top Chef: Jonny Rhodes

The owner of Indigo restaurant was featured as one of Houston’s 10 Best Chefs by Culturemap Houston. Rhodes, a military veteran is also a James Beard Award semifinalist for top chefs in 2019. Rhodes is now focusing his entreprenurial efforts on the opening of a grocery store and farm to supply fresh and wholesome food to his community.

Hall of Fame Voice: Ralph Cooper

Ralph Cooper is a familiar voice among Houston are sports fans. The broadcaster’s 50-year career was featured in an interview with The Houston Defender. In November, the KCOH 1230 AM sports talk show host will be one of 20 Texans recognized for his work by being inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame during a virtual ceremony. Cooper has been described as the "hardest-working men in media and never limited himself to radio." Cooper also served as sports editor at the Defender from 1988 to 2018 and appeared on Bob Allen’s “Tell it Like It Is” TV talk show from 1992 to 2015 on KTRK Channel 13.

Serving, Protecting: Erica Sauceda

KBMT’s 12NewsNow featured several new Beaumont Police Department officers assuming their oath of office, including UHD’s very-own Erica Sauceda who earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from The University of Texas at Austin. Drawn to law enforcement by a desire to help people and the opportunity to be a public figure for community change, Sauceda earned her peace officer certificate from UHD.

We’d like to hear from you! Do know any UHD Alumni who been featured for their achievements in print or electronic media? If so, drop us a line here.

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.