12:15 PM

Campus Community Welcomes New UHD President


By Mike Emery

It was a whirlwind first day on the job for Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz. The new University of Houston-Downtown President spent a full day connecting with the campus community and kicking off his tenure as the institution's new leader.

Dr. Muñoz arrived at UHD on April 17 and greeted faculty and staff during a breakfast reception in the Welcome Center. Special guests in attendance included University of Houston System Regent Welcome W. Wilson Jr.

"My career in higher education has been predicated upon creating environments where students succeed, faculty are fulfilled and staff feel valued," Dr. Muñoz said. "That already is happening here at UHD."

Following morning meetings, Dr. Muñoz ventured to the Coffee House for "Pizza with the President." The event provided students with an opportunity meet him, ask questions and even snap a few selfies alongside the new President. It also offered students free lunch courtesy of the Division of Student Affairs.

Lilibeth Martinez, senior accounting major, was one of the students who met Dr. Muñoz during this event. She was particularly grateful to touch base with UHD's new leader.

"It's important for us to know him," she said. "At other universities, presidents and administrators seem far away from the student body. I told him that I was excited to see him come on board. I looked at his past experience and feel he can make a significant difference for the University."

Dr. Muñoz concluded his first day by visiting a biology class led by professor Lisa Morano, and even engaged in a group discussion on nuclear energy. That was just his first visit to UHD classes. On Wednesday, April 19, Dr. Muñoz spoke to students in José E. Alvarez's history class. During his presentation, Dr. Muñoz encouraged students to strive for excellence in their academic pursuits and reminded them how much Houston values UHD graduates.

Among those in attendance was Honors Program student and business major Cynthia Andrade.

"It was a great gesture from new UHD President Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz to come into my history classroom to congratulate us for finishing our first semester," she said. "He gave me motivation to keep studying hard for the upcoming finals to ensure that I finish my first semester strong."