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‘Empowering Others to Do Their Best Work’


By Ashley Kilday, Contributing Writer

As UHD’s Staff Awards for 2023 near, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate last year’s recipients.

As a testament to their outstanding contributions and dedication to empowering their colleagues, as well as their unique capacity for facilitating collaboration at UHD, Christian Purdy, Manager of Projects, Compliance, and Communications for Employment Services and Operations, was honored with the 2022 Rookie of the Year/Rising Star Staff Award.LowRes Headshot

When asked about their reaction to winning, Purdy said they were “stunned” and “touched."  “The moment I found out was the moment they called my name,” they said, confessing that their thoughts were still on the event coordination, decor, and food as their name was read (Purdy had a hand in coordinating the event). “I was really, really touched that my peers felt that way about me,” Purdy said. “My goal is to always be a champion for the people I work with and be as human-centered as possible in my approach to everything. I want people to know that I’m here to serve them, and I’m happy to serve them. ”

Purdy’s crucial role encompasses everything from project management and compliance oversight to communication responsibilities. As the manager of projects, they excel in handling large-scale initiatives that require seamless coordination and collaboration. Their skill at managing timelines, resources, and stakeholder engagement ensures the success of complex projects.

Within the compliance realm, Purdy plays a pivotal role in the policy revision process at UHD. With policies covering 10 different categories, they meticulously guide policy writers and reviewers, ensuring adherence to style guidelines and clarity in language. Their expertise also extends to liaising with the President’s Cabinet for review and approval, ultimately publishing the revised policies on the University’s website. Additionally, Purdy expertly crafts executive communications on behalf of the Vice President, keeping the entire UHD community informed about policy updates. 

As communications manager, Purdy showcases their talent for engaging and inclusive messaging. They write compelling content for the HR department’s blog, create informative posters for events, and act as an intermediary between departments. By maintaining open lines of communication and spearheading projects based on feedback from staff climate surveys, Purdy ensures that employees feel valued and supported. “To sum it up in a phrase, I support the work of Human Resources at a strategic level,” they said.

As someone who seeks to promote accessible policies, empower team members in project management, and craft inclusive communications that foster genuine connections with individuals—along with their humble and dedicated approach—Purdy is an invaluable asset to the UHD community.

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.