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Former Harris County Clerk Named UHD Social Work Person of the Year

Chris Hollins to be Recognized During March 22 Ceremony


By Mike Emery

Chris Hollins made history as the youngest person to serve as Harris County Clerk, as well as the first African American in that role. During his time in this critical position, he led efforts to make voting safe and accessible during the peak of the pandemic in Houston. As a result, Harris County set voter turnout records during the November 2020 election.

Hollins served as County Clerk on an interim basis and made an immediate impact. Although he has since stepped out of the Harris County Clerk’s office, Houstonians remain grateful for Hollins’ commitment to ensure they would have the opportunity to vote. On Monday, March 22, he will receive further accolades for his time as County Clerk as he will be named UHD’s Social Work Person of the Year.

Hollins will receive this honor from the University’s Social Work Program (based in the College of Public Service) during a virtual ceremony at 4 p.m., March 22. The ceremony will be broadcast on Zoom, and community members can view this event by registering in advance.

According to Dana Smith, Assistant Professor of Social Work and Director of Field Studies, Hollins demonstrated social work’s core values of service and social justice as he fought opposition to his expansion of polls throughout the county and worked diligently to protect citizens’ voting rights.

Hollins joins an elite group of Houstonians who have earned the honor of Social Work Person of the Year. Previous honorees include restaurateur Russell Ybarra, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Pulitzer Prize-winning Houston Chronicle columnist Lisa Falkenberg and BakerRipley President Emerita Angela Blanchard.


About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD)—the second-largest university in Houston—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 more than 15,000 students; boasts more than 60,000 alumni and offers 45 bachelor’s, nine master’s degree programs and 16 fully online programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service; Sciences & Technology; and University College).

For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.