11:23 AM

Kim Ogg: UHD’s Social Work Person of the Year


By Sheryl E. Taylor

VitalVoices 2018-2019 Speaker Series opens the New Year with the University of Houston-Downtown's 2018 Social Work Person of the Year Award from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 31 in the College of Public Service (Commerce Street Building), Room C100.

Presented by UHD's Social Work Program, this year’s honoree is Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg. A nationally recognized victims' rights advocate and champion of criminal justice reform, Ogg successfully advanced major policy changes promoting diversion and treatment of drug offenders and the mentally ill. She also redirected her office resources in pursuit of violent criminals to make Houston one of America’s safest cities.

“We’re excited for the Social Work Program to announce and celebrate our 2018 Person of the Year, Harris County District Attorney, Kim Ogg,” said Dr. Dawn McCarthy, associate professor and director of UHD’s Social Work Program​. “This is a semester-long selection process, and Kim Ogg, in such a short time in office, has set into motion lasting changes that promote justice, and improve the well-being of vulnerable members of our community. She’s the perfect role model for our students by exemplifying all the good that just one person can do for others. We are eager for students, staff and faculty to come and learn about her remarkable public service.”

Past "Social Work Person of the Year" honorees have included Jim McIngvale (2018) and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (2017).

VitalVoices, a nine-event series, serves as a forum to bring scholars, practitioners and UHD alumni to speak to students, faculty, alumni and community partners within the University’s College of Public Service. The event features guest speakers who will share how their work impacts society through their professional experiences and knowledge.

Last year’s lineup included Leonard Kincaid, co-founder and executive director of the Houston Recovery Center who spoke about the work of the center and its implications both for individuals and the community-at-large; and Natasha Slesnick’s, "Homeless Youth: Serving an Invisible Population” presentation focused on how research has informed service efforts in her community. Other speakers included UH System Regent Paula Mendoza.

VitalVoices is hosted by the College of Public Service and the Center for Public Service & Family Strengths. For more information, contact Steven Villano, director of Center for Public Service & Community Research, at 713-221-8906 or villanos@uhd.edu.

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 61,000 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 awarded UHD 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.