New Endowment Honors Longtime Educator Dr. Hank Roubicek
By Sheryl E. Taylor
It all began with three courses in 1983 and he has never looked back.
From just those three, Dr. Hank Roubicek designed several new courses, taught most of them and carefully advised students seeking a degree and a profession in the communication field and helped to build a strong division of Communication within the College of Humanities & Social Science’s Department of Arts & Humanities. He also taught communication-based graduate courses in Criminal Justice and Urban Education.
Today, the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) offers a minor in communication studies and a Bachelor of Arts Degree with concentrations in communication studies, corporate communication, health and relational communication, and media and public communication. Now 38 years later, the award-winning educator’s legacy of a successful Communication Studies program in the College of Humanities & Social Sciences has graduated more than 1,400 alumni since the first degrees were awarded in 2002.
The Professor Emeritus—the highest recognition for a retired faculty member—is being honored by fellow colleagues and former students through the Dr. Hank Roubicek Scholarship Endowment in Communication Studies with the hope to recruit future students to the program.
“I am immensely honored that my colleagues have chosen to honor me by establishing an endowed scholarship in my name,” said Roubicek. “It’s an even greater tribute to my service to UHD and the Communication Studies degree program that this scholarship provides funds to recruit future students into our program.”
UHD has twice recognized Roubicek with a Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. The author of several books in applied communication and storytelling, Roubicek research interests range from communication methods for law enforcement practitioners to the impact of human narratives in conversation.
Additionally, he has presented, published and designed instructional materials in the areas of public speaking, interviewing, and group discussion. The internationally sought-after workshop leader is a well-known consultant for more than 25 organizations and the local radio personality for Houston’s long running program on KPFT 90.1FM, “So, What’s Your Story?”, as well as a seasoned docent at the Holocaust Museum Houston where he engages in tolerance education.
Roubicek earned a B.A. in Communication from Ohio State University, an M.A. in Interpersonal Communication & Counseling Psychology from Purdue University, and an Ed.D. in Communication Education from the University of Maryland.
“Dr. Roubicek has been a force within UHD and the Greater Houston community over the past four decades. He’s been instrumental in developing the critical, historical, and global perspective we offer, as well as the mix of coursework in the theories, skills, and aesthetics of communication,” said Dr. Ashley Archiopoli, Associate Professor and Communication Studies Program Director. “Just as Dr. Roubicek has had a personal commitment to excellence and to the success of students, we hope to honor future generations of students seeking a career in understanding the process and the art of effective communication. This scholarship honors the legacy he helped to establish and the growth he helped to achieve. This merit-based scholarship will help alleviate financial obstacles for students who wish to join our program.”
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.