President's One Main Message: Gators Advocating for Higher Education
We have arrived at the midpoint of the semester. Spring Break is next week, and many of you will take a well-deserved rest. Whether you remain in Houston or leave town, I wish all of you a safe and enjoyable break.
This semester has been marked by many significant University achievements. These include a new multi-institutional partnership aimed at helping aspiring maritime professionals Finish UHD Strong. Also, two UHD Creative Writing faculty members, Daniel Peña and Dr. Robin Davidson, have been recognized for their contributions to the state’s literary landscape. And, our participation in the citywide Latino Arts Now! festival kicked off with “Close to Home: Latinx Art & Identity.” This exhibition was featured in the last One Main Message and is receiving tremendous reviews from patrons and the press.
This week, UHD received more positive news with the announcement of student Mikaela Lopez as a 2019 Newman Fellow. She was selected for this national honor for her commitment to community engagement and is an excellent example of Gator Grit.
Our University is positioned in the center of Houston, but its academic and cultural reach extends throughout the city and state. UHD’s partnerships and participation in city events are essential in reaching new students and stakeholders.
Equally important are the efforts of our staff members who are active advocates for higher education through their involvement with important statewide academic associations. This edition of the One Main Message spotlights some of the University personnel who are contributing their time and energies to improving access to higher education for Texas students, as well as our community’s recent trip to Austin for UHD Day at the Capitol.
Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz
Gators Advocating for Higher Ed
UHD has several Gators involved with the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE). These include Dr. Liza Alonzo, who is serving as a Gulf Coast Representative and Daniel Villanueva, the new president-elect for the organization. Both are working diligently on behalf of Latino students and universities in our state. They also are helping coordinate the 2020 TACHE Conference, which will be held in Houston. And speaking of conferences, UHD staff members, including Ceshia Love, Dr. Jemma Sylvester-Caesar, Chetiqua Matthews Herron, and LaTasha Goudeau recently returned from the Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education State Conference. I commend these staff members and others, who are committed to advancing academic experiences for our students and others throughout the state.
UHD Day at the Capitol
I had the pleasure of joining 130 Gators in Austin for UHD Day at the Capitol. Students met with lawmakers and addressed items on the University’s legislative agenda. I was proud to be on the floor of the House and recognized in the Senate chambers by lawmakers (Sen. Borris Miles, Sen. Carol Alvarado and Rep. Mary Ann Perez) who acknowledged our delegation. It was affirming to hear that many legislators and their aides remarked on how inspired they were by our students and the University. Thank you to everyone who volunteered to support UHD on this very important day.
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.