UHD Alumni Shares R.A.M.A.L. Motto
And Pays It Back Through Community Activism
By Sheryl E. Taylor
Most people say they can pinpoint a pivotal moment or memorable time in their lives that shaped the person they are today.
UHD Alumni Gerald Floyd Jr. couldn’t agree more.
He recalls such a time from his early childhood. The Rockford, Illinois native arrived in Texas 25 years ago, but he credits a brief time in Wisconsin as a moment of revelation.
“My family spent the two years in Madison, Wisconsin and from the age of 8 to 10 … those two years largely shaped my desire to surround myself with diversity and inclusiveness,” said the 44-year-old.
Floyd earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in Management from UHD in 2009 which melded well with his financial and work-life balance needs.
“It was very suitable for what I wanted to achieve,” he said. “The classes were smaller and it was a great location since I worked Downtown at the time.”
He also credits the University as a catalyst in motivating his careers aspirations in the operations management industry.
“It jump started my drive to achieve more,” Floyd emphasized. “When I went back to school for my undergrad degree, I was compelled to pursue every opportunity.”
In 2012, Floyd joined Alight consulting firm as a member of its operations management team. He went on to earn an MBA from Northcentral University in 2014 and is now a member of the Adjunct Faculty at Houston Community College.
The self-described believer in continuing education is intent on instilling his life’s mantra of “R.A.M.A.L.” to his students.
“Recognize All Mistakes and Learn (R.A.M.A.L.) is what I live by,” Floyd said. “I want my students to never stop learning and always be open to every opportunity that comes their way.”
Community activism is another significant part of Floyd’s life as a resident of Houston’s Historic Fifth Ward Community.
“As a member of the Progressive Fifth Ward Community Association, I’m dedicated to always giving back through activism, re-investment, support, and leadership,” he noted. “Community service is like saying “Thank You and Paying it Forward” to an environment that made me who I am today. I’m also committed to grassroots work in the Montrose Community by volunteering my time for various political organizations and city leaders such as Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Houston’s LGBTQ Caucus to affect positive change in my community.”
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.