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UHD’s vitalvoices’ Series Is Back

The College of Public Service (CPS) is once again bringing scholars and practitioners to campus to speak to students, faculty, alumni, and community partners on issues related to the disciplines offered at the college: criminal justice, social work, and urban education. This fall, conversation topics range from suicide prevention to domestic violence and combatting child exploitation, all with the goal that invitees will share, from the heart, their professional experiences and knowledge, as well as how the work they do impacts society. 

Read on to see the full slate of topics and presenters, and stay tuned throughout the fall, as we post in-depth stories on each session.  If a vitalvoices session was recorded, the titles below will link directly to its recorded presentation on the CPS YouTube channel.


Suicide Prevention: Creating Hope Through Action 

September 11, 6 p.m.—7 p.m.  

Featuring UHD Social Work Professor and recent Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Shahnaz Savani, Dr. Robin Gearing from the University of Houston, Jennifer Battle from Harris Health, and special guest, Dr. Anish Cherian, live via Zoom from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences in India. 

Suicide can affect every one of us and have a profound impact on those close to the victim. By raising awareness, encouraging well-informed action, and reducing the stigma around suicide, depression, and other mental illnesses, we can reduce instances of suicide and suicide attempts here in Texas, the U.S., and around the world. Come learn to be the light for someone who may need it the most. 

Register here.


Present Day Predators: Understanding and Combating Child Exploitation 

September 20, 5:30 p.m.—7 p.m.  

Featuring Tony Godwin and Brandon Poor, detectives in the DFW metro area and hosts of the Catfish Cops Podcast.

Join our special guests (otherwise known as the Catfish Cops) for an interesting look at the underside of childhood sexual exploitation. Tony Godwin and Brandon Poor are law enforcement detectives with large metropolitan police agencies in North Texas. With over 40 years of cumulative experience, and the last 17 years specifically in the area of online child exploitation, they speak with authority about the offenders who attempt to lure and harm children via the internet. Event held live in C-100 and via Zoom. 

Register here.


The Multidisciplinary Nature of Child Exploitation Investigations 

September 21, 9:30 a.m.—11:30 a.m.  

Featuring Dr. Elizabeth Gilmore, Tony Goodwin, and Brandon Poor.   

An HPD police officer, a forensic interviewer, an assistant attorney general, a victim advocate, and the Catfish Cops are joined by Dr. Beth Gilmore to discuss the teamwork required when combatting this modern-day evil. Event will be held live in C-100 and via zoom. 

Register here.


Defining Domestic Violence: It’s Not Just Physical 

November 9, 5:30 p.m.—6:30 p.m.  

Featuring the Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council.


Register here.

About the University of Houston-Downtown

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.