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Women in Science Series Features UHD Alumna & CST Assistant Dean


By Mark Kramer

University of Houston-Downtown alumna Dr. Elizabeth Villegas (’05), Assistant Dean of the College of Sciences & Technology (CST), has definitely put her undergraduate research into practice during her career.

Villegas will explain the importance and benefits of scientific inquiry as the featured speaker for the UHD Scholars Academy’s virtual Women in Science Series at noon on Friday, May 29.

She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UHD. Villegas went on to earn a doctorate from Baylor College of Medicine in 2014.

“My hope is that I can serve as an inspiration and role model to young women interested in pursuing a career in Science,” Villegas said.

As a graduate student at Baylor, Villegas contributed to cancer research efforts. She also is a lecturer of Biology in CST.

“Dr. Villegas’ story is a very unique one as she began her undergraduate career as a member of our Scholars Academy, then like so many, once her baccalaureate was completed, she continued her doctoral research at Baylor College of Medicine,” said Dr. Mary Jo Parker, Executive Director of the UHD Scholars Academy.

The Scholars Academy debuted the Women in Science Series in 2019. The presentations showcase excellence and UHD alumni across STEM industry and research. Past speakers have included 2017 alumna Amee Stevenson (’17), who serves as a software engineer with Lockheed Martin and Dr. Elda Rueda (’11) postdoctoral associate at Baylor College of Medicine.

The program will continue in September as alumna Nicole Patterson (’10), who works in Biomedical Sciences at UT Houston Graduate School.

To attend Friday’s virtual Women in Science series, you must register here.

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.