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Photograph of Dr. Baker

Dr. Susan Baker, earned a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Kansas in 1994 and came to the University of Houston-Downtown in 1995. Dr. Baker teaches the art history surveys (Paleolithic to Renaissance and Renaissance to the Present), the history of modern art and the history of American art (face-to-face and online) as well as surveys on baroque art and contemporary art. An expert in early twentieth-century American painting, Dr. Baker has written on the life and work of artist George Tooker and was curator of “Human in Form: Later Drawings of Paul Cadmus,” an exhibit of male nude drawings held at the UHD O’Kane Gallery in 2004. Dr. Baker is also author of "Naked Boys, Desiring Women: Male Beauty in Modern Art and Photography," in Steven Davis and Maglina Lubovich, eds., Hunks, Hotties, and Pretty Boys: 20th Century Representations of Male Beauty, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008, as well as, “A Duel with Fernando de Rojas: Picasso’s Celestina Prints,” Janus Head, 2009. Dr. Baker’s article written with her sister Dr. Diane Baker, Professor at Millsaps College, will be published in the Academy of Management Learning Journal in December of 2012. The article entitled, “To “Catch the Sparkling Glow”: A Canvas for Creativity for the Management Classroom,” is available online.

Courses taught:
ART 1302 History of Art: Renaissance to the Present
ART 3302 Modern Art
ART 3304 Contemporary Art
ART 3322 History of North American Art
ART 3301 Baroque Art

Curator, O'Kane Gallery

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photo of Mark Cervenka

Mark Cervenka, associate professor of art. Professor Mark Cervenka has held a joint teaching and staff position since coming to The University of Houston-Downtown in 2000. His training includes a B.A. in English in 1983 and B.F.A. in Art in 1985 both from the University of Texas at Austin. He holds an M.F.A. from Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California, received in 1987. Cervenka's early art focused on sculpture and installation with works included in the 1989 exhibition Dialogue Prague/Los Angeles in Prague, Czechoslovakia, the first American work to be shown in the then Soviet bloc country since the 1960s. His work experience includes seven years managing the gallery at First Street Gallery Art Center in Claremont, California, a grand experience exhibiting the art of developmentally disabled artists. His work at the O'Kane Gallery as Director has been his focus for the past nine years. Curated exhibitions include American Civil War Field Notes: Sketches From Cairo to Columbia, 2008, Audrey Buller:A Magic Realist in Retrospect, 2007, Drawing the Line: The Emergence of Editorial Cartoons by African American Artists in the Indianapolis Freeman and The Richmond Planet, 2005. In addition to bringing local and national contemporary art to the gallery, Cervenka has worked with other curators to bring exhibitions including Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge, Paul Cadmus: Human in Form, Frank Reaugh: The Far Distance, and an exhibit of the drawings of outsider artist Bill Traylor. Cervenka's own art since the early 1990s has focused on painting in traditional figural styles. He regularly teaches painting and figure drawing at UHDowntown.

Favorite Quote: There is no such thing as good painting about nothing. - Mark Rothko, Adolf Gottlieb, Barnett Newman

Personal: Would seriously consider archaeology as an alternate career.

Courses taught:
Figure Drawing
Art Appreciation
Special Topics in Studio Art

Director, O'Kane Gallery

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Photograph of Dr. Newsum

Floyd Newsum, professor of art. Professor Newsum says: I'm a native of Memphis, Tennessee. I received my undergraduate degree (BFA,”73) from Memphis College of Art (formerly Memphis Academy of Arts) and attended Temple University, Philadelphia, Pa., where I graduated in 1975 with a Master of Fine Arts. I am the coordinator of the studio sections in the Art Department of Arts and Humanities and I teach a variety of courses ranging from drawing, painting to art appreciation. My public art projects include two Houston Metro Light Rail Station art designs and seven sculptures for the Main Street Square Station on Main Street (Houston, Texas) between Dallas and McKinney. In addition, there are four paintings in the Commerce Building of UHD, a suspended sculpture for the lobby of the Acres Home Multi-Service Center, Houston, Texas and five suspended sculptures for the lobby of the Hazel Harvey Peace Building, Fort Worth, Texas. My paintings and prints are in private collections, as well as the collections of many public museums, universities, and public institutions including the University of Maryland College Park, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Xavier University, New Orleans, Philadelphia Museum of Art among others. Public catalogs, books or art journals featuring my work include: Studios and Workspaces of Black American Artists by Dennis L. Forbes, Three Decades of American Printmaking, The Brandywine Workshop Collection , Texas 150 Works from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and Private Show, "A Juried Exhibition in Print," in The International Review of African American Art, volume 16, no. 3. I was one of ten Artists to received the 2008 Artadia Artist Grant from New York.

Art Area Coordinator

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Azar Rejaie, assistant professor of art history. Dr. Azar Rejaie has been at UHD since the fall of 2006. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology with a focus in Archaeology and a M. A. in Art History from Louisiana State University, and a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Pittsburgh. She taught at the University of Pittsburgh and Southeastern Louisiana University before arriving at UHD, and offers a variety of classes including surveys of Western and Asian art in addition to classes in her specialty of Italian Renaissance art. She has designed art history courses for UHD and has a particular interest in UHD's International Education endeavors, including the CHSS Summer Study Abroad program for which she has taught and served as a co-director. Dr. Rejaie has presented her work at national conferences and has published in the area of Italian Renaissance art history and seeks to bring her research and experiences with Italian art and culture into her classroom. Her research interests include Renaissance self-portraiture, the formation and manipulation of early modern identity, and Perugian and Florentine studies.

Favorite quote: Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. - Thomas Merton

A personal observation to share: I was lucky enough to be able to go abroad during my mid-20s and now travel whenever and wherever I can. One of the things I love most about being an art historian is that travel is practically a job requirement.

Classes taught:
ART 1301 History of Art: Paleolithic to Renaissance
ART 1302 History of Art: Renaissance to the Present
ART 3303/HUM 3308 History of Renaissance Art
ART 3311/HUM 3311 Survey of Asian Art

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Photograph of Diana Bowen

Diana Bowenassistant professor of communication studies. Dr. Bowen received a Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin in communication studies with an emphasis in rhetoric and language, an M.A. from Syracuse University in communication and rhetorical studies, and a B.A. from the California State University, Long Beach in communication studies. Dr. Bowen’s research interests explore spaces of social, political, and cultural struggle which are best described by theorist Gloria Anzaldúa as physical and psychological borderlands—places where two or more cultures meet. Dr. Bowen uses rhetorical/critical and qualitative methods to examine various borderlands as they pertain to archives, social movements, public memory, visual culture, and intercultural dialogue. Her recent work emphasizes public memory and interfaith dialogue; it has been published in various edited collections, including Interfaith Dialogue: Listening to Communication Theory, and Interfaith Dialogue in Practice: Christian, Muslim, Jew. Currently, Dr. Bowen is working on research related to the Gloria Anzaldúa’s archival collection at The University of Texas at Austin and the role of the archive and repertoire in creation of theories of social change “from below.” As an immigrant from Ecuador and a strong believer in the power of mentorship in both achieving students’ graduation goals and succeeding in graduate programs, she is also working on research on the value of proactive mentorship of students of color. At UHD, Dr. Bowen teaches a variety of face-to-face and online courses.

Something Interesting she is willing to share: One of the things that I love about teaching is that I learn from students just as much as I teach.

Favorite Quote: “May we seize the arrogance to create outrageously. Soñar wildly—for the world becomes as we dream it.” Gloria Anzaldúa

Basic Course Director for COMM 1304 Introduction to Communication

Courses taught:
COMM 3302: Argumentation and Debate
COMM 3325: Rhetoric and Public Address
COMM 4325: Communication Law and Ethics
COMM 4390: Visual Rhetoric
COMM 4390: Public Memory and Rhetorical Criticism

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Photograph of Dr. Dewitt

Jean DeWitt, Jean DeWitt (B.A. University of Wisconsin, M.A. and Ph.D. University of Maryland) is an Associate Professor at the University of Houston-Downtown and Director of Community Engagement. She has been at the university for 22 years, teaching communication courses, presenting at national and international conferences, and publishing in journals such as The Quarterly Journal of Speech, Communication Quarterly, Communication Education, and The Journal of Social Capital. During her years at UHD Dr. DeWitt received a Fulbright to Mauritania and Mauritius. She has also taught in Denmark. DeWitt has sustained a record of volunteerism with the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP), Houston Hospice, and as a pastoral caregiver at St. Luke’s Hospital (The Woodlands). DeWitt was recently selected as the Director for the Office of Community Engagement and serves on the Advisory Board of Texas Campus Compact.

Courses taught:
Senior e-portfolio
Women, Men and Communication
Research in Communication Studies
Fundamentals of Communication Technology

Communication Studies Assessment and Portfolios Coordinator

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Photograph of S. Hoang

Toni Hoang, assistant professor of communication. Dr. Hoang's interests include health communication, risk communication, and computer-mediated communication. She has received numerous accolades for her excellence in teaching and service from the International Communication Association (ICA), the University of Oklahoma Department of Communication, past editor of Communication Studies, and recognition for Top Student Paper by the Central States Communication Association Health Communication Division. Dr. Hoang has published in the Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, and The Handbook of Crisis Communication.

Dr. Hoang is a enthusiastic member of the department, UHD, and the discipline. She is the Director for the Department of Arts and Humanities Internship Program. Dr. Hoang is dedicated to serving the discipline and communication research as an active member on conference panels and participation in a variety of interest group activities.

Communications Studies Degree Coordinator
Communications Studies Internship Director

Courses taught:
COMM 2301 Health Communication
COMM 3314 Research in Communication Studies
COMM 3321 Patient-Provider Communication
COMM 4302 Health Campaigns

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Photograph of Dr. Lawerence

Windy Lawrence, associate professor of communication. Dr. Lawrence teaches and researches in communication, politics, and deliberation. Dr. Lawrence is the founder and director of The University of Houston - Downtown Center for Public Deliberation (UHD CPD), where she manages many community deliberations and public engagement initiatives, such as issues pertaining to the national achievement gap in education and the rising cost of health care. Each year, as part of her work with UHD CPD, she works with many UHD CPD Student Associates to encourage discussion and deliberation as an important part of student education, development and leadership. She is active with various national organizations, including The Democracy Imperative, The National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation, and the National Issues Forums Institute, to help improve our knowledge and practice of deliberative democracy and has earned a certification in dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement through Fielding University. Since 2002, she has worked with the university to form more collaborative relationships in the Houston community through research, student internships, and community engagement. She is published in various journals and has won multiple awards for her research, which examines the intersection of communication, democracy and social justice, especially on issues of diversity.

Favorite quote: For democracy to flourish, it is not enough to get out and vote. We need better public judgment and we need to know how to cultivate it. - Daniel Yankelovich, Public Opinion Researcher

Something personal she’s willing to share: The greatest mentors in my life have been those who cared about me as a whole person and who encouraged me to follow and respect my own journey. As people look to me for mentoring, I remember these mentors in my own life.

Courses taught:
COMM 3318 Facilitating Public Deliberation
COMM 1306 Public Speaking
COMM 3304 Advanced Public Speaking

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Photograph of Zeenat K. Mitha

Zeenat K. Mitha, Lecturer in Communications, began as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston-Downtown. Ms. Mitha has a B.A. from Southern Methodist University, an M.B.A. from the University of New Mexico, and a Fellowship in Public Policy from Georgetown University. Ms. Mitha has over 21 years of experience in the areas of Communication, Public Relations, Marketing, and Media working with IBM, The James A. Baker, III, Institute of Public Policy, and Asia Society. She is the Founder of Sweetwater Specialty Consulting, L.L.C. which focuses on Communications and Business Consulting for small to medium-sized companies. Ms. Mitha is on the Board of Directorsfor the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce, and for many yearsvolunteers and Chairs fundraisinginitiativesforThe Literacy Council of Fort Bend and Child Advocates of Fort Bend.

Her goal at UHD is to assist students to succeed by applying theory with practical experience in her courses.

The courses taught: COMM 1302 Mass Media
COMM 1304 Introduction to Speech Writing
COMM 2311 Principles of Public Relations
COMM 3311 Writing for the Media
COMM 4390 Public Relations Effects

Favorite quote: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi

A personal observation to share: My students at UHD have brought me much joy and wonderful memories! Way back when, I was very involved in student government when attending university, and it allowed me the opportunity to make some crucial and beneficial decisions for students, particularly when I was on the Board of Directors for the Student Media at SMU. Later, as Editor of my graduate newsletter, my peers and I collaborated on several writing projects, which reinforced my passion for writing and communication. It has been hard work over many years, but my journey has given me the opportunity to travel and educate myself with every new project. I want that same opportunity for my students at UHD; I want them to reach for their dreams, work hard, take initiative, and have doors open for them because of their ability.

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Photograph of Bridget Mueller

Bridget Mueller, began teaching at UHD in 2001 as an Adjunct Professor, promoting to the Lecturer position in 2012.  She has taught at Houston Baptist University, University of Houston, and Wharton County Junior College.  She received a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Communication with an emphasis in Marketing from the University of Tulsa.  She attended the University of Houston, earning a Master of Arts  in Organizational Communication.  Her area of research is in Corporate Communication, focusing on superior/subordinate relations, employee motivation, interviewing, and presentation skills.  She has published articles in the Journal of Business Communication and has presented seminars to the Society of Petroleum Engineers Emerging Leaders, Houston chapter.  Bridget's professional experience includes marketing in the oil industry and fund development  for the United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast. 

Favorite quote: “Whether or not you think you will succeed or fail, you are right."

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Photograph of Creshema Murray

Creshema Murray, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Dr. Creshema Murray completed her undergraduate studies at The University of Alabama, earning a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Political Science and Social Work. After a brief stint working in the Alabama political arena, Dr. Murray returned to The University of Alabama and earned her Master’s Degree in Communication Studies. During this tenure she conducted research focusing on Black and White women’s friendships within the workplace. With a continued desire to conduct research on Black women’s experiences in Workplace Organizations, Dr. Murray earned a doctorate in Organizational Communication and Management from The University of Alabama. Dr. Murray is extremely excited and energized to teach and conduct research focused on the lived experiences of Women of Color in workplace organizations. Dr. Murray is a member of Southern States Communication Association, the National Communication Association and the Association for Business Communication


Courses Taught:
COMM 3306: Business and Professional Speech Communication
COMM 3315: Small Group Communication
COMM 4310: Communication in Organizations

Something Personal Dr. Murray is willing to share: She is an avid marathon runner and a major sport enthusiast. Every Saturday in the fall you can catch her watching Alabama Football.

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Photograph of Bill Pouge

Bill Pogue, lecturer in communication studies.  Mr. Pogue is in his third year of a full-time appointment after thirty years of adjunct service.  His undergraduate work was at Northwestern University and University of Denver, with graduate study at University of Minnesota and Jones International University.  Apart from academia, his professional career has included broadcasting, arts administration and operating his own marketing firm serving a wide range of clients. Personal life can be summarized as “husband of one, father of two and grandfather of three.”   His wife is Kate Pogue, also a UHD faculty member.  Mr. Pogue is “Retention Officer” for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; as such he strives to assist students who experience course difficulty and helps put them back on track.  This year he also serves as a faculty academic adviser for declared CHSS majors.

Favorite quote: The readiness is all – Hamlet, ex-Prince of Denmark

Something personal he’s willing to share: “As an avocational sports official, I refereed more than 2,000 games at various levels. Dealing with so many emotionally wrought coaches, players and fans offered valuable communication training. I loved nearly every minute, and miss doing it even now .”

Courses taught:
COMM 1304/Introduction to Speech Communication
COMM 1302/Mass Media
COMM 3303/Introduction to Advertising
COMM 3309/Theory and Practice of Interviewing
COMM 3315/Small Group Communication


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Photograph of Dr. Roubicek

Hank Roubicek , professor of communication. Dr. Hank Roubicek has been at UHD for twenty-nine years. He holds a B.A. in Communication from Ohio State, an M.A. in Interpersonal Communication and Counseling Psychology from Purdue, and an EdD in Communication Education from the University of Maryland. He taught at several colleges in Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, and New York before coming to UHD in 1983. With only three courses in the Communication curriculum offered that year, this award winning educator designed several courses, carefully advised students, and through his earlier administrative roles, helped to build a strong division of Communication within a large department of Arts and Humanities. Dr. Roubicek teaches most of the courses in the Communication Studies program, including communication-based graduate courses in Criminal Justice and Urban Education. His research interests include communication methods for law enforcement practitioners, and the impact of human narratives in conversation. Dr. Roubicek has presented, published, and designed instructional materials in the areas of applied communication and communication education. He is also a reputable consultant, local radio host, and active volunteer in the Houston community.

Favorite quote: Show me someone who knows what's funny, and I'll show you someone who knows what isn't. - Mark Twain

Something personal he's willing to share: The confidence I show is no stronger than the fears I tend to hide.

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Photo of Dr. Karen Schlag

Karen Schlag: Lecturer in Communications. Ms. Schlag began teaching at the University of Houston-Downtown as an adjunct instructor in the Spring of 2001. She earned a B.A. from the University of Houston and an M.A. from Penn State University, where her Master’s thesis focused on the reinforcement of cultural masculinity norms through the medium of cinema. At Penn State, Ms. Schlag was also a student-researcher and co-author for a research project entitled “Animation and Priming Effects in Online Advertising,” the results of which were presented for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Before beginning her career in education, Ms. Schlag worked as a newspaper reporter and freelance writer for various publications in Texas and Pennsylvania as well as working in radio, television and performance arts. A native Houstonian, her love for education as well as Houston, Texas brought her from Pennsylvania back to her hometown in 2000. Ms. Schlag has also taught at San Jacinto College – South Campus and at Lone Star College, both the Cy Fair - Barker Cypress and Fairbanks campuses. Ms. Schlag aspires to challenge her students at UHD to explore higher levels of thinking and apply theoretical concepts to their everyday lives. Question everything, and with gusto, search for the answers you seek!

Assistant Chair of Communication Studies

Courses taught:
COMM 3308 Family Communication
COMM 3316 Sex, Love, & Romance in the Mass Media
COMM 3328 Communication and Intimacy
COMM 3317 Film Analysis phone icon 713-221-8104 person icon1047-S house icon

Photograph of Dr. Shelley

Deborah Shelley, associate professor of communication. Dr. Shelley has a B.A. in Speech from the University of North Carolina, an M.A. in Communication from San Francisco State University, and a Ph.D. Communication with a minor in Management from Louisiana State University. Dr. Shelley writes: "I taught at North Harris Community College in Tomball for 5 years and have been at UHD since 1993. I am the Assistant Chair of the Department of Arts & Humanities, Associate Professor of Communication Studies,and Coordinator of Communication Studies Program. I primarily teach courses in the Interpersonal Track of Communication Studies, but I also teach classes in film history and analysis. I offer a free once-a-month film lecture and screening of classic films from 40s and 50s Hollywood. I was born and raised in North Carolina but have lived in Texas since 1976. I am married, with two children. I love teaching at UHD. Our diversity provides such a rich opportunity for students to share and learn from each other about different cultures and ways of life.This creates an environment in which students, aided by effective communication skills,can broaden their horizons, increase their awareness, break down their prejudice,and foster their acceptance of others."

Assistant Chair of Communication Studies

Courses taught:
COMM 3308 Family Communication
COMM 3316 Sex, Love, & Romance in the Mass Media
COMM 3328 Communication and Intimacy
COMM 3317 Film Analysis phone icon 713-221-8110 person icon1009-S house icon

Photograph of Dr. Wanguri

Deloris Wanguri, professor of communication. Dr. Wanguri is a native Houstonian. She received her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Houston and her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in Organizational/Interpersonal Communication. She began teaching at the University of Houston Downtown in 1984. She has taught a variety of face-to-face and online communication courses at UHD since that time, including Voice and Diction, Introduction to Speech Communication, Business and Professional Speech Communication, Communication Theory, Communication in Organizations, and Communication and Leadership. Dr. Wanguri’s research interests include organizational confidentiality, organizational socialization, communicative openness, ethical issues, and performance appraisals in the workplace. She is a longtime member of the Academy of Management, the International Communication Association, and the National Communication Association, and she has presented extensively at regional, national, and international meetings.

Courses taught:
COMM 3306/Business and Professional Speaking
COMM 3320/Communication Theory
COMM 3340/Communication and Leadership
COMM 4310/Communication in Organizations

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Photograph of Rachel Dickson

Rachel Dickson, began her journey with UHD as an adjunct in 2008 but currently serves as a lecturer in the Department of Theater. She received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Missouri and holds her Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Illinois and Master of Social Work degree from University of Houston. She came to UHD from a full-time position in the theater department at Prairie View A &M University and has taught courses at University of St. Thomas and Lone-Star Community College. Rachel has a sincere interest in using theater to discuss issues. She is the founder/artistic director of Driven Theater Company, whose primary goal is to make didactic information come alive on the stage. She is still a professionally working artist in the areas of acting, directing, dramaturgy, and playwriting. She also has many on-camera and radio spots to her credit. 713-221-8104 1090-S house icon

Photograph of Dr. T. Lyttle

Tom Lyttle, (“Doc”) has been at the University of Houston-Downtown for thirty-five years. He holds a B.A. in Theatre and an M.A. in Speech/Theatre from the University of Akron and a Ph.D. in Theatre History and Directing/Staging from Bowling Green State University, Ohio. Between earning his B.A. and M.A., he served for two years in the Peace Corps at La Universidad de Carabobo in Valencia, Venezuela.

Before coming to UHD in 1977, he was on the faculty at the University of Northern Iowa, served as an instructor at the Alley Theatre’s “Merry-Go-Round” acting school and directed for Theatre Under the Stars where he staged such shows as West Side Story, My Fair Lady and Peter Pan.

In beginning the drama program at UHD, it was Dr. Lyttle’s desire to develop a varied and broad-based curriculum, acquire a strong, qualified faculty and build a challenging, high-quality production program. Since he began, the drama course offerings have quadrupled, the faculty has grown from one to eleven and he has had the pleasure of directing sixty-five major productions. In looking back, he reports he has loved every one of them and is eagerly looking forward to the next sixty-five.

Something personal he’s willing to share: There’s an actor in all of us.

Courses taught:
DRA 1301 Introduction to the Theatre
DRA 1303 Acting I
DRA 3332 Directing for the Stage

Director, O'Kane Theatre
Drama Area Coordinator
Music Faculty Coordinator
Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts (BAFA) Coordinator 713-221-8118 1057-S house icon

 Kate Pogue

Kate Pogue, Lecturer in Communications and Drama. Mrs. Pogue received her undergraduate degree in Speech and Theatre from Northwestern University and her graduate degree from the University of Minnesota where she was a McKnight Fellow. She founded and chaired the Drama Department at Houston Community College before coming to UHD in 2001. She has been the Artistic Director of the Shakespeare by the Book Festival and the Artistic Director and Resident Librettist for Opera to Go (now the outreach program for Houston Grand Opera). She has written over forty dramatic works, including plays, musicals and operas for both children and adults. She has written two books for children: Bravest of All and Fritzie Goes Home. Her most recent published books include Shakespeare’s Friends, Shakespeare’s Family, Shakespeare’s Figures of Speech and Shakespeare’s Education. A specialist in classical theatre she has directed a number of productions for UHD including Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, Our Town and The Rivals. She is the writer and composer of the UHD Fight song and the UHD Hymn.


Courses taught:
COMM 1301 Voice and Diction
DRAM 1301 Introduction to the Theatre
COMM 1306 Beginning Public Speaking 713-226-5550 1018 - S house icon

Photograph of David Rainey

David Rainey has been a drama instructor at UHD since 1995 and is currently serving as its first Resident Artist in Drama.  He holds degrees from Eastern New Mexico University and The Juilliard School where he received its Drama Division’s highest honor, the Michel and Suria Saint-Denis Prize. He has been a member of the Alley Theatre’s Resident Company for the past 10 seasons, including recent productions of Eurydice, Mauritius and Othello. Nationally, he has performed for Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage Company, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, the National Actors Theatre, the Guthrie Theatre, Joseph Papp Public Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, The Acting Company, New York Shakespeare Festival, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Dallas Theatre Center, Shakespeare Festival LA, Crossroads Theatre Company, among others.  His film and television credits include Cosby, Law & Order, Vengeance Unlimited, As the World Turns, One Life to Live, Hell Swarm, Starforce, Lowball, Multifacial, The 'M' Word, North Starr, Brushing Death and Don’t Go There. 713-221-8104 1057-S house icon

Photograph of Kelley Robertson

Kelly Switzer, (Assistant Professor of Drama). Ms. Switzer has been at UHD since 2005. She holds an MFA in Theatre Design (Scenery and Costumes) from the University of Georgia and a BA in Theatre from the University of Houston. She works with several local theatre organizations as a scenic and costume designer, including The Catastrophic Theatre, Main Street Theatre, Divergence Vocal Theatre,The Fan Factory, Mildred's Umbrella Theatre Company and the Ornery Theatre. She is the former degree coordinator for the Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts degree (BAFA) and current Senator for Arts and Humanities on the UHD Faculty Senate. Ms. Switzer teaches technical theatre and theatre design courses.

Favorite quote: Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only at night. - Edgar Allan Poe

Courses taught:
DRA 1301 Introduction to Theatre
DRA 2301 Stage Design
DRA 2305 Costume Design
DRA 4390 History of Costume and Decor 713-223-7939 1087-S house icon

Photograph of Frank Vela

Frank J. Vela, (Assistant Professor/Technical Director) Frank received his BFA in Theatre Design from The University of Texas– Pan American and his MFA in Theatrical Design from The University of Texas at Austin. Frank is an active member throughout the Houston Theatre scene. Some of his work includes Lighting and Scenic Designer for The Landing Theatre Company’s first production, “The Glass Menagerie.” He has also designed for various other companies such as (Stages Repertory Theatre) History of America (Abridged), Rabbit Hole; (UT Austin) Summer People; Dance Repertory Theatre; (UT Pan American) Once Upon a Mattress; (The Barn Theatre) Fiddler on the Roof; Gypsy; Lend Me a Tenor; The Rocky Horror Show; (Main Street Theatre) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Other work includes As You Like It (Scenic Designer), Mouse Trap and Our Town (Lighting Designer) at University of Houston- Downtown. Frank is also Owner/CEO of Houston-based lighting/audio/video company Rocksteady Productions.

Courses taught:
Stagecraft and Intro to Theatre

Designer - Technical Director, O'Kane Theatre 713-221-8233 1077-N house icon

Photograph of Dr. Cueva

Ed Cueva, professor and chair. Dr. Cueva received his Ph.D. in Classics from Loyola University Chicago in 1995. Hired with tenure at the rank of professor, Dr. Cueva is an experienced chair, distinguished scholar, actively engaged in the key professional organizations in his field. He is currently teaching our Western Civilization course and will teach a Mythology course in the spring. Of his numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, dozens of scholarly book reviews, and books he has written, co-edited, or co-authored, Longus: Text, Commentary and Vocabulary, nominated for the 2007 Award for Outstanding Publication by the Classical Association of the Midwest and South, is widely used as the standard text in intermediate ancient Greek courses. He is also managing editor of The Classical Bulletin and editor of The Petronian Society Newsletter. Dr. Cueva joins us from Xavier University in Cincinnati, where he served as chair of Classics, director of the Honors Bachelor of Arts Program, and co-director of the Ethics, Religion, and Society Program.

Favorite quote: The unexamined life is not worth living. - Socrates; Apology 38a

Something to share: I must say that I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a book. - Groucho Marx

Chair, Arts & Humanities Department 713-226-5543 1009-S house icon

Photograph of Dr. Cueva

DoVeanna S. Fulton, dean and professor of African American and Women’s Studies. Dr. Fulton earned her doctorate in American Studies at the University of Minnesota. Before joining the faculty at UHD, she was the founding chair of the department of Gender and Race Studies as well as served as director of Graduate Studies and of African American Studies at the University of Alabama.  Additionally, she was a faculty member at Arizona State University, the University of Memphis, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Jimma University in Jimma, Ethiopia.  Her research interests are Black feminist criticism and African American oral traditions.  Her research concentrates on Black women’s discursive practices in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  Her books, Speaking Power: Black Feminist Orality in Women’s Narratives of Slavery, (2006) and Speaking Lives, Authoring Texts: Three African American Women’s Oral Slave Narratives (co-edited with Reginald Pitts, 2009) and Sapphire's Literary Breakthrough: Erotic Literacies, Feminist Pedagogies, Environmental Justice Perspectives (co-edited with Elizabeth McNeil, Neal Lester, and Lynette Myles.  Palgrave, Forthcoming) examine written and oral traditions in African American women’s life narratives.  She has published articles in such distinguished journals as Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers and the Journal of American Folklore and contributed a book chapter to the Oxford Handbook to Slave Narratives (forthcoming).  In addition to lecturing throughout the United States, Dr. Fulton has presented her work in many countries: England, Canada, France, Spain, Germany, and Mexico.  She has several projects in progress, including the Bedford College Edition of Nella Larsen’s novel Quicksand and her manuscript Radical Prohibition: African Americans Writing Race and the Anti-Drink Movement, 1860-1919, a monograph on African American activism in the Temperance Movement.  To pursue this project, Dr. Fulton received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. 

Favorite quote: “[T]hat visibility which makes us most vulnerable is that which also is the source of our greatest strength.” Audre Lorde 713-221-8009 1015-S house icon

Photograph of Dr. Hagen

L. Kirk Hagen, professor of humanities, received his B.A. in Philosophy and French and his M.A. in French from the University of New Mexico, and his Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education from the University of Illinois. He teaches humanities and French courses in the Arts and Humanities Department at UHD. Dr. Hagen's publications have appeared in the ADFL Bulletin, La revue canadienne des langues vivantes, Proceedings of the 20th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, the CALICO Journal and Evolutionary Psychology. From 1996 to 2000, he was project director for Spanish for Business Professionals, a $171,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education for the development of an interactive, intelligent, multimedia Spanish-language CD-ROM series. From 2001 to 2007, he was a contributor to Skeptic magazine. His book Second Language Acquisition: An Evolutionary Linguistics Approach, was published by the University of Michigan Press in October 2008.

Favorite quote: Ceste année les aveugles ne verront que bien peu, les sourdz oyront assez mal: les muetz ne parleront guières: les riches se porteront un peu mieulx que les pauvres, & les sains mieulx que les malades. Saturne sera retrograde. Venus directe. Mercure insconstant. Et un tas d'aultres planètes ne iront pas à vostre commendement. - F. Rabelais

Humanities Degree Coordinator 713-221-8116 1027-S house icon

Photograph of Dr. Kendall

Yvonne Kendall, professor of music. Dr. Yvonne Kendall has been at UHD for 15 years. She graduated with a B.S. in Music Education (magna cum laude) from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville Tennessee, her hometown. After a brief stint teaching elementary school music, she earned a Master of Music degree in Flute Performance at the famed New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where she performed in master classes of the late Julius Baker, principle flute of the New York Philharmonic. She earned her Doctor of Musical Arts in Early Music at Stanford University, while serving as piccolo player for the Santa Cruz Symphony. Dr. Kendall was then selected for a post-doctoral fellowship at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She has also been granted two summer fellowships for the National Endowment for the Humanities (one in Italian Archival Sciences - taught in Italian; the other in Golden Age Spain), several UHD grants for Organized Research and Faculty Development, and the coveted Faculty Development Leave Grant for research in Barcelona Spain (Fall 2007). Dr. Kendall has been named recipient of the Award for Excellence in Faculty Service (2007) and as a finalist in the award for Scholarly/Creative Activities (2009). Dr. Kendall regularly presents her work internationally and publishes in journals devoted to musicology, dance history, and renaissance studies. She is also an active performer on modern and period instruments with performances at Miller Outdoor theater, Moores Opera House, Hobby Center, etc. to her credit. Dr. Kendall has designed classes that are unique in Houston universities. They include Introduction to African American Music and History of Spanish Music, among others.

Courses taught:
MUS 3302 - Introduction to African-American Music
MUS 3305 - World Musics
MUS 3333 - History of Hispanic Music 7123-226-5237 1023-S house icon

Photograph of Dr. Jackson

Larisa Jackson, is a Lecturer at the University of Houston, where she taught from 2001 at UH Moores School of Music and from 2006 at UH Downtown campus. Her interests range from 19th-century music and Russian music of the 19th and 20th century to history of music theory and include publications on Tchaikovsky, Russian music, and 19th-century tonal theory in Journal of the American Liszt Society, Current Musicology, St. Petersburg Conservatory Journal. Jackson has given pre-concert lectures in Lincoln Center, Houston Symphony, Cullen Theater and written program notes for Alice Tully Concert Hall at Lincoln Center and the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra in New York City. Recently Jackson presented a lecture “Rimsky-Korsakov and the Concept of Harmony in 19th Century Russia and Germany” at the 2012 IMS/International Symposium “St. Petersburg Conservatory on International Scene:  Composition, Performance, and Scholarly Traditions” in St. Petersburg, Russia. Jackson currently works on the book exploring the relationship of Tchaikovsky and his patron Nadejda von Meck. Since 2002 Larisa Jackson has founded and managed two international classic music festivals in Italy, Orfeo Music Festival and Schlern International Music Festival. Fully dedicated to  teaching core curriculum and standard courses in music history and theory, Jackson has designed and taught special topic seminars on Russian music including "Analysis of Russian Masterpieces," "Shostakovich and Prokofiev," "Tchaikovsky and the Russian Five."  Larisa Jackson studied at the Musorgsky Music College in St. Petersburg, Russia, then completed her M. A., M. Phil., and Ph. D. at Columbia University in New York where she was a recipient of numerous fellowships including Mellon Fellowship and Columbia University President’s Fellowship.

Courses taught:
MUS 2302 – Music Appreciation after 1750
MUS 3305 – World Musics
MUS 1304 – Music Theory I
MUS 1303 – Reading Music 1084-S house icon

Photograph of Dr. Kendall

Mr. Robert Wilson, Music Artist-in-Residence and lecturer in Jazz Styles has been a faculty member at the University of Houston for 22 years. Professor Wilson has been a professional musician since he was 12 years old, and conducted numerous bands and orchestras  since he was 14 years old. In a musical career of fifty plus years, Wilson has performed with musical artists such as Judy Garland, Diana Ross, Ray Charles, Tony Bennet, and David “Fathead” Newman among many others. Because of his musical activities throughout the years he was nominated in 2005 for America’s highest jazz award, the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master’s Award; and he served on the board of the Texas Commission for the Arts for Dance and Music in 2004 and 2005. Wilson continues his musical activity as founder and director of the annual Kemah Boardwalk Jazz Festival along with numerous public concerts with the UHD Civic Jazz Orchestra and the UHD Young Sounds of Houston Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Director, Civic Jazz Orchestra 713-221-8574 1082-S house icon

Photograph of Raquel Chiquillo

Raquel Chiquillo, Associate Professor of Spanish. Dr. Raquel Chiquillo has been at UHD for ten years, joining the faculty in the Fall of 2002. She holds a PhD and an M.A. in Spanish and Spanish American Literature from the University of Virginia, and a B.A. in Spanish and International Studies from George Mason University. Her research interest lies primarily in contemporary and 20th century Latin American poetry. She has published articles on Roque Dalton (2), Antonio Cisneros (2), David Escobar Galindo (1) and Luis García Montero (1). She has also served as a reader for the journals Hispania and Revista de Estudios Hispánicos and regularly presents at a variety of conferences. Dr. Chiquillo teaches all levels of Spanish at UHD. Some of the courses she has taught most often in recent semesters are: Elementary Spanish I (1401), Intermediate Spanish I (2301) and Intermediate Spanish II (2302), Conversation through Literature (3310), Neighbors and Trading Partners: People, Culture and Trade in Spanish America (3324), and Survey of Spanish American Literature from Modernismo to the Present (4343).


Favorite quote: Sólo lo difícil es estimulante. (Only that which is difficult is stimulating.) - José Lezama Lima

Something personal she's willing to share: I love foreign languages and in addition to studying and mastering English (Spanish is my native language) I have studied German, French, Russian and Portuguese.  Of all these, I wish I had time to return to and completely master Russian.   Then again, I would also love to try to learn náhuatl. 

Courses taught:
SPAN 3324: Neighbors and Trading Partners: People, Culture and Trade in Spanish America
SPAN 3340: Introduction to Hispanic Literature
SPAN 4343: Survey of Spanish American Literature from Modernismo to the Present 713-221-2743 1079-S house icon

Photograph of Paul Mandell

Paul Mandell, assistant professor of Spanish Applied Linguistics. Dr. Mandell holds a Ph.D. in Spanish Linguistics, Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, an M.A. in Hispanic Literature and a B.A. in Spanish and Latin American Cultural Anthropology from Emory University. His research interests lie in Spanish Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition (SLA), Syntax and Universal Grammar. He has published articles and presented talks on verb movement and adult SLA in Spanish, the reliability of grammaticality judgment test data, sentence processing/parsing and students’ motivation for language study. Dr. Mandell coauthored a volume about second language pedagogy in the communicative classroom. He is currently working on a book about the development of Spanish in Spanish L2 learners. He has taught Spanish and Linguistics courses at institutions ranging from DeKalb Community College and Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia to the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and the University of Wyoming in Laramie. He coordinates the First- and Second-year Elementary Spanish for non-native speakers program, teaches SPAN 1401/1402 (First Year Spanish), SPAN 2301/2302 (Second Year Spanish), SPAN 3360 (Advanced Grammar) and SPAN 4365 (The Teaching of Spanish).

Courses taught:
SPAN 1401 & 1402
Elementary Spanish I & II
SPAN 3360 Spanish Grammar
SPAN 4365: The Teaching of Spanish

Something personal he is willing to share: From 2002 to 2006, Dr. Mandell served as the Director of Mission and Program at Christ Church Cathedral (Episcopal), where he led work teams to Honduras, assisted in the groundwork and opening of the John S. Dunn Outreach Center and was the first Executive Director of The Beacon, a day center serving the basic needs of the homeless community in downtown Houston.

Favored quote: “You can often tell whether you’re standing in the East or in the West, just by the way people refer to certain historical events.” - Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul. 713-226-5277 N-1054 house icon

Photograph of Dr. Nowak

Bill Nowak, associate professor of Spanish, holds a B.A. in Spanish and English from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, as well as an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Romance Languages (with a specialization in Spanish Literature) from Princeton University. Before coming to UHD in 2002, he had taught at several universities and colleges in Louisiana, Massachusetts and Texas. Currently he serves as Assistant Chair of the Department of Arts & Humanities and as Degree Coordinator for the Spanish B.A. program. He teaches all levels of Spanish at UHD, from introductory to advanced undergraduate, including courses on composition and grammar, Spanish literature, Hispanic film, Hispanic cultural history and English-Spanish translation. He also contributes to the Humanities program by teaching Hispanic Culture and Civilization in English. His research interests include renaissance and baroque Spanish literature, particularly picaresque narratives and the Celestinesque tradition of Spanish literature, as well as Spanish and Mexican film. He has presented and published in the areas of literary, film and cultural studies focusing on historical periods as diverse as Golden Age Spain and 1950’s Mexico under the PRI. He is an avid traveler and has visited many parts of the Hispanic world outside of Texas, from Spain to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Chile and Argentina.

Favorite quote: I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself. – Oscar Wilde

Something personal he’s willing to share: I love dogs. And greyhounds outrun them all.

Assistant Administrative Chair
Spanish Degree Coordinator

Courses taught
SPAN 3380 Culture and Civilization of Spain
SPAN 3385 Introduction to Hispanic Film
SPAN 4340 Spanish Literature from the Middle Ages to 1700
SPAN 4380 Spanish Field Experience course 713-221-8673 1009-S house icon

Edwin Padilla, associate professor of Spanish. Dr. Edwin Karli Padilla has been teaching at UHD since 1992. He holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Puerto Rico, an M.A. in Hispanic and Latin American Literature from the University of Texas at El Paso, and a Ph. D in Hispanic Literature in the United States from the University of Houston. He has edited and written an introduction for Lo que el pueblo me dice… (2001), a newspaper chronicle about Puerto Rican life in New York by Jesús Colón. He also wrote the introduction for Pioneros puertorriqueños en Nueva York by Joaquín Colón (2002). He has presented papers and published various essays in the journal Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage on subjects related to Spanish-language literature written in the United States. Also, he is co-author of Conozcámonos (2007), a textbook for Heritage Speakers. Dr. Padilla has taught most of the courses in the Spanish program, but regularly teaches Spanish for Heritage Speakers, Advanced Grammar and Composition, Spanish Literature in U.S., Spanish American Literature and Professional Writing. He has been Assistant Chair for the Department of Arts & Humanities, Spanish Coordinator and he was the Advisor of the year for LASSO (Latin American Student Services Association) in 2003. He has been the Chair of the College Board Committee charged with developing the SAT Spanish Subject Test since 2008, and he has been a member of this Committee since 2003.

Favorite quote: La misión del novelista no es relatar grandes acontecimientos, sino hacer interesantes los pequeños. - Schopenhauer.

Something personal: I have learned through the years that money does not bring happiness unless you can share it with family and friends, otherwise money does not bring joy. Nevertheless, if somebody has some money lying idly about, give it to me and I will let you know if this wisdom is true or just nonsense.

Spanish Area Coordinator
Assistant Chair of Spanish 713-226-5228 1019-S house icon

photograph of Reynaldo Romero

Dr. Rey Romero, earned a Ph.D. in Spanish Linguistics from Georgetown University in 2009 and started at the University of Houston-Downtown in 2010. Dr. Romero teaches the introduction to linguistic course as well as Spanish for native speakers courses. An expert in first language attrition, Dr. Romero has researched and written articles about the grammatical and morphological characteristics of varieties of Spanish in contact with other languages, such as Spanish along the US-Mexico border and Judeo-Spanish in Turkey and Israel. His dissertation Structural Consequences of Language Shift: Judeo-Spanish in Istanbul analyzes the changes present in the Judeo-Spanish dialect due to Turkish-Spanish bilingualism. In 2009 he received a grant from the Institute of Turkish Studies in Washington, D.C., to analyze the Spanish spoken in the Prince Islands, off the coast of Istanbul. Dr. Romero hopes to utilize his expertise to create an interest in Spanish linguistics and to address methodological and practical issues regarding the Spanish of second or third generation students.

Courses taught:
2311-2312 (Spanish for Heritage speakers)
SPAN 4310 (Intro to Spanish Linguistics)
SPAN 3301 (Grammar and Composition) 713-226-5549 1055-N house icon

Arts & Humanities Staff
Lola Washington
Department of Business Administrator I
1009 South
(713) 221-8104

Maria Victoria Abad Rabat
Coordinator, Foreign Language Lab

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