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College of Public Service

​​Brief Bios of our New Faculty and Staff in the College of Public Service - September, 2017

Please join me in welcoming our newest faculty and staff in the College of public Service. I know that those of you who have worked with me on the many Search and Screening Committees associated with the hiring of these individuals are well aware of the talents and credentials of the individuals who joined us in the last year or who are beginning with us this Fall. I want to extend my great appreciation to the individuals in our College and across the University who served on the Committees associated with these key positions. 

- Leigh Van Horn, Ed.D.

Interim Dean, College of Public Service

Steven Bracken, M.S., B.A., Director, UHD-Criminal Justice Training Center Law Enforcement Academy

Steven Bracken holds a Master of Science degree in Justice Administration from Norwich University, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Criminal Justice from Angelo State University, Master Peace Officer License, Instructor Proficiency, and Firearms Instructor Certification from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, and Command Leadership Certification from the Texas Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas. Prior to joining us as the Director fro the UHD-Criminal Justice Training Center Law Enforcement Academy in the College of Public Service, Mr. Bracken was a Lieutenant in the Midland College Police Department, a Sergeant in the Midland Police Department where he served for 16 years, and an Instructor in the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy. Mr. Bracken's experiences in law enforcement and administration include strategic planning, shift command, program development, training coordination, policy-making, and reporting. 

Damaris Cortez, L.M.S.W., B.S.W., Lecturer, Department of Criminal Justice and Social Work

Damaris Cortez holds a Licensed Master of Social Work degree from the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work with specializations in Political Social Work and Health Disparities, and a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the Social Work program at the University of Houston-Downtown. Prior to joining us as a Lecturer and Advisor in Social Work in the College of Public Service, Damaris Cortez worked in the Social Work Department at the Texas Children's Hospital where she focused on family-centered health care and served on committees on International Patient Sensitivity and Competence and Research. She is conducting research in El Salvador with Salvadoran students in BSW programs. Damaris Cortez's recent publications include, "The empowering effects of cooperative development among indigenous women in southern Mexico" in the Journal of Family Strengths, a piece co-authored with Dawn McCarty. Prior to publication, she gave a presentation on this topic at the Annual Conference of Western Social Science Association.

Glenn Hughes, B.A.A.S., Assistant Director, UHD-Criminal Justice Training Center Law Enforcement Academy

Glenn Hughes holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree in Criminal Justice from Midwestern State University and Master Peace Officer License, Instructor Proficiency, Special Investigator and Firearms Instructor Certification from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. prior to joining us as the Assistant Director for the UHD-Criminal Justice Training Center Law Enforcement Academy, Mr. Hughes was a Sergeant in the Pasadena Police Department where he served for 26 years. His most recent assignment for the Pasadena Police Department was as Training Coordinator for the Pasadena Police Departments' Law Enforcement Academy where he managed, scheduled, and taught basic and in-service courses and reviewed and/or developed associated curricula. 

Yu-Han Hung, Ph.D., M.Ed., B.A., Assistant Professor, Social Studies Education, Department of Urban Education

Yu-Han Hung holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Curriculum and Instruction and Teacher Education from Michigan State University, a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from National Taiwan Normal University, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Soochow University. Dr. Hung comes to us from Michigan State University where, during her doctoral studies, she taught in the undergraduate and graduate programs in the Department of Teacher Education, including field instruction of elementary and secondary social studies teacher candidates. Prior to her doctoral studies, Yu-Han Hung taught history in high school and grades K-4 in Taiwan. Dr. Hung's dissertation, titled "Exploration of teacher life stories: History teachers' curricular gatekeeping of controversial public issues" led to her most recent publication, "What can we learn from Taiwanese teachers about teaching controversial public issues" for the Journal of International Social Studies

Noel, Sharon, Ph.D., M.S., B.A., Assistant Director of Assessment, College of Public Service

Sharon Noel holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Higher Educational Leadership from the University of Texas, a Master of Science degree in Occupational Technology from the University of Houston, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Telecommunication from Texas Southern University. Prior to joining us as the Assistant Director of Assessment in the College of Public Service, Dr. Noel was the Manager of International Academic Program for the Lone star College system. While in the doctoral program at the University of Texas, Dr. Noel was a Leadership Intern in Academic Affairs for Tallahassee Community College. Dr. Noel's dissertation is titled, "A Comparative Study of Developmental Students and Non-Developmental Students at Tallahassee Community College." Her post-doctoral work includes an assignment at Casper College in Wyoming where she provided leadership in the development and revision of policies in preparation for their accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges. 

Stephen Quander, B.A., College of Business Administrator, College of Public Service, Criminal Justice and Social Work, Criminal Justice Training Center

Stephen Quander holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Richmond. Prior to joining us in the College of Public Service, Mr. Quander managed finance, procurement, operations, supervision and training of personnel, and events for large restaurant chains in the District of Columbia, Virginia, Sugar Land, and Houston. His experiences in this industry also include market trend and cost/price analysis, contracts development, budget analysis, expense report auditions, and reconciliations. Prior to this, Mr. Quander served as a sales representative for telecommunications corporations where he conducted needs assessment and planning to create telecommunication systems for businesses. 

Ryan Robinson, B.S., Administrative Assistant II, Department of Urban Education

Ryan Robinson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication and an Associate of Arts degree in Business Administration from Northwestern State University. Prior to joining us in the College of Public Service. Mr. Robinson worked for Vernon Parish in Leesville, Louisiana where he interned as the Deputy Clerk of Court, and then, after graduation from college with his degree, as an Administrative Assistant for the Vernon Parish Police Jury. 

Pakeithe Saavedra, Ph.D., M.S., B.S., Lecturer, Department  of Criminal Justice and Social Work

Pakeithe Saavedra holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Sociology from Texas Woman's University with concentration in Criminology and research Methods/Social Statistics, a Master of Science degree in Sociology form Texas A&M, and a Bachelor of Science in Criminology from Texas A&M. Prior to joining us as Lecturer in criminal Justice in the College of Public Service. dr. Saavedra taught courses in the Principles of Sociology, Theories of Crime Deviance, Juvenile Delinquency, and Crime in America at Texas Woman's University and Ashworth College. Dr. Saavedra's dissertation titled, "Female inmates' perceptions of distributive and procedural justice and adjustment" uses the justice theory framework to examine inmate perceptions of both distributive and procedural justice in a correctional setting. 

Beth Sanders, Ph.D., M.S., B.A., Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Criminal Justice and Social Work

Beth Sanders holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree and Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and Organizational Communication with minors in Psychology and English from Otterbein College. Dr. Sander's comes to us from Monmouth University where she served as Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Thomas Moore College where she served as Chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. She coordinated the Master's Degree and Internship Programs at the Texas State University School of Criminal Justice. Dr. Sander's recent publications include, "Falsifying Merton's macro-level anomie theory of profit-motivated crime: A research note" in Deviant Behavior and "A time series factor analysis of integrative and coercive social control" in the Journal of Crime and Justice. Dr. Sander's recent consulting and presentations are centered in the creation and development of performance evaluation systems for police officers. 

Ashwini Tiwari, Ph.D., M.A., B.R.S., Assistant Professor, Special Education, Department of Urban Education

Ash Tiwari holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Comparative International Education and educational Leadership from Pennsylvania State University, a Master of Arts in Special Education from the University of Arizona, and a Bachelor of Rehabilitation Services degree in Special Education from Osmania University. He comes to us form the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley where he was an Assistant Professor in Special Education. Prior to attaining his doctoral degree, Ash Tiwari was a Special Education teacher in Phoenix, Arizona where he taught cross categorical special education. Dr. Tiwari's recent publications include, "Institutional barriers of educational participation: Examples from China and India in the International Journal of Educational Reform, "Examining teachers' understanding of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" in the Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, and "Inclusive education a 'rhetoric or reality'? Teacher's perspectives and beliefs" in Teaching and Teacher Education.

Steven Villano, M.Ed., B.F.A., Director, Center for Public Service and Community Research

Steven Villano holds a Master of Education degree in Education from the College of New Jersey and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theater from Adelphi University. Prior to joining us as the Director of the Center for Public Service and Community Research in the College of Public Service, Mr. Villano was the Federal Project Director for Pasadena Independent School District (PISD) where he managed two multi-million dollar federal grants administered by the Texas Education Agency benefitting 19 sites within PISD. These grants allowed Mr. Villano and his team to partner with multiple agencies and institutions to implement high quality after school programs for at risk students and families. Prior to this, Mr. Villano worked for Harris County as the Superintendent of Youth Services and as a Regional and Special Initiatives Coordinator. 

Wilson, Teresa, B.S., Program Coordinator, UHD-Criminal Justice Training Center Law Enforcement Academy

Teresa Wilson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Sam Houston State University. Prior to joining us in the UHD-Criminal Justice Training Center Law Enforcement Academy in the College of Public Service, Ms. Wilson was the Coordinator for the print shop in the Humble Independent School District where she developed departmental procedures and production guidelines, maintained staffing, training, and evaluations for employees, and developed and implemented the departmental budget. Prior to this, Ms. Wilson held positions in the Humble Independent School District as bookkeeper, registrar, and paraprofessional. She was a Career Specialist for the Deep East Texas Workforce Centers and worked for the county judge where she documented all phases of Commissioner's Court preparation and provided customer referrals to community resource agencies. 


Last updated 8/8/2017 6:23 AM