New Faculty and Staff 2018
Brief Bios of our New Faculty and Staff in the College of Public Service - September
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
Interim Dean, College of Public Service
Kory, Kilgore, M.Ed., B.F.A., Assistant Director, Graduate Studies, College of Public Service
Kory Kilgore holds a Master of Education degree in Higher Education from Abilene Christian
University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater Acting and Directing from Abilene
Christian University. Prior to joining us as the Assistant Director of Graduate Studies
in the College of Public Service, Mr. Kilgore was Program Administrator for the Graduate
School of Biomedical Sciences in the Baylor College of Medicine. Mr. Kilgore's experiences
as Coordinator, Degree Audit and Graduation for the University of Houston – Downtown
and Coordinator of Admissions and Registration for the College of Graduate Studies
for the University of Central Florida as well as his experiences teaching language
in the Yoshiwara High School in Japan and directing theater in upper level and college
preparation programs will serve him well in his new role in the college.
Ava Mathis, M.Ed., B.A., Director, Center for the Professional Development of Teachers, Department of Urban Education
Ava Mathis holds a Master of Education degree in Curriculum Studies from Houston Baptist
University and a Bachelor of Arts in English Studies from Prairie View A&M University.
Prior to joining us as the Director for the Center for the Professional Development
of Teachers in the Department of Urban Education, Ms. Mathis was the Director of the
Center for the Preparation of Professional Educators at Houston Baptist University.
She has also worked in Fort Bend and Houston Independent School Districts in human
resources and professional and organizational development. At North Harris College
she served as the Program Manager for Teacher Certification. Ms. Mathis' began her
professional life as an educator in the Houston Independent School District where
she was honored as Teacher of the Year three times.
Barbara Partaka, A.A., Administrative Assistant II, UHD-Criminal Justice Training Center
Barbara Partaka holds an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts degree from San Antonio
College with a concentration in Social Work. She also served as Medical Specialist
for the US Army Reserves. Ms. Partaka has extensive experience in providing
office administrative support in higher education, including assisting in coordinating
multi-department services, records management, report preparation, budgeting and purchasing.
Prior to joining us in the UHD-Criminal Justice Training Center, Ms. Partaka was a
Student Success Specialist at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio.
Natasha Perez, Ph.D., M.Ed., B.A., Assistant Professor Literacy Education, Department of Urban Education
Natasha Perez, holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Curriculum and Instruction and Teacher Education with a Literacy Specialization from Michigan State University, a Master of Education degree in Reading, K-12 from the University of Miami, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Florida International University. Dr. Perez comes to us from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley where she taught courses in content area literacy, teaching in diverse classrooms, and English language arts methods. Prior to her doctoral studies, Dr. Perez taught reading and language arts in secondary schools in Miami, Florida. Dr. Perez's research interests center in understanding and improving "the role of school in the language and literacy development of linguistically diverse students." Her most recent publications include, a co-authored chapter, "Constructing literacies in secondary English language arts curriculum: discourses, histories, ethics," in Adolescent literacy: A handbook of practice-based research, and "On the vocation of being human," an online interview for The Journal of School and Society.
LaChelle Rhoads, M.S., M.S., B.A.S., Assistant Director, UHD-Criminal Justice Training Center
LaChelle Rhoads holds a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from the University
of Houston – Downtown, a Master of Science in Strategic Leadership from Mountain State
University, and a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Liberal Arts from Midwestern State
University. She is currently working toward a doctorate in Leadership and Management
at St. Thomas University. Ms. Rhoads holds a Master Peace Officer license from the
Texas Commission on Law Enforcement and is a TCOLE Certified Basic Instructor.
Prior to joining us in the UHD-Criminal Justice Training Center, Ms. Rhoads was a
police officer for the Houston Police Department. She has served as Curriculum Developer,
Program Coordinator, and Director of the Lone Star Law Enforcement Academy and, most
recently has worked for the State of Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
as a Special Investigator IV.
Jerry Wallace, Ed.D., M.Ed., B.F.A., Assistant Dean, Advising, Recruiting, and Retention in the College of Public Service
Jerry Wallace holds a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership, a Master of Education in Supervision, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Lamar University. Prior to joining us in the College of Public Service, Dr. Wallace served as the Director of Minority Male Recruitment at the University of Houston-Downtown. Previous to this he was the Director of Educational Planning and Counseling at San Jacinto College – North Campus. He has also served as an Early Alert Retention Specialist and Director of Residential Housing at Lamar University. His recent publications include, "A Phenomenological narrative of African-American male community college instructors: Literature review," in The Journal of Texas Alliance of Black School Educators, and "Skill building: Tools of the trade for accountability, assessment, and appreciative inquiry to add value to the learning enterprise," for NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.
Eve Zehavi, Ph.D., M.A., M.L.S., B.S., Assistant Professor of Literacy Education, Department of Urban Education
Eve Zehavi holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a Reading, Literacy and Literature specialization from the University of Houston, a Master of Arts in English degree from National University, a Master of Information and Library Science degree from the University of Texas, and a Bachelor of Science in General Studies from the University of Houston – Downtown. Prior to joining us in the Department of Urban Education, Dr. Zehavi taught numerous courses for the University of Houston education program and Houston Community College. She has additional experience as a librarian and as a K-12 Teacher/Language Arts Coordinator. Dr. Zehavi's research interests center in developing understandings and applications for corpus linguistics used in the study of children's language learning. Her recent publications include "Re-discovering Shakespeare: Mini lessons that go a long way," in Utah English Journal and "Enhancing literacy diversity," in Texas Voices.