New Faculty and Staff 2017
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
Steven Bracken, M.S., B.A., Director, UHD-Criminal Justice Training Center Law Enforcement
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,
Damaris Cortez, L.M.S.W., B.S.W., Lecturer, Department of Criminal Justice and Social
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
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
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
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
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.