Skip to main content

vitalalumni Speaker Series

‚ÄčIn keeping with the purpose and intent of our vitalvoices series that brings professionals in the fields of Criminal justice, Social Work and Urban Education to campus to share the relevance of their professional experience and current work, The Center for Public Service and Community Research created vitalalumni

vitalalumni brings CPS graduates back to campus to share their professional as well as personal experience of life pre UHD, at UHD and post UHD. How do their stories and concerns mirror yours? Come and hear from those who've gone before you and be inspired to continue the UHD tradition of Staying Strong. 

Please click in the title of the vitalalumni event to be directed to its video presentation. 

Regent Paula Mendoza

Native Houstonian, Paula Mendoza is an entrepreneur, innovator, advocate, barrier-breaker and tireless volunteer recognized not only for the quality of her work, but for the passion she brings to every endeavor.

Mendoza earned a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Houston-Downtown (1995) and recently earned her MBA from the University of Houston-Downtown Marilyn Davis School of Business.  She and her husband of 30 years have one son, a wonderful daughter-in-law, three grandkids and a 16-year-old goddaughter, Natalie, who has captured their hearts.

From UHD to HISD

Leigha Curry, Class of 2005

Leigha Curry is a product of Galena Park Independent School District, a native Houstonian, and a proud graduate of University of Houston-Downtown. She is currently pursuing her doctorate degree from Texas Southern University.

Annie Lara, Class of 2007

Currently on the leadership team as a Literacy Teacher Specialist at Ketelsen Elementary in the Houston Independent School District, Ms. Lara also serves as the Campus Testing Coordinator and Gifted and Talented Coordinator and is a mentor/coach to first year teachers and teacher appraiser. Her afternoons are spent with intervention groups for third, fourth and fifth grade students. 

Victor Garcia, Class of 2008

Mr. Garcia is the principal of Port Houston Elementary in Houston's East side where he is finishing his first year as principal and continuing his vision of providing an equitable education for all students through effective instructional and learning strategies. 


Sheriff Ed Gonzalez

Ed Gonzalez was elected Sheriff of Harris County on November 8, 2016. Sheriff Gonzalez earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of Houston-Downtown and went on to serve 18 years in the Houston Police Department. He served on the elite hostage negotiation team and was assigned to the Homicide Division as an investigator. After retiring from HPD in 2009, Sheriff Gonzalez served three terms on the Houston City Council. 


Note: To view the videos, you must have Microsoft Silverlight installed. 

Last updated 3/8/2019 5:08 AM