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Mission & History


UHD Staff Council is dedicated to increasing communication, providing staff-requested organizational assistance, and ensuring staff issues, concerns, and interests are relayed to senior University leaders.

Over the years, Staff Council and its various committees have performed many services, including reviewing and providing recommendations on issues affecting staff benefits, parking, safety, staff development, and training.

One of the most substantial developments is an initiative to increase staff participation. To accomplish this, all full-time and part-time, benefits-eligible employees are automatically inducted as UHD Staff Council members and encouraged to attend monthly Council meetings to share issues, concerns, and/or interest items.

Staff Council needs your help to be successful! Please participate in the nomination and election process and attend scheduled Staff Council Meetings.

Get involved—UHD Staff Council needs you!


Recognizing that staff is integral to the functioning of the University of Houston-Downtown, the Staff Council will be an advisory body to the President of the University and promote positive and meaningful communication among UHD staff, the President, and the University community in order to achieve the Staff Council's goal of providing UHD with a collective voice in staff-related University matters.

The Staff Council also promotes recognition of staff contributions to the mission of the University and recommends individuals to serve on committees where policies and procedures affecting staff will be discussed.


The UHD Staff Council was formed on July 30, 1986, when former UHD President, Dr. Alexander Schilt, sent a memo to staff proposing the creation of a staff council. Lee Ellwood, Dr. Schilt's assistant at the time, was deemed the Council liaison.

Staff-wide elections, involving more than 200 staff members, were held on October 13, 1986. The first group elected to create the new UHD Staff Council met with Dr. Schilt. Those members were Penny Ellis, Vickie Black-Lewis, Robert Jurica, Terry Elliot, Marilyn Allen, Angie Mifflin, Laura Olejnik, Martha Cantu, Lloyd Matzner, and Kenneth Allen.

On December 18, 1987, the group met and elected Penny Ellis as President. Also during this meeting the first Staff Council Bylaws were established.

On January 7, 1988 the first official meeting of the UHD Staff Council commenced.

Past Presidents

President Fiscal Year
Tremaine Kwasikpui 2022-2023
Caroline Smith 2021-2022
Bobbi Shaw 2020-2021
Rhonda Scherer 2019-2020
Liza Alonzo 2018-2019
Gladis Moya 2017-2018
Isidro Grau 2016-2017
Debora Evans 2015-2016
Debra Shouldice 2014-2015
No Staff Council 2013-2014
Tiziano Hernandez 2012-2013
Elliot Ballard 2011-2012
John Lane 2009-2011
Karen (Alfaro) Rivera 2008-2009
Kenya Hicks 2006-2008
Lucy Bowen 2004-2006
Yesenia Montoya 2002-2004
Scottie Attaway 2001-2002
Brenetta Brooks 1999-2001
Gary Greer 1997-1999
Marie Cepeda 1995-1997
Mersades Richard 1994-1995
Lloyd Matzner 1992-1994
Nan Benz 1991-1992
Said Fattouh 1990-1991
Vickie Lewis-Black 1989-1990
Penny Ellis Founding President elected December 18, 1987.