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Fall 2016

UPCOMING EVENTS

Alumni Celebration
Saturday, Oct. 15
Space Center Houston
www.uhcl.edu/
alumnicelebration

Alumni Coffee Tables
Wednesday, Oct. 12
Monday, Dec. 5
5:30-7 p.m.
Bayou Building, Atrium II

CLASP Lecture Series-
Out of this World: The Experience of Living on the International Space Station
Thursday, Sept. 8
5:30-7 p.m.
Bayou Bldg., Garden Room
See a complete schedule of CLASP lectures.

Veteran's Day
Friday, Nov. 11
Bayou Building, Atrium I & II

See more alumni events

Update Your Information
Make a Gift
Become a Life Member

CLASS NOTES

Srikanth Kotagiri, '09 MS, is a software engineer at Amazon Video.

Nancy Hill, '95 MA, '02 MS, accepted a position with Duke University in January 2015. She leads an instructional design team supporting Duke University's School of Nursing. Duke University School of Nursing was recently recognized by the U.S. News & World Report ranking number four in online graduate nursing programs.

Dr. Trevicia Williams, '03 MA, recently wrote “I Love You But I Can't underSTAND You Right Now: 100 Ways to Deal With The Heart and Soul of Raising Tween-Teen Girls,” a parenting book teaching mothers eight ways to identity triggers, choose battles and how both mothers and daughters can win.

Troy A. Villarreal, '94 MHBA, was appointed as president of Hospital Corporation of America's Gulf Coast division effective June 2016. Prior to his appointment, he was the CEO of HCA’s Medical City Dallas Hospital.

Jaqueline Cortez-Wang, '04 BBA, '09 MA, now serves as the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics Deputy Director.

Hilda Nanez, '11 BS, of Green Valley Elementary in Galena Park ISD, was recently received the Rising Star Elementary Award at the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards in May 2016.

Grant Northcutt, '16 BS, and father David Northcutt, '16 BS, received their degrees on the same day at commencement in May.

Vanessa Flores, '08 MS, was selected as the new principal for Horn Elementary School in Houston ISD.

Andrea Wenke, '98 MS, was selected as the new principal at South Houston High School in Houston ISD.

Darlene Breaux, '08 MS, was named the new director of special populations for the Teaching and Learning Center at Harris County Department of Education overseeing continuing professional learning opportunities for teachers who educated students being served in special population areas.

Victoria Orozco-Martinez, '94 BS, '03 MS, was selected as the new principal of De Zavala Elementary School in Houston ISD.

Steven Foster, '06 MHBA, was named president of Patients Medical Center for Christus St. Luke’s Health in Houston.

Michael Squyres, '93 BA, president of Flow-Cal Inc., has been selected to serve as chairman for the UHCL College of Science and Engineering advisory board.

Submit your class notes by sending an email to alumni@uhcl.edu or by completing this online submission form.

Alumni Spotlight: The Navarro Family

bezdek

Family values: Scholarship endowment offers student opportunities

One family of University of Houston-Clear Lake alumni wants to give students at UH-Clear Lake the best shot they can.

Logical Innovations Inc., a company headed by Denise Navarro, son Michael Navarro and daughter Erica Navarro, contributed $50,000 and pledged another $50,000 to create an endowment in UHCL’s Hawk Advantage Scholarship program.

The Hawk Advantage Scholarship was started in 2015 to provide need-based financial aid for incoming UHCL freshmen, and the first recipients of the scholarship will begin classes at UHCL this fall. The program provides financial aid through all four years of an undergraduate education at UHCL for recipients who maintain a full course load and progress toward their degree. Read more...


alumni celebration

Alumni Celebration: October 15, 2016
Save the date for the annual Alumni Celebration honoring alumni and professors who have made a difference at UHCL and in the community. Support alumni scholarships by sponsoring a table or purchasing a seat!


Armand Bayou

Free Admission to Armand Bayou Nature Center
Need a break from studies? Feel like a ‘walk on the wild side’? A valid UHCL student, faculty, staff or alumni ID card is all you need for free admission to Armand Bayou Nature Center during regular operating hours.  Read more...


Lifetime Membership

Hawks for Life

University of Houston-Clear Lake alumni come from all walks of life. They represent a broad range of cultures, ages, fields of study, and have made significant contributions to our community and around the world since their days at UHCL.

For all those differences they all have one thing in common: their love for giving back to UHCL.

One of the ways they do this is by becoming a UHCL Alumni Association Lifetime member. For a one-time donation of $500 or more, UHCL alumni make their commitment to their alma mater by helping to fund one of three UHCL Alumni Association endowments: the UHCL Alumni Association Scholarship Endowment for current students, the UHCL Distinguished Alumni Scholarship Endowment for descendants of UHCL alumni and the UHCL Alumni Association Program Endowment to support student programming, faculty research and development.

The choice to become a lifetime member is a personal one for many alumni and the reasons why alumni choose to become lifetime members are as varied as the alumni themselves.

“Giving back seems natural and necessary because I love UHCL and the friendships I have made through the Alumni Association!” - Fay Watson, '89, '92

“To graduate from UHCL is an academic accomplishment… but to give back is priceless!” - Joyce Delores Taylor, '04, '06, ‘08

“It is gratifying to know another student may have the opportunity to advance their career through the scholarships granted by the Alumni Association from these lifetime membership contributions.” - Marilyn Sims, ‘88

“I know that making this donation will help a student become successful like all UHCL Alumni are!” - Justin Medellin, ‘14

In addition to giving back to UHCL, lifetime members enjoy exclusive benefits, including library privileges, a parking pass for the visitor or student parking lots and a UHCL e-mail account with access to campus computer labs.

Established in 1981, the UHCL Alumni Association represents more than 60,000 alumni. It was created to enhance the pride, loyalty and engagement of its alumni by connecting them to fellow UHCL alumni, students, parents and friends of the university through support services, activities and events.

For more information or to become a lifetime member, contact us at alumni@uhcl.edu.

Become a Lifetime Member today!


CLASP

CLASP: 2016-17 Lectures
Returning to this fall is “Visions in Our Midst”, a free distinguished lecture series that brings in speakers from around the Houston area to lead discussions on a wide variety of topics. For a complete schedule, visit www.uhcl.edu/clasp


CareerCorner

What's the Holdup?: Why Companies Take so Long to Hire Applicants

In the age of the social network and other technological advances, one would think that hiring would be accomplished most expeditiously. “Why does it take so long?” – this is the question asked by many college graduates and job seekers alike. From a Human Resource perspective, the answer is quite simple, but the process by which many organizations hire applicants can be quite laborious. Read more...


UHCL Alumni Association
University of Houston-Clear Lake | 2700 Bay Area Blvd., Houston, TX 77058
Bayou Building, Suite B1604 | 281-283-2021 | uhcl.edu/alumni

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Alumni Spotlight: The Navarro Family
By Kelsie Cleboski, Writer/Editor, Office of University Communications

Navarro Feature

University of Houston-Clear Lake President William A. Staples receives a check from UH-Clear Lake alumna Denise Navarro, son Michael Navarro and daughter Erica Navarro to create an endowment in UHCL’s Hawk Advantage Scholarship Program. Logical Innovations Inc., a company headed by Denise Navarro, son Michael Navarro and daughter Erica Navarro, contributed $50,000 and pledged another $50,000 to create the endowment. Pictured (l to r) are UHCL Associate Vice President for University Advancement Rhonda Thompson, Michael Navarro, Denise Navarro, Staples and Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations Dwayne Busby. Not pictured is Erica Navarro.


Family values: Scholarship endowment offers student opportunities

One family of University of Houston-Clear Lake alumni wants to give students at UH-Clear Lake the best shot they can.

Logical Innovations Inc., a company headed by Denise Navarro, son Michael Navarro and daughter Erica Navarro, contributed $50,000 and pledged another $50,000 to create an endowment in UHCL’s Hawk Advantage Scholarship program.

The Hawk Advantage Scholarship was started in 2015 to provide need-based financial aid for incoming UHCL freshmen, and the first recipients of the scholarship will begin classes at UHCL this fall. The program provides financial aid through all four years of an undergraduate education at UHCL for recipients who maintain a full course load and progress toward their degree.  

“We believe in the benefits of an education at UH-Clear Lake,” said Denise Navarro.
In addition to the Hawk Advantage endowment, Logical Innovations also started a scholarship in 2012 at College of the Mainland in Texas City, another school that all three Navarros attended before transferring to UHCL to complete their bachelor’s degrees.

“I would like to see these deserving kids have a solid foundation,” Denise Navarro said, noting the scholarships they support aren’t limited by major or degree plan.
For all three Navarros, a UHCL education laid the foundation for their current professional role and success.

Denise Navarro founded Logical Innovations with the skills from her bachelor’s degree in computer information systems and her Master of Business Administration degree.

Michael Navarro has used his bachelor’s degree in communication and master’s degree in digital media studies as he expanded the company’s services into marketing and creative projects and took over business operations.

Erica Navarro’s Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Arts in Behavioral Sciences with an emphasis in Industrial Organizational Psychology led her to manage the company’s human resources and personnel. Between the three of them, they hold six degrees from the university and offer a wide range of support services to clients such as NASA (at six locations across the country, including the Johnson Space Center), United States Agency for International Development and the Department of Defense.

“We take a lot of pride in the education we acquired at UHCL,” said Denise Navarro. “We’ve leveraged those interests and academic backgrounds.”

Denise Navarro, who grew up in Galveston County, first incorporated Logical Innovations in 1999. Since becoming fully operational in 2006, the company has grown to nearly 200 employees, including her two children, and is still based in the Clear Lake area with offices in Washington D.C., Ohio and northern California.

Family was a big part of the reason Denise Navarro chose to study at UHCL. Then a full-time contractor at Johnson Space Center with children at home, she needed a school with evening classes to fit her lifestyle. When Michael Navarro’s turn came, he also worked full-time while attending evening classes. Erica Navarro continued that family tradition. UHCL’s education was accessible and flexible to the Navarros’ needs and met the demands of the industry in which they worked. 

“Staying close was nice because I didn’t have to put my career on hold,” Michael Navarro said, noting that he’s built a network of resources by working and studying locally. “I still run into a lot of classmates. Somebody’s always helping somebody find a job or other opportunities.”

Logical Innovations’ growth has allowed the Navarros to fulfill their goal of giving back to the university and the community, and they said it’s been rewarding to see their contributions making a difference.

“If you can impact one life in a positive way, it’s worth it,” Denise Navarro said.
Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations Dwayne Busby said alumni play an important role in supporting UHCL students.

“The university is very grateful for the generosity of our alumni who answer the overwhelming need of financial support for students,” Busby said, noting that support can be critical for some students to complete their education.

For more information on giving to UHCL, visit http://www.uhcl.edu/giving.

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Free Admission to Armand Bayou Nature Center

Armand Bayou

Need a break from studies? Feel like a ‘walk on the wild side’? A valid UHCL student, faculty, staff or alumni ID card is all you need for free admission to Armand Bayou Nature Center during regular operating hours. The center is just 3 miles east of UHCL on Bay Area Blvd and connected by the Bay Area Hike & Bike Trail.

As a member of the UHCL community, your ID is all you need for admission to nature center and access to its exhibits and trail system. Spend some time on the tallgrass prairie, deep in the flatwood forest, or along the shores of Armand Bayou. Take in a guided nature walk, visit the historic Martyn Farm or just find a bench to sit and relax surrounded by one of the nation’s largest urban wilderness preserves. Need some exercise? Consider hiking some of the center’s five-miles of trails. Sorry, no running or bicycling on the trails.

Armand Bayou Nature Center is open Wednesday – Saturday 9 AM to 5 PM, and Sunday Noon to 5PM. Last admission is at 4 PM; gates are closed at 5 PM. Present your valid ID card for individual admission. For more information about nature center programs and activities go to www.abnc.org.

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What's the Holdup?: Why Companies Take so Long to Hire Applicants
By Shawn P. McCann, '02 MA
Executive Director, Human Resources and Author

Career Corner

In the age of the social network and other technological advances, one would think that hiring would be accomplished most expeditiously. “Why does it take so long?” – this is the question asked by many college graduates and job seekers alike. From a Human Resource perspective, the answer is quite simple, but the process by which many organizations hire applicants can be quite laborious.

Imagine: you’ve just graduated from college, or you’re considering a job change. Therefore, you go online and discover a job that has your name written all over it. With more enthusiasm, you take note that the job has been posted for only “two days.” Like many other job seekers, you want to get your application in fast; thus, you apply for the position, with the notion that you have a leg up on other applicants. Not so fast – you must first consider what is happening behind the scenes. But first, I’d like to digress.

Let’s consider that there is an entry level position for an accountant position and you have the requisite experience and degree. The position that you thought was posted for two days on a job website may, in many cases, have already been posted for 30 or more days. However, you just happened to log onto the site when the job was running in its next posting cycle.

According to DHI-DFH, “the average time-to-fill positions across all U.S. industries has steadily increased since 2009.” It currently stands at 26 days. (The DHI-DFH reflects data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and defines working days as Monday through Saturday.) The most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from February 2016 cited long-lasting vacancies in health services (49 days), finance (42 days), government (36 days), education (35 days) and information technology (32 days).

So why are companies taking so long to hire applicants? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. However, behind the scenes, many causes are the result of snail-like movement in the hiring process. For example, there are many prescreening mechanisms such as hiring committees, multiple interviews, misplaced priorities which cause management to put hiring on the back burner, debates between management and HR about salaries, job approval processes from upper management and others.

This information is not meant to dampen your spirits when it comes to your job search; however, I wanted to put into perspective some causes for the slow process. Nevertheless, there is one real solution that may give you an upper hand. Before applying for your next position, it might be wise for you to call that company’s HR department and ask how many days the position has been posted. If anything, this will give you some insight into the time it truly takes for the position to be filled. Still, keep in mind that there are many factors that are happening behind the scenes. Stay positive!

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