News from the Institute for Plain English Research and Study (IPERS) at UHD
2020 Student Research and Community Engagement Grants
In the spring of 2020, two UHD students, Deniece Joseph, a Political Science major, and Luis Romo, a Communication Studies major, each received a $500 grant to complete projects with the Institute for Plain English Research and Study (IPERS) at UHD. Together with Dr. Natalia Matveeva, Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Co-director of IPERS, the group worked with Mrs. Fawn Escalante, Public Affairs Associate Commissioner from the Texas Department of Insurance, tested two documents for the agency, and produced a report of findings. The students helped organize focus groups and provided feedback on the documents from the user perspective. The students also conducted research, learned more about plain language, and worked on a personal research project. Kudos to Luis and Deniece for their excellent communication and research skills! If you are interested in receiving an IPERS grant in the future, please contact Dr. Matveeva at email@example.com.
Communication Studies Major Munir Nathani to Focus on Human Resources and Deliberation with Graduate Studies
As many students prepare to graduate from UHD without a proper goodbye planned amidst COVID-19, one student's plan brings together his future graduate school plans and his existing UHD relationships. Munir Nathani, a Corporate Communication major graduating this May, will begin graduate work towards a Master of Science in Human Resource Development at University of Houston this fall. As he starts this new chapter, he will also serve as an Intern for the Center for Public Deliberation under Dr. Windy Lawrence. Nathani had the unique opportunity to speak at one of Dr. Lawrence's recent Meet and Greet events with candidates from across Houston - an experience that offers one of his "proudest memories" from his time at UHD. As Nathani finishes his classwork, he notes that "not being able to come to UHD has been one of the many challenges during these difficult times," as he "misses being at the campus more than [he] can describe." Congratulations to Munir Nathani and all our Communication Studies graduates as they prepare to depart UHD and begin exciting new chapters as Gators who have finished strong!
From the Coordinator's Corner
Dr. Creshema Murray, Associate Professor
Two months ago, this time, all I could think about was cowboy boots, Lizzo’s historic rodeo performance, and taking a midday nap during spring break. Like all of you, my spring break plans were drastically altered as COVID-19 brought our university, our city, and our country to a screeching halt. We have all borne witness to how this virus is impacting our families, our communities, and our very way of life. Despite these uncertain times, I am confident that we will return to an improved, healthier, and safer way of life, once again. The UHD community is uniting like never before to continue delivering our essential mission while protecting our faculty, staff, and students. Your Communication Studies instructors have remained resilient and committed to the mission of ensuring that we remain, Gator Strong.
When you read this message, know that the faculty and staff in the UHD Communication Studies program are here to support you as you continue to pursue your dreams of earning your bachelor degree. We check in with each other weekly and share stories of how our families remain optimistic of better days and how our students have persevered despite facing numerous challenges.
I would like to thank all faculty members in our program for adjusting syllabi, rearranging course requirements, and embracing teaching fully online. Many of our faculty members wear multiple hats as caregivers for their parents and homeschool administrators for their children. Their life, much like yours, has been upended, yet they have not once complained and have quickly adjusted to this new way of living. I would also like to thank all of you for being understanding of changing due dates, being patient with virtual working groups, showing empathy to fellow Gator, showing up to virtual class, and putting your best foot forward with your course assignments. We are truly in this together.
For some of you, the end of the spring semester will wrap up your college career. Congratulations, graduates! We look forward to hearing stories of future employment and graduate school acceptance soon. For others, we will see you virtually in summer classes and in the fall either on campus or again via Zoom. While we are unsure how COVID-19 will impact fall classes, know that the UHD community is here for you. Our President, Dr. Juan Munoz, and Provost, Dr. Eric Link will continue to send updates on financial aid, Gator C.A.R.E.S. initiatives, and class schedules, throughout the summer. Even if you do not hear from the collective Communication Studies faculty again until the fall, remember that the Communication Studies faculty are here for you, rooting for your success.
UHD Comm Studies Says Goodbye to Long-Time Faculty Member, Bill Pogue
With just under 40 years of service to the University of Houston-Downtown, Professor Bill Pogue will teach his final classes during spring 2020. Though Professor Pogue remains humble, those who have taught with him and been taught by him know that behind his commanding voice (surely influenced by his wife, a former UHD drama professor) is a wealth of deep knowledge, genuine compassion, and most importantly, deep humor. Professor Pogue connected easily with others, which made him a popular personality across campus. While Professor Pogue said, "I never expected to teach anything" before starting at UHD in 1981, he has brought to life classes ranging from interviewing to advertising. As he prepares for retirement, Professor Pogue looks forward to caring for his lovely wife and spending time with his great-grandchild. Congratulations and thank you for your service to UHD, Professor Pogue!