Posts Tagged ‘Accomplishment’

Jo Zider (’75)

Even though retired from teaching after 35 years, I have continued working in my studio – Studio 39. Coronavirus has not impeded my ability to do my “bone installations”, (see The Bone Labyrinth at Rothko Chapel) and other work.

Currently I have been working on assemblage sculpture installations, reflecting a child’s perspective and revelation of lies told by those with power of position and influence. Lies told to the people; they were manipulated and mislead about issues from home buying to volunteering to fight an unjust war.

COMPASSION, a sculpture by Jo Zider, will be included in a Texas Sculpture Group Exhibition at Redbud Gallery, 11th Street in the Heights, from Jan 16, through Feb. 23, 2021. Reception January 16, 6-8pm.

Salenah S. Cartier (’20)

Salenah (Selena) Cartier just became the youngest person to graduate from the University of Houston
this year. The 17-year-old Texan earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the UH College of
Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. She will also receive a certificate in Corporate Entrepreneurship from
C.T. Bauer College of Business.
After going between homeschooling and public education between elementary and middle school,
Cartier decided on homeschooling after the 6th grade. She told Because Of Them We Can that she
needed to be challenged academically and faced bullying due to her advanced academic achievements.
Once she was able to work from home and begin a self paced program she ran through the course work.
“At the age of 14, I just knew that college was the next step for me. I needed a new challenge, and
attending college presented the perfect academic and social growth opportunity for me,” she said.

The young scholar then received her high school diploma and took dual credit classes at Lone Star
College-Kingwood. She graduated with an associate of science degree then transferred to UH. Cartier
excelled in school while overcoming financial struggles due to being one of four children raised by a
single parent. To pay for the bulk of her school expenses, she used ingenuity, selling used textbooks on
eBay that she found in thrift stores and online.

Cartier said in a statement that she was always motivated to find ways to “feed her brain,” which was
instilled by her mother. She credits her for teaching the importance of self-worth, creativity and
following your dreams regardless of age.
“My mom would always say you have to figure out what you want to do in life and how you want to
make an impact on the world,” she said in a statement.

She plans to continue her education, pursuing her master’s degree in the College of Education’s
Curriculum and Instruction program at UH. And is in the process of applying to doctoral programs. She
said she wants to become become a researcher, college level educator, and policy maker to help all
those seeking education, regardless of socio-economic status, know that “anything is possible.”

“After I complete the masters program, I will teach college level courses while attending a doctoral
program. I would like to research the impact that early life exposure to adversity has on cognitive
development”,  she told Because Of Them We Can. “I hope that my achievements are able to inspire
[people] of all ages. It is never to early or late to pursue a goal. There will never be a perfect time to start
a journey, but if you want to succeed, you just have to start. As long as you maintain an open mindset,
you will learn on every step of the journey”

Ford Smith (’65)

Ford and Sharon Ellis Smith celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary on December 3, 2020. Sharon and Ford met on the old yellow school bus. These two native Houstonians attended Lanier Junior High, Lamar Senior High and the University of Houston together. They have been blessed with two sons, Steven L. Smith and wife Laura and Craig A. Smith and wife Stacey. They have five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Ford had a very successful printing career of 45 years in Houston, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. Sharon spent many years working with nonprofits in Tomball, Austin, and Kerrville. She enjoyed over 25 years with the Hill Country Arts Foundation as a Board Member and performing on stage at the Point Theater in Ingram. They have lived in Riverhill for 26 years and have enjoyed their circle of friends from church, golf, and their neighborhood.

Ford shared with the Alumni Office that he was a night student for the most part. He worked during the day and went to UH in the evening. He enrolled in ’59, changed his major a couple of times, and ended up graduating with a BS in Education (HPE), Class of ‘65 with plans to coach athletics. In the mean-time he and Sharon had two children , so he worked several jobs during college – spending most of his working day at Cameron Iron Works in Houston. He was in the Cameron management program and worked in the Cameron oilfield sales department. Ford felt fortunate that the management at Cameron allowed him to work in addition to his class schedule and student teaching to complete his education. “It was a long haul, but I had a lot of help on the way. Paid my tuition as I worked, therefore once I graduated I was debt free.” Ford is a UHAA Life Member and proud Cougar!

Chif Ik-Ejiofor (’19)

This is Chifulumnanya Ik-Ejiofor. I am pleased that I was accepted into five (University of Texas at Austin, university of Illinois at Chicago, northern Illinois university, Bradley university and Illinois institute of technology) of the six schools that I applied for a masters of science in mechanical engineering. I decided to attend the university of Illinois at Chicago and pursue my degree in the spring term of 2021. I am very excited for this next step in my career.
Yours truly,
Chif Ik-Ejiofor

Cepee Tabibian (’03)

Cepee Tabibian, Bauer College graduate of 2003, is the founder of an online community called She Hit Refresh that helps women age 30 and over who want to break free from a life of routine and start a life of travel—specifically to move abroad or quit their job to travel the world long-term.

Cepee, who has been living in Spain for the past 5 years, just released her debut book I’m Outta Here! An American’s Ultimate Visa Guide to Living in Europe that is already becoming the go-to guide.

With the extensive research she has done for the book she is an expert on the subject, and wishes to share her knowledge with UH.

Kathryn M. Wohnoutka (’91, M.S. ’94)

Kathryn published her first book, Whole, Single, Free, ME! An Escape from Domestic Abuse, the story of her first abusive marriage and her recovery. The book includes her time at the University of Houston where she bloomed and healed.
She wrote the book for two reasons:

  • To empower those traveling a similar road to survive and grow.
  • To help their friends and loved ones understand and support the abused person in their recovery.

Her book includes the following delightful story from her time at U of H:

I asked my school friend one day, “Have you ever snapped a snapdragon?” We had a long break before our next class at the
University of Houston, where we were both students, and it was a beautiful day. She asked me, “What’s a snapdragon?” With
that question, we were on our way across campus to a beautiful batch of yellow, pink, and orange snapdragons in front of the
U of H library. We sat in the middle of the flowers laughing for over thirty minutes while I taught her the art of snapping
a snapdragon…

Kathryn is a past president of U of H Beta Alpha Psi, a CPA, and currently Senior Manager at Oracle Corporation where she has worked for 23 years.

Hanneke Faber (’90, M.B.A. ’92)

Ms. Hanneke Faber was ranked 23rd in Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women International” list:

A graduate of the University of Houston, Faber became president of global foods and refreshment at Unilever in 2019, overseeing a $23 billion business operating in 190 countries that includes brands such as Ben & Jerry’s, Breyer’s, and Lipton. The unit, Unilever’s second largest, accounts for 37% of the multinational’s total revenue. Faber has taken steps to make her division of Unilever healthier: She sold off its butter and margarine business for a cool $9.4 billion to instead invest in more environmentally and health-conscious food businesses like the Vegetarian Butcher, a global plant-based meat-substitute supplier. Even in the midst of the pandemic, Faber managed to lead her foods and refreshment businesses to results mirroring those of last year.

Silky Malik (’09)

Silky Malik, who is an alumnus of University of Houston, has written a new book.

The Total Nobody Who Ran for Office and Lost ish, penned by Silky, will be released Monday, October 12th.

Silky is a native Houstonian and the first woman to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in Texas’ 2nd Congressional District (and a proud alumnus of UH! ). The Total Nobody Who Ran for Office and Lost ish, chronicles her run for office and shares personal anecdotes and life lessons she’s learned along the way.

As a minority female, she’s using her voice to fight for change during election season by sharing her experience running for office to inspire others.

For more information, Silky’s website can be viewed here

Brenda Beust Smith (’65)



. . . but Brenda Beust Smith is also:

* a national award-winning writer & editor
* a nationally-published writer & photographer
* a national horticultural speaker
* a former Houston Chronicle reporter

When the Chronicle discontinued Brenda’s 45-year-old Lazy Gardener” print column, it then ranked as the longest-running, continuously-published local newspaper column in the Greater Houston area.

Brenda’s gradual sideways step from Chronicle reporter into gardening writing — first as a just-a-fun side Chronicle assignment in the early ’70s — led first to an 18-year series of when-to-do-what Lazy Gardener Calendars, then to her Lazy Gardener’s Guide book which morphed into her Lazy Gardener’s Guide on CD. which she now emails free upon request.

A Harris County Master Gardener, Brenda has served on the boards of many Greater Houston area horticulture organizations and has hosted local radio and TV shows, most notably a 10+-year Lazy Gardener specialty shows on HoustonPBS (Ch. 8) and her call-in “EcoGardening” show on KPFT-FM.

For over three decades, Brenda served as as Production Manager of the Garden Club of America’s BULLETIN magazine. Although still an active broad-based freelance writer, Brenda’s main focus now is THE LAZY GARDENER & FRIENDS HOUSTON GARDEN NEWSLETTER with John Ferguson and Pablo Hernandez of Nature’s Way Resources.

A native of New Orleans and graduate of St. Agnes Academy and the University of Houston, Brenda lives in Humble, TX, and is married to the retired Aldine High School Coach Bill Smith (1965 / UH Alum/member of Coach Bill Yeoman’s first UH team/Texas Bowl Gridiron Legend). They have one son, Blake.

John E. Kolb (J.D. ’55)

The Honorable John E. Kolb, Law Grad 1955, former Chairman of the Board of Regents (1981) celebrated his 92nd birthday at his Rincon Ranch in Goliad County, Texas.