Posts Tagged ‘Accomplishment’

Akihiko Hoshide (M.S. ’97)

UH Alum Akihiko Hoshide onboard SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft

Four astronauts, including UH alum Akihiko Hoshide, took their first steps of a six-month stay in space as they launched on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.

Akihiko Hoshide is an astronaut with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Keio University in 1992 and a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Houston, Cullen College of Engineering in 1997.

He joined the National Space Development Agency of Japan in 1992. The agency is now the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. He helped develop the H-II rocket and was an astronaut support engineer, helping to develop the astronaut training program.

He was selected in February 1999 as one of three Japanese astronauts slated to go to the ISS, starting training in April 1999 and being certified in January 2001.

He served as a mission specialist in 2006 for NASA and was selected as a crew member for the STS-124 mission to deliver the Japanese Experiment Module to the ISS in 2007.

From July to November 2012, he spent 124 days as a flight engineer on the ISS.


Akihiko Hoshide was born in 1968 in Tokyo, Japan. He received a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Keio University in 1992, and a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Houston, Cullen College of Engineering in 1997.

Hoshide joined the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA, currently Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) in 1992 and worked as a member of NASDA’s Nagoya office for two year. At the Nagoya office, he was involved in the development of the H-II rocket. From 1994 to 1999, he worked as an astronaut support engineer for the NASDA Astronaut Office, supporting the development of the astronaut training program and the evaluation of crew interfaces designs. He also supported astronaut Koichi Wakata during his training and mission on the STS-72 mission.

In February 1999, Hoshide was selected by NASDA as one of three Japanese astronaut candidates for the International Space Station (ISS), together with Dr. Satoshi Furukawa and Naoko Yamazaki.

Hoshide started NASDA’s Basic Training program in April 1999 and was certified as an astronaut in January 2001. He then participated in ISS Advanced Training, while working on development of the hardware and operation of the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” and the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV).

In May 2004, Hoshide was certified as a Soyuz-TMA Flight Engineer. He was dispatched to NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in June 2004. He went through NASA’s Astronaut Candidate Training at JSC for about a year and eight months. After completion of training he was qualified for flight assignments aboard the space shuttle as a Mission Specialist in 2006.

In March 2007, Hoshide was selected as a crew member for the STS-124 (1J) mission, the second of three Kibo assembly-related missions, which delivered the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) “Kibo” to the International Space Station (ISS).

In June 2008, he flew to the ISS on the STS-124 mission. He installed Kibo’s Pressurized Module (PM) on the ISS using the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS). He also operated the SSRMS for relocation of the Experiment Logistics Module-Pressurized Section (ELM-PS). During the mission, he performed Kibo-related activities, such as activations of the PM and Kibo’s robotic arm, the JEM Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS).

In November 2009, he was assigned as a flight engineer for the ISS Expedition 32/33 mission.

From July to November 2012, he stayed on the ISS for 124 days as a flight engineer for the Expedition 32/33 mission. His mission included experiments in Kibo, ISS maintenance, three times of Extravehicular Activity (EVA), and deployment of CubeSats using the JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD). He also supported few unmanned cargo ships which delivered various cargos to the ISS, including H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) “KOUNOTORI3” and Dragon cargo spacecraft (SpX-1). He flew on the Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft (31S) for both launch and return.

In July 2014, he served as Commander of the 18th NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO18), an undersea expedition at the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s “Aquarius” habitat in Florida, USA. 

In March 2018, he was assigned as the Expedition 64/65 Mission crew and Commander of the ISS for Expedition 65 (Second Japanese ISS commander).

He was assigned as the Head of JAXA Astronaut Group from April 2016 (to October 2016).

Thomas Fenske (’76)

Thomas Fenske (’76) graduate from CLASS majoring in English and History and published author of 5 novels is rocking his UH tie as an extra on the set of a new movie, MAKING HIM FAMOUS, currently filming in North Carolina.

April Goldman (MFA ’11)

UH Alum April Goldman to be Published in Ploughshares

Ploughshares, an award-winning journal of new writing,  has announced that “[ into the mountain ]” by April Goldman will be
published in the Spring 2021 issue.

April is a poet living in Truckee, Calif. She earned her MFA in creative writing from the University of
Houston, and her recent work appears in Narrative Magazine, The Kenyon Review Online,
The Journal, and elsewhere.

You can find more information about Ploughshares on their website:

Brenda Christian (’72)

Brenda Christian has published her book “Jobless: Navigating the Unemployment Benefits System” to provide much-needed help to those navigating unemployment benefits in a pandemic economy along with giving the media the knowledge that will allow them to be well-versed when writing stories about this complicated benefit system.

Christian is a retired lawyer who spent more than a decade working for the Texas Workforce Commission. Here she assisted people with the often-confusing pathway to obtain unemployment benefits. Her experience taught her that benefit eligibility is often misunderstood by workers, aided by a lack of access to good information and an abundance of misinformation.

This book gives you everything you need to know about these benefits in an engaging narrative nonfiction story that takes you straight into the fascinating cases at one unemployment claims processing center and the daily drama that occurs both in and out of the office.

Brenda Christian received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Houston. She studied law at Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, England, and received her Juris Doctorate degree from the Southern Methodist University School of Law. She served as an Assistant District Attorney in Dallas, Texas, and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

John J. Hammerle (’65, M.Ed. ’69)

John J. Hammerle (Music Education, ’65, M.Ed., ’69), retired Executive Director of Fine and Performing Arts, Dallas Independent School District, named top Director of Fine Arts in North Texas and recipient of the Hummer Award by the Score a Goal in the Classroom, served as Adjunct Professor, Dallas County Community Colleges, is currently a private instrumental music instructor, and has been a professional performer with the Houston Symphony, American Wind Symphony, and the Dallas Wind Symphony. He has taught in public schools throughout Texas, as well as serving as Supervisor of Music in San Angelo Texas, and Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Texas at Austin. His Internationally famous Westchester High School Band, of the Spring Branch Independent School District, achieved 11 continuous Sweepstakes and numerous Special Awards and trophies. It was the featured band at all Oilers Football home games in the Astrodome. It also captured the coveted Six Flags Over Texas Best of class, topping over 55 bands from 11 states, and won the top honors in the New York Macy’s Parade with 15 minutes of international coverage as the first high school band from Texas in the NY Macy’s Parade. Gov Preston Smith declared an Honorary Day for Hammerle and the band. He is currently an Adjudicator and consultant for National Festivals and consultant for school districts throughout the U.S., most recently serving on the North Central Association of Accreditation of the Chicago Public School Districts.

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.