Posts Tagged ‘Career News’

Bonnie Labdi (PharmD ’02)

UH alum Bonnie Labdi started a new position as the Clinical Director of Oncology at Agilum Healthcare Intelligence, an analytics company based out of Deerfield Beach, Florida.

Bonnie has 19 years of experience in clinical pharmacy practice, providing evidence-based care to oncology patients in a wide variety of healthcare settings. As a member of Agilum’s Clinical Solutions team, Bonnie utilizes her knowledge and experience in developing, promoting, and providing pharmacy and analytic consulting services to clients, who are then able to provide the highest level of care for their patients at the lowest possible cost.

Prior to joining Agilum, Bonnie maintained a clinical practice at Memorial Hermann Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. While at Hermann, she held an academic appointment as a clinical assistant professor at the University of Texas McGovern Medical School. Bonnie previously practiced at other healthcare facilities in the Houston area, including the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Bonnie has written several articles for peer-reviewed journals, authored textbook chapters, and presented research at national and international medical conferences. She is an active member of several professional organizations, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Hematology, and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, among others, and has held various leadership positions within these organizations.

Bonnie received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Houston College of Pharmacy. She completed both her pharmacy practice residency and her specialty practice residency in hematology/oncology from Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Temple, Texas. Bonnie is certified by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties in oncology and maintains her license to practice pharmacy in her home state of Texas.

Ms. Ieva Szentivanyi (M.A ’91)

For the past 22 years or so UH Alum Ieva Szentivanyi has been studying and transposing ancient Latvian poetry into English. This is significant as these poems have been identified by UNESCO as non material cultural treasure and thus worthy of being brought to the attention of more people as part of Western Civilization. Her first volume “Dainas, Wit and Wisdom of Ancient Latvian Poetry” was published in 2018 with 450 of these quatrains generously supported by her explanatory commentary. The second volume she anticipates to see shortly, and she is currently working on Volume 3.

According to Ieva, who earned her Masters degree in Applied English Linguistics from UH, “These poems contain the essence of an old and gentle culture in the words of the people of that day. They speak of all their experiences, including the misery of serfdom and wars, the joy of beauty, a festival, or a good harvest , and their trust in God. There is even a daina that coolly describes observing a UFQ! The ethics is higher than in the Commandments.”

This poetry had not been previously transposed into English because it was popularly accepted as impossible due to the differences in the structure of the two languages. There were only a few translations that retold the main point, without attention to rhythm, or syllable count or expressions of affection for all. Ieva’s goal is to transpose some 2000 dainas, a small fraction of the million plus, in hopes they will inform and amuse us and expand our appreciation of the wisdom of our ancestors.

Mr. Bill Hickl (’86)

Bill Hickl, Class of 1986 and a Partner with the Accounting Firm of BDO, was recently promoted to Office Managing Partner – Houston Tax. Bill has spent his entire 35 year career in Public Accounting since graduating from the University of Houston with a BBA in Accounting.

Sidnei McCarty (’11)

UH Alumnus Leads US’ First Online Casino

2011 UH Alumnus, Sidnei McCarty, is the first Branding and Communications Manager for
Evolution, America’s 1st live, online casino.
McCarty will develop and manage the marketing-recruitment strategy to brand the company and
to hire personnel across North America.
Evolution is the world’s largest developer and supplier of online casino games. Globally, the
Company operates 10 studios in 20 countries, employing 10,000 personnel. The players are
virtual, and the dealers are live and masked in the studio.
Launching its Southfield, Michigan studio in early May, the company is hiring 200 personnel in
the Detroit area, including Casino Dealers, Game Hosts, Recruiters, Studio Technicians,
Trainers, and Floor Supervisors.
Michigan legalized online gambling in early 2021. Online betting is legal in only 4 states:
Michigan, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and West Virginia.
In North America, Evolution broadcasts 24/7 in 4 studios situated in Atlantic City, New Jersey,
Southfield, Michigan, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Vancouver, Canada.

McCarty is the 1st and only African-American woman in a leadership role at
Evolution. McCarty is the Host/Producer of FlavaFull, a travel vegetarian
cooking show, and the entrepreneur/CEO of Sid Simone Staffing, which
she launched immediately after completing her BA in Broadcast
Journalism, and Certificate of Program for Excellence in Selling (PES) at
the University of Houston.

David Baluk (J.D. ’11)

The law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto,
Aziz & Stogner is proud to announce that David Baluk has joined the
firm as an Associate. David is dedicated to representing individuals
and family members who have been injured or killed as a result of
another’s negligence. His current legal practice focuses on a wide
range of personal injury matters, including catastrophic injuries,
workplace injuries, product liability, premises liability, wrongful
death, and 18-wheeler, commercial vehicle, and automobile
accidents. He is licensed to practice in Texas and is admitted to
practice in the United States District Courts for the Southern and
Eastern Districts of Texas and the United States Court of Appeals for
the 5th Circuit.
Prior to joining Abraham Watkins, David practiced at two prominent trial law firms in Houston, a

plaintiffs’ firm and a defense firm, where he litigated cases in over 23 states and obtained multi-
million dollar verdicts and favorable settlements on behalf of his clients. Throughout his legal

career, he has successfully litigated numerous automobile and trucking accidents,
pharmaceutical, premises liability, product liability, workplace injuries, toxic tort and chemical
exposure cases. He now applies this experience and the skillset he honed in courthouses
throughout the United States to his cases at Abraham Watkins.
Born and raised in New Jersey, David credits his blue-collar roots for his tireless work ethic. He is
a magna cum laude graduate of Washington and Lee University, where he graduated with a
degree in Economics and was inducted into Omicron Delta Epsilon, an International Economics
Honor Society. He later moved to Texas and attended the University of Houston Law Center,
serving on the board of the Houston Journal of International Law and earning the honor of Editor
of the Year. While attending law school, David was also a Law Clerk at Abraham Watkins, where
he received his first exposure to plaintiffs’ personal injury work.
David has been recognized on the Texas Rising Stars list since 2018. He is active in the legal
community as a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Houston Trial Lawyers
Association, Houston Bar Association, Houston Young Lawyers Association, and Texas Bar

Todd Calvin (’89)

Todd Calvin, PE, was recently elected as a shareholder for BGE, Inc. Todd joined BGE in 2018, and he is currently the director of Public Works in BGE’s Houston region. He has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Houston.

Michael Urbis (’85) and Larry McClaugherty (’72)

The Texas Hill Country is Alive with Houston Cougars

After retirement, Larry McClaugherty and his wife Kathy moved to the Texas Hill Country. In a short time Larry has successfully connected UH Cougars living in the Texas Hill Country.

Larry McClaugherty (’72) and Michael Urbis (’85) are connected through Robstown, Texas, The University of Houston and the Texas Hill Country. Larry and Michael both grew up in Robstsown – even living across the street from each other. Michael graduated from the UH Bauer College of Business.

Now they all live in the Texas Hill Country and are part of the Hill Country Houston Cougars. Recently Michael stopped by the McClaugherty home for a photo op with Houston Cougar Boulder.

The “Boulder” is from Boulder Design at the Texas Wildseed Farm in Fredericksburg.

Bill Morgan (’63) and Larry McClaugherty (’72)

The Texas Hill Country is Alive with Houston Cougars

After retirement, Larry McClaugherty and his wife Kathy (also a UH graduate) moved to the Texas Hill Country. In a short time Larry has successfully connected UH Cougars living in the Texas Hill Country.

Larry McClaugherty (’72) and Bill Morgan (’63) are connected through their hometown of Robstown, Texas, and The University of Houston and the Texas Hill Country. Larry and Bill are graduates of the University of Houston College of Pharmacy.

Bill’s first job out of pharmacy school was at City Drug in Robstown. Now they all live in the Texas Hill Country and are part of the Hill Country Houston Cougars. Bill recently stopped by the McClaugherty home for a photo op with Houston Cougar Boulder.

The “Boulder” is from Boulder Design at the Texas Wildseed Farm in Fredericksburg.

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.

Vanessa Gilmore (J.D. ’81)

Houston judge becomes trailblazer for women in law with historic career on federal bench
By Gina Gaston
Wednesday, March 10, 2021 6:00PM

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Judge Vanessa Gilmore is a trailblazer in the legal field who made history when she took the federal bench.

But Gilmore will be leaving the bench on January 2, 2022, pivoting to a destination unknown.

She already bought a retirement gift for herself.

“I just wanted to have a ring that symbolizes me leaving the gilded cage of the federal judiciary and going out into the world,” she said.

In 1994, Gilmore was the youngest ever appointee to a federal judgeship at just 36 years old.

A legal career wasn’t the plan when she enrolled at Hampton University, historically Black college and university, at age 16 to study fashion.

After graduating, she worked as a buyer for Foley’s in downtown. Then an inside job apartment burglary changed everything.

“I filed my little lawsuit, went to court, tried my little case, got me a little bit of money. I thought, ‘Hang on. I could do this some more. I’m going to go to law school.'”

Being a female student at the University of Houston Law School in 1979 was still rare, but she didn’t experience sexism there or when she practiced law.

“Now, do I have lawyers who try to push back on me and think that they might be able to take advantage of the fact that I’m a woman? Of course, I do. Does it work? No.”

And her accomplishments have also not shielded her from racism. You might remember the 2007 trial of Tyrone Williams, the truck driver who smuggled 70 immigrants in the back of his trailer in 2003. Nineteen of them died of dehydration, overheating and suffocation.

Judge Gilmore had Williams’ case, and the other defendants who recruited him.

“I said, ‘I don’t think that this is a death penalty case. Why are you seeking a death penalty against this man? And why are you only seeking a death penalty against this man and not the 13 other defendants that were involved in this case?'”

The fifth circuit took the case from her after she said that.

“There was so much explicit bias in the way that the entire case was handled that it really made me lose confidence in the justice system,” Gilmore said.

The jury eventually agreed with her and Williams was sentenced to life.

Outside of the courtroom, Gilmore speaks to her peers often about implicit bias and to her students about her journey.

Gilmore is also an author of several books, including one for kids who have an incarcerated parent. She lobbied Texas Southern University to start a program to support those families.

“I’m not there in a judicial capacity necessarily. I tell them, ‘I know you don’t think that we’re here to help. You think that we’re just here to put you in jail, but we can help too.'”

But her biggest passion is reserved for her son, whom she adopted when she was 44.

“He got a job as a diaper model, earned some money and we use that and put that money away in his college account.”

Sean is in college now, and his empty nester mom is ready to spread her wings.

Gilmore tells women you can have it all, though not at the same time, and the time has come for her to try something new.

“I’ve enjoyed being here. I would not have picked it for myself but I’m glad it picked me.”

She was the first UH law school grad to sit on a federal bench and is now looking forward to golfing, practicing her salsa dancing, and not shy about saying, making time for romance!