Posts Tagged ‘Career News’

Karen M. Whitney (’82, M.A. ’90)

Karen M. Whitney, a nationally recognized higher education leader, has been selected to serve as interim chancellor of the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS), University of Illinois System President Tim Killeen announced today.

Whitney is the president emerita of Clarion University in Pennsylvania and recently served as interim chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. She takes over from Chancellor Susan J. Koch, who has announced plans to retire from UIS effective June 30. Whitney’s appointment as interim-designate, pending approval by the Board of Trustees, is effective June 8, allowing her to work alongside Koch for a period before assuming the role of interim chancellor on July 1.

Killeen said Whitney will bring a wealth of relevant experience to UIS and its more than 4,200 students and more than 1,100 faculty and staff.

“Karen has deep experience working with higher education boards, administrative leaders and faculty, building consensus around common goals,” Killeen said. “At Clarion, she led an institution that is very similar to UIS in size, scope and mission. She is an ideal choice to build upon Susan’s work, which strengthened UIS and put it on the road toward becoming a regional force for progress.”

Whitney said she was excited to be selected to guide UIS as it searches for a permanent chancellor, particularly leading the university during the COVID-19 pandemic, a period she said only heightens the need for the kind of education UIS provides.

“I’m thrilled and honored to come to Springfield to lead a university at this incredible moment in time,” Whitney said. “I am drawn to the mission and vision of the institution, the way UIS has positioned itself to be the capital city’s university with an emphasis on leadership development – that is, I think, an extremely important role in American society today.”

A nationwide search for a permanent chancellor is expected to begin later this year. Whitney’s appointment is for one year or until a permanent chancellor is named.

As interim chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education in 2017-18, Whitney led 14 universities serving more than 100,000 students and employing more than 12,000 faculty and staff. The system has a $2.3 billion annual operating budget.

Whitney used her expertise in higher education finance and administration to work closely with Pennsylvania lawmakers regarding budgetary issues. In addition, she collaborated with civic and business leaders to ensure continued investment in the Pennsylvania State System’s campuses and appreciation of the value they bring to the state.

She also worked with the system’s 14 presidents to increase enrollment and foster stronger partnerships and leadership development across the system.

During her seven years as president of Clarion, Whitney led the university’s 5,200 students and more than 700 faculty and staff through both reorganization and the transformation of academic priorities. Based on the needs of regional industry and its workforce, Clarion became a leader in offering innovative professional programs in business, education, health and human services.

Before leading Clarion, Whitney was vice chancellor for student life at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis from 1999 through 2010. Previously, she served in leadership positions at the University of Houston and the University of Texas at San Antonio.

She holds a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin in higher education administration, a master’s degree from the University of Houston in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Houston.

Whitney was chosen from a field of candidates referred by The Registry, a firm that specializes in identifying leaders to fill interim roles in higher education. The candidates met with both Killeen and Executive Vice President and Vice President for Academic Affairs Barbara Wilson. Killeen and Wilson also consulted key stakeholders at UIS.

Koch has led UIS since 2011, a period during which the university added programs designed to meet the needs of local and regional employers, including degrees in information systems security, data analytics, theatre, exercise science and nursing. Under her leadership, UIS achieved record fundraising that helped build the new $21.7 million Student Union and increase scholarship support.

Koch has been appointed UIS chancellor emerita, effective July 1.

“Susan has been the ideal leader for UIS, a capstone to a tremendous career,” Killeen said. “We wish her and her husband, Dennis, a rewarding and well-earned retirement.”


Rómulo Crespo (’96, M.Ed ’03, Ed.D ’15)

Rómulo (Rom) E. Crespo, Ed.D, was named principal of Baytown Lee High
School in the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District

Julie Fernandez (EdD ’12)

Charleston Southern University welcomes Dr. Julie Fernandez as dean of the College of Education. Fernandez will assume her duties on Jan. 1.
“We are looking forward to welcoming Dr. Julie Fernandez to the College of Education at Charleston Southern,” said Dr. Jackie Fish, vice president for academic affairs. “She has a heart and conviction for our mission; her success in other leadership roles has established her ability to lead us forward as the College of Education continues to grow. Julie has already begun meeting with our education faculty via Zoom, and she is excited to join the CSU family.”
Fernandez was appointed dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences at Houston Baptist University in 2018. Her research interests include school culture and climate, teacher leadership development, and organizational health-based leadership.
She is co-author of the book “Influencing Student High Achievement through School Climate: A Quantitative Approach to Organizational Health-based Leadership.”
At HBU, Fernandez taught undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral courses in education. She served as an assistant professor before being appointed program coordinator of the education administration program and then department chair of leadership and counseling before being named dean. Her desire to incorporate a Christian worldview into school leaders’ development led to her joining the HBU faculty in 2015.
“One look at Dr. Fernandez’s education, experiences, expertise, and calling demonstrates that the Lord has used her entire career to prepare her to lead the College of Education at Charleston Southern University,” said President Dr. Dondi Costin. “Even better, one minute of conversation with her reveals a heart for God, a deep love for students, a strong desire to serve educational leaders throughout our community, and a passion to lead her faculty colleagues in all of the above. After four decades of being geographically separated from her Lowcountry roots, it’s a high privilege to welcome her home.”
Fernandez has been an educator for 36 years. Upon graduation from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, she and her husband moved to Houston, where she taught elementary and junior high school for 11 years. After earning a master’s degree from the University of Houston-Clear Lake in reading and postgraduate work in education administration, she was an elementary school assistant principal and principal in Clear Creek Independent School District and then principal in a Title 1 elementary school in Houston Independent School District.
Fernandez earned her doctorate from the University of Houston in executive leadership in 2012, where her research focused on Transformational Leadership in Public School Principals. After graduating from UH, she became a full-time faculty member in their Educational Leadership program. She taught graduate and doctoral students in educational leadership and served as a chair of numerous dissertations.
Fernandez and her husband, Robert, have been married 35 years, and they have two grown daughters, Mary, a chemical engineer, and Sarah, a pediatric nurse practitioner. In Houston, Fernandez and her husband were active members of their church, where they led small home groups, coached small group leaders, and led Bible studies.
About Charleston Southern University 
Founded in 1964, Charleston Southern University is a private, Christian liberal arts university.
With an enrollment of 3,459 students, CSU is one of South Carolina’s largest accredited, independent universities and has been recognized as one of America’s Best Christian Colleges, America’s 100 Best College Buys, U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs (#11 nationally in 2020), U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans (#8 nationally in 2020), Colleges of Distinction, VA Yellow Ribbon Program and a Military Friendly School.
Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, CSU offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Students can learn online or in the classroom.
The university’s vision is to be a Christian university nationally recognized for integrating faith in learning, leading and serving.

Adell M. Pickens (M.B.A. ’00)

UH Alumni Adell Pickens launched Inclusion Theory, an equity crowdfunding platform launching to help address the racial wealth gap and connect underfunded minority entrepreneurs to investors.

Adell is a graduate of  the C. T. Bauer School of Business in the MBA Finance program, class of 2000.


Press Release:

Juanita J. Hall (M.Ed. ’14)



July 2019 – Became Editorial Review Board Member for Journal of College Academic Support Programs (J-CASP).

Also presented at University of Houston 6th Annual Innovative Teaching and Learning Symposium (ILTS), April 2019 – titled “Student Success Strategies: Evoking Powerful Interdependence”, the National College Learning Center Association (NCLCA) 34th Conference, Racing Toward Student Success Conference, October 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky – titled “Bringing Old School Back: POP – Power of the Planner”, and was approved to present for the Association for the Coaching and Tutoring Profession (ACTP) in Atlanta, Georgia, March 2020 but it was cancelled do to Covid.

February 2020 – Keynote Speaker at Louisiana State University in Alexandria, Louisiana.

Message from Juanita:

Communication has always been my #1 leadership skill and once again it proved to be helpful in 2019, when I spearheaded UH’s Women’s Basketball Mentor Program in 2019 including matching 99% of mentors to players.

Collaborated with another UH campus division and brought UH First Gen Champion program to fruition 2019. It has been greatly successful.

Professor Hall Planner to be released soon! Created intentionally to be the best time management tool for a productive and successful year. Finally, a motivating time management tool designed to help turn stress into success, make strategic, smart and significant choices for success in college and manage time to increase productivity, and do it all easily. It is a one of a kind, work-life, personal ‘strategic’ planner/organizer to identify goals, build a strategy to execute the steps to achieve them, and then create the systems to repeat success steps for optimal performance every day. It is a remarkable planner that is full of PROVEN student success strategies, tips and tools that will keep students on track managing day-to-day tasks toward achieving academic, personal and professional goals.


Edward Carrizales (’13)

Alum Edward Carrizales was featured in an article from Voyage Houston


Article Text:

Today we’d like to introduce you to Edward Carrizales.

Edward, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was born in McAllen, TX but raised here in Houston, TX. I was the first in my family to graduate from High School and attend college.

I grew up in NW Houston, TX in Spring Branch. Growing up, we didn’t have much but both of my parents provided me the essentials in order to follow my dreams. I ended up graduating from Scarborough High School in 2009 as the class valedictorian and was awarded the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Scholarship and the Jesse H. Jones Scholarship.

My first two years, I attended Texas A&M University but decided to transfer to The University of Houston where I ended graduating with Magna Cum Laude honors in 2013. This was the best decision ever and at the University of Houston, I flourished into the individual that I am today.

In 2012, I was awarded the Latino of the Year award by Deloitte at the annual Association Of Latinos Professionals For America at their annual convention. This was a nationwide award and was also awarded a 10,000 scholarship.

Currently, I work for Amegy Bank as a Business Systems Analyst and recently was the President of the UH Hispanic Alumni Association. From 2018 to the beginning of 2020, I helped the organization grow and raise over $25,000 towards scholarships. From 6 Board Member to 25 now, the organization has become one of the leading organizations on campus.

I’ve been awarded Community Service awards from my company as I’m involved heavily in the community. Some of my roles include being a board members to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Alumni Task Force, Committee Members for the Information Services Committee, member of the Hispanic Alumni Association and recently was asked to join the UH Alumni Foundation Board.

I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without the help of many individuals that have paved the way for me to be successful.  From my parents to my amazing mentors, I’ve been blessed with a great support cast that I’m forever thankful to.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Not at all, I come from a humble and hard-working family. Growing up as a First-Generation College Student, everything is new and obstacles come at you daily. Wondering how you are going to pay for school, wondering what you need to do in order to succeed are questions that I asked myself daily.

My first obstacle was trying to go to college. My parents didn’t have the money to pay for my education. I was fortunate enough to apply to over 25 scholarships during my senior year that I was able to pay for part of my education that way. The other method was to work part-time while being a full-time student to pay for the rest of my education and to help my family with household bills.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
In the last few years, I’ve been heavily involved in the community. In 2017, I graduated from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Emerging Leader Institute and decided to give back to my community.

I started by getting involved at the University of Houston Hispanic Alumni Association. I started out as the Special Events Chair, where we planned new events such as a Loteria Night in order to raise funds for scholarships. A year later, I was appointed as President of the organization and was tasked with growing the organization. In 2018, we only had six active board members planning big events such as our 1st ever Fashion Show, which turned out to be successful. It was no easy task but word started spreading and more Alumn started getting involved and helping us out throughout the year with our other events such as our famous soccer tournament. In 2019, our board grew to 15 active board members and we were able to raise over $10,000 for scholarships that year. Today, we have over 20 active board members and continue to grow.

I was also one of the youngest recipients of the BILLIE SCHNEIDER OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER AWARD. The Billie Schneider Outstanding Volunteer Award recognizes alumni who exemplify a spirit of volunteerism to advance UHAA’s mission. This award will be given to me at the UH Alumni Gala in November of 2020.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Definitely some luck but I like to say that I have been blessed in my life. There’s been many obstacles thrown at me but I’ve always had the opportunity to overcome them and continue on my way of realizing my life journey.

Contact Info:

Laura I. Alvarez (’08)

Laura has began work as the Education Marketing Project Specialist in Public Affairs for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Kazi Anwar (’01)

Anwar started as a Linux System Engineer for Propietary Trading in Jan 2020.

John G. Pate (’57)

Message From John:

I am a class of 1957 journalism graduate and a one-time reporter for the Houston Post. I was later the owner of a Houston-based public relations agency. I now live in Vero Beach, Florida and would like to re-establish contact with some of my fellow 1957 journalism graduates.

Most Kindly,
John G. Pate

Reginald E. McKamie, Sr (J.D. ’86)

UH Law Center Alum Reginald McKamie served 30 years in the Navy Reserves before retiring.  Below is an outline of his military career

A recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal and the Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal. 

Appointed by President William J. Clinton Captain, U. S. Naval Reserve; Commanding Officer, NR Military Sealift Command Office Korea 111; NR Mer Mar Readiness Op Command 0420, San Francisco, CA; NR Military Sealift Command Office Houston 210; NR Mer Mar Readiness Op Command 0310, New Orleans, LA; Commanding Officer U. S. Navy Military Sealift Command Office Panama Canal Zone.