COLLEGE OF SCIENCE,
ENGINEERING AND
TECHNOLOGY

2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards

 

DEPARTMENT OF AVIATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

JOSE DOBALDO, B.S.
AIRPORT MANAGER, LIBERTY MUNICIPAL AIRPORT

After completing secondary school in Honduras, Jose was awarded a Cooperative Association of States (CASS) scholarship by the United States government to study at Utah Valley University in Provo, Utah. While there he improved his English skills and completed an Associate Degree in Environmental Technology. He received the Golden Achievement Award for his outstanding community service and was recognized for having the highest GPA in the Environmental Technology Department. Upon completing his degree, Jose moved to Panama City, Panama to work for TACA Airlines. During his five years at the Marcos Gelabert International Airport, he held various service and operational positions. In a chance encounter in Panama, he met a woman from Houston, Texas that he would later marry. When he returned to the United States, he discovered the well known aviation program at Texas Southern University and knew it was time to get his aviation degree. During his studies, he expanded his aviation knowledge with the help of his experienced professors. In December of 2011, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management and graduated Magna Cum Laude.

In early 2012, Jose was hired to revitalize and upgrade the 140 acre Liberty Municipal Airport in Liberty, Texas. As manager, he oversaw the $700,000 construction project of twenty t-hangars as well as other projects such as ramp improvements, security fencing, and terminal updates. Jose also refurbished a 24,000 gallon used fuel system purchased for the airport fuel farm. During the past three years, he has tripled the number of based aircraft and increased airport traffic by providing clean, safe facilities and personal service. As manager, he has hosted fly-in events and children’s tours and mentored three Texas Southern University seniors who completed their internships at the airport. Jose knows this is just the beginning in aviation for him and thanks to his degree from Texas Southern University only the sky is the limit.

DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY 

KAREN PENNYWELL, B.S., M.A.
CARDIFF JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL
KATY, TEXAS

Karen Pennywell is a 1996 graduate of Texas Southern University. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a 6th-12th BiologyCertification. She attended Grand Canyon University and received a Master of Arts degree in Teaching.  Karen has been employed with the Katy Independent School District since 1999. She served as a 7th Grade Science Teacher from 1999-2010. She received the Katy ISD AP Science Vertical Teach, 7th Grade Science Curriculum Writer, Science department chair, TEA TAKS-ALT Revision Committee Member, KJH Campus Lead Mentor, Katy Improvement Council, Campus Advisory Teach, and Katy Junior High Teacher of the Year (2002-2003). During the 2010-2011 school year Karen was the JH Science Specialist, TOT-Science Academies 5-8 and the JH Science Revised State TEKS. She is currently employed with Cardiff Junior High School in the Katy Independent School District. She serves as the Instructional Coach for Science, Pre-AP Making the Connections in Science, Science Curriculum Writer, Trainer of Trainings, and is involved with Professional Development (Region 4 Formative Assessment in Science, Vernier Probes, TX Team-Review NGSS, State Review Committee for Science Instructional Materials, and PAEMST Review Committee Member.

DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY

ASHLEY GUILLORY, PH.D.
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MEDICAL BRANCH
GALVESTON, TEXAS

Ashley Guillory graduated magna cum laude from Texas Southern University in 2007 with a B.S. in Chemistry. She completed her terminal degree in Pharmacology in the Department of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Houston in December of 2012. Ashley’s research focused on investigating the molecular mechanisms associated with the maladaptive changes of β-adrenergic receptor signaling in heart failure with the intention of identifying new therapeutic targets for the treatment of heart failure. During her time at University of Houston she was the recipient of several university scholarships, travel awards and other commendations and has presented her research at conferences across the United States. Ashley was also awarded a highly competitive NIH graduate research supplement for her thesis project. Dr. Guillory also serves on several committees of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and was a moderator and planning committee member for the Thirty-Eighth Annual Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy Meeting-in-Miniature. Ashley is currently working as a postdoctoral fellow in the Surgery department at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas in conjunction with Shriners Hospitals for Children-Galveston. This position offers her the unique opportunity to gain experience and training in conducting and managing clinical trials as well as to further expand her training in basic research. She has earned certificates in Advanced Academic Management Skills and Effective Teaching and Mentoring. Ashley will earn a certificate in Translational Research Team Management next spring. Dr. Guillory has been awarded a three year Shriners Hospitals for Children fellowship for project entitled “β-adrenergic and androgen receptor signaling in burn-induced cardiac hypertrophy.” She has been the recipient of many awards and honors since moving to University of Texas Medical Branch including a second place Best Abstract Award for Young Translational and Clinical Pharmacologists. Her long term goal is to continue researching cardiovascular dysfunction in stress-induced diseases and identifying molecular targets for therapeutic interventions.

DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE

EDWIN CUC, M.S., M.B.A.
IT DIRECTOR, NEARSHORING SERVICES
HOUSTON TEXAS

Edwin Cuc enrolled at TSU in fall of 2001 and was a member of the second cohort of the Houston Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (H-LSAMP) students. He graduated from Texas Southern University in May 2007, with a Masters degree in Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics. His career in IT began in the hardware

/IT technical support branch. His decision to take the challenge came via TSU’s engineering Department. As a contract software developer for NASA’s Safety & Mission Assurance Directorate, he was able to apply the principles of software engineering that he learned as a student. During the past 11 years, the various roles in IT that he has held have enabled him to continue to increase his knowledge base. Currently, he works as the IT Director overseeing both the hardware and software operations offering nearshoring services to the healthcare industry. Mr. Cuc proudly encourages students of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. He wants them to know that the tools learned here will serve them a lifetime. He would like to thank the faculty and staff of TSU for enabling him to be well equipped for future.

 

 

 

DEPARTMENT OF ENGINEERING

EMIL BURNS, B.S.
FIELD ENGINEER, AMETEK-CHANDLER ENGINEERING
HOUSTON TEXAS

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Mr. Emil Burns came to Texas Southern University in 2006 after serving 5 years and 2 tours in Iraq for the United States Marine Corps. There he earned the distinction of Sergeant as a Ground Radio Repairman. Emil Burns then received his Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering Technology from Texas Southern University in 2010. After graduation, Emil launched his career in San Antonio, Texas, as an Electronics Technician with Schlumberger Pressure Pumping Services where he became a highly experienced Field Service Engineer and Electronic Technician with extensive background in the maintenance, repair, and reconfiguration of equipment within the oil and gas industry.

After 3 years of extended work days doing hydraulic fracturing with the company, a better opportunity arose with Ametek-Chandler Engineering. There he was offered a better quality of life, and the opportunity to travel. Since joining the company as a “Global Services” Field Engineer at Ametek-Chandler Engineering he has travelled to more than 14 states, 60 cities, and 6 countries including Dubai and Trinidad. Despite his extensive travels, Emil still has plenty of time to spend with his 15 year old son and 6 year old daughter.

Throughout his career, he has used exceptional troubleshooting and analytical skills, along with his attention to detail to inspect, test, and locate a problem and resolve complex technical problems. On a daily basis, Mr. Burns develops practical and thorough technical solutions to complex problems utilizing ingenuity and creativity.

 DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND INTERDISCIPLINARY SCIENCES

ZIVAR YOUSEFIPOUR, PH.D.
COLLEGE OF PHARMACY AND HEALTH SCIENCES, TSU,
HOUSTON, TEXAS

Zivar Yousefipour, Ph.D. is a tenured Associate Professor of Environmental Health at Texas Southern University. She obtained her Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology from Texas Southern University in 2004 and her B.S and M.S degrees in biology and biochemistry from the University of Houston. Her areas of expertise include cardiovascular diseases with studies focusing on mechanisms of acute renal failure, the role of sodium transporters in salt-induced hypertension, the effect of environmental pollutants on the cardiovascular system, and the aging process. Dr. Yousefipour maintains a research laboratory in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences studying the mechanism of environmental pollutants on vascular system. In 2014, Dr. Yousefipour was awarded a four-year, $453,000 grant from the NIH to continue her study on the molecular mechanism of acrolein-induced vascular toxicity. She has been the recipient of several awards including the 2005 Caroline Tum Sudan Professional Opportunity Award from the American Physiological Society. As the result of her work, Dr. Yousefipour has authored or co-authored more than 20 scientific papers in prominent journals. Over the last 7 years she has mentored 2 graduate students and 20 undergraduate students. Dr. Yousefipour has been a member of several professional organizations including the American Heart Association, the American Physiological Society, and the Society of Toxicology. She is a very strong advocate for the environment and has given talks at several high schools in that regard.

 DEPARTMEN OF INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY

JAMES S. WALKER III, B.S.
DIRECTOR, MAINTENANCE, HOUSTON COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM
HOUSTON, TEXAS

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Mr. James Stewart Walker, III serves as Director of Maintenance at Houston Community College. HCC currently has six colleges and over 20 campuses throughout greater Houston totaling approximately 4 million square feet. Mr. Walker has over 15 years of extensive experience as a Construction Management Professional.  He served as Principal Project Manager with James S. Walker Architects where he managed several construction projects within the City of Houston.

Mr. Walker’s passion for teaching and learning has compelled him to join as an adjunct faculty member at HCC where he has taught courses in Construction Management, Introduction to Construction, and Construction Methods and Materials. Mr. Walker holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology from Texas Southern University. He is a Certified Instructor with the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) and is a graduate of the Leadership Excellence Institute (LEI) from Houston Community College.

  DEPARTMENT OF MATHEMATICS

REGINALD TAYLOR, PH.D.
MADING ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
HOUSTON TEXAS

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On July 24, 1974, Reginald E. Taylor was born in Houston, Texas – the son of the first African- American male to earn a Ph.D in mathematics from the University of Houston, Willie E. Taylor and a female teacher whose teaching range spans regular education to special education, Gwendolyn L. Taylor. Coming from two educators, there was no doubt that he would also become an educator as well.

There are innovative teachers and then there are inventive teachers. And then there is Reginald, who is a bit of both. His teaching leadership is best exemplified in his innovative and creative methods he uses to help students of all ages understand mathematics. He calls his methods “edutainment”, keeping it fun for students while they are deeply engaged in the learning process of various concepts in mathematics. His ability to relate the math to real world situations really develops the learning for students. One walks into Reginald’s classroom and finds the environment alive with excitement from the students, passion from the teacher and a “Wow!” factor from his choice of delivery methods. Mathematics or science, Reginald always delivers a lesson that astounds and engrosses the class.

Reginald’s approach to learning is a true inspiration to his students and will no doubt result in many of his students doing great things in the future. This inspiration not only reaches his students, but also his family as well. Reginald is married to Brandy H. Taylor, a preschool teacher. Together, they have 3 sons- William E. Taylor, 10 and twins Daniel E. and David E. Taylor, 8.

 DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS

SAMANTHA J. EVERETT, B.S.
W.H. ADAMSON HIGH SCHOOL,
DALLAS, TEXAS

Samantha received her Bachelor of Science degree in Physics in 2011 from Texas Southern University.  After graduation, she moved back to Dallas to pursue her dream of being an educator and inspiring a future generation of young scientists. Samantha was soon hired by the Dallas Independent School District as a highly qualified teacher. She began working as a middle school substitute teacher and later was given the opportunity to teach Integrated Physics and Chemistry at a local high school. Although it was a rough first year, Samantha was awarded the “Above and Beyond” Award for her hard work and perseverance. Her students love her for her patience, support and relatable personality. She is teaching physics at W. H. Adamson High School in Dallas.

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION STUDIES

ROBEN ARMSTRONG, M.S.
HDR ENGINEERING, INC.
HOUSTON, TEXAS

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Ms. Roben L. Armstrong is an Associate and Transportation Planner with HDR Engineering Inc., responsible for a myriad of transportation projects throughout the nation. Ms. Armstrong has nearly fifteen years of industry experience and has recently added Aviation Program Manager to her resume, responsible for developing the Aviation Market sector for HDR within the Gulf Coast area.

Prior to joining HDR, Ms. Armstrong received a Bachelor of Science in Airway Science Management, and a Master of Science in Transportation Planning and Management; both degrees were obtained from Texas Southern University. Ms. Armstrong began her career as an intern with the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) and progressively came to hold the Senior Environmental Planner position. In this role, she was responsible for ensuring environmental compliance on several of METRO’s projects, including the Main Street, Southeast, East End, and North Corridor rail lines as well as various METRO park & rides. Ms. Armstrong’s commitment to excellence is standard in every aspect of her life and she abides by the scripture, for unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.

She is an active member of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church and has served and continues to serve in several ministries, such as the Courtesy Corp, Pack 242 Cub Scouts, Troop 242 Boy Scouts, the Women’s Guild, and Women’s ministry.

Ms. Armstrong is a founding member of the Houston Chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar, currently serves as the Chapter’s Membership Chair and was just recently elected to the Board of the Houston Chapter and will serve as Director of Membership for the upcoming 2016 calendar year.

She is also very pleased to have served as Co-Chair of the Executive Steering Committee for the College of Science, Engineering and Technology Alumni Chapter of Texas Southern University and currently serves as Secretary of the COSET Alumni Chapter. Ms. Armstrong has one son, Kennedey and enjoys supporting him