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President’s Speaker Series: The Big Questions

President's Speaker Series: The Big Questions. Conversations to shape our collective future.

Located in the nation’s fourth largest and most diverse city, UHCL is a future-orientated public urban university located next to NASA-JSC, serving a highly diverse student population and a technologically evolving economy.

The Big Questions Speaker Series is focused upon the most critical educational, social, environmental, and technological challenges facing higher education and communities, and presents differing perspectives and authoritative world-class experts to address both challenges and opportunities. The overall purpose of this series is to create awareness, foster informed dialogue, and create communities of practice bearing upon our collective futures. 

Spring 2021 Series

April 23, 2021: Mental Health and COVID-19: How Can Higher Education Help?

Speaker: Dr. Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D. | Video Presentation*

Dr. Joshua Gordon

Dr. Joshua Gordon has been the director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) since 2016. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of California, San Francisco, and completed his psychiatry residency and research fellowship at Columbia University. He joined the Columbia faculty in 2004 as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, where he conducted research, taught residents and maintained a general psychiatry practice. 

His work, which has been recognized by several prestigious awards, has direct relevance to schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and depression. 

Faculty and Staff Panel:

  • Cindy Cook, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, Executive Director of Counseling, Health and Career Services 
  • Roberta Leal, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Social Work, College of Human Sciences and Humanities
  • Dorothea Lerman, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Director, Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, College of Human Sciences and Humanities
  • Mary Short, Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Psychology and Department Chair for Clinical, Health and Applied Sciences, College of Human Sciences and Humanities
  • Rick Short, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, College of Human Sciences and Humanities

*Disclaimer: References to NIH or NIMH during this presentation are not intended as endorsements by NIMH of any products or services.

April 9, 2021: Public Health Access and Pandemics: How Can Higher Education Help?

Speaker: Dr. Peter J. Hotez, M.D., Ph.D.| Video Presentation

Dr. Peter J. Hotez

Dr. Peter J. Hotez is a professor of pediatrics and molecular virology at Baylor College of Medicine, where he is also co-director of the Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development and Endowed Chair in Tropical Pediatrics. He is also a vaccine scientist who led the development of vaccines to prevent and treat neglected tropical diseases and coronavirus infections. 

Dr. Hotez obtained his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his M.D. and Ph.D. from Weil Cornell Medical College and Rockefeller University. He is the author of more than 550 scientific articles and four books. 

Faculty Panel:

  • Karen Alexander, Ph.D., Director of Nursing, Assistant Professor,
    College of Human Sciences and Humanities
  • Bill Amonette, Ph.D., Associate Professor in Exercise and Health Sciences,
    College of Human Sciences and Humanities
  • Femi Ayadi, Ph.D., Professor of Healthcare Administration, College of Business
  • Isabelle Kusters, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Exercise and Health Sciences,
    College of Human Sciences and Humanities
  • Jordan Mitchell, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Healthcare Administration,
    College of Business
  • Dawit Woldu, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Anthropology,
    College of Human Sciences and Humanities

Fall 2020 Series

Nov. 13, 2020: Diversity, Inclusion and Globalism in Higher Education 

Speaker: Dr. James A. Anderson

Oct. 30, 2020: How Do We Prepare for the Future of Higher Education? 
  • Starting a New University and Transforming for the Future 
    Panelists: Dr. Peter Bishop, Dr. Chris Dede and Jennifer Jarratt | Panel Recording

  • The 60-Year Curriculum 
    Presenter: Dr. Chris Dede | Slides | Session Recording

  • The Transformation of Work in a Post-Pandemic World and Digital Econom
    Presenter: Jennifer Jarratt | Slides | Session Recording

  • How to Integrate Future Thinking into Your Curriculum 
    Presenter: Dr. Peter Bishop | Slides | Session Recording

  • Virtual Reception and Q&A | Session Recording



  • President's Speaker Series


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