head of class

Houston university named among best schools in U.S. for Hispanic students

Hispanic students thrive at UH, according to this new report. Photo courtesy of University of Houston

Hardly surprising in the most diverse city in the nation, a local college is among the tops in serving the educational needs for Hispanic students.

The University of Houston has been ranked among the top 100 Hispanic-Serving Institutions in the nation by Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine, the school announced.

This is the second consecutive year that UH landed on the list, a press release notes.

Data for the national magazine's annual list is collected from the Department of Education. The 2019-2020 rankings will be published in the October edition of Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine.

Notably, UH became the first public research university in Texas to receive the designation a federally designated Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) in 2011, and has continued on with that distinction since then, a release adds.

Last fall, the UH served more than 15,600 Hispanic students. Meanwhile, in the latest ranking by Hispanic Outlook on Education, UH was named in the top 100 in multiple categories based on data from 2019-2020, including:

  • No.14 for the number of bachelor's degrees granted to Hispanic students
  • No. 25 for total enrollment of Hispanic students
  • No. 48 for total master's degrees awarded to Hispanic students

UH's Hispanic student population earned more degrees than any other student population served, with more than 3,000 degrees earned in the fall of 2020, the schools reports. Four majors rank in the top 10 in the nation for the number of degrees these programs award to Hispanic students, including:

  • No. 4 human/consumer sciences
  • No. 5 business
  • No. 8 architecture
  • No. 8 computer and information sciences

According to population estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau, most of Harris County's growth has come from the Hispanic population, and Texas' Hispanic population has grown by more than 2 million since 2010.

"Not only are we serving a high number of Hispanic students but they are leaving UH with a Tier One degree in hand and limitless opportunity ahead of them," said Paula Myrick Short, UH senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, in a statement. "The success of all of our students— including Hispanic students who make up a third of our student body— is paramount to the success of the University of Houston and the Gulf Coast regional economy."

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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Building Houston

 
 

Panelists from the University of Houston and Houston Methodist discussed tech transfer challenges and opportunities for academic innovators. Photo courtesy

Groundbreaking and disruptive innovations across industries are coming out of research institutions, and their commercialization process is very different from other startups.

An expert panel within Technology transfer discussed some of the unique obstacles innovators face as they go from academia into the market — like patenting, funding, the valley of death, and more.

Missed the conversation? Here are eight key moments from the panel that took place at the University of Houston's Technology Bridge on Wednesday, May 19.

This event was hosted by InnovationMap and University of Houston.

“If your technology can immediately impact some industry, I think you should license out your technology. But if you think that the reward is much higher and does not yet match something in the industry, you should go the high risk, high reward path of doing it yourself. That’s a much more challenging. It takes years of work.”

— Hadi Ghasemi, co-founder of Elemental Coatings and Cullen associate professor in the department of mechanical engineering at the University of Houston, says on how tech transfer usually happens via those two pathways. Ghasemi explains that it also depends on the academic's passion for the product and interest in becoming an entrepreneur.

“There’s a mismatch in that you can have a really clinically impactful technology but still not have money to develop it into a product.” 

— Rashim Singh, co-founder of Sanarentero and a research assistant professor of pharmaceutics at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy, says on the different priorities from within academia and within the market.

“What I’ve seen is if you know you want to patent something, tell the right people early. Make sure you have the right players involved. Our tech office already has venture, Pharma, etc. partners that can help with the patent process.”

— Ginny Torno, administrative director of innovation and IT clinical systems at Houston Methodist

“You don’t need to be fully transparent about your technology. As a company, you need to have some secret sauce."

— Ghasemi says on the patent and paper publishing process. Academics are used to publishing their research, but when it comes to business, you need to hold some things close to the chest.

“One of the most important piece the UH Tech Bridge has provided is the wet lab space to develop these technologies a little further toward commercialization. … Wet lab is very precious space in Houston specifically because there isn’t much here.”

— Singh says on how important access to lab space is to the entrepreneur.

"“You’re starting to see more and more organizations that have innovation arms. ... There are a lot of focus on trying to make Houston another innovation hub, and I think there is more support now than even a few years ago.”

— Torno says on what's changed over the past few years, mentioning TMC3 and the Ion.

“Try to serve private capital as soon as possible. The grant money comes, and those are good and will help you prove out your technology. But once you have private money, it shows people care about your product.”

— Ghasemi says as a piece of advice for potential tech transfer entrepreneurs.

“The biggest gap is to arrange for funding — federal, private, etc. — to support during the valley of death.”

— Singh says on the struggle research-based startups, especially in drug discovery, faces as they fight to prove out their product and try to stay afloat financially.

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