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Higher Education
University of Houston - Clear Lake
News Release
Thursday, October 27, 2011

UHCL honors alumni, outstanding prof


HOUSTON — University of Houston-Clear Lake presented four Distinguished Alumni Awards, two Early Achievement Awards and one Outstanding Professor Award during the annual Alumni Celebration held in October at South Shore Harbour Resort & Conference Center.


Those recognized during the event with Distinguished Alumni Awards included Craig A. Cordola, Bernard Harris Jr., Stephen K. Jones Jr. and The Honorable E. J. (Joe) King. UH-Clear Lake Division Chair of Computing and Mathematics and Professor of Computer Science and Computer Information Systems Kwok-Bun Yue received the Outstanding Professor Award while alumni Christa English George and Nefertari Brown Mundy received the Early Achievement Awards.


“Our seven honorees, six alumni and one professor, make us all proud at UH-Clear Lake,” said UH-Clear Lake President William A. Staples. “We also appreciate and thank the family and friends of our honorees who provide personal and professional support for each honoree.”


“Our event does more than honor great people who are part of UH-Clear Lake story,” said UH-Clear Lake Associate Vice President for University Advancement Dion McInnis. “Proceeds benefit alumni association scholarships.


“With these efforts, the Alumni Association and Distinguished Alumni directly assist hundreds of students.”


Awards were presented to the following attendees:


Distinguished Alumni Award – Craig Cordola


Craig Cordola, who received his Master of Healthcare Administration/Master of Business Administration from UH-Clear Lake in 1998, provides strategic direction for Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, where he serves as CEO of the campus, including Memorial Hermann Hospital, TIRR Memorial Hermann, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute and the Mischer Neuroscience Institute. He also contributes his health care expertise in his role as associate dean of hospital affairs and community partnerships at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. In his dual roles, Cordola works closely with leadership teams at community hospitals throughout the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System to further integrate and align the research, teaching and clinical mission of both institutions.


Distinguished Alumni Award – Bernard Harris Jr.


A 1999 UH-Clear Lake graduate with a Master of Business Administration, Bernard Harris Jr. served as the payload commander on STS-63, the first flight of the new Russian-American Space Program, and was also the first African-American to walk in space. During the momentous flight, Harris logged 198 hours and 29 minutes in space, completed 129 orbits and traveled more than 2.9 million miles, bringing his career total to more than 7.2 million miles in space. He holds a doctorate in medicine and is a member of the American College of Physicians, American Telemedicine Association and the Aerospace Medical Association. His many honors and awards include four honorary doctorates, the NASA Award of Merit, the NASA Equal Opportunity Medal and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal.


Distinguished Alumni Award – Stephen K. Jones Jr.


Since 2008, Stephen K. Jones Jr., who received his Master of Healthcare Administration/Master of Business Administration from UH-Clear Lake in 1996, has shared his leadership skills as CEO with the doctors and staff of the Clear Lake Regional Medical Center where he is responsible for Clear Lake Regional Medical Center, Clear Lake Heart and Vascular Hospital, Mainland Medical Center, Bay Area Surgery Center, CLRMC Breast Diagnostic Center, CLRMC Wound Treatment Center, Calder Urgent Care and two freestanding emergency clinics. Under Jones’ leadership the center implemented several new clinical programs including a pediatric surgical program, surgical robotics program, and neuro-hospitalist program; opened a pediatric emergency room; and created a cardiology center of excellence.


Distinguished Alumni Award – The Honorable E. J. (Joe) King


For the past 42 years, The Honorable E. J. (Joe)King has served the residents of Brazoria County in a variety of ways including as a Department of Public Safety state trooper, a Brazoria Police Department lieutenant, sheriff and, currently, county judge. His many honors include being selected by the FBI to attend the FBI National Academy, one of the highest honors a non-federal law officer can receive. He has received the Tom Tellepsen Award from the Sheriff’s Association of Texas and the Citizenship Award by the Bay Area Council Boy Scouts of America. He is past president of the Brazoria County Peace Officers Association and the Southeast Texas Association for Identification and Investigation Officers.


Outstanding Professor Award – Kwok-Bun Yue


A native of Hong Kong, UH-Clear Lake Professor of Computer Science and Computer Information Systems Kwok Bun Yue now makes Houston home, much to the benefit of UH-Clear Lake computer science students. Before coming to the U.S., Yue worked as a journalist and a high school teacher. He came to the U.S. to attain his graduate and doctoral degrees in computer science and then, in 1988, joined UH-Clear Lake as a faculty member in computer science. His research includes Internet computing, semi-structured data and computing education. He received the UH-Clear Lake Distinguished Teaching Award in 1993, was selected as the UH-Clear Lake Piper Award Nominee in 1994 and received a UH-Clear Lake Faculty Fellowship in 2002.


Early Achievement Award – Christa English George


Christa English George, who received her Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies in 1995 from UH-Clear Lake, serves NASA Johnson Space Center as the technical supervisor for its Scientific and Technical Information Center. Her work supports three libraries, the repositories for video and still-imagery, and the taxonomy effort responsible for identifying and mapping thousands of terms in an organized structure for use by the NASA community.


Early Achievement Award – Nefertari Brown Mundy


Nefertari Brown Mundy received her Master of Science in Counseling during 2006 and her Master of Science in Educational Administration during 2009. She began her career as a third-grade teacher in Galveston Independent School District, but after only three years in the classroom, she realized her true passion was counseling. After returning to UH-Clear Lake for two master’s degrees, she quickly moved into counselor positions in Galveston, Las Vegas, Nev., Pearland and Angleton. In summer 2010, she joined Houston Independent School District as manager of counseling services, where she has redesigned its comprehensive school counseling program, ensuring equitable implementation across the district.


“The richness of the stories we heard tonight serve as a reminder of the richness of UH-Clear Lake’s story,” said McInnis. “As universities go, UH-Clear Lake is a youngster, but already it reflects great character because of those who have graduated from here.”


For more information about the Distinguished Alumni Awards and the UH-Clear Lake Alumni Association, visit or call 281-283-2021.


University of Houston-Clear Lake offers 40 undergraduate and 45 graduate degree programs, including a doctoral program, from its four schools, which include the School of Business, School of Education, School of Human Sciences and Humanities, and School of Science and Computer Engineering. For more UH-Clear Lake news and information, visit UH-Clear Lake’s newsroom,, or follow UH-Clear Lake on Facebook,, and Twitter,


Photo: University of Houston-Clear Lake Associate Vice President for University Advancement Dion McInnis (standing, left) and President William A. Staples (standing, right) presented the Distinguished Alumni, Early Achievement and Outstanding Professor Awards during the 2011 Alumni Celebration in October. Pictured (standing l to r) are Mcinnis; Distinguished Alumni Award recipients The Honorable E. J. (Joe) King and Bernard Harris Jr.; Outstanding Professor Award recipient Kwok-Bun Yue; and Staples; (sitting, l to r) Distinguished Alumni Award recipient Stephen K. Jones Jr.; Early Achievement Award recipients Nefertari Brown Mundy and Christa English George; and Distinguished Alumni Award recipient Craig A. Cordola. Photo by Mark Kinonen.

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