University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering


College Bids Farewell to PROMES Program Manager

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Melanie Ziems
Matthews at the 2014 PROMES Banquet
Matthews at the 2014 PROMES Banquet

After 25 years of service to the Cullen College of Engineering, John Matthews, program manager for PROMES and STEP Forward Camp director, will retire on January 31st.

Matthews has been an instrumental part of leading the PROMES program to new heights as well as establishing the very popular STEP Forward Camp. He also took leadership in establishing PROMES Program workshops for current engineering students. PROMES workshops are peer-led, collaborative learning opportunities supporting math, science and engineering courses. The workshops are open to all engineering students, helping them to grasp tough concepts early in their engineering studies.

In addition to all of the work John took on for the PROMES program, he also supports many of the engineering student groups and their various outreach events. “Alumni often say he’s the reason they come back to the college,” said Diana de la Rosa-Pohl, PROMES Program director. “He is an all-around general advisor to our engineering students, both academically and personally.”

Kathy Zerda, former PROMES Program director, worked with Matthews for several years before her own retirement last August. “John developed strong leadership skills in students through the engineering workshops and through the PROMES Steering Committee, an alliance of student organizations associated with PROMES.  He has been a teacher, a mentor, and someone who has advocated for students through his entire career at UH,” she said. “It is really impossible to adequately articulate his impact and dedication through the years.  He is loved by students and alumni who have passed through the PROMES programs, and his mentorship and encouragement has been a game-changer for many. He provided a level of advising and support that has kept students striving to achieve their goals, even when they doubted themselves.  He will be sorely missed."

All faculty, staff and students in the engineering community are invited to bid Matthews farewell on January 28 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Engineering Commons (or “The Pit”).


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