Alumni Highlights

Transporation Alumni

Veronica Green

Veronica Green is a Senior Transportation Planner with more than ten years of public service. She specializes in the development of transformative traffic planning and data governance. She operates currently as traffic data subject matter expert for the Multimodal Planning Division of the Arizona Department of Transportation. Prior to joining ADOT, Veronica was a Research Associate at Texas Southern University’s Center for Transportation Training and Research where she assisted in a variety of projects and publications in the Journal of Airport Management. Veronica was also a Marine Transportation Manager planning the direct discharge of steel and other freight from the Port of Houston, one of the nation’s largest ports. Veronica holds a Master’s degree in Transportation Planning and Management from Texas Southern University and a Bachelor’s in Political Science.

Mahmoud Salehi

Mahmoud Salehi is Principal at Cobb, Fendley & Associates, Inc., and serves as Senior Project Manager overseeing many of the company’s largest and most complex transportation projects. He is a Professional Engineer, member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and a graduate of Texas Southern University.
Mahmoud has over 30 years of experience on major transportation projects consisting of schematic design, feasibility studies, geometric design, detailed PS&E development, traffic studies, capacity analysis of intersections and freeway corridors, cost estimation, hydraulic design, and construction project management. He has designed projects for TxDOT, Harris, Fort Bend, Galveston, Brazoria, Galveston, and Williamson Counties, the City of Houston, and various municipalities.
Mahmoud has been married to wife Nadereh Jahedmotlagh for 35 years and has two children and one grandchild. Daughter Yasamin Salehi graduated from Texas Southern University with a Pharmacy Doctorate, and daughter Nazanin Salehi graduated from the University of Houston Law Center with a Jurisprudence Doctorate degree. Mr. Salehi enjoys history, international travel, and mentoring young professionals.

Donald Perkins, M.S.
City of Houston Council District K
Houston, Texas

Donald Perkins supervises the District K council office. District K is a new council district, created through the City of Houston redistricting process in 2011, with a new council member, ready for new beginnings. Donald also is the Agenda Director for Council Member Green and works on special projects per the direction of the council member. Donald oversees a staff of four in the council office– Barbara Hite and Claude Foster, Constituent Liaisons for the council district; Lynnette Aizpurua, Scheduler, and Communication Liaison; and Vivian Harris, part-time staffer overseeing special projects. Prior to accepting the role as Chief of Staff, Donald worked within the City of Houston Planning and Development Department, Neighborhood Planning Services Division. He provided planning and technical support services to civic organizations through the Super Neighborhood Program, Historic Preservation, Prohibited Yard Parking Ordinance, and Special Minimum Lot Size/ Building Line Ordinance — all which help to revitalize and improve the quality of life throughout Houston’s communities. A graduate of Texas Southern University where he received a Master of Science degree in Transportation Studies and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (formerly the University of Southwestern Louisiana) where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban and Regional Planning, Donald has been a civil servant for over 16 years. He started his employment as an Associate Planner with the City of Houston and worked his way as a Planner Leader within the Planning and Development Department. Over the years, Donald has participated and coordinated numerous neighborhood conferences in addition to coordinating popular grassroots symposia.

Ruben Howard, Ph.D.
Dean of Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics
City Colleges of Chicago’s Olive-Harvey campus, Chicago, Illinois

Dr. Ruben Howard is the Dean of Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics for the City Colleges of Chicago’s Olive-Harvey campus. In his current role, Ruben is responsible for Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics (TDL) academic programming within the new $44 million dollar TDL Center, currently under construction. 103,000 sq. ft. TDL Center will house programs including automotive technology, diesel technology, public chauffeur training, commercial truck driving, and logistics management. The TDL Center will also include a Central Distribution Center for office products dedicated to City Colleges of Chicago’s seven campuses. The 7000 sq. ft. Central Distribution Center will allow logistics management students to gain hands-on experience in warehousing operations and distribution before graduating. Ruben currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Calumet Area Industrial Council (CAIC) and is a member of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP). Prior to joining City Colleges of Chicago, Ruben served as the Business Department Chair and Professor of Logistics Management for 10 years with Lone Star College Cy-fair in Cypress, TX. While in Houston, Dr. Howard served on several boards including the CSCMP Houston Roundtable and the Texas Southern University Maritime Transportation Board. Ruben’s industry experience spans over 15 years and includes auto manufacturing, transportation, warehousing/distribution, 3rd party logistics, and military traffic management. Ruben holds a Ph.D. in Business from Capella University, M.S.B.A in Business Administration from Texas A&M University, M.S. in Transportation Management from Texas Southern University, and a B.S. in Airway Science from Jackson State University. During his studies at Texas Southern University, Ruben worked as a graduate research assistant in the Center for Transportation Studies. Dr. Howard considers himself a lifelong learner and actively participates in supply chain, logistics, and workforce education panel discussions and conferences. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf, and mentoring young people.

Aviation Alumni

Derrick Farrow, B.S.
Universal Weather & Aviation, Inc.,
Houston, Texas

Derrick Farrow is a Senior Flight Planning Specialist and Licensed FAA Aircraft Dispatcher with over 18 years of aviation experience at one of the country’s leading business aviation companies, Universal Weather & Aviation, Inc., located in Houston, Texas. Derrick Farrow has undergone extensive training to earn the coveted Aircraft Dispatcher’s certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration. As a Senior Flight Planning Specialist, Derrick has joint responsibility with the captain to regulate corporate aircraft flights according to government and corporate regulations to expedite and ensure the safety of flight, while analyzing meteorological information to select the most desirable and economic route of flight.
Derrick Farrow is a graduate of Texas Southern University and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Science Management. As an active alumnus, Derrick continues to volunteer and mentor current students in the Aviation Science and Technology Department at Texas Southern University. Mr. Farrow is currently pursuing an M.A. in Human Behavior Psychology.
Derrick Farrow is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Appointed in 2013, Mr. Farrow currently serves as Phi Beta Sigma’s Gulf Coast Regional Coordinator for Sigma Beta Clubs. Mr. Farrow is responsible and oversees Sigma Beta Clubs in Texas, Louisiana, and New Mexico. He is a member of the Alpha Beta Sigma Chapter located in Houston. Mr. Farrow is a veteran and currently has over 20 years of military service in the United States Army Reserves.

TSU Graduate Perry J. Miller named Hobby Airport General

Houston Airport System
November 2, 2010

The Houston Airport System announces Perry J. Miller, A.A.E. as the new general manager for William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). Miller was appointed by Mario C. Diaz, director of aviation for the city of Houston.

“The Houston Airport System is a place where the sky’s the limit,” says Miller. “I started as a management intern from Texas Southern University, now I will help lead an airport with one of the best reputations in customer service in the world.”

Miller joined the Houston Airport System in 1991 and quickly climbed the ranks. Prior to his current position, Miller was the acting senior airport manager for George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH).

During his 20-year aviation career, he has become an accredited executive of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAE). Miller obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Airway Science-Management from Texas Southern University in 1990. He also holds a Master of Science degree in Transportation Planning and Management. He is a graduate of the Airport Management Professional Accreditation Program (AMPAP) and is designated as an International Airport Professional (IAP).

Calvin R. Brown

Calvin R. Brown, B.S., M.B.A.
Department of Airway Science and Technology
Air Traffic Control Specialist, Houston Route
Traffic Control Center

Calvin R. Brown is a Graduate of the Department of Airway Science and Technology, Airway Science Management program and the School of Business MBA graduate program. Mr. Brown enlisted in the United States Air Force where he served from July 1987 until 1991, where he was stationed at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, TX; Kessler AFB Biloxi, MS; and Carswell AFB Fort Worth, TX. While in the Air Force, he worked as an Air Traffic Controller. After the Air Force, Mr. Brown enrolled at Texas Southern University (TSU) in January 1992.

While at TSU, he participated in a cooperative education and training program with the Federal Aviation Administration ( FAA) in the Northwest Mountain Region. As a co-op, he worked at the Seattle Air Route Traffic Control Center in Seattle, WA in alternate semesters until he completed my undergraduate work in Airway Science Management. As a co-op, he gained valuable knowledge of the Air Traffic Control field. After graduating from TSU, Mr. Brown worked as a full performance level air traffic controller in Salt Lake City, UT for 4 years. Since July 1999, he has worked as a full performance level air traffic control specialist at the Houston Route Traffic Control Center. Mr. Brown is a Member of the National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees (NBCFAE).

Athena Perkins, M.S.
Acting Federal Security Director
William P. Hobby Airport, Houston, Texas

Athena Perkins is Acting Federal Security Director at William P. Hobby Airport. In this role, she oversees all Transportation Security Operations at Hobby Airport (HOU) and its spoke Jack Brooks Regional Airport (BPT). Since joining Transportation Security Administration in September 2002, Mrs.Perkins has served in leadership roles to include Acting Deputy Assistant Federal Security Director for Screening and Acting Assistant Federal Security Director of Inspections. Mrs. Perkins was initially hired as the Stakeholder Manager at HOU/BPT. In August 2011, she was selected as the AFSD of Inspections for HOU/BPT heading up the Aviation, Cargo and Surface programs. During the evolution of the Transportation Security Administration, Mrs. Perkins served as the Interim Federal Security Representative at William P. Hobby Airport. She was a Civil Aviation Security Specialist with the Federal Aviation Administration from 1997 to 2002. Mrs. Perkins worked at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center from 1990 to 1997. She served proudly in the United States Air Force from 1986 to 1990 in Frankfurt, Germany. Mrs. Perkins has 25 years of Federal Service. Mrs. Perkins is a graduate of Texas Southern University where she attained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Airway Science in 1997 and a Master of Science Degree in Transportation Planning and Management in 2000. Mrs. Perkins is married with three children. She enjoys reading, traveling and spending quality time with her family.

Corey Shepard, B.S.
Pilot, United Airlines
Houston, Texas

Corey Shepard started flying airplanes in the mid-’90s while attending Sterling Aviation Magnet School in Houston, Texas. He later enrolled at Texas Southern University majoring in Airway Science. He was a Frederick Douglass Honors Scholar and a Magna Cum Laude 2002 graduate. Corey was one of the first students from TSU to complete a pilot internship with ExpressJet Airlines. He was later hired as a pilot in 2004 by ExpressJet flying the EMB 145 regional jet. In 2006, he was hired by Continental Airlines to fly the Boeing 737. After the merger with United Airlines, Corey decided to go into management and became the first Black Flight Manager at the Houston base for United. From 2012 to 2014 he was responsible for more than 1000 First Officers based in Houston. Recently, Corey joined the United Pilot Training department as a 737 flight instructor. He is one of 6 African Americans and 2 TSU alumni working in the 737 flight training department. Corey lives in Houston and still volunteers his time mentoring young aspiring pilots at Sterling High School, TSU, and through the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP).