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Distinguished Alumni Highlights

Transportation Alumni

Weijie Zhuo

Distinguished Alumni for 2019

Mr. Weijie Zhuo, received his Master’s degree in Transportation Planning and Management in May 2004. He started to work in Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) as an intern in 2003. In the past 15 years, as a senior transportation planner and modeler, he has been working on various modeling and planning projects, including local tollway, transit, HOV/HOT, commuter rail and major corridor studies. He has been working closely with TxDOT, Metro, the City of Houston and other local government agencies in various transportation projects. Currently, he is working as a senior GIS analyst at H-GAC, who is in charge of network maintenance and providing mapping assistance to internal and external requests. He is an active member of transportation professional organizations and alumni associations, and he always offers his career advice for young professionals.

Jermaine R. Hannon

Distinguished Alumni for 2018

Jermaine R. Hannon is the Assistant Division Administrator (ADA) for the Federal Highway Administration Indiana Division.  He was selected as ADA in 2015.  Jermaine is responsible for managing the day to day operations of the Indiana Division Office, as well as leading a diverse staff of transportation professionals responsible for the stewardship and oversight of Indiana’s $1.1+Billion Federal-aid highway program.  Prior to holding this position, Jermaine served as the Director of Program Development in the FHWA California (CA) Division in which he was responsible for administering the transportation planning, air quality, environment, and realty programs—thus overseeing CA’s $3.5+ Billion Federal-aid highway program.

During his tenure with FHWA, Jermaine has been selected for several special assignments—most recently (2018) serving as Acting Division Administrator for the FHWA Georgia Division.  Other special assignments include Acting Division Administrator for the FHWA Indiana Division, Acting Director of Project Delivery in the FHWA CA Division and most notably US DOT Liaison to the Obama Administration Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Initiative Pilot in Fresno, CA.

As US DOT Liaison, Jermaine provided focused technical assistance to the City of Fresno, CA in delivery of their transportation program.  For his efforts, Jermaine was awarded an FHWA Administrators Award (highest honor award given by FHWA) for Superior Achievement and as well as an EPA Bronze Medal for Commendable Service.

Jermaine joined FHWA in 2004.  He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering Technology from South Carolina State University, a Master of Science Degree in Transportation Planning and Management from Texas Southern University, and a Master of Science Degree in Public Administration from Arizona State University.  Jermaine is a member of the Nation Society of Black Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.  Jermaine is married to his high school sweetheart Adrianna (15yrs) and is the proud father four (Abigail-14, Jayden-8, Collin-6, and Myles-3).

Kenneth Brown

Distinguished Alumni for 2017

Kenneth Brown is a Graduate of South Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and is also a graduate of Texas Southern University with a Master’s of Science in Transportation Planning. As a student at Texas Southern, Mr. Brown was awarded the Eisenhower Fellowship and the TEXITE Outstanding Student Award — both in 2005 and was the Southwest Region Student of the Year in Transportation in 2006. He was also the president of the Texas Southern University Chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers.
Mr. Brown is currently the Manager of Service Planning at the Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority (METRO). He officially began his planning career in 2008 and has been affiliated with the agency for nine years as a consultant and full-time employee. In that time, Mr. Brown has assisted with the implementation of the Northline, Southeast, and Eastend Rail lines. In 2015, Mr. Brown and others successfully planned and implemented METRO’s New Bus Network, which encompassed a redesign of METROs Entire Local Bus System.
Mr. Brown is also very active in the Third Ward community, having devoted more than 13 years of his time to mentoring and community organizing. Mr. Brown is a Chaplin for the Hoops 4 Hope ministry and is the former Lead Servant of Hope to Our Community (H2OC), a community organizing non-profit organization.
Finally, Mr. Brown is the proud husband of Houston Life Reporter Mrs. Dee Brown and a proud Father of his two-year-old son Dylan Brown.

Mahmoud Salehi

Distinguished Alumni for 2016

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.

Roben L. Armstrong

Distinguished Alumni for 2015

Ms. Roben L. Armstrong is an Associate and Transportation Planner with HDR Engineering Inc., responsible for a myriad of transportation projects throughout the nation. Ms. Armstrong has nearly fifteen years of industry experience and has recently added Aviation Program Manager to her resume, responsible for developing the Aviation Market sector for HDR within the Gulf Coast area.

Prior to joining HDR, Ms. Armstrong received a Bachelor of Science in Airway Science Management, and a Master of Science in Transportation Planning and Management; both degrees were obtained from Texas Southern University. Ms. Armstrong began her career as an intern with the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) and progressively came to hold the Senior Environmental Planner position. In this role, she was responsible for ensuring environmental compliance on several of METRO’s projects, including the Main Street, Southeast, East End, and North Corridor rail lines as well as various METRO park & rides. Ms. Armstrong’s commitment to excellence is standard in every aspect of her life and she abides by the scripture, for unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.

She is an active member of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church and has served and continues to serve in several ministries, such as the Courtesy Corp, Pack 242 Cub Scouts, Troop 242 Boy Scouts, the Women’s Guild, and Women’s ministry.

Ms. Armstrong is a founding member of the Houston Chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar, currently serves as the Chapter’s Membership Chair and was just recently elected to the Board of the Houston Chapter and will serve as Director of Membership for the upcoming 2016 calendar year.

She is also very pleased to have served as Co-Chair of the Executive Steering Committee for the College of Science, Engineering, and Technology Alumni Chapter of Texas Southern University and currently serves as Secretary of the COSET Alumni Chapter. Ms. Armstrong has one son, Kennedey and enjoys supporting him

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.

Donald Perkins, M.S.

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.

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 dollars 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.

Robert Morgan

Distinguished Alumni for 2010

Robert Morgan Jr. currently a Visiting Professor at the Texas Southern University and a lecturer at the University of Houston. Certified in Transportation and Logistics, He instructs Transportation, International Logistics, Shipping, Maritime Operations, and Supply Chain Management courses at the University of Houston and Texas Southern University.

Robert Morgan is a graduate of the Department of Transportation Studies receiving a Master of Science in Transportation. Robert Morgan Jr. is the Maritime Academy Manager at the Port of Houston Authority. Serving as the principal contact person responsible for coordination of the Port of Houston Partners in Maritime Education which includes but is not limited to Texas Southern University, Texas A&M at Galveston, Houston, Galena Park, Deer Park, La Porte, Pasadena, and other area Independent School District’s, Houston Community College and San Jacinto College as well as other maritime industry leaders.

Previously, Robert served in the U.S. Navy as commander of two Military Sealift Commands in the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Panama. He is a graduate of the National Defense University and served as a Joint Staff Officer over transportation, logistics and communications for the Middle East, Central America, South America, and Eastern Africa countries. He served as a Logistics Officer at the American Embassy in El Salvador, a Port Operations Officer in Guam, and a Communication Security Officer at the American Embassy in Kenya.

A native of Donaldsonville, Louisiana, He is a life member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., serves as the current president of the NDTA – The Association for Global Logistics and Transportation – Houston Chapter and an active member of the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church.

Aviation Alumni

Derrick Farrow, B.S.

Distinguished Alumni for 2016

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.


Distinguished Alumni for 2015

After completing secondary school in Honduras, Jose was awarded a Cooperative Association of States (CASS) scholarship by the United States government to study at Utah Valley University in Provo, Utah. While there he improved his English skills and completed an Associate Degree in Environmental Technology. He received the Golden Achievement Award for his outstanding community service and was recognized for having the highest GPA in the Environmental Technology Department. Upon completing his degree, Jose moved to Panama City, Panama to work for TACA Airlines. During his five years at the Marcos Gelabert International Airport, he held various service and operational positions. In a chance encounter in Panama, he met a woman from Houston, Texas that he would later marry. When he returned to the United States, he discovered the well-known aviation program at Texas Southern University and knew it was time to get his aviation degree. During his studies, he expanded his aviation knowledge with the help of his experienced professors. In December of 2011, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management and graduated Magna Cum Laude.

In early 2012, Jose was hired to revitalize and upgrade the 140 acres Liberty Municipal Airport in Liberty, Texas. As a manager, he oversaw the $700,000 construction project of twenty t-hangars as well as other projects such as ramp improvements, security fencing, and terminal updates. Jose also refurbished a 24,000 gallon used fuel system purchased for the airport fuel farm. During the past three years, he has tripled the number of based aircraft and increased airport traffic by providing clean, safe facilities and personal service. As a manager, he has hosted fly-in events and children’s tours and mentored three Texas Southern University seniors who completed their internships at the airport. Jose knows this is just the beginning in aviation for him and thanks to his degree from Texas Southern University only the sky is the limit.

Perry J. Miller

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).

Athena Perkins, M.S.

Distinguished Alumni for 2012

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.

Calvin R. Brown, B.S., M.B.A.

Distinguished Alumni for 2010

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).

Corey Shepard, B.S.

2014 Distinguished Alumni

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).