The stage has been set at the upcoming Olympic trials in New Orleans, and the next horses out of Track Coach Tom Tellez's stable of runners are preparing to make their mark on the track-and-field world.
Sam Jefferson and Michelle Collins have qualified for the trials, and they are now awaiting their chance to prove themselves against the country's best competition.
Both athletes are sprinters who will be trying to follow in the footsteps of other successful UH tracksters. In fact, Jefferson, who qualified for the 100-meter dash as a freshman with a time of 10.22 seconds, has been touted as the next Carl Lewis.
"That is a very bold and big statement, one in which, at this time, I cannot live up to," Jefferson said. "Carl is an exceptional athlete, yet he started where I did."
Collins, who plans to race in the 100m and 200m at the trials, has gotten a lot of notoriety since she burst from the gate and into the track-and-field scene with an impressive 11.5 second-100m performance last year. She uses the added attention in a positive way.
"I don't get a big head. Actually, the extra attention from people makes me drive even harder, and I do better," Collins said.
They are both training every day under the watchful eye of Tellez and his staff at Robertson Stadium. That same eye has taken many others to success, including six-time NCAA champion and multiple Olympic gold-medal winner Lewis; former NCAA champion and Olympic gold medalist Joe Deloach; two-time NCAA champion and Olympic silver medalist Kirk Baptiste; and the two-time NCAA indoor long-jump champion and former 100m record holder Leroy Burrell.
Jefferson and Collins also contribute their success to Tellez.
"Tellez and Mike Takaha (sprint coach) really get you where you need to go, if you are willing to go there with time and effort," Collins said.
Jefferson also credited his coach with his success.
"We have the advantage with Tellez, who has studied the art of, may I say, sprinting," Jefferson said. "The man is the best in the business, and that's why I am here."
Despite constant comparisons to the ageless wonder Lewis, the pair also receive plenty of helpful advice from the 100m record holder.
"I've talked to both of them, and they are really eager to learn and are picking up the concepts," Lewis said. "The people that want to be good, they make themselves good. Sam and Michelle take the time to do things that will make them better."
Jefferson said, "After a meet, Carl, Leroy, Joe and Cletus Clark all come up to me and say `Sam, you ran a good race, but these are the things you need to improve on.'
Each athlete has plenty of time to refine their skills and prepare for the trials in the upcoming outdoor season. Both are expected to be in the winner's circle to receive the Southwest Conference sprinting titles.
"Sam better win, or I will break his neck! He has the best talent in the conference, no question," Lewis said. "I think Michelle has a good chance of winning the conference in both sprints, also."




Charlie Sexton is ready to sample the delights of the public spotlight once more.
His latest creative effort is an album with the Arc Angels, a raw-edged, husky-voiced and mighty powerful band that successfully blends intense blues with some amazing rockabilly.
Sexton is known for his solo work. "To suddenly be in a band and share the whole thing isn't easy," said Sexton, a veteran of the limelight who has toured with David Bowie and The Clash.
The Arc Angels' self-titled debut album is set for release April 14. A Texas tour is forthcoming, but no dates have been set, a band spokesperson said.
Sexton, together with Doyle Bramhall, penned the Angels' 12 new songs. Sexton also sings the lead vocals. The tracks blend original rock 'n' roll with some raunchy lyrics.
"Paradise Cafe," the first single set for release, was inspired by Sexton's attitude toward the collegiate lifestyle.
Some of the song's lyrics: "When your mother pays the tuition, and your daddy pays the rent, you can learn a lot in college, although you never went."
But Sexton makes it clear that he doesn't hate students. "I was a student, and I know what it's like. That's what influenced the song.
"I used to eat in this place in Austin. Great food, but a clientele of mostly drunk frat guys doing their mating dance," Sexton explained.
"See What Tomorrow Brings" is a song dedicated to the late Stevie Ray Vaughan. The song was heavily influenced by a gospel choir.
The Arc Angels are a revved-up, roadhouse rock outfit. Sexton surely adds to his already-renowned musical reputation.
Although they're rooted in Texas-style blues, the band also plays some radio-ready rock 'n' roll. "We're about doing what you want in music instead of what someone tells you to do.
"It's really great to get back to the studio after working in film," Sexton said.
He was featured in the 1991 blockbuster Thelma and Louise, playing a rough-looking nightclub singer.
"I was only on screen for about one minute, but it was an interesting experience."
Sexton was recently blasted by the press in his native Austin when his fans felt slighted by his move to Los Angeles.
Now, however, Sexton has forsaken Los Angeles for his Hill Country homeland.
"L.A. is built on a facade where who you are is more important than what you feel," the charismatic Sexton said.
Sexton's star will shine even brighter with the release of this album next month.




There's a new group on campus trying to make students more environmentally conscious.
The Environmental Awareness Group (EAG), formed by three architecture students last fall, is sponsoring a lecture series this semester aimed at educating and raising the consciousness of students about the world's environmental problems.
"It's real informal right now, but (the EAG) is open to the whole campus," said Geoffery Wheeler, junior architecture student and president of the EAG. "I think it's important for college students (to be environmentally aware) since we are the people who will be changing the world."
The first lecture of the series was held last week and featured Richard J. Baldauf, director of the office for environmental education at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
The slide show/lecture took a different approach to making the audience understand the need to clean up the environment.
Baldauf used humor, interesting facts and slides to get the audience's attention.
"If there's one thing we can't stand in this country, it's a meandering stream. We have to straighten those things out," Baldauf said, describing a picture where a housing developer tried to straighten out a stream running through a new subdivision.
Baldauf, who was present at the first Earth Day in 1970, said it has taken 20 years to get the nation thinking about recycling.
"If you spend your money on something and then throw it away, you can bet someone is going to make more that you can throw away," Baldauf said. "It costs money to throw things away, and you know who pays for that."
Baldauf addressed many environmental catastrophes he said are being ignored, such as the use of pesticides.
Pesticides have been found in the fatty tissues of penguins in Antarctica, Baldauf said.
"Does that mean something we did 30 years ago traveled all that way? Do we have that kind of power?" Baldauf said. "You bet your life. This stuff hangs around forever."
Another major environmental dilemma, acid rain, has been put on the back burner while issues such as global warming and species extinction get attention, Baldauf said. Acid rain is actually dissolving Italian monuments like the Great Cathedral, the Coliseum and the Parthenon.
"There are two schools of thought on the problem," Baldauf said. "The first says, `Let's find out what is in the air, find the root of the problem and solve it.'
"The second says, `Let's put it in an air-conditioned plastic dome.' Can you imagine looking at the Parthenon through a dome?"
It's time for everyone to realize what is happening to nature and do something to save it before it's gone, Baldauf said.
"What must happen for the kids in this country is something we must decide on now," Baldauf said. "We need a new perspective, and that is coming about, but it takes a long time to change people."
The next EAG-sponsored lecture will be held at 4:30 p.m., March 10, in room 150 of the Architecture College Building. A meeting of the group will take place following the lecture at 6 p.m. in the atrium.




The UH System officially kicked off its $350 million Creative Partnerships Campaign Tuesday and announced it had already garnered more than $200 million in private gifts.
"Today we're launching the public phase of the Creative Partnerships Campaign, the largest and most successful fund-raising effort in Houston's history," Regent James Ketelson said.
Of the $200.9 million the system has raised, about 80 percent, or $158.8 million, has already been earmarked for UH's central campus.
Sixteen years ago, Ketelson said, UH announced an endowment drive coinciding with UH's 50th anniversary and raised $20 million.
In 1985, the system explored the possibility of raising $100 million, but local leaders said UH was not ready for such an amount, Ketelson said.
But in 1988, he said, the system took the plunge and decided to launch this $350 million campaign.
The UH System Endowment currently has a market value of almost $170 million -- almost $22 million more than its value in 1980, when the total cash gifts to the system came to $5 million. Last year, that total cash gift jumped to $42 million.
During this campaign, John and Rebecca Moores gave UH $51.4 million -- the single largest gift ever given to a public university.
John Moores, now a member of the UH Board of Regents, said, "It's easy to give money away badly, but money is hard to give away well."
Regent Chair John Cater said the partnership's emphasis in this campaign has meant matching the concerns of the community with the strengths of the four system universities.
"As a result, increased educational opportunity has been one of the strongest reasons for giving," Cater said.
He said new scholarships have been endowed in every university, and more productive partnerships have been forged with public schools, businesses and governments.
The stage was set in the beginning of the campaign when it was announced in October of 1990 that the Cullen Foundation gave UH and UH-Downtown $30 million. With the addition of this money, the Cullen Foundation's total gifts exceeded $100 million.
To date, the campaign has received 23 gifts and pledges of $1 million or more and 48 gifts of at least $100,000 each.
With 57 percent of the campaign's $350 million goal already given or pledged, the next phase will focus on the system's four individual universities.
UH System Chancellor Alexander Schilt said that with the success of the leadership phase of the campaign, he is confident that by the fall of 1995, the system will have reached its $350 million goal.
Schilt acknowledged it will take hard work for the system to attain its goals with the current economic conditions, but he said the universities have already laid the groundwork.




The business school is sponsoring a gathering today to lessen the pitfalls and increase the successes of UH entrepreneurs.
Small-business owners will be on hand to share with students the difficulties they encountered when starting out in the business world.
The entrepreneurial mini-fair takes place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 262, Melcher Hall, and is led by members of the Dover Club and the Houston Business Council who own their own businesses.
The Dover Club is unique because none of its members come from the same business, said Timothy Roseborough, director of external relations for the business school and fair organizer. The Houston Business Council consists of only minority businessmen, he said.
"It's always exciting to talk to people who have actually gone through the work process and can actually tell you what to do and talk about their own experiences. Also, you can find out how to develop an idea to make it into a profit-making venture. The fair is open to any student, not just business students, who might be interested," Roseborough said.
The fair's setting is small, to give students the opportunity to talk more freely.
"Conversation is the key. I don't want the students to be intimidated by the companies, but to feel comfortable, like they're talking to their Uncle Joe," he said.
At the fair, students can find out about resources available outside the classroom setting, and faculty and administration officials can find out what is really important to students, he said.
The fair is a preview for industry cluster programs, which will take place twice a month during the next fall semester, he said.
"Some of the industry cluster programs will include mini-fairs, career panels consisting of people coming from different businesses who will talk about team management, and what kind of benefits you can expect from your employer," he said.
Roseborough is working on a survey with other students and faculty to poll incoming undergraduate and graduate students about questions they have about the business world.
Alumni will also be polled to find out what they could have learned in school that would have better prepared them for the business world, he said.
People in the business world are anxious to talk to students about their careers, and they want students to learn from their mistakes so they won't have to repeat them, he said.
Roseborough said he will get the corporate community, the non-profit community and government agencies involved to help answer any questions students may have about the business world.
"I want to encourage any students, business or otherwise, who are interested in starting their own business to come to the fair," he said. "We offer it, it's free, so come and take advantage of this opportunity."




In 1976, Houston-area foster parents asked the UH School of Social Work to develop a program on how to raise problem children, and the Parent Education Program was born, said Angie Grindon, director of the program since 1979.
"Foster parents are on the cutting edge of knowing how to take care of their children because no one else knows how to either," she said. "The real parents of these kids don't know how, so foster parents can't go to them."
The School of Social Work took on the task and directed foster parents to its graduate school's Continuing Education Program, Grindon said. Three- to 10-hour training courses were developed to assist the foster parents, she said.
Grindon said the training courses were expanded from the Houston area to 12 surrounding counties, and then statewide.
"The intention was always for foster parents to develop a continuing education program. After six years of the training courses in Houston, and two years statewide, foster parents were ready to take on the responsibility of continuing their education themselves," Grindon said.
By this time, a lot of information had been acquired to help foster parents, Grindon said. The Texas Department of Human Services (TDHS) asked that the information be circulated, and it provided a grant for the job, she said.
What began as the Foster Education Program developed into a specialized library designed to add to child abuse awareness and education. The name was changed to the Parent Education Program, Grindon said.
The name change occurred when the program's scope expanded from simple foster care to trying to heal abused children, Grindon said.
Since its inception, the program has moved from the School of Social Work to its present location in one small room in the Counseling and Testing Center, Grindon said.
The program's library, called the Clearinghouse Library, contains more than 2,000 books, 60 video tapes, 50 audio tapes and 2,000 handouts on parenting, child abuse, children with special needs and child development, Grindon said. The books and tapes are lent for three-week periods, while the handouts are for keeps, she said.
The library, which operates mostly by mail, is meant to assist foster and adoptive parents and child-care professionals, Grindon said. It is also available for UH faculty, staff and students.
The funds from TDHS pay for the books and tapes, and also for the program's staff.
However, Grindon's staff consists of only one full-time employee, Sylvia Goss, and two part-time employees.
Goss said her responsibilities include cataloging the materials, handling the mailing list, checking books in and out, and taking calls.
"I feel guilty sometimes when I'm sitting on the floor reading the books in our library, but I have to do that so I can do my job," she said. "People call, wondering if we have information on a specific topic, and I have to know what's available and where it's located."
Since the staff is so small, Grindon said they rely heavily on five volunteers.
One of these volunteers, Jackie Felix, has been with the program since July, and was referred to it by the American Red Cross.
She said she called the Red Cross because she wanted to see what volunteering was all about.
Although she originally wanted to volunteer with a regular library, Felix was sent to the Clearinghouse instead.
"I've learned a lot about child abuse from reading the pamphlets. I can't believe what goes on, but it's a part of life," Felix said.
Grindon said foster parents and child-care professionals find out about the Clearinghouse Library through a newsletter included in the Texas State Foster Parent newsletter, but many in the UH community do not know the program is available.




Improving their record to 21-5, the Cougars likely put a lock on an NCAA tournament bid and moved into second place in the conference with a 50-44 win over TCU in Hofheinz Tuesday.
Seniors Derrick Daniels, Craig Upchurch, Sam Mack and Roger Fernandez played their last game in home uniforms for the Cougars.
Mack led the team in scoring with 16 points, while Upchurch had 14 and Smith added four assists.
The game itself was not extremely exciting, as the Cougars scored their lowest point total of the season. TCU scored nine points fewer than their previous season low of 53 against Iowa State.
At one point in the first half, Houston went nearly 11 minutes without a basket. TCU went the final eight minutes of the second half with only one basket.
In the end, the Houston defense came through for the team. Not so much by forcing turnovers (TCU had only 11), but by forcing the Horned Frogs to take bad shots.
The Horned Frogs attempted to control the game by eating time off the clock, but ended up forcing their shots.
Head Coach Pat Foster said the Cougars went into the game planning to play man-to-man defense, but the TCU game plan forced them to change their strategy.
"I don't think we played man-to-man but one possession," Foster said. "They were milking the clock every possession so that we couldn't get in a running game and tire them out, and it might have played against them in attacking our zone."
"They didn't have a lot of time to move the ball and get good shots."
Houston came out for the first half looking sharp. By 14:52, Mack hit an 18-footer to give the Cougars a 10-3 lead.
But Houston went in a shooting slump, and by 6:09, TCU had taken a 16-15 lead.
Junior Charles Outlaw said the Cougars weren't concerned during the slump.
"We were just in a little drought," Outlaw said. "We just kept playing good `d.' They weren't scoring too much, so it wasn't hurting.
Houston and TCU swapped leads through the remainder of the first half, but Mack hit a three-pointer with 23 seconds left to give the Cougars a 26-23 lead going into the break.
The second half progressed much the same as the first half, as the two teams took turns sharing the lead.
However, an Outlaw layup with 7:42 left in the game put the Cougars ahead for good at 41-39.
The game was sweet for the seniors in more ways than one.
Not only did they get a win in their last game at home and improve their shot at an NCAA bid, but they proved they could win a big conference game.
Senior guard Derrick Daniels said the win proved a lot for the Cougars.
"I think the game cleared the air," Daniels said. "There's no doubt about it, we're the team. I know we're going to get an NCAA bid now.
"We had to get a win to let everybody know that we're a team that belongs in the NCAA tournament."
Daniels added that even though his last game in Hofheinz was emotional for him, he didn't let it affect his play.
"It was very emotional at first,' Daniels said. "I walked out on the floor and saw my mom shedding tears and it kind of took a lot out of me.
"But once the referee threw the ball up at tip-off, I blocked it out. It was my last game, and I think I proved to everyone that I wanted to go out in style."
Foster commended the seniors on their effort.
"For Derrick and Craig (Upchurch) and Roger (Fernandez), it's a time when they are reflective, but they didn't let that bother them when the game started. I thought those seniors played awfully well.
"They have all year."
The Cougars will have to win their last game against SMU on Saturday to lock the number-two seed for the SWC tournament. If they do, they will go on to play SMU in the first




If the Lady Cougars defeat TCU tonight in Fort Worth, it will be the first time the team has posted back-to-back, 20-win seasons since the 1977 and 1978 seasons, and only the second time in school history.
The 21st-ranked Lady Cougars, 19-6 overall, 8-4 conference, defeated the Horned Frogs 90-61 earlier this year in Hofheinz.
Head Coach Jessie Kenlaw said it is crucial the team finish the year with two wins.
"We have to stay focused," Kenlaw said. "We need these last two wins to strengthen our chances for the NCAA tournament."
Earlier this season, the Lady Cougars seemed a shoe-in for the tournament. Through the Cougars' first 15 games, they compiled a 14-1 record and climbed as high as 11th in the AP poll.
However, the Cougars fell into a late-January slump, losing four out of six games in one stretch, including losses to Stephen F. Austin, Texas Tech and Texas, who are all currently ranked in the AP Top 25.
In fact, only one of Houston's losses this season, SMU, has been at the hands of an unranked opponent.
Kenlaw said the quality of teams, combined with the fact the Cougars have traveled with only eight players, were the reasons for the slide.
"The loss of Voccia Calhoun (who was injured in an auto accident) has hurt us a great deal," Kenlaw said.
Kenlaw added that the lack of depth in the bench has affected the team's consistency.
"Lately, we've had some games where we haven't been consistent. We have to stay focused."
If the Lady Cougars do get invited to the NCAA tournament, Kenlaw said, focus will be an important factor if they are to win.
"The eight players we have are capable of upsetting some good teams," Kenlaw said. "We will just have to dig deeper."
Kenlaw knows what it takes to win. She has enjoyed a successful two years as skipper of the Lady Cougars, posting the best record of any UH head coach in the same number of games.
Another way the Lady Cougars could receive an invitation to the NCAA tourney would be to win the SWC tournament in Dallas.
To accomplish that, the Lady Cougars would likely have to upset Texas Tech, the only team to beat them twice this season.




Students' Association election campaigns are off and running, and the potshots are flying.
Four parties and a handful of independent candidates make up this year's SA crop.
Parties include PLAID, Popular Leadership And International Diversity, led by economics major Eric De Beer; Pride, led by Damien Kauta, who ran as the presidential candidate for the ELITE Party last year; Student Advocacy, led by current SA Vice President Andrew Monzon; and Yes, led by architecture major and Sigma Chi member Rusty Hruska.
PLAID presidential candidate De Beer said his party formed as an expression of involvement and diversity.
"We're a party of many cultures and nations, and we felt that we could get everyone involved in making students' concerns known," he said.
De Beer said he discounted the necessity of experience in SA.
"Every student can speak to issues that students are concerned about," he said. "Unfortunately, you get a lot of `experienced' people clustered together, and they sit in their offices and forget the common student. We need those in touch with student concerns."
SA should be involved in increasing student involvement on campus, De Beer said.
Student concerns need to be articulated on issues like food service and telephone registration, De Beer said. "The food contract doesn't come up in another few years, but we need to investigate our options now," De Beer said. "Maybe we can get more businesses involved in serving students."
Yes presidential candidate Rusty Hruska said beautification and building campus pride are important issues on his party's agenda.
"Students need a life on campus. We need more student-oriented areas," Hruska said. "We need to educate students about UH's spirit and history."
A live mascot was one of UH's only traditions, Hruska said, and it should be brought back. "I don't think the issue is a dead one and don't feel there's a problem with the captivity prospect."
Hruska said he feels the university needs to get involved with improving the area to the north of campus, particularly near Scott Street.
"I used to have a dream of putting up a 12-foot wall to have a nicer campus, but I realize that's pretty cruel," he said. "The area is always going to be blighted; it's always going to be a slum, but if we make efforts to clean the area, we'll instill hope in those people, and maybe it will grow."
Beautification would mean getting architecture students involved in revitalizing old homes and working with Texas Southern University on projects as well as getting in contact with businesses wanting to tap into UH, Hruska said.
"We have a tremendous opportunity to build off-campus restaurants and businesses," he said. "Some have said it's a soft market, but I feel that once the area is revitalized, we'll be able to get more students interested in off-campus businesses."
Hruska said UH must hire an outside firm to investigate the feasibility of a parking garage. "The previous findings were from the university, and I'd say it's a little biased," he said. "I think we could get a private firm to come in and do a better study."
De Beer and Hruska support a referendum on this year's ballot to add a $15 dedicated library fee. De Beer opposes the referendum on this year's ballot to eliminate smoking in all UH buildings, but Hruska said he has no position on it.




Get out your boxing gloves, Cougars, there is a contest to be won on campus.
The Daily Cougar will be giving away movie posters and passes to the upcoming film, Gladiator.
The film stars James Marshall and Cuba Gooding Jr. as two friends forced to face each other in the boxing ring for a chance to break out of Chicago's South Side ghetto.
Twin Peaks fans may remember Marshall as James Hurley the moody motorcycle--riding boyfriend of Donna Hayward and Laura Palmer. (Who wasn't her boyfriend on that show?)
Cuba Gooding Jr. will be reconigiseable as Tre Styles from last year's hit movie Boyz N The Hood.
The soundtrack to Gladiator ranges from rap to rock with bands like Warrant, P.M. Dawn, Gerardo and many more.
However, this isn't an article about the movie; it's about getting into the movie free!
How? We'll make it easy for you. Answer these simple questions. Scribble down your answers and bring them to the Communications Building, Room 151. Find the Entertainment Editor and show her your answers.
She will then give the first five winners a movie poster and four passes to the special screening Thursday. Everyone else only gets passes.So hurry, the passes and posters will go

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