Monica Mensah, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
Monica, a native Houstonian, graduated from Rice University with a B.A. in Philosophy and a B.A. in Sociology. She earned her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center. As the Assistant Dean, Monica oversees student enrollment and records, course registration, scholarships and financial aid, bar preparation, student counseling and advising, study abroad programs, and student programming and events. In addition, she works strategically with a broad group of offices on the University of Houston campus. Prior to joining the Office of Student Affairs, Monica practiced as a civil rights and employment law attorney.
Derrick Gabriel, Director of Student Affairs
Derrick earned his B.S. in Technology from the University of Houston. After earning his degree, Derrick joined the Office of Student Affairs at the University of Houston Law Center. As the Director of Student Affairs, Derrick coordinates and facilitates course registration, oversees exam scheduling, and handles exam conflicts. Additionally, Derrick assists in processing graduation applications, plans and organizes commencement ceremonies, and provides guidance and assistance to students regarding day-to-day activities and other issues that may arise.
Erin Dickson, Director of Student Advisement
Erin attended the George Washington University, where she earned her B.A. in Psychology and played Division 1 water polo. She then earned her J.D. from University of San Diego. Erin practiced business litigation and energy law before returning to her hometown of Houston to work in higher education compliance. As the Director of Student Advisement, Erin provides advising and counseling services to students, as well as facilitating student programming and events. She serves as a general resource for students and assists in course registration and bar preparation.
Kathryn Shotwell, Director of Academic Success
Kathryn attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned her B.S. in Radio-Television-Film. She then earned her J.D. from University of Houston Law Center. Kathryn practiced family law while working as an adjunct at San Jacinto College in the Paralegal Studies Program and at the University of Houston Law Center in the Bar Skills Program (Lawyering Skills and Strategies). As the Director of Academic Success, Kathryn provides students with a wide array of advising and counseling in relation to legal education, GPA performance, the progression through law school, passing the bar, and related personal effects and stressors. Kathryn, in collaboration with other Law Center leaders, works to design and implement a comprehensive program of academic success for all students.
Samantha Ary, Academic Records Coordinator
Samantha is currently responsible for overseeing disability services for the Law Center, performing complimentary audits for graduating law students, assisting with the registration process and graduation certifications. Samantha received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Houston. Prior to joining the Law Center she worked for various departments on the UH main campus. She also served as an advisor and instructor at Texas Southern University.
Kristan Withers, Program Manager
As Program Manager, Kristan provides support to the Office of Student Affairs by performing administrative duties related to planning and coordinating programs for law students. Kristan is also the go to person for law student organizations and law journals and oversees orientation for all student leaders. Before joining the Law Center, Kristan worked as an Administrative Manager for a natural gas consulting firm.
Carla Martinez, Assistant Director of Scholarships and Financial Aid
Carla Martinez is the Assistant Director of Scholarships and Financial Aid for the University of Houston Law Center. She has worked for the University of Houston for more than 12 years and as the Assistant Director, Carla assists students with navigating the process of financial aid. She has worked in both the private and public sector in New York, Florida, and Texas and is very passionate about supporting students to allow them to focus on academics and not stress over finances. She is actively involved in serving students through outreach events, financial literacy events, and college fairs.
Long Pham, Registration and Academic Records Assistant II
Prior to joining the Law Center Long worked as a Testing Coordinator. As the Registration and Academics Records Assistant II, Long is responsible for handling exam conflicts and processing all student requests including bar-related documents, petitions, and enrollment verifications and certifications.
Jennifer Aaron, Secretary II
As Secretary II, Jennifer provides support to the Office of Student Affairs by performing various administrative duties related to course advising and registration, exam administration, graduation, paying invoices and overall student-development. Before joining the Law Center staff, Jennifer worked several years as a General Office Clerk III at Vinson & Elkins LLP.
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