Power of Expression: UH Releases 2018-19 National Commercial

UH Slam Poet Featured in Powerful Performance

Get inspired to chase your dreams and conquer the impossible in the University of Houston’s 2018-19 institutional commercial released today. Featuring UH acting student and accomplished slam poet Muhammad Khaerisman, the commercial serves to rally Coogs across the country and introduce newcomers to what the “Powerhouse” is all about.

Khaerisman’s powerful performance of an original poem on the Moores Opera House stage encapsulates what it means to be a UH Cougar on and off the field – always going higher while passionately smashing expectations. The spot is heavy on UH athletics, and for good reason following recent success. Heisman hopeful Ed Oliver dominates on the gridiron, sprinter Elijah Hall reaches for the finish line to win the 60m national title, while Rob Gray leads the men’s basketball team to its first NCAA Tournament win in 34 years.

The 30-second commercial was produced internally by the UH Division of Marketing, Communication and Media Relations.

“There is such a powerful buzz on campus right now as we consistently make impressive strides on the playing field, in the classroom and in our community,” said Lisa Holdeman, associate vice president for marketing, communication and media relations. “We feel like this commercial will ignite powerful reactions among current students and alumni alike, and fans of the University. We are all proud to be part of the UH Powerhouse.”

Born and raised in Indonesia until age 10, Khaerisman has appeared in several UH stage productions and even won the Tommy Tune award for “Best Actor” for his portrayal of Usnavi in "In the Heights." Additionally, Khaerisman is a founding member of UH’s first poetry community and slam team — UH CoogSlam — and frequently competes in poetry slams throughout the region.

The commercial will debut nationally on Saturday, Sept. 1, during the Houston Cougar football opener against Rice at 11 a.m. on CBS Sports Network. The spot will air during each televised UH football game, as well as during regional and national telecasts featuring UH athletics teams throughout the 2018-19 academic year.