Corporate & Foundation Relations
Corporate & Foundation Relations (CFR) serves University of Houston students, faculty and administration by raising charitable funds from private organizations, including corporations, corporate foundations and private grant-making foundations. To this end, CFR collaborates with UH leadership, deans, faculty and development staff to match and position priority projects with suitable donors. CFR also serves an external constituency role by helping corporations and foundations work with UH more easily.
Marianne Dwyer joined the University of Houston in April 2019 as senior director for corporate and foundation relations. She has more than 30 years of experience in health care and higher education advancement. Prior to joining UH, Marianne held various fundraising roles at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System working with large organizations building a shared vision of needs and strategic opportunities.
At University of Houston, Marianne is responsible for leading the strategic development and execution of the corporate and foundation relations program within the division of university advancement.
Marianne earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing from The University of Texas at Austin.
Director of Corporate Relations
Laura Babka joined the University of Houston in November 2018 as Director of Corporate Relations. In this role, Babka is responsible for managing corporate and campus-wide partnerships. Prior to joining the University, Babka spent 10 years at Best Buy and Target in Minneapolis, working in strategic marketing, merchandising and several notable projects, including the launch of Target’s new website in 2009 and the store expansion into Canada in 2011. Babka has a BA from Carleton College and an MBA from the University of Michigan.
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
Elizabeth Kennedy joined the University of Houston in May 2018. In March 2020 she took on her current role as Director for Foundation Relations, where she manages the overall Foundation Relations program and builds engagement and support from national foundations.
She previously served as Director of Development for University Libraries, where she developed and implemented fundraising strategies to secure major gifts for the Libraries, and as a member of the Donor Relations and Stewardship team.
Kennedy has more than ten years of experience in higher education and development. Prior to joining the University of Houston she was Director of Development at a local nonprofit in Houston and held various marketing, recruiting, and development roles at the NYU Stern School of Business, TIGER 21, and the University of Central Oklahoma.
Kennedy holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Religion from Middlebury College and a Master of Arts in Modern History from the University of Oxford.
Development Officer, Corporate and Foundation Relations
Caitlin Barnett joined the University of Houston in September 2019 as a Development Officer in Corporate and Foundation Relations. Previously, she held the role of Assistant Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations at the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University. Barnett received her Bachelor of Science in Cultural Anthropology from Towson University, and is now working toward her Master of Science in Communication at Purdue University.
Assistant Director, Foundation Relations
Daniel Marcantel joined the University of Houston in December 2019 as assistant director of foundation relations on the corporate and foundation relations team. Marcantel has over 12 years of non-profit leadership and development experience. Immediately prior to joining UH, he was the regional philanthropy officer for foundations with the American Red Cross.
At the University of Houston, Marcantel collaborates across university colleges/units to secure major gifts from charitable foundations. He manages donor relationships and the grant application process for a portfolio of Texas-based foundations.
Marcantel earned a Bachelor of Science degree in communication from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts degree from the University of St. Thomas.