Board of Directors

Biographies

Leslie D. Blanton, Chair

A graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and Rice University, Leslie Dyess Blanton serves on the advisory councils of the Children’s Museum of Houston, Career and Recovery Resources, Inc., and the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin as well as the boards of The Park People, Inc., Young Audiences of Houston, the Center for Reform of School Systems, the Harris County Hospital District Foundation, and the regional board of Teach For America. She is scholarship vice president of Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of Greater Houston, a Texas Cultural Trust member, and an active participant on committees at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

John Kerr, Vice Chair

John Kerr, a native of Houston, has lived in San Antonio since 1981. An active businessman and civic leader, he also has been writing for the past fifteen years. His first novel, Cardigan Bay, was published in 2008 and his second novel, A Rose in No Man’s Land, was published in 2011. Two more novels, Fell the Angels and Hurricane Hole, will be published in 2012. Kerr also coauthored with his late father Only A Khaki Shirt, a nonfiction memoir of World War II in the Pacific, which was published in 2006. Kerr’s business interests are currently focused on two biotechnology ventures that he founded: Azaya Therapeutics, which is developing novel anti-cancer drugs, and Evestra, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on women’s healthcare. Kerr also co-manages Acacia Capital, a private equity fund, with Steve Hassman. Kerr serves on the board of trustees of the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, which he chaired from 1998 to 2007, and on the boards of the McNay Art Museum, the Admiral Nimitz Foundation, the Menninger Clinic Foundation, the Texas Research and Technology Foundation, and the San Antonio Medical Foundation. He is a member of the distribution committee of the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation and of the advisory council of the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. He also chairs the Texas Advisory Board of the Environmental Defense Fund. Kerr received a BA from Stanford University in history in 1970 and a JD from The University of Texas Law School in 1972. 

Joy Ann Havran, Treasurer

Joy Ann Havran is a certified public accountant in private practice. She is a member of the Texas Society of CPAs and Leadership Fort Worth and a board member of Cook Children’s Medical Center and Jewel Charity Ball. She is a past board member of Mayfest Inc., Junior League of Fort Worth, Fort Worth Dallas Ballet, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Association, Fort Worth Country Day School, Harris Methodist Health Foundation, and March of Dimes of North Texas. She is also a founding trustee and past member of the Harris Hospital Doris Kupferle Breast Center and past fundraising gala chair for March of Dimes, Jewel Charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Texas, Historic Fort Worth, Van Cliburn Piano Competition, and the Arts Council of Tarrant County. She received a bachelor’s degree and MBA from Texas Christian University.

Virginia Mithoff, Secretary

Virginia “Ginni” Mithoff received her BS in elementary education from The University of Texas at Austin and attended the University of Houston for graduate school. After retiring from her teaching career, she began volunteering and serving on boards for various organizations, including the Houston Ballet Guild, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Harris County Hospital District Foundation, and many others. She currently serves on the School of Education Foundation Advisory Council of The University of Texas Development Board, The University of Texas School of Public Health Advisory Council of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Development Board, and the Bayou Bend Committee of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Ginni and her husband Richard have lived in Houston for thirty-five years. They have two children—Michael and Caroline—and four grandchildren.

G. Hughes Abell

G. Hughes Abell is founder and general partner of Llano Partners Ltd., a family partnership with ranching, farming, and cattle-feeding operations in Texas and New Mexico. In addition, he actively manages private investments in oil & gas, timber, and commercial real estate. He currently serves on the board and executive committee of the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. He is also on the board of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board and the Texas Livestock Marketing Association. He is a trustee of St. Edward's University, the Texas Water Foundation, and the Texas State History Museum Foundation. He is a former vice-chairman of the Lower Colorado River Authority, and a past chairman of the board of trustees of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. He is a 1972 graduate of Vanderbilt University. He and his wife, Betsy, reside in Austin and are the parents of two children.

Mary Louise Albritton

Mary Louise Albritton is a community volunteer and philanthropist. She is a member of the National Rifle Association and the Junior League of Fort Worth. Albritton is a supporter of The Gatehouse, a non-profit organization with a mission to offer women a practical hand up with life’s challenges. She is also an active supporter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Alzheimer's Association. Albritton earned her bachelor's degree in communications from Southern Methodist University.

Sharon Allison

Sharon Allison served on the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Governing Council and was the chairperson of the Western Hemisphere Board.  Sharon is past chairperson of both Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. In 1994, she served as a delegate to the UN Conference on Population and Development and, in 1995, was a delegate to the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. She served as president of the Junior League of Waco and chairman of the Waco Community Foundation.  She is a former director of the St. Paul’s School board, The Guttmacher Institute, Johns Hopkins School of Health board of visitors, and Americans for the UNFPA.  She currently is a director of Pathfinder International, a member of the Philosophical Society of Texas, The McLennan Community College Foundation board, board member of the Junior League of Waco (sustainer representative), and The University of Texas Liberal Arts Foundation as well as the Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee.

Shirlene Bridgewater

Shirlene Bridgewater is a native Houstonian and one in a long line of educators. She currently is an educational consultant after teaching high school English and Humanities for twenty-three years. Most recently, she served as a Teacher Leader at Marble Falls High School. Bridgewater has shared her knowledge on curriculum and teaching strategies at national and statewide educational conferences, including Marble Falls ISD Excellence in Education (2014), Advancing Improvements in Education (2013), and the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (2006). Her numerous honors include Humanities Texas Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award (2008), Highland Lakes Legacy Foundation Teacher of the Year (2014, 2010, 2008, and 2007), the Texas Commissioner’s Advisory Council on the Education of the Gifted and Talented (2011-2014), and Texas Region 13 Secondary Teacher of the Year (2008). A graduate of Spelman College with a BA in English, Bridgewater has also worked as a public relations director, editor, radio host, and bookstore co-owner.

Albert S. Broussard

Albert S. Broussard is professor of history at Texas A&M University, where he has taught since 1985. During the Spring 2005 semester, he served as the Langston Hughes Professor of American Studies at the University of Kansas. A graduate of Stanford University (1973) and Duke University (1975, 1977), where he received his doctoral degree, he has published Black San Francisco: The Struggle for Racial Equality in the West, 1900–1954; African American Odyssey: The Stewarts, 1853–1963; Expectations of Equality: African Americans in the American West; American History: The Early Years to 1877; and The American Republic Since 1877 and The American Vision (co-authored with James McPherson, Alan Brinkley, Joyce Appleby, and Donald Ritchie). He is past president of the Oral History Association, a former chair of the nominating committee of the Organization of American Historians, and an active member of the historical profession. In 1997, he received a distinguished teaching award from Texas A&M University and was selected as a Texas A&M University Distinguished Lecturer for 1999–2000. He has served on the Faculty Senate, the Texas A&M Honorary Degree Committee, the University Publications Committee, the Texas A&M Press advisory board, and as associate head of the history department and graduate director. He is also a consultant to the National Park Service on their Underground Railroad project and has written a pamphlet on antislavery and civil rights activity in California. He is writing a history of African Americans in the Far West from 1945 to the present.

Kirk A. Calhoun

A native of Chicago, Kirk A. Calhoun earned a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle and a medical degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine. He served an internship and residency in internal medicine at Northwestern University and Medical Center in Evanston, Illinois, as well as a fellowship in clinical nephrology, hypertension, and metabolism at the University of Chicago. Following his formal education, he worked in different education/administrative capacities with the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Calhoun then moved to Texas and spent ten years at UT Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB), serving as an associate professor of medicine and the morporate medical director of UTMB HealthCare Systems. He served as the associate dean for clinical affairs with the UT Southwestern Medical School and as a senior vice president and the medical director at Parkland Memorial Hospital. In November 2002, Calhoun was tapped as president of UT Health Northeast. Since he has been in Tyler, he has been active with several Tyler community organizations. He served two years as the chairman of the executive committee of the National Association of Public Hospitals. He has also served on the board of trustees of the Texas Hospital Association and currently serves on the board of trustees of Teaching Hospitals of Texas and the executive committee of America's Essential Hospitals. He also serves on the Council of Graduate Medical Education (COGME), Texas Department of State Health Services Council, and the Council of Teaching Hospitals (COTH).

Carolina Castillo Crimm

Carolina Castillo Crimm is a retired professor of history from Sam Houston State University. She was born and brought up in Mexico City, Mexico, and came to the United States in 1963, finishing her BA at the University of Miami and her MA at Texas Tech University before earning her PhD from The University of Texas at Austin in Latin American History with Dr. Nettie Lee Benson. She taught on the high school level before starting at Sam Houston State University in 1992, where she won both local and statewide teaching awards, including the prestigious Piper Award as one of the best teachers in Texas. She has published De León: A Tejano Family History (University of Texas Press, 2004), The Hoffman Collection: San Diego at the Turn of the Century with Sara R. Massey (University of Texas Press, 2003), and Cabin Fever: The Roberts-Farris Cabin, A Campus, A Cabin, A Community, editor, (Texas Review Press, 2002). She has also published numerous introductions and chapters on Texas women, blacks, and Hispanics. As a retiree she is working on historical fiction novels that deal with Spanish and Mexican Texas during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Elizabeth Crook

Elizabeth Crook was born in Houston and lived in Texas until age seven when her family moved to Washington, DC, where her father was director of VISTA for President Lyndon Johnson. Two years later, her father was appointed ambassador to Australia and the family moved to Canberra. When they returned to Texas, Elizabeth attended public schools in San Marcos, graduating from San Marcos High School in 1977. She attended Baylor University for two years and graduated from Rice University in 1982. She has written four novels: The Raven's Bride and Promised Lands, published by Doubleday and reissued by SMU Press as part of the Southwest Life and Letters series; The Night Journal, published by Viking/Penguin in 2006 and reissued in paperback by Penguin; and Monday, Monday, published by Sarah Crichton Books, FSG, in 2014 and reissued by Picador in 2015. Elizabeth has written for periodicals such as Texas Monthly and the Southwestern Historical Quarterly and served on the council of the Texas Institute of Letters and the board of the Texas Book Festival. She is a member of Women Writing the West, Western Writers of America, and the Texas Philosophical Society and was selected the honored writer for 2006 Texas Writers' Month. Her first novel, The Raven's Bride, was the 2006 Texas Reads: One Book One Texas selection. The Night Journal was awarded the 2007 Spur Award for Best Long Novel of the West and the 2007 Willa Literary Award for Historical Fiction. Monday, Monday was awarded the 2015 Jesse H. Jones Award for Fiction.

Sean P. Cunningham

Sean P. Cunningham is associate professor and chair of the Department of History at Texas Tech University. He teaches broadly in twentieth-century U.S. history, while specializing in the history of post-1945 American political culture. His geographic emphasis is on the American Sunbelt, Texas, in particular. Cunningham received his BA, MA, and MEd from Texas Tech University and his PhD from the University of Florida. His first book, Cowboy Conservatism: Texas and the Rise of the Modern Right, was published by the University Press of Kentucky in 2010 and won the Texas Tech University President’s Book Award in 2012. His second book, American Politics in the Postwar Sunbelt: Conservative Growth in a Battleground Region, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2014.

Jesús F. de la Teja

Jesús F. de la Teja is Jerome H. and Catherine E. Supple Professor of Southwestern Studies, Regents’ Professor of History, and director of the Center for the Study of the Southwest at Texas State University. Prior to joining the faculty at Texas State in 1991, he served as director of archives and records at the Texas General Land Office. He is a former president of the Texas State Historical Association and was the first state historian of Texas, serving from 2007–2009. He has been a member of the Philosophical Society of Texas since 2007 and a member of the Texas Institute of Letters since 2001. He co-authored two textbooks: American Anthem and Texas: Crossroads of North America. Most recently, he edited Tejano Leadership in Mexican and Revolutionary Texas. He holds a PhD in colonial Latin American history from The University of Texas at Austin, as well as MA and BA degrees from Seton Hall University in New Jersey.

Randy L. Diehl

Randy L. Diehl has served for forty years as a psychology professor at The University of Texas at Austin, studying how humans perceive speech and teaching hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students. Since 2007, he has also demonstrated his passion for teaching and research as dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Under his leadership, a number of the college's programs and departments have gained national prominence, and he has vigorously promoted the humanities through a number of initiatives, including the Humanities Research Awards. He also championed efforts to build a new College of Liberal Arts building and led campus-wide initiatives, including a task force that sparked dramatic improvements in UT Austin graduation rates. Diehl earned his bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Illinois and his doctorate from the University of Minnesota. He joined the UT Austin faculty in 1975 and served as psychology department chair from 1995 to 1999, leading a period of departmental expansion that included the construction of the Sarah M. and Charles E. Seay Building.

Sally Dunning

Sally Dunning is a fourth-generation Texan and a native of Dallas. She has been an interior designer for forty-five years. She has served on numerous boards, including the Dallas Auxiliary of the Gladney Center, the Gladney Center for Adoption in Fort Worth, the Dallas Art Museum League, Greenhill School, the Dallas Women’s Foundation, the Performing Arts Council, Planned Parenthood of North Texas, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, the Council for Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, SITE Santa Fe Foundation Council, and the Stewpot Alliance. She has also served as chairman of the board of Greenhill School and the Gladney Center for Adoption and has successfully chaired or co-chaired major capital campaigns for Greenhill School, the Gladney Center, and Planned Parenthood of North Texas. Her husband, Tom Dunning, has been recognized for his extensive service to many organizations, projects, and issues in Dallas and the state of Texas. Her son, John Helms, is an attorney who is married to an attorney, and is the father of her grandchildren: Jack, age 10, and Grace, age 5. Her daughter, Meredith, is living on a sailboat with plans to charter her boat and continue her writing career.

Julius Glickman

Julius Glickman is a Houston civic leader and attorney.  A native of Big Spring, he earned his BA in Plan II and his LLB at The University of Texas at Austin. He was student body president, an Outstanding Student, and a member of the Tejas Club, Silver Spurs, and Friars. An active alumnus, he has chaired the Development Board and the Chancellor’s Council and is the chair of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Development Board. He has also served on the Commission of 125 and is the chair for the College of Liberal Arts Advisory Council. In 2012, he was a recipient of the University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award, the highest award given by the Texas Exes. He was also a founding member of the Blanton Museum Council. He has served as chair of the board of Humanities Texas and has chaired the board of Houston Public Radio. He is a member of the International Academy Trial Lawyers and a recipient of the Pro Bene Meritis Award from the College of Liberal Arts in 2008. 

Jenni Hord

Jenni Hord is co-manager of Vanderpool Management, a commercial and residential property development and leasing firm. She is also president of the Hord Foundation, which supports non-profit organizations. Among other involvements, Hord is currently serving in leadership positions as the co-president of the Lone Star Region Young Life Board of Directors, board member of the Midland Memorial Hospital Forum, and board member of the Midland Polo School. Hord earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing and business management from Baylor University.

Sibyl Avery Jackson

Sibyl Avery Jackson is an executive producer, screenwriter, and member of the Writers Guild of America, West. She has vast experience as a writer, editor, researcher, and public and media relations specialist in the corporate and private sectors, as well as in public television and radio. Her background also includes being a researcher and editor at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, and a spokesperson for one of the largest wireless service providers where, in addition to public and media relations, she also developed and managed government relations and corporate giving. The latter experience inspired her to write an award-winning suspense/thriller novel, Degree of Caution. Most recently, she is an executive producer of the award-winning feature film The Retrieval. She has been active for many years in securing funding for various projects and has served on several boards, including the Be An Angel Fund and the Houston Museum of African American Culture. She has a BA in English from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, and currently lives in Houston with her husband, Alfred, a University of Texas graduate and a managing partner in a private equity firm.

Joseph R. Krier

Joseph R. Krier is principal of Krier Consulting Group and formerly served as counsel at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP where he led their Public Issues Management (PIM) Group. As former president and CEO of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, he has advanced the humanities through many civic and educational activities. As founding president of the Foundation for the National Archives, he played a critical role in shaping that agency’s identity as a leading cultural institution. As a member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board from 1994 to 1999, he formulated strategies for the expansion of the state’s colleges and universities. He has chaired the Arts Council of San Antonio, served on the San Antonio Fiesta Board of Directors, and participated in the Library and Literacy Campaign. He has also been a member of the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center’s board of visitors. A graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and the UT School of Law, he has served the university in numerous capacities, including as a member of the recent Commission of 125. Krier previously served on the Humanities Texas board of directors from 2005 through 2010. He is married to former state Senator Cyndi Taylor Krier.

Manuel F. Medrano

Manuel F. Medrano is professor of history at The University of Texas at Brownsville, specializing in Mexican American history and culture. He is the recipient of The University of Texas Board of Regents Outstanding Teaching Award and the current holder of the Houston Endowed Chair for Civic Engagement. He has authored three published historical/cultural poetry books about the border including En Cuerpo y Mente, Imagenes and En la Sombra de Mi Alma, co-authored a history book with Dr. Milo Kearney entitled Medieval Culture and the Mexican American Borderlands and a book with Dr. Anthony Knopp entitled Charro Days in Brownsville. His most recent book is Américo Paredes: In His Own Words, An Authorized Biography. Since 1994, he has produced and directed, in conjunction with the UTB/TSC Media Services, twenty-three oral history profiles of people and events in the Rio Grande Valley, including legendary folklorist Américo Paredes, acclaimed Tejano writer Rolando Hinojosa, and Chicano civil rights activist José Angel Gutierrez.

Debbie Montford

Debbie Montford is known for being an energetic and effective community volunteer, an enthusiastic advocate for the arts, and a philanthropist. She currently serves as Vice Chair and Chair of Regents Rules Committee for the Texas Tech University System's Board of Regents (appointed in 2010 by Governor Perry). She is the immediate past chair of the Dolph and Janey Briscoe Western Art Museum (San Antonio) board of directors. She is an advisory director of the Plum Foundation, past chair of the Texas Cultural Trust Council (Austin) and currently serves on the board of governors for the UTHSC Cancer Therapy Research Center (San Antonio). She is a founding member of the Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation, who developed the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts (San Antonio) and  past chair of the Cultural Facilities Committee appointed by the Bexar County Commissioners.  She is former chair of the San Antonio Symphony Board of Directors, and a member of the Texas Women for the Arts. She is a current member and former president of the Texas Senate Ladies Club,  member of Texas Tech University Chancellor’s Council, Matador Society, and Sociedad de la Espuela. In 2010, she was honored by the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce with the Hope Award for philanthropic fundraising. She received the 2013 Champion of the Arts Award presented by Texas Monthly in association with Texas Women for the Arts. She attended Texas Tech University and The University of Texas at Austin.

Laurie Morian

Laurie Morian of Houston is a former private wealth advisor. She has worked at Avalon Advisors, Northern Trust, Chemical Bank New York, and Texas Commerce Bank. She was also the corporate secretary and co-manager of the 2005 Canada World Fair Exposition. Morian is active within her community as a board member and curator’s circle member of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, board member of the Museum Fine Arts Houston, member of the Junior League of Houston, supporter of the Inner City Nutcracker, and advisor for YES Prep. She has previously served as a board member or advisor for several organizations including the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, Houston Zoological Society, Hermann Park Conservancy, Zoo Friends, Girls Inc., and Memorial Park Conservancy. As chairman of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, she traveled with a team to Ethiopia to help negotiate bringing the “Lucy” fossil to the museum. She also traveled with a team to England to work with the Hereford Cathedral to bring an original edition of the Magna Carta from 1217 along with the King’s Writ document dated 1215 to the museum in Houston. Morian earned a bachelor of business administration with concentrations in accounting and finance from Texas A&M University.

Ellen K. Ramsey

Ellen K. Ramsey is a partner of Ramsey Petroleum, LP. Ramsey is an education committee member for the Midland Chamber of Commerce, board member and treasurer for the Midland County Public Library Foundation, board member for the I-20 Wildlife Preserve & Jenna Welch Nature Study Center, a committee member for the City of Midland Hotel/Motel Tax Advisory Board, and Junior League of Midland sustainer. She was previously a board member for the George W. Bush Childhood Home, Inc., and is a former District Director for State Senator Kel Seliger. Ramsey attended Baylor University and earned a bachelor of arts in sociology from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Ellen and her husband, Scott, have lived in Midland for over thirty years and have two children.

Hector Retta

Hector Retta is the CEO and vice chairman of Capital Bank and has been in this role since July 2010 when he relocated to El Paso from Orange County, California. He is the former executive vice president and regional president of Wells Fargo Orange County, and previously served as the Wells Fargo regional president for border banking. Prior to his association with Wells Fargo, he was a managing director with JP Morgan. Currently, he serves on the board of directors for the Paso del Norte Health Foundation in El Paso and the El Paso Museum of Art Foundation and has previously served on the board of the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the California State University Foundation. He is a native of Dallas and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and an MS in Economics from Baylor University. He is married to the former Lorez Curlin of El Paso.

Todd Romero

Todd Romero received his BA from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his MA and PhD from Boston College. He is an associate professor of history at the University of Houston (UH), where he teaches classes on colonial, Native American, public, and U.S. history. Devoted to public education and educators, he served as the faculty director for five Humanities Texas summer teacher institutes at UH. For his work in the classroom, Romero won the 2012 UH Provost Core Teaching Excellence Award. In addition to a number of articles, Romero is the author of Making War and Minting Christians: Masculinity, Religion, and Colonialism in Early New England (University of Massachusetts Press, 2011). His research has been supported by fellowships or grants from the Newberry Library, the John Nicholas Brown Center for American Civilization at Brown University, the Huntington Library, the American Philosophical Society, and the Massachusetts Historical Society. Reflecting his commitment to public history and budding interest in food studies, Romero co-directs the Gulf Coast Food Project at UH. He is the project director of a $100,000 three-year National Endowment for the Humanities grant—"The History of Food Production and Consumption in the U.S. Gulf Coast Region"—that will develop food studies curriculum, public programming, and scholarship at UH.

Ricardo Romo

Ricardo Romo is the fifth president of The University of Texas at San Antonio. He graduated from Fox Technical High School and is a native of San Antonio’s West Side. He attended The University of Texas at Austin on a track scholarship and holds a master’s degree in history from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and a PhD in history from the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1980, he returned to The University of Texas at Austin to teach history before becoming vice provost for undergraduate education. From 1987 to 1993, he directed the Texas office of the Tomás Rivera Center, housed at Trinity University, where he evaluated the impact of governmental policies on Latinos. In 1993, he became vice provost for undergraduate education at UT Austin before becoming president of UTSA in 1999. In 2002, President Bush appointed him to the President’s Board of Advisers on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He has also been appointed to the Federal Reserve Bank Board of Directors and to the Board of Commissioners to UNESCO. A nationally respected urban historian, he is the author of East Los Angeles: History of a Barrio, which is now in its ninth printing. His photographs have been the subject of several regional art exhibitions, including Havana, a collection of images taken in Cuba. He and his wife, Dr. Harriett Romo, a UTSA professor of sociology, director of the UTSA Mexico Center, and director of the Bank of America Child & Adolescent Policy Research Institute (CAPRI), are avid art collectors, focusing on works by Latino artists. They also share a passion for foreign travel, particularly to Mexico and other countries in Latin America.

Susie Shields

Susie Shields had the opportunity to teach in the Texas public school system for thirteen years at both the middle school and elementary school levels. A graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in agricultural economics, she came to teaching through a non-traditional route and spent her career in the classroom focusing on the subjects of mathematics and social studies. To her, education was not just a career choice; it was also a chance to be fully engaged in one of the most substantive issues of our day—the schooling of our children during their most formative years. As such, she amplified her experience in the classroom to the greater Austin and state communities by serving as a presenter at multiple local and statewide educational workshops and as member of several curriculum development and textbook selection committees. Although she now works with a wide variety of private and public sector clients to provide advocacy services before the Texas Legislature, her foundation as a teacher is the driving force behind her enthusiasm to champion Humanities Texas and its invaluable role in advancing our heritage and culture. She currently serves on the board of visitors for The University of Texas McDonald Observatory and Department of Astronomy and on the Visualize Graduation Society at University of Texas Elementary School in Austin. The daughter of a career Army officer, she spent her early childhood moving frequently from post to post before her family settled in Central Texas. She and her husband, Chris, call Austin home and are parents of four children and grandparents of one.

Stephanie Tucker

Stephanie Tucker graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a BS in speech communications. Stephanie is a community volunteer in Houston. As a mother of a special needs son, she has spent the past fifteen years raising awareness and fundraising for the Brookwood Community, an educational and residential community for adults with disabilities. She is also a strong advocate for Special Olympics Texas. She is an active supporter of the Rienzi Society, Texas Children's Hospital, Chi Omega Alumnae, and the United Way of Houston Women's Initiative. She is a former member of the Zoo Friends of Houston and a sustaining member of the Junior League of Houston. She and her husband, Brad, have three sons and reside in Houston.

Chase Untermeyer

Chase Untermeyer has been an international business consultant since returning in 2007 from Qatar, where he served three years as United States ambassador on appointment of President George W. Bush. He has held both elected and appointed office at all four levels of government—local, state, national, and international—in addition to work in journalism, academia, and business. He is a graduate of Harvard College and served as an officer in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. The many government posts he has held include Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs under President Reagan and Director of Presidential Personnel under the first President Bush. He also served as director of Voice for America, the overseas broadcasting arm of the U.S. government, from 1991–1993. He has also served as director of public affairs for Compaq Computer Corporation and vice president for government affairs and professor of public policy at The University of Texas Health Science Center. He is a member of the Texas Ethics Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as a member of the boards of the St. Luke's Episcopal Health Charities and of Harris County Precinct 1 Street Olympics. In previous part-time public service, he has been a member and chairman of the board of visitors of the U.S. Naval Academy, a commissioner of the Port of Houston, president of the Houston READ Commission, a member of the board of National Public Radio, member of the Defense Health Board, and chairman of the State Board of Education, appointed by then-Governor George W. Bush.

Amy M. Warren

Amy M. Warren is a devoted philanthropist. She was among the first employees of Energy Transfer Company, where she worked as an executive assistant for over twelve years. Prior to that, Warren worked as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines for over a decade. She currently also serves on the board of the Dallas Children's Advocacy Center. Warren co-founded Cherokee Crossroads, an organization whose proceeds support various children's charities and public service organizations across Texas. She has been involved with Amica Rockwall, a non-profit organization that raises funds for scholarships and other local needs. She has also been involved with and supportive of the Ronald McDonald House and the Roatan Hospital. Warren studied business management at Texas Tech University.