Board of Directors

Biographies

John Kerr, 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 twenty 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, were published in 2012. Kerr’s fifth novel, The Silent Shore of Memory, was published in 2016. He 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 Texas Next Capital, where he is a general partner, and Evestra, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on women’s healthcare. 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 Environmental Defense Action Fund, the McNay Art Museum, the Admiral Nimitz Foundation, the Menninger Clinic, and the Texas Research and Technology Foundation. Kerr received a BA from Stanford University in history in 1970 and a JD from The University of Texas Law School in 1972.

Debbie Montford, Vice Chair

Debbie Montford is known for being an energetic and effective community volunteer, an enthusiastic advocate for the arts, and a philanthropist. She is the past chair of the Briscoe Western Art Museum (San Antonio) board of directors. She is an advisory director of the Plum Foundation and past chair of the Texas Cultural Trust Council (Austin), and has served 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 a 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. She also previously served as vice chair and chair of the Regents Rules’ Committee for the Texas Tech University System’s Board of Regents (appointed in 2010 by Governor Perry). 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.

Michael L. Klein, Treasurer

Michael L. Klein is engaged in independent oil and gas exploration and production in Midland. He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a BS in petroleum engineering in 1958 and an LLB in 1963. While attending law school, he worked summers as a petroleum engineer with Continental Oil Company and later served as an attorney for the company. He divides his time between Houston, Austin, and Santa Fe. He serves as chair of the Blanton Museum of Art National Leadership Board and the University of Texas Press Advisory Council. He is a member of the Longhorn Foundation and is on the development board of The University of Texas at Austin and the board of trustees of The Contemporary Austin. He has previously served on the SITE Santa Fe board of directors, as a member on the board of trustees for the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, DC); the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Chinati Foundation (Marfa); the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City); the Cate School (Carpinteria, California); and as the chair of the board at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.

G. Hughes Abell, Secretary

G. Hughes Abell is founder and general partner of Llano Partners, Ltd., a family partnership with ranching, farming, and cattle feeding operations in Texas, New Mexico, and Florida. He also actively manages private investments in oil and gas, timber, and commercial real estate. Abell currently serves as first vice president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association and as a director of the Texas Livestock Marketing Association, National Finance Credit Corporation, and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. He serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees of St. Edwards University. He is a former board member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, former vice chairman of the Lower Colorado River Authority, past vice chairman of the Texas Water Foundation, and past chairman of the Board of Trustees of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. He is a native of Monroe, Louisana, and a 1972 graduate of Vanderbilt University. He and his wife Betsy reside in Austin, Texas, and are parents of two grown children.

Leslie D. Blanton, Past 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.

Mary Louise Albritton

Mary Louise Albritton is a community volunteer and philanthropist. She resides in Fort Worth with her husband Bob, who serves on the Board of Regents at Texas A&M University. They have four children: Robert, William, and Maggie, all alumni of Texas A&M, and Abby, a current student at Texas A&M. Albritton received her bachelor’s degree in communications from Southern Methodist University and worked for the Trammell Crow Company in international interests. She is currently active in her community as a Cornerstone Building Partner with The Gatehouse. As an initiative of projectHandUp, The Gatehouse offers a supportive living community where women and their children in crisis receive safe refuge and practical resources to develop healthy relationships and discover new paths for permanent change. She is also an active supporter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Alzheimer’s Association and a member of the Fort Worth Junior League and the NRA.

Carlos Kevin Blanton

Carlos Kevin Blanton is a professor of history and Chicano/Latino studies at Texas A&M University. Prior to moving to College Station in 2001, he taught at Portland State University. He is the author of The Strange Career of Bilingual Education in Texas, 1836–1981 (TAMU, 2004) and George I. Sánchez: The Long Fight for Mexican American Integration (Yale, 2014) and he has recently edited A Promising Problem: The New Chicana/o History (University of Texas Press, 2016). Blanton’s work has been honored with the Coral Horton Tullis Memorial Prize for Best Book on Texas History (2005), the Bolton Cutter Award for Best Article on Borderlands History (2010), and the National Association of Chicana-Chicano Studies Best Book Award (2016). He has also published in the Journal of Southern History, Pacific Historical Review, Western Historical Quarterly, Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Teachers College Record, and in other history and interdisciplinary journals. Blanton received his PhD from Rice University in history under Dr. John Boles.

Kirk A. Calhoun

Kirk A. Calhoun is a native of Chicago. He 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 in Kansas City, Missouri. Calhoun then moved to Texas and spent 10 years at UT Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB), serving as an associate professor of medicine and the corporate 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 VP 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 very 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 the 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).

Lorenzo F. Candelaria

Lorenzo F. Candelaria is a historian and professor of Western European and American music history and literature at The University of Texas at El Paso. His research focuses on Catholic music cultures in Spain, Mexico, and in the American Southwest. He is also engaged in projects that explore intersections between music and the physical sciences. Prior to arriving at The University of Texas at El Paso in 2013, Candelaria served on the musicology faculty of The University of Texas at Austin for twelve years and was a visiting faculty member in ethnomusicology at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. His book, The Rosary Cantoral (2010), received the American Musicological Society’s Robert M. Stevenson Award for its outstanding contribution to music scholarship. Prestigious awards, including grants and fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, Mellon Foundation, Social Science Research Council, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, have supported his research. Candelaria received a Bachelor of Music from Oberlin College in 1995 and completed his PhD at Yale University in 2001.

Reba Cardenas McNair

Reba Cardenas McNair is a Brownsville businesswoman and civic leader who currently serves as president of two Brownsville land development corporations. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1977 with a bachelor of journalism. She then went on to receive an MS from Columbia University.  She is the 2017–2018  board chair for IDEA Public Schools and is a member of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) School of Business Advisory Board and the UTRGV Development Board. She is a recent recipient of the Preservation Award from the Brownsville Historical Association.

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 at 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, (as 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 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 Nacogdoches and then San Marcos, Texas, with her parents and brother and sister until age seven when the family moved to Washington D.C., 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.

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.

Edwin Dorn

Edwin Dorn teaches defense policy and courses about the relationship between race and immigration policy at The University of Texas at Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs. He was dean of the LBJ School from 1997 to 2005. Prior to that, he spent twenty years in Washington, DC working on civil rights and education policy in the Carter administration and serving as Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness in the Clinton administration. Dorn was a Fulbright Scholar at the Centre for West African Studies at the University of Birmingham, England. After serving as an officer in the U.S. Army, he completed his PhD in political science at Yale University. Dorn’s major publications include Rules and Racial Equality (1979, Yale University Press) and “What We Have Learned About Race,” which he wrote for the Austin-American Statesman in 2009. He is chairman of the board of the Kettering Foundation and serves on the boards of the Institute for Defense Analyses and the Seton Family of Hospitals.

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 of 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 managing partner in a private equity firm.

Becky McKinley

Becky McKinley is a professional caterer and owner of Dining by Design, a catering company through which she dedicates a portion of her time serving not-for-profit functions in the Amarillo area and working with culinary arts programs at local high schools. She is also an author and food journalist, and, in addition to her regular contributions to Accent West magazine and other online and print publications, she is currently working on a cookbook about beef. Governor Rick Perry appointed her to the Texas Governor’s Commission for Women, where she is presently serving her fifth term. She was also appointed by First Lady of Texas Anita Perry to the Advisory Council for the Texas Conference for Women. She was honored in 2010 as Silent Samaritan of the Year and is the recipient of the 2010 Amarillo Area Women’s Forum Distinguished Service Award and 7 Who Care Award. She serves as a board member of the Samaritan Counseling Center, Laura W. Bush Institute for Women's Health Advisory Board, and Women’s Philanthropy Fund. She has previously served as a board member of the Baptist Saint Anthony Hospital Foundation, Polk Street United Methodist Church, KACV Public Television, Junior League of Amarillo, Amarillo Symphony Guild, Harrington Cancer Center, and City of Amarillo Traffic Commission. She received a bachelor of fine arts degree from Texas Tech University.

Jay Moore

Jay Moore is a classroom teacher, author, speaker, and public historian from Abilene, Texas. Since 1992, he has taught at Abilene High School where he serves as chairman of the social studies department. In 2013, Moore was selected as a Humanities Texas Outstanding Teaching Award winner. He earned both his BBS in political science and history and his MA in history from Hardin-Simmons University. He is the creator of History In Plain Sight, a DVD series documenting the history of Abilene, and has authored books about the city, including Abilene History In Plain Sight (ACU Press). He is the producer and presenter of Our American Past, a lecture series aimed at reacquainting adult audiences with American history. Jay and his wife Laura have three daughters.

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.

Nolan E. Perez

Dr. Nolan Perez is the CEO of Gastroenterology Consultants of South Texas in Harlingen. Dr. Perez grew up in the Rio Grande Valley and graduated from Port Isabel High School. He earned a bachelor of arts from The University of Texas at Austin and a medical doctorate from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. After medical school, he served in the US Navy as a Medical Corps Officer and received the Navy Commendation and Navy Achievement Medals. He is board certified in gastroenterology and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology. He is a clinical associate professor at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine. Dr. Perez has a passion for mentoring, education, and community service. He created RGV Mentors to inspire high school students and help them transition into post-secondary education, and he mentors many students himself. Since 2010 he has been serving as a trustee for Harlingen Consolidated ISD and is past-president of the board. He was appointed by Governor Greg Abbott in 2015 to the Texas Woman’s University Board of Regents and is currently vice-chair. He serves on many other local and statewide boards, including The University of Texas Foundation Board, Texas Lyceum, UT System Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee, Educate Texas Advisory Board, and Senator John Cornyn’s Service Academy Nominations Board. He is married to Sandy Perez, and they have two children.

Ellen K. Ramsey

Ellen K. Ramsey is a partner of Ramsey Petroleum, LP. She 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 Pink the Basin, Inc., 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. She attended Baylor University and earned a BA in sociology from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Ellen and her husband, Midland County Commissioner Scott Ramsey, have two children, Rachel and Tucker.

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, 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 was 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.

John Phillip Santos

San Antonio native John Phillip Santos is a freelance filmmaker, producer, author, and journalist. His articles on Latino culture have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Guardian, and the San Antonio Express-News. He is writer and producer of more than forty television documentaries for CBS-TV and PBS-TV, two of which received Emmy nominations. He has authored three books, including Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation: A Memoir, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. After receiving his BA degree in philosophy and literature at Notre Dame, Santos became the first Mexican American Rhodes Scholar and thus had an opportunity to earn his MA in English literature and language from St. Catherine’s College at Oxford University. In 1997, he joined the Ford Foundation as an officer in the Media, Arts, and Culture Program. After living in New York City for twenty years, he returned to his hometown in 2005. Santos has served on the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. He is presently a University Distinguished Scholar in Mestizo Cultural Studies in The University of Texas at San Antonio’s Honors College and was the recipient of the 2017 Texas Medal of Arts for Literary Arts.

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 a 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 in Brookshire, Texas. Brookwood is an educational and residential community for adults with disabilities. She is also a strong advocate for Special Olympics Texas. Stephanie is an active supporter of the Rienzi Society, Texas Children’s Hospital, Chi Omega Alumni, and the United Way of Houston Women’s Initiative. Stephanie 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 is chairman of the Qatar-America Institute, which aims to increase understanding of the important Qatari-American relationship in security, education, and energy. He was born in New Jersey but came to Houston at the age of two. He is a 1968 graduate of Harvard College with honors in government. During the Vietnam War, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy aboard a Pacific Fleet destroyer and as aide to the commander of U.S. naval forces in the Philippines. Returning to Houston, Untermeyer was a political reporter for the Houston Chronicle and executive assistant to the county judge (chief executive) of Harris County, Texas. In 1976, he was elected as a Republican to the first of two terms as a member of the Texas House of Representatives from a district on the west side of Houston.

He resigned his seat to go to Washington in 1981 as executive assistant to then-Vice President Bush. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan appointed him Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. During the first Bush Administration, he was assistant to the President for presidential personnel and director of the Voice of America. From 2004 to 2007, he served as United States ambassador to the State of Qatar, on appointment of President George W. Bush. He is currently chairman of the Houston Committee on Foreign Relations and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Untermeyer is the author of three volumes of diary-based memoirs of the Reagan-Bush era, When Things Went Right, Inside Reagan’s Navy, and Zenith: In the White House with George H. W. Bush. He has also published How Important People Act: Behaving Yourself in Public.

Amy M. Warren

Amy 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 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.