Michael L. Gillette, Executive Director
Michael L. Gillette has been Humanities Texas’s executive director since 2003. His former positions include directing the LBJ Library’s Oral History Program from 1976 to 1991 and serving as director of the Center for Legislative Archives from 1991 to 2003, with responsibility for the official records of the United States Senate and the House of Representatives at the National Archives. Gillette serves on the advisory board of the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University and the board of directors of the Congressional Education Foundation. He is a member of the Philosophical Society of Texas and served as its president in 2009. His previous affiliations include the board of directors of the Everett Dirksen Congressional Leadership Center and the Law Library of Congress’s National Digital Library Program. Gillette is the author of Launching the War on Poverty: An Oral History and editor of Texas in Transition. His newest book, Lady Bird Johnson: An Oral History, was released by Oxford University Press in 2012. He received his BA in government and his PhD in history from The University of Texas at Austin. He is a recipient of the UT College of Liberal Arts' Pro Bene Meritis award.
For more on Michael L. Gillette visit the Director's page.
Lydia Chao, Finance and Operations Assistant
Lydia Chao joined Humanities Texas in May 2015. A native of Oklahoma, she holds a BS and MS in Hotel and Restaurant Administration from Oklahoma State University. Prior to joining Humanities Texas, she worked with both Marriott International and Hilton Worldwide in accounting, sales, and operations management. Lydia supports bookkeeping, meeting and event coordination for the Byrne-Reed House, and facilities management.
Brook Davis, Grants Program Officer
Brook Davis holds a BA in history and political science from Texas State University-San Marcos. She joined Humanities Texas in September 2002 as an intern and, in January 2003, was hired as a full-time administrative assistant. In January 2004, she was promoted to grants program officer and now supports the administration of Humanities Texas's grants program. She maintains the grants database system, tracks grant-funded programs, compiles program-related statistics, and assists Texas-based nonprofit organizations in developing effective grant proposals. When not at work, Brook enjoys living with her husband and daughter in their south Austin home.
Stephanie Donowho, Media Resources Officer
Stephanie Donowho joined Humanities Texas in March 2014. She grew up in Austin and graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2014 with a BA in history and a BS in radio-television-film with a minor in English. While at UT, she interned with the Harry Ransom Center in both the collections and marketing departments and has worked in post-production on multiple major motion pictures.
Yvonne Doerr González, Deputy Director
Yvonne González joined Humanities Texas as fiscal officer and grants administrator in May 1988, served as director of finance from 1995–1999, and associate director and chief financial officer through 2003. During an executive director search, she served as interim executive director for Humanities Texas from April through July 2002. A Texas native from Brownsville, she worked previously as fiscal agent for two non profit organizations funded by city, state and federal grants She holds a BA of liberal studies in accounting from St. Edward's University. She serves as financial and compliance officer, human resources, and oversees the facilities, meetings, and events.
William Heath, Program Officer
William Heath joined Humanities Texas in August 2014. An Austin native, he graduated from the University of Dallas in 2014 with a BA in history. While at the University of Dallas, he studied the influence of John Adams and his family on the early American republic, as well as the development of English and American political philosophy in response to modernity. Previously, he worked as an intern for Humanities Texas during the summers of 2013 and 2014.
Melissa J. Huber, Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs
Melissa Huber joined Humanities Texas in December 2007. She holds a BA in art history from Arizona State University and an MS in historic preservation from The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining Humanities Texas, she worked at the Blanton Museum of Art and in UT's Architectural Conservation Lab. Her combined focus on collections, exhibitions, and historic buildings developed in her previous role as conservation assistant for the Arizona State Museum Preservation Division at The University of Arizona in Tucson. At Humanities Texas, she oversees the traveling exhibitions program, Byrne-Reed House collections, and website. She served as staff point-person for the Byrne-Reed House restoration.
Liz James, Coordinator of Educational Programs
Liz James joined Humanities Texas in September 2008. Originally from Austin, she attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and graduated with a BA in the history of art in May 2008. As an undergraduate, she developed a passion for education through her involvement with ArtReach, a program designed to bring art and education programs to the underserved Nashville community. In addition to administering the Outstanding Teaching Awards, she works on Humanities Texas’s teacher institute and education programs, serving as lead coordinator for individual teacher institutes.
Henry Levine, Exhibitions Technician
Henry Levine joined Humanities Texas in December 2009. He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a BA in fine arts and received his MFA from Parsons The New School for Design in 1997. Prior to joining Humanities Texas, he worked as an exhibitions installer and carpenter for numerous museums and galleries including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, MoMA-PS1, and The Jewish Museum of New York. Currently, he divides his time between Humanities Texas and his own company, where he designs and builds furniture with an emphasis on sustainable materials and building practices.
Eric Lupfer, Director of Grants and Education
Eric Lupfer holds a PhD in English (2003) and an MS in information studies (2004) from The University of Texas at Austin and a BA with High Honors in English from Bowdoin College (1991). Before joining the staff of Humanities Texas in 2004, he worked at UT’s Harry Ransom Center, where he curated an NEH-funded traveling exhibition on Isaac Bashevis Singer and codirected the center’s summer teacher institute. He is a former high school English teacher and has published a number of articles and book reviews on American literature and publishing history, including an essay in the five-volume, collaborative scholarly work, A History of the Book in America. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Eric directs the Humanities Texas grants, education, and awards programs.
Sheena Moore, Program Officer
Sheena Moore joined Humanities Texas in January 2013. A native of Texas, she holds a BA in English and a minor in women and gender studies (2008) from The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining Humanities Texas, she worked as a program specialist for VICTORY Tutorial Program, a partnership between the City of Austin and Austin Independent School District. At VICTORY, she coordinated one-to-one tutoring for grades one through twelve in all subjects, and worked to build community partnerships with local nonprofit organizations such as Austin Free-Net to provide iPads and technology to students for tutoring purposes. She also serves as social media manager for Austin children’s writer Shana Burg, author of A Thousand Never Evers and Texas Bluebonnet Award-nominated Laugh with the Moon. Sheena supports the Humanities Texas education programs.
Sara Nezamabadi, Exhibitions Coordinator
Sara Nezamabadi joined Humanities Texas in October 2013. A native to Texas, she holds a MA in public history with a minor in secondary education (2013) from Texas State University-San Marcos and also a BA in history and art history from The University of Texas at Austin (2009). Before joining Humanities Texas, Sara worked as a museum technician at the LBJ Presidential Library, where she assisted with exhibition planning, installation, and object preservation. Sara supports the Humanities Texas traveling exhibitions program.
Kelsi Tyler, Program Officer
Kelsi Tyler joined Humanities Texas in October 2013. Originally from Houston, she holds a BA in English and rhetoric and writing from The University of Texas at Austin. As an undergraduate, she worked as a writing fellow for the Liberal Arts Honors Program and as a consultant at the Undergraduate Writing Center.
Lindsey Wall, Development Officer
Lindsey Wall is a native of Austin, Texas. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BA in architecture. Prior to joining Humanities Texas in September of 2008, she worked as the curatorial assistant for the Mattress Factory, a contemporary art museum and artists' residence program in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There she helped to coordinate the fabrication of exhibitions and collaborated with artists, curators, staff, and contractors. She has also handled exhibitions at the Regina Gouger Miller Gallery and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Wood Street Galleries.