Board of Directors


John Phillip Santos, Chair

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, he 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. He 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.

Joy Ann Weaver Havran, Vice Chair

Joy Ann Weaver Havran, a native of Center, Texas, graduated from Texas Christian University (TCU) with a BBA and MBA in accounting. She is a self-employed CPA, managing family business interests. She and her husband Robert (Bob) reside in Fort Worth. She was the first woman to be hired by the Fort Worth firm of KPMG (then Peat, Marwick and Mitchell) and later taught accounting at TCU. Her interests then turned to the volunteer community where she has served on numerous boards including the Fort Worth Symphony, Dallas Fort Worth Ballet, Shakespeare in the Park, Casa Mañana Theatre, Junior League, University Christian Church Board of Deacons, Cook Children’s Medical Center and Texas Health Foundation, and Humanities Texas. Among other activities, she has been president of Jewel Charity, Junior Woman’s Club of Fort Worth, and Fort Worth Country Day (FWCD) Parent Faculty Association. She also served as chair of the community wide fundraising event to endow FWCD Track and Field. She has chaired the March of Dimes Gala, the Arts Council Gala, the Van Cliburn Closing Gala, Leadership Fort Worth, the Event Committee for the Commissioning of the USS Fort Worth Littoral Combat Ship, and the Steering Committee for the Statewide Lonesome Dove 20th Anniversary Gala. She has been the recipient of many awards including the Fort Worth Business Press Legacy Award for Lifetime Volunteerism; Fort Worth Can Academies Lifetime Achievement Award; Fort Worth Chapter of National Fundraising Professionals Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser; Volunteer of the Year and the Individual Partner of the Year for Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS), Lone Star; Texas State Alumnae of Alpha Delta Pi Service to Community Award; Junior League Sustainer of the Year; Cook Children’s Medical Center Volunteer of the Year; and Center High School Hall of Honor. Currently, she is the advisor to the board of Jewel Charity and financial advisor to the Junior League of Fort Worth and Fort Worth Trinity River Vision. She is active on the TCU Fine Arts Board of Visitors and its gala committee and the Greenwood Mount Olivet Cemetery Association Board. She is chair of the Barrett Havran Memorial Big Taste of Fort Worth benefiting BBBS.

Sean P. Cunningham, Treasurer

Sean P. Cunningham is professor of history and associate dean for administrative affairs in the College of Arts and Sciences at Texas Tech University (TTU). A recipient of Texas Tech’s President’s Excellence in Teaching Award and a member of its Teaching Academy, he specializes in twentieth-century U.S. political history, with a particular focus on Texas and the American Sunbelt. He is the author of Cowboy Conservatism: Texas and the Rise of the Modern Right (Kentucky, 2010), American Politics in the Postwar Sunbelt: Conservative Growth in a Battleground Region (Cambridge, 2014), and Bootstrap Liberalism: Texas Political Culture in the Age of FDR (Kansas, 2022). In addition to his responsibilities as a university administrator, Cunningham serves on TTU’s Chair Mentoring Committee in collaboration with the university’s National Science Foundation ADVANCE Grant; is TTU’s Title IX liaison for academic affairs; is chair of the editorial board for Texas Tech University Press; was on the advisory board for Civil Counterpoints, a campus conversation series designed to stimulate thoughtful and respectful dialogue on volatile issues; and worked for the Provost’s Faculty Success Advisory Committee from 2017–2022. He also proudly serves on the Historical Advisory Board for TX4T, a non-profit organization that provides social studies teachers and students in K–12 schools with access to evidence-based historical content and best-practices pedagogy resources related to the teaching of Texas history. Cunningham received his PhD in American history from the University of Florida in 2007 and now lives in Lubbock with his wife and two daughters.

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 and The University of Texas School of Public Health Advisory Council of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Development Board. She is the 2019–20 chair-elect of UTHealth Houston and will begin serving as chair of that organization in 2021–22. She and her husband Richard have lived in Houston for forty-five years. They have two children—Michael and Caroline—and five grandchildren.

Becky McKinley, Past Chair

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 nonprofit functions in the Amarillo area and working with culinary arts programs at local high schools. She is also an author and food journalist. She served on the Governor’s Commission for Women for five terms and was 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 has previously served on several boards in Amarillo. She received a bachelor of fine arts degree from Texas Tech University. 

Elizabeth Chapman

Elizabeth Chapman is an International Baccalaureate English teacher at Bellaire High School in the Houston Independent School District. As an Engaging Eurasia Fellow with the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, she developed curriculum to teach about the Chernobyl disaster. She was awarded grants by the English-Speaking Union of the United States to participate in the Teaching Shakespeare Through Performance program at Shakespeare’s Globe in London as well as from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study the literature and history of the Great Plains at North Dakota State University. She was a Fulbright-Hays scholar to India and studied the German education system with the Goethe-Institut. She received the Linden Heck Howell Award for Outstanding Teacher of Texas History from Humanities Texas, the Outstanding Teacher Award from the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, and the Region 4 Outstanding Teacher of the Gifted Award from the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented. She has been published in Southwestern Historical Quarterly, English in Texas, and the Houston Chronicle

Trasa Cobern

Trasa Cobern grew up in a military family and lived in West Germany when the Berlin Wall fell, leading to a lifelong passion for history and politics. She is a proud honors graduate of Texas A&M University, which she attended on a President’s Endowed Scholarship. She currently serves as the chief development officer for the faith-based nonprofit 6Stones Mission Network in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Previously, she taught U.S. history for nine years and was the social studies department chair at Euless Trinity High School, named “Most Diverse High School in Texas.” There she won multiple recognitions: second place in 2018 for Outstanding American History Teacher in Texas by the Daughters of the American Revolution, the 2019 national Harold Simmons Excellence in Constitutional History Award from Constituting America, and others. She published two articles on the Medal of Honor and consulted with the new National Medal of Honor Museum on national educational resources. She has written over one hundred and twenty historical-themed social media blog posts for the Texas Veterans Land Board. As a teacher, she participated in many workshops hosted by Humanities Texas. She is a former city council member in Hurst, Texas. She is involved in local Chambers of Commerce and the 2023 Leadership Colleyville cohort and serves on the Mid Cities Women’s Clinic Board in Euless and the Hurst Parks and Recreation Board. She is married to Kyle Cobern, who also teaches history, and they have four adult sons.

Stacey Neal Combest

Stacey Combest served as chair of the Texas Commission on Special Education Funding. She is a parent and guardian of a son with severe Intellectual Developmental Disabilities (IDDs). She currently serves as legislative director of Parents and Allies for Remarkable Texans, as a Texan advocate for Voice of Reason, and, formerly, as president of Texans for State Supported Living Centers. She also served on the Long-Term Care Subcommittee reporting to the Committee for Children with Special Needs (SB 643). She remains an ongoing educational resource for state legislators to rely on to help enact pro-disability legislation. She is an ADR Certified Mediator and a member of the Texas Association of Mediators. She received her BA in political science from the University of Houston and her JD from the University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law. She has three young adult children (Megan, Andrew, and Aaron) and is married to Bill Combest. They reside in Elkins Lake in Huntsville, Texas.

Yvonne Cormier

Yvonne Clement Cormier is a graduate of Southern Methodist University with a degree in biology. At SMU, she was the recipient of the SMU “M” Award, named to Mortar Board, and designated a Dedman Scholar. She attended graduate school as a Ford Foundation Fellow at Brown University in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and completed her PhD dissertation research in biochemical pharmacology at the Yale University School of Medicine. As a graduate student, she received the Ford Foundation Dissertation Award, the Citation Index Award, and the Pharmaceutical Association Young Investigator Award. She completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in biochemical pharmacology at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston where she also held a teaching appointment in autonomic pharmacology. She has published thirty-six scientific abstracts, twenty-six research papers, and eight book chapters. She is a graduate of Baylor College of Medicine and completed the Anesthesia Residency Program at the Baylor College of Medicine affiliated hospitals in the Texas Medical Center where she served as chief resident. Currently, she is a practicing anesthesiologist in Houston and, in 2021, was recognized by Texas Magazine as a top anesthesiologist in the Houston area. She is very active in the Houston philanthropic community where she serves or has served on the boards of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Glassell School, the SMU Alumni Association, the Houston Area Parkinson's Society, Houston Parks, and Bayou Bend and on the advisory boards of the Houston Endowment, the Houston Junior League, and the Houston Ballet. She has chaired numerous community projects for charitable organizations, including Memorial Hermann Foundation’s Outreach for Breast Cancer Awareness, Child Advocates, United Cerebral Palsy, Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse, March of Dimes, Legacy Community Health, and the Museum of Contemporary Arts. In recognition of her community service, she was selected as one of Channel 13's Women of Distinction, honored by the Social Book as a Houston Treasure, named to the Houston Chronicle’s Best Dressed Hall of Fame, selected as a 2021 Woman of Substance, and awarded the Park People’s Gia Award.  She is married to Rufus Cormier and they have two adult children, Geoffrey Cormier and Claire Cormier Thielke. 

Walter Díaz

Walter Díaz is the founding dean of the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) in Edinburg and Brownsville. He served a critical role in the establishment of a new interdisciplinary college that combined the resources and academic strengths from three legacy institution colleges. From 2011–2015, he was the dean of the College of Social Sciences at UTRGV legacy institution The University of Texas-Pan American. Prior to this, he was a full professor of political science in the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez (UPRM). As a UPRM faculty member he served in various capacities such as interim chair of the Department of Social Sciences and director of its Center for Applied Social Research. His primary research interests have centered on the social roots and consequences of extreme events; the implications of technology on political participation and access (and success) to higher education; and other areas in which the application of social science methodology could be useful. He has served on the US Army Corps of Engineers Island Task Force and the Puerto Rico Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program and with NOAA’s National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program. The research findings generated have been published in a wide variety of professional journals and have helped to inform the development of relevant public policy.

Thomas DiPiero

Thomas DiPiero is dean of the Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences at Southern Methodist University (SMU), where he is also a professor of English and French. He oversees sixteen departments and fourteen centers, programs, and institutes that span the humanities, social sciences, and mathematical and natural sciences. Dedman College offers thirty-eight undergraduate majors, fifty-six undergraduate minors, seventeen master’s degrees, and fourteen PhD degrees. He received a BA in French and an MA in romance languages and literatures from The Ohio State University and an MA and PhD in romance studies from Cornell University. His research focuses on two principal areas: European fiction of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and literary and cultural theory. He is the author of two books: Dangerous Truths and Criminal Passions: The Evolution of the French Novel, 1569–1791 (Stanford University Press) and White Men Aren’t (Duke University Press). He served as an editor of the Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies from 2005–2013. Prior to joining SMU, he taught at the University of Rochester, Reed College, and the University of Paris.

Amy Earhart

Amy E. Earhart is associate professor of English and affiliated faculty of Africana studies at Texas A&M University. A 2020 Texas A&M University Presidential Impact Fellow and a 2019 Texas A&M University Arts and Humanities Fellow, Earhart has participated in grants and fellowships received from the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Council of Learned Societies, National Science Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation. In 2020, Earhart received a NEH-Mellon Fellowship for Digital Publication for her book length digital project "Digital Humanities and the Infrastructures of Race in African-American Literature." She has also won numerous teaching awards, including the University Distinguished Achievement Award from The Association of Former Students and Texas A&M University. Earhart’s scholarship has focused on examining infrastructures of technology and their impact and replication of "race," building infrastructure for digital humanities work, embedding digital humanities projects within the classroom, and tracing the history and futures of digital humanities, with a particular interest in the way that digital humanities and Black studies intersect. Her digital projects are constructed to expand access to Black humanities materials, as is the case with projects The Millican Massacre, 1868, DIBB: The Digital Black Bibliographic Project, and “Alex Haley’s Malcolm X: ‘The Malcolm X I knew’ and notecards from The Autobiography of Malcolm X” (a collaborative project with undergraduate and graduate students published in Scholarly Editing). Earhart has published scholarship on a variety of digital humanities topics, with work that includes a monograph Traces of Old, Uses of the New: The Emergence of Digital Literary Studies (U Michigan Press, 2015), a coedited collection The American Literature Scholar in the Digital Age (U Michigan Press, 2010), and a number of articles and book chapters in volumes including the Debates in Digital Humanities series, DHQ, DSH: Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, Digital Studies/Le champ numérique, The Bloomsbury Handbook to the Digital Humanities, and Textual Cultures. Her current book, A Compromised Infrastructure: Digital Humanities, African American Literary History and Technologies of Identity, is under advance contract with Stanford University Press. She also sits on a number of boards including the Project of the History of Black Writing, Journal of Computational Literary Studies, and Scholarly Editing.

Daniel J. Gelo

Daniel J. Gelo is dean and professor of anthropology emeritus and former Stumberg Distinguished University Chair at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). He holds PhD, MPhil, MA, and BA degrees in anthropology from Rutgers University. As a professor, he taught thirteen courses, including folklore, ethnographic film, and the history of anthropological theory. As dean of UTSA’s largest college for seventeen years, Gelo led eleven departments in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. He established new degree programs or independent departments in English, medical humanities, global affairs, museum studies, and philosophy and classics, among others. Gelo is an active researcher in the field of American Indian studies, specializing in the Indians of Texas and the Southern Plains. His publications include the public television documentary People of the Sun: The Tiguas of El Paso (1992) and the books Comanche Vocabulary (University of Texas Press, 1995), Comanches in the New West, 1896–1908 (with Stanley Noyes, University of Texas Press, 1999), Texas Indian Trails (with Wayne L. Pate, Republic of Texas Press, 2003), Comanches and Germans on the Texas Frontier: The Ethnology of Heinrich Berghaus (with Christopher J. Wickham, Texas A&M University Press, 2018), and Indians of the Great Plains (Second Edition, Routledge, 2019). He has won the UTSA President's Distinguished Achievement Award, the University of Texas System Chancellor's Council Outstanding Teaching Award, and the Presidio La Bahia Award for best book on early Texas history. 

John Morán González

From the border town of Brownsville, John Morán González is the J. Frank Dobie Regents Professor of American and English Literature at The University of Texas at Austin. He attended Princeton University, graduating  magna cum laude with an AB in English literature. At Stanford University, he earned an MA degree and a PhD, both in English and American literature. He is former director of the Center for Mexican American Studies and acting director of the Plan II Honors Program. He is the author of two books: Border Renaissance: The Texas Centennial and the Emergence of Mexican-American Literature (2009) and The Troubled Union: Expansionist Imperatives in Post-Reconstruction American Novels  (2010). He is editor of  The Cambridge Companion to Latina/o American Literature (2016). He is co-editor (with Laura Lomas) of The Cambridge History of Latina/o American Literature (2018), which was selected as a 2018 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title. He is also co-editor (with Vildan Mahmutoglu) of Communication of Migration in Media and Arts (2020). In addition, he is a founding member of Refusing to Forget (RTF), a public history project dedicated to critically memorializing state violence in the Texas-Mexico borderlands that has received awards from the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and the Western Historical Association. Together with fellow RTF member Sonia Hernández, he co-edited  Reverberations of Racial Violence: Critical Reflections on the History of the Border (2021).

April Graham

April Graham is a retired high school teacher who currently resides in Houston. She currently volunteers with numerous organizations including Memorial High School and St. Cecilia Catholic Church. She graduated from Texas Tech University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in dance. She then went to the University of Houston where she received a bachelor’s degree in dance along with a secondary teaching certificate. She has served as the first vice president for Dance/Drill Team Directors of America and was a member of the Texas Dance Educators’ Association.

Andrea Holman

Andrea Holman began working for Lyra Health as diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI&B) program manager for the workforce transformation team in June 2021. In this capacity, she creates content and presentations to educate employees about the impact of social identities on both mental health and workplace experiences. Prior to this role, she served as a tenured associate professor of psychology at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin where she was hailed as Faculty of the Year for the 2019–2020 academic year. She has conducted research on understanding the psychological experience of African Americans, specifically the complexities of racial identity and cultural mistrust and their impact on interracial interactions. She also researches racial advocacy from the perspective of Black and Latinx Americans. She has contributed to peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, national conference presentations, virtual seminars, workshops, and several podcasts discussing the aforementioned subjects. She currently resides in Austin with her husband and two sons, ages ten and six.

Elizabeth Johnson

Elizabeth Johnson is a retired educator living in Harlingen, Texas, with her husband, Alan. Her work in education has been at the elementary level, with teaching experience in both public and private schools. At the time of her retirement, she was head of school at St. Alban’s Episcopal Day School. She is a 1972 graduate of Abilene Christian University. She has been actively involved with the American Cancer Society, serving not only as a board member but as a liaison for the recruitment of teams for Relay for Life from the surrounding school districts in the area. She helped in the organization and development of Dining by Design, a premier event in the Lower Rio Grande Valley that has been raising funds for the American Cancer Society since 2000. She has served on the board of directors at Sunny Glen Children’s Home and has on various committees in the Harlingen community. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Progreso International Bridge. She and Alan have two daughters and sons-in-law and five grandchildren, three of whom will be attending Texas A&M University next fall.

Blair Labatt

Blair Labatt is president of Labatt Food Service, the tenth-largest broadline foodservice distributor nationally. Labatt Food Service distributes food and related products to food-away-from-home establishments in six states. He is a graduate of Princeton (BA English) and Oxford University (MA English), and he earned a PhD in English at the University of Virginia. Before joining Labatt Food Service, he was an assistant professor of English at The University of Texas at Austin. In 2005, he published Faulkner the Storyteller, a book of literary analysis on plot in the novels of William Faulkner. He started and for almost forty years conducted the Princeton Book Prize, an annual city-wide contest to recognize the most outstanding high school juniors in San Antonio. He served on the executive committee of the Alumni Council of Princeton University, and currently, he is a member of the advisory council of the Princeton Department of English. He has also been chairman of the board of San Antonio Academy, a trustee of Texas Lutheran University, chair of the San Antonio Medical Foundation, and founder of the Wellness Coalition of San Antonio. He is chair emeritus of Opera San Antonio and a trustee of Houston Grand Opera. He is an inducted member of the Philosophical Society of Texas.

Orenthia D. Mason

Rev. Orenthia D. Mason is a native of Tyler having retired as a Tyler ISD elementary school principal and Texas College and Jarvis Christian College professor and administrator. She is the presiding elder of the North Tyler District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. She is an active community volunteer, serving as vice president of the Tyler ISD Board of Trustees for fifteen years, as well as on the Smith County Appraisal District Board, the Texas College Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors for the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Tyler Park Board, the City of Tyler Catalyst 100 Leadership Team, and the Leadership Tyler Class 2 Alumni. Her past memberships include the City of Tyler Mayor’s Round Table, chaplain for the Rose City Chapter of Top Ladies of Distinction Inc., chaplain for the Texas College National Alumni Association, Tyler Area Partnership for Education, City of Tyler Municipal Court Advisory Committee, President of the Tyler Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and regional chaplain for the Southwest Region of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. She has been honored as an Outstanding Leadership Tyler Alumni, Tyler ISD Hall of Fame, Pillar of the Community, Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, Outstanding Woman in Tyler, Outstanding Woman Clergy, and Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Texas College. She is a proud honor graduate of Texas College, Stephen F. Austin State University, and has completed other work at UT Tyler and the University of St. Thomas. She has a twin brother, Oland, and an older brother, Cleveland.

Amanda S. Nobles

Amanda S. Nobles retired in June 2020 after thirty years with the Kilgore Economic Development Corporation (KEDC) and thirty-three years with the City of Kilgore. As KEDC’s executive director, she led all aspects of economic development for Kilgore, initially in a one-woman office and eventually managing a staff of four. Working for boards made up of industrial CEOs and plant managers, she learned business decision-making from expert practitioners and servant leaders. Adding economic development education to that, she acquired the skills and tools she needed to lead KEDC for thirty years. She is a longtime member of the Texas Economic Development Council, an IEDC Certified Economic Development Professional, and a certified Economic Development Finance Professional. She serves as a fellow of the Industrial Asset Management Council and received its Mary Jo Hannover Award for service by an economic developer. Her civic volunteer experience includes serving many years as president of the Gregg County Historical Commission, on the board and as an officer of Kilgore Historical Preservation Foundation, and as a member of the Texas Shakespeare Festival Guild organizational committee and charter member. She also serves on the Kilgore College Foundation Board of Directors and the REEL East Texas Film Festival Board of Directors. She is a past member of the Junior League of Longview, Leadership Longview, and Leadership Kilgore. A graduate of The University of Texas at Austin with a BA degree, she has been a teacher, a petroleum land manager, and an economic developer and is now a mentor to new economic development professionals. She lives at Lake Cherokee, Texas (near both Longview and Kilgore). She has three children, Shannon Hood, Jason Pratt, and Seth Nobles, and is grandmother to Darby Hood and Josie Nobles. She enjoys traveling, reading, spending time with her dog Ace, and hosting gatherings of family and friends at her home. She attends Crossroads Methodist Church.

Nancy Painter Paup

Nancy Painter Paup manages and directs business, real estate, and ranching interests in Texas. She received a gubernatorial appointment to the Board of Regents of Texas Woman’s University (TWU-Denton, Dallas, and Houston), the largest public university primarily for women in the United States, and was elected vice-chair during her tenure. She is an elected member of The Philosophical Society of Texas. She currently serves on the advisory council of the Jane Nelson Institute of Women’s Leadership (TWU) and the executive advisory committee of The Handbook of Texas Women and is founder of The Paup Lecture Series at TWU. Formerly, she served on the board of directors of the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) at The University of Texas at Austin, the board of trustees of Schreiner University, and the advisory board of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Texas A&M University and was a member of the Leadership Texas Class of 2003. Her academic degrees include master’s and bachelor’s degrees from TWU. Post-graduate work includes attending Dartmouth College, Harvard University, The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania, and receiving certifications in development, strategic leadership, and private wealth management, respectively. She has raised funds throughout Texas for the arts, higher education, and historical preservation. She spearheaded the membership and corporate development programs at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, was involved with the completion of a $50 million capital campaign at Schreiner University, and was co-chair of a previous state-wide campaign for TSHA. She and her husband, Ted, have two daughters and five grandchildren.

Ellen K. Ramsey

Ellen K. Ramsey is executive director of the Permian Road Safety Coalition, partner of Ramsey Petroleum LP, and a civic volunteer. She is a 2016 gubernatorial appointee to the Humanities Texas board and was reappointed in 2023 and 2024; she serves as chair of the Public Programs Committee and is a member of the Grants Committee. She also serves on the boards of the Midland Chamber of Commerce and Midland Memorial Hospital and is a Junior League of Midland Sustainer and PTA lifetime member. Ellen was featured in the 2017 Midland Reporter-Telegram "52 Faces," 2018 recipient of the Centers for Children and Families "Ibby" award, and 2022 recipient of the Rosalind Redfern Library Benefactor Award, all of which are recognitions for community service. She has previously served on the boards of the Midland County Public Library Foundation, Midland Habitat, the George W. Bush Childhood Home, Pink the Basin, the Midland County Republican Party, the I-20 Wildlife Preserve, the City of Midland Hotel/Motel Tax, and 2023–24 Women for Nikki Haley state chair team. She was community relations director for Norfleet Strategies and district director for State Senator Kel Seliger. Ramsey attended Baylor University and earned a BA in sociology from The University of Texas Permian Basin. She and her husband, Midland County Commissioner Scott Ramsey, have two children and one son-in-law.

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 and associate dean of undergraduate studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Houston, where he teaches and researches colonial, Native American, public, and, increasingly, food history. Devoted to public education, he was the faculty director for five Humanities Texas summer teacher institutes held at the University of Houston. For his work in the classroom, Romero won the 2012 UH Provost Core Teaching Excellence Award and the 2016 Ross M. Lence Teaching Excellence Award in the humanities. 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, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Katharine Schlosberg

Katharine Schlosberg grew up in a military family living in Virginia, Germany, France, Spain, and, ultimately, San Antonio where she spent her high school years. She has been involved in public education for over forty years as a teacher, counselor, school administrator, and university professor. She began her career as a classroom teacher in Rapid City, South Dakota. As a school counselor in Aurora, Colorado, she worked with students on issues of school, family, self-esteem, and peer relationships. Additionally, she served as a board member of the Colorado School Counselor’s Association. Upon moving to California, she taught high school mathematics and subsequently was named Director of Studies at Westridge School, where she was responsible for academic counseling and faculty mentoring. She then accepted a position as an adjunct professor at San Jose State University where she supervised graduate students in the Education Leadership program. Recently retired after teaching at the University of the Incarnate Word for ten years, she now directs her energy to organizations that focus on supporting underprivileged students. She is a past member of the Board of Visitors of Trinity University and the KLRN Foundation board. She is also a past board member (vice-chair) of Communities In Schools of San Antonio and a founding member of Friends of Communities In Schools. She served on the board of Children Now, a California based policy and research organization focused on agencies that support children’s education, health, and welfare. She currently serves on the Board of Visitors of the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies. She holds an EdD in Education Administration from UCLA, an MEd from Trinity University, and a BS in Mathematics Education from the University of Missouri. She is married to Dick Schlosberg and has two grown children and five grandchildren.

William Serrata

William Serrata was named president of the El Paso County Community College District in August 2012. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University, a master’s degree from The University of Texas at Brownsville, and a PhD in educational human resource development from Texas A&M University. During his career, he has fostered enrollment growth as well as increases in student retention, dual credit enrollment, and graduation rates with an emphasis on first-generation and Hispanic populations and establishing a college-going culture. He is an active member of the El Paso community and currently serves as a board member of Workforce Solutions Borderplex, the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce, and the El Paso Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He is chair of the board for the El Paso Collaborative for Academic Excellence. At the state level, he serves as the chair for the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC), co-chair of the TACC Business Advisory Council, chair of the TACC Texas Success Center Advisory Committee, and past chair of the Texas Student Success Council convened by Educate Texas. On the national level, he serves on the board of directors for the Lumina Foundation, as the immediate past chair of the board of directors for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), immediate past chair of the board of directors of Excelencia in Education, and advisory board member of the Higher Education Research and Development Institute (HERDI). He previously served on the National Student Clearing House Advisory Council and was a member of the 2015 class of the Aspen Institute Ascend Fellows. In 2019, he was selected as the Western Region Chief Executive of the Year by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) and subsequently received the Marie Y. Martin Chief Executive Officer Award during the national conference. He and his wife Jessica have been married for twenty years and are blessed with two wonderful sons, Nathan and Joshua. He enjoys fishing, reading, and spending time with his family. 

Alan Tully

Alan Tully is Eugene C. Barker Centennial Professor of American History at The University of Texas at Austin and was chair of the history department at UT Austin from 2002 until 2014. He received his PhD from Johns Hopkins University. A scholar of early American history, he has authored and co-edited several books including William Penn’s Legacy: Politics and Social Structure in Provincial Pennsylvania 1726–1755 (Johns Hopkins University Press), Forming American Politics: Ideals, Interests, and Institutions in Colonial New York and Pennsylvania (Johns Hopkins University Press), and, with Professor Bob Olwell, Cultures and Identities in Colonial British North America. He is currently working on a book on the politics of declamation in early America. He and his wife, Deborah Bennett, have two grown daughters.