Humanities Texas welcomes our new board members! The Humanities Texas Board of Directors formulates policy, approves programs and projects, reviews grant applications, participates in fundraising, and promotes organizational activities. Directors are selected for knowledge of or involvement in the humanities and represent both the academic and public spheres.

In January, Governor Greg Abbott appointed Trasa Cobern, Stacey Neal Combest, April Graham, Elizabeth Johnson, and Amanda S. Nobles to the Humanities Texas Board of Directors and reappointed Ellen K. Ramsey. Sean P. Cunningham and Joy Ann Weaver Havran are returning to the board after having served previous terms.

The Humanities Texas Board of Directors meets at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin in November 2022.

Trasa Cobern

Trasa Cobern* is 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 the “Most Diverse High School in Texas.” 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 the 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 a proud honors graduate of Texas A&M University, which she attended on a President’s Endowed Scholarship.

Trasa Cobern.

Stacey Neal Combest

Stacey Neal Combest* serves as legislative director of Parents and Allies for Remarkable Texans and as a Texan advocate for Voice of Reason. Formerly, she served as chair of the Texas Commission on Special Education Funding and as president of Texans for State Supported Living Centers. She is a parent and guardian of a son with severe Intellectual Development Disabilities (IDDs), and she remains an ongoing educational resource for state legislators to rely on to help enact pro-disability legislation. She received her BA in political science from the University of Houston and her JD from the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law.

Stacey Neal Combest.

Sean P. Cunningham

Sean P. Cunningham is chair of the Department of History at Texas Tech University. 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 previously served on the board of directors for the Texas State Historical Association. He received his PhD in American history from the University of Florida in 2007 and now lives in Lubbock with his wife and two daughters.

Sean P. Cunningham.

April Graham

April Graham* is a retired high school teacher who 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.

April Graham.

Joy Ann Weaver Havran

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 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, and Cook Children’s Medical Center and Texas Health Foundation. 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 she is chair of the Barrett Havran Memorial Big Taste of Fort Worth benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Joy Ann Weaver Havran.

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. 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 has served on the board of directors at Sunny Glen Children’s Home and on various committees in the Harlingen community. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Progreso International Bridge.

Elizabeth Johnson.

Amanda S. Nobles

Amanda S. Nobles* retired in June 2020 after thirty years with the Kilgore Economic Development Corporation and thirty-three years with the City of Kilgore. 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 on the Kilgore College Foundation Board of Directors and the REEL East Texas Film Festival Board of Directors. A graduate of The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts degree, she has been a teacher, a petroleum land manager, and an economic developer and now is a mentor to new economic development professionals.

Amanda S. Nobles.

Ellen K. Ramsey

Ellen K. Ramsey* is a partner of Ramsey Petroleum LP and civic volunteer. She currently serves as a board member for the Midland Chamber of Commerce, Midland Memorial Hospital, City of Midland Hotel/Motel Tax, Midland County Republican Party, and Midland Inspires. She was the 2018 recipient of the "Ibby" award for service in her community. She 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, Rachel and Tucker.

Ellen K. Ramsey.

*Gubernatorial appointee