The Eyes of Texas History Committee Member Biographies
The Eyes of Texas History Committee Member Biographies
H. W. Brands attended graduate school at UT in the 1980s. After teaching at Vanderbilt University and Texas A&M, he returned to UT in 2005. He holds the Jack S. Blanton Sr. Chair in history.
Ricky Brown serves The University of Texas and the Texas Athletics program as Assistant Athletics Director for the T-Association and leads letterwinner engagement beginning with current student-athletes and continuing throughout their post-Texas lives.
Brown followed a successful playing career at Texas with time in the NFL before embarking on a career in business. He initially returned to Texas in September 2013 when he joined the Longhorn Foundation as a key leader in the establishment of philanthropic giving programs, which resulted in record endowments. After finishing his playing career and earning an MBA from Southern Methodist University, Brown worked for both JPMorgan and Merrill Lynch in the world of finance.
As a student-athlete at Texas, Ricky Brown and Ricky Williams worked together in the Texas backfield for two seasons in 1997-98, with Brown clearing the lanes for Williams as his blocking fullback. Brown's effort at the blocking-back position during those years played a critical part in Texas' rushing attack, and paved the way for Williams to break the NCAA career rushing record while also helping him garner several awards, including the Doak Walker Award for the nation's best running back and the Heisman Trophy.
Don is the founding executive director, Briscoe Center for American History. He has written 12 books, including RED SCARE and STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE: FOUR DECADES OF CIVIL RIGHTS PHOTOGRAPHY, and has produced two PBS documentaries, including WHEN I RISE, which documents the life of African American opera diva Barbara Conrad and an important chapter in the history of racial discrimination at UT. He has also served as editor of SELMA, a photograph book published by UT Press documenting the Selma voting rights movement in Alabama in 1965; BEHOLD THE PEOPLE: THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF R. C. HICKMAN (An African American photographer who documented Black life in post-WWII Dallas; and CORE leader Dr. James Farmer’s memoir, LAY BARE THE HEART: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.
Richard (Rick) M. Church, Jr. graduated from UT in 1977 with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering and was a four-year member of the Longhorn Band. He performed with the Longhorn Alumni Band for almost all of the last 43 years and has numerous endowments at UT benefiting the Longhorn Band. Rick received a Distinguished Alumni award in Mechanical Engineering in 1918 and Distinguished Engineering Graduate award in 2020.
Quan Cosby has an incredible story of growing up in the tiny town of Mart, Texas, drafted out of high school into the MLB, coming back to play Texas Football for the Longhorns, and joining the NFL playing for the Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, and Jacksonville Jaguars. Quan is now a Vice President of Risk management for Marsh McLennan and a public speaker. Quan also helps on the university campus within the DDCE department. Philanthropically, Quan serves on the University of Texas school of social work advisory council, Fosters Angels, Jail to Jobs, and Safe Place boards.
Jim Davis is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with Highest Honors and Special Honors in History. He was awarded The Ferguson Honors Thesis Prize for Excellence in the Study of History. Jim is also a graduate of Harvard Law School. He currently serves as the Vice President for Legal Affairs at UT Austin.
Logan Eggleston is a junior on the Texas Volleyball. She is majoring in Management in the McCombs School of Business and is the President of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.
Caroline is a proud graduate of the College of Liberal Arts and has dedicated twenty-two years to working directly with prospective students and their families while in the Office of Admissions at UT Austin. She is committed to providing access and inclusion for our state’s best and brightest students and wholeheartedly believes in the power of a UT Austin education and what it means to be a Longhorn.
Cloteal Davis Haynes
BA Music Education 1972; MPA LBJ School of Public Affairs 1977
President, The Precursors, Inc., an organization whose members are African American alumni of the University of Texas at Austin who entered the University a minimum of 40 years ago. Formed in 2010, when a group of African-American alumni who were pioneers at the University of Texas at Austin came together with the goal of sharing their history, experiences and influence to recognize the achievement of African-American alumni of the University of Texas and to assist current and prospective African-American students to succeed at the University.
Yolanda A. Hall, Deputy Budget Director for the Office of Attorney General, is a 1991 graduate of the School of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Austin and received her MBA from St. Edward’s University. She is a Texas Exes Life Member, the Black Alumni Network president, and currently serves on the Texas Exes Network Advisory Board. In 2019, Yolanda made history as the first African American President for the Texas State Agency Business Administrator’s Association of Texas in their 50-year existence.
Kathleen Holloway (she/her) is a fourth year graduate student in Human Development and Family Sciences with a research focus on racial discrimination and protective processes in African American families. She is also the communications director for the Graduate Student Assembly which works to advocate for graduate students at a university level. Finally, Kathleen is a Graduate Assistant at the Faculty Innovation Center where she assists in programming for faculty, staff, and graduate students.
Peniel E. Joseph joined the University of Texas in 2015 as the Barbara Jordan Chair in Political Values and Ethics and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and Professor of History in the College of Liberal Arts. My research focus is at the intersection of Race, Democracy, Civil Rights, and African American History. My research and pedagogy centers on public engagement and making scholarship and higher education accessible to students and wider public dissemination through civic engagement promoting antiracism, equity, and service oriented leadership.
Sharon Justice began her career at the University in the Office of the Dean of Students in 1976 as the coordinator of New Student Orientation, became Associate Dean in 1982 and Dean in October 1986. She retired from this position in 2001 and continued to teach in the Program in Educational Leadership in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy until 2008. Currently, she serves as a member-at-large of the Retired Faculty/Staff Association.
Anagha Kikkeri is the current Student Body President at The University of Texas at Austin. She is a Liberal Arts Honors Government major and in her senior year here at UT.
Jim Nicar describes his interest in University of Texas history as “a hobby that’s gotten out of control.” A regular visitor to the UT archives since the 1980s, he has authored two books about the University, numerous articles in the Alcalde alumni magazine and UT News, and has been a guest speaker at undergraduate and graduate classes, admissions office events, and alumni association meetings. For three decades, Jim has conducted the “Moonlight Prowl” nighttime UT history tour, as well as an architectural history tour, and currently maintains the UT History Corner (UTHistoryCorner.com) website.
Kyanna Richard is a current senior at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in Psychology and minoring in Government. She is a member of the Longhorn Band Showband of the Southwest, serves as the Internal Affairs Chair for LHBlacks, and serves as Executive Chair for the Longhorn Band Student Association. During her free time she enjoys crocheting, fun DIY projects, and sitting around watching a good TV show!
Professor of Journalism, Director of the VOCES Oral History Project
Victor B. Sáenz, Ph.D. is a Professor in the College of Education and Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at UT-Austin. He holds courtesy appointments with the Center for Mexican American Studies and various other research centers across the University. In 2010 Sáenz co-founded an award-winning initiative called Project MALES, a multi-pronged effort focused on advancing educational outcomes for boys and young men of color. Sáenz earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education and Organizational Change from UCLA in 2005. He also earned a Master's degree in Public Affairs (‘99) and a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics (‘96) from UT-Austin. Sáenz is a proud Lifetime Member of the Texas Exes and is a second generation Longhorn. He was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley and has lived in Austin most of his adult life with his wife Erica (also a Texas Ex, ’98) and their son Victor Agustín.
Dr. Cherise Smith is Chair of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin where she is Founding Executive Director of the Art Galleries at Black Studies and Professor of AADS and Art History. She is the author, most recently, of Michael Ray Charles: A Retrospective. Her research has been supported by the Getty, Ford, and MacArthur foundations among other institutions. She has worked in the curatorial departments of several museums including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the St. Louis Art Museum.
Courtney is a member of the graduating class of 2021, studying International Business in the McCombs School of Business. She intends to enroll in law school for the Fall of 2021. Courtney is a four-year member and the Captain of the UT Cheerleading team.
Ronnye Vargas Stidvent
Veronica “Ronnye” Vargas Stidvent is Executive Director of the Center for Women in Law at the University of Texas Law School and the president of Stidvent Partners, a consulting business specializing in business development through civic engagement. She served on the University’s Commission of 125, and she has been honored with the Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award. Ronnye graduated from UT as a Dean’s Distinguished Graduate with a B.A. in Plan II and American Studies, and she received her J.D. from Yale Law School.
Based in Singapore with his wife and five-year-old boy-girl twins, Andrew Phong Vo is Accenture’s Chief Human Resources Officer in the Growth Markets responsible for talent & leadership across Asia Pacific, Africa, Middle East, and Latin America where 300,000+ Accenture people deliver value every day to clients and communities.
As a first-generation Vietnamese immigrant, Andrew arrived in the United States with his family in the mid-70’s and established roots in Sugar Land (TX) before attending the University of Texas at Austin where he founded the Texas Iron Spikes service & spirit organization and earned his Finance BBA from the McCombs School of Business in 1995.
As a proud Texas Exes Life Member and 2013 Outstanding Young Texas Exes award recipient, Andrew has endowed scholarships & excellence funds benefiting Longhorns across campus, established the “Vo Family Auditorium” in the Texas Admissions Welcome Center to support student services, and actively served on the McCombs Advisory Council, Chancellor's Council Executive Committee, and Forty Acres Society.
Jenn Wang is Senior Director of Development for International Advancement and Principal Gift Operations in the University Development Office. She has close to 10 years of experience at UT Austin in constituent relations and development and has previously worked in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, College of Liberal Arts, and McCombs School of Business. In addition, she received her B.S. in Education and her M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership and Policy from UT Austin.
J.B. Bird is the director of media relations at The University of Texas at Austin, where he oversees issues management and the promotion of news and research across campus. He previously led communications and media relations for UT's McCombs School of Business and Jackson School of Geosciences.