Advisory Council members advance the mission of the DDCE. Members are called upon to:
- Provide strategic guidance and recommendations to the Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement on issues surrounding diversity and inclusion at The University of Texas at Austin.
- Invest financially in support of the DDCE’s initiatives and programmatic efforts.
- Participate in and champion fundraising campaigns on behalf of the DDCE.
- Serve as ambassadors to alumni, friends, UT constituents and the public regarding the DDCE’s mission, programs and services.
Advisory Council members can log in to the AC Resource Site for upcoming events listings and AC documents.
Byron G. Anderson (Chair) has more than 25 years of experience in the insurance, energy and utilities industries, where he specializes in the areas of governance, risk and compliance within the commodities trading sector. As a Life Member of the Texas Ex-Student’s Association, he has served on the Board of Directors for the Texas Exes Houston Chapter and the Texas Exes Advisory Council. He also served two terms as Chair of the Texas Exes Black Alumni Steering Committee. Byron currently is a member of the Texas Leadership Society and the UT Chancellor’s Council. He holds a B.A. in Government with a minor in Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin, and a M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Houston.
Gordon Appleman is senior counsel for Thompson & Knight LLP in Fort Worth. He focuses his practice on all aspects of taxation. Gordon is active on numerous university advisory councils including the College of Liberal Arts and the Harry Ransom Center. He is a former President of the Ex-Student’s Association and the Board of Directors of The University of Texas Foundation, Inc. He is Secretary and Treasurer of the Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education. He received a prestigious Ex-Students’ Association Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2001. Gordon holds a B.A. in Economics from The University of Texas at Austin, and a LL.B. from Harvard Law School.
Olga Campos Benz spent more than 30 years covering the biggest television news stories in Texas. Following her retirement as a broadcast journalist, Olga enjoyed a seamless transition into the nonprofit arena thanks to her lifelong role as a community activist. Her passion has always been focused on efforts to help improve the lives of children, which began on a personal level when she and her husband became legal guardians of Olga’s young nephew after he was removed from his home because of abuse and neglect. She is now directing her personal passion into her professional purpose as the Community Engagement Specialist for Foster Community, a program of Partnerships for Children. Olga has long been an advocate for at-risk teens and recently received the Robin Shivers award for her support of American Youth Works, which provides job-training and educational opportunities for troubled youth. Olga also serves on several non-profit boards including The Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM), the Austin Film Festival, and the Advisory Council of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin. In 2013, the Austin Business Journal named her a “Profile in Power: Woman of Influence.” Olga is a 2014 inductee into the City of Austin Commission for Women Hall of Fame, the 2015 Distinguished Alum of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Hispanic Austin Leadership Program, and among the 2017 Texas Association of Mexican-American Chambers of Commerce’s Women of Distinction. Olga is also a member of the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas and is active in the Girl Scouts of Central Texas. In April 2017, she published her first novel, It’s News to Me, which takes readers behind the scenes of the often unbelievable world of television news. Olga was a featured author at the 2017 Texas Book Festival. She and her husband, Kevin Benz, are proud parents of 27-year old twin daughters, Corazon and Allegra.
Dr. William R. Childs is Professor of History Emeritus at The Ohio State University (OSU) and Research Affiliate at The University of Texas at Austin. He is a triple Longhorn, having received his undergraduate degree (B.A. 1973) and two graduate degrees (M.A. 1976; Ph.D. 1982) from UT. After graduating from UT, he taught for two years at the University of Georgia and then joined the faculty at the OSU History Department. Bill retired from OSU after 28 years of service and moved back to Austin, where he continues to research and write. His research focuses on the history of American capitalism, with emphasis on business-government relations and consumer culture. His research on political economy has explored the interaction of individuals and institutions with economic, social, political and cultural forces. He has written a history of trucking regulation, the history of the Texas Railroad Commission, and most recently, with Thomas K. McCraw, a history of American business since 1920
Carolyn Goldston is a native and lifelong Texan, attending both SMU and The University of Texas. She has lived in Austin three times, most recently since 1963. Since the death of her husband of 42 years, attorney Donald Goldston, her two great loves are the City of Austin and The University of Texas. This is not to mention a large family, both biological and conscripted. Her community and UT service includes: 10 years as a UT art museum docent, chair of the joint board of the University YMCA and YWCA, Travis Central Appraisal District Appraisal Review Board, President of the Friends of the Austin Public Library, Travis County Housing Commission, and Austin Library Commission. She currently serves on the Board of Visitors of McDonald Observatory, and is a proud member of the Board of Directors of the Austin Area Urban League (AAUL). She is a lifetime member of the AAUL, and was chosen 2011 board member of the year. Also in 2011, she was cited by the Texas House and Texas Senate as “a longtime advocate for civil rights and racial justice.
The Honorable Charles A. Gonzalez was licensed to practice in 1972 and was in private practice until 1982. He was elected Judge of County Court No. 2 in 1982 and served until 1987. He created separate civil docket system and established a domestic violence docket leading to greater specialization and efficiency. Mr. Gonzalez was elected Judge of the 57th State Judicial District Court in 1988 and served until 1997. He initiated and established a district-wide alternative dispute resolution system. He also was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1998 and served until 2013. Mr. Gonzalez was assigned to the following committees: Financial Services, Energy and Commerce, Judiciary, Small Business, House Administration and Homeland Security. He chaired the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.
Dr. Lawrence Huang graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. and M.A. in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He then went on to received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. For more than 20 years, Larry has served as President of Carnegie Design Systems, Inc., a manufacturing company that produces semiconductor devices.
Dr. Sharon H. Justice began her employment at The University of Texas at Austin in 1976 when she was hired to be the director of the New Student Orientation program, an area within the Office of the Dean of Students. In 1982 she was named Associate Dean of Students and then in October 1985 she was named Dean of Students, the first female to hold that position at the university. She was named Associate Vice President for Student Affairs in 1996. Although Sharon retired in 2001 from her administrative role, she has remained active in campus life by teaching graduate students in the Department of Educational Administration’s Higher Education program and serving on multiple committees. Sharon received the Arno Nowotny Medal in 2008, the university’s highest honor to retired student affairs staff. Sharon holds a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in Speech Communication from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.
Ali Khataw, strategic community leader, has an extended record of his commitment to advocacy, education, and the intersection of the two. His clear and unwavering vision proves instrumental in creating a universally recognized firm whose philosophy reflects the importance of community support, social equity and civil justice. His contribution builds these public services for numerous programs to advance missions for regional affiliates and global partnerships.
Alice J. Kuhn and her husband Michael formed the Michael and Alice Kuhn Foundation in 1996. The Foundation’s mission is to promote social justice projects for the benefit of constituencies who have historically been denied access to social influence, economic power and resources, with strong emphasis on encouraging synagogues to participate in social justice programs, through the Foundation’s support of Bend the Arc, Just Congregations, and other community organizing groups and educational organizations.
Michael J. Kuhn was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1935. He obtained his B.S and C.P.A from the University of Illinois and, Champaign-Urbana. Michael moved to Dallas, Texas in 1961 to form a C.P.A. firm and later became President of a hospitality group that built hotels throughout the U.S. In 1978, he moved to Austin, Texas to operate the Stephen F. Austin Hotel. He formed a real estate management company, Dimension Properties, Inc., which he currently operates. Michael is married to Alice J. Kuhn, and is the father of three sons.
Dr. Marcus Martin is the founder and CEO of 2M Research Services, LLC. With offices in Dallas/Fort Worth, Atlanta, and Washington, DC, 2M Research Services, LLC is a minority-owned contract research organization that provides governmental organizations, pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms, healthcare organizations, non-profit organizations, and individual investigators with a full-range of first-class clinical and public health research, program evaluation, and statistical consulting services. He is a former full-time faculty member at the University of Oklahoma, and currently serves as an adjunct faculty member in the School of Public Health at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. Dr. Martin received a PhD degree from Howard University, an MPH degree from the University of North Texas Health Science Center, and an MA degree from the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
Alice Maxie is a University of Texas ex-student. Married to Keith Maxie—another DDCE Advisory Council member—Alice traveled extensively raising two daughters in a demanding military environment. While managing a household and working outside the home, Alice was a dedicated community volunteer. She was a trusted advisor to junior officers’ spouses who were engaged in navigating the demands of managing households and jobs, often during lengthy absences of the officer. Alice’s career includes extensive experience in personnel administration and local area network management. During more than a decade of employment in the Personnel Division of the Fairfax County (VA) School District, she gained a working knowledge of hiring, payroll, promotion, and retention policies of the school district. Alice is the consummate community volunteer. She has volunteered at six different elementary and high schools during the last ten years. She currently volunteers at three elementary schools as a mentor, reading buddy, science tutor, and 1st grade story editor. She also mentors and supports girls and young adults through two local non-profit organizations.
Keith Maxie is a 1967 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. Upon graduation, Keith was commissioned in the US Army. Early in his 22-year military career, the Army chose him to attend graduate school at Texas Tech where he was awarded a Master of Business Administration degree in Information Technology Management. In the Army, Keith held numerous command and staff positions in artillery, logistics management, and information technology. Following retirement from the Army, Keith completed a second career in the private sector. His supervisory and management assignments culminated in promotion to a corporate executive position in the information technology industry. He retired from his second career in 2007. Keith currently serves on the UT Development Board and the DDCE Advisory Council. He has served on the board of the Arc of the Capital Area and other non-profit organizations. He is a mentor in the College of Natural Sciences and volunteers as a mentor and classroom assistant at three elementary schools in Austin –including the University of Texas Elementary School.
Howard D. Nirken is an Attorney and Partner with DuBois, Bryant & Campbell, LLP, a law firm in Austin, TX. He concentrates his practice in corporation and securities law for clients throughout Texas. Howard served as Student Body President from 1992 to 1993. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate, Howard is a member of the Friar Society, a College of Liberal Arts Dean’s Distinguished Graduate, and Presidential Leadership Award recipient. Howard remains active as a member of the RecSports Leadership Team, the Women’s Athletics Hall of Honor Committee and the NCAA Equity Subcommittee. As a former President of the Silver Spurs Alumni Association, Howard was instrumental in establishing the Bevo Center, located on the East side of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, and the Bevo Endowment, with proceeds going to support the University’s Neighborhood Longhorns program and for the care and maintenance of Bevo. Howard holds a B.A. and a J.D. from The University of Texas at Austin.
Reverend Joseph C. Parker, Jr. is the Senior Pastor of David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Austin, Texas. He is the founding President of the Texas Congregations United for Empowerment, Inc. and a former chief litigator for the State Bar of Texas. Joseph is also the first African American president of the Travis County Bar Association in 1996-1997. He left the legal field to pursue his ministry, and in 2011 celebrated his 19th year as Pastor. Currently, Joseph serves on the executive board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, and the Baptist Standard newsmagazine board. Joseph holds a B.A. from Morehouse College, a M.PA. from the University of Georgia in Athens, and a J.D. from The University of Texas at Austin. He also received a M.Div. from the George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University, and a D.Min. in Urban Ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
Robert E. Shook III leads marketing, communications, and digital credentials for IBM Training & Skills. Since 1993, Rob has been actively involved in a corporation-wide diversity task force, addressing issues important to IBM’s LGBT employees. Rob joined IBM in 1987 and has worked in various sales, marketing, diversity, and executive roles, living in the US, Europe, and Australia. He leads strategic planning workshops at colleges and universities around the country, speaks to campus audiences on the importance of managing credit histories, credit scores, and securing one’s on-line presence, and has raised eight puppies for the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind. Rob holds a B.A. from Wabash College (and currently serves as president of the alumni association there), and pursued graduate work at Miami University of Ohio and The University of Texas at Austin.
Rhonda Summerbell is the senior manager of community impact at University Federal Credit Union. In this role, she maintains responsibility for developing and maintaining strategic partnerships and the development of programs in the areas of college and career readiness. Rhonda has served on many boards and committees for non-profit and educational agencies in the Austin area. She is the Chair of the Neighborhood Longhorn Program and has been actively involved with many DDCE programs including UT Elementary School, LCAE, Gateway Scholars, UT Project, and others. Rhonda is an advocate for community engagement and programs that facilitate and encourage all to reach their full educational and career potential. She was named the 2018 Austin Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year for Education.
Calvin J. Turner is a retired, disabled military officer with 11 years of distinguished active duty service. Calvin’s interest and passion for those who wear the uniforms of our nation’s armed services is both personal and professional. He went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Texas at Austin in 1995 with highest honors. Calvin has provided professional counseling to veterans and active duty military members since 1994.
Joyce O. Turner serves on the DDCE Advisory Council with her husband, Calvin. Joyce graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in Government and went on to earn a Master’s degree in Management Science from Central Texas. She currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Capitol City Rehabilitation Group.
Marlen D. Whitley‘s practice focuses on corporate and securities transactions. He represents and advises clients in corporate finance, acquisitions, mergers, and large global infrastructure projects. He also prepares public offerings and private placements of securities and negotiates private equity financings.
Mark J. Williams has been extensively involved in a variety of education, civic, and non-profit activities. He currently serves on the board and in various officer and/or committee roles of the Ann Richards School Foundation, Austin Partners in Education (APIE), Austin Public Education Foundation, Aware Awake Alive, Capital Area Food Bank, Communities in Schools, Friends of Garza High School, Friends of the Zilker Kite Festival, KDK-Harman Foundation, Longhorn Village, Tomorrow’s Child Legacy Foundation (benefiting the Center for Child Protection), Trail of Lights Foundation, United Ways of Texas (serving as chair in 2015) and University High School (a new sober, recovery program high school). Williams serves on the leadership committees for the Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium and the University of Texas Recreational Sports Division. He also is in his seventh year as a volunteer with APIE as a middle school math classroom coach.
Rev. Tamla Wilson is a licensed minister who will complete her Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry in the summer of 2014. She also completed postgraduate work at Southern Methodist University/Perkins School of Theology. She is a member of the clergy team at Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church and is the founder of the fertility ministry The Waiting Room. Tamla has 18 years of executive leadership experience in the financial, investment and insurance industries at such companies as Smith, Graham & Company, AIM Investments, The Guardian and State Farm Insurance. Tamla is very active in the community and assists in the volunteer and fundraising efforts of several organizations including The Twelve Days of Christmas, Inc. and Her Call Ministries. Additionally, she is a board member for the Wheeler Avenue Christian Academy. Tamla received her B.A. in English from The University of Texas at Austin.
Darrell Windham is the Co-Managing Shareholder for the Austin office of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, an international law firm, and Chair of its Texas Corporate & Securities Practice. He has more than 30 years of experience assisting clients with business, corporate finance and securities matters. Darrell is a leader in the Texas community, particularly with The University of Texas at Austin, having served as President of the Ex-Student’s Association, and on its Commission of 125, the Executive Committee of the Chancellor’s Council of The University of Texas System, and as a member of the Men’s Athletic Council. He also serves on the boards of the Texas TriCities Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors, the Austin Chamber of Commerce – Economic Development Corporation, The Austin Museum of Art, the Nature Conservancy’s Central Texas Chapter, and the Texas Business Hall of Fame. Darrell holds a B.B.A. in Accounting from The University of Texas at Austin, and a J.D. from the UT School of Law