The Division of Diversity and Community Engagement’s Finance Office and its division business partners seek to ensure DDCE business practices, procedures and individual contributions of work, meet and align with the University of Texas at Austin’s policies and standards of work excellence. In addition to serving as a liaison between the Division, and University administrative and academic units, DDCE Finance’s main responsibilities include:
Budget Administration & Accounting Services
- Audit financial activity on DDCE Vice President and DDCE Program accounts including: state, legislative appropriations, contracts & grants, designated funds, auxiliary funds, gifts, and endowments.
- Analyze and report information for management decision-making.
- Serve as an official steward for contracts and payments involving the Division and assist DDCE units with purchasing procedures.
- Facilitate staff understanding of DDCE and university financial and administrative procedures.
Ethics & Compliance
- In partnership with University Compliance Services and the Office of the Vice President and CFO, enhance the Division’s commitment to integrity by providing education and training for the Division’s faculty, staff and students to avoid compliance and ethics failures, and to apply best practices.
Grant Management and Support
- Assist with organizing proposal efforts.
- Facilitate the internal review and submission process.
- Support the establishment of an award management strategy upon receipt of funding.
- Provide processing and reporting support through life of awards or post award.
DDCE Business Contacts’ Spotlights
Michelle Harper is currently the Finance Manager supporting the division’s reporting units’ financial and administrative staff. She will also serve as the lead contact for DDCE Business Contacts for all business processing including business contracts review/approval, sponsored grants accounting, and more. Michelle has over 25 years of administrative and financial experience, with 13 of those years at UT. She has worked in Engineering, Office of Sponsored Projects, and within the College of Fine Arts, managing multiple sponsored project accounts, handling faculty affairs, overseeing Workday business processes, faculty and staff recruiting, annual budget process, business processes improvement projects, and much more. Michelle has worn many hats in prior roles, including those outside of UT. You will never hear her say, “that is not my job.” Michelle was born and raised near the Corpus Christi coast and the DFW area but has lived in Austin for 23 years. Prior to moving to Austin, Michelle lived in New York City and Connecticut studying and traveling as much as she could. She completed her final year of university in Tübingen, Germany through a study abroad program with the Connecticut Board of Higher Education and the State of Bäden Württemberg and was the recipient of a full living stipend. She has a BA in German from Southern Connecticut State University. Michelle lives in south Austin with too many rescue dogs and cats and has two daughters, 22 and 18. She’s a plant enthusiast, loves nature, traveling, and volunteering for Austin Pets Alive.
Averil Houston is the Administrative Support Manager for the Office of Inclusion and Equity. Averil manages business processing and for OIE. Also, Averil has worked in various industries that include Oil & Natural Gas, television production, non-profit, and education. This diverse work experience provided opportunities to learn about social services, purchasing, payroll, human resources, operations, and staff & faculty affairs. His motto is “Make It Happen.” He received his Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Journalism from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Prior to joining UT, Averil was an analyst and coordinator for the UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television for four years. Averil started at the University of Texas through UTemps for Executive Education in 2018 then served as an Administrative Associate for Theatre and Dance until summer 2020. From 2020-2022 he worked as an Inclusion Teacher and Case Manager for Austin Independent School District.
He was born and raised in Austin, Texas but has an intense connection with Los Angeles because he lived in the City of Angels for 18 years. Averil is married to Veronica, and they have three children ages 23, 18, and 6 years old, and their family dog, Kodah. Averil is excited to return to higher education and looks forward to serving with compassion and excellence. Fun facts: Averil used to act and was awarded a regional scholarship to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York (I did not attend though) and worked for the TV show The Bachelor.
Haley McDermott is the Financial Analyst for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. Her role involves financial reporting, accounting projects, day-to-day reconciliations, request fulfillment, and voucher processing. She received her Bachelor’s in Finance and her Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Wyoming. Her background includes banking, finance, and accounting roles. Originally from Wyoming, she enjoys playing sports, reading, and hiking with her fiancé, Hudson, and her dog, Ollie.
Dennis Campa is the new Senior Administrative Associate for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. Although new to the DDCE, Dennis is no stranger to UT Austin; he’s been a staff member for nearly two decades. For many years, Dennis worked at the Bureau of Economic Geology (at the J.J. Pickle Center). At the Pickle, he processed orders and information on oil well logs, geologic maps, and geologic books. Dennis brings vast experience in administrative work to the DDCE, along with a genial nature and a yen for research and detail.
Outside of the university, Dennis has hosted the weekly radio show “Adventures in Sound” on KOOP Radio since September 2005. The show features music from his vast record collection, covering many genres and time periods. His house is full of music (20,000 plus records and CDs), books, DVDs/Blu-rays, and tons of memorabilia and scraps of paper. He’s done extensive research on music and movies from the 1910s through the 1970s.
Ana Dison is the Director of Student Programs in Women in STEM (WiSTEM), a new initiative serving all women in STEM at UT. The focus of WiSTEM is to educate and expose students to transdisciplinary, holistic experiences that increase the sense of belonging, STEM identity, and STEM self-efficacy. In addition to the K-12 outreach activities and programs, WiSTEM will provide undergraduates with professional development opportunities including mentoring, leadership, and community-building programs.
Ana earned her bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin in 1992 in Kinesiology and a master’s degree in College Student Services Administration from Oregon State University in 1994. After working for two years at the University of Maryland in Recreation Services, Ana returned to the University in 1996 and was Assistant Director in the Division of Recreational Sports, coordinating Membership Services and Satellite Facilities as well as overseeing a very large part-time student staff. After joining the Cockrell School in 2000, Ana served as an Academic Advising Coordinator in the Engineering Student Services office, advising thousands of students and coordinating a wide variety of student programs. Additionally, she served as the degree evaluator for the Cockrell School for four years. In 2006, Ana moved to the Women in Engineering Program and served as Assistant Director for nearly 16 years, coordinating all retention and student success initiatives for WEP.
Ana has served on numerous committees across campus including three years in the inaugural group of the UT Staff Council. Ana co-chaired the Provost’s Council on Student Advocacy for three years and has served two terms as President of the Academic Counselors Association. In 2016, she led the effort to create a partnership with the College of Natural Sciences to develop and deliver bias and inclusion workshops and trainings across the colleges for students, staff and faculty. She continues to be active in service to the UT community working with peer and professional mentoring programs. She presents to numerous groups on a variety of leadership, inclusion, and career-focused topics.
A member of the Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN) since 2006, Ana completed a three-year appointment to the WEPAN Board of Directors as Communications Director. Ana received the Eyes of Texas Award in 2011, the University’s Outstanding Staff Award in 2012, and the Cockrell School of Engineering Staff Excellence Award. After serving 20 years as a high school volleyball official in the central Texas area, Ana retired from the Texas Association of Sports Officials in 2011. Since 2003, Ana has been designing and creating custom jewelry and loves to golf in her spare time.
Anne Steele is the human resources director for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. She is a Society for Human Resources (SHRM) senior certified professional (SCP). She has worked at the division since 2007. Previous to working for the division, Anne worked on a Department of Justice grant at the LBJ School of Public Affairs for 8 years and at Iowa State University for a year. Before she started working in higher education, she taught high school history. Anne is a proud native of the beautiful state of Iowa and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Iowa. Anne was married on the top of a mountain in Big Bend National Park. Her family includes her husband, two sons, a dog, and two cats.
Teeyia Mercer currently serves as DDCE’s executive director and chief business officer. Currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration, Teeyia is constantly driven to ensure the operational success of the CSUs as well as the success of the faculty, staff, and students they support. During her 20+ years at UT, Teeyia has enjoyed working in several units within the University including the VP & CFO, Financial & Administrative Services, VP University Operations, VP Student Affairs’ Housing and Dining Services, and currently with DDCE. Outside of work, Teeyia looks forward to gatherings with family and friends near and far, beach time in South Padre Island, horseback riding, trail rides, softball, tennis, mentoring college students, and volunteering her time at local charities and professional organizations. She recently adopted a Shorkie puppy, Daisy, who is keeping her extremely busy these days!
Simon Hughes is the Director of Information Technology Services for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. He joined DDCE in 2013. Simon has worked in the IT industry for over 20 years, for companies such as HP, Ford Motor Company, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and for Wayne State University. He also taught IT classes at the University of Phoenix. Simon is originally from England and moved to the U.S. when he was young. He grew up in Michigan outside of Detroit and moved to Austin eight years ago. Simon has a degree in Music Business Management from Berklee College of Music in Boston. When not working, Simon enjoys playing guitar, mastering Netflix, and hanging out with his family.
Krystal Mullins joined the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health in 2017. As the Senior Operations Associate, she handles procurement duties, as well as event and meeting coordination. Previously, Krystal worked in Business Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business, in marketing and events at the Austin American-Statesman, and also served on the staff of the Texas Association of Builders. Krystal has a degree in Creative Writing/English from Texas Tech University. A lifelong Texan—originally from a tiny farming community in West Texas—Krystal and her husband have enjoyed nearly a decade in South Austin. In her spare time, she loves exploring Austin’s foodie scene, practicing collage art, and writing for her blog.
Emma Middleton is the Senior Administrative Associate for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE). She provides administrative and management support for the Center for Community Engagement. She has served in this capacity since August 2015. Prior to joining the Center for Community Engagement, she served as administrative staff at the Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence, Longhorn Center for School Partnerships, and the DDCE Development Office. Emma has 23+ years of service and experience at The University of Texas at Austin. She served 11+ years at the Counseling and Mental Health Center as an Administrative Associate before joining the Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence in July 2009. In 1994, she earned a Small Business Management certificate from Austin Community College. She is a 2008 graduate of the Free Minds Project of Austin, a program of Foundation Communities affiliated with The Clemente Course in the Humanities. Emma is currently working on a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies. Emma has lived in Austin for over 30 years and is a native of Hallettsville, Texas. She is married to Larry Middleton with a family of four blended children and four grandchildren.
Nadia Faran was born and raised in Houston, TX. She attended UT Austin as a first-generation student and received a Bachelor’s degree in Youth and Community studies. She began her career working on campus as a student worker at the Population Research Center, where she first gained experience performing numerous accounting and administrative responsibilities. She later joined DDCE in January 2019, where she was able to put those skills to use by providing accounting and business processing support for the 7 units within the DDCE Chief of Staff. She was also responsible for assisting Human Resources with hourly appointments, including performing workday roles of timekeeper and HR associate. In her current role, she is the lead financial and administrative staff for the Multicultural Engagement Center and Gender and Sexuality Center. Fun fact, during her undergrad she had the wonderful opportunity to serve as an intern in a Kindergarten classroom at UT Elementary. She loves working with students, faculty, and staff and is committed to DDCE’s mission of cultivating an inclusive campus culture. In her free time, she enjoys running, hanging out with friends, and trying different vegan foods.
Bob Micks started with the university in 2004 in the Office of Research Support and Compliance. Bob then worked for Information Technology Services, UT Global, and now the UT Charter School System since 2013 where he handles HR, and purchasing, and is board secretary for the two school district boards. Before UT, Bob worked for Rutgers University (his alma mater), Dell, and Southwest Airlines. He grew up in Wayne, NJ, and have lived in the Austin area since 1999. Bob spent his childhood summers in San Marcos visiting his maternal family, so Texas was always his second home. He is currently juggling his two kids’ remote learning paired with volleyball and band. Bob’s side gig is background acting, appearing on HBO’s “The Leftovers,” AMC’s “The Son” and recurring on “Fear the Walking Dead,” and also two upcoming feature films, Robert Rodriguez’s “We Can Be Heroes” and Richard Linklater’s “Apollo 10 ½” (on which his daughter also worked a scene too!).
Amy Gilbert has over 20 years of experience with the university. She started in the Contracts and Grants section of the Office of Accounting, which is now OSP-SPAA. She left the university briefly and then returned to work in the Inventory section of the Office of Accounting. Amy then worked at the Dana Center as an Accountant II then was a Financial Analyst for the Department of Chemical Engineering and then the Department of Mechanical Engineering. She is now the Business Manager for the UIL. Amy has a Bachelor’s in Accounting and a Master’s in Accounting and Technology from Texas State University. She is also a licensed CPA.
Jenny Davis is the Director of Finance and Federal Programs for the University of Texas Charter School System, where she has worked for 15 years. She completed her undergrad work and obtained her MBA from Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, Texas. She maintains a certification as a Certified Texas School Business Specialist (CTSBS) with a specialty in accounting. She is married with two sons.
A Northern California transplant, Heidi Johnson spent most of her childhood abroad. She joined the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement family in October of 2013 as the Executive Assistant to DDCE’s Vice President. Prior to coming to the University of Texas at Austin Heidi worked for the City of Austin and the Travis County Healthcare District as the Executive Assistant for CommUnityCare. In her role, she also was the Board Liaison for the FQHC Board of Directors at CommUnityCare. As Executive Assistant to DDCE’s Vice President, Heidi directly supports Dr. Leonard Moore and his office on the day-to-day operations. Additionally, she has the pleasure and opportunity to work with numerous faculty, staff, students, and community members within the UT family and Austin community on various projects and events. In her spare time, she enjoys spending quality time with her two daughters and husband.
Katherine Greene was born and raised in Austin. In fact, she is a 6th generation Austinite, and the 4th generation of her family to work at UT. She has worked at UT for 18 years. Currently, Katherine is a Senior Administrative Associate with Services for Students with Disabilities. In her role at SSD, she manages the administrative operations for 15 full-time staff members, Student Assistants, Graduate Assistants, and interns. Prior to SSD, she worked at University Health Services where she was the medical records manager. She loves working with students and it gives her great satisfaction seeing a student start as an incoming freshman, unsure of the challenges college life will bring, and then seeing them graduate as a confident adult ready to face the world. She is proud that in a small way, she was part of that journey. When she is not working Katherine enjoys sewing, cooking, and spending time with her family and her two miniature dachshunds, Rowdy and Slinky. She considers her strengths to be her sense of humor, positive attitude, and work ethic. She takes pride in her role within the DDCE, a division of the university that cultivates an inclusive campus culture.
Crystal Viagran is the Director of Finance and Operations for the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health. In this role, she oversees the foundation’s fiscal operations including grants management, accounting, procurement, and endowments, and works with IT services, archives, and office management. She has been with the foundation since 2013 and was most recently in the position of Assistant Director of Finance & Operations. Previously, Crystal worked throughout Texas as a political campaign consultant after ten years with the McCombs School of Business. She has also served in a volunteer capacity for Austin Pets Alive!
Ricard “Rico” Gonzalez is originally from Houston, Texas, and has lived, studied, and worked in a variety of places. He attended Oberlin College in Ohio for his undergraduate degree in Politics and for nearly 8 years was the program coordinator and then director of the CSTEP New York State education grant program at Cornell University’s Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives. During his time at Cornell, he successfully co-lead the writing team to bring a McNair program, renewed the CSTEP grant two times, and co-founded the Graduate Students Mentoring Undergraduates (GSMU) program. Just before his new role with Project MALES, he earned his master’s degree in Student Affairs, worked with PACE Peer Mentoring, and served as the Coordinator for Special Projects for the Dean of Students at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. Rico currently lives in Austin, TX with his wife and has 10 years of higher education experience with interests in mentoring, Hispanic/Latino/Latinx identity, and justice.