The Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of Greater Austin
 

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  • 25 Apr 2018 4:21 PM | Joyce Statz (Administrator)
    At its May 2018 General Meeting, the Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of Greater Austin awards its 2018 scholarships to four outstanding students. We congratulate them all and wish them great success in their studies and in their careers!


    2018 PBKAAGA Scholarship Winners

    Philip F. Patman Memorial Baccalaureate Scholarship

    Ember Amara Bower   $2000

    Ember Bower was born and raised in Wisconsin, and she developed a passion for biology beginning in a childhood full of rescued baby raccoons and flying squirrels, meticulously documented animal tracks, and sketchbooks of wildflowers and trees. She is an adult student, returning to Texas State University to study wildlife biology after spending a decade out of school. During these years, she considers herself to have been shaped by the opportunities and challenges from living in Tennessee, Germany, and Florida; strengthened by the tenacity and personal growth resulting from a lifelong struggle with chronic illness.

    She is thankful to have settled in Texas, far away from Wisconsin’s frigid winters, surrounded by the unique and vibrant ecosystem and fascinating aquifers of the hill country. When she’s not studying biology, you can find her catching lizards, hiking, swimming, and exploring state parks with her husband Matt and their 3 children, Martin (7), Elise (5), and Edmund (3). She also enjoys baking, gardening, and reading science fiction. Most recently, she’s excited to have added 4 backyard chickens to her family.

    Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Scholarship for Academic Excellence

    Vincent Myron Hao    $2500

    Vincent Hao, a graduate of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA), will attend Stanford University, where he is interested in studying economics, business, and creative writing. In high school, Vincent participated in Model UN as an officer and has competed in conferences across Texas.  He also founded the Entrepreneur’s Club at LASA, which participated in business competitions such as Diamond Challenge. Digital Bridge, his non-profit service, won third place at the 2018 Diamond Challenge Competition.

    Vincent works closely with the Alzheimer’s Association of Central Texas; last summer he was an intern designing events to raise funding and awareness for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.  He also is co-founder and Vice President of East Austin Digital Connection, a non-profit which assists businesses in gentrifying communities by providing web-design services.

    In his free time, Vincent writes poetry and stories. His work has been published in seven literary magazines.  He also enjoys writing screenplays and creating short films through LASA’s Audio Video Production program. An avid fan of basketball, Vincent often spends time watching NBA games on the couch or playing recreational basketball with his friends.  

     

    Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Scholarship for Academic Excellence

    Kevin A. Black  $2500

    A native Austinite who graduated from the Liberal Arts and Science Academy, Kevin Black is most passionate about computer science and engineering, which is why his two most meaningful extracurricular activities are Computer Science Club and Science Olympiad.

    To him, Science Olympiad exemplifies balance. It’s the perfect combination of individualism and teamwork; events are competed in as partners, but competitions are won as a team. It also blends academics and engineering with build-and-study events, both of which he enjoys. As part of the Science Olympiad team, he had the opportunity to travel the country to various tournaments during his  four years of high school, some of which were the most memorable experiences of his high school career.

    During junior and senor years, Kevin was a captain of LASA’s Computer Science Club. During that time, alongside leading the club, he competed in numerous hacking competitions and developed a parallel interest in cybersecurity. He also worked on several software applications for the school community, including a new school website and an app for easily checking grades.

    During the summers, Kevin continued developing his skills and interests by working at Silicon Labs, a semiconductor company headquartered in Austin. He really enjoyed his time there as well.

    Kevin is an Eagle Scout and a lifelong Boy Scout, through which he learned many skills and enjoyed a lot of community service. His Eagle Project consisted of designing and installing signs in Brushy Creek, which he completed last summer alongside his job.


    Phi Beta Kappa Physicians’ Scholarship for Academic Excellence

    Lillian Lin Sun  $2500

    A graduate of Westlake High School, Lillian Sun leads her robotics team's non-profit initiative to build "wheelchair-esque" seats for children in hospitals, and has served more than 150 hours at her local library.  In addition, Lillian is also an advocate for women in STEM: together with her friends, she started the first All-Girls robotics team in her district. 

    Lillian is an avid violinist. She is the concertmaster of the Westlake Symphony Orchestra and the Austin Youth Symphony Orchestra, and she placed 8th in the Texas All-State Orchestra. She has also won several music competitions, including those at the Starlight Symphony Young Artist Festival and the Asian American Young Musician's Festival. Lillian also leads her school's Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honors club and has served/is serving as an officer on the Health Occupations Students of America Club, Orchestra Board, and Latin Club.

    Through a summer internship, Lillian has been able to contribute to developments in "laser-sintering,” using high-powered lasers to fuse ceramic particles at molecular levels to form extremely strong ceramic materials. She has also discovered patterns indicative of breast cancer in DNA during a summer research program, and she is currently writing a manuscript in the hopes of publishing a paper on her work.

    Outside of school and work, Lillian loves winding down in her local martial arts studio. She has been in Taekwondo for 11 years and currently holds a second-degree advanced black belt. She also is a baker, hard-cover book collector, and movie-watcher.

  • 26 May 2017 10:42 AM | Joyce Statz (Administrator)

    On May 7, 2017, the Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of Greater Austin was pleased to award scholarships to four outstanding students.  We congratulate them all and wish them great success in their studies and in their careers!

    2017 PBKAAGA Scholarship Winners

    Philip F. Patman Memorial Baccalaureate Scholarship

    Arquetta Laryssa Gentry  $2,000

    Arquetta Laryssa Gentry (called “G” by her friends) is a native of San Antonio, Texas. She has two younger brothers and was raised by her grandmother. She is a graduate of the Gary Job Corps Computer Service Technician program, and she credits her mentors there with encouraging her to develop her academic and leadership talents.

    G is currently a full time Career Preparation Specialist for Gary Job Corps in San Marcos and an adult degree Honors student at Huston Tillotson University where she majors in psychology. At Huston Tillotson, she has been recognized for Outstanding Student Achievement for her superior grades and her leadership efforts.

    She volunteers extensively in community organizations such as the San Marcos Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association and Gary Job Corps events, and she is active in the campus-based American Democracy Project Student Government Association and the NAACP. G enjoys writing poetry, fixing computers, drawing, and listening to all genres of music. Her goals are to serve as a role model and to offer support as a motivational speaker to young people, adults, and at-risk youth by sharing education, skill, and life-learning experiences and the values of perseverance, struggle, and leadership.


    Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Scholarship for Academic Excellence

    Gabriel Hillman Alvarez  $2,500

    Gabriel Alvarez was described by one of his teachers  as an incredibly high achieving student who distinguished himself among a school full of high achieving students.  He’s seen as hard working, inquisitive, and creative, exemplified by a research project that required building a model of a sacred space. His group designed and built an Orthodox Church, one of the best models ever assembled.  

    So, it’s not surprising that Gabe describes himself as passionate about science and engineering, He has participated regionally and nationally with the Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA) Engineering Club, and created a challenge-based curriculum to introduce STEM ideas to under-represented students at the Gus Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy. He has worked abroad to aid Nicaraguan refugees in Costa Rica, and is now the co-president of the LASA Spanish Honor Society.

    At an internship with NASA and the UT Center for Space Research, Gabe developed flood-monitoring software to improve emergency response. He also worked in constituent relations and policy research as an intern to Mayor Steve Adler at City Hall.

    He is an active member of the LASA National Honor Society and a participant in Youth and Government. Gabe is the captain of his Division I club soccer team, and won the district championship with his school’s varsity team. He is a National Hispanic Scholar and a National Merit Finalist, and has received the AISD Trustees’ Scholar Award as well as the Harvard Book Award. Gabe will graduate from LASA in June as the valedictorian, and plans to continue his studies at Stanford University in the fall.  Is it any wonder that Gabe’s sponsor sees his motto as “make an impact”?


    Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Scholarship for Academic Excellence

    Dayln Elizabeth Gillentine  $2,500

    Dayln Gillentine is a senior at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy and has lived in Austin her whole life. She lives with her parents, sister, pet dogs, and cat. Other than the time she spends having hilarious dinner conversations with them, she spends most of her free time running and playing soccer.

    Dayln also loves trying out new desserts and watching movies with friends. She spends her summers working at Book People’s Camp Half Blood and her school years studying fascinating topics in mathematics and philosophy.

    Dayln is described as eager and excited to learn, always positive, drawing classmates into the lesson at hand with enthusiasm and humor.  Her philosophy teacher provided even more insight into an engaged student who is one of the most thorough “annotators” that he’d encountered in 16 years of teaching, often filling the margins so thoroughly that no room remained.     

    He further described her as kind, involved, insightful, and empathetic, and said “if empathy is the foundation of a civilized society, then Dayln is helping to affirm and create the best of civilization.“

    She looks forward to attending Smith College next year, where she intends to study math and is excited for all the new experiences and friends that will accompany it.

     

    Phi Beta Kappa Physicians' Scholarship for Academic Excellence

    Daniel Lee Rios McCutchen  $2,500

    Daniel Lee Ríos McCutchen’s teacher, Keeth Matheny, writes that Daniel “is one of the top 1% of all students I have ever taught.” In addition to being a top academic student, Mr. Matheny notes that Daniel is “an extremely positive role model” for the students in his freshman success skills course, which is “all about social and emotional learning.”

    Daniel is a senior at Austin High School, where he was awarded the Trustees’ Scholar award every year in recognition of outstanding academic achievement. He is salutatorian of his senior class.

    Daniel excels in sports and is an all-state distance runner and team leader. He has also taken a leadership role by organizing charity and humanitarian projects. Inspired by his grandparents’ history— he wrote an essay about learning how his grandparents came to the U.S. as migrant workers under Roosevelt’s Bracero Program— Daniel became President of the Austin High Latino Partnership and initiated blue jeans, clothing, and school supply drives for local immigrant groups. He is founder of the Walk For The Water non-profit fundraising organization, an annual 5k race that raises money for clean, accessible water for people in Burundi, Africa. He is advisor to the Aspen Institute's National Youth Commission, and he teaches a Social and Emotional Learning class to freshman students at his high school. Daniel will be attending Harvard University next fall, where he will run track and study government and international relations.

     

  • 24 Mar 2017 4:10 PM | Joyce Statz (Administrator)

    Save the date for our Spring 2017 General Meeting
    Sunday, May 7, at 3 P.M.
    at the home of Libby and Bruce Malone
    3401 Northwood Circle, Austin, TX 78703

    Dean Randy Diehl has served for 40 years as a psychology professor at The University of Texas at Austin, studying how humans perceive speech and teaching hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students. Since 2007, he has also demonstrated his passion for teaching and research as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Dean Diehl earned his bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Illinois and his doctorate from the University of Minnesota. He joined The University of Texas faculty in 1975 and served as Psychology Department chair from 1995 to 1999.

     

    Why the Liberal Arts Are So Critical to Careers in Tomorrow’s World

    As we look at the dynamic nature of our world, many students, parents, and business people wonder – how relevant are the liberal arts to tomorrow’s  careers?  In his talk, Dr. Diehl will address why the liberal arts matter for those entering new careers, as well as for those whose interests and needs are developing to address changes in themselves and in the world around them.

  • 19 May 2016 9:37 AM | Elizabeth Richmond-Garza (Administrator)


    2016 PBKAAGA Scholarship Winners

    Philip F. Patman Memorial Baccalaureate Scholarship

    Maureen McConnell  $2,000

    Having worked at the University of Texas at Austin for nearly 15 years, Mureen McConnell finds work in the public sector meaningful and fulfilling.  During a majority of this time, she has worked for UT’s public radio stations KUT and KUTX Radio. Maureen is currently working on a four-year degree in Accounting at St. Edward’s University. She plans to continue her studies so as to obtain Public Accounting Certification and to pursue master's work in non-profit management.  It is her desire to continue working in the service of charitable missions and the public good.


    Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association Scholarship for Academic Excellence  

    Miranda Flora Toy     $2,500 

    Miranda Toy will graduate from the AnnRichards School for Young Women Leaders as the salutatorian.  This Fall Miranda will be begin attending the Plan II Honors Program at the University of Texas at Austin.  In her spare time, Miranda enjoys spending time with her family (including her cats), drawing, hiking on the greenbelt, and exploring the wonderful city of Austin, Texas.  During her time at Ann Richards, Miranda participated in YMCA Youth and Government, the National Honor Society, the Young Women's Preparatory Network, her school newspaper, and the Polaris Press.  Miranda also volunteered at Zilker Elementary School and the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.


    Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association Scholarship for Academic Excellence  

    Brandon Lee             $2,500

    Brandon Lee will graduate in the top 10% of his class from the Liberal Arts and Science Academy, Austin’s magnet high school. In addition to being a National Merit Finalist, he scored a 36 on the ACT, leading him to be named a U.S. Presidential Scholars candidate. Brandon has also achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. For his Eagle Project, he built a prayer circle for The Quarries of Hyde Park Baptist Church. Brandon has spent his summers in a wide variety of endeavors, from an internship at the University of Texas at Austin’s Biomedical Engineering lab to a 12-day backpacking trip in the Rocky Mountains. This fall, Brandon will attend the University of Texas at Austin and major in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

  • 13 Oct 2015 1:28 PM | Elizabeth Richmond-Garza (Administrator)
    The PBKAAGA General Membership Meeting took place at 3PM on Sunday May 3 in the Julius Glickman Center on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin.

    Our speaker was Dr. Spencer Wells who spoke on the topic “The Human Journey: A Genetic Odyssey."  Dr. Wells is a geneticist,

    anthropologist, author, Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society, Scholar-in-Residence at Georgetown University, and the owner of Antone's Night Club, an iconic nightclub in Austin, Texas.  For a taste of this extraordinary speaker, please do take a look at his TED Talk or follow him on Twitter@spwellls.

    At this meeting, we also awarded our 2015 PBKAAGA scholarships.  

  • 04 Jun 2015 2:26 PM | Elizabeth Richmond-Garza (Administrator)

    We are pleased to announce the winners of this year's scholarships.  The selection of these four individuals from among dozens of excellent applications was hard, but their particular accomplishments and ambitions allowed the committee to single out their specialness even from among such impressive applicants.  We would like to congratulate all our winners!

    Philip F. Patman Memorial Baccalaureate Scholarship for Academic Excellence: Khalid Yousif Al-Jamal – Concordia University

    Born and raised in Austin Texas, Khalid is currently majoring at Concordia University in Business.  He is inspired by his family, his devoted mother who raised him on her own and his two daughters whom he adores.  With a deep personal commitment to sacrifice and playing a positive role in his community, he hopes to continue along the educational path he has begun.  He will apply for an MBA program upon graduation.  This advanced study will allow him to combine his undergraduate preparation with his professional experience in asset management working for the Health and Human Services Commission so as to continue to serve his community.

    PBKAAGA Scholarship for Academic Excellence made possible by the generous contributions of PBK alumni/ae of the greater Austin Legal Community: Emily Rose Mawer – Stephen F. Austin High School

    Having participated in the Academy for Global Studies for four years, Emily is graduating in the top 5% pf her class from Austin High School.  This program encourages students to incorporate a global perspective into their learning, to take rigorous Pre-AP and AP classes, and to embark on annual trips involving community service.  She has done service projects in Heifer, Arkansas, Boston, Massachusetts, Costa Rica and Ecuador and logged 1290 hours of local community service in Austin. After three years on the Varsity Volleyball team, she served as its captain for her senior year.  She will attend the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin beginning in August 2015 where she also plans to minor in Spanish.

    PBKAAGA Scholarship for Academic Excellence made possible by the generous contributions of PBK alumni/ae of the greater Austin Medical Community: Sania Razzak – Lanier High School

    Sania is graduating from Lanier High School, where she has been involved with the Health Occupation Students of America Club as both the treasurer and vice president.  This experience, combined with a visit to her hometown in Pakistan, confirmed her dream to study medicine so as to found a hospital in the developing world where people in need could seek treatment free of cost.  She has also served as vice president for the National Honors Society and been active in the Student Council, National Art Honor Society, Tech Girls, Robotics, Math Masters, and Atlas Club.  In addition to volunteering at the local library, she devotes time to helping her family professionally and academically.  She will attend the University of Texas at Austin beginning in August 2015 where she will major in biology.

    PBKAAGA Scholarship for Academic Excellence:
    Erin Marie Simons – Ann Richards School for Young Women

    Erin is graduating from the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders.  She will attend Duke University beginning in August 2015 where she will study mechanical engineering.  At Ann Richards, Erin is a member of the high school orchestra, varsity soccer team, junior varsity cross country team, and the Ann Richards Chapter of the National Honor Society.  She has been recognized  as a National Merit Scholar Commended Student, AP Scholar with Distinction, and National School Orchestra Award Recipient.  Erin also plays cello in the Austin Youth Orchestra, volunteers at Zilker Elementary School, and is a member of the U18/U19 Lonestar "Kick Kats" Soccer Team.

  • 17 Sep 2014 5:12 PM | Elizabeth Richmond-Garza (Administrator)

    Congratulations to our former PBKAAGA scholarship recipient, Joshua Riehl. His documentary about water in Haiti won the "Most Viewed Award" from PBS with over 25,000 views. Well done, Josh!

    "Digging for Water” follows a Hatian community’s difficulty in obtaining a clean water source. Its director, investigative journalist Joshua Riehl, filmed the documentary during three trips to Haiti that took place over 18 months.


  • 08 Sep 2014 12:39 PM | Elizabeth Richmond-Garza (Administrator)

    Thanks to all our members who were able to join us for former Atlanta mayor Professor Shirley Franklin's talk and conversation on November 9 at our Fall General Meeting. For those of you who could not be there, we hope that you enjoy the video of the event which has been posted on YouTube. To access the video, please click here.

    Professor Franklin discussed “what's next” as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of President Johnson's landmark legislation - Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts and the War on Poverty.

    Former two-term Mayor of Atlanta Shirley Franklin joined the LBJ School of Public Affairs as the Barbara Jordan Visiting Professor of Ethics and Political Values in 2013. Franklin served as Mayor of the City of Atlanta from 2002 to 2010. 

    She was the first female to hold the post and became the first African-American woman to be elected mayor of any major Southern city.

    Franklin was named Governing magazine’s 2004 Public Official of the Year. In 2005, TIME magazine named her one of the top five mayors in the country and U.S. News and World Report named her one of “America’s Best Leaders”. In 2005, Franklin received the prestigious John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.

    After a short business meeting refreshments were served as members socialized. The meeting was hosted by the Graduate Students in Comparative Literature at the University of Texas – Austin.

  • 25 Aug 2014 10:14 AM | Elizabeth Richmond-Garza (Administrator)

    The core mission of the PBKAAGA is the support of academic excellence in the greater Austin area.  Each time that you as a member pay dues, nearly all of those funds are dedicated to our scholarships.  We thank every single member for what you make possible for young, aspiring minds in our community!

    Each year, members also elect to make further donations.  Some of our wonderful benefactors prefer to remain anonymous.  Some have kindly given us permission to share their names and to thank them publicly.  We are so grateful to all of you!

    Kay Pinckney Braziel, Christa Schwing Broderick, Larry R. Faulkner, Diane Finch Grant, James (Jim) Hart Little, Mary Love (Bitsy) Henderson, Terry Hockens, Robert S. Hughes, Candace E. Hunter, Clark Jobe, Jennifer Loehlin, Thomas G. Mason, Eugenia Betts Miller, Michael G. Murphy, Ph.D., Barbara Bredt Norwood, Joanna C. Scarborough, and Corina Scorns


  • 29 Jul 2014 2:43 PM | Elizabeth Richmond-Garza (Administrator)

    Three years ago, the PBKAAGA selected Joshua Riehl as one of their adult baccalaureate scholarship recipients while he was a student majoring in Communications and Radio-Television-Film at UT Austin.  He is shown here with his nominator, Dr. Thomas J. Garza, professor of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at UT Austin, and the chair of the 2011 Scholarship Committee, Dr. Noble Doss.  He used that scholarship to forward his career as a documentary film maker. Now his most recent work, Digging for Water, is being featured by PBS. This is the sort of original and important work that PBKAAGA supports, and we wish Joshua all the best in his career!  If you would like to see more about him and his film, please click here!  If you like what you see, please vote for his film!  

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