The Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of Greater Austin
 

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

    On May 7, 2017, the Phi Beta 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!  

  • 06 May 2014 2:00 PM | Elizabeth Richmond-Garza (Administrator)
    At the May 4th general meeting of the PBKAAGA, the scholarship committee were pleased to present awards to three graduating high school seniors and one undergraduate in recognition of their achievements.  

    The scholarship committee was chaired by Ms. Connie Hicks (far left) and included (from left to right) Joyce Pulich, Beverly Shivers, Martha Jones, and Tom Cedel. Noble Doss was unable to be present.  The name and photograph of each honoree, along with the award received, are listed below:

    Jabu Peter Mbara
    Huston-Tillotson University
    Phillip Patman Memorial
    Baccalaureate Scholarship ($2,500)

    Majoring in Computer Science at Huston-Tillotson University, Peter Mbara consistently takes on extra academic and mentoring responsibilities.  Equally committed to his pre-engineering studies and his duties as Sophomore Class President, he embodies an level of academic enthusiasm as well as accomplishment that is noted by his professors and inspiring to his peers.  He has a particular gift for seeing and respecting views that differ from his own.  A charismatic multilingual and multicultural leader and an excellent colleague, Mr. Mbara is already making great contributions both locally and globally.

    Rio Layla Esquivel 
    William B. Travis High School
    PBKGAA Scholarship
    for Academic Excellence ($ 2,500)

    Rio Esquivel graduated first in her large class from William B. Travis High School, where she was an award-winning member of the American Drill Team and the All City Dance Team.  At the same time, she consistently undertook the most demanding courses at the AP and Dual Credit level.  Her energy and passion for her ideas is matched by respect for those of others.  She also took the time to share her talents with others for whom academic pursuits came less easily as she and in shaping the future of her school by serving on the Campus Advisory Council and volunteering with the HEB Annual Feast of Sharing.  Ms. Esquivel will be attending the University of Texas in the Fall of 2014 as a Plan II major with a double major in Biology. She hopes to serve her community by becoming an orthopedic surgeon, providing care and comfort to all.

    Savannah Shivers
    A. N. McCallum High School
    Phi Beta Kappa
    Lawyers' Scholarship ($ 2,000)

    Savannah Shivers was a member of the National Honors Society for all four years of high school and graduated as valedictorian for her large class from A.N. McCallum Hugh School.  Always picking and excelling in the most challenging courses, ranging across the liberal arts and sciences, Ms. Shivers has two particular passions music and children.  A leader and accomplished musician in voice and trumpet, she was inspired to participate on a mission in Nicaragua where she worked with special needs children.  People who work with her are inspired by her concern for others, especially those at risk.  Beginning in Fall 2014, Ms. Shivers will attend Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina, where she plans to major in psychology.

    Samantha Adele Miller
    James Bowie High School
    Phi Beta Kappa
    Doctors' Scholarship ($ 2,000)

    Ranked as the best student in her large graduating class from James Bowie High School, Samantha Adele Miller has excelled across the curriculum, from language arts to mathematics.  Having undertaken a rigorous curriculum, Ms. Miller always challenges herself personally and intellectually.  Foreshadowing her success in college, Ms. Miller is able to see beyond the problems teachers set for her and to engage with the ideas that underlie those problems.  Whether winning a best musical show competition, or grappling with the complexity of programming in C++, Ms. Miller stands out to all who meet and work with her. It is hardly surprising that she has been admitted to the Turing Scholars and Dean's Scholars Honors Programs and began her major in Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin in August 2014.
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