The Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of Greater Austin

PBKAAGA Officers:

Courtney Smith, President

Courtney Smith is a 2018 Baylor University graduate, magna cum laude, with a University Scholar BA degree concentrating in neuroscience and creative writing.  While at Baylor, she participated in the SEA-PHAGES (Science Education Alliance-Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science) program and attended the 7thAnnual SEA-PHAGES symposium, was elected president of the Baylor Undergraduate Research in Science and Technology (BURST) organization, and was a member of Alpha Delta Pi (ADPi) sorority.  Since graduation, she has founded Stellata Skies, LLC, a company that offers logistic and administrative support, content development, and editing services.  She has worked with clients to support events at Sundance, SXSW, NEXUS, and Baylor. She serves now with the Baylor Catholic Network and volunteers as a Teaching Assistant at Baylor University.  An aspiring novelist, she has a book series in the works based off her undergraduate thesis novel.

Tom Cedel, 1st Vice-President

Dr. Cedel is currently a Co-Director of the Thrivent Fellows Program and President Emeritus of Concordia University Texas. Prior to this he was a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Leadership at Valparaiso University.  He was the president of Concordia University Texas in Austin, TX from 2002 to 2014, during which the university relocated its campus. His Ph.D. is in biology from the University of Pittsburgh, and he was a postdoctoral fellow in biophysics at Carnegie-Mellon University.  Dr. Cedel is also a retired Air Force colonel and was a fighter pilot, having flown the F-4, A-7, C-12, and F-16 aircraft.   He commanded a fighter squadron and was vice commander of a fighter wing.  During his career he was assigned overseas in Pakistan, Japan, Korea, Europe, and the Middle East. 

Phillip Church, 2nd Vice-President

Phillip J. Church, M.D., F.A.C.S. is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and completed his general surgery residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Dallas. His fellowship in vascular surgery was completed at the University of California in San Francisco. Dr. Church has practiced with Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons since 1981.

Dr. Church is board-certified in vascular surgery by the American Board of Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Stephani Bradford, Secretary

Stephani Bradford received her BA in French and her BS in Education from the University of Texas, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  Prior to entering college, she spent a year living in France as a Rotary International Exchange Student.  Stephani later returned to UT to earn her Masters in Social Work with the goal of becoming a therapist.  She obtained her clinical hours working at the Austin State Hospital.  Stephani now owns a private therapy practice, where she specializes in helping her clients heal from past trauma.

Robin Ingari, Treasurer

A graduate of the University of Texas, Robin Ingari is currently Executive Vice President for American Bank, and is the Regional Credit/Risk officer for the bank. A seasoned banker, she has more than 30 years of experience with JP Morgan, Comerica, and Regions Bank. Her experience includes starting and managing technology lending groups, business banking lending groups, and corporate and commercial lending groups. Immediately prior to American Bank, she was Senior Vice President for Regions and market manager for Commercial/Corporate Banking for Central Texas. Robin’s current community involvement includes being vice president/ board member for the state chapter of Risk Management Association (RMA), as well as past president and board member for Central Texas RMA.  Previous involvement includes Treasurer, Secretary and Executive Committee for Any Baby Can, Community Advisory Board member for Helping Hand, Scholarship Committee for the University of Texas, treasurer/board member of Austin Theater Alliance, treasurer/board member of the State Theater, treasurer/board member of Austin Women in Technology, Executive Committee for American Heart Association, committee member for Austin County Livestock show, Executive council for Austin Business Journal and Ambassador committee for the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

Joyce Pulich, Past President 

Joyce Ilse Pulich has a B.A. in Sociology from Rice University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1968. She has an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Houston. Joyce began her career with a three- month stint with the Department of Public Welfare in Houston. She moved to Port Aransas, Texas in 1971, where she served on the City Charter Commission and the school board. She taught Sociology and other behavioral science classes at Del Mar Junior College in Corpus Christi, Texas before becoming an employee with the City of Port Aransas. She served as City Planner, Assistant City Manager, and City Manager until she moved to Austin in 1986 to become Assistant Director in the Housing and Community Services Department. Many years later, after serving in various departments, she retired from the Watershed Services and Development Review Department as Financial Manager in 2007. Joyce continues to teach Sociology at Austin Community College, virtually for the first time in the fall 2020 semester. Joyce volunteers in prison ministry and homelessness support (suspended during the pandemic); as past president of the American Association of University of Women (AAUW) Austin Branch, Fundraising chair, and fellowship coordinator for AAUW; and Chair of the Pastoral Council at St. Ignatius Martyr Catholic Church.  Joyce served as secretary of the PBKAAGA board for twenty years and most recently served as membership coordinator.

PBKAAGA Board Members:

Pam Autrey

Pam Autrey received her B.A., M.L.S and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Texas where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1968.  Dr. Autrey’s professional career has been focused on the areas of mediation, management strategy and information science.  During the last 12 years, she has served as a volunteer mediator at the Austin Dispute Resolution Center and the Travis County Juvenile Court system.  Prior to this, she was a management consultant, taught strategy and entrepreneurship at the University of Texas business school, and held positions in the Texas Governor’s Office and the University of Texas Library.  Past civic engagements include serving on the Advisory Committee of Project GRAD USA, participation in Leadership Texas, serving on the State of Texas Strategic Economic Development Planning Commission and on the Executive Committee of the Austin Theatre Alliance.  She was also Chair of the Executive Board of the Southern Methodist University Perkins School of Theology. She is married and has two children and five grandchildren.

Robert Bridges

Robert Bridges, a native Austinite, graduated with a BA degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1970. He attended the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas and finished a General Surgery residency there in 1979. After a fellowship in Vascular Surgery at the Medical College of Virginia he returned to Austin where he practiced with Cardiovascular and Vascular Surgeons until retiring in 2008. Since then he has managed a family ranch in Hays County. 

Mary Diehl

Mary Diehl received her B.A. in Spanish from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1970. She has an M.A. in Spanish Literature from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. After moving to Austin in 1975, Mary taught high school Spanish for 24 years in the Round Rock Independent School District. In 2000, Mary began a new phase in her career, serving as a clinical professor and eventually as associate director of UTeach-Liberal Arts at the University of Texas. After retiring from UTeach-LA, she continued to observe and mentor student teachers for the program. In addition to teaching, Mary has served as a contributing writer for several Spanish textbook series, presented many workshops on language instruction, and participated as table leader in the summer Advanced Placement scoring process. Mary held several leadership positions, including service as president of the Texas Foreign Language Association and treasurer of the Pan American Student Forum.  Teaching awards received include, among others, the Texas Foreign Language Association’s Spanish Teacher of the Year award, the Texas Exes’ Texas Outstanding High School Teacher Excellence Award, and a College Board Award for Excellence in AP Teaching. Mary serves on the PBKAAGA Teaching Excellence Award committee. Mary and her husband Randy are currently enjoying retirement, travel, and family time.

Noble Doss

Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Noble attended the University of Texas in Austin, earning a degree in Plan II, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  He attended Southwestern Medical School, followed by OB-Gyn residency at Parkland Hospital.  After practicing OB-Gyn for 38 years in Austin, he retired in September, 2015.  Nbble is currently involved in several volunteer organizations, including Community 1st Village for previously homeless individuals, Foundation Communities for affordable housing, Meals on Wheels, and Drive A Senior, Central Texas.  He has been married to Sharon Doss, CCC, PhD in private practice of Speech Pathology for more than 50 years and blessed with two daughters, five granddaughters, and one grandson!

Donald Flournoy 

Don Flournoy is a member of Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Texas at Austin. He graduated with a BA from UT with Special Honors in History in 1969 and  a JD from the University of Texas School of Law in 1972. He practiced general civil law in Austin until his retirement in 2017. Don is a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and a Fellow of the Travis County Bar Foundation. 

Mary "Bitsy" Henderson

Constance P. Hicks

Constance Ann Palousek Hicks is a 1972 Plan II graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, elected to Phi Beta Kappa by the Alpha of Texas Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in the spring of her Junior year.   With a degree in English and French and Teacher Certification, she spent a year teaching Junior High English, and then moved into the business world, building and managing a life and health insurance agency in Austin, Texas.  In the late 1990’s those management skills were transferred to the property and casualty insurance industry, and in the early 2000’s she joined The John A. Barclay Agency here in Austin, helping it grow from a staff of two to more than twelve. 

Her favorite quote is “we’ll figure it out!” because that’s how she approaches life and business.  She’s motivated by a challenge and getting the job done, being thorough and precise in the process, coming up with solutions, applying them, and researching issues to get answers so that things make sense.

In 2002 she was introduced to rowing, and it has become an avocation and a passion.  She rows competitively with the Texas Rowing Center on Lady Bird Lake, and has medaled in many local and state competitions and in every U.S. Rowing Masters Nationals Championship since 2011. 

A native Texan, with roots in Central Texas Czech farming communities of Jarrell, Granger, and Corn Hill, she’s lived in Brownsville and Dallas, but has called Austin home since 1969.  She has two beautiful, strong, accomplished daughters, two outstanding sons-in-law and two delightful granddaughters, all of whom give joy and purpose to her life.

Ron Luke

Ron Luke is a principal consultant and president of Research & Planning Consultants, LP. Ron joined RPC in 1976 and became its president and principal owner in 1979. He has consulted on projects for health care providers, managed care plans and public agencies in more than 25 states. He also serves as an expert witness in trials, administrative proceedings and legislative hearings.

Active in the health policy arena, Ron was an original member, and later chairman, of the Texas Department of Insurance’s Utilization Review Advisory Committee. Governor George W. Bush appointed him as an original member of the Texas Health Care Information Council, where he had a major role in the development of the Texas hospital discharge data system. Governor Rick Perry appointed him to the Texas Health and Human Services Council and to the Texas Institute of Healthcare Quality and Efficiency. He has served as an advisor to committees of the Texas Legislature on health insurance mandates and major revisions to the Workers’ Compensation Act. A former director of the Texas Business Group on Health, Ron also served on the boards of several public and non-profit organizations providing healthcare services. He currently serves as a Director of the Texas Association of Business and chairs TAB’s Health Policy Committee. He is a member of the National Association of Forensic Economists and the Health Law sections of the Texas and American Bar Associations.

Holly Wissmann

As Director of Philanthropy for Breakthrough Central Texas, Holly Wissmann leads the organization's major gifts program and has helped grow individual giving from $500,000 to $3.5 million annually, serving nearly 3,000 students on their path to becoming first-generation college graduates. Having experienced the transformative impact of higher education on her own family, Holly is honored to have the opportunity to pay forward that gift every day, serving on a team dedicated to educational equity and partnering with students and families to realize their college dreams. Trusting, long-term relationships are critical to the success and sustainability of both fundraising and student services at Breakthrough, and that human connection is what has kept her in the fundraising 17 years. Prior to joining the Breakthrough family, Holly served as the Associate Director of Development for ZACH Theatre, where she was on the team responsible for the Topfer Theatre Capital Campaign. A proud graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and Phi Beta Kappa and Terry Scholar alumna, she holds a BBA in Marketing and BA in Theatre and Dance. Holly is a longtime, active member and volunteer for the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and currently serves as Immediate Past President for the Greater Austin Chapter. In her personal time, she is involved with East Austin-based, AZTLAN Dance Company, her artistic home for 18 years, and loves spending time with her partner, Fabian, and their fur and reptile babies, Xochi, Xico, and Ivan.  

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