The Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of Greater Austin


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  • 29 Aug 2022 3:25 PM | Joyce Statz (Administrator)

    2022 PBKAAGA Scholarship Winners

    PBKAAGA is pleased to present seven scholarships to high school seniors in 2022. These students were awarded scholarships to attend the college of their choice. We were privileged to collaborate with Breakthrough Central Texas to identify these students, the first generation in their families to have a college experience.

    In addition, PBKAAGA has awarded a scholarship to a current college student, to enable him to continue his college experience.

    Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Scholarship for Academic Excellence - $2500

    Kriti Magar

    Kriti Magar is a graduate of Manor New Technology High school. In her time at Manor New Tech, she has been a student council member, the Historian for National Honor Society, and a participant in Tech Girls, an international summer exchange program designed to empower and inspire young women from around the world to pursue careers in science and technology. She was also the Captain of the Volleyball Team and a member of the soccer team. In her spare time, she loves listening to music and using her creative side to take self-portraits. After college she plans to become a travel nurse.

    Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Scholarship for Academic Excellence - $2500

    Maria Ortega Rodriguez

    Maria Ortega Rodriguez graduated from LASA High school. In her free time, she likes to create art and explore new places. She participated in the North Dakota Study Group and in Austin Bat Cave, where she wrote an op-ed on immigration. She also served as a teaching fellow for Breakthrough Central Texas. Her passion for activism, social justice, and civil rights led her to be part of Youth Rise Texas. She plans to major in Government, and she looks forward to continuing to give back to her community as a first-generation immigrant. She wants to inspire other students to know that there is no limit, and one day she plans to stand in the courtroom defending her clients as an immigration or family lawyer.

    Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Scholarship for Academic Excellence - $2500

    Cielo Reyes Reyes

    Cielo Reyes Reyes graduated from the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders. She will continue her education at Rice University on full scholarship, planning to major in neuroscience with a minor in biochemistry and cell biology. She hopes to enter the medical field, hoping to become a pediatrician or go into pediatric physical therapy. In high school she was a member of the cross-country team and captain of the varsity soccer team. She was also student council class president and a member of National Honor Society and of the Language Honor Society. Outside of school, Cielo was captain of her club soccer team and participated in Tae Kwon Do. In sixth grade Cielo started an annual holiday toy drive for the kids at Dell Children’s Hospital who must spend the holidays in the hospital. At a young age she was often in and out of hospitals with her younger brother, and at one point she received a gift like this, the reason starting this toy drive was so important to her. She was awarded the 2022 Kelly Davidson Memorial Outstanding Philanthropic Youth of the Year Award. She hopes to continue serving her community and make change one toy at a time.

    Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Scholarship for Academic Excellence - $2500

    Samantha Rivera

    Samantha Rivera graduated from Manor New Technology High School in the top 6% of her class. She will continue her studies in Computational Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. During high school, she was a member of the Society of Creative Writers; member and Senior Representative for National Honor Society; Copy Editor and writer for Yearbook; and founder and President of Titan Webers Club, a club she created for students who want to pursue computer science. She played varsity tennis since freshman year and won many tournaments, including District 2nd place, going to regionals for the first time. As the eldest sister of two nonverbal younger brothers with severe autism and intellectual disabilities, she has been inspired to create software applications for families with special needs to improve their daily lives. After graduating college, she plans to work at Apple and pursue a career as a software engineer to create the programs that kids with disabilities need to help overcome their struggles.

    Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Scholarship for Academic Excellence - $2500

    Alejandro Tejada

    Alejandro Tejada was raised in Austin, Texas, and graduated in the top 3% of his class from LBJ Early College High School. Alex will continue his education at Texas State University on a full scholarship. He plans to earn a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in two years at Texas State, then transfer to the University of Texas in Austin to pursue a Master of Science in Psychology. Alex has always made it a priority to remain on top of his academics, taking all AP/PRE-AP classes and enrolling in dual credit programs at Austin Community College. In addition, he held a full-time job throughout the school and was elected Vice President of National Honor Society. Alex knew from a young age that he desired something different for himself, bigger goals which would result in a better life.

    Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Scholarship for Academic Excellence - $2500

    Nandana Thanikanti

    Nandana Thanikanti graduated from Manor New Technology High School and will be attending the University of Texas at Austin as a Mathematics major in the College of Natural Sciences in the Fall of 2022. At the university, she will be part of the Freshman Research Initiative and the Jefferson Scholars Program. During her high school journey, she was Historian for Tech Girls (which is sponsored by Girl Scouts), Secretary of National Honor Society, and the Editor-In-Chief for Yearbook. She was also active in Key Club and Student Council. During free time, she loves to read books and bake cookies. After college, she plans on specializing in quantitative economics.

    Phi Beta Kappa Physicans Scholarship for Academic Excellence - $2500

    Nicole Esonwune

    Nicole Esonwune is a life-long Austin resident. Her parents migrated to America to provide the best possible life for her and 3 siblings. She graduated from ACC with an associate degree in May, as well as a high school diploma in June from Manor Early College High School. Among the clubs and organizations in which she participated during her high school years was the girls varsity basketball team, where she set a record for the most rebounds in a game in her junior year. Ending senior year with a bang, she helped make history as her team won the Bi-District game in playoffs, the first time ever for their girls’ athletics program. She also took part in varsity cross country. As part of the Early College Program, which allows its students to earn up to 60 college credit hours prior to entering a 4-year university, she learned skills of communication, listening, and time management. She was also the secretary of the National Honor Society program, where she helped those in need and also helped incoming members navigate the program and high school as a whole. She will attend the University of Texas, majoring in Biology hoping to one day enter the medical field. Her passion to enter the medical field stems from hearing her mom recount the times where she has helped people and from her personal desire to help others.

    Philip F. Patman Memorial Baccalaureate Scholarship          $2500

    Cole Thomas

    An only child to parents who never married or got along, Cole Thomas grew up quickly and persevered through life’s toughest obstacles. His positive attitude and work ethic guided him to graduate from St. Louis High School with honors. Cole lost his mother to drug addiction and witnessed the swift decline of his father’s health due to primary progressive multiple sclerosis. Cole’s empathy and understanding of the diseases with which his parents were afflicted have made him an independent, hard-working and a caring individual. Cole served five years in the Marine Corps, deployed overseas multiple times. These experiences molded Cole into a focused, well-driven, and humble leader, characteristics he carries into his studies today. His mission is to become a CPA, and he hopes to inspire others to see that it is more than possible to rewrite your narrative and achieve the dreams you set out for yourself. Ultimately, Cole hopes to create and impact organizations that help children whose parents suffer from addiction.

  • 02 May 2021 10:44 AM | Joyce Statz (Administrator)

    2021 PBKAAGA Scholarship Winners

    PBKAAGA was pleased to present nine 2021 scholarship to eight high school seniors in 2021. These students were awarded scholarships to attend the college of their choice. We were privileged to collaborate with Breakthrough Central Texas to identify these students, the first generation in their families to have a college experience, and to work with the Luke Family to fund the high school scholarships.

    In addition, PBKAAGA has awarded a scholarship to a current college student, to enable him to continue his college experience.

    Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Scholarship for Academic Excellence - $2500

    Helen Nguyen                 

    Helen is a graduate from Manor New Technology High School and will be attending the University of Texas at Austin as a business major in the McCombs School of Business. She has been actively involved in extracurriculars to support the student body, leading as the Key Club President, Student Council Secretary, and yearbook Editor-in-Chief. A very competitive person, she played for the varsity volleyball team as libero and was the tennis captain for all four years. During her free time, she enjoys traveling and practicing her photography skills. After college, she plans to pursue a career in business and health administration, aspiring to become the CEO of a nonprofit healthcare organization.

    PBKAAGA Luke Family Scholarship for Academic Excellence - $2500


    Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Scholarship for Academic Excellence - $2500

    Victoria Uriostegui        

    Born and raised in Austin, Texas, graduating top 6% of her class at KIPP Austin Collegiate, Victoria will continue her post-secondary education at the University of Texas at Austin entering as a Communication and Leadership major at Moody College. Through her participation in various nonprofits and leadership positions in school, she strives to become a nonprofit organization leader to empower youth minorities like she was empowered. Breakthrough Central Texas was one of the first programs to enlighten her about the reality of her identity as a first-generation student and through the program she has expanded her skill sets and met significant mentors who have supported her more than she could ever imagine. Her motivation and achievements stem from being the first child of supportive immigrant parents and aiming to set a high bar for her younger siblings to follow.

    Phi Beta Kappa Physicians Scholarship for Academic Excellence - $2500

    Angelie Vera-Chong      

    Angelie is graduating from Manor Early College High School, and she will also be receiving an associate degree. She will be attending The University of Texas at Austin and pursue nursing as her field of study. Angelie has been part of the Breakthrough Central Texas program for about five years and has developed a new set of skills that have helped her build up her character to reach her goals. Throughout high school, she has volunteered for different events and organizations. One of her favorite events was her contribution to the H-E-B Feast of Sharing in which she helped serve holiday meals to families, as well as the local homeless community. She enjoys being outdoors and having a great time with her loved ones. In the future, she plans to complete nursing school and pursue a master’s degree where she would like to become a pediatric nurse.


    Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Scholarship for Academic Excellence - $2500

    Aldo Ruiz Parra               

    Aldo is a senior graduating from KIPP Austin Collegiate. Born in Mexico but raised in the outskirts of Austin, Aldo is the first in his family to attend college, pursuing his future endeavors at Pomona College. As the oldest of three in his family, Aldo hopes to set the example for his family and generations to come. In school, Aldo is Co-President of the Science National Honor Society and is involved with his school’s robotics team and National Honor Society. Through his activities, Aldo found a passion in the field of technology, hoping to major in Computer Science in the future. As an immigrant himself, Aldo hopes to one day give back to his community by helping other immigrants and people coming from his background pursue a similar career as him in technology.


    PBKAAGA Luke Family Scholarship for Academic Excellence - $2500

    Allyson Chaplin

    Allyson Chaplin graduated from McCallum High School and will be attending Sam Houston State University as a criminal justice major. In high school, she was a volleyball manager and a vocal studies major. When not working two jobs (or three during the summer) to pay for college, Allyson loves spending time with friends, traveling with her family, learning a new instrument, or sewing a new skirt or shirt. As a criminal justice major, she hopes to learn more about how to investigate and solve crimes, connect with victims, understand why crimes happen, as well as learn why criminals commit crimes and how to prevent them. In the future, her dream is to go into the FBI as a special agent after graduation. She credits Breakthrough with helping her to discover Sam Houston State University and her love for criminal justice. Allyson plans to give it her all in college to show her younger sister that hard work pays off tremendously and to follow her dreams.


    PBKAAGA Luke Family Scholarship for Academic Excellence- $2500

    Melissa Jahen

    Melissa Jahen is a graduate from Navarro Early College High School (previously known as Lanier ECHS). In her four high school years, Melissa has achieved and grown an incredible amount with the death of her father; balancing golf, girls soccer, cross country, and color guard; and staying on top of her courses both in high school and at ACC. Melissa’s next steps are to move to Wichita Falls to attend Midwestern State University and major in biology. She plans to pursue the STEM curriculum and study in the department of biomedicine while making her parents proud. Melissa Is the first of her siblings to attend college. This is an incredibly big step, and she is honored and immensely grateful to have the help of PBKAAGA and the Luke Family.


    PBKAAGA Luke Family Scholarship for Academic Excellence - $2500

    Kamryn Wooten

    Kamryn completed her studies at Manor Early College High School and graduated with an Associate degree from Austin Community College. However, her high school journey presented some rather unusual challenges. Throughout those four years of schooling, Kamryn had to persevere through multiple surgeries and the effects of a facial tumor. This was an unfortunate ordeal, but without it she never would have had a first-class seat to a profession that seemed almost unreachable. As an aspiring surgeon, Kamryn will be attending Texas A&M University as a biomedical sciences major. This is an extremely demanding and rigorous major, so it truly is a blessing to have less of a financial burden. In her spare time, she enjoys playing tennis and the piano, and has a deep love for art and gaming.


    PBKAAGA Luke Family Scholarship for Academic Excellence - $2500

    Fernanda Pombo

    Fernanda Pombo is a graduate of Harmony Science Academy and will be attending St. Edward’s University in the fall. In high school she was involved in Spanish Club and in events for the Latinx community like the Quinceanera Fashion Show. Fernanda plans to major in Social Work, and her goal after college is to work with children in need.

    Fernanda is a huge horror movie fan, likes to explore new things, and loves to spend time with her family and friends. She is diagnosed with autism and has worked hard to achieve her education. She is so excited to start college in the fall!


    Philip F. Patman Memorial Baccalaureate Scholarship

    Derek Hausman         $2000

    Derek is a Geography Resources and Environmental Studies major at Texas State University, where he is focusing on water systems and water resources. Derek spent five years as a residential arborist, working in every facet of the business from tree crew, to sales arborist, to plant health care technician. Derek’s passion for streams and stream systems has led him to pursue a degree that will allow him to focus his efforts on human- environment interactions and watershed management.

    During his time at Texas State Derek has taken part in a bathymetry study of the Upper San Marcos River to monitor recreation impact on the river, as well as a study to quantify stream connectivity and fragmentation in the Upper Guadalupe River watershed. Opportunities like these, working towards a purpose driven career, are the reasons that Derek went back to school at the age of thirty.

    In his free time, Derek enjoys anything outdoors with his wife and dog. From hiking, kayaking, and fishing, to birding, and just sitting on the riverbank and taking it all in. He knows he is fortunate to have the opportunity to go back to school and pursue a higher level of education. He is grateful to his wife, Lindsay, for agreeing to uproot their lives in Austin and move south down I-35 so that he can pursue his dreams. Lastly, he is grateful to the PBKAAGA for their generosity which will help him continue his education.

  • 22 May 2020 6:20 PM | Joyce Statz (Administrator)

    PBKAAGA is pleased to announce the winners of its 2020 scholarships. Three high school seniors have been awarded scholarships to attend the college of their choice. We were privileged to collaborate with Breakthrough Central Texas to identify these students, the first generation in their families to have a college experience.

    In addition, PBKAAGA has awarded a scholarship to a current college student, to enable her to continue her college experience.

    Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Scholarship for Academic Excellence

    Stephany Uriostegui      $2500

    Stephany is graduating from Northeast Early College High School at the top 10% of her class, graduating with over 200 community service hours. First in her family to go to college, Stephany will attend the University of Texas at Austin, enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts. Currently an undecided major, she wants to experience career options as a community volunteer before making a final decision about a major. Stephany is also a proud recipient of the Humanitarian Award from the Air Force Junior ROTC, the third highest ribbon a cadet can receive, as well as receiving a trustee award during each of her years in high school. Stephany hopes that her experience can be an example for others, showing that a bachelor’s degree can be obtained no matter your background.


    Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Scholarship for Academic Excellence

    Lucita Rodriguez             $2500

    Lucita is a graduate of Del Valle High School, and she will soon be the first one in her family to attend college. Lucita will attend St. Edward’s University in the fall of 2020, studying political science, with plans to go to law school and pursue her dream of becoming an immigration lawyer. Coming from an immigrant family, Lucita was born and raised in Austin along with her 10-year-old sister. Her parents taught her that hard work and a good education are the keys to success. That advice has always been her motivation to keep going, and she wants to take advantage of all the opportunities that her parents didn’t have growing up. Throughout high school she has been acknowledged for her stellar academic performance and her dedication to community service, which earned her an academic achievement plaque her senior year. Lucita wants her experience to show that through hard work and devotion you can achieve anything you set your mind to. 


    Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Scholarship for Academic Excellence

    Michelle Abalos               $2500

    Michelle was born and raised in Austin, Texas. She is a graduate of Northeast Early College High School, excited to attend Texas A&M University at Galveston in the fall of 2020, where she plans to study biomedical engineering. Along with her younger sister, she enjoys drawing, painting, and doing crafts. In middle school and high school, Michelle's hard work has been recognized, and she achieved the position   of Valedictorian of her graduating class. With the help of Breakthrough Central Texas, she is the first in her family to go to college.


    Philip F. Patman Memorial Baccalaureate Scholarship

    Najeia Besiso    $2000

    Najeia was born in Oklahoma, but lived in Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, California, and Berlin, Germany, before settling in Texas. First living in San Antonio and Houston, she moved to Austin 15 years ago.

    After a successful decade in the work force, Najeia took a break to raise her twin daughters. She then attended Austin Community College and earned her associate’s degree with a stellar 4.0 GPA. She became a full time student after the birth of her third child, now pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business at Southwestern University, where she has been on the Dean’s List. When she completes this degree, she plans to pursue an MBA at the University of Texas at Austin.

    When not studying, Najeia works as account manager at an animal hospital, cares for her elderly mother, and is mother to her 10-year old twins and rambunctious 2-year old. She also enjoys yoga, tennis, painting, and volunteering at local animal shelters.


  • 30 Apr 2019 3:33 PM | Joyce Statz (Administrator)

    At its May 5, 2019 Spring Meeting, the Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of Greater Austin awarded its 2019 scholarships.  Congratulations to these outstanding winners! Best of luck in your next adventures!

    2019 PBKAAGA Scholarship Winners

    Philip F. Patman Memorial Baccalaureate Scholarship

    Melissa Wolter    $2,000

    Melissa Wolter was born in The Woodlands, Texas, and grew up living in Austin, Katy, and Freeport, Texas. She is a non-traditional student, returning to Texas State University after spending ten years in the workforce. During this time, she lost her father and her brother, and she experienced three miscarriages. She also became a mother through adoption of a son Abel, who is now six years old, and after returning to school, gave birth to a daughter Amelia, who is now two years old. Through these struggles she developed strength, perseverance, and clear goals for her future and that of her family.

    She is a member of Texas State’s Honors College majoring in Biology with a minor in Secondary Education. She plans to teach high school biology after the completion of her bachelor’s degree and to return to Texas State for her master’s in wildlife ecology.

    When not focusing on her academic coursework, Melissa enjoys spending time with her children, camping, hiking, and swimming as much as possible. Growing up, her mother and father instilled in her a love of nature that she’s passed down to her own children. She also has five rescue dogs and nine nieces and nephews with whom she spends all of her free time. She coaches Little League Baseball in Luling, Texas; is an active member in multiple student organizations on campus, including Texas State Wildlife Society; and she has served as a Texas State Park Ambassador with Texas Parks and Wildlife.

    Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Scholarship for Academic Excellence

    Helen He    $2,500

    A graduate of Westlake High School, Helen hopes to pursue college study at the intersection of technology and society, so that she can develop solutions to complex challenges. Inspired by her internship experiences at the Austin City Hall, Helen founded the Austin Urban Institute, a for-benefit think tank that uses big data analytics to investigate solutions to Austin's affordable housing and other urban issues. She was a Simons Summer Research Program research fellow in 2018, where she conducted research on public housing placement strategy and nutrition labels. Helen is also a recipient of a National Aspirations in Computing Honorable Mention from the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT).

    Helen has been the webmaster for the school’s Latin club and for the Texas State Junior Classical League, one of the largest student-run organizations in the world. During her tenure, both websites won third place in the National Junior Classical League website competition. Helen is also heavily involved with the school’s robotics organization and has served as team captain for a robotics team.

    When she’s not coding or conducting research, Helen enjoys exploring her creative side. As one of the founding members of a Destination Imagination team, Helen and her teammates have performed for eight consecutive years, where they have competed at the state and global levels. An avid artist and designer, Helen is the design director for school's news magazine, The Featherduster, which won a Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Crown. Her artwork has been featured in numerous national and international publications. In her spare time, Helen likes to draw while listening to music.

    Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Scholarship for Academic Excellence

    Danika Luo     $2,500

    Danika Luo is a graduate of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy, excited to attend Harvard University, where she plans to study computer science and math.

    Since the age of five, swimming has been Danika's favorite sport and hobby. As swim captain during her junior and senior years, Danika led dryland workouts, planned swim meets, and organized team bonding events.

    Danika’s passion for STEM is exemplified by her role as a LASA Science Olympiad team captain. She competed in events including Disease Detectives (which focuses on epidemiology and public health surveillance) and Protein Modeling (which involves studying the CRISPR Cas-9 system). Danika contributed to the LASA community as Treasurer of Student Council and as an ambassador for her high school. One of four elected Student Council officers for her class, she planned events to promote class and school spirit, such as socials, homecoming, and prom. As a LASA Ambassador, she recruited middle schoolers from around Austin and helped incoming freshmen adjust to the high school experience.

    During the summers, Danika attended Honors Summer Math Camp, a six-week residential math camp at Texas State University. She has conducted research projects on lossless integer data compression as well as on hypergraphs. She loves the camp experience and is excited to work as a counselor this coming summer.

    In her spare time, Danika enjoys spending time with her family, playing ping-pong, tennis, badminton, and visiting nice restaurants around the city of Austin. 

    Phi Beta Kappa Physicians’ Scholarship for Academic Excellence

    Jenny Lu         $2,500

    Jenny Lu, a graduate of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy, is a native Austinite. Jenny is most passionate about math and helping others, and hopes to combine her interests in the future either through biostatistics research or a career in medicine.

    In high school, Jenny competed in Science Olympiad and during her senior year, served as a team captain. Through Science Olympiad, Jenny was able to delve into a variety of sciences, from epidemiology to materials science to anatomy. The most valuable aspect of Science Olympiad for Jenny was the celebration of learning science as a team effort.

    Jenny is incredibly passionate about music. She has been playing the piano for 12 years, playing the cello for seven years, and teaching herself to play the ukulele for two years. Jenny was a member of her school’s orchestra and participated in All Region Orchestra all four years of high school. She has also served as Vice President and Secretary of her school’s orchestra.

    Jenny also held leadership positions in Chinese Club, LASA Ambassadors, and Sending Out Support Club (a volunteering club). Jenny was also on the LBJ Swim Team for all four years.

    Jenny’s summers have been spent working on research in algebraic topology and hypergraphs at the Honors Summer Math Camp at Texas State University, working with children with cerebral palsy at Camp in Motion, meeting incoming freshmen at orchestra camp, and traveling with her family.

  • 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.


  • 19 May 2016 9:37 AM | Deleted user

    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 | Deleted user
    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 | Deleted user

    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 | Deleted user

    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.

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