Class Notes is a compilation of alumni submissions and reports from newspapers and other media outlets.
J. Gaston Kent, M.B.A. has been named president and
CEO of the John Tracy Clinic in
Los Angeles. The clinic offers
support for young children with
hearing loss and their parents.
Marian Sokol, M.A.
in education, was reappointed by
Gov. Rick Perry to the executive
committee of the Office for the
Prevention of Developmental
Disabilities. Her term will expire
Feb. 1, 2017. Marian is president
of the First Candle/Sudden Infant
Death Syndrome (SIDS) Alliance.
She is the founding executive
director and a current board
member of Any Baby Can.
the Texas State
Board of Public
Gov. Rick Perry.
He has been a
32 years and
is a partner in
Texas, office of
Long Chilton LLP.
Rose Gonzalez Perez, M.A. in education, has been
named interim CEO of the Girl
Scouts of Southwest Texas, based
in San Antonio. She is a 20-year
Girl Scouts executive and most
recently served as chief external
affairs officer for the Girl Scouts
of Southwest Texas.
J. Gilberto Quezada,
M.A. in education, has published
his debut novel, "Terror on the
Border," which tells the story
of the Mexican Mafia and of
the lives that are affected by
it on both sides of the border.
J. Gilberto is a retired public
school administrator from the
South San Antonio Independent
Bennett Jr., B.A. in
psychology, last year achieved
Air Force Research Laboratory’s
2010 Fellow status for his work
in training, education and
measurement technologies. Wink
is a senior research psychologist
with the Training Research
Laboratory in Mesa, Ariz. He
received his Ph.D. in industrial
organizational psychology from
Texas A&M University in 1995.
M.M. in music, received the 2010
Elaine Brown Award for
Choral Excellence at the
American Choral Directors
Association of Pennsylvania
annual summer conference in
State College, Penn., in August.
The award is presented “to
an individual for outstanding
lifelong work in the choral art.”
Peggy is professor of music and
director of choral activities
at Mansfield University in
Bill Morrow, B.B.A. in
marketing, delivered the keynote
address during the UTSA College
of Business Frost Distinguished
Lecture in April. Bill is co-founder
and chairman of CSIdentity
Corp., an Austin-based business
specializing in identity theft
protection, voice biometrics, ID
verification and data breach
B.S. in physical education, is the
boys’ basketball coach at San
Antonio Christian High School.
He is also a pastor at Community
Bible Church in San Antonio.
Robin Allen, B.A. in
English, is the author of the Poppy
Markham: Culinary Cop mystery
series. The first book, If You Can’t
Stand the Heat, is available from
Midnight Ink in paperback,
eBook, Nook and Kindle formats.
Darlene Kersey, B.B.A.
in accounting, was first runner-up
in the 2011 Mrs. Nebraska
Pageant. She also received the
Patty Steele Community Award,
presented to the contestant who
has demonstrated a lifetime
commitment to a charity. Darlene
has worked extensively with
Komen for the Cure.
MaryBeth Smith, M.M.
in music, is the director of the
Feldenkrais Center of Houston.
She has been a Guild Certified
Feldenkrais Practitioner since
2004 and is a member of the
faculty at Houston’s Jung Center.
Barbara M. Stuckey,
B.A. in sociology, has been
elected to serve as vice president
and CFO of Abraxas Petroleum
Corporation, based in San
Antonio. She most recently
served as vice president for
corporate finance. She has been
with the company since 1997.
Monica Valadez, B.B.A.
in management, is an account
manager in the San Antonio
offices of Consuro, a managed
service provider offering
Windows-based IT services.
Leigh Anne Lester,
B.F.A. in art, is a San Antonio
artist whose work, Mutant
Spectre, recently won the $50,000
Hunting Art Prize for 2011. The
graphite drawing was selected
from 110 finalist pieces in the
31st annual award program,
which is sponsored by Hunting,
a global oil services company.
Leigh Anne is the co-founder,
co-owner and co-curator of the
Cactus Bra gallery and manager
of San Angel Folk Art Gallery,
both in San Antonio.
Shawn Strash, M.B.A.,
is the CEO at Paradise Valley
Community Hospital in Phoenix.
Before that, he served as CEO of
the Oro Valley Hospital in Tucson,
Sharon Keen, M.S. in
biology, lives in Ramer, Tenn. In
2009, she was named Tennessee
Tree Farmer of the year and
has served in leadership
positions with her local
forestry association. She enjoys
competing in agility events with
her Australian Shepherd dog.
Brian Troesch, B.A. in
political science, is senior vice
president of sales and marketing
and business development at
Arbinet Corp. He also serves
as the senior vice president
of global sales, marketing and
Jess DeCuir, M.F.A. in
art, and her husband, Jeff
DeCuir, ’94 B.F.A. in art,
released their most recent
electro-pop album, Drastic
Cinematic, in 2011. Their band,
Hyperbubble, was created in
Janie M. Gonzalez, B.A. in sociology, is CEO and
president of Webhead, a San
focused on enterprise solutions
for the Department of Defense.
Homer Jasso Jr.,
B.A. in criminal justice, is the
owner of Superior Oil Express
stores located in Edinburg and
Robert “Alex” Lopez,
B.F.A. in art, teaches sculpture
courses at Southern Illinois
University in Carbondale. He
also has a master of fine arts
degree in studio arts from Alfred
University in New York.
Chris Sauter, M.F.A. in
art, created the public art project
at the Mission Branch Library
in San Antonio. The project
celebrates the area’s rich history.
Martin Gardia, M.F.A. in
art, is an artist in his hometown
of Kerrville, Texas. He recently
accepted a job offer to teach art
in Taiwan for two years.
Victor Rodriguez Sr., M.P.A., is chief of police in
Allen Dunn, M.S. in civil
engineering and M.B.A. ’05, is an
engineer at M&S Engineering LLC in Spring Branch, Texas.
He has worked in the field for
more than 13 years, focusing on
geotechnical engineering, civil
engineering, structural design
and forensic engineering, and
has experience in electrical
transmission and construction
materials engineering and
Danny de Gracia II,
B.A. in political science,
was elected to Honolulu’s
Neighborhood Board and will
serve from 2011 to 2013. Danny
is an economic policy adviser to
the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
think tank and is a columnist
with the Hawaii Filipino
Marilyn Hope Davo,
B.B.A. in management, is director
of the Convention and Visitors
Bureau in Harlingen, Texas.
Marilyn previously was a senior
marketing specialist for FedEx
from 2007 to 2011.
Shane Foley, B.A. in
political science and criminal
justice, was recognized as the
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police
Department’s East District Officer
of the Year for 2010. He has
been on the Indiana force since
in art, is a San
who recently exhibited
The Golden Ass,
at the Blue Star
Project Space. The
show explored the
sex trade, masculinity
along the Texas–Mexico border.
Glynn Cyprien, B.S. in
physical education, was named
assistant head coach of the
Texas A&M basketball team.
Glynn has been an assistant at 10
universities, including Kentucky,
Arkansas, Oklahoma State and
Nevada–Las Vegas, since his first
job at UTSA, which he held from
1987 to 1990.
M.F.A. in art, is an artist whose
work was recently exhibited at
R Gallery in San Antonio. The
exhibit was inspired by medical
engravings and Japanese comics
called manga, and it includes
diptychs in which landscapes are
juxtaposed with portraits of sick
Jason Stout, M.F.A. in
art, recently displayed drawings
and paintings in the exhibit
“Sovereignty, Viscosity and
Reprise” at REM Gallery in San
Ron Campos, M.P.A., is
director of Human Resources
for the City of San Marcos, Texas.
Ron was formerly the Human
Resources Executive Program
administrator for the San Antonio
Richie Budd, M.F.A. in art,
is a Fort Worth artist known for
“performative sculptures.” Earlier
this year, his collaboration with
another artist, called Come On
Guy, was displayed at the SCOPE
New York Art Fair in New York City.
The installation consisted of four
New Jersey fraternity members
hooting, hollering and drinking a
lot of “Natty Light”—Natural Light
was a corporate sponsor—inside
a glass case, according to media
Emily Shertzer, M.S. in
environmental science, is
an environmental planner for
the Pennsylvania Department
of Military and Veterans Affairs
at Fort Indianatown Gap. Emily
joined the Pennsylvania Air
National Guard in 2009 and is
an airman first class in the 553rd
Band of the Mid-Atlantic. She
also performs with the Lebanon
Community Concert Band and
has played with the Central
Penn Symphony Orchestra.
She is a member of the All
Guard marathon team and also
volunteers at the Capital Area
Therapeutic Riding Association
near Grantville, Penn.
Russell Thomas Carr,
B.B.A. in general business, is a
property manager and real estate
agent with Scott Allison Real
Estate of San Angelo.
Joseph Cohen, M.F.A. in
art, and Cornelia White
Swann, M.F.A. in art ’09, were
featured artists in “Margins,” an
exhibit in the UTSA Arts Building
on Main Campus during the
Matthew Ramirez, B.A. in
communication, has published his
second book in The Adventures
of Paleta Man series. The
Adventures of Paleta Man: Secret
of the Gold Medallion, which he
co-authored with his father, Paul
Ramirez, follows Paleta Man as he
continues to secretly fight crime
throughout the city.
Charlin Yu, B.B.A. in
marketing, works in marketing
for her family’s San Antonio
restaurant, Hsiu Yu.
Sarah Ramos, B.A. in
psychology, M.A. in bicultural bilingual
studies ’11, is the
assistant director of student
services at ¡Adelante! U.S.
Education Leadership Fund. She
oversees the coordination of
Adelante’s student programs and
student workshops. The 13-year-old
national nonprofit organization
provides scholarships, internships
and leadership development for
Freeman Field, M.A. in
economics, works for the Metro
New York Baptist Association in
New York City, hosting teams that
do ministry work in the city.
JoAnn Jin Mena, M.A.
in teaching English as a second
language, works with UTSA’s
Intensive English Program and
is a sponsor for Making Efforts
to Reach out to the Community
(MERC), a youth service
group that serves the refugee
B.A. in art history, is the owner
of CapRock Winery in Lubbock,
Texas. Cathy and her husband,
Jim Bodenstedt, B.B.A. in
accounting ’96, founded MUY
Brands fast food franchises in 2003.
M.Ed. in educational leadership
and policy studies, was appointed
director of communications and
career and technology education
at New Braunfels ISD in New
Braunfels, Texas. She joined
the district in 1993, serving as a
journalism and English teacher at
New Braunfels High School. She
was named the district’s public
information officer in 1999.
M.S. in physics, and his wife,
Diane Grotheer, M.P.A. in
public administration ’09, are the
parents of Pilar Salome Grotheer,
born March 31, 2011.
Alums—Keep in Touch
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relocations, accomplishments, marriages—whatever your
news, share it with friends and classmates. Email: email@example.com or write to Office of Alumni Programs, One UTSA
Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249.