faculty

Victoria Arbizu-Sabater

victoriaVictoria Arbizu-Sabater is a Senior Lecturer of Spanish at Rice University. In her 30 years of teaching Spanish, she has taught at schools and universities in Europe and America.  She received her B.A. in Elementary Education with a Minor in English for Secondary School and later her M.A. in Spanish Linguistics, both from the University of Seville, Spain. She also obtained an M.A. in Spanish in 1999 from Rice University. She is currently working on her doctorate dissertation at the University of Seville, on the Spanish language competence of Stephen. F. Austin.  She is a former president and current member of La Casa de España in Houston, where she has enthusiastically worked to introduce and educate the Houston metro area on the cultures of her native Spain.  Her latest professional recognition at Rice was the Outstanding Faculty Associate at Wiess College awarded in 2016.

Helga Kessler Aurisch

Aurisch, photoHelga Kessler Aurisch was born in Germany but moved to New York with her family at the age of ten.  She attended Smith College and subsequently pursued graduate studies at the University of Vienna, Austria, and at the University of Freiburg, Germany, where she received her M.A. and Ph.D. in art history. She began her career at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, with the exhibition The Imperial Style: Fashions of the Hapsburg Era. In 2000 she co-organized the exhibition of German paintings from Houston’s sister city of Leipzig, entitled Romantics, Realists, Revolutionaries at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

She joined the staff of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in 2004 and has brought numerous exhibitions to Houston, including, The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1800-1920, German Impressionist Landscape Painting: Liebermann – Corinth – Slevogt, and Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the National Gallery, Washington. Her most recent projects were Monet and the Seine: Impressions of a River and High Society: The Portraits of Franz X. Winterhalter, which is currently on view at the Château de Compiègne, near Paris.

She has published widely and is a frequent lecturer on 19th century painting.

Nancy Gisbrecht Bailey

Nancy Gisbrecht Bailey received her undergraduate degree in music from the University of Redlands (California) and her MA and PhD in musicology from the University of Southern California.  She moved to Houston in 1983 where she has taught for various departments at Rice University since that time; she began teaching at  the Women’s Institute in 1996.  Her research areas are Richard Wagner, and French music of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Hannah M. Biggs

hannahbiggsHannah M. Biggs received her B.A. in English Literary Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Otterbein University, and she is currently a PhD candidate in English at Rice University. Her research interests include 20th-century rural and farm writing, agricultural studies, modernism, Midwestern regionalism, the history of veterinary medicine, and human-animal studies. She has published on the works on Louis Bromfield, wrote the critical introduction to the re-release of Irvin S. Cobb’s The Abandoned Farmers, and writes extensively on literary agrarianism. She is the proud doggy parent to four rescue dogs and is an avid equestrian.

Jim Blackburn

Blackburn_medium2 Jim Blackburn has been a practicing environmental lawyer and planner since 1973. He is a Professor in the Practice of Environmental Law in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Rice University, where he teaches courses in sustainable design and advanced sustainable design and is the Director of the Undergraduate Minor in Energy and Water Sustainability. Blackburn is the Co-Director of the Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED) Center at Rice. He is also a Rice Faculty Scholar at the Baker Institute and is the owner of a planning firm called Sustainable Planning and Design. Blackburn authored The Book of Texas Bays, published in 2004 by Texas A&M Press, and he has written a new book, A Texan Plan for the Texas Coast, scheduled for publication by Texas A&M Press in the fall of 2017. He has also authored numerous legal papers and has received several local, state and national awards for environmental advocacy.

 

David E. Brauer

David Brauer is the former head of the History of Art Department of the Glassell School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and is a native of Scotland. He was educated in England at the Sir Christopher Wren School and St. Martin’s School of Art from which he received his degree. After extensive travel in Europe, Russia, Turkey, and North Africa, Mr. Brauer returned to England where he worked at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London, the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, and taught at the North Oxfordshire College of Art and Technology. Since moving to Houston, he has curated numerous art exhibits: Houston Art in Norway in 1982; Artists’ Progress: Seven Houston Artists 1943-1993 in 1993; Landscape without Figures in 1994; and Images from Space, 1995; Charles Schorre 1925-1996: A Retrospective, 1997, which opened at the Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi and traveled to several Texas museums; and he co-curated a Pop Art exhibition at the Menil Collection in 2001. He has taught at the University of Houston and Rice University, and has guest lectured at Columbia University, University of Notre Dame, and the University of Texas at Austin, the San Antonio Art Museum, the World Business Council’s conference in Brussels, and the Anderson Ranch in Aspen, Colorado.

Jill Carroll

Jill Carroll4B. Jill Carroll, Ph.D., a noted expert on issues of religious tolerance and the philosophy of religion, served as Executive Director of the Boniuk Center for Religious Tolerance at Rice University for five years. She holds a doctorate in religious studies from Rice and she received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in theological and historical studies from Oral Roberts University. She has taught classes and lectures on religion, philosophy, and humanities at Rice University, the University of Houston, and the Jung Center, Houston. Her recent book A Dialogue of Civilizations: Gulen’s Islamic Ideals and Human Discourse was a Publishers Weekly bestseller in religion. A frequent guest on radio and television programs, she has been interviewed by the New York Times, PBS, and “Good Morning America.”
www.jillcarroll.com

Fernando R. Casas

Fernando R. Casas, artist and philosopher,  is a native of Bolivia. In 1968 he arrived in the USA with a LASPAU scholarship. In 1970 he received his BA in Philosophy from Colorado College graduating Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa and receiving the Hastings Prize for a paper in Philosophy. He continued his studies at Rice University receiving his MA in 1972 and his PhD in Philosophy in 1978.

Casas has exhibited his works of art in numerous group and solo exhibitions in commercial galleries and museums in cities such as Houston, New York City, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Florence, Lima (Peru), La Paz (Bolivia) and Santiago (Chile). In 2003 he was awarded the Premio  alla Carriera at the Florence Biennale. Since the 1980s, Casas has taught and lectured at several universities in South and North America. His longest association is with Rice University where he has taught in Humanities and Philosophy as Distinguished Lecturer for about 20 years.  Among his publications are The Limit of The Visual World (1990), Polar Perspective: A Graphical System for Creating Two-dimensional Images Representing a World of Four Dimensions (1984), and Flat-Sphere Perspective (1983). For further information: www.fernandocasas.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah Cortez

cortez2Sarah Cortez, a Councilor of the Texas Institute of Letters and Fellow of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, has poems, essays, book reviews, and short stories anthologized and published in journals, such as Texas Monthly, Rattle, The Sun, Pennsylvania English, Texas Review, Louisiana Literature, Arcadia, Langdon Review of the Arts, Midwest Quarterly, Southwestern American Literature, and Post Road.  Winner of the PEN Texas Literary Award, her debut poetry collection is How to Undress a Cop.  Her books haveplaced finalist in the Writers’ League of Texas awards, Los Angeles Book Festival Awards, and the PEN Southwest Poetry Awards. An anthologist of eight volumes, she has won the Southwest Book Award, multiple International Latino Book Awards, and the Skipping Stones Honor AwardHer most recent anthology is Vanishing Points: Poems and Photographs of Texas Roadside Memorials, already a designated 2016 Southwest Book of the Year and won first place in the Press Women of Texas annual awards

 

Roberta M. Diddel

Roberta M. Diddel Ph.D., is the founder and Executive Director of Disability 101, a non-profit organization providing high quality, consistently available programs to help people with disabling medical conditions and their families learn to adapt and thrive.  She also teaches part-time in the Psychology Department at Rice University and at the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies.  As a licensed psychologist with a private practice in Houston, she helps patients meet the challenges of major life transitions, loss and bereavement, chronic illness, brain injury, chronic pain and other disabling conditions.  Dr. Diddel received her bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut and her PhD. in clinical psychology from Boston University.

Terrence Doody

Terrence Doody received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1970 and joined the faculty of Rice University where he is now a professor in the Department of English and teaches courses in modernism, the novel, and contemporary literature. His publications include Confession and Community in the Novel (Louisiana State University Press, 1980) and Among Other Things: A Description of the Novel (LSU Press, 1998) as well as recent essays on Susan Sontag, Norman Mailer, architectural theory, and the poets Eavan Boland and Robert Hass. He is the recipient of grants from the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities and is a eight-time winner of a George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching. In 1997 he was also voted the Outstanding Associate of Lovett College and he was awarded the Allison Sarofim Distinguished Teaching Professor for 2002-2003. He has taught for many years in Rice’s program of Continuing Studies and at the Women’s Institute of Houston since 1973.

Sarah Foltz

foltz2Sarah Foltz is an art historian and fine art appraiser, specializing in 19th and 20th century Texas art. She is co-owner of William Reaves | Sarah Foltz Fine Art– a gallery in Houston, Texas dedicated to the promotion of Texas art. She completed her M.A. in Art History at Southern Methodist University where she focused her thesis research on Texas regional and Latin American art within the Texas post-war art scene; prior to this, she received her B.A. in Photojournalism at the University of Texas at Austin. Her background includes New York University’s Fine and Decorative Art Appraisal Studies program, as well as the Provenance Research Training Program in Zagreb, Croatia, which focused on restitution of Nazi era looted cultural property. She is passionate about educating people on the importance and history of the evolving art scene in Texas during the late 19th and 20th century, and celebrating those artists whose achievements marked and set apart the Texas art community within the field of American art.

 

William E. Frisco

William E. Frisco, Certified Financial Planner®, and Investment Advisor, is a Senior Vice President at one of the world’s largest global asset management firms.  He has more than 20 years of experience managing growth and retirement portfolios for individuals, trusts, corporations, and foundations and is a retirement consultant for 401(k)s and other corporate retirement plans.  Mr. Frisco is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Financial Planning Association.  He holds a B.A. in economics from Duke University and an M.B.A. from Tulane University.  In 2014, The Financial Times included him in their “National List of Top 400 Financial Advisors”.

Nancy P. Geyer

Nancy P. Geyer, novelist and playwright, is the author of two novels, Flying South (Scribner) and Frailties (Little, Brown).  Sonia and Suzy, the national winner of the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea Festival of Firsts Playwriting Competition was presented at Houston’s Country Playhouse during its 2010-2011 season.  All the Pretty Little Horses, one of three plays selected for the debut of Wordsmyth Theatre Company’s annual Playwrights Reading Series, was presented to a capacity audience at Houston’s Stages Repertory Theatre in 2009.  I Would Give You Violets, received not only from Live Oak Theatre, an equity theatre in Austin, the New Play Award for the Best American Play but also an option contract for a Broadway production.  Versus was one of three finalists in the national 50th Anniversary Stanley Drama Competition and Dust was one of three winners in The Festival of Southern Theatre Competition.The Reflection Pool received a reading by NY Artists Unlimited.  Ms. Geyer, who has taught in the English department of the University of Houston and Rice’s Schools of Continuing Studies, received two master’s degrees from the State University of New York.  She has also edited a newsletter for a professional theatre, produced and anchored in-house television programs for a major energy corporation, developed and written informational material for a maritime museum, served as a consultant on award-winning scripts for a major symphony orchestra, created and taught  in a government-funded program for gifted children, and conducted seminars for lawyers, civic and social groups, and hospice volunteers.

Barry A. Greenlaw

Barry Greenlaw is a private consultant, appraiser and lecturer specializing in the decorative and fine arts of England and America. He received his undergraduate degree from Bates College and his master’s degree from the University of Delaware as a Winterthur Fellow. Before coming to Houston in 1974 as Curator of the Bayou Bend Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, he served as Curator of Furniture and Assistant Director of Collections at Colonial Williamsburg. For three years he was a dealer in antique maps and prints. Mr. Greenlaw has lectured throughout the United States and has taught at several institutions including the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to the publication of numerous articles, he is the author of New England Furniture at Williamsburg.

Dr. Marc Hamilton

Hamilton pic2Dr. Marc Hamilton is one the leading health experts in the world. One of his pioneering publications is now the most cited paper ever in the field, for exploring what happens in the body when humans are active and inactive. Recognized as the father of inactivity physiology, he has been a thought leader on the role of low energy expenditure and sitting in diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, dementia, and aging well. Dr. Hamilton has been in high demand to speak around the world on a wide range of subjects and to diverse audiences of all types of people, because of his unique ability to communicate complex science in easy-to- understand concepts that brings the latest research from the lab and into the living room. Dr. Hamilton started his career at UT-Houston Medical School, then held Professorships in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Missouri and Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana. He recently moved back to Houston to set up and direct a new center initially funded by UH. His team will be translating the most potent breakthroughs to help each person reach her or his full potential for health and well-being as they age.

Ronald L. Hatchett

Ronald L. Hatchett, Ph.D., is the immediate past Director of the Center for Global Studies at Schreiner University in Kerrville, Texas. He held similar positions on the faculties of the University of St. Thomas in Houston and Texas A & M University at College Station, the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C., and the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado. During the Reagan administration, Dr. Hatchett served as a senior civilian official in the Department of Defense working arms control and international security issues. Prior to taking his position in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, he served for 20 years as an Air Force officer working in intelligence and politico-military affairs in fighter and reconnaissance wings; he also served on the staffs of Headquarters 7th Air Force, the Republic of Vietnam, the USAF in Europe Headquarters, and the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon where he was a Middle East analyst. His academic specialties are foreign policy, European Studies, and Middle Eastern Affairs. Dr. Hatchett holds a bachelor’s degree from the United States Air Force Academy; a Masters of Arts from California State University, San Diego; a certificate of Balkan studies from the University of Zagreb in Croatia; and a Ph. D. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Terry Hausner

20170216_130856Terry Hausner has been a freelance calligrapher, graphic designer, and instructor for more than sixteen years. She specializes in teaching many basic lettering classes. She extended her own studies for the past seven years through membership and classes at the International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers, and Teachers of Handwriting, as well as local workshops through the Houston Calligraphy Guild. She has served on the board of the Guild for more than twenty years.

J. Dennis Huston

j-dennis-huston2-e1365789665182J. Dennis Huston received his B.A. from Wesleyan University (Connecticut) in 1961, his M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University. Before coming to Houston in 1969, he was Assistant Professor of English at Yale. Dr. Huston is Professor of English at Rice University where he has four times won the George R. Brown Superior Teaching Award and where in the fall of 1989 he was named Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. he is an occasional participant in dramatic productions and is the author of a book on Shakespeare.

John Keating

john-keating John Keating received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and his master’s degree from George Washington University. He subsequently served 20 years as a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot. Early in his career, he spent three years on assignment in Spain, and it was that experience that launched a lifelong interest in wine. After retirement from the Air Force, he turned this interest into a second career. As the manager of fine wine sales for a major distributor in Virginia, he wrote wine and lifestyle articles for newspapers, travel, food, and golf publications. For many years he hosted “a best of wine” feature on local television and taught wine classes at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia and at Johnson and Wales, a national culinary school in the region. Mr. Keating is a charter member of the Society of Wine Educators.

Lynda Harper Kelly

Lynda Harper Kelly received her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in French from Rice University. In 1974 her doctoral dissertation received Rice’s Gardner Award given to the graduate student doing the best piece of research and writing in the humanities and social sciences.  Her romance with France began in 1961 when she spent a summer in Paris studying at the Alliance Française School and she later returned to Paris for a year to study at the Sorbonne. She and her husband, architect Frank Kelly, return to France almost every year to explore and photograph different regions. They have given many lectures on their travels at the Alliance Française de Houston. Dr. Kelly has taught French at Southern Methodist University, Houston Community College, and Rice University. In 1995 she organized and conducted a six-week travel/study program in Burgundy for Rice University. She also loves French cuisine and has studied at both the Cordon Bleu and the Ecole Ritz in Paris.

Sheila Zeve Lipkin

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASheila Zeve Lipkin, an artist and educator, has been teaching sketching, color theory, and watercolor painting for the past six years.  A graduate of Washington University, St. Louis, Ms. Lipkin has taught various applied courses at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Contemporary Art Museum, Congregation Beth Yeshurun, and St. Martin’s Church.  She also teaches art to children at Texas Children’s Hospital Critical Care Center and directs her own company, Paint With Me.  Among Ms. Lipkins’s greatest passions are creating her own abstract canvases and experiencing great satisfaction in facilitating and observing others discover the phenomenon of the creative process through her instruction

Luisa Kluger

kluger2Luisa Kluger holds an undergraduate degree in English Language and Literature from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a Master’s degree in Spanish from Rice University and a Ph.D. in Hispanic Sociolinguistics from the University of Houston. A native of Buenos Aires, she has studied and worked in Argentina, Israel, England, Spain and the United States. In Houston, she has taught Spanish, Hebrew and Sephardic studies at Rice University. She specializes in the teaching of foreign languages and Sephardic Culture.

 

Carol Munn

carollouisemunnCarol Louise Munn is from Fort Worth, has traveled around the world, and now lives and writes in Houston. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan where she received an Academy of American Poets prize, two departmental prizes for poetry, and two fellowships for her poetry manuscript. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals, including Poetry. Her work has been published in ten anthologies, including Untameable City from Mutabilis Press. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has given many public readings and radio interviews in Houston and throughout the country.

Richard W. Murray

Richard W. Murray is a native of Louisiana with B.A. and M.A. degrees in government from Louisiana State University.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and has taught at the University of Houston since 1966 where he is currently Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Public Policy.  His principal academic interests are in political parties, campaigns and elections, public opinion, and interest groups.  The author of numerous articles and books, Dr. Murray’s most recent book isProgrowth Politics: Change and Governance in Houston.  Professor Murray consulted in over 200 political campaigns in the 1970s and 1980s (he has since given up the sport) and has conducted over 50 polls for local media.  In addition he is a political analyst for Channel 13.

Sally Pehr

Sally Pehr
Sally Pehr has taught men and women how to play the game of Mah Jongg for many years. She has played in national tournaments and plays several times a week in long-time regular games. As a little girl, she would hear the clicking of the tiles while her mother played with friends.

Scott Pett

Scott Pett 2Scott Pett is a Ph.D. candidate in the English Department at Rice University. He is a Peer Consultant Fellow at the Center for Written, Oral, and Visual Communication and a certificate student at the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. He specializes in issues of citizenship in 19th- and 20th-century American literature and culture. Most importantly, he is the father of two mischievous girls, ages 7 and 4.

Kate Emery Pogue

Kate Emery Pogue received her undergraduate degree in Theatre from Northwestern University and her master’s from the University of Minnesota.  She was founder of the drama program and writer of the theater curriculum for Houston Community College where she taught for over 20 years.  During this time she was the Artistic Director of the Shakespeare by the Book Festival in Fort Bend County and a founder and Artistic Director and Resident Librettist for Opera To Go, the educational outreach performance company for Houston Grand Opera.  Both a stage director and librettist, she has directed plays for numerous organizations and colleges and has had commissions for writing the librettos for several opera companies.  She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  A frequent lecturer on Shakespeare, her research at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and her books on Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s Friends (Praeger, 2006) and Shakespeare’s Family (Praeger, 2008) have established her as a world authority on Shakespeare’s private life. She currently teaches at UH Downtown.

David Rainbow

rainbow David Rainbow is an Assistant Professor in the Honors College at the University of Houston. He teaches and writes about modern Russian and Eurasian history. Prior to coming to Houston in 2015, he held postdoctoral fellowships at Columbia University and New York University, and was a writer in residence at the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia at NYU. He holds an M.A. in European intellectual history from Drew University, and a Ph.D. in Russian history from New York University (2013). Before becoming a historian, he worked as an engineer aboard a merchant ship on the Pacific, a rancher in western North Dakota, and has lived in Russia and Siberia several times.

 

Jesse Rainbow

rainbow Jesse Rainbow is an assistant professor in the Honors College at the University of Houston, where he teaches courses in ancient Near Eastern history, religion, and medicine. He received his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations from Harvard University, where he was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. He has written on topics such as scribal culture in the ancient Near East, ancient Jewish and Christian interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, and the place of magic and divination in the Bible. He regularly leads archaeological study trips to Israel, Turkey, and Italy.

Laura Richardson

laura Laura Richardson is a postdoctoral fellow with Rice University’s Program in Writing and Communication. She earned her BA from Vanderbilt in 2007 and her PhD in English from Rice in 2015. Laura has been teaching literature, writing, and film at Rice since 2013, and in 2016 she became a Resident Associate at Rice’s Lovett College. Laura’s areas of research include modernism, poetics, literary theory, contemporary literature, and science fiction. She is an avid reader and karaokist, as well as a budding soccer fan.

Dominique Royem

Royem Headshot colorDominique Royem is the Music Director of the Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra.  An active guest conductor, she has worked with ensembles such as the Ukrainian State Orchestra (Kiev, Ukraine), Plevin Philharmonic (Plevin, Bulgaria), Galveston Symphony, Moores Opera Center, Sugarland Opera, HBU Opera Theatre, and the Houston Civic Orchestra, and was Music Director for Houston Grand Opera’s Opera to Go! during the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 seasons.  She is also the Resident Conductor of Bayou City Concert Musicals and was the Conducting Fellow for the Allentown Symphony Orchestra’s 2012-2013 season.  She currently serves on the board of the Conductors Guild, a national organization dedicated to the art of conducting.  She has a doctorate in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Houston Moores School of Music.

Charles Schmidt

Charles Schmidt2t Charles Schmidt is a fourth-year Ph.D. student of New Testament and Early Christian Studies in the Department of Religion at Rice University. He currently serves on the Graduate Advisory Board for Rice’s Center for Teaching Excellence and is a copy editor for Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies. He arrived at Rice after taking an M.A. in New Testament and Christian Origins at Duke University. His research is focused on ancient Mediterranean religion in the Greco-Roman period, with particular interests in medical theory and physics, freelance ritual experts, and the Romanization of Christianity. You can follow him on Twitter @CharlesJSchmidt for news in Religious and Biblical Studies, Classics, Pedagogy, and politics.

Anna Tahinci

tahinciAnna Tahinci, Ph.D., is Professor and Area Coordinator of Art History at the Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. A native of Greece, she studied History and Archaeology in Athens, and spent a total of eleven years in Paris, where she studied Art History and Comparative Literature at the Sorbonne (Ph.D. on Rodin’s collectors), and Museum Studies at the Ecole du Louvre. She has worked at the Musée Rodin, the Musée d’Orsay, the Louvre and the Harvard Art Museums. She has taught at Boston University Paris, at the University of Minnesota, at Macalester College, and at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She co-curated the sculpture exhibition that was organized in Athens for the Olympic Games in 2004 and the exhibition Rodin and America at the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University in 2011.

Melanie R. Urban

Melanie R. Urban received her Diploma in Asian Art from the Royal Holloway College of the University of London/British Museum.  A graduate of Purdue University, she received he J.D. from Louisiana State University and practiced law with the federal government for 15 years before moving to Singapore.  While in Singapore, Mrs. Urban began her studies in Asian culture, history, and art; she traveled extensively throughout regions from Central Asia to China, from Tibet to Viet Nam, and points in between.

Hector Urrutibeheity

Hector Urrutibeheity has a B.A. in English Literature from the National University of La Plata, Argentina, and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Stanford University.  He is a Professor Emeritus from Rice University, where he taught Spanish, Romance Linguistics, and foreign language methodology in Spanish and French.  He also served as chairman of the Department of Hispanic Studies for 15 years.  He is currently an adjunct professor of Spanish and French at the University of St. Thomas.  He is the co-author of The Lexical Structure of Spanish, Mouton, The Hague, two college Spanish textbooks, Peldanos and Tierra del Feugo,and the French series entitled “Echelons.” He recently completed a book on French phonetics entitled La prononciation du français contemporain.

Vicky Gresik

gresik2Vicky Gresik is an emeritus professor at Baylor College of Medicine, practicing pathology at Texas Children’s Hospital for 32 years where she was medical director of the Hematology Laboratory. Dr. Gresik received her B.A. from Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles, and M.D. from Loyola-Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago. In addition to her medical practice, Dr. Gresik taught pathology and hematology to medical students, residents, and fellows, receiving numerous teaching awards including the Barbara and Corbin J. Robinson, Jr. Presidential Award for Excellence in Education. After retiring from medical practice, Dr. Gresik received a Master of Liberal Studies from Rice University and currently co-teaches with Dr. Nancy Bailey a course on Exploring Religion and Ethnicity Through Music. She also teaches on religion, music, and health at the Institute for Spirituality and Health.

Liz M. Weiman

Liz M. Weiman has trained thousands of individuals since the early 1990s in computer/digital software, and has additionally created instructional/technical manuals, e-learning modules, and Web content for Hewlett-Packard and other companies. Ms. Weiman is also the author of The Lawyer’s Guide to Concordance published in 2010 by the American Bar Association. In addition she served as a fiction reviewer for the Houston Chronicle and other national newspapers, and as senior editor of Southwest Art Magazine. She has worked as a journalist, editor, instructional designer, and technical writer. She is also a healing arts provider – Reiki master, Healing Touch energy worker, and Pranic healer, and additionally teaches classes on spirituality and self-development. Ms. Weiman, a Boston University graduate, provides private instruction on iPhone/iPad/Macs, Windows computers, and more.

Susan Briggs Wright

Susan Briggs Wright holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Stanford University and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Her facility with business and personal stories reflects her strong background of award-winning TV journalism, public relations, and corporate communication. She produced radio and TV News programs at WOR in New York, and at KPRC-TV in Houston, covered consumer affairs, medicine and courts. Ms. Wright was a journalism instructor at University of Houston, a columnist for The Houston Business Journal, and managing producer/anchor of On The Record, a documentary-style weekly show on Houston Public Television.  Recently, as editor, she led a memoir-writing group to produce Coping With Transition: Men, Motherhood, Money, and Magic—Memoirs From the Lives of Professional Women, published by Texas Review Press. She delights in the growing number of books fostered by this class that adorn her bookcase.