Dr. Jeffrey Musser has been a Clinical Associate Professor of Veterinary Pathobiology at Texas A&M University since 2000. He has his B.S. in Biology from Frostburg State College, his D.V.M. from Virginia Tech, and his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from North Carolina State. Dr. Musser obtained a fellowship with the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1998, and went to work for the United States Agency for International Development at their Center for the Environment in Washington D.C.. He served there for two years, focusing on bridging Agricultural and Environmental issues in foreign countries. He has traveled extensively, working in roughly 14 African countries, and serves as an adjunct professor at the Bunda College of Agriculture in Malawi. His international work includes investigating diseases that threaten our livestock such as contagious ecthyma, mastitis, and East Coast fever.
Dr. Musser teaches at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels at Texas A&M. He is primarily interested in applied research in solving the basic problems faced by veterinarians, producers, and the agriculture industry in general. Presently, he is involved in collaborative research with Texas AgriLife Research at Sonora TX to develop a new generation vaccine for the zoonotic disease of contagious ecthyma in sheep and goats, as well as working with the Schubot Center for exotic bird health on the pharmacokinetics and toxicity of an antiviral drug in birds and classification and categorization of gastrointestinal bacteria in birds.
Jane Weiner graduated from Bowling Green University with a degree in deaf/elementary education and a minor in dance. She had the unbelievable opportunity to work with the Doug Elkins Dance Company for a decade of fine dancing, touring and experiences before her move to Houston, TX in 1996. She is presently the President & CEO of Hope Stone, Inc., and Artistic Director of Hope Stone Dance Company and the Pink Ribbons Project. Jane founded Hope Stone with a dream of unlocking the innate creativity of children and adults and improving their quality of life through the performing arts. Hope Stone Studio is a dance and movement facility in Houston where exercise, good fun, and community meet. Jane also founded and directs Hope Stone Kids, an arts outreach program for children 6-18 years old in Houston, Katy, and New Orleans that uses master teachers in dance, theater, music, photography, and yoga to empower and educate youth. Hope Stone Kids was created to help meet the artistic and emotional needs of underserved and at-risk students. “I see the void and want to help fill it,” Jane says. Jane also founded the Pink Ribbons Project in 1995 and was the executive director from 1997-2002
Jane has set her work on the Alley Theater, Houston Ballet II, Stages Repertory Theater, the Houston Children’s Museum, the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, and many high schools and universities. She was a finalist for the Cal Arts/Albert Award for Dance in 2001, awarded the CACHH general fellowship grant for 2002, the Houston PBS Speaking Women’s Health Conference Honoree 2004, the Surgical Society of Oncology’s James Ewing Layman Award, the Jung Center Award for 2005, DiverseWork’s Artist of the Year 2011, and was a speaker at the 2012 TED x Houston.
At present Jane continues to run Hope Stone, Inc. create work for her company as well as schools and companies nationally, and is creating a teaching template to make Hope Stone Kids a national arts education project. She is married the wonderful Eric Mallory, has one dog and three cat children.
John Story is the chair of the Department of Management and Marketing at the University of St. Thomas, in Houston. During his time at Texas A&M, Dr. Story was a member of the debate team and the archery team. He earned his Ph. D. in Business Administration from the University of Colorado and has been a member of the faculty at UTSA, Idaho State, and now at University of St. Thomas in Houston. He has also taught classes and conducted business seminars in Monterrey, Mexico and Montevideo, Uruguay. His primary research interest is studying the relationships customers develop with their brands. He has conducted research for a variety of automobile manufacturers, retailers, and service providers. His work has been published in various academic journals, including Journal of Business Research, Journal of Consumer Marketing, and Journal of Product and Brand Management, as well as in practitioner-focused journals, such as Marketing Management. His awards include a Lechner Fellowship while working on his masters at A&M, 1994-1995; Teacher of the Year, Idaho State University College of Business, in 2008; a Technology Incentive Grant, Idaho Board of Education, in 2007 to develop a business simulation course in Second Life; and selection for the UTSA delegation to China in 2001. John Story loves his family, his dog Lyle, his research, and spending his free time at the beach surfing. He lives in Katy, TX with his lovely wife, Colleen, his daughter, Erin, and a menagerie of pets, but visits his daughters at Texas A&M, Becca and Megan, as often as possible.
Nicholas Suntzeff is a Professor of Observational Astronomy at Texas A&M. He completed his undergraduate studies at Stanford University, where he achieved a B.S. with distinction in mathematics. While at Stanford, he was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa chapter. He later went on to get his Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics at Lick Observatory, UC Santa Cruz in 1980. He was born and raised in California, specifically in San Francisco, Berkeley and Larkspur. In 2011, his team that he established with Brian Schmidt, called High-z Supernova Search Team, won the Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering dark energy in space related to black holes.
Earlier in his career, his work pioneered advances in science such as accurate distances between galaxies, which is the most precise marker for cosmological distance measurement. In 1998, his research in discovering an accelerated universe was voted as the topmost science breakthrough in Science magazine. Further honors include the Robert J. Trumpler award for outstanding Ph.D. in astronomy in 1983, as well as the Mitchell/Heep/Munnerlyn Endowed Chair in Observational Astronomy for Texas A&M University in 2006. He has also been given the Distinguished Achievement Award at Texas A&M in 2012.
Ulrich Kleinschmidt immigrated to the US with his parents at the age of four. He attended school and university studies in Texas.
He has a Master’s Degree in Archeology from the University of Texas, and spent 11 years as a professional in the field. Ulrich has taught extensively for twenty years, including work in government and economics advanced placement programs as well as being Chairperson of the Social Studies Department at I.H. Kempner High School. He serves as a College Board Consultant in macro and micro economics and conducts university summer seminars across the US as well as in eastern Russia and the People’s Republic of China.
Dr. Jorge Vanegas graduated in 1979 with a degree in Architecture from the Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia, South America, and is a registered Architect in Colombia. He subsequently graduated with a M.S. degree in 1985, and a Ph.D. degree in 1988, from the Construction Engineering and Management (CEM) Program of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at Stanford University, Stanford, California.
In July 2009, Dr. Vanegas began an appointment as Dean of the College of Architecture (CARC) at Texas A&M University (TAMU). In addition, he is a tenured Professor in the Department of Architecture (ARCH), and has an appointment as a Research Professor in the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) of the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS) since September 15, 2011. Dr. Vanegas has been leading efforts in seeking funding for multi- and interdisciplinary activities across the various Colleges at TAMU, and across various institutions within TAMU, as well contributing to other initiatives, all related to building environment sustainability, with a particular emphasis on energy. In recognition of his research, teaching, and service scholarly accomplishments, Dr. Vanegas has received throughout his academic and professional career national and international awards for education, research, and professional, including being inducted in the Pan American Academy of Engineering in 2010.
Until February 2012, he served as Director of the Center for Housing and Urban Development, and as the Sandy and Bryan Mitchell Master Builder Endowed Chair. Dr. Vanegas’ primary areas of scholarly and professional activities in research, teaching and learning, and engagement include creativity, innovation, design, and entrepreneurship, and like many of us, he very much enjoys music, food, and great conversations.