The Plan II Staff
Academic Advisor Coordinator
Thesis administration, manual and symposia; registration advising, student organizations, freshman orientation, advising manual and degree plans.
Office: CLA 2.510
Although born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mary grew up in Round Rock, Texas and attended UT as an undergraduate, majoring in History. When people would ask her, "What are you going to with a major in History, teach?" Mary would respond, "Nope!" and simply continued to study what she loved without worrying about what career would come her way. After graduation, she interned with the Texas Historical Commission and parlayed her research and writing skills into a full-time position there, working on historic preservation projects across Texas for four years. Eventually, the call of medieval studies took her to Arizona State University, where she received her MA and also realized that there is no other place in the world she'd rather live than Austin. Having loved working with students as a TA in graduate school, she turned to academic advising and was hired with the Biology department at UT in 2001. Mary worked there for nearly five years before moving to Plan II, where she is thrilled to be working with students who have a passion for Liberal Arts.
In her spare time, Mary loves hiking, film, reading historic fiction, and is quite active in her church.
Alumni Relations & Development Specialist
Alumni Relations, Travel and Research Scholarships, Plan II Honors Commencement Convocation and Plan II Family Day Events
Alumni Relations and Development Events, Alumni and Annual Newsletters, Scholarship Disbursements, Research and Travel Grants, Special Event Coordination
Office: CLA 2.501
I joined the Plan II Honors Program staff in February of 2010.
I am a longtime Longhorn; cut me and I'll bleed orange. I grew up in Austin, and the 40 Acres were my playground. I have two degrees from the The University-- a B.A. and an M.A.--both in Art History. I've worked at UT for the past 17 years, mostly in the College of Liberal Arts, although my last two years were at the Jackson School of Geoscience. I was a two-term member of the University Staff Council and served as it's Vice-Chair in 2002. I've received two awards as a staff member: an Outstanding Service Award from the College of Liberal Arts and an Eyes of Texas Award.
I also work as a wine steward at a very nice restaurant here in Austin, where I've worked on weekends since 1997.
I love to write. I am always working on several projects, including a novel, a stage play and an epic poem.
Office Manager, Assistant to the Director
Office Management, Director's calendar, Travel Management, Accounting and Management of Endowments and Purchasing.
Office: CLA 2.522
Elsie was born in New Mexico and raised in west Texas. She finished high school in Austin and applied only to UT for college. She majored in International Business (after switching twice) and received a BBA (finally) in 1995. She worked for 7 years in different realms of the import/export industry and came back to work at UT in 2002. She was at the College of Pharmacy and the office of University Events before joining the Plan II staff in July of 2011.
Elsie has a beautiful drama queen for a daughter, Catalina, who was born in 2007. She is blessed with a loving family and amazing friends. She bleeds burnt orange and relishes all Longhorn sports AND academic events, such as Explore UT. She feels fortunate to be surrounded by people who know and love liberal arts. When possible, she enjoys reading for pleasure with the Ruthless Readers book club (est. 2003), going to the movies, and eating out in Austin – the weirder, the better!
Senior Academic Advisor
Sophomore Advising, Curriculum Planning, Course Scheduling, International Programs, Civic Engagement Programs, Internship Contact.
Office: CLA 2.506
I was born in New Jersey but moved to Clearwater, Florida (close to Tampa) when I was five years old and for the most part grew up in the Sunshine State. I attended Florida State University in Tallahassee where I earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Interdisciplinary Social Science, and a Master of Arts Degree in International Affairs.
While in grad school I took advantage of a wonderful internship that lead to a full time position in the Florida Department of State's Office of International Affairs. In the international office I coordinated two grant programs focused on international education exchange and sister city cultural exchange, organized the visits of international dignitaries and events/conferences, and ran the office internship program. After several years, I returned to Florida State University to work as a Grants Coordinator for the Florida Learn and Serve and Title IV Community Service Grant programs which awarded service learning grants to K-12 schools and community organizations throughout the state of Florida. After relocating to Austin in June 2005, I started working at UT Austin as a Program Coordinator for the Science, Technology and Society (STS) Program. STS is a small interdisciplinary program in the College of Liberal Arts dedicated to studying the societal impacts of science and technology. At STS, I wore many hats including undergraduate and graduate advisor, event planner, day to day operations administrator, curriculum planner, faculty recruiter, project coordinator, marketing specialist, and program liaison. I joined the Plan II team in August of 2007 as a Senior Academic Advisor. Working directly with students and faculty is a wonderful job that I truly enjoy. Other than advising students on academics and enrichment opportunities, I also coordinate Plan II's sophomore advising program, career week, study abroad programs, civic engagment opportunities and internships. As the curriculum coordinator, I work directly with the faculty on course related matters snd have a hand in curriculum development, schedule planning, faculty recruitment, faculty mentoring initiatives and the administration of the Plan II Advisory Council.
Outside of work, I have been married to my amazing husband Rob since November 2006. We have one incredible child, Jake who is the light of our lives and one cat, Octavius who we rescued as a stray kitten back in Tallahassee. In my spare time, I enjoy movies, watching sports (especially college football), reading, and power walking.
Director of Plan II Honors Admissions
Kerry grew up in Western NY and attended college in the south, receiving both her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Clemson University. She has lived in Austin for the past 14 years, with a brief 2 year stint in Taipei, Taiwan. The majority of her time in Austin has been spent on the 40 acres working with students in the College of Liberal Arts.
Senior Program Coordinator (of Joynes Events and Speaker Series)
(photograph: Sara McCuistion)
Joynes Room Programming/Distinguished Authors and Poets Series; Book Club for Honors Students; Book Club for Honors Students; Poetry WorkshopsWCH
Office: CLA 2.102
Matt Valentine teaches the courses "Writing Narratives" and "Photographic Narratives" for the Plan II Honors Program, and is the Program Coordinator for the Joynes Reading Room. Mr. Valentine's fiction has been published in several literary magazines, and he has received writing awards and fellowships from New York University, the Michener Center for Writers, Playboy magazine, the Vermont Studio Center and the Greensboro Review. In 2012, he received the Montana Prize for Fiction, awarded by Cutbank magazine to the winner of their national writing contest. Also a professional photographer, Valentine has contributed photos to The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Boston Review, Slate.com, Salon.com and many other publications.