1998 - University of Houston
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Katherine Ashby
Feng Shui Consultant 

Katherine teaches about the many aspects of personal presentation and individual potential, demonstrating that color preferences, style of dress and the space in which we operate may communicate aspects of our personalities and attitudes. Her efforts to fully understand the dynamics of personal image and how the design of the spaces in which we live and work effect our lives has led Katherine to delve into the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui, which studies the “energy” of a given space. Feng Shui is a practical way to begin to understand how the influences of one’s environment affect one’s life. Simple adjustments to home or office space may give more positive energy to surroundings which can change the energy with which you live your life. Katherine’s path to the image consulting field, where she has worked for over twenty years, began with a formal education in the field of home economics.

Katherine has done consultation work for numerous large companies. She speaks regularly to organizations and groups interested in presenting positive change possibilities to their members.


Lucia Ferrara Bettler
Owner, Lucia’s Garden 

A native Houstonian and former English teacher, Lucia has been involved in women’s spiritual work for over twenty-five years. She opened Lucia’s Garden in 1984. In the quaint cottage-like surroundings, at 2942 Virginia, you can explore the many uses of herbs, learn about crystals, hear powerful music and moving chants, survey the vast offerings of books, experience aromas for multiple purposes, visually enjoy new ideas at every turn and sign up for classes to learn even more. Lucia and her husband, Michael, tend the fragrant herb gardens that surround the shop.

Lucia’s professional involvement in the field of herbs makes her an expert in the use of herbs for all purposes: culinary, medicinal, cosmetic, and mystical. Lucia is a certified aromatherapist. She has held monthly Full Moon Meditations for women honoring the Goddess within since 1975.

Lucia and Lucia’s Garden offer insights pertaining to herbs, inner peace, spirituality, healing and beauty.


Susan Bischoff
Assistant Managing Editor, Houston Chronicle 

Susan is the Assistant Managing Editor of the Houston Chronicle and is currently responsible for the Chronicle’s 17 weekly feature section. Like most editors, Susan has a hard news background. After twenty-three years at the Chronicle, Susan considers herself a naturalized Houstonian.

Susan has been in newsrooms for thirty years, starting at her high school weekly paper in Indiana. Her curiosity makes her a natural in a business where one is paid to be curious. In her own words, “Reporting and editing at a daily newspaper are high-pressure, unpredictable jobs where you sometimes do some good.”

Her after-work hours find her deeply involved in the March of Dimes, the United Way, the Girl Scouts and many other philanthropic causes. Her two cats, Amy and Katy, stay home when she and her husband indulge their passion for fine dining in and around Houston. Driving to the beach in her husband’s red Miata with the top down is something Susan loves!


Shern-Min Chow
Weekend Anchor, KHOU 

Shern-Min serves as KHOU-TV/Channel 11’s weekend anchor, and reports for Channel 11 News during the week. She joined the station in 1996.

Shern-Min began her career in journalism as a stringer for Newsweek magazine. She has worked at KTRK-TV and KPRC-TV in Houston and KENS-TV in San Antonio. A history graduate from Yale University, Shern-Min is fluent in the Mandarin and Shang Hai dialects of Chinese and also speaks French, German and Spanish.

Shern-Min is married.


Jan Carson Connolly
Former TV Personality 

After nearly twenty-five years as a respected TV News anchor and reporter, Jan dramatically changed careers paths in 1995 to become an entrepreneur with husband, Tim. They founded Applied Voice Recognition Inc. (AVRI). The voice recognition software company went public in 1997 and specializes in automatic speech recognition applications.

While at KRPC-TV/Channel 2 and KTRK-TV/Channel 13, Jan won numerous awards for her coverage of issues affecting women and children, as well as her reporting on regional and national news events. Jan’s extensive fund-raising efforts have earned Woman of Distinction and Woman on the Move awards, among others. She founded two charity events; a golf tournament for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston and “Urban Campout” for the San Jacinto Girl Scouts. The events have raised over a million dollars each.

Jan and Tim manage a busy blended family of two 10-year-old girls and a 13-year-old boy. She enjoys public speaking, community service, and family outings.


Irene Scott Cox
Owner, Fabrications by Irene and Lecturer 

Irene is a wife, mother of boys aged 2 and 12, and a business owner. Fabrications by Irene was founded in 1984 with the vision of helping people make their home or office functional and well designed. In addition, she has become an author, teacher and professional speaker. Her dedication to making life easier for others in today’s hectic world is evident in the programs and seminars she presents, among them,“If Only I Had the Time,” simplifying home and time management and “Color Communicates” explaining how color affects productivity, comfort, attitudes and moods.

Irene has received many awards including a 1995 Woman of Excellence Award from the Federation of Houston’s Professional Women, the 1996 Woman of the Year from American Business Women’s Association Magic Circle chapter, and recognition in the 1997-1998 Who’s Who in Executives and Professionals. Irene is team mom for her son, Adam, president of her garden club, and active in her church.


Jan Woodward Fox
Head, Texas Trial Lawyers’ Association 

Jan is a native Texan, from Dallas. She earned her B.A. from Harvard University, cum laude, with a year spent at the University of Paris. Her law degree is from the University of Texas. She has taught at the University of Houston Law School in the Criminal Trial Advocacy Program.

Jan is a pastpresident of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association and was its first woman President. She is board certified in Civil Trial and Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. Jan was the plaintiff’s counsel in the largest single-injury personal injury verdict in the history of Dallas County: $42 million.

Jan acted as Director of the Homes of St. Mark Adoption Agency from 1990-1997, along with other community activities. She loves the outdoors and enjoys spending her leisure hours being a mom, riding horses and skiing.


Carolyn Clause Garcia
Former State District Court Judge 

Carolyn is a former state district court judge with over 20 years litigation experience. She teaches trial advocacy and has published over 100 articles on jury selection, evidence, and trial presentations. She earned her J.D. from South Texas College of Law. She has a Master of Science degree from Tulane University and Bachelors degree from St. Mary’s in New Orleans.

Raised in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, Carolyn’s repertoire as a gourmet cook includes creole and Cajun dishes, learned in her family’s kitchens, Cuban dishes, learned from her mother-in-law; and Asian and Pacific Rim dishes, perfected because she eagerly pursues what interests her! Her skills have earned as much as $4,5000 for area charities for dinner prepared and served in her home. Her recent pursuits in the area of ceramics and Raku grow out of her love of color, texture, painting and throwing pots.

Carolyn and her eye surgeon husband, Charles, took turns completing their advanced degrees. Their children Elizabeth and Christopher continue the family tradition of pursuing a college education that began with Carolyn’s 87 year old father who goes to work daily as chairman emeritus of a bank in Houston. Carolyn attributes her success to her parents, sisters, husband and children.  


Diane Howell
Director of Olympic Athletics, University of Houston  

Diane is Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator at the University of Houston. She oversees the Olympic Sports Programs and is responsible for Conference USA and NCAA Championships. Among the special events and programs under her charge is the NCAA YES program, which involves over 250 girls from Houston area inner city schools.

Diane served as Head Women's Cross Country and Men’s and Women's Track and Field coach for 9 years for the Cougars. She coached 8 NCAA All Americans as well as a national 800 meter champion and Olympian. Her history includes coaching trips to Argentina, Stavanger, Norway and Olso, Norway. A graduate of Ball State University, Diane competed in track and field and held hockey.

Diane has two children: Jenny, 10, and Jared, 6. Her family is involved with Saddlebrook Ranch, a horse boarding and lesson facility near The Woodlands. Diane loves to travel and enjoys outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, skiing and golf......and almost any sport.


Kathy Huber
Gardening Columnist, Houston Chronicle 

Kathy is from a small Georgia town. It took her 27 years to reach Houston. Her mother and grandmother were both avid gardeners so there may be some predestination to her Chronicle position. She earned an English Literature degree from Queens College in Charlotte in 1972 and moved to Houston in 1977.

After several years with a weekly newspaper Kathy joined the Chronicle in 1981 as a copy editor. She advanced to Desk Chief and finally to Garden Editor in 1988. Kathy gardens both to be better at her job and for her own personal enjoyment. She tests products and plants before telling us about them in her column or garden sections. She writes a weekly column, monthly magazine pieces and produces special garden sections. This year garden coverage is changing with plans to present more coverage on a weekly basis in Saturday Houston. Kathy has written one book, The Texas Flowerscaper. Kathy's husband, John Everett, is a photographer with the Chronicle. They have a twelve year old son, Catlin.


Marguerite Johnston
Houston Historian and Author 

Marguerite is a journalist and author whose work has gained national and international recognition. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Birmingham-Southern College and began her career with the Birmingham News. In 1945-46 she was the Washington bureau chief for the Birmingham News and the London Daily Mirror. In 1948 she covered the U.N. Conference on Freedom of Information and the Press in Geneva for the Houston Post from 1947 to 1968; then, as assistant editor of the editorial page, she wrote foreign affairs commentaries on Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Marguerite's book, Houston, the Unknown City, 1836-1946, published in 1991, was on the best seller list for seven weeks in 1992. It is now in its fourth printing. She is also the author of A Happy Worldly Abode, the history of Houston's oldest church.


Kay King
Head of Fashion and Interior Design, Houston Community College 

Kay is head of the award-winning Fashion & Interior Design Department at Houston Community College - Central. Described as “local fashion guru Kay King" in a Chronicle column which wrote of her recognition by the Sickle Cell Association when they awarded her the Athena Award for her contributions to the fashion scene, Kay returned recently from China where she lectured to 50 fashion designers and executives of the Jinan Garment Corporation on how to make their garments more marketable to the American consumer.

Kay is a member of the Fashion Group, the Museum of Fine Arts Textiles & Costume Institute and a fashion instructor. She is past president of the Federation of Houston Professional Women.

Kay was recently photographed for an article in Chronicle titled Off Their Rockers, which showed her “instant face lift” photograph as she plunged from an airplane (with parachute) in celebration of her 60th birthday! A previous memorable birthday celebration was a hot air balloon ride. What will she think of next?


Brenda Kirk
Executive Director, Houston Food Bank 

Brenda's vision about what the Houston Food Bank can accomplish includes much more than feeding the hungry. Her vision includes making children ready and able to learn and thrive, eradicating some chronic diseases, and giving meaning to the lives of some in jeopardy of having no reason to be productive citizens. Her experiences during 16 years with the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma reinforced her belief in the importance of nutritional food as a source of solutions to some problems more long lasting than the discomforts of hunger.

Brenda “followed her husband” to Houston when a job opportunity brought him here, but it took her 8 years to get here! Her commitment to the job she was doing for the Cherokee tribe as Deputy Executive Director of the community-development department explains part of the delay as well as the desire to allow their son, James, to finish high school and get settled in college from a familiar home base.

Brenda dynamically heads the nation's fourth largest food bank which funnels more than $25 million worth of food to people in 36 counties each year.


Lisa Malosky
TV Show Host, Sideline Reporter & Commentator, Houston Rockets and Houston Comets 

Lisa is in her third season as a member of the Rockets television team. She serves as studio host for the Rockets road games telecast on WB-39 and as a sideline reporter for home games at The Compaq Center. She joined the Rockets television team after four years as a sports anchor for KPRC-TV 2 in Houston. During her time with KPRC-TV 2 Lisa worked as co-host for American Gladiators and reported from the sidelines during the 1995 NBA playoffs for TNT.

Lisa was a color analyst on WB-39 for the Houston Comets WNBA team in their inaugural season in 1997. She worked as a sideline reporter for NBC's coverage of the WNBA. Lisa played collegiate basketball for four seasons and served as co-captain of her team at St. Olaf College in Minnesota from which she graduated in 1984.

Lisa moved to Houston in 1991 after gaining television experience in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, and Duluth and Minneapolis, Minnesota. She and husband, Don Friedell, live in Houston.


Dixie Melillo
Physician and Founder, The Rose 

Marrying and having children as a teenager set the stage for Dixie's being turned down for a part-time job because she had no high school diploma. That motivational experience began a journey from graduation from Caprock Highs Texas State University, through college at West Texas State University and ended with her completing her medical education and training in general surgery at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. During her 17 hour residency days, her sons, Ralph and Tony, now in their late twenties, slept in the doctors' lounge. Dixie notes, "My boys are living proof that you can grow to over 6 feet on TV dinners.”

Dixie and friend, Dorothy Weston, founded the nonprofit Rose in 1986 to battle against breast cancer. With funds raised from a bachelor auction, they opened the 1st of 4 centers in 1987. The dignity and caring with which women are treated at the Rose centers are directly attributable to the co-founders' attitudes and concerns.

Dixie spends her “off hours” at her Pasadena ranch where she indulges her love of animals. She enjoys her time with her three grandkids and comments that this is the happiest she has ever been in her life.


Trinh Pham
Local Architect and Active Community Volunteer 

Trinh is a brilliant young designer who has a portfolio of diverse work. From the design of leather objects and portfolios, to the design of corporate identities, to the design of architectural spaces, she has built a practice that express her clients' desires through materiality, color, form and texture.

The Kim Son Restaurant at the Convention Center, and later on Westheimer, initiated her design career a year after graduating from the University of Houston College of Architecture. More recently, she has worked with Atlas Travel, The Spencer Company, American General, Texas Commerce Bank, and Continental Airlines. She provides a continuity of thought that ties a small logo on a letterhead to the vestibule of a firm's corporate office.

Trinh's career and community activism has put her on the fashion runway, in Texas Monthly, the Chronicle's This Week, and on Channel 13 among others.


Carol Porter
Founder, Kid Care 

In December, 1984, the lives of Carol Porter, a registered nurse, and her husband, a former radio announcer and record promoter, changed forever. They found children who lived near their home eating from a dumpster. The children's apartments had no electricity, running water or adequate heat. The Porters embarked upon a mission to feed all 82 children in the complex.

From that beginning, Kid-Care, Inc., the nation's first meals on wheels program for children, has delivered well over 1 million meals to kids in the Houston metroplex. In the name of Kid-Care, Carol and Hurt have accepted over 50 international, national, and local honors: among them, the Point of Light Award from President Bush, the Volunteer Action Award from President Clinton, recognition as one of the 50 best teaching examples in the nation, Carol's naming as one of the 20 most influential people in Texas, and an invitation to The President's Summit for America's Future. The Porters have shared their vision of a hunger-free society in Austria, Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, and throughout America.


Patricia Smith Prather
Executive Director, Texas Trail Blazer Preservation Association 

Patricia loves driving the back roads of her native Texas, looking for rare wildflowers and visiting out-of-the-way places, but it was upon noticing the lack of any people of color at the Harris County Heritage Society's Museum of Texas History that she discovered her mission. She is cofounder and Executive Director of The Texas Trailblazer Preservation Association, dedicated to preserving the important legacy of the African American presence in Texas history. Author, preservationist, historian, and lecturer, Patricia focuses on history in her writing and presentations. Her articles about African American leaders have been published in state and national publications including Texas Highways and American Visions. She coauthored From Slave to Statesman: The Legacy of Joshua Houston, Servant to Sam Houston. She and her work have been featured on television, radio and in daily and weekly newspapers.

A Tuskegee University graduate, Patricia is a board member of the Harris County Historical Commission, the Heritage Society, and Buffalo Bayou Partnership and has been active with the San Jacinto Girl Scout Council among others.


Roseann Rogers
Entertainment Reporter & The “Buzz” Lady, KPRC-TV 

Roseann got her big break in broadcasting as a DJ for the campus radio station at her alma mater Western Kentucky University. Before coming to Houston, Roseann was part of the Emmy award-winning show Louisville Tonight Live, where she helped develop and launch the only live local entertainment show in the country.

In addition to her work as "The Buzz Lady" at KPRCTV/Channel 2, Roseann has also contributed numerous special series pieces. Some of her non-“Buzz" highlights include reports from the sets of Seinfeld, Friends, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and live broadcasts of the NBA Playoffs and the National Championship Game in 1995.

Active in the Houston Junior League, Roseann handled media relations for the award-winning cookbook, Stop and Smell the Rosemary. She is an active member of the Alpha Delta Pi

Sorority Alumni Organization and does volunteer work for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Roseann enjoys walking in Memorial Park, reading, movies, rollerblading and Elvis memorabilia.


Elsa Rosborough

With 58 years of professional high-fashion modeling to her credit, Elsa's elegant face, figure, and style are instantly recognizable. Six decades in photographic, television, runway, and showroom modeling for designers like Victor Costa and stores like Bergdorf Goodman, have kept her visual presence alive. She also enjoys national recognition as a motivational speaker and has received awards for her activism from the National Foundation of Ileitis and Colitis and Cancer Fighters of Houston. Elsa lists her greatest rewards as the love and respect of her former students and warm acceptance by audiences as she continues her career.

Elsa was a professor for 34 years at the University of Houston and holds both bachelor's and master's degrees from UH. She was elected the first woman president of the student body and was the first woman to receive the UH Distinguished Alumni Award. What she values most highly are her marriage to husband Jim for 51 years and being the mother of four wonderful children and grandmother of eight!


Sandi Stromberg
Executive Director, Brigid’s Place, Christ Church Cathedral  

Sandi is a native Texan, from Plainview. She came to Houston in 1995 after living in Europe for twenty years. As a Phi Beta Kappa graduate, holding B.A. and M.A. degrees in Russian Studies, she moved between Switzerland, Spain, Great Britain and The Netherlands working as a free-lance writer, editor, columnist, translator, and European correspondent for various publications. She speaks Dutch, French and Spanish. She has two sons in college; one pursuing Urban Studies, the second in music and composition.

In 1995 Sandi became coordinator of community outreach and public relations for the C.G. Jung Educational Center of Houston. She became the executive director of Brigid's Place, a center for the spiritual and psychological development of women at Christ Church Cathedral in 1997.

Sandi teaches writing classes at the Jung Center and Brigid's Place and directs writing workshops each August at Skidmore College for the International Women's Writing Guild (IWWG) and each October in North Carolina at Journey into Wholeness.


Diann Dishongh Teas
Director of Public Relations and Advertising, Teas Nursery 

Diann is a public relations and advertising executive for Teas Nursery in Bellaire, a 155 year old family business. Before becoming a part of Teas Nursery, she taught in the Spring Branch Independent School District for 10 years.

Diann graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Science in Education and is a lifetime alumnus. Her community involvements include the Greater Southwest Houston Chamber of Commerce, for which she was chairman in 1996 and where she is the current recipient of the Leon Rosner Award for volunteer of the year. Diann is now on the chamber Foundation Board.

Diann is a Houston native and is married to Tom Teas, president of Teas Nursery. Among the things that currently divide her time and attention: working to restore the Teas 1910 family home and buying gift items for the always spectacular Teas Christmas inventory.


Sybil Todd
Vice-Chancellor, University of Houston  

An article about Sybil's coming to University of Houston as Vice Chancellor and Vice President for Institutional Advancement was titled, Sybil Todd Comes Home. She is a native Texan, from Amarillo. She graduated from West Texas State University and discovered her love of teaching while in the Spring Branch Independent School District. Her roots are Texan but her vision is larger than even Texas! 

Sybil earned her master's and doctoral degrees at Arizona State University. She spent years at the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education ending as Associate Dean of Students for the entire university. She designed a seminar that is described as one of the most popular rites of passage for students at Virginia in which they are challenged to look at their education as a part of a life-long process of learning and seeking truth not just a way of preparing for a career. She says, “the pleasure and joy of learning are gifts beyond anything we can measure. And I want students to know that pleasure and joy as a way of life." Sybil loves reading, gardening, mountains, and Bill Moyers!


Lori Valencic
Corporate Nutritionist, Randall’s 

Lori is a nutrition consultant, speaker, and author who has communicated food, nutrition and health information for over 15 years with various corporations and food companies. She is the Corporate Nutritionist with Randalls Food Markets and the author of Randalls Cookbook

Lori received her Master of Education degree from the University of Houston and her Bachelor of Science degree from Northern Michigan University. She received the 1996 SCAN (Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutritionists) Achievement Award, recognizing extraordinary professional achievement. She is active in The Houston Area Dietetic Association, The Texas Dietetic Association, and served on the board of SCAN for 5 years. Lori serves on the Board of The Houston Chapter of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Lori and her husband, Bill, work with Caring Critters, Animal Assisted Therapy and, with their 2 shelties, visit patients at Methodist Hospital. She and Bill enjoy renovating and relaxing at their country home in New Ulm, Texas.


Lois Zamora
Dean of Humanities, Fine Arts & Communications, University of Houston  

Lois teaches comparative literature and is the Dean of the College of Humanities, Fine Arts and Communications at the University of Houston. Here, verbatim, is the fax received when requesting information for this catalogue:

“Facts about Lois Zamora that may (or may not) provide insight into her character: Identical Twin; Tennis Player; Mexico Fanatic; Galveston Fanatic; Mother of two; Wife of One; Ex-violinist; Somewhat Driven (or Ambitious, Depending); Author of Five Books; Loves Alice Munro's Short Stories (They are Perfect! Read them!); Loves Color and Light; Can Be Difficult.”

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