Outstanding Alumni Awards

Moody College is proud of the many accomplished and impressive alumni we count as our own. The Moody College Outstanding Alumni Award is given annually to Moody College graduates who have distinguished themselves in professional and private life.

2023 Winners

Ken Capps

Ken Capps

Ken Capps began his journey at Moody College as full-time TV broadcaster at KTBC-TV in Austin at the age of 17. At age 19, he won the Associated Press Award for Best Spot News Reporting covering the 1980 Memorial Day Floods that devastated Austin, TX. His TV news career spanned nearly 20 years, and his executive leadership in the corporate communications and public affairs industry also nearly two decades. He has been recognized as the best in the business on both sides of the camera. He has mentored and taught Moody students, helping them launch their own careers. He also created an endowment for budding sports writers at Moody College.

Tiff and Leon award

Tiffany and Leon Chen

Tiffany and Leon Chen met as students at UT, and founded Tiff’s Treats, in 1999 in their Hyde Park apartment while students at the advertising and business schools, respectively. In 2023, Tiff’s Treats is a multimillion dollar company. In 2022, they published an autobiographical book titled “It’s Not Just Cookies: Stories and Recipes from the Tiff’s Treats Kitchen." They give back to their community and Moody College donating hundreds of thousands of cookies to nonprofit organizations along with financial donations to local charities. The Chens also make a regular habit of visiting Moody College students and sharing their success and expertise.

Past Winners


Jon G. Muñoz has been a tireless advocate for people from all backgrounds, leading DEI practices for some of the nation’s top companies, including T-Mobile, Nextel Communications, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America. He is an expert in community engagement, multicultural marketing and human resources, proving himself an asset across a range of industries. Jon served as vice president of global diversity and inclusion at Hilton and as chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer for the international consulting firm Booz Allen. Under his leadership, Hilton’s DEI commitment received numerous industry awards and recognitions. He exemplifies what it means to celebrate our differences and lift people up to reach their full potential. 

Leslie Schrock is an author, entrepreneur, investor, and leader at the cutting-edge of health technology. In 2011, she helped found Rock Health, which is considered the first digital health startup incubator helping to grow the organization from an idea to a globally recognized firm with more than 100 portfolio companies that have collectively raised more than $1 billion in venture funding. She co-founded Bitty Foods, creating protein-rich edible insect products. Leslie was named one of the Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company. She is the author of “Bumpin': The Modern Guide to Pregnancy,” and “Fertility Rules.”


Nancy and Dan Garrison founded Garrison Brothers Distillery in 2006, and since then 15 vintages of Garrison Brothers Texas Bourbon Whiskey have been released and six brands introduced. Bottles have become collectors’ items. Prior to this endeavor, Nancy worked in the retail industry, and Dan worked as a software marketing professional after a career in advertising. The entrepreneurial endeavor included numerous trips to learn the craft and building test recipe bourbon barrels on the family farm. Demand eventually grew so strong that this bourbon was unable to be distributed beyond Texas until 2013; it is now available in 35 states. Nancy is a speech communication graduate, while Dan earned a degree in advertising. They are both actively involved in philanthropy.

 Krissah Thompson was named the Washington Post’s managing editor for diversity and inclusion in 2020. She is the first Black woman to become a managing editor in the newspaper’s 144-year history. Thompson has spent her entire professional career at the Washington Post, where she started in 2001 as a summer reporting intern. She served as a reporter for the financial, national politics and style desks and covered first lady Michelle Obama during President Barack Obama’s second term. In 2014, she was also the newspaper’s acting bureau chief in Ferguson, Missouri, directing coverage of the protests, violence and public outcry following teenager Michael Brown’s death in a police shooting.


Earl Campbell is known as the “Tyler Rose,” and is an American football legend and one of the most revered and feared running backs of his time. In the NFL, he played for the Houston Oilers and the New Orleans Saints. While playing at The University of Texas at Austin, he won the Heisman Trophy and earned unanimous All-American honors in his senior season, as well as numerous other accolades. 

Oscar Longoria Jr. is a member of the Texas House of Representatives for House District 35. He has served on numerous committees, including the Public Education committee. Rep. Longoria has always been passionate about his service to his community. Prior to his tenure in the State House, he served on the Agua Special Utility District as a Board Member, and as a Trustee for South Texas College. Professionally, he owns and operates the Law Office of Oscar Longoria.


Elizabeth Chambers is an accomplished culinary entrepreneur, tastemaker, journalist, and the owner and founder of the award-winning BIRD Bakery, with locations in San Antonio and Dallas, TX. She served as a guest judge on three Food Network shows and appears regularly on numerous TV networks. 

Fred Farias III is an optometrist and CEO of 20/20 Vision Care in McAllen, Texas. He has served on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, including as vice chairman of the board and also chairman of the academic workforce success committee.


Sara Martinez Tucker was the Under Secretary of Education at the U.S. Department of Education and a Regent for The University of Texas System. She was Vice President of Consumer Relations at AT&T, and then moved on to lead the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, which grew from $3M to $25M under her direction. 

Lisa Falkenberg won the "Rising Star" alumna award. She is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and leads the editorial board and the opinion and outlook sections at the Houston Chronicle.


William H. McRaven is a former University of Texas System Chancellor and retired U.S. Navy four-star admiral. He was the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command during which time he led a force of 69,000 men and women and was responsible for conducting counter-terrorism operations worldwide. McRaven is a recognized national authority on U.S. foreign policy and has advised presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and other U.S. leaders on defense issues.


Judith Zaffirini is known to her supporters and Capitol insiders as “Z,” she has been at the forefront of efforts to improve higher education in Texas. During her time representing the 21st Senatorial District, she has sponsored and passed numerous bills and substantive resolutions, and in 2015, she passed more bills than any other legislator. By 2015, she had become the second highest-ranking member of the Texas Senate and the highest-ranking woman and Hispanic senator. In addition to her legislative career, Zaffirini has taught at the college and university levels, and her business, Zaffirini Communications, provides professional communication services.


Melody Chatelle began her career as a legislative aide, served as director and vice president of government affairs for Mariner Post-Acute Network and founded Chatelle and Associates, a legislative and communication consulting company.


Monica Talán is the former executive vice president of Corporate Communications and Public Relations at Univision Communications, Inc., the leading media company serving Hispanic America. During her time at Univision, she was instrumental in helping drive coverage of Univision to enhance the company’s visibility in the media landscape.


Bill Geddie was an executive producer of shows including “The View,” ABC network’s critically acclaimed live talk and entertainment program, and “The Barbara Walters Specials. He helped “The View” earn 30 Daytime Emmy Awards, including the 2003 Daytime Emmy for “Outstanding Talk Show.” He has also been with Barbara Walters for the past 25 years as the executive producer of “The Barbara Walters Specials” and “The 10 Most Fascinating People,” which he co-writes and directs.


Victor Bray was dean of the George S. Osborne College of Audiology at Salus University in Pennsylvania. He co-developed approximately 20 hearing aid brands and in 2004, Bray received the Hearing Industries Association Volunteerism Award in recognition of his dedication, expertise and effort in creating a “structure that ensures the substance and the science that supports hearing aid marketing and advertising in America.”


Mary Walsh was a renowned journalist and CBS News producer, winning two Emmy awards. She produced stories for "The CBS Evening News" and "60 Minutes" and was assigned to the Pentagon to covering the American military throughout Southeast Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Her outstanding work has won her two Alfred I. DuPont awards from Columbia University, the Joan Shorenstein Barone Award for Excellence in Journalism and a Wilbur Award from the Religious Communicators Council.


Mark Pannes founded HSBC Private Bank's Global Sports Group, coordinating its sports practice on a worldwide basis and managing funds under service (FUS) totaling USD$1.45 billion for 500+ athletes and institutions. He has worked with the New York Knicks, becoming the youngest vice president and founded Skilo Brand, a private consultancy providing strategic and operational capabilities to major sports and entertainment properties.


David Weeks founded Weeks & Co., a political and public affairs company specializing in political advertising and communications consulting. He has advised Fortune 500 companies, handled media relations and public relations across the country and served as media consultant in political campaigns ranging from city council to the United States Senate.


Bruce Hendricks is a director/writer/producer. He is well known for his position as President of Physical Production for the Walt Disney Motion Picture Group from 1992-2011. He supervised the making of over 250 motion pictures and filmed in more than 30 countries. Among these films are the blockbusters “The Sixth Sense”, “Armageddon”, “The Rock”, and “Alice in Wonderland ” to name a few.


Elizabeth Carrow-Woolfolk was a pioneer in the study of reading and language theory and assessment. She founded the Harry Jersig Speech and Hearing Center, one of the first freestanding university speech and language clinics in the country, before eventually becoming head of speech pathology services at Houston's Methodist, St. Luke's Episcopal and Texas Children's hospitals. She developed several widely used assessment instruments and wrote more than a dozen books.


Jeff Hunt is a international public relations executive who has counseled many multinational clients, including IBM, AT&T, Dell, Coca-Cola and McDonald's. He worked in London as chief operating officer for Burson-Marstelle Europe and in New York as vice chairman of client services worldwide. He established the firm's presence in Korea and Mexico and eventually ran the entire Latin American region.


Sarita Brown is a national leader on diversity in higher education who has spent more than two decades working at national academic institutions and the highest levels of government to raise academic achievement and opportunity for low-income and minority students. She served as executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.


Jim McDonald is a 27-year veteran of the advertising and marketing business. He worked for Young & Rubicam where he led advertising for Chevron. He also served as senior vice president and account director for RadioShack as well as advertising campaigns for Pizza Hut, Ford, IBM, and many more.


Jordan Levin joined the WB Network as its first head of comedy development and current programming and eventually became the network’s president of entertainment - becoming one of the youngest network presidents in the history of broadcast television. He also served as director of comedy development at Walt Disney/Touchstone Television and was one of the founders of the Walt Disney Writers Fellowship Program that provides opportunities to underrepresented writers and encourages diversity in staffing.


Tex Schramm began his career as a sportswriter who handle dpublic relations for the Los Angeles Rams professional football team and eventually became their general manager. Schramm became assistant director of sports for CBS and originated the idea of using a sports anchorman for major athletic events on television and it was at Schramm’s insistence that the Winter Olympics were telecast for the first time; Schramm selected Walter Cronkite as the official announcer for that telecast. Schramm eventually became president and general manager of a new NFL franchise – the Dallas Cowboys.


Patricia Cole helped found the Austin Center for Speech, Language, and Learning Disorders and served as director. Cole’s career focused not only on speech, language and learning disorders but also on the elderly, chemical dependency and family violence. She served as executive officer and governmental affairs director of the Texas Chemical Dependency Association before being appointed director of health and human services policy under Texas Governor Ann Richards.


Ann Sutherland Chappell was honored for her well-known civic volunteer and advocate for women’s issues. Chappell founded and was a partner in Training Unlimited, a communication, human resources and management consulting group. Chappell was also a former president and coordinator of the Habitat for Humanity Council of North Central Texas and was an active member and leader in numerous organizations.


Karen Elliott House was publisher of The Wall Street Journal and a former executive committee member of Dow Jones & Company. She received a Pulitzer Prize in international reporting for her coverage of the Middle East. Her other journalism awards include the Overseas Press Club’s Considine Award for best daily newspaper interpretation of foreign affairs (twice), the National Press Club’s Edwin M. Hood Award for Excellence in Diplomatic Reporting for a series on Saudi Arabia, and many more.


Wayne Johnson spent 20 years at the Leo Burnett Advertising Agency in Chicago, creating national campaigns for clients that included McDonald's, Proctor & Gamble, and Wilson Sporting Goods, and was a 10-year contributor for NBC5 Chicago with his weekly "Wayne's Weekend" segment. Wayne currently operates his own graphic design and web business. 


Michael Zinberg award-winning director and entertainment executive who received the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing In Television for a Dramatic Series. As vice president, NBC comedy series, he developed “Hill Street Blues” and “Cheers.” Later as president, NBC productions he supervised “Saturday Night Live,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno,” “Late Night With Conan O'Brien” and “Homicide, Life on The Street.”


Alejandro Junco de la Vega was architect of one of the most powerful newspaper conglomerates in Latin America. He spent his professional career exposing corruption in his native Mexico and working to heighten the political awareness of Mexican citizens through his dailies in Mexico's three largest cities. He also opened greater access to the electronic information industry in Mexico.


Judith Albino has served as president of two higher education systems (the University of Colorado and Alliant International University) and at the dean and vice-presidential levels. She was a faculty member in schools of dentistry and medicine, as well as departments of psychology and educational psychology and was active in behavioral health research, making important contributions to the understanding of psychosocial aspects of oral health and factors in primary prevention of dental disease.


Juliet Garcia served as president of Texas Southmost College (TSC), becoming the first Mexican American woman in the nation to serve as president of a college or university. She and community leaders then forged a partnership between the existing community college, TSC, and the new university, The University of Texas at Browsville, creating the first community university of its kind in the nation. She has a strong history of public service including serving as chair of the advisory committee to Congress on student financial assistance and on the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.


Jean Brown was a veteran advertising and public relations professional and was a lifetime member of the Houston Advertising Federation. At Rives/Dyke/Young & Rubicam, he was Chairman and CEO until 1979, when he founded his own firm, JWB & Associates.

Norman Campbell had a major influence on the southwest advertising industry. He joined TracyLocke as an account executive before eventually being elected president and CEO. He played a pivotal role in the agency’s acquisition by BBDO and would eventually be elected chairman and CEO of BBDO Worldwide.

Liz Carpenter was a trend-setting journalist, author, feminist, humorist, speaker, political adviser and party-giver par excellence. Carpenter and her husband Les opened the Carpenter News Bureau in the National Press Building where they covered Congress and the White House for Texas and other newspapers. After the election of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson in 1960 Carpenter became the vice president’s administrative assistant, the first woman to hold that title. She would eventually become staff director and press secretary to the first lady following Johnson’s succession to the presidency. She went on to serve in the administrations of Presidents Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton. 

George Christian worked for seven years for the International News Service as a sports reporter and later a political correspondent. He eventually became press secretary and executive assistant to Texas Governor Price Daniel. In 1962 Daniel lost the Democratic primary to John B. Connally who was so impressed with Christian that he hired him when he became governor. Christian worked for Connally until getting a call from the White House and eventually worked as press secretary for President Lyndon B. Johnson. 

Charles Devall was a Texas newspaper kingpin, publishing the Mount Vernon Optic-Herald. Devall served in the U.S. Naval Reserve on active duty in both the Atlantic and Pacific Theatres of World War II. He served on the State Democratic Executive Committee and was a presidential elector. He was also president of the North and East Texas Press Association and the Texas Press Association. 

Sue McBee was a beloved Austin preservationist, humanitarian and storyteller. She worked for The Austin American-Statesman writing “Hereabouts,” a collection of usually funny tidbits about the South Austin neighborhood in which she and her husband Frank lived. McBee eventually added a second column, “Reflections." McBee served as president and chair of the foundation of the Heritage Society of Austin and was the founding president of the Austin History Center. 

Neal Spelce is a revered television news anchor and Austin icon chairman. He was CEO of the Neal Spelce Company and CEO of Ninth Wave Productions, editor and publisher of The Neal Spelce Austin Letter and a member of the board of directors of Franklin Bank in Austin. He was once named Austin’s Most Worthy Citizen in recognition of his civic and charitable work.


Shirley Strum Kenny was president of Queens College and Stony Brook, the first woman to be named to both presidencies. She established the National Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University to create a new model of undergraduate education for major research universities. She is also widely recognized for her initiatives to build bridges between the academic and business communities and has also been active in business and education collaborations on workforce issues. 

Robert Levi Awarded one of their first Broadcast Journalism degrees by the University of Texas in 1970, Levi joined with then 31-year-old Ted Turner to establish Turner Broadcasting. Levi later became Vice President and General Sales Manager, Executive Vice President and General Manager of TBS Superstation succeeding Ted Turner, Executive Vice President of the Turner Broadcasting System and co-creator of TBS Network, TNT Network, Cartoon Network, and Turner Classic Movies.

Jesse Villarreal was chair of the Department of Speech Communication and the first director of the Speech and Hearing Center. 

Pic Wagner was director of media relations for AT&T.


Joe Belden was an early practitioner of survey research and pioneer of statewide polling. He founded Belden Associates which conducted market research specifically geared to newspapers, designing surveys intended to help the papers get a better sense of what their readers expected from them. He also established a company in Mexico where he used opinion surveys to create a radio and television rating system, the first system of its kind in Mexico.


Joe Goulden is an American writer, former political reporter and Director of Media Analysis with Accuracy in Media.


Claudia "Lady Bird" Johnson, former first lady of the United States, served as honorary chairman of the National Head Start Program, a program for underprivileged pre-school children. President Gerald Ford presented her with this country's highest civilian award, the Medal of Freedom. She also received numerous other awards, including the Congressional Gold Medal. Johnson was also an environmentalist. The Highway Beautification Act of 1965 was the result of her national campaign for beautification. She also chaired the Town Lake Beautification Project and was a member of the National Park Service's Advisory Board on National Parks, Historic Sites, Buildings and Monuments. She founded the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Research Center, a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to the preservation and re-establishment of native plants in natural and planned landscapes.


Wayne Sellers was editor and publisher of The Palestine Herald-Press and former director of the Texas Press Association, past president of the Texas Daily Newspaper Association and former director of the Texas Election Bureau. He also served in many civic roles across Texas. of the Board of Managers of the Texas State Railroad and a delegate from Anderson County to the Texas Democratic Convention. He was also chairman of the Newspaperboy Committee of the American Newspaper Publishers Association.


Staley McBrayer was a newspaper publishing innovator known for championing small-town newspapers and emphasizing local news. He is credited with blending cold-type single-sheet printing technology with the newspaper press to create offset printing. McBrayer’s press, which was cobbled together from bits and pieces of existing technology, was followed by more sophisticated models that made color images, once the province of Sunday supplements, a regular part of newspaper front pages.