Who We Are:

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"Study Texas is a group of educational and training organizations in the state of Texas, whose broad purpose is to connect international students and professionals with quality education and training." (Article II, Sec. 1, Study Texas Bylaws)

Study Texas was established to enable schools in the State of Texas to work together to market the advantages of receiving an education in Texas. Study Texas is a group of educational organizations in the state of Texas, whose broad purpose is to connect international students and professionals with a quality education. Members include appropriately accredited community colleges and four-year colleges and universities, both private and public. Study Texas institutions offer thousands of degrees to choose from. Come explore Texas and find out why it is a great place to live and learn!


Grace A. Yates is an International Student Services Specialist at Austin Community College (ACC). She has been with ACC for 8 years. Her duties include international student admissions, immigration advising, and coordinating International Student Orientations and workshops. She also generates and edits an online newsletter for ACC’s international student population. Grace speaks and writes fluent Spanish, has studied abroad in Spain, and travels often to Mexico.  She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies, with an International Business focus, from Texas State University.

Steven Garrett, Advisor

Steven Garrett is a Senior International Trade Specialist with the U.S. Commercial Service in Houston, an office of the U.S. Department of Commerce.  Prior to arriving in Houston in August 2015, Steven served seven years in the Office of the Middle East and North Africa at Commerce Department headquarters in Washington DC.  Since graduating from the University of Georgia in 1999, Steven’s professional experience includes work as an aide for two U.S. Senators, a civilian at the U.S. Department of Defense, and soldier for the U.S. Army serving in both Afghanistan and Iraq.  Steven received his Master’s in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University in 2009.  


Greg Thompson is a Senior International Trade Specialist at the North Texas U.S. Export Assistance Center - an office of the U.S. Department of Commerce in Dallas, Texas. He has been with the North Texas office since August 1998. Prior to that appointment, he was a Senior Import Compliance Specialist with the Department in Washington, D.C. Mr. Thompson obtained his MBA in International Marketing from American University in Washington, D.C. in 1992. His undergraduate work in finance, accounting, and economics was completed at the University of Kentucky.

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Dickie Hargrave is the Assistant Director of International Recruitment at the University of North Texas. Dickie is responsible for recruitment of international students to UNT’s Intensive English Language Institute (IELI) and UNT’s undergraduate and graduate programs. In this role, she manages marketing, outreach and communication. Dickie has recruited extensively around the world and presented training sessions in China, Canada and Mexico. Dickie was one of the original organizers of Study Texas.

Dickie has eight years of experience in international education having previously worked in UNT’s Study Abroad office. She holds Master of Fine Arts in Dance and Related Arts from Texas Women’s University. Prior to entering the international education arena, Dickie taught dance at Purdue University and University of Southern Mississippi.


Heather Catton is currently serving as Director for the Office of International Programs at Stephen F. Austin State University. She has been at SFA for 15 years and with the Office of International Programs for eight years. Prior to her work at SFA, Ms. Catton served as a program manager in Washington, DC for a global non-profit organization specializing in public health education and social marketing in developing countries. Ms. Catton has MA degrees in French Language and Literature and International Studies (Southeast Asia). She taught Elementary French at Ohio University and English conversation at Feng Chia University in Taichung, Taiwan. She has spent time learning several languages including Arabic, Chinese, German, Indonesian, and Spanish. Ms. Catton has also had the opportunity to live, study, and work overseas, including Tunisia, France, Indonesia, China, and Southern Africa.

Jennifer Felps, Secretary

Jennifer Felps serves as the Director of International Studies at Texas A&M University-Texarkana.  This role leads global engagement efforts to enhance the university’s internationalization endeavors.  She focuses on expanding the global mindsets of students, faculty, and the community by overseeing international student recruitment and retention, study abroad development, and the intensive English program. 

Felps completed her M.A. in International & Intercultural Communication at the University of Denver.  She is currently enrolled in Lamar University’s Ed.D. program focusing on global educational leadership.


Alan Clipperton serves as the Associate Vice President for Global Initiatives at LeTourneau University (LETU) in Longview, TX.  In this role, Clipperton heads all international activities including student recruitment, immigration, program development, retention, study abroad, institutional partnerships, and global service learning.  Clipperton holds a graduate degree from Minnesota State University and undergraduate degrees from Dunwoody College of Technology and Toccoa Falls College. Recently, LETU received the prestigious Export Achievement Certificate from the US Commercial Service for their extensive growth in the international arena.

Additionally, Clipperton enjoys teaching cross-cultural communication and international marketing at LETU while operating his own IELTS testing company that now holds offices in four different states.

Dr. Ryan Buck, At-Large Member

Dr. Ryan Buck serves as the Assistant Vice President for International Affairs at Texas State University where he focuses on enhancing the international profile and reputation of the university, provides strategic direction for achieving the university’s internationalization goals, and oversees Study Abroad, the Intensive English program, and the International Office.  Previously, he served as the Executive Director of International Student Affairs at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. Ryan served in the United State Peace Corps in the Russian Far East and earned his PhD in Public Policy at The New School.                                                                       


Daniel is the Director of Multicultural and International Enrollment at Abilene Christian University. Daniel is originally from Cancun, Mexico. He came to Abilene, Texas in 1999 to study his undergraduate degree at ACU. He received a bachelor of business administration and a master in intercultural communication from ACU. He has worked at ACU for eight years where is is responsible for developing all marketing strategies to serve multicultural student from the U.S. and international students abroad. 

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Luiz de Jesus is Dallas Baptist University (DBU) International Recruiter coordinator and liaison. Currently he is responsible for the international recruitment efforts for the Latin America, Caribbean, and Canada along with the Vice President for International Affairs at DBU. Luiz completed his bachelor and graduate studies in Business Studies and MBA in International Business and Marketing. Luiz is from Brazil and he spent time living in Barcelona for 3 years, and places like China, South America countries, and Africa, helping people and communities as a missionary, before he and his wife moved to U.S. in 2005. He and his wife have two handsome little boys. Working at the International Office in DBU, Luiz counsels many students from more than 60 nations and has the opportunity to travel to several places recruiting and helping students to come and study in U.S.A.


Dr. Teresa Kennedy joined the University of Texas at Tyler in 2009 and holds a joint appointment as Professor of Bilingual/ELL/STEM Education in the College of Education and Psychology and in the College of Engineering.  Prior to her work at UT Tyler, she served in several different capacities for NASA's GLOBE Program at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), responsible for facilitating activities in 112 GLOBE partner countries working with NASA's Office of International and Interagency Relations (OIIR) and the U.S. Department of State. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Ecuador and in Argentina, and has traveled to over 100 countries through her work and educational experiences.

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Lily obtained her Bachelor's of Business Administration from  Loyola University New Orleans for Management and Marketing.  On campus, in the NOLA community, and through international travels, she seeks opportunities and challenges to develop a unique collection of meaningful experiences and prepare for the dynamic and uncertain prospects in a world economy.  Born in New York City, Lily moved to New Orleans in 2008 and traveled to over eight different countries before turning 20 years old.  Just recently she returned from a semester-long study abroad program at Keele University in England.  Grounded in her family’s entrepreneurial spirit, Lily aspires to uncover the secrets of how top companies successfully enable and engage employees such that the synergy of talents becomes the wow-inspiring, motivating driver of the organization’s work environment and source of competitive advantage.  She perseveres through peaks and valleys with optimistic grit, striving to make the world a better and more beautiful place with integrity and achievement.