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LAUNCH - Staff Directory
The LAUNCH offices are located in Henderson Hall, on the Texas A&M University main campus.


Phone: (979) 845-1957
Fax: (979) 845-0300

Honors Email: honors@tamu.edu

Undergraduate Research Email: ugr@tamu.edu
 

LAUNCH
4233 TAMU
College Station TX, 77843-4233


Ms. Annabelle Aymond - Program Coordinator, Undergraduate Research
Dr. Sumana Datta - Assistant Provost, Undergraduate Studies; Executive Director, LAUNCH
Ms. Bonnie Davila - Program Coordinator, ASPIRE Learning Community
Mr. Wallace Fanning - Program Coordinator, Honors First Year Experience
Mr. Austin Ford - Honors Student Council and Undergraduate Teacher Scholars

Mr. Adrian Garza - Program Coordinator, FOCUS Learning Community
Ms. Shaton Harris - Program Coordinator, Century Scholars Learning Community
Dr. Alex Hernandez - Program Coordinator, Honors Latino Student Organization
Mr. Demetrius "DJ" Johnson - Program Coordinator, FOCUS Learning Community
Dr. Jonathan Kotinek - Associate Director, LAUNCH: Honors
Ms. Taylor Parks - Program Coordinator, FOCUS Learning Community
Ms. Jamaica Pouncy - Program Coordinatior, National Fellowships and University Scholars
Dr. Laura Wimberley - Program Manager, FOCUS Learning Community


Staff Profiles

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Annabelle Aymond
Program Coordinator, Undergraduate Research

annabelle.aymond@tamu.edu, ugr@tamu.edu

Annabelle graduated from Texas A&M University in 2014 with a B.A. in Telecommunication Media Studies and a minor in Japanese Language. She oversees the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program, Undergraduate Research Ambassadors, Explorations: The Texas A&M Undergraduate Journal, Undergraduate Summer Programs and general marketing needs for the Honors and Undergraduate Research offices.

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Dr. Sumana Datta
Assistant Provost, Undergraduate Studies
Executive Director, LAUNCH
sumad@tamu.edu

 

Suma Datta has overall responsibility for Honors and Undergraduate Research programming. She coordinates with university, college and departmental programs to initiate, promote and facilitate Honors and Undergraduate Research efforts, including administration of the University Honors, University Scholars and the Undergraduate Research Scholars Programs. She provides support for College and Departmental-level Honors Programs and development of Honors courses as well as individual and programmatic Undergraduate Research initiatives at the College and Departmental level.

She joined the faculty in 1993 and is a Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics. She has served as a member of the Council of Principal Investigators, the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Research and is currently a Councilor for the Undergraduate Research Program Director Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). She has mentored about 50 undergraduates in her laboratory and is a frequent speaker on mentoring, management and communication skills.

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Bonnie Davila
Program Coordinator—ASPIRE and ACREW Learning Communities
bedavila@tamu.edu

Bonnie oversees the ASPIRE (Aggie Scholars Promoting Incentives, Resources, and Encouragement) Learning Community, composed of Regents and Terry Scholars. Bonnie received her B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies and her M.A. in Agricultural Development from Texas A&M University.  She has been an advisor in Scholarships & Financial Aid since 2008 working with a number of scholarship communities and organizations such as the Financial Aid Connection Learning Community, the Terry Foundation Scholar Organization, the National Aggie Scholar Ambassadors, and the ASPIRE Learning Community.  Bonnie has also served as a reader for the Benjamin Gilman International scholarship and is a member of the Texas, Southwest, and National Associations of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

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Austin Ford
Program Coordinator - Honors Student Council & Undergraduate Teacher Scholars
austin-ford@exchange.tamu.edu

Austin received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Nebraska, with minors in Ethnic, African, and African-American Studies. He began his career in higher education as an Admissions Counselor working with National Merit, National Achievement, and National Hispanic Scholars, along with first-generation students and populations that historically have been under-represented amongst the academy.  Austin is the staff advisor for the Honors Student Council and the coordinator for the Undergraduate Teacher Scholar Program.

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Wallace Fanning
Program Coordinator, Honors Housing Community

wallace_fanning@exchange.tamu.edu
 

As the Honors Housing Community (HHC) Coordinator, Wallace's role is to provide timely, clear, and accurate information about the Honors program and its benefits as well as ensure that all students who stay in the HHC enjoy a living-learning experience that is filled with camaraderie, social development, and lifelong memories.

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Adrian Garza
Program Coordinator—FOCUS Learning Community
pa-garza@tamu.edu

Adrian coordinates programming and curriculum for the FOCUS (Foundations of Continued Undergraduate Success) Learning Community, composed of Regents Scholars from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Department of Biology, and the School of Public Health. Adrian earned his B.S. in Applied Sociology with a minor in U.S. Ethnic Studies from Texas State University and his M.A. in Higher Education Administration from Sam Houston State University.  He has been an advisor with Transition Academic Programs since 2009, working with the Blinn TEAM, Gateway, and FOCUS Learning Communities and previously served as the Coordinator of Academic Review at the NCAA Eligibility Center.

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Shaton Harris
Program Coordinator, Century Scholars Learning Community
shaton@exchange.tamu.edu

 
Shaton Harris is the Program Coordinator for the Century Scholars Learning Community and instructor of the UGST 181 Century Scholars course. Shaton manages the Century Scholar Learning Community, composed of high achieving students from over 100 high schools across the state of Texas. Originally from Pasadena, California, Shaton came to Texas to attend Sam Houston State University where she received her B.A in Sociology, with a minor in communication studies. Shaton completed her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in December 2016.
 

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Alex Hernandez
Program Coordinator—Honors Latino Student Organization
aahernandez@tamu.edu

Alex is in charge of development and support of our new Honors Latino Student Organization, composed of Honors students across the campus in the University, College, and Departmental Honors Programs who identify as Latino, Chicano, or Hispanic.  Alex is a first generation college graduate who received his B.A. in Sociology and History and his M.A. in Sociology from the University of South Florida and a Ph. D. in Sociology from Boston College. Alex is also currently an Instructional Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Texas A&M University.  His area of expertise is social problems, specifically the effect of technology on aging populations.  Alex has numerous publications and honors, including presentations at a variety of Sociology Conferences.

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Demetrius "DJ" Johnson
Program Coordinator, FOCUS Learning Community
demetriusj@tamu.edu


DJ coordinates programming and curriculum for the FOCUS (Foundations of Continued Undergraduate Success) Learning Community, composed of Regents Scholars from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Department of Biology, and the School of Public Health. Originally from Little Rock, AR, DJ earned his B.A. in Music Business from Webster University in St. Louis, MO. DJ is currently working on his M.A. in Public Relations at Webster as well. Prior to coming to TAMU in March 2016, DJ worked in Residence Life for Sam Houston State University and Lincoln University of Missouri.

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Dr. Jonathan Kotinek
Associate Director for Honors
jkotinek@tamu.edu

Jonathan Kotinek began working in the University Honors Program office in 2003 and has been its Assistant Director since 2007 and Associate Director since 2012. He holds both a B.A. and M.A. in English from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology. He is co-editor of the recently published NCHC monograph Setting the Table for Diversity and authored a paper in that book entitled “Passing for Black: White Privilege and Black Identity Formation.” Kotinek serves as a co-chair for the Diversity Issues Committee of the NCHC; as President of the St. Silouan Orthodox Church parish council, and as advisor to the TAMU Hip-Hop Society. In 2007, he was selected as a Fish Camp namesake; in 2010 was selected for the President’s Award for Academic Advising, in 2011 was presented the Diversity Service Staff Award, and was selected for a 2012 President's Meritorious Service Award.

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Taylor Parks
Graduate Assistant, Greater Texas Foundation Learning Community
tmgparks@tamu.edu

Taylor coordinates the GTF (Greater Texas Foundation) Learning Community, composed of graduates from early college high schools.  Taylor earned her B.S. in Psychology and Communication Studies at Louisiana State University and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at Texas A&M University.  Taylor has served in the LSU student government including as student body Vice President, as a member of the LSU Ambassadors, and on the LSU Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Board for Student Life and Enrollment.  She also participated as part of a research team investigating symptoms of schizophrenia.

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Jamaica Pouncy
Program Coordinator, National Fellowships and University Scholars

jamaica.pouncy@tamu.edu, natlfellows@tamu.edu
 

Jamaica Afiya Pouncy is a Program Coordinator for National Fellowships. The National Fellowships Coordinator cultivates and advises students who intend to apply for prestigious national fellowships and scholarships, such as the Rhodes, Marshall, Goldwater, or Truman scholarships. This position also coordinates the University Scholars program and provides general Honors academic advising.

Originally from Oberlin, Ohio, she came down south to attend Spelman College in Atlanta where she received a B.A. in Mathematics before earning her MLIS from the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama. Having gained experience working with residence life as an undergraduate student and discovered that University matriculation can become an extremely complex and confusing task, Jamaica now seeks to assist others in navigating those scary, exciting, and unpredictable college years.

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Dr. Laura Wimberley
Program Manager—FOCUS Learning Community
lwimberley@tamu.edu

Laura oversees and coordinates the staff and programming of the FOCUS (Foundations of Continued Undergraduate Success) Learning Community, including oversight of student and curriculum development, student conduct issues, staff and mentor training, and course logistics.  Laura received a B.A. in English, an M.A. in History, and a Ph.D. in History from Texas A&M, as well as a second B.A. in History from the University of Houston.  She has been an Assistant Coordinator for Student Life Orientation and provided leadership for Aggie Access (now FOCUS) since 2001.  Laura has earned numerous honors and recognition including the Traditions of Excellence Staff Award, namesake for Fish Camp, and nomination for the John J. Koldus III Faculty & Staff Achievement Award.

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