Beyond the Books: Aggie Myths & Legends

Can placing a penny on a statue bring you good luck? Maybe – but only if you’re at Texas A&M. Living the Aggie lifestyle means carrying on the rich tradition of passing down stories and superstitions (and maybe even creating one of your own for future cohorts). In this session, we’ve gathered some of our most prominent Aggie Women Network leaders to spill the details on all of the best campus myths you need to know.

Whether the stories themselves are fact or fiction, one thing’s for sure: This session is going to be the stuff of legends.

They’ve got the knowledge and are sharing it with you! Our panelists are always ready to deep dive into the Beyond the Books topics. Each series will feature new panelists. Read a little bit more about our panelists for our upcoming series, Beyond the Books: Aggie Myths and Legends, below.

Dr. Cyndi Short

Name: Dr. Cyndi Short
Title: Educational Consultant
Organization: Stetson and Associates

Bio: Dr. Short is an educator with 40+ years of experience to include work as a general education teacher, a special education teacher, a diagnostician, an assistant principal, and a special education director. Dr. Short holds a bachelor's degree in curriculum and instruction from Texas A&M University, a master's degree in special education from Sam Houston State University, and a doctorate in educational administration from Baylor University. She worked in four different school districts in Texas, as well as in New Mexico, Illinois, Nevada, Georgia, Alabama, and in Germany with the Department of Defense Dependent Schools. In 2017, Dr. Short was named Director of the Year by the Texas Council of Special Education Administrator (TCASE).  After retiring from public education, she joined Stetson and Associates, an educational consulting firm focused on educational excellence and changing systems.

Name: Jo Anna Marks Ordonez
Title: Manager IWT Value Delivery, Standards, and Training
Organization: Solenis LLC, Industrial Water Division

Bio: With a career spanning 30 years, Jo is a recognized expert in industrial cooling water and water reuse technology. After graduating from Texas A&M University as a chemical engineer, she worked in the chemical and petrochemical industries in process, production, project management, utilities, and design. In 1997 she moved into Industrial Water Treatment, where she solved difficult challenges for customers, supported field sales and technical support, and was a key contributor to product research and development. Her expertise is in refining, power, greywater reuse, food & beverage, biofuels, and other heavy industrial markets, which allows her to solve complex industry problems. Jo has recently transitioned into the role of Manager of Value Delivery, Standards, and Training for the Industrial Water division of Solenis while pursuing her MBA with the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University.

Jo Anna Marks Ordonez

Megan Pharis

Name: Megan Pharis
Title: Attorney
Organization: Steed Dunnill Reynolds Bailey Stephenson LLP

Bio: Megan graduated from Texas A&M in August 2000. After undergrad, she received her master’s in healthcare administration and an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2003. Megan moved to Chicago for a year to work then, but the weather was WAY too cold, so she hightailed it back to Dallas where she has been ever since. Megan worked for about 15 years in hospital and healthcare administration, the last 12 of which were at Baylor Scott & White Health in Dallas. Then in 2017, the year she turned 40, Megan decided to quit her job and return to law school. After a very stressful 2.5 years in law school, she graduated in December 2019, took the bar exam in February 2020 (days before Coronavirus hit), and became a licensed member of the State Bar in April 2020. Megan currently works for a civil litigation firm in Dallas, specializing in medical malpractice defense cases.

Name: Heather Williams
Title: Unit Commissioner
Organization: Calcasieu Area Council BSA

Bio: Heather graduated from Texas A&M in 1990, with a BA in Speech Communication and a minor in Psychology. Her interest in communication took her to the advertising industry, where she worked and eventually retired in newspaper advertising sales. Currently, she volunteers as a Unit Commissioner for the Calcasieu Area Council with the Boy Scouts of America. Heather also serves on various ministries with her church and is a stay-at-home mom of 2.

Heather Williams

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