Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Mary Evans Sias, Ph.D. to the Texas Southern University Board of Regents for a term set to expire on February 1, 2021. Additionally, the Governor appointed James Benham and Stephanie Nellons-Paige for terms set to expire on February 1, 2023, and February 1, 2025, respectively.
Mary Evans Sias, Ph.D. of Dallas is the Director of the Millennium Leadership Initiative and Assistant to the President of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Previously, she served as President of Kentucky State University and as the Senior Vice President of Student Affairs and External Relations for The University of Texas at Dallas.
Sias has served as the chair of the Boards of Directors of both the Association of Public-Land Grant Universities (APLU) and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), two of the nation’s six national organizations in higher education. Her other board experiences include serving as chair of the Board of Presidents of the Southern Intercollegiate Association and of the Educational Testing Service Advisory Board for HBCUs.
She is also a former board member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/Commission on Colleges, Kentucky One Hospital Board, Frankfort Chamber of Commerce, Frankfort YMCA, and the Frankfort Woman’s Club. She is a former board director of the State Bar of Texas, member, Fund Development chair, and Special Events chair for the Dallas Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and a member and past president of the Cottonwood Creek Garden Club.
Sias received a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Tougaloo College, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Master of Business Administration from Abilene Christian University. Additionally, she received an honorary doctorate in public service from Central Michigan University.
James Benham of College Station is CEO of JBKnowledge, a 230-employee global software company. Additionally, he served for the last five years as an Adjunct Professor of Construction Science at Texas A&M University, and previously served two terms as a City Council Member for the City of College Station.
Benham is a member of the Entrepreneurs Organization and the Construction Financial Management Association. Additionally, he is an alumni mentor for the Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Company C-2, a volunteer for Texas Boys State, a group leader for YMCA Y Guides and Princesses, and a former board member of the Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association Board of Directors. Benham received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Master of Science in Management Information Systems from Texas A&M University.
Stephanie D. Nellons-Paige of Houston is CEO of the Nellons Paige Group, Inc. and recently served as a Managing Director, Texas Central High-Speed Rail project. She was responsible for developing and implementing the business and workforce opportunity policy to ensure a skilled workforce and the inclusion of Texas-based small, rural, minority, women, veteran, and disabled individual-owned businesses to build and operate the over $25 billion project.
Nellons-Paige is a member of the Women’s Transportation Seminar, Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, Cooperative Mobility for Competitive Megaregions Advisory Committee, and the Houston Covid-19, Health Equity Response Task Force. She is a board member of Gulf Coast Workforce Solutions and Ancora Education. Nellons-Paige is a member of the Delta Research and Education Foundation Board, Motown Museum National Legacy Council, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, and The Links, Incorporated.
Additionally, she is a former co-chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Business Council and former private sector co-chair for the ALEC, Education Task Force. Nellons-Paige received a Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies and a Master of Science in Transportation Management from Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD.