Our Board

Board of Directors

Nancy Baker Jones, Ph.D.

Nancy Baker Jones, Ph.D., is president of the Ruthe Winegarten Foundation. She and Winegarten wrote Capitol Women: Texas Female Legislators 1923-1999, published by the University of Texas Press in 2000 and winner of the Liz Carpenter Award from the Texas State Historical Association. The two also produced the video history, "Getting Where We've Got to Be: Women in the Texas Legislature," for the Center for the Study of Women and Gender at the University of Texas at San Antonio. In addition, Jones and Winegarten researched and wrote the script for the 7th-grade video, "From Gutsy Mavericks to Quiet Heroes: True Tales of Texas Women," produced by the Foundation for Women's Resources. With Fane Downs, she edited Women & Texas History: Selected Essays, was research directorfor The New Handbook of Texas, and has taught women's history in the New College at St. Edward's University in Austin. She serves on the Community Advisory Board for the University of Texas at Austin Center for the Study of Women and Gender. She wrote "Ruthe Winegarten" inWriting the Story of Texas(Patrick L. Cox and Kenneth E. Hendrickson, Jr., eds., University of Texas Press, 2013); “The Way We Were: Gender and the Woman’s Pavilion, HemisFair ‘68” Southwestern Historical Quarterly (April, 2016); and “Making Texas Our Texas: The Emergence of Texas Women’s History, 1976-1990” Southwestern Historical Quarterly (January, 2017); and is book review editor for theSouthwestern Historical Quarterly.With Cynthia J. Beeman, she is general editor for the Women in Texas History book series (Texas A&M University Press).

Cynthia Beeman

Cynthia J. Beeman, an independent scholar from Austin, is vice president of the Ruthe Winegarten Foundation. She retired in 2007 after 21 years at the Texas Historical Commission, where she coordinated the historical marker program and served as director of the History Programs Division. In 1990 the Governor's Commission for Women named her one of ten Outstanding Women in Texas Government in recognition of her leadership role in promoting Women's History Month in Texas. In addition to the Ruthe Winegarten Foundation, she has served on the boards of the Texas Oral History Association, the East Texas Historical Association, and the Texas Historical Records Advisory Board. Beeman is co-author (with Dan K. Utley) of History Ahead: Stories Beyond the Roadside Markers of Texas(2010) andHistory along the Way: Stories beyond the Roadside Markers of Texas (2013), both published by Texas A&M University Press.With Nancy Baker Jones, she is general editor for the Women in Texas History book series (Texas A&M University Press).

Melissa Hield

Melissa Hield, scholar, feminist historian, women's rights activist, and former instructor in American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, is treasurer of the Ruthe Winegarten Foundation. Hield has directed and participated in numerous women's studies initiatives, both national and regional, including the Texas Women's History Project for the Foundation for Women's Resources, and People's History in Texas, an organization that brings to life stories of ordinary people and significant social and political movements.

Kay Reed Arnold

Kay Reed Arnold is secretary of the Ruthe Winegarten Foundation. She is author of "Think of the Lives that Might be Saved: Women's World War I War Work, University of Texas Services, and James Ferguson" in Impeached: The Removal of Texas Governor James A. Ferguson, A Centennial Examination (Jessica Brannon-Wranosky and Bruce Glasrud, eds., Texas A&M University Press, 2017). She is currently researching and writing about grassroots efforts in the Texas woman suffrage movement. She has served on boards of the St. Edward's University Alumni Association and the Texas Folklore Society and is a volunteer for the Austin History Center Foundation. In addition to directing student research projects, she taught the courses "Women in American History" and "Texas History" at St. Edward's University. She serves on the Executive Advisory Committee for the Handbook of Texas Women.



Teresa Palomo Acosta, RWF co-founder, served as vice president from 2007 to 2013, providing an invaluable voice for the inclusion of women's life stories and essential expertise in the design and content of this website, our award-winning Texas Women's History Moments, and numerous public presentations. She and Winegarten wrote the ground-breaking and award-winning Las Tejanas: 300 Years of History. She served as research associate for The New Handbook of Texas andcommunications associate for the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, taught Mexican American Women's Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, and mentors Latinas. She is the author of three collections of poetry, Passing Time, Nile & Other Poems, and In the Season of Change.

In Memoriam

Debra Winegarten, M.S., (1957-2018), author, publisher, poet, was the daughter of Ruthe and Alvin Winegarten and a donor to the Ruthe Winegarten Memorial Foundation for Texas Women’s History, helping make possible the foundation’s Women in Texas Book Series. She founded Sociosights Press, whose mission was to publish books that transform society one story at a time, in accordance with the principles of tikkun olam. Among its titles is Almost a Minyan, an award-winning children’s book written by Lori S. Kline and illustrated by Susan Simon. Her books of poetry include There’s Jews in Texas? and Where Jewish Grandmothers Come From; her histories include Katherine Stinson: The Flying Schoolgirl and Oveta Culp Hobby: Colonel, Cabinet Member, Philanthropist, both for young readers. Judaism was an important influence in her life, and she served as president of the Texas Jewish Historical Society. A graduate of Texas Woman’s University, Debra earned the Master’s degree in Sociology from the Ohio State University and taught at the college level. Her educational presentations were often standing room only, and her book marketing skills were legendary. We remember her as a joyful, generous, rabble-rousing feminist who delighted in inspiring and challenging others.

Janelle Dupont, M.A., (1948-2010), historian and writer, was an ex officio board member of the foundation. She co-authored We Can Fly: Stories of Katherine Stinson and Other Gutsy Texas Women, a project that resulted from her work as a researcher for the Texas Women’s History Project’s groundbreaking exhibit, Texas Women: A Celebration of History. During a career in which she excelled as a writer and researcher, she explored the woman suffrage movement, freedwomen in post-Civil War Texas, and the WWII woman pilot training program in West Texas. She also taught U.S. history in community colleges and, just previous to her death in September 2010, was managing editor of Libraries & the Cultural Record, an international history journal published by the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. She left a legacy of professionalism, dedication, and a joyful spirit to her family and friends. We remember her fondly and with appreciation as a valued colleague.