WITS Board

Michael Pipkin, President

Stellus Capital Management, LLC

Carliss Chatman, VP + Administration Chair          

Esperson Gallery

Garrick Malone, Secretary


Brian S. Cheadle, Treasurer


Mark Cervenka, Education Chair

University of Houston-Downtown

Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, Development Chair

Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing

Julie Tran, Outreach Chair

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Greg P. Audel

GPA Productions

Beth Bernal


Helen Bow

Wells Fargo

Shannon Buggs

University of Houston

Lucy Chambers

Bright Sky Press

Megan Ebadat


MaryScott Hagle

Dawn Mountain

Chanler Langham

Susman Godfrey LLP

Ryan Leach

Pasadena Independent School District

TJ McCray

Connections Academy

Kimberly Murphy

Community Volunteer

Chris Porter

Yetter Coleman LLP

Sheleah Reed

Houston Independent School District

Serena Monjeau Ross

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Mitra Woody



WITS Staff






Robin Reagler, PhD, Executive Director


Robin joined WITS as a writer in 1990, and she has worked in every facet of the organization, from teaching to program development to administration. Currently as Executive Director, Robin not only leads WITS in its Houston endeavors; she also heads the WITS Alliance, a national consortium of literary arts education groups. Robin earned an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a Ph.D. from the University of Houston Creative Writing Program. Her poems and essays have been published widely in books and journals such as Ploughshares and HOW(ever), and her chapbook Dear Red Airplane was published in 2011. Robin is Board Vice President for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP).

Long Chu, Associate Director


Long plans and implements WITS' creative writing programs. A writer originally from Vietnam, Long earned an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Houston Creative Writing Program. His poems are anthologized in several books, including Watermark and Both Sides Now. He has been with WITS as an administrator for the past 12 years. He has served on the artistic Board of DiverseWorks Arts Space and Gulf Coast Literary Journal.


Jack McBride, Program Director


Jack manages in-school programs, after-school programs, The Menil Collection project, and the Summer Creative Writing Workshops. He is responsible for recruiting, training, and managing writers in teaching placements and leads the WITS summer internship program. Jack graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio with a B.A. in art history and Spanish. Jack is pursuing his Masters in Nonprofit Administration from the University of Notre Dame.



Kate Rybka Brennan, Development Director


Kate oversees major giving, the Celebration of Story benefit, and board relations. Additionally, she manages national advocacy and strategic planning. Prior to her work at WITS, Kate was instrumental in a $25 million capital, endowment, and program campaign. A Twin Cities native, Kate received a B.A. in interdisciplinary politics and English from Mills College in Oakland, CA. She is a WITS parent and her husband is a former WITS writer.

Tina Angelo, Director of Professional Development


After 37 years in public education, Tina joined WITS in 2012 to provide professional development to both writers and teachers. Before joining WITS, Tina taught English in several Houston area school districts and also served as the Manager of Adolescent Literacy and Response to Intervention for the Houston Independent School District. Tina earned her B.A. in English and history from the University of Texas and her M. Ed. from the University of Houston. Active members of the Houston Greek community, Tina and her husband Gus have two children, Alexis and Jimmy (both former WITS students).


Angie Coats, Accounting Manager


Angie manages all financial aspects of the organization, including receivables, payables, payroll, budgets, and financial reports. She also oversees the annual audit and tax return preparation. A native of Wisconsin, Angie lives in the Houston area with her husband and two cats.

Gayatri Parikh, Development Associate


Gayatri writes grants and assists with donor relations and the Celebration of Story benefit. She has a B.A. in creative writing from the University of Houston, and an M.A. in liberal arts from St. John's College in New Mexico

Alyssa Stephens, Communications Coordinator


Alyssa is an artist and educator from Houston, Texas. She received her B.F.A. from the University of Houston with an emphasis in photography and digital media.  In the fall of 2012 Alyssa was recognized by the Leigh Bess Boone Foundation for her dedication to the performing and visual arts. Currently, she enjoys making and exhibiting her work and is a regular contributor to a local zine. 










Regina Vigil, Program Coordinator


Before coming to WITS, Regina worked at Lawndale Art Center, photographed day-old babies at hospitals, and helped found the undergraduate literary journal Glass Mountain at  University of Houston as well as the Boldface conference for emerging writers. Currently, she sits on the Glass Mountain Board of Advisors, volunteers for Qfest, and is a co-producer for High Noon Film Lab.  Her poems have appeared in Gigantic Sequins and Indiana Review.


Emanuelee "Outspoken" Bean, Meta-Four Program Coordinator


Bean ranked 9th in the Individual World Poetry Slam in 2012. His one-man show "Converse" will go to Theatre Row in New York City in November 2013, as part of the United Solo Theatre Festival. Bean coaches the WITS youth poetry program, Meta-Four Houston. Recently he appeared at TEDxHouston. He has taught with WITS since 2010.