An association for alumni and supporters of The Daily Texan

Friends of The Daily Texan

An association for alumni and supporters of The Daily Texan

Friends of The Daily Texan

An association for alumni and supporters of The Daily Texan

Friends of The Daily Texan

Contact Information
Friends of The Daily Texan, Inc.
1401 Lavaca St
Austin, TX 78701

[email protected]

New members join the board of the Friends of The Daily Texan

The Friends of The Daily Texan elected eight new members to its board of directors in December to replace outgoing members whose terms had ended.

The new board members are Sebastian Herrera, Phil Huber, Jim Davis, Jennie Kennedy, Shabab Siddiqui, Dave McNeely, Wanda “Fluffy” Cash and Steve Wisch. Huber will also be serving as treasurer for the board.

The Friends of The Daily Texan is grateful to these outgoing board members and thanks them for their service: Dave Player, Alicia Dietrich, Lilly Rockwell, Cliff Avery, Tom Kleinworth, J.J. Hermes and Griff Singer.

Learn more about incoming board members below:

Sebastian Herrera

A 2015 UT graduate, Herrera works as a business and technology reporter at the Austin American-Statesman after a previous stint as a news reporter for the Houston Chronicle.

Phil Huber

Huber has been a working photojournalist since age 17. He’s worked for United Press International, the Dallas Times Herald and the Dallas Morning News and as an independent photographer, with his work appearing in Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and many other publications. Huber now works as a website developer and independent consultant in computer technology, logistics and communications, and he teaches occasional workshops and seminars in photography. His work has appeared thousands of times in publications worldwide. He has won numerous awards for his photography, including Headliners and Pictures of the Year Magazine Sports Portfolio, and his work hangs permanently in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He has been featured in one-person photography gallery exhibitions of U.S. presidents and presidential campaigns.

Jim Davis

A retired journalist, Davis spent 40 years in the business, working as a reporter for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, UPI and the Robstown Record and as the Austin bureau chief for Harte-Hanks Newspapers. Before retiring, he worked as a public information officer for the Texas Department of Insurance. When his first wife died of ovarian cancer in 2004, he established the Mary Alice Davis Lectureship at The University of Texas at Austin to bring top national journalists to campus to talk about their profession.

Jennie Kennedy

Kennedy serves on state Rep. Celia Israel’s staff as chief of staff and general counsel, and she works on issues ranging from transportation to improving care for pregnant inmates. Kennedy represents people seeking asylum pro bono through American Gateways and recently completed two terms on the board for the Center for Child Protection. Kennedy graduated second in her class from the University of Miami School of Law, where she was articles editor of the Law Review and a member of the Community Health Rights Education clinic. She worked as an associate at Hunton & Williams LLP’s First Amendment practice before returning to Texas to become the University of North Texas System’s director of policy. Kennedy also makes regular presentations to aspiring journalists about their legal rights. Her first term on the Friends of the Texan board was in 2013.

Shabab Siddiqui

Siddiqui works at a political polling firm in Washington, D.C., where he is also pursuing a master’s degree. He served as managing editor of The Daily Texan in the fall of 2013 and the spring of 2014, which coincided with the Texan’s peak financial problems and the start of the Friends of The Daily Texan alumni group. After graduation, Siddiqui worked at an analytics consulting firm that took him from Bangalore, India, to Bentonville, Arkansas. He has also worked on multiple statewide political campaigns.

Dave McNeely

McNeely has been reporting on Texas politics and government since 1962, when he got his start as a political reporter and later editor at The Daily Texan. McNeely has covered most legislative sessions and Texas elections for various papers, including the Houston Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, KERA and the Austin American-Statesman. He retired from the American-Statesman at the end of 2004 but continues to write a weekly column for more than two dozen other Texas newspapers. McNeely has also taught at UT, and he co-authored the book “Bob Bullock: God Bless Texas,” about the most powerful lieutenant governor in Texas history. He serves on the board of The Carole Kneeland Project for Responsible Journalism, founded in his late wife’s name, which hosts seminars in Austin and elsewhere around the country for local TV news executives, to expose them to Kneeland’s unique, respectful style of newsroom management.

Wanda “Fluffy” Cash

Cash retired in August 2016 as associate director of the University of Texas School of Journalism, after 10 years as a clinical professor and the first fellow to the S. Griffin Singer Professorship. A past president of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, the Texas Press Association and the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors, Cash devoted her career to mentoring young journalists and advocating for open government and public access. That work included her leadership of a media coalition in 2005 to push for a Texas reporter’s shield law. She traveled to Mexico and Cuba on delegations devoted to open records and a free press, and she served as the media member of the Texas Supreme Court Judicial Advisory Council’s Committee on Public Access to Court Records.

A community newspaper veteran with more than 25 years’ experience, Cash previously was editor and publisher of The Baytown Sun, executive editor of The Brazosport Facts, assistant managing editor of The Galveston County Daily News and editor of the Kerrville Daily Times. Cash and her husband, Richard, also owned a weekly newspaper, The Ingram News, in rural Central Texas for eight years. In 2012, she was inducted into the Texas Intercollegiate Press Hall of Fame.

Steve Wisch

Wisch is a former journalist and a practicing attorney in Fort Worth. He served as staff counsel for House Majority Leader Jim Wright in 1974-75. He has also worked in law practices on cases related to civil and criminal defense and family trial law; on issues related to access to health care; and on health, life, disability, long-term care and pension cases for individuals and medical providers under Texas and federal law, with a special interest in mental health parity issues. He has written for the Texas Jewish Post, the Texas Observer, the Austin American-Statesman and the Fort Worth Press. He has taught at UT Austin, Texas Christian University and the University of Houston Law Center.