Board of Directors

WE EXIST TO SUPPORT STUDENTS: While many college bookstores are operated by for-profit corporations, The University Co-op is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit and operated by a board of directors comprised of students, faculty, and staff at The University of Texas at Austin.

Run to be on the Co-op Board of Directors

Every year during the annual campus-wide election, two UT students are elected to serve as representatives of the UT student body on the University Co-op Board of Directors.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that you do not want to miss out on. You will:

Get actively involved in directing a $25+ million business.
Oversee scholarships, grants, and funding.
Maintain a fiduciary responsibility to the University Co-op with a duty of care, a duty of loyalty and a duty of obedience, as mandated by state and common law.
Advance the educational interests of the University of Texas at Austin.
Represent the student voice on the Co-op board!
Get 25% off merchandise, textbooks and school supplies.
Kickstart your professional career.

Election Information

The positions are open to full time students at UT Austin, who have completed a minimum of twenty four (24) hours credit in residence and have at least a 3.2000 grade point average. Graduate students who have completed twelve (12) hours credit in residence are eligible to apply. Candidates must be able to serve for two years while maintaining full time student status.

These positions share equal responsibility and voting rights with the entire board consisting of two additional students, four faculty members, two independent members and a chair.

Both the application and Election Code are also available at The University Co-op: 2246 Guadalupe Street, Austin, TX 78705

Being on the Board will not only further your student experience at our university, but will also enrich your professional experience. If there are any questions, please feel free to call 512-322-7071 or email

Meet the University Co-op directors

Garrett Sonnier

Chairman of the Board
2021 - 2022

Dr. Garrett Sonnier is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. He received his Ph.D. in marketing from the UCLA Anderson School of Management

His current research interests include product management, product and brand perceptions, pricing, Bayesian economics, and multivariate Bayesian statistics.

His research has been published in Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Marketing Science and hte Journal of Marketing Research. Before earning his Ph.D., Dr. Sonnier was a strategic planning manager for Toyota Motor Sales, USA Inc.

Tammy Benton

Independent Director

Tammy Benton offers more than two decades of experience in the Financial, High Tech and Real Estate industries. Tammy’s extensive experience includes strategic direction, financial analysis, profit and loss responsibility, program management, partner marketing, and product marketing. She is currently a Partner Marketing Manager at Amazon Web Services.

Resourceful, tenacious and adept at looking at the big picture as well as diving into the details, Tammy thrives on new challenges and thinking “without the box” with creative solutions.

Tammy has an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and BA from Clark Atlanta University.

She has returned to Austin to allow her “inner flower child” to blossom and spends any free time cycling or keeping up with her two teenagers.

Dr. Paul Bonin-Rodriguez

Faculty Director
2020 - 2024

Dr. Paul Bonin-Rodriguez is a writer-performer and dancer from San Antonio who has toured extensively throughout the United States. His book, Performing Policy: How Politics and Cultural Programs Redefined U.S. Artists for the Twenty-first Century (Palgrave, 2014), assesses how research and development initiatives since the late 1990s have radically reshaped artistic practices nationwide. Chronicling both historical, paradigm-setting moments and contemporary artist-driven initiatives

Performing Policy demonstrates how "creatives" regularly negotiate market-based and value-based concerns and shows how they may more effectively and ethically pursue opportunities in communities where they work.

His articles appear in Artivate: a Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts, Theatre Topics and a forthcoming anthology on New WORLD Theater. His plays have been published in The Color of Theater: Race, Culture, and Contemporary Performance (Continuum, 2002), Jump-Start Playworks (Wings Press, 2004) and Text and Performance Quarterly.

Currently, he serves as the head of Undergraduate Studies in Theatre and Dance, as well as the director of the Minor in Arts Management and Administration for the College of Fine Arts.

Diane P. Bryant

Faculty Director
2019 - 2023

Dr. Bryant is a member of the Board of Directors for The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, the Project Director for the Mathematics Institute for Learning Disabilities and Difficulties, and the Co-Coordinator of the Assistive and Instructional Technology Lab in the College of Education. Dr. Bryant holds the Mollie Villeret Davis Professorship in Learning Disabilities.

She is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Learning Disability Quarterly and serves on numerous journal editorial boards. She is Principal Investigator on Project AIM, which is funded by the Institute of Education Sciences and focuses on algebra-readiness concepts and skills for middle school students with mathematics difficulties.

She has published numerous articles on instructional strategies and assistive technology adaptations for students with learning disabilities in refereed journals such as Learning Disability Quarterly, Journal of Learning Disabilities, Exceptional Children, and Remedial and Special Education, and is the co-author of textbooks and educational tests.

As part of her early career in special education, Dr. Bryant taught students with learning disabilities and behavior disorders in Chelsea, MA; Crown Point, NM; and Albuquerque, NM. Further work in Albuquerque included working as a coaching specialist to assist special education teachers with instructional and behavioral issues in their classrooms.

Paula Campbell

Independent Director
2019 - 2023

Ms. Campbell came to Goodwill in August 2016 with significant experience in corporate healthcare finance including financial reporting, planning, and analytics. In her current position as Chief Financial Officer for Goodwill Central Texas, she is responsible for providing strategic financial leadership for the Financial Services Division, which includes finance, accounting, and IT, and to ensure the successful delivery of all financial support services to the organization.

After graduating from college in 1983 with a B.S. in Accounting from Texas A&M University in College Station, Campbell went on to receive her Certified Public Accountant License in 1987.

Campbell began her financial management career with Leonard Enterprises in Fort Worth, TX in 1983. In 1990 she transitioned into healthcare finance at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, where she was promoted to CFO and VP of Finance in 1997. Seton Hospital recruited Campbell in 1998 as their CFO, where Campbell spent the next 8 years before taking a position at Presence Health in Chicago.

Campbell is thrilled to be back in Texas, and is a big fan of her alma mater, Texas A&M. In her spare time she enjoys taking in the local sights in Austin.

Jorge Fernandez

Student Director
2020 - 2022

Jorge Fernandez was elected to the Co-op Board of Directors by the University of Texas student body in the Spring of 2020. Jorge is an international student from Monterrey, Mexico. He is double-majoring in finance and mathematics and pursuing a minor in philosophy. Jorge is interested in risk management, quantitative finance, data analytics, and entrepreneurship. Last summer, he was a risk management intern at KPMG where he worked on valuing financial derivatives such as currency forwards and interest rate swaps. He is now a product development intern for a Y-combinator backed logistics startup.

As a rider for the Texas 4000 team, Jorge plans to bike from Austin to Anchorage, Alaska to raise money for cancer. Additionally, he serves as the team's fundraising chair where he is coordinating the team's efforts to raise more than 300,000 dollars. Jorge is an avid reader, a big soccer fan, a licensed scuba-diver, and a lover of the great outdoors.

Upon graduation, Jorge is planning to pursue a Masters in Financial Engineering.

Michael Hanson

Student Director
2021 - 2023

Michael Hansen was elected to the Co-op Board of Directors by the University of Texas student body in the Spring of 2021. He is a student from Houston, Texas and is double-majoring in finance and economics and pursuing a minor in accounting. Michael is interested in corporate finance and entrepreneurship. Last summer, he was started his own landscaping company and donated 25% of profits to EMS workers infected with COVID-19.

On campus, Michael serves on the executive board of the University Finance Association. Michael is a huge sports fan and loves exploring Austin with his friends. Hook ‘Em!

Collin McCabe

Student Director
2021 - 2023

Collin McCabe hails from Fort Worth, Texas and is the first person in his family to attend the University of Texas. He is a general finance major with a minor in government and a certificate in public policy. He is most interested by the interaction between business and government, and how innovative companies can provide market solutions to societal problems. Last summer, Collin worked as a marketing intern for the Dallas Mavericks and presented marketing strategy solutions to the Mavericks’ executive leadership. Upon graduation, Collin hopes to work for a management consulting firm with a focus in sustainability. Later in his academic career, he may pursue an MBA or attend law school.

Collin is also thoroughly involved on the 40 Acres. He is a member of student government as a representative of the Recreational Sports Committee. He is also the assistant treasurer of Delta Tau Delta fraternity. As a member of the McCombs Leadership Program, he hones in on his leadership skills through community outreach and volunteering. Outside of these pursuits, you can find him jogging Austin’s best trails or cheering for Longhorn football. Hook ‘em!

Lorenzo Sadun

Faculty Director
2021 - 2025

Dr. Lorenzo Sadun joined The University Co-op Board of Directors in 2021 as a faculty director. He is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from MIT, and a Master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California Berkeley.

He has held teaching positions at the California Institute of Technology, New York University, Israel Institute of Technology and UT Austin and his research interests include topology and dynamics of aperiodic tilings, adiabatic quantum transport, and other problems of both physical and geometric interest.

Cooper Shear

Student Director
2020 - 2022

Cooper Shear was elected to the Co-op Board of Directors in Spring 2020. He majored in History and Government while an undergraduate student at The University of Texas at Austin from 2011-2015, and is currently a student in the University of Texas Law School.

Cooper served as an intelligence officer in the Marine Corps from 2015-2019. As a platoon commander, he deployed to Eastern Europe from 2016-2017. Following his deployment, Cooper became an Executive Officer stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC.

Dr.Ciaran Trace

Faculty Director
2018 - 2022

Dr. Ciaran B. Trace trained and worked as an archivist in Ireland before moving to the United States to pursue a doctoral degree in Library and Information Science at UCLA. Ciaran joined the School of Information at UT Austin in 2010 and teaches graduate courses on archives and records management. She also serves as the editor of Information & Culture: A Journal of History.

Trace’s research focus is studying what constitutes a literate society, and the role that recorded information plays in creating and sustaining literate environments. Her work is shaped by an interest in the study of written records, those information objects that are the byproducts of personal and organizational action, and that subsequently serve as a form of data or as evidence for scholarly research.

Her work has been published in archival and information science journals such as The American Archivist, Archival Science, Archivaria, Archives and Manuscripts, Information & Culture, Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, and the Journal of Documentation. Her work has also appeared in the proceedings of the International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries (TPDL), Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), International Conference on Asia-Pacific Digital Libraries (ICADL), and the Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIST).

The Co-op Leadership Team

Cheryl Phifer

President and CEO

Michael Seyffert

Chief Financial Officer

Tim Busby

Chief Operating Officer

Andrea Swanson

Men’s and Souvenir’s Buyer

Jer-el Martinez

Director of Management Information Systems

Joelle Houshmand

Women’s and Kids’ Buyer

Kate Mounger

Marketing Director

Kelli Hanks

Store Director

Kim Estes

Assistant Store Director

Michael Kiely

Director of Course Materials

Paul Korniyenko


Rosie Barrera

Supplies and Graduation Buyer