Grant Development & Compliance Department
Staff Contact and Biographical Information

Click on a staff member to view his/her bio:

  • Mary E. Harris, Ph.D.

  • Associate Vice President, Academic Planning, Development, & Evaluation

  • Phone: 512.223.7705
  • Email:

Mary E. Harris joined Austin Community College District (ACC) in 2002. She is responsible for managing all phases of federal, state, local and foundation grant development processes for the college. Prior to her current position as Associate Vice President, Academic Planning, Development, & Evaluation, Mary was the Executive Director of the Grants Development Department. Prior to that, Mary was the Executive Director for Adult Education at ACC, and responsible for literacy, high school equivalency (GED) and English as a second language programs throughout Travis County. Before joining ACC, Mary was a Consultant with ACT, Inc, responsible for working with colleges and universities throughout Texas on the use of a workforce assessment tool and then a Sales Representative with PLATO Learning, an education software company. Prior to moving to Texas, Mary was the Assistant Dean for Leadership and Employee Development and an Adjunct Instructor at Aiken Technical College in Aiken South Carolina. Mary also worked for GTE Government Systems in Augusta, GA.

Mary holds a Ph.D. in Education Administration from the University of Texas at Austin, an MBA from Brenau University (GA) and a B.A. in Radio/TV Broadcasting from the University of Dayton (OH).

While attending the University of Dayton (UD), Mary was a Cadet in the Army ROTC program. In her senior year, she was given the leadership position of Cadet Corps Commander. Upon graduation she was commissioned a 2LT in the Adjutant Generals Corps (Personnel and Administration) and received the Distinguished Military Graduate Award. She spent five years as an active duty personnel Manager for the Army Training Support Center, an Army Transportation Group, and the Army Broadcasting Company. As a reservist Mary, helped establish the Army Family Teambuilding program, a readiness training program for military spouses. Her last position with the military was as the Commander of an Army Public Affairs Detachment in San Antonio, TX. In this position Mary lead a team of journalist and broadcasters to El Salvador to report on the Army's humanitarian projects.

Mary is a current board member and Past President of the North East Austin Rotary Club. Other current and past board memberships include: Austin Learning Academy Advisory Committee, Literacy Austin, Central Texas Literacy Coalition, Texas Learns Advisory Committee, Central Texas GREAT Center Advisory Committee, P-16 Adult Education Subcommittee, Gethsemane Lutheran Children's Ministry (Daycare/Pre-School), and Camp Fire USA: Balcones Council.

Mrs. Anderson joined Austin Community College, Grants Development Office, in October 2003. Before joining the Grants Development Office, Mrs. Anderson was employed for over 25 years which attributed to a diverse background of experiences from IBM, Public and Charter School Education, and State offices including Texas Education Agency.


  • Susannah Erler

  • Resource Development Officer

  • Phone: 512.223.7012
  • Email:

Susannah Erler has been involved with grant-based fundraising since the 1990s and joined the ACC Grants Development Office as a Grant Writer in 2009. She has a Bachelor's Degree from Oberlin College and a Master's Degree in Business with an arts administration specialization from the University of Wisconsin School of Business. Susannah has a background in the public radio field - including working as a General Manager of a National Public Radio affiliate station. She also has a background with workforce issues including experience obtaining grant funding for projects at Austin's Workforce Investment Board.

Some of her other accomplishments include: being a featured filmmaker at the Rooftop Films Festival (NYC), being voted a "Top Austin Musician (Strings)" by the Austin Chronicle readers (1998) and being an award-winning radio producer (The New York Festivals).


  • Ursula Pike

  • Resource Development Officer

  • Phone: 512.223.7098
  • Email:

Ursula Pike became a member of ACC Grants Development Office in September 2009. Prior to joining ACC, Ms. Pike was a Grants Manager at United Way Capital Area where she wrote and managed grants for United Way's community development work. Ursula also wrote and managed grants for the microenterprise development organizations BiGAUSTIN and Greater Eastern Oregon Development Corporation. She began her non-profit career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bolivia, South America, where she managed a microenterprise development project for low income youth. Ursula has more than 10 years of experience working in and raising funds for community economic development organizations. When not working, she is a volunteer with the Austin Powwow and American Indian Heritage Festival.

Ms. Pike has a M.A. in Economics with a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Community Development from Western Illinois University, a B.A. in Economics from Portland State University and is proud to say that she began her college career at Linn-Benton Community College in Albany, Oregon.

Before joining ACC, David was the Director of Fund Development at Extend-A-Care, Inc., where he supervised and managed the organization's grant funding activities, special events, and departmental financial planning. Key accomplishments included doubling the organization's annual grant income, increasing program revenue streams, and chartering various curriculum enhancements for Austin, Hays, and Del Valle ISD students.

Prior to working for Extend-A-Care, David was the Resource Development Coordinator of Open Door Preschools, where he secured grants, managed and maintained financial records, and planned fund development activities. Key accomplishments included digitizing and streamlining financial recordkeeping processes, creating an interactive financial database, and securing various grants for program enhancement.

Earlier in his career, David taught children with disabilities. He is an adamant supporter of the inclusion of differently-abled individuals in all aspects of society, particularly public education.

David earned a BA in English from the University of Texas at Austin, and has been a part of ACC's team since 2008.


  • Kathy M. Walton, Ph.D.

  • Grants Compliance Officer

  • Phone: 512.223.7213
  • Email:

Kathy joined the Grants Development Department in January 2013 as the Grant Compliance Officer. She is responsible for working closely with Austin Community College (ACC) faculty and staff to ensure successful fulfillment of grant expectations and reporting as they implement funded grants.

Kathy joined ACC in 2006 as the Executive Director of Corporate Training Solutions where she worked closely with area employers, workforce boards, and economic development organizations to customize training programs to meet employee learning needs. As part of that role, she was responsible for the development and fulfillment of several state funded workforce training grants. In 2011, she and her staff were honored to receive the Texas Workforce Commission's (TWC) Workforce Solutions Partnership Award for outstanding implementation of TWC grants. In addition, she is an adjunct faculty member in the ACC Fashion and Marketing departments. She holds a Ph.D. in Education and a M.S. in Merchandising and Marketing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a B.S. from New Mexico State University. She has been a member of National Council for Continuing Education and Training (NCCET) and Texas Association of Continuing Education (TACE) and has presented at several state and national conferences. She is also active in Collegiate DECA, currently serving as the Texas state advisor and ACC chapter advisor.

Prior to working at ACC, Kathy was the Director of Continuing Education at Brazosport College (Lake Jackson, TX) and a Marketing Professor at Salt Lake Community College in Utah. Her hobbies include home redesign with a project always under way, and international traveling. She is also a certified Texas Master Gardener.