About

About MBK Scholars

Talented young men of color who are low-income in the Austin Region have significantly lower college matriculation and attainment results than their upper-income White, Asian, and female peers. Changing this statistic is a promise that MBK Scholars makes to the Austin Community.

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Become a Mentor


MBK Scholars has been designed with the input of more than 100 priority students and family members, as well as professionals such as teachers, mentors, administrators, counselors, and staff from community-based organizations.

There were 3 Pinpointed Needs:

1

Family and community engagement during program design and implementation must be central.

2

Programs must be durable, malleable, and individualized to meet students where they are.

3

Programming should start early, follow through, and connect students to future college and career options.

Team Members

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Jay McCullar

MBK SCHOLARS DIRECTOR

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Colette Pierce Burnette

MBK SCHOLARS CO-CHAIR

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Susan Dawson

MBK SCHOLARS CO-CHAIR

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Dorado M. Kinney

MBK SCHOLARS CO-CHAIR

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Raul Alvarez

MBK SCHOLARS CO-CHAIR

Our Partners

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MBK Scholars. All rights reserved.

Jay McCullar

MBK Scholars Director


Jay McCullar is Director of MBK Scholars, as well as an Associate Professor of Humanities, Student Development, and Effective Learning Strategies for Austin Community College. He also a proud father of one. As MBK Scholars Director, Jay’s responsibilities include:

  1. Striking the balance of support and pressure to ensure partners are achieving performance outcomes and systems changes;
  2. Informing and receiving feedback from the Greater Austin Area MBK Committees, community members, and scholars;
  3. Working with Huston Tillotson’s business office on payment and other administrative duties; and 4) partnering with the MAYA Consulting team to raise the three-year budget for MBK Scholars and to steward investors.

He has lived and worked in the Austin area since 2007. Jay earned his Bachelor’s in Psychology from Texas State University, Master’s in Liberal Arts from St. Edward’s University, and is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Educational Leadership. He is passionate about serving the community and has done so in education, support services, and academic support for several years. He has held positions with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Austin Independent School District, and Austin Community College. Jay truly believes in servant leadership, community outreach, and mentorship. He has vowed to ensure that no matter what role he holds in the future, he will stay true to those core principles.

Colette Pierce Burnette

MBK Scholars Co-Chair


Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, joined Huston-Tillotson University as President and Chief Executive Officer July 1, 2015, and serves as co-chair of MBK Scholars. Dr. Pierce Burnette is an experienced leader in higher education with a deep commitment to student success. Her experience includes serving as interim President at Pierce College in Puyallup, Washington; the Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio; Vice President for Information Technology and Services and Chief Information Officer at Central State University; Dean of Information Technology at Pierce College in Lakewood, Washington; and Manager of Consulting and Project Management Services at the Washington State Department of Transportation in Olympia, Washington.

Before transitioning into higher education, Dr. Pierce Burnette worked as a Computer Analyst at The Washington Post, was an Operations Support Engineer at Proctor and Gamble, held the position of Director of Information Systems at Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp., and ran her own computer consulting firm, CompuMent.

In Austin, Dr. Pierce Burnette is a member of Austin Area Research Organization (AARO) and the steering committee for My Brother’s Keeper. She also sits on the board of directors of Girl Scouts of Central Texas, Leadership Austin, and the Greater Austin Area African American Chamber of Commerce. Nationally, Dr. Pierce Burnette serves on the Minority Engineering Advisory board for The Ohio State University’s College of Engineering, is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers, Valley Arts United, the National Council of Negro Women, Puyallup Area Aging in Place Coalition, Texnikoi, the Black Data Processing Association, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., to name only a few.

Her many honors include the Ohio State University Outstanding Engineering Alumnus Award, United States Army Distinguished Civilian Volunteer Service Medal Award, Thurgood Marshall Foundation Chief Information Officer of the Year Award, Dayton Business Journal Chief Fiscal Officer of the Year Award, and the National Diversity Council Glass Ceiling Award.

Dr. Pierce Burnette earned her Master of Science Degree in Administration with honors from Georgia College in Milledgeville in 1983 after completing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Ohio State University in Columbus in 1980. In 2003, Dr. Pierce Burnette was accepted and graduated from the Harvard Graduate School’s Education Management Development Program. She also completed an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration at the University of Pennsylvania in 2015.

Dr. Pierce Burnette is married to Daarel and they have two adult children (Daarel II of Washington, DC and Daana of New York, NY).

Susan Dawson

MBK Scholars Co-Chair


Susan Dawson is a Texas entrepreneur, business and civic leader, and serves as one of three co-chairs for MBK Scholars. She founded and leads E3 Alliance, which has been recognized across the country for its ground-breaking work in systemic change for education. Susan has led multiple successful technology firms and served as Chair of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. Her many awards include the Leadership Austin Polly Scallorn Award for Lifetime Achievement in Community Trusteeship, Austin Under 40 “Austinite of the Year,” Hero for Children by the State Board of Education, Austin Profiles in Power “Profile Leader,” Ernst and Young “Entrepreneur of the Year,” Dell Medical School Health Hero, and the UT McCombs School “Trailblazer Award” for the distinguished woman alumni trailblazer in business and community. In 2011 the Austin Business Journal named Susan one of “Austin’s 30 Most Influential” leaders who have shaped Austin’s economy and culture in the last 30 years. Susan earned a BS Cum Laude from Princeton University and an MBA with Highest Honors from UT Austin McCombs School of Business.

Dr. Dorado M. Kinney

MBK Scholars Co-Chair


Dr. Dorado M. Kinney is executive dean of ACC’s central region campuses (Highland, Eastview, and Rio Grande, and Elgin). He has been student services dean at Highland Campus since the campus opened in 2014. He also served as Eastview Campus student services dean. Dorado has more than 20 years of experience as a student affairs administrator at two-year and four year institutions. He has worked in Greek life, multicultural student affairs, new student orientation, student judicial affairs, and student athlete support services. At ACC, Dorado has led multiple districtwide initiatives. He led early efforts to transition from paper advising documents to electronic forms. He has led the development of student disciplinary policies and the implementation of a districtwide system to track and monitor disciplinary

cases.

As Highland Campus dean, he led the transition of business testing to student services. He also provides leadership for initiatives relating to college readiness and academic testing.

He holds a doctorate in education from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree in management from the University of Denver, a master’s degree in higher education from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from Columbia University.

Raul Alvarez

MBK Scholars Co-Chair


Raul Alvarez has been CAN’s Executive Director since 2015. He was an Austin City Council member from 2000-2006. He was the City Council representative on CAN’s board during that time, becoming chair in 2004. After serving on the City Council, Raul was elected to serve on the ACC Board of Trustees. He was also on the Capital Metro Board , Electric Utility Commission, and as Chair of the Early Childhood Council and Co-chair of the Anti-Displacement Task Force. He is the board president of the East Austin Conservancy and a founding member of Futuro Fund Austin. Prior to CAN, Raul worked for AISD as Administrative Supervisor for the Office of Teaching and Learning. Raul holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a Master of Science in Community/Regional Planning from the University of Texas.