Admissions and Financial Aid Staff Directory
Assistant Dean for Admissions & Financial Aid
A native Texan, Dean Mathiew Le earned his bachelor’s from the University of Texas at Austin and his law degree from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in Columbus, where he was a senior editor for I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society. Prior to joining Texas Law, Dean Le was the assistant dean of admissions and financial aid at the University of Washington School of Law and the associate director of admissions and director of campus diversity at McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific in Sacramento, California. Dean Le has presented at numerous conferences and has held leadership and service positions at the university, state, and national level, including LSAC, where he served on the Board of Trustees and chaired the Services & Programs Committee and the educational conference for new law school admissions professionals. With AccessLex, he served on the Financial Education Advisory Committee contributing to the Business Best Practices for Your Financial Aid Office guide. He has a deep commitment to diversity and believes in providing access to a legal education, especially among underrepresented segments of the population. Alongside two colleagues from the University of Iowa College of Law and DePaul University School of Law, he co-founded the inaugural National Asian Pacific American Pre-Law Conference.
Director of Admissions
Dr. Douglas Jansen earned a Bachelor’s degree in History and Mathematics, an MA in History from the University of South Dakota, and a PhD in Medieval History from The University of Texas at Austin. Before joining Texas Law in 2018, Dr. Jansen worked as a “journeyman historian,” teaching history at colleges and universities across the state, including The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M, the University of Houston, St. Edward’s University, and Austin Community College. He has served as an Assistant Undergraduate Advisor in the History Department at UT-Austin, and an Assistant Director of Distance Education at the University of Houston. Before joining the Admissions Office, he worked for several years as a Program Director in the Academic Quality and Workforce Division at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the state agency tasked with coordinating higher education efforts across the state. Dr. Jansen also tutors high school students in math and writing, and volunteers on the Campus Advisory Committee for Bowie High School in Austin ISD.
Director of Pipeline Outreach and Development
Nicole Simmons earned her B.B.A from Texas A&M University and her J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law, where she participated in various student organizations, including the Thurgood Marshall Legal Society, Street Law, and the Student Recruitment and Orientation Committee. Following law school, Nicole practiced banking and finance law in Houston before jumping at the opportunity to return to the law school to work with students. Prior to joining the Admissions Office, Nicole worked in the Career Services Office for almost 13 years. She served as a Career Counselor, the Director of Public Service Programs, and the Director of Professional Development. Nicole has a long-standing commitment to service and access to higher education. She is active in her community and has served in leadership roles with the National Association of Law Placement, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas, and the Austin Black Lawyer’s Association. She currently serves as the Board Secretary for the Austin Black Lawyers Foundation.
Senior Director for Admissions Programs
Dr. Samuel Riley earned his masters and doctoral degrees from The University of Texas at Austin College of Education. Prior to his career in law school admissions, Dr. Riley was a financial aid administrator at UT Austin and a financial aid counselor at the School of Law. Before assuming his current position, he supervised the loans and scholarships department for the entire UT Austin campus. Dr. Riley has served in several different positions within the law school community including, in 2015 and 2018, as the Interim Assistant Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at the School of Law. Outside the law school, Dr. Riley has served as the Mentoring Committee Chair for the Minority Network for Law School Admissions Professionals and the following committees for the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC): the National Recruitment Work Group (two terms); the New Admission Personnel and Faculty Members Workshop (faculty member); the DiscoverLaw.org PLUS Subcommittee; and the Finance and Legal Affairs Committee. Dr. Riley's passion is to encourage, inform, and assist responsible individuals seeking a higher learning opportunity to better themselves, and their families.
Associate Director of Student Recruitment
Dave Farnum, born and raised in Rhode Island, is a graduate of Providence College where he earned a degree in Political Science and Humanities. He went on to earn a Master’s degree in Theology from St. Mary’s University and a Master’s degree in Counseling from Johns Hopkins University. Before arriving on the Forty Acres, Mr. Farnum worked in various fields including city and state government, corporate executive staffing, and on university campuses as a development officer and campus minister. He served as an assistant to the president of UT Austin for two years before joining his colleagues at Texas Law. On his days off, you can find him in one of the amazing movie theaters around Austin.
Cassandra Shulter is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in English. Before joining the Law School in 2019, Cassandra worked as a Graduate Program Coordinator for the Department of English. In her free time, Cassandra likes to knit and sew. She is also an avid boxing fan.
Associate Director of Admissions
Michael Morales is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin where he earned his Bachelor's degree in Education. He went on to earn a Master's degree in Sport Management from Sam Houston State University. Michael has worked in the Law School Admissions Office since 2015. Prior to his work at the Law School, Michael served at the Business School and in the Services for Students with Disabilities Office. In his free time he enjoys both watching and playing sports. You may also run into him entertaining crowds as he also performs as a DJ.
Director of Student Recruitment and Financial Aid
Mario Villa is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and his Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration. He is a current doctoral student in Educational Leadership and Policy at UT Austin where his research interests focus on financial wellness for graduate and professional school students. Before joining Texas Law in 2013, Mr. Villa advanced undergraduate recruitment efforts as the Director of the UT Austin-East Texas Admissions Center in Longview, Texas. Outside of Texas Law, Mr. Villa is very active with his functional fitness community, the UT Austin Hispanic Faculty Staff Association, the UT Austin Pride and Equity Faculty Staff Association, and the Texas Exes. He volunteers as a member of Phi Delta Theta as a regional officer.
Financial Aid Counselor
Abigail Mbuvi is a graduate from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale with a degree in Photojournalism and Anthropology. Before joining Texas Law, she worked in the Office of Student Aid at The Pennsylvania State University, where she assisted undergraduate students and academic advisors as a financial aid counselor. Beyond assisting students with financial aid, Abigail also enjoys cooking, hosting friends in her home and taking photos.