New staff join TWRI team

Matt Stellbauer, Christine Fernandez and Dean Minchillo. (Photos by Ed Rhodes, TWRI.)

The new year has brought some new and returning faces to the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI). 

Christine Fernandez joined TWRI’s business team in late 2023. As a business administrator for the institute, Fernandez manages a range of business activities, including reviewing and approving business documents and developing, monitoring and reporting accounts, budgets and other quantitative data.

Previously, Fernandez worked in similar roles at Texas A&M’s University Center and Special Events Administrative Office and the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Fiscal Office. She graduated from Sam Houston State University.

Matt Stellbauer began as a research specialist in December 2023. A member of TWRI’s water team, Stellbauer leads projects related to watershed planning, water quality assessments and stakeholder engagement. He also provides assistance with a variety of research and extension projects related to water quality and conservation. 

Prior to joining TWRI in 2023, Stellbauer worked with the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture and Development, where he led the USAID innovation lab for Small Scale Irrigation. He also served as an international agricultural development specialist with USDA, and as a youth and agriculture volunteer with the United States Peace Corps, on the island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.   

Stellbauer earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Master of Science in Agriculture Leadership from Texas A&M University. He is currently a PhD. candidate in Texas A&M University’s Water Management and Hydrological Science program. His research focuses on understanding the relationship between household water insecurity and the multiple uses of water among smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dean Minchillo is a returning face to TWRI’s Dallas team. Previously, a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension program specialist who worked with TWRI, Minchillo became a member of TWRI’s team in January 2024. As a program specialist for TWRI, Minchillo works as a part of the Urban WISH team at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Dallas and the Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters educational program.

In his role, Minchillo combines his expertise in water conservation and passion for the environment to build sustainable programs that support the Texas A&M AgriLife mission by delivering research-based, locally relevant and beneficial programming to promote the protection of Texas’ natural resources. Minchillo brings not only familiarity with TWRI and Texas A&M AgriLife to his new role; he has worked in various roles related to water conservation for over 20 years. He graduated from Texas State University.


Cameron Castilaw is a communication specialist at the Texas Water Resources Institute. She works with the communications team to create social media content, write for TWRI’s various platforms and print projects, and find new ways to inform people of TWRI’s mission and programs.

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