Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Valerie Stokes

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Valerie Stokes wasn’t sure she ever wanted to have kids, but that all changed, not long before she found out she was having twins. Next month, she’ll take the Oral Fixation stage to share her premature twin girls’ NICU journey in “Icing on the Cake.” 

Valerie moved to North Texas in 2003 to attend college at UNT. She’s a part-time blogger and full-time mom to two feisty one-year-old twin girls. An amateur yogi, she runs on Dr Pepper and believes any bad day can be cured with baby giggles.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Penny Taylor

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While she wasn’t necessarily doted on 364 days out of the year, Penny Taylor’s birthdays always meant scratch-baked cakes from her mother. Next month she’ll take the Oral Fixation stage in “Icing on the Cake” to describe how’s she’s continued the tradition with her own daughter. 

The middle child of three sisters. Penny Taylor was born in New York and lived in Manhattan for several years, but she’s been an adopted Texan since 1990. She’s the proud Mom of a beautiful daughter who’s a junior at Texas State. She’s a non-fiction writer, theater and music lover, foodie and avid traveler.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Alyssia Birnbaum

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From her propensity to cook for classmates and coworkers, Alyssia Birnbaum’s always felt like a mother. Next month, she’ll hit the Oral Fixation stage in “Icing on the Cake,” where she’ll talk about her reality television experience, and how she turned her love of cooking into a full-time job.

Alyssia Birnbaum graduated from SMU with a B.A. in English and Creative Writing in 2009. She owns and operates Mama’s Gotta Eat, providing healthy meals in-home and delivery for new mothers and families. She lives in Carrollton with her husband, Eric, her daughters, Amelia and Charlotte and their canine bodyguards.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Bill Holston

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For 30 years, Bill Holston practiced law, representing banks and small businesses mostly. But it was the pro bono work he picked up on the side that was his real passion. Next month, he’ll take the Oral Fixation stage in “Icing on the Cake” to talk about how his pro bono clients made him the humanitarian he is today. 

Bill Holston has provided pro bono legal representation to clients from 20 countries. Bill was named Distinguished Alumni for Public Service for SMU School of Law in 2015. He is a Master Naturalist and has been married for 30 years to his best friend Jill, a public school teacher.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Peter Luby

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Veteran storyteller Peter Luby hoped joining the Peace Corps would “test his mettle and sharpen his sense of humor.” Later this month, he returns to the Oral Fixation stage in “Pulling Teeth,” where he’ll talk about how the experience tested his limits and led to his first-ever cavity. 

Peter Luby is a grant writer and Oral Fixation’s membership coordinator. He lives in Fort Worth. He and his wife Britt welcomed their first son, Martin, to the world just five weeks ago. So he’s tired. And happy.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Yasmin Waring

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Yasmin Waring is absolutely fearless, a trait she inherited from her daddy. And this month, she takes the Oral Fixation stage in “Pullin Teeth” to talk about transitioning from his child to his daughter. 

Yasmin Waring’s parents were both STEM professionals. Her father Joseph was a mathematician, and her mother Betty a nurse. And the sum of their efforts resulted in a child that still, to this day, counts using her fingers. She did, however, earn a Master’s degree, a law degree and Steve Wozniak’s bad ass business card.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Anna Lassiter

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Anna Lassiter is a teacher that never likes to give up on a student, no matter how unruly they become. Later this month she’ll take the Oral Fixation stage in “Pulling Teeth” to talk about Julio, who pushed her to her limit.

Anna Lassiter grew up in Dallas, and is back after 11 years away. She spent five of those years teaching, and the three years since trying to catch her breath. On the weekend, you can find her reading, settling Catan and snacking.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Tracy Hawkins

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Tracy Hawkins loves to laugh. But for awhile there, thanks to her meth habit, showing her teeth was something she was too embarrassed to do. In a few weeks, she’ll take the Oral Fixation stage in “Pulling Teeth” to talk about how she got her smile back.

With four children and eight grandchildren, Tracy Hawkins loves her life packed full with family, camping, dancing and four-legged friends: a chow named Buddy and a rabbit named Olivia Bunny Benson. Close to becoming a licensed chemical dependency counselor, Tracy looks forward to helping others find their way.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Stan Cobb

Stan Cobb

Stan Cobb’s favorite road is the one he’s never been down before. Roads like these have taken him to a small town out in the country to open his first dental practice, and back to the big city to begin sharing his wisdom with others. Next month, he’ll take the Oral Fixation stage in “Pulling Teeth,” to share some of those pearls of wisdom with you. 

Stan Cobb is a dentist, writer, speaker, artist, teacher, cowboy and minister. Stan started his speaking career as “The Cowboy Dentist from Spearman, Texas.” The Director of Ethics Education at Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry, Dr. Cobb is also the Dallas Director of The Christian Medical and Dental Associations.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Greg Silva

Greg Silva

Greg Silva just loves telling funny stories — especially ones involving poop. Fortunately, a certain hospital stay gave him the poop story of a lifetime. And next month he’ll rock the Oral Fixation stage like a post-surgery deuce in “Pulling Teeth.”

Greg Silva has spent the last two decades trying desperately to make people laugh at things he’s either written or performed. He fills his considerable amount of downtime with videogames and bike rides. His wife and dogs think he’s hilarious.

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