Congratulations to the newest alumni — the 2012 Scholars

The Alumni Association would like to congratulate the 2012 class of Eugene McDermott Scholars and welcome them to the alumni group.  You can find out more about the class of “2012” by clicking here:


Saskia Versteeg ’09 joins IT jobs exchange startup in Kenya

Hey y’all! I’m Saskia Versteeg, an ’09 physics grad currently working for a startup in Kenya that’s building an online platform to connect IT freelancers to new job contracts.

Kenya has some great universities and a booming IT sector, but still 7 million young professionals like us are unemployed. This online jobs platform would make it easier for them to network and find jobs. We also plan to add testing and online education courses to the website to make the freelancers more competitive in the global market.

My student team is raising money for the initial rollout of these testing and education courses. We found that the more people we have supporting our campaign (even just with 5 dollars!), the more big businesses are interested in sponsoring us! That’s why I’ve set my goal this week to get 50 new donations of at least $5. If 20 McDermott alumns donate, I’ll get my team to take our own whoosh photo!

I love this project because it’s helping people help themselves, boosting the east African economy, focused on STEM and IT education, and teaching me a lot about startups, Kenya, and the tough task of crowdfunding!

Here is the donation link:

If you have any questions, watch the following 90-second video or ask me directly.




No joke: Wallace ’09 launches comedic video project

As a McDermott Scholar, Maija Wallace ’09 volunteered with Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT) on the UTD campus teaching English to immigrants and refugees. Many individuals had spent over 30 years in the U.S. without learning English, and as a consequence they suffered from unfair work conditions. They hadn’t had the chance to learn English earlier on because of a lack of time, money and energy. However, they still always found the time to watch television and laugh during their favorite comedy shows.

That’s how comedy became an inspiration– Maija saw it as a key way to teach English to a wider audience. She first created HablandoTV with fellow UTD graduate Alex Topete (see Learning from that experience, she is gearing up to create an entire tv series in France in collaboration with a professional film crew and actors. They have 12 days left to collect a total of around $1000 to offset the costs of the pilot, which they need to successfully pitch the idea to potential partners (public television stations and English teaching companies) for further funding.
Read all about it here:

Lye-Yeng Wong ’10 Profiled in Dartmouth Magazine

Check out the great write up in the Dartmouth School of Medicine magazine about Lye-Yeng Wong ’10.  Wong is currently a second year medical student there.

Read the whole post here:

(And, your humble blog editor happens to remember meeting Lye-Yeng with her mom at lunch during Finalists’ Weekend waaaaaaay back when. She’s come a long way!)


Congratulations incoming McDermott Class

The Alumni Association wishes many congratulations to the incoming 2016 class of Eugene McDermott Scholars at UT Dallas. You’ll be alumni in no time, so work hard and enjoy the ride!


UN Summit Meeting for Rutenbar ’02 and Chowdhary ’15

After UT Dallas Model United Nations was named outstanding delegation at competition in NY, Harris Chowdhary '15 met up…

Posted by The Eugene McDermott Scholars Program on Thursday, March 24, 2016

Ch-ch-ch-changes on campus

What a transformation! Campus looks great. Happy St. Patrick’s day to all!