UTD is #25

Whoosh! UTD ranks #25 on Business Insider’s ranking of the smartest public colleges in America (by average incoming SAT score).  Read all about it, and check out our competition here:


(It’s #1 in my book!)

Owens ’10 studies macroinvertebrates

Mitchell Owens ’10, now a graduate student at Brockport’s Department of Environmental Science and Biology, is studying macroinvertebrates in Canadice Lake, which is in upstate New York, near Rochester:
Canadice Lake supplies drinking water to the city of Rochester. Mitchell is looking for invasive species and seeing what effect the creatures in the lake are having on the habitat and water.  Here’s what he had to say about this project:
My field work for my master’s thesis in Environmental Science was built around me diving in four of New York’s Finger Lakes and sampling aquatic macroinvertebrates. The primary idea behind this is to catalog what all critters are living here so that we can establish a baseline of aquatic biota in the lakes, because they’ve never been surveyed before, and to determine how badly they are impacted by various damaging invasive species, such as the zebra mussel or the Asian clam. I also hope to determine a relationship between land use and community composition, but we’ll start with the easier stuff before we get to that point.
And here’s a cool video with some more info.

Maija Wallace ’09 and Jessica Higgins ’10 in Paris!

Maija Wallace ’09 and Jessica Higgins ’10 met up in Paris and now work together for Sikana, an NGO focused on education. They’ve been working on all kinds of things, like teaching people how to make French food in this video.
What are you having for dinner?
But wait, what the heck is a tariflette?
– A tartiflette is a traditional French meal made with bacon, cheese and potatoes. For those McDermotts who studied abroad in Orléans, France (like both Maija and Jessica), you probably tried it!
So what is Sikana?
– Sikana is a non-profit, start-up NGO that provides free, online educational classes. Cooking is the tip of the iceberg! The real focus of Sikana is on videos related to first aid, sustainable agriculture, sports and cultural heritage.
Maija Wallace ’09 is completing her master’s degree in International Development at Sciences Po, the #1 Political Science university in France. In her school, the second year of the master’s degree is mostly spent interning full time. At Sikana, Maija is the International Diffusion Team Leader, insuring localization, translation, dubbing, and distribution of Sikana videos in over 10 languages.
Here’s another photo of a tasty tartiflette.


And here’s a great photo of Maija looking like she’s stepped into a Game of Thrones set.  Unfortunately, this isn’t Westeros, or even France for that matter — it’s Ireland.  Still, a cool pic so I wanted to post it. GoT

Bon appetit! (Now go for a run to burn off all that bacon, cream, and Reblochon cheese!)

Topete named in “Most Influential” List

Alex Garcia Topete, ’07 alum and current President of the McDermott Alumni Association, has been featured by Latino Leaders Magazine in their “101 Leaders” issue of 2015.

It’s been an honor not only to be featured among so many distinguished leaders of the Latino community at large, but also to be able to share ideas and connections with them. It’s a tremendous opportunity to have more of an impact.

Garcia Topete was listed as a new member of the “Leaders of Tomorrow Club”, thanks to his involvement in arts, education, and non-profits in the Dallas area, such as the Dallas Film Society and the McDermott Alumni Association itself.



A Beautiful Day on Campus

Raheel Ata ’11 wins Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship

pkp-white-coat-1000-2015-09Many congrats to Raheel Ata ’11 on his winning a Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship. Read all about it here:


We asked Raheel to give us an update on what he’s up to these days.  Here’s what he had to say:

So life after McDermott finally happened, and things are already different – very different. Med school at Stanford began with my white coat ceremony (pictured above) and classes are now at full throttle. It’s been extremely exciting to meet so many other interesting, ambitious people in health care. There’s also a sense of optimism here that is very contagious and motivating.
Currently, I’m focusing on marriage between medical devices with digital health. Digital health is a huge new field and no one really knows where it’s going. And as a McDermott, of course, that yells opportunity and the potential to make a meaningful impact in many people’s lives.
If anyone is interested in this area, let me know! I’m meeting new people daily and would be more than happy to connect. (Also would love to build a bigger alumni presence in the Bay Area.)
Keep in touch, Raheel!  We’ll be sure to get in touch next time we’re in the Bay Area!


Wow. Campus looks terrific!

Ok, I have to post this.  Check out this incredible video of the UT Dallas campus. It looks spectacular!  Fellow alumni, if you haven’t been back to campus in a while, this will blow you away!