Follow Your Passion

Here are our alumni who did just that:

Diana Rodríguez - UT Dallas

Diana Rodríguez

First-Generation Grad Aims to Help Community's Future Generations

Diana Rodríguez thought she wanted to be a psychologist with a PhD, but her plans took a turn. This first-generation UT Dallas graduate (2017) is headed for her master’s degree, hoping one day to become a counselor working with Latino immigrant children.

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UT Tyler's Six Female Civil Engineering Graduates

Female Civil Engineering Graduates

Female Engineering, Construction Grads Boost UT Tyler

UT Tyler experienced a record-breaking year as six women in civil engineering and two women in construction management earned their diplomas in May 2017. This is the largest female graduation class for both majors ever in the history of UT Tyler. [Article link with permission, Tyler Morning Telegraph; Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn, Tyler Morning Telegraph]

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Trevante Rhodes

Trevante Rhodes

UT Graduate Wins at Golden Globes

How did athletics and a theatre class take this UT Austin graduate (2012) to Hollywood? Trevante Rhodes, a former sprinter for the Texas men’s track team, landed the plum role of Chiron in Moonlight, Golden Globe’s Best Motion Picture of 2017.

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UTD - Corey Egan and Swapnil Bora

Corey Egan and Swapnil Bora

UT Dallas Alumni Strike Deal with Mark Cuban on 'Shark Tank'

While “the shark has pretty teeth, dear; and he shows them, pearly white,” UT Dallas Alumni Corey Egan (MBA 2010) and Swapnil Bora (MBA 2011) showed their inventive teeth during an episode of the popular ABC reality TV show “Shark Tank.” The two developed smartphone-controlled light bulbs for their company Ilumi. The lights can be programmed to “create a sunrise effect, romantic candlelight, or even a post Dallas Mavericks game celebration,” according to Egan. Entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban liked what he saw and ponied up a $350,000 investment.

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UTB- Mark Del Castillo

Mark del Castillo

Del Castillo

When filmmaker Robert Rodriguez wants music for his media productions – including “From Dusk Till Dawn” on El Rey Network – he often turns to Mark del Castillo, a 1994 graduate of UT Brownsville. Mark applied his music major to create the Latin rock band, Del Castillo, along with older brother Rick. A recipient of UT Brownsville's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2010, Mark and the band continue to entertain U.S. and European audiences.

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UTA- Stephanie Duncan

Stephanie Duncan

Nursing in Africa

Stephanie Duncan, a 2006 graduate of the College of Nursing at the University of Texas Arlington, works as a nurse in Africa. See how an education at UT Arlington gave her the chance to live her dream.

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UTS- Amir Rajan

Amirali “Amir” Rajan

Alumnus Finds Bright Side of Success with 'Dark Room' Game App

Amirali “Amir” Rajan, a 2006 software engineering graduate from UT Dallas, is a firm believer that sometimes you have to quit your job to get ahead. He did just that in 2013. Living on a diet of “ramen and four-cheese Hot Pockets” for a year, Amir spent his “off” time creating an app version of the popular video game “A Dark Room” for IOS devices. Reaching a deal with programmer Michael Townsend, who created the viral video game, Amir witnessed his app explode from only 30 downloads per day, to as many as 20,000 downloads per day within five months. The app moved to #1 in U.K. and U.S. App Stores, and has ranked as one of the top 10 games in 17 countries.

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UTD- Kayla Klein

Kayla Klein

McDermott Scholar Receives Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship

Kayla Klein's dedication to pediatric public health and advocacy has been recognized with a $5,000 Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship. It is the third year in a row that a student or alumnus from UT Dallas has received a fellowship from the honor society. An alumna of the McDermott Scholars program, Kayla is currently pursuing her medical degree and Master’s degree at the University of Michigan Medical School and School of Public Health, respectively.

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UTA- Caroline Davis

Caroline Davis

Alumna and saxophonist Caroline Davis hones her craft in New York City

What do Cannonball Adderley, Charlie Parker, Ornette Coleman, and UT Arlington alumna Caroline Davis have in common? If you guessed alto saxophone, you are correct. But what is uncommon about this group is the fact that Caroline is a member of a very short list of female sax players. A double major in jazz and psychology, Caroline Davis has performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival, as well as a number of other venues in Chicago, New York City, and throughout the U.S. Caroline currently lives in New York City where she performs and teaches saxophone.

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