As UTD goes through a transition phase, it is easy to overlook the people behind the scenes. But they make the university function. They are the framework that takes a $300 million project and turns it into a reality. We would like to say thank you. This semester we?ll highlight a few of these spectacular people who have given so much to the university.
Cathie Alexander?s enthusiasm for UTD students and her desire to make the undergraduate experience rewarding and memorable can be so intense at times that some might think it fake.
Nothing about her attitude is affected, however, as Cathie seems to live and breathe UTD, working on student projects on the weekends, hosting student functions at her house and continuously promoting ideas to improve student life.
In two and a half years as Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Education, Ms. Alexander has been involved in a remarkable number of projects. Less than a semester into her new job, she agreed to serve as the faculty sponsor of Meteor Theater, the then yet-to-be-formed movie theater on campus.
Without her help, Meteor Theater would not be the success it is today. Her ideas and energy would often reinspire the group when the students became discouraged. She invited the leadership of the organization to her house for a home cooked meal on the weekend and spent the majority of another weekend designing and helping to build advertising boards.
?Cathie Alexander is one of the people I always want with me the first 10 minutes we discuss a new idea?, Dean Coleman said. ?She is an incredibly imaginative person with a lot of experience in higher education and she has wonderful ideas.?
When he had an idea to hold a new event for incoming freshmen, Dean Coleman brought the idea to Ms. Alexander.
?She was a big part of the thinking that went into the first freshman convocation last fall that many considered one our most successful events,? Dean Coleman said.
Ms. Alexander also took the lead in creating a system of photo rosters so that faculty can know the faces of students before a class starts. She also runs the prodigy program, acting as a counselor and guide for a few gifted high school students who have the opportunity to co-enroll at UTD.
?Cathie is a wonderful advocate for students and our office is proud to have her voice speaking for undergraduate education,? Dean Coleman said.
Ms. Alexander grew up in Dallas and after spending her freshman year at Steven F. Austin, graduated from SMU with a BA in Theater Administration and Advertising. During her studies, she came to find the production side of a play more rewarding than acting on stage.
After graduating from the University of Oklahoma with two masters degrees in Social Work and Education, Ms. Alexander co-founded a company which connected businesses. After a successful sale, she started another company in Austin which planned fundraisers and other
Eventually, Ms. Alexander joined the McCombs school of business and directed the first year experience program for the business school at UT Austin, with a student body roughly the same size as UTD?s current population.
Ms. Alexander deeply appreciates the attitude of people like Dean Coleman and UTD President David Daniel. After working at UT Austin for ten years, she said the experience of implementing new ideas there was only slightly more difficult than moving an elephant by blowing at it through a straw.
She feels that with the current administrative support, UTD is great for students because ?with enough energy, with enough desire, you can take your ideas and make them fly.?
The staff at A Modest Proposal would like to thank Cathie for her passion and encourage her to continue helping students to make their dreams soar.