Comets Share Their Favorite UTD Memories
As the semester wound down, we put out the call for Comets to share their favorite memories from their time at UT Dallas.
We received a flood of answers. Below are some of our favorites.
Nisha and Vishal Rajesh
Graduating computer science seniors
Nisha (left) and Vishal Rajesh have been by each other’s side all the way from preschool to their undergraduate days at UT Dallas. The brother and sister both graduated this spring with bachelor’s degrees in computer science from the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. Nisha, who graduated cum laude, will pursue a master’s degree at UTD, while Vishal, who graduated summa cum laude and also earned a minor in neuroscience, will head to the Joe R. And Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio.
Graduating mechanical engineering doctoral student
“I cannot speak highly enough of [Dr. Fatemeh Hassanipour]. I’ve met and known a lot of professors during my 5-year PhD study, and Dr. Hassanipour was by far the friendliest, most down-to-earth and supportive professor I’ve met at UTD. She’d drop everything and go out of her way to help me when I needed it, and she always put her students first.”
Graduating public affairs doctoral student
“My best memory is that UTD’s diversity helped me interact with students from various backgrounds, which to me was very important being an international student.”
Mya (left) and her roommate and best friend, Carolina.
Graduating visual and performing arts senior
“The first day of Tuesday/Thursday classes in fall 2016 I was in my prerequisite history class and the girl who sat next to me turned to me when class was over and introduced herself. During the walk back to our res halls we realized we had so much in common (including our crazy curly hair). Carolina is from Puerto Rico, and I’m from Hawaii, which meant we both had this telepathic understanding of island life. I think this was when we had a feeling we would become really good friends in the beginning, bonding over being homesick. Since then we’ve been glued to the hip for nearly four years now. She’s the smartest person I’ve ever met, and I am so proud of her and her accomplishments. We both declared a master’s fast track at UTD, mine in art history with [the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History] and hers in business analytics.”
Graduating human resource management senior
“I took Dr. Lawrence Amato’s intro to philosophy class my freshman year. After that class my entire view of life changed and made me want to stay in academia as long as possible. While I’m a student at JSOM, I feel like I am really a philosophy student. Dr. Amato talked to me about the Philosophy Club at UTD that year, and during my sophomore and junior years I was the club’s secretary, then vice president, and later became its first female president. He also let me sit in on many of his classes and helped me network in the philosophy department. He let me attend and help run the 51st annual conference of the North Texas Philosophical Association that took place at UTD last year. He also helped me and my friend, William Truong, run UTD’s first Undergraduate Philosophy Conference this semester. He has shown me that I have a place in academia because of all the opportunities he’s given me. Because of this, I have decided to apply to grad school and study ancient philosophy.”
Aly El Sharkawy
Graduating mechanical engineering senior
“My favorite UTD moment was the first time I scored for the UTD rugby team. It was a pure moment of joy for me and the rest of the team.”
Graduating child learning and development senior
“[My advisors] were truly a blessing to me during my journey.”
Graduating biology senior
“I took honey bee biology this semester with Dr. [Scott] Rippel. I would have never imagined studying bees in my undergraduate career, and it sparked my interest into beekeeping in the future. Unfortunately due to COVID-19, we were unable to visit the apiaries, but it’s been overall the most interesting elective I’ve taken.”
Graduating neuroscience senior
“I took Dr. Greg Dussor’s neuropharmacology class, and you could just tell how passionate he is about his migraine research and about neuropharmacology in general. That class made me realize that I wanted to go to pharmacy school. I start at Texas Tech in August.”
Graduating health care management senior
“My favorite UTD memory is when I took business law with Matthew Polze. He is an amazing professor who almost made me want to change my major. I was literally standing outside the pre-law office in order to be a lawyer. I didn’t change my major but he was that good!”
Graduating interdisciplinary studies senior
“Stepping foot on the campus I felt at home. It was a breath of fresh air, and I was so excited! I will miss UTD so much!”
Danielle Vaughn (right) and Blake Stroud.
Graduating speech-language pathology and audiology senior
“I transferred here last year and decided to join a sorority and cross country in order to make friends. I ended up meeting my boyfriend through cross country, so it all worked out very well! Running cross country gave me a chance to do what I love in college while also being around my favorite group of people. They pushed me to do better in school and with running, and my sorority gave me a chance to help out around the community and focus on my studies.”
Biomedical engineering junior
“I was in Dr. Clark Meyer’s BMEN 1208 class, and it gave me countless skills that I’ve utilized in my co-op at a medical device company in Boston. The Arduino project he had us do allowed me to develop a prototype for a patent idea I had, and an assignment he had us do with the MAUDE database allowed me to submit a feature request for our product that will save lives.”
Mechanical engineeering junior
“In my freshman year I was looking to get involved in a research lab, so I emailed a couple of professors. Dr. Dani Fadda received one of these emails. I was in his class at the time, so after class he pulled me aside and invited me to go to a lab meeting later that week. I was super excited and it was super interesting and a lot of fun. After that meeting I ended up doing some work alongside Dr. Fadda, and I ended up researching there from freshman year to junior year. I learned so much, and Dr. Fadda has definitely been an amazing mentor to me throughout my undergraduate career. I will always remember the memories and lessons I learned in that lab.”
Biomedical engineering freshman
“I transferred from Collin College after I got my associate degree, and so many people told me how hard UTD would be and how the professors don’t care. Dr. Amandeep Sra changed that stigma. I’ve had a very rough semester, but she has motivated me to push through and keep trying. She has helped me through my struggles and has been there to answer any questions I have. She’s gone above and beyond for her students. After switching to an online format, she’s held multiple tutoring sessions and has been available and responsive pretty much all the time. I’m taking her for general chemistry II in the fall. I hated chemistry until she taught me how to love it.”