UT Dallas Magazine

Alumni in the News

Alumnus’ Brewery Named No. 1 in U.S.

While working away as a trial attorney, Michael Peticolas BA’95 dreamed of one day opening a brewery — and eventually he succeeded.

That business — Peticolas Brewing Company — is now a national champion.

The brewery was named the #1 Brewery in American and the Grand National Champion at the 2018 U.S. Open Beer Championship.

Three of the brewery’s selections earned gold medals at the competition.

 

Comet’s Cider Bar Named Best in America

The Bishop Cidercade — owned by Joel Malone BS’08, MS’11, MBA’11 and his wife Laura — was named the top cider bar in a USA Today readers’ choice poll.

Joel first discovered hard cider through Laura and together they brewed ciders at home, leading to the creation of Bishop Cider Co.

The Dallas-based cider bar is filled with video games — hence the Cidercade name — and opened in the Design District in 2016.

 

Grad Puts Sustainability Passion to Work at Dallas Zoo

Aasya Peera BA’18 spent the spring semester as an environmental services intern with the zoo, helping on projects such as reducing energy consumption, minimizing chemical use and increasing educational awareness.

Alumna Earns Teaching Award

Sara Freeman MA’90 is the 2017-18 High School Teacher of the Year for the Dripping Springs Independent School District.

Freeman was one of seven teachers to be nominated by the school district, one for each of the schools in the district.

“It felt amazing to be awarded. It’s something that I always secretly wanted but never talked about it. I’m not one who looks to be recognized publicly, but it was nice to see my peers recognize the hard work I and everyone else does. And then I want them to stop talking about it,” she said.

Freeman began her education at UT Dallas in 1986 with a group of area educators pursuing a master’s degree in teaching and mathematics. Prior to enrollment, she had been a math teacher in Plano for two years.

She continued to work while earning her degree, taking classes in the evenings and during the summers. While UT Dallas had yet to accept freshmen and sophomores, Freeman said her experience at the time didn’t differ from that of an undergrad. She visited the gym, ate meals in the cafeteria and spent more than a fair bit of time in the campus library.

One professor, Dr. Thomas Butts, left a lasting impact on Freeman’s approach to teaching math to younger students.

“Things change. Technology changes, but the overarching thing we learned is that you don’t give them answers. You challenge them,” Freeman said of her lessons from Butts. “Ask the right question, instead. It’s more of an inquiry based approach, which ensures the students have a clear understanding of the material.”

After graduating, Freeman stayed with Plano ISD for 20 years. She moved to Dripping Springs eight years ago following a job offer and friends in the Austin area, and continues to teach calculus and pre-calculus today.

–Chase Carter