Employee Veteran Profiles

Lisa Adams

Lisa Adams started working at UT Dallas in June 2014. She is the Director of the Military and Veteran Center, a department in Student Affairs. She was commissioned out of AFROTC at the University of Michigan and spent 9 years on active duty as a pilot, followed by 11 years in the reserves as an Admissions Liaison Officer. Her job in the USAFR fueled her interest in working in higher education. She is currently using the Post-9/11 GI Bill toward a PhD in Higher Education. When Lisa learned about UTD’s efforts to create Employee Resource Groups, she connected with the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement and became the organizer for the Military and Veteran ERG. For the past year, she has helped coordinate efforts to develop the ERG and looks forward to seeing the organization grow.

Rena Piper

Rena Piper began working at UT Dallas in February 2007. She has had the privilege of serving the University within several capacities with her current position being an Events Manager for University Events, a department within the Office of Development and Alumni Relations. Additionally, Rena has worked part-time since 2009 as a group exercise instructor for UTD’s University Recreation department. She served active duty in the US Army for 2.5 years as military police for the 1st Infantry Division in Germany. She has since used her Post 9/11 GI Bill to obtain her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies at UT Dallas with plans to return and work on her graduate degree in the future. Rena is passionate in helping active and veteran service men and women with the many challenges they may face. In her spare time, she volunteers with Make-a-Wish and thoroughly enjoys spending time with her family; which includes her husband and three children.

Karen Stepherson

Karen Stepherson started working at UT Dallas in October 2006. She is the Education Abroad Coordinator in the International Center. She began her military career as a last resort to obtain money to complete her undergraduate degree after experiencing a family tragedy which left her homeless. She was a food inspector in the Army Reserves and served during Desert Storm/Desert Shield. After a short stint in law enforcement, Karen returned to her roots of higher education where she has served in various positions all of which help others to obtain their goals. Karen completed a Master of Arts in Humanities from UT Dallas in 2015 and is a published author having penned several poetry books, a collection of short stories and most recently “The American Black: Journey to the Motherland,” a collection of pictures, poems and letters from her study abroad in Accra, Ghana. Karen is currently mulling over the idea of pursuing a PhD in Educational Administration and enjoying the newly created Employee Resource Group for the Military and Veterans.