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New Texas Instruments Fellowship Trains Future Nonprofit Leaders
April 22, 2019
Halfway through his tenure as the inaugural Texas Instruments Founders Leadership Fellow at The University of Texas at Dallas, Archie Nettles BS’11, MPA’18 said the fellowship has helped shape his development as a leader in the nonprofit sector.
Archie Nettles BS’11, MPA’18
Through the fellowship, made possible by a gift from the Texas Instruments Foundation, Nettles has worked with the UT Dallas Office of Development and Alumni Relations to facilitate the engagement and philanthropic support of alumni and friends. Among his activities, Nettles participates in fundraising strategy meetings, represents the University at public events and leads campus tours on social media.
“The first six months of this fellowship have allowed me to contribute substantively and make an impact in my own way,” he said. “The program has also genuinely stretched me to think about where my own interests lie, about where I want to reside in my career.”
A $2.1 million grant from the TI Foundation created yearlong fellowships at three organizations: UT Dallas, the Dallas Museum of Art and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. Each fellowship is designed to provide immersive training for aspiring fundraising professionals and to cultivate nonprofit leaders in the Dallas area. The UT Dallas fellowship is open to UT Dallas seniors, graduate students and recent graduates.
Nettles first came to UT Dallas motivated to use his leadership skills for the good of others. Originally from Beaumont, Texas, he served eight years in the U.S. Army on active duty and in the reserves, including one tour in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His commitment to service continued at UT Dallas, where he earned degrees in public affairs from the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences.
“I hope whoever applies to this program genuinely has a servant’s heart. The next fellow might not have the same passions I have, but they are going to have the opportunity to explore their interests and make a difference in their own way. To get the most out of this experience, you have to be fully invested.”
After earning his undergraduate degree, Nettles worked for four years as an admissions counselor and a veteran liaison at the University before accepting an internship with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. He decided to return to UT Dallas when he heard about the fellows program.
As part of his fellowship, Nettles has learned the many facets of nonprofit development operations from staff and faculty.
“For the first seven months, I have been immersed in every part of the office: frontline fundraising, corporate and foundation relations, alumni relations, research, gift processing and communications, just to name a few,” he said. “On the back half of the fellowship, I will focus my time on areas of interest for my future career.”
While the work across these rotations has been diverse, Nettles said a shared set of skills has been emphasized throughout each placement.
“Interpersonal skills, professionalism and the ability to listen are crucial no matter what your specific role,” he said. “I have been afforded opportunities to meet with deans, vice presidents, donors and advisory council members. Being an active part of high-level conversations has been an invaluable experience.”
Nettles sees a special role for UT Dallas among its peer institutions in the fellows program.
Apply for the Fellowship
Applications for the 2019-20 TI Founders Leadership Fellowship at UT Dallas are open through Friday, May 10. Those interested can apply directly, and students can view the job posting and description on Handshake. Email Julie Piccirillo, program manager for the fellowship, at [email protected] for more information.
“UT Dallas feels like the heartbeat of the program. When you are a student here, you learn the importance of giving back and the meaningful role that art plays in our collective lives,” he said. “Regardless of your major, you are being exposed to these values. Supporting the cause of education at UT Dallas is going to help all three of these institutions in the future.”
Kyle Edgington PhD’13, vice president for development and alumni relations at UT Dallas, said the three institutions participating in the program were close to the heart of Mrs. Margaret McDermott, UT Dallas’ most pre-eminent private benefactor and the wife of Texas Instruments and University co-founder Eugene McDermott.
“Our curriculum provides a unique perspective on philanthropy and its impact on higher education, and our office is committed to developing new leaders who can carry out Mrs. McDermott’s vision for a better city,” Edgington said.
As Nettles prepares for the last months of his fellowship, which runs through August, he said he is excited by the opportunities for future fellows.
“I hope whoever applies to this program genuinely has a servant’s heart,” he said. “The next fellow might not have the same passions I have, but they are going to have the opportunity to explore their interests and make a difference in their own way. To get the most out of this experience, you have to be fully invested.”