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Each month, Get to Know… will feature two members of UT System Administration’s talented and diverse staff as they offer insights into their lives in and out of the office. Each new edition will be published here. This week,
General Counsel to the UT System Board of Regents
Office of the Board of Regents
What are your primary job responsibilities?
To make sure the Board of Regents has the information and logistical support it needs to make informed decisions about what’s in the best interest of the UT System and UT institutions.
What do you most enjoy about your job?
Hands down it’s the people; good, dedicated people. I love it when I get a chance to interact with the students or faculty. It reminds you what it’s all about and brings a fresh perspective. When I was the chief liaison for the student, faculty, and staff advisory councils-- -- I was in the Office of Academic Affairs then -- it was always interesting to hear what was important to them and what they want to do and to help get it done in the most direct way.
What is your proudest work moment?
It’s when I hear back from a student or sometimes an employee that something my staff did, or I did, that just seemed routine and no big deal makes a difference in either their life or their career. It’s just those little moments when someone says you took my call when I had trouble getting anyone else or walked me through something. Usually, it’s my staff and not me, but those little moments when you’re reminded that what you do really does matter.
What is a fact about you that might surprise your colleagues?
I’m a registered medical technologist with a specialty in hematology and blood banking. I was pre-med and my boyfriend was pre-med, but we knew we both couldn’t go through med school at the same time. We made a deal that I would put him through and then he would put me through. I went to UTMB and became a medical technologist. About five years later, I went to law school. I drove 200 miles a day from Beaumont to Houston to go to the University of Houston Law Center.
What is a book or movie that has inspired you – and why?
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. What is so amazing about it is the beauty of the way she writes. I will literally get to the end of the page and say that’s the most beautiful thing I ever read.
What do you do to disconnect or de-stress?
I love to cook and thanks to the pandemic I’ve probably cooked about 75 percent of the thousands of New York Times recipes. I came into gardening late in life, and now we often have too many makings around here for salads: lettuces, broccoli, arugula, herbs, spinach, basil, celery. My husband David and I love to hike. We try to hit a different Austin area park or Greenbelt area every Sunday. In fact, most of our vacations are spent hiking, primarily in Europe, walking from inn to inn on self-guided trips covering the kilometer equivalent of 10 to 15 miles per day. We are really lucky to have two sets of friends who enjoy such trips and we’ve hiked in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Argentina and Greece, and are planning new hikes in Scotland and Australia soon.
Who is currently playing on your Spotify playlist?
My favorite artist of all-time is Leon Russell. My favorite songs are “If It Wasn’t for Bad” on The Union album with Elton John, and just about anything from Delbert McClinton. I listen to audio books these days more than music and have just finished the 29-hour A Promised Land book by President Obama and have started Dinners with Ruth by Nina Totenberg, recounting her long friendship with Justice Ginsburg.