Alumni Notes: Spring 2017


Steven Tung BA’10 married Betty Ko on Nov. 5, 2016, in Los Angeles, where he currently resides and works as a digital development coordinator for Universal Music Group. To commemorate the special day, Steven and Betty (front center) do the “whoosh” with friends Elaine Odiase BS’10, Ryan Lee, Dmitry Zaltsberg and Eunice Odiase BS’10.

Shaz Amin BS’11 is the CEO of venture firm Blue Track Media, a Dallas-based global marketing platform he founded in 2008. In 2014, he sold the company to Philadelphia-based venture firm Karlani Capital, where he how is managing partner and invests in technology companies. Recently, he was featured in a Dallas Morning News profile for his success as a local entrepreneur. He often credits UT Dallas as “one of the reasons” for that success. As a senior, Shaz founded his second company, premium audio brand Plugged Labs, which he conceived of “at the Raising Canes near campus,” he said. Shaz earned his bachelor’s degree in finance.

Steven Lange MBA’13 published a business case study, “Huawei Deals with Liability of Foreignness,” in the fourth edition of Global Strategy by Mike W. Peng, Jindal Chair of Global Strategy. The new textbook is slated to be released in 2017. Steven earned his executive MBA at UTD and resides in Dallas.

Stephen Duke MFA’16 (far left) and Sowmya Rajendran BA’13, MA’16 were featured artists in UTD's multimedia at exhibit “Structures in Synthesis.” Stephen is a visual artist who creates abstract video art and digital paintings. His work has been featured in Dallas galleries and shows. Sowmya said she plans to become a school teacher and continue to share her art with the community. Both Stephen and Sawmya earned degrees in the arts and technology program.

Caitlin Maxwell BA’15 is the new first-grade teacher at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic School in Dallas, which she attended as a child. Read more

Hannah Adams BS’12, MS’14, a doctoral student in biological sciences at UT Dallas, was named one of two recipients of the 2016-17 Eugene and Millicent Goldschmidt Graduate Student Award from the Texas Branch of the American Society for Microbiology. Read more


Douglas Weiss BS’00 was elected to the city council of Pflugerville, Texas. Previously, he served as board vice president of the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation. Douglas earned a degree in business administration.

Robert Brevelle MBA’02 became the managing director for Startup Evo, which accelerates the development of startup companies and entrepreneurs. Additionally the Jindal School alumnus serves on the board of directors for technology companies SD3D and MobiFalcon and on corporate advisory boards for Lumenari and EIE Materials. Robert is a partner in TIG Investments and Tech Wildcatters, and also serves as a council member and advisor to New York-based firms Gershon Lehrman Group and Coleman Research.

Tonya Lippert PhD’01 has published a new book, Transforming ADHD: Simple, Effective Attention and Action Regulation Skills to Help You Focus and Succeed. In addition to her writing achievements, Tonya works as a mental health therapist and researcher. She earned a doctorate in human development from the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

Russell Zimmerer BA’03 was promoted to shareholder in the Dallas office of Littler Mendelson, a global employment and labor law practice. Russell was one of 23 attorneys elevated to the status across the firm’s U.S. offices. Additionally, he was recognized as a Rising Star in 2016 and 2017 by Texas Super Lawyers. He holds a degree in criminal justice.

Bryan Powell MBA’04 and Matthew Lee MBA’14 were promoted in their positions at Westwood Professional Services, Inc., a national surveying and engineering services provider. Shortly after Bryan was named vice president of the Land Division at Westwood, Matthew was appointed to his colleague’s former position as Dallas-Fort Worth Office Leader. The two MBA alumni are responsible for supporting the growth of Westwood’s residential and commercial markets.

Dr. Esteban López MBA’07, chief medical officer and regional market president for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, was one of 61 leaders selected from across the U.S. to join the ranks of the 2016 Presidential Leadership Scholars Class, a program designed for leaders committed to helping solve society’s greatest challenges. Additionally, he serves as executive sponsor for BCBSTX Texas Government Programs and leads the Community Investment Department in its long-term strategy to improve public health. Dual board certified in internal medicine and pediatrics, Esteban earned a master’s degree in business administration.

Michael Thomas BA’07 was appointed principal for Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet School of Richardson Independent School District, topping off 10 years with the district. Beginning as a classroom teacher, Michael served as an instructional specialist before becoming the assistant principal of Aikin Elementary, a position he held for two years. Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies, with a focus on early childhood education.

Dr. Michael Joe Balderamos BS’08 and wife Sofia (Maravi) BA’08 announced the arrival of future Comet “Mila,” born in April 2016. Mila weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces and was 20 inches long. Her mother said little Mila loves going on walks and exploring her new home in Seattle, where her father is a pain medicine fellow at the University of Washington.

Dr. Tomoyasu Mani BS’09 was awarded the Blavatnik Regional Award in Chemistry, receiving $30,000 for research he conducted as a Goldhaber Fellow with Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. While there, he examined electron transport processes for solar energy capture and conversion and was chosen out of 125 nominations submitted by 24 academic and research institutions in the New York tri-state area. As a student at UT Dallas, Tomoyasu was an undergraduate researcher in the laboratory of chemistry professor Dr. Dean Sherry. After earning a bachelor’s in biochemistry, he received a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013. Tomoyasu is an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Connecticut, performing pioneering research in physical chemistry.


Allen Barnes BA’93, MPA’97, who has nearly 20 years of city management experience, is the new city administrator for Stephenville, Texas. Allen earned a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in public affairs.

Paul French BS’93 is the chief marketing officer at Allegro Development Corp., a provider of commodity management software — buiding on more than 20 years of experience in sales and executive management. Previously, Paul held several leadership positions including vice president of marketing at cyber defense software company Armor Inc., and vice president of strategy at Axway Software, among others. He earned a degree in business management.

Michael Peticolas BA’95, owner of Peticolas Brewing Co., opened a taproom in Dallas’ Design District, after starting the craft brewery five years ago. In addition to overseeing the brewery, Michael owns a local law firm and serves as co-chair of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild’s legislative committee. Earlier this year, he was featured in the Dallas Morning News' Guide Live section for his advocacy of craft brewers' rights.

Christopher Turner BS’95 celebrated his 10-year anniversary as CEO of Emergicon LLC, an ambulance billing services company he founded in 2006 to support Texas emergency medical service providers. The seventh-generation Texan has more than two decades of experience as a healthcare management executive and is an active member of several emergency medicine organizations. In addition to a business administration degree from UT Dallas, Christopher holds a master’s in healthcare administration from Texas State University.


Amir Loloi BS’83 was commissioned to provide home decor accents for “Magnolia Home,” the new furniture line of Joanna Gaines of HGTV's Fixer Upper program. The computer science alumnus founded his Dallas-based business in 2004, growing it into an award-winning international source for rugs, pillows and throws.

Rob Sherwin BA’89 was named the new police chief for Forney, Texas, after serving 30 years in the Dallas Police Department. In addition to earning a degree from UT Dallas, Rob is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and also attended the Senior Management Institute of Police.