June 10, 2019
An academic advisor from the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC) and a biology senior who founded a student-led emergency response team have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to The University of Texas at Dallas.
Pamela Kitchens, an ATEC advisor, was selected as Undergraduate Advisor of the Year from a pool of 30 nominees. The award recognizes an undergraduate academic advisor who demonstrates outstanding service and support of UT Dallas undergraduate student academic success.
Kitchens was instrumental in helping coordinate the growth of her school’s Capstone Celebration to include all students graduating from ATEC. The event is an opportunity for graduating students to showcase their senior projects in front of peers, faculty and industry professionals.
Umer Nadir, a biology major in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM), received the Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award, which recognizes a senior who demonstrates leadership, commitment, perseverance, creativity and service to the community.
He also had internships with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, FC Dallas and Aspetar, a specialized orthopedic and sports medicine hospital in Qatar that is accredited as a FIFA center of excellence. There, he worked with physicians to prepare for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022. He also has been involved with athlete screening and sports science projects at FC Dallas
Nadir served as a member of the Student Union & Activities Advisory Board and the NSM Dean’s Student Advisory Committee. He was a member of the UT Dallas Jazz Ensemble. He has conducted extensive research with investigators at UT Southwestern Medical Center and maintained a near-perfect GPA.
Students are nominated by faculty and staff and must rank academically in the upper quarter of their class and hold positions of leadership in a major student organization. The recipient receives $5,000 and a plaque or certificate.
Pamela Kitchens, Academic Advisor III
School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication
How long have you worked at UT Dallas?
“Coming up on five years in September.”
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
“Helping develop and expand the capstone event for all ATEC students. Capstone Celebration is a momentous occasion, and it’s so inspiring to see all the creativity, passion and hard work that our students put into their projects. As an advisor, I often talk with my students about their passions, so it’s very exciting to see their skills and ideas come to fruition.”
What is the most common question you are asked by students?
“‘What are the best classes for me to take?’ ATEC students are so varied in their pursuits that each appointment is really a puzzle to find out what makes each student tick. It’s not just about what classes are required, but which classes would best serve their goals. I enjoy the challenge and variety this brings to each student discussion and the opportunity to get to share in their journey of discovery.”
Umer Nadir with Dr. Jessica C. Murphy, dean of undergraduate education
Umer Nadir, biology senior
School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
What are your plans after graduation?
“To attend medical school at UT Southwestern Medical Center.”
What is your fondest memory of UT Dallas?
“Volunteering with University Emergency Medical Response. Being an EMT carries an exciting responsibility that I love fulfilling for whoever needs our services. In addition to responding to calls with police officers, firefighters and paramedics, I have made many friends on the team in training, at socials and just hanging out on a shift.”
What advice would you give future Comets?
“You create your own destiny. UT Dallas is a university that welcomes positive growth for its students, and if you have an idea that will make UT Dallas a better place, grab a couple of friends and make it happen.”