Where Are They Now? The McDermott Scholars Class of 2001

In 2000 Margaret McDermott endowed the Eugene McDermott Scholars Program with a $32 million gift in honor of her late husband. At the McDermott Ranch in 2016, she and President Richard C. Benson gathered with more than 50 alumni of the program.

The inaugural class of McDermott Scholars launched a program that brought to life the vision of the late Margaret McDermott: to provide selected students with learning experiences, public service opportunities, cultural activities and mentoring to equip them as leaders.

After reviewing the group of students chosen for the class of 2001, McDermott said they exemplified standards she expected of being “well-rounded, ethical, smart and eager to learn.”

That group included class presidents and valedictorians, captains of school robotics and debate teams, volunteer tutors, church youth-group leaders, musicians, athletes, Junior ROTC commanders, competitive chess players, concert pianists, artists, and fluent speakers of French, Spanish, Arabic and Mandarin.

Many members of that first class have gone on to earn the highest degrees in their fields and have taken their place as leaders in health care, law, government, science, the arts and academia. They include attorneys, academic researchers, scientists, a pastor and two professors at UT Dallas. Here’s what they are doing now:

William Appleby

Education: BA’05, government and politics, UT Dallas.

What’s he doing now: president at Inuvio, a Plano-based health care industry provider of document capture and data extraction solutions. 

Kelsey Condra Ciluffo

Education: BA’05, literary studies, UT Dallas; JD’09, George Washington University.

What’s she doing now: field director at ACT, a Dallas-based nonprofit that helps people achieve education and workplace success.

Andres Correa

Education: BA’05, government and politics, UT Dallas; JD’08, New York University.

What’s he doing now: partner at Lynn Pinker Hurst & Schwegmann LLP law firm in Dallas.

Dr. Megan Creasey

Education: BS’05, electrical engineering; BS’05, physics, UT Dallas; PhD’12, physics, UT Austin.

What’s she doing now: data analyst at Abbott Diagnostics, which is part of Abbott, a medical devices and health care company based in Abbott Park, Illinois.

Daniel Erwin

Education: BA’05, literary studies, UT Dallas; master’s degree in design, 2010, Illinois Institute of Technology Institute of Design.

What’s he doing now: principal designer, Catasys Inc., an artificial intelligence and telehealth-enabled, virtualized outpatient health care treatment company based in Los Angeles.

Dr. Morgan Feeney

Education: BS’05, molecular biology, UT Dallas; PhD’11, microbiology and molecular genetics, Harvard University.

What’s she doing now: teaching fellow at Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences in Glasgow, Scotland.

Dr. Emily Hinz Lodman

Education: BS’04, geosciences, UT Dallas; MS’07, geosciences, UT Dallas; PhD’11, geophysics, Boise State University.

What’s she doing now: hydrologist, Coal Section, Montana Department of Environmental Quality in Helena, Montana.

Timothy Hise

Education: BA’05, interdisciplinary studies, UT Dallas; MS’10, educational leadership, University of North Texas.

What’s he doing now: partner at TNTP, a national nonprofit based in New York City that helps low-income and minority students get equal access to effective teachers.

Sarah Islam Siddiqui

Education: BA’05, government and politics, UT Dallas; MA’10, Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Princeton University.

What’s she doing now: dissertation research fellow, Fulbright Commission.

Dr. Eric Kildebeck

Education: BS’05, biology, UT Dallas; MD’14, UT Southwestern Medical Center; PhD’16, gene therapeutics, UT Southwestern Medical Center.

What’s he doing now: research professor, UT Dallas Center for Engineering Innovation.

DeLisa Lay Ragsdale

Education: BA’05, government and politics, UT Dallas; JD’10, Yale University.

What’s she doing now: chief investigative counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance.

Laura Rashedi Buller

Education: BA’05, literary studies, UT Dallas; MBA’06, UT Dallas; JD’09, Emory University.

What’s she doing now: legal director at CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity technology firm.

Aidan Skoyles

Education: BS’06, electrical engineering; UT Dallas; MS’07, electrical engineering, UT Dallas; JD’09, George Washington University.

What’s he doing now: patent attorney at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP in Washington, D.C.

Robert Sterie

Education: BA’04, historical studies, UT Dallas; MA’07, theology, Dallas Theological Seminary.

What’s he doing now: pastor at Northcrest Community Church in Flower Mound.

Dr. Walter Voit

Education: BS’05, computer science, UT Dallas; MS’06, artificial intelligence, Georgia Institute of Technology; PhD’09, materials science and engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology.

What’s he doing now: associate professor, UT Dallas; founder and CEO of Adaptive 3D Technology LLC.


Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].