Alumnus, Undergrad, Advisor Honored for Commitment to University

Dr. Conrad Capili BS08

Dr. Conrad Capili BS'08 (right) received the Undergraduate Alumni Achievement Award from Dr. Douglas Dow at the recent Honors Convocation.

A UT Dallas alumnus, a graduating senior and an advisor were recognized for their service recently at the spring Honors Convocation.

Dr. Conrad Capili BS’08 received UT Dallas’ 2016 Undergraduate Alumni Achievement Award, given to those accomplished in their industry or profession and engaged in their local community.

Capili is a pediatrician at Healing Hands Ministries Medical and Dental Clinic, a community-based medical home for underserved patients in Dallas. He has a special interest in caring for children with learning differences and developmental disabilities, such as autism and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Capili graduated summa cum laude from UT Dallas with a degree in child learning and development from the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS) and graduated with honors through Collegium V.

“I think my time at UTD really expanded my intellectual and social horizons,” Capili said. “My major helped me learn how people become who they are. The faculty helped me approach that question through a wide range of perspectives. I developed critical-thinking skills and generated deeper questions about human life and health — concepts that continue to inform my medical career to this day.”

While at UT Dallas, Capili was president of Alpha Epsilon Delta pre-health honor society and received the Dean's Award for Excellence, the Joseph G. Wood Award and the Virgil L. Tweedie Scholarship. 

“The service opportunities with student organizations helped me develop a strong connection with the Dallas community. I developed a passion for serving others, which has been a central theme throughout my medical training and career,” Capili said.

Capili attended medical school at Mayo Clinic as a recipient of the Dean's Outstanding Achievement Scholarship. He received the Mayo Clinic Pediatric Research Discretionary Fund Award for his work with the Pediatric Asthma Epidemiology Research Group.

He completed his general pediatrics residency training at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Children's Health in Dallas. Capili received the resident Advocacy Award for collaborating with the UT Dallas Center for Children and Families in creating a developmental screening initiative for low-income families in Dallas. He also received the 2014 Buhrmester Rising Star Award from BBS.


Student Helped Her Peers Succeed

Ariane Lemieux BS’16 graduated in May with a degree in biomedical engineering and is headed to Dell Medical School at UT Austin. But she said her biggest accomplishment at UT Dallas has been helping others students become successful.

Ariane Lemieux BS16

Ariane Lemieux BS'16 accepted the Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award from Dr. Andrew Blanchard.

Because of her success in tutoring, leading and encouraging students, as well as her numerous other volunteer activities, Lemieux has been awarded the Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award.

“This award is special to me because it represents something more than my grades or my graduation — it meant that I actually had some sort of impact here,” Lemieux said.

At the center of Lemieux’s student-focused efforts has been her work at the UT Dallas Student Success Center, which provides tutoring and coaching to help students achieve their academic goals.

She said her work at the Student Success Center was the highlight of her time at UT Dallas. She first volunteered there as a Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) leader and eventually was hired as a student worker to oversee a number of aspects of the program. She also volunteered to promote the program to students.

“There’s tutoring here for anyone who wants to do better than they are doing now. You just don’t see that at other universities,” Lemieux said. “I really wouldn’t call it work, because it was so much fun. I enjoyed the small group tutoring and getting to know people I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to know.”

Michael Saenz, assistant director of the Student Success Center, said Lemieux consistently received positive reviews on student feedback surveys.

“You can see the improvement with her students immediately. It is evident through her everyday interactions with her students that she has a passion for learning in and outside the classroom,” he said.


Advisor Keeps Students on Track 

Another person seeking student success is Linda Elgin, academic advisor in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics who received the Advisor of the Year Award.

Linda Elgin

Dr. Linda Elgin, an academic advisor in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, displayed her award as Undergraduate Advisor of the Year.

“What I love most about being an advisor is helping my students recognize and reach their full potential,” Elgin said.

Elgin has been an advisor in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics since 2012, but her career in advising first started as a volunteer while she was a master’s student at Texas Tech University.

Now, she works on a team of several full-time advisors overseeing about 450 student cases each, with her main focus being on students studying biology and molecular biology.

“The biggest challenge is the increasing volume of students requiring our caseloads to grow significantly along with UTD,” she said. “Being able to provide quality assistance during peak enrollment times is difficult because you cannot give every student unlimited contact time with you that they would often like to have and deserve.”

Elgin received her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Texas Tech, graduating in 2000 with her PhD in consumer economics and environmental design.

“I provide each as much information concerning their degree plan, professional schools and career options as I can to help them find their direction and make contact with the offices on campus that specialize in helping our students with their future career paths,” she said. “So not only do we provide basic enrollment and course sequencing information, we are our students’ cheerleaders, helping them move through their four years at UTD with growing confidence and a sense of empowerment to carry with them throughout their lives.”

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

Tagged: BBS NSM