Attend an event at UT Arlington and you'll likely see Neer Patel. The president of the Young Alumni Chapter spreads his enthusiasm across campus with a rare jubilance.
Patel became YAC president as a senior and organized the first alumni oozeball team last fall. He introduced the annual graduation party and is planning joint laser tag events between the YAC and the Student Alumni Association. He's also working to develop graduate scholarship funds so the group can give back to students.
"My years on campus were the best years of my life," said Patel ('06 BS, Information Systems). "I just want to keep people energized about UTA."
After graduating from high school in Houston, he chose UT Arlington for its computer science and engineering program. Plus, a campus in the Metroplex offered convenient access to technical firms.
He was among the first students to live in Arlington Hall and participated in several student organizations during his early years on campus. As a junior, he shifted his focus to the Association of Information Technology Professionals.
He now works as a Web designer and application developer for Arlington-based PDS Companies, which develops asset management software for the financial services industry.
Patel gets the word out about the YAC in every way possible. The chapter is one of many within the Alumni Association, and it serves a range of people. Most YAC members graduated within the decade.
Megan McIntyre, YAC vice president, said Patel became "10 times more involved" after he graduated. She said she welcomes his input and fine-tuning on a multitude of creative ideas.
"He'll have a positive impact wherever he goes," she said.
Student Congress President Collins Watson worked with Patel on the mascot naming process (see outside back cover) and the graduation party last spring. Watson says Patel jumps in and does whatever he can to help.
"Neer makes me excited to want to be a young alumnus," Watson said.
For information about the Young Alumni Chapter, visit www.utaya.org.
— Jenny Blankenship
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