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UTA Development and Alumni Relations announces executive director, expanded engagement program

Friday, May 20, 2016 • Media Contact: Kristin Sullivan

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The University of Texas at Arlington has appointed Julie Barfield as executive director of alumni and donor relations as it strengthens engagement through the Office of Development and Alumni Relations.

Julie Barfield

Julie Barfield

Barfield will work under the direction of Mark LaVelle, assistant vice president for alumni and donor engagement, and with recently appointed alumni relations coordinator Shaunda Poster. A 10-year veteran in the field of alumni relations, Barfield most recently served as UTA’s director of donor engagement and previously served as donor relations coordinator for Cook Children’s Health Foundation in Fort Worth.

“I am looking forward to providing more services and programs for all of UTA’s wonderful alumni,” Barfield said. “I have enjoyed getting to know so many alumni who actively volunteer and participate in our events over the years, and our team is eager to increase their University involvement to strengthen the entire Maverick family.”

Barfield earned her undergraduate degree in marketing from Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business. In recent years, she has played an integral role in planning and executing all UTA alumni homecoming activities, including the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards. In her new position, Barfield will lead strategic alumni engagement programs and events.

Barfield’s appointment and the expansion of the Office of Development and Alumni Relations demonstrate the University’s commitment to enhancing the network of its more than 200,000 alumni, donors and friends, UTA President Vistasp M. Karbhari said.

“Our alumni are an integral part of the growing Maverick family, and it is essential that the institution not only keep in touch, but actively connect with them through constant communication, events, and activities,” President Karbhari said.

“The links forged during a student’s years of study must continue to be nurtured and strengthened once that student becomes an alumnus. I’m looking forward to a vibrant engagement that continues to build school spirit. The experience, enthusiasm and dedication of Julie, Shaunda and Mark will undoubtedly set new standards for us as we continue to build strong relationships.”

Michael Kingan, vice president for development and alumni relations, said the University will benefit from “extensive institutional knowledge” and her ability to “to enhance our already outstanding alumni programs.”

LaVelle, a graduate of Saint Louis University, joined UTA in 2007 and previously served as assistant vice president for university development. He has held positions in higher education advancement at Saint Louis, Washington University and Webster University.

Poster is a 2013 UTA broadcast communications graduate who also works as an in-game host for soccer club FC Dallas, the WNBA Dallas Wings team based at UTA’s College Park Center and as a television studio host for the Dallas Cowboys. She has worked with UTA Athletics on game day events as well.

In addition to these recent appointments, UTA is seeking an associate director for alumni relations. The team will be based in Davis Hall in a newly dedicated Office of Alumni Relations.

Join the UTA alumni community on LinkedIn and follow UT Arlington Alumni on Facebook and @UTAAlumni on Twitter. Learn more about upcoming UTA alumni events online at

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a Carnegie R-1 “highest research activity” institution of more than 53,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second-largest institution in the University of Texas system. U.S. News & World Report ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times’ 2016 Best for Vets list. Visit to learn more, and find UTA rankings and recognition at