Introducing the 2021 Texas Ten

Photographs by Matt Wright-Steel

Michael Clement

KPMG Centennial Professor and Chair, Department of Accounting | Years at UT: 24

Side Gig: Clement has been UT’s Faculty Athletics Representative since 2013 and serves as an advocate for student-athletes for the Big 12 and NCAA.

Above portrait by Dustin Snipes

Omi Osun Joni L. Jones

Professor Emerita, Department of African & African Diaspora Studies | Years at UT: 28

A new name: Omi Osun was actually born Joni Lee Jones, the youngest of four growing up in the Chicago suburbs. It wasn’t until a spiritual trip to Nigeria in 1997 that she was initiated as Omi Osun (pronounced oh-me oh-SHoon). Omi translates to water in the Yoruba language while Osun refers
to “the energy of the river.”

Sara Stewart Stevens, MS ’12

Assistant Professor of Practice and Program Director (Academic), the Division of Textiles and Apparel | Years at UT: 9

Favorite Designer: “I’m not a high fashion person, but I love Christian Dior because of the shapes and silhouettes,” Stevens says.

Michael Mosser

Assistant Professor of Instruction, Department of Government | Years at UT: 9

Steelers’ country: Mosser has traversed the globe, but one only has to step inside his office to know where his roots are planted. “There is Pittsburgh stuff all over the place,” Mosser explains of his decor, which includes a Steelers Terrible Towel and mug branded with his alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh. “Pittsburghians have a very strong sense of place,” he laughs.

Alison Norman, MS ’06, PhD ’10

Associate Professor of Instruction, Department of Computer Science | Years at UT: 10

It takes a village: Norman has weathered the pandemic with a little help from her family — all her family. The associate professor, her husband, and their three kids all live within walking distance of Norman’s parents and her sister and brother-in-law.

Betsy Berry, MA ’87, PhD ’94

Senior Lecturer, Department of English | Years at UT: 27

In Memory: Being recognized as a Texas 10 winner is an honor Berry now shares with her late husband, Don Graham, who won the award in 2014. “I wish he could be here to see this,” she says. “He would be so proud. He told me early on, when I first started teaching and I was so nervous, he would say, ‘You just don’t know it, but you’re a born teacher.’”

Michael Marder

Professor, Department of Physics, Executive Director, UTeach | Years at UT: 33

Good surprise: Born in New York and raised in Illinois, Marder had never stepped foot in Texas until 1988, when he flew in for a job interview. “I had never visited Texas before,” he says, adding that he was surprised by how much he was taken with Austin. “It was the first of many surprises for me — and they’ve all been good surprises.”

Jung Kwak

Associate Professor, School of Nursing | Years at UT: 4

For the future: Kwak says she grew up with a lot of older adults, and so it felt natural to gravitate toward topics around aging. “Some people think it’s morbid,” she laughs, “but it’s inevitable, right? It’s a universal experience. And our students are going to have to become amazing caregivers for all of us, so I feel that I have a personal stake in this topic.”

Fred Valdez, BA ’75

Professor, Department of Anthropology | Years at UT: 32

Anybody goin’ to San Antone? Though he’s lived in Austin for most of his adult life, Valdez has deep roots in his hometown of San Antonio. Pre-COVID, he would travel to the Alamo City at least twice a month to visit family, grade school friends, and his daughter and two grandsons.

Natalie Czimskey, BS ’08, MA ’11, PhD ’19

Lecturer, Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences | Years at UT: 9

A family affair: Czimskey; her husband, Justin; her father; and her mother-in-law are all UT alumni — and they’re already preparing the next generation, including her five-year-old son. “He told me the other day, ‘Mommy, you know what I love? I love you. But you know what I love more? The Tower.’”

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