Centurion Janet Ismail




UT Dallas: A Family Tradition

University of Texas at DallasAlthough she once toyed with the idea of attending a university that wasn’t associated with The University of Texas System, Janet Ayyad Ismail’s decision to secure her undergraduate degree from UT Dallas seemed almost to be one of fate: Janet’s father was a member of the first undergraduate class at UT Dallas; her two sisters also graduated from the university.

Family ties notwithstanding, Janet’s decision was swayed more by the great opportunities she believed she wouldn’t have gotten elsewhere.  “We had small class sizes and it was a very supportive environment.”  As a promising undergraduate psychology major, Janet was offered a chance to work as a Teaching Assistant for Dr. Susan Jerger, a responsibility most often reserved for graduate students.  She also had the opportunity to work as a Research Assistant for Dr. Alice J. O’Toole, studying face recognition.

“Attending UT Dallas was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and it’s exciting to see how the university has changed since my time thereā€”UT Dallas has grown not only in size and the educational and research programs offered, but in prestige as well.”

Much to the dismay of her psychology professors, Janet decided to become a lawyer.  Still, encouragement was never in short supply.  No matter her choice, she says, “all of the professors remained engaged and invested in my future and I am forever grateful for their support.”