The Office of Graduate Education

Our People

Juan E. González, Ph.D.

Francis S. Johnson Chair for Graduate Education
Dean of Graduate Education
Vice Provost for Global Engagement
Professor of Molecular Biology
[email protected]
972-883-2234
FA 3.104F

Dean González works to elevate the quality of graduate education and to advocate for graduate students, in collaboration with the Graduate Council, the Office of Graduate Education team, and the faculty.  He consults with students and faculty about academic issues and is frequently available to provide the very last signature to many forms and requests that come through our office.


Elizabeth L. Rugg, Ph.D

Associate Dean for Graduate Education
[email protected]
972-883-4227
FA 3.102D

Associate Dean, Elizabeth Rugg, works closely with the Dean to create and facilitate student professional development activities and other opportunities to improve graduate education and well-being. She also evaluates degree plans for graduating students, ensures that all requirements are met, and facilitates efforts in modernizing and streamlining many of the processes in the Office of Graduate Education.


LaDwyna Evans

Administrative Assistant III
Graduate Academic Program Review
[email protected]
972-883-3989
FA 3.104E

Administrative Assistant, LaDwyna Evans, coordinates logistics and administration of the Graduate Program Review process and assists the Dean with university-wide administrative duties. She also provides administrative support and assists with the day-to-day operations of the Office of Graduate Education.


Lila Foroutan

Special Events Coordinator
Website, Events and Marketing
[email protected]
972-883-4722
FA 3.104D

Special Events Coordinator, Lila Foroutan, handles all communications from the Office of Graduate Education to make sure they meet the university standards for branding and consistency.  She oversees the Website, Marketing, and the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony for the Office of Graduate Education.


Stephanie Garcia-Rocha

Degree Plan Evaluator III
[email protected]
972-883-3438
FA 3.102B

Degree Plan Evaluator, Stephanie Garcia-Rocha, reviews and evaluates degree plans to ensure the proper completion of degree requirements for graduating students and ensure degree integrity. She works closely with faculty and staff across campus to provide and enhance the resources necessary for graduate student success.


Alyssa Grimley

Assistant Graduate Reader
Doctoral Dissertations and Master's Theses
[email protected]
972-883-5346
FA 2.204

Assistant Graduate Reader, Alyssa Grimley, works directly with doctoral and master's students in their final semester, checking their dissertations for formatting and helping them to ensure that their dissertations are of the highest quality possible.


Beth Keithly

Faculty Grant and Distinguished Fellowships Advisor
[email protected]
972-883-4568
FA 3.104C

The Faculty Grant and Distinguished Fellowship Advisor, Beth Keithly, advises graduate students on external funding opportunities and provides both research development and programmatic support to faculty with grants focused on institutional improvement of graduate education.


Victoria Morales

Institutional Research Analyst
Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant Contact
[email protected]
972-883-2228
FA 3.104E

Institutional Research Analyst, Victoria Morales, is the contact for all TA/RA data including 18 Characteristics Reports, TA/RA Responsibility forms, TA/RA orientation, TA/RA data reports, and Milestones Agreement forms.


Allison Nepomnick

Senior Graduate Reader
Doctoral Dissertations and Master's Theses
[email protected]
972-883-3986
FA 2.204

Senior Graduate Reader, Allison Nepomnick, works directly with doctoral and master's students in their final semester, checking their dissertations for formatting and helping them to ensure that their dissertations are of the highest quality possible.


Brooke Schafer

Degree Plan Evaluator III
[email protected]
972-883-4182
FA 3.102C

Degree Plan Evaluator, Brooke Schafer, evaluates degree plans to certify that all requirements are documented and met by graduating students. She works to maintain the integrity of the graduate review process as well as streamline verification procedures. She also assists with recruitment, events, and workshops sponsored by the Office of Graduate Education.


K. Eric Van Leeuwen II

Program Manager I
[email protected]
972-883-4249
FA 3.102E

Program Manager, K. Eric Van Leeuwen, oversees the process of awarding all graduate degrees and academic certificates. He evaluates degree plans for graduating students, ensuring that all requirements are met. He is also working with new and existing technology to streamline many of the processes in the Office of Graduate Education, including verification and certification of degrees and recruiting.