UT Alumna Becomes First 1910 Society Member
Working full-time as a pharmacist in a major hospital and raising two young daughters would be a demanding enough lifestyle for most people. Maumi Villarreal (BA, ’80, MS,’96) is not most people. After 15 years as a practicing pharmacist, Villarreal was ready to move up in her career and decided she needed a graduate degree get there.
“The B.S. in Pharmacy became obsolete if one wanted to advance into new areas,” says Villareal. “So, even though it was a lot of hard work, I wanted to go to The University of Texas at Austin for my master’s degree.”
By hard work, Villarreal wasn’t just referring to the academic demands of her program. The master’s program for Pharmacy required her to travel from El Paso to Austin every Friday and Saturday for didactic classroom learning and group projects. Additionally, the program demanded many hours of study and research outside the classroom.
On top of her studies and travel, Villarreal continued her full-time schedule by working two double shifts and one weekend shift each week at the hospital.
How was she able to accomplish her goal? “A very supportive husband,” she says. Daniel Villareal, (BSME, PE, ’78) told his wife to focus on her work and her degree while he acted as primary caretaker for their family on top of his full-time career as a mechanical engineer.
Maumi’s graduate degree has paid off in many different ways. “Amazingly, one of my group class projects, starting a new clinic from the ground up, ended up being one of my first projects in my new job post graduate school,” she remembers. Villareal developed a teaching program for senior PharmD students at the Texas Tech University Health Science Center before leaving academia to go back into practice. She is currently working as the Director of Pharmacy at Physicians Hospital East in El Paso.
Daniel also attributes his professional success to his University of Texas at Austin degree. Currently Facilities Engineer for the William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, Daniel is heavily involved in the Base Realignment and Closure program for the U.S. Army Department of Defense. This program involves troop build-up at Ft. Bliss, along with the medical staff and facilities to support their needs.
Crediting their degrees from The University of Texas at Austin for fulfilling professional and personal lives, the Villarreals were eager to support the university and are proud to become the first members of the Graduate School’s 1910 Society.
The 1910 Society was created to celebrate the Graduate School’s centennial and to encourage philanthropic giving to support the recruitment and retention of the very best graduate students from Texas, the nation and the world.
“We are such fans of the university – in sports and academics,” says Villareal. “Supporting the Graduate School through the 1910 Society lets us be part of the bigger picture in helping the university stay competitive.”
Learn more about joining the 1910 Society and supporting graduate education.
By Kathleen Mabley