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Distinguished Alumni  


Dr. Forest Baskett – High-Tech Innovator and Investor

Forest Baskett joined New Enterprise Associates (NEA) as a Venture Partner in 1999 and became a General Partner in 2004. Forest focuses on information technology investments and serves on the Board of Directors for several private and public companies. Many of his investments became public companies, including Atheros Communications, Audience, Data Domain, Fusion-io and Tableau Software. Prior to joining NEA, Forest was Senior Vice President of R&D and Chief Technology Officer of Silicon Graphics, Inc. He founded and directed the Western Research Laboratory of Digital Equipment Corporation before joining SGI. Before that, he was a Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Stanford University.

Dr. Baskett received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from The University of Texas at Austin. While at UT, Dr. Baskett supported himself as a programmer at the Computation Center, initially writing the billing system and eventually managing the systems programming staff. He and a group of fellow graduate students and staff designed and built the operating system that was in production for ten years at the Computation Center.


Emerging alumni


Dr. Nikhil Advani – Advocate for Wildlife, People and the Planet

In 2013, Nikhil Advani joined the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) where he currently leads efforts on climate, communities and wildlife. During his time at WWF, Nikhil has founded and led a number of initiatives, including an effort to crowdsource data and implement climate adaptation projects for rural communities in developing countries, a wildlife and climate assessment series to research vulnerability to climate change and a Wildlife Adaptation Innovation Fund to help at-risk species adapt to climate change. Nikhil also is a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Species Survival Commission Climate Change Specialist Group.

Dr. Advani was born and raised in Kenya. He received his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. at The University of Texas at Austin in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior. His thesis focused on gaining a better mechanistic understanding of species response to climate change, using the Glanville Fritillary butterfly as a model species. During his time at UT, Nikhil received the College of Natural Sciences teaching award from the Texas Exes, an outstanding teaching award from the School of Biological Sciences and a number of undergraduate and graduate fellowships.




Tyrrell Flawn – Nonprofit Leader and Education Advocate

 Tyrrell Flawn has more than 30 years of experience in nonprofit leadership. Most recently, she served as Executive Director of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel at the U.S. Department of Education, where she was charged with reviewing the best scientific research and making recommendations to improve mathematics education.

As Executive Director of The Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health, Ms. Flawn oversaw the doubling of the size of the Inn while continuing to provide care for 1,200 families annually. She also served as Executive Director of the RGK Foundation in Austin and as Director of Volunteer Services at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Ms. Flawn served as chair of the Advisory Council of the School of Human Ecology from 2009-2012, and she currently serves on the advisory councils of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the College of Natural Sciences and the School of Human Ecology. She graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Nutrition. 


The 2019 Hall of Honor Awards were held at The Line in Austin, Texas, on Thursday, September 19.

We accept nominations year-round. For descriptions of each award and information on how to nominate an individual for next year, click here.