UT Tyler Office of News and Information

Meet the Patriots: Accomplished UT Tyler Student Thrives on Academics, Campus Life

September 10, 2010

Media Contact:
Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
News and Information
The University of Texas at Tyler

Editor’s Note: The University of Texas at Tyler prides itself on its remarkable ensemble of students and alumni. In this three-part feature series, “Meet the Patriots,” we will focus on some of those individuals.


A high school graduate at age 16, Sara Khalifa of Tyler – no doubt – is a highly-motivated and active student.

With memberships in the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, Black Student Organization, Muslim Student Organization, Students in Free Enterprise and Student Government Association, she found The University of Texas at Tyler to be a perfect place to thrive and excel – both in academics and campus life.

The senior adds another accomplishment to her academic career, as she has been accepted into the 2010-11 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Undergraduate Fellowship. The fellowship provides a semi-structured mentoring program for undergraduate students wishing to explore and better understand the field of student affairs and/or higher education.

The NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program mission is to increase the number of historically disenfranchised and underrepresented professionals in that career field. Coming from a diverse and cultural family, Khalifa holds both her Egyptian and Texan roots close to her heart. She names her family an inspiration.

“My parents are Egyptian, but they were raised here in the U.S and decided to raise me and my two sisters here as well,” Khalifa explains.

“When I was younger, my parents would take us to Henderson to visit my grandparents, and I think that is where I realized who my hero was – my grandma, who was a doctor. People would always come to her for her help or advice.

“She was such an interesting and successful individual. Just the atmosphere about her and the way she carried herself was awe-inspiring. I think that’s where my drive for leadership and success comes from. I am always motivated to do my best and to be like her,” she adds.

With her many accomplishments, the UT Tyler Student Government Association president also credits her mother.

“Without her guidance and wisdom, I would have never done well in school or made life-altering decisions like graduating high school at 16 or coming to UT Tyler,” she says. “She is my rock. I think my whole family is my rock, really. I have a strong sense of family because of my mom and grandma. My best friends are my cousins, and my sisters are always there to keep me in check. I’m blessed to have such a supportive family who encourage my endeavors like this fellowship.”

Khalifa will graduate in May 2011 with a bachelor of science in management. She aspires to later obtain a master’s degree and Ph.D. in student affairs. She enjoys reading, cooking/baking, time with friends and attending campus events.

For more information about NASPA, visit http://www.naspa.org/.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,400 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.

Meet the Patriots Fall 2010 Feature Series:  

Meet the Patriots: 2008-09

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