Manager of Executive and Extended Education, School of Design and Creative Technologies
Native Texan Michelle Harris earned an honors bachelor’s degree in French and is an alumna of the Liberal Arts Plan I Honors program at the University of Texas at Austin. After college, she spent two years working as a French speaker at Apple Inc. before she moved to western France for a year to teach English at a high school. When she got back to the US, she completed a master’s degree in French language and literature at the University of Virginia. After graduate school, Harris moved back home to Austin and served as the assistant to Dean Dempster in the College of Fine Arts, learning the ins and outs of university administration. When Doreen Lorenzo came on board at the College of Fine Arts to found the Center for Integrated Design (CID), Harris transitioned into the CID's Senior Academic Program Coordinator role in order to help Lorenzo launch the program in September 2016. In February 2018, Harris took on her new role as Manager of Executive and Extended Education to continue to work with Doreen Lorenzo and Julie Schell to establish these new extended initiatives for the college.
Michelle firmly believes that her language studies and time abroad have contributed significantly to her empathetic communication and problem-solving skills, all of which have played a role in her transition into the human-centered design arena. She also frequently makes good use of her fluency in French on the job.
An avid baker, athlete, and consummate nerd, Michelle has been playing competitive volleyball for over 20 years and spends much of her remaining free time perfecting French pastry techniques, playing Dungeons and Dragons, and training to run away and join the circus. She’s owned by a tiny Shiba Inu with big opinions, and aspires to one day become a Jedi knight.