Distinguished Alumni: Providing Groundbreaking Pediatric Care

Distinguished Alumni: Providing Groundbreaking Pediatric Care

Join the UD community in honoring Sonia Kirkpatrick at the Distinguished Alumni Award Dinner on Saturday, Oct. 5. Tickets are available now.

2013 Distinguished Alumna Sonia Kirkpatrick's idea for a collaborative autism care center for childrennow PediaPlex, a flourishing clinic in Southlaketook shape while she was preparing for a business plan competition as a UD master's of business administration student.

After rushing from neuropsychologist to occupational therapist to counselor after her oldest daughter's diagnosis with Asperger's syndrome, now-PediaPlex CEO Kirkpatrick MBA '11 had seen firsthand the shortcomings of existing autism care.

Her business plan for the collaborative care center took third and earned her a Texas Business Hall of Fame scholarship. That's when things started happening.

"All of the judges started sharing stories with me about family members dealing with the same thing," said Kirkpatrick. "Not only did they encourage me the scholarship led to investors for my company."

Kirkpatrick credits College of Business faculty with teaching her to think strategically about her plan for the clinic.

"If I had not gone to graduate school at UD, I don't know whether I would have taken the leap of faith to start PediaPlex," said Kirkpatrick.

PediaPlex opened in January 2012 and already receives about 1,000 visits monthly. Looking ahead, Kirkpatrick plans to open two more clinics in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The big picture, however, includes starting a transition center to teach life skills to autistic young adults.

Kirkpatrick's deadline for the project is personal.

"My daughter is 16 now, so my goal is to have this open in the next three years," she said.

When planning the next move for PediaPlex, Kirkpatrick turned once again to UD. A team of graduate business students is already at work on a marketing plan for the transition center as its Capstone project.

News

UD Earns Recognition Among America's Best Liberal Arts Colleges

The University of Dallas has been recognized in the 2017-18 Colleges of Distinction Guidebook for the eighth consecutive year among nearly 400 of America's best liberal arts institutions. The annual college guidebook featured the university for having one of the nation's most vibrant college communities and named UD as one of three Catholic Colleges of Distinction in Texas.

+ Read More

Endowment Honors Father, Helps Students Go to Rome

Charles T. Uhl, who worked in UD's IT Department, sent four of his five children to UD and to Rome. When their father passed away, the Uhl children, along with their mother, Nancy, set up a scholarship fund in his name to enable more students to be able to afford Rome each semester.

+ Read More

Iraqi Couple Will Use UD Education to Enrich, Preserve Culture

They came here so that someday, they can go back with even more to offer. Sana Kandalan, MA '19, and Anmar Oghanna, MBA '19, a wife and husband, both received scholarships to pursue graduate education at UD; they hope to use their degrees and experiences here to better serve their community back home in Erbil.

+ Read More